Posts tagged ‘Apple’
Although I never met the man – I think that I and every programmer or entrepreneur that has worked in the valley felt like we had a personnel relationship with Steve Jobs. He was without a doubt the most polarizing technology figure in the valley – known for his brilliant design sense, ability to excite an audience, uncompromising desire to get it right, and pithy emails.
My first real computer was a Mac. That Mac Plus with an additional acoustic coupler modem – (a blazing fast 300 baud baby!) helped pay my way through college writing other peoples programs for them uh, I mean tutoring other students. The Mac was amazing it showed us that computers could be fun, quirky, and artistic. It introduced stylistic concepts that we are still having trouble bringing into mainstream computing today. In a world of VT220 terminals and ascii art (btw the link is amazingly cool ascii), the Mac with Steve as her father proved that the digital world could be thrilling as well as functional. For that we all, whether in technology or otherwise, owe him a great debt.
Finally, lets all remember that despite his laudable achievements, Mr. Jobs was a human being who had family and friends that are mourning a man that cancer took away from them at an early age. While we can and should honor his many achievements, let’s not forget to take a breath and send good thoughts to them and all the other families who have been stricken by this deadly disease. Or better yet, donate to the Cancer charity of your choice.
RIP – Steve.
Recent update added to the end of this post.
Do you ever read tweets or Facebook walls and say to yourself, “TMI?” Do you ever wonder why people check in to Foursquare? You know, I have developed quite an affection for Twitter as an information source (and it did not begin well). In fact, it has replaced my Google news alerts and Feedburner news feed as my primary source of news and information. That being said, I find myself marveling at how some of the people I “follow” feel the need to tweet their every move:
- Having coffee at Starbucks on name-of-street, in name-of-city.
- Shopping at name-of-mall in name-of-city, in name-of-state.
- Name-of-airline flight number delayed. Stuck in name-of-airport at gate number.
- Off to name-of-city for a 5-day conference.
And I worry about them. Not about their egos (that’s another post) folks, but more about their safety. Maybe it’s because I am a woman (I can hear some of you crying “sexist”), but letting someone know where I am or where I’m not seems like I am inviting trouble. For example: if you know I am not at home, I could be burglarized or if you know where I am, I could be followed. Paranoid? Maybe, but if you’ve ever been stalked or otherwise threatened you know what I am talking about. (more…)
Although Terence and I have been “knee deep” in preparing for the launch of our latest vertical analytics solution (PatternBuilders Social Media Analytics) and our Ebook (on Privacy in the Age of Big Data), I came across an article recently that sent up red flags for me and should do the same for you, if you’re a smartphone user. Yes, it’s all about data privacy and your cell phone and yes, I’ve talked about this previously but this time it’s not about what you can do to protect yourself, but what you might not be aware of regarding all the mobile applications you’re using.
What do I mean when I’m talking about mobile, or smartphone applications? Well, they’re all the “things” you use to do something on your phone: search for a restaurant, play a game, read an Ebook (like ours—shameless, shameless plug!), or get directions. Behind each of these actions is an application that makes “it” happen. Now, there are thousands of mobile applications out there and apparently, many of them are hijacking your personal information without your knowledge or consent. According to the Wall Street Journal:
“The Wall Street Journal reported in December that popular applications on the iPhone and Android mobile phones, including Pandora, transmit information about the phones, their users and their locations to outsiders, including advertising networks.
…The Journal tested 101 apps and found that 56 transmitted the phone’s unique device identifier to other companies without users’ awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone’s location in some way. Five sent a user’s age, gender and other personal details to outsiders. At the time they were tested, 45 apps didn’t provide privacy policies on their websites or inside the apps.”
A non-rant rant on data security.
Have you ever had one of those days when you throw up your hands and simply say, “There’s got to be a better way!” Well, this is one of those days. Recently, Jenn Webb, in an O’Reilly Radar piece, asked the following:
“How much convenience are you willing to give up for security?”
Webb was talking about Google’s 2-step verification process (I remembered reading about this a couple of months ago) which essentially “jumps” the user through a number of “hoops” to ensure more secure access to Google applications. I ended my comment on the article with the following: “Google, could you have made this any more difficult for people operating in the real world to use?” And once I clicked Submit, I thought I was done. Nope. The more I thought about this, the more I felt a rant coming on. I mean, really, how hard is it for companies like Google (and many others) to come up with a user-friendly way to ensure secure access? They certainly have the money to do it and by all accounts, they definitely have the engineering talent to do it. So what’s the problem? (more…)