netiquette

Unfortunately, I might have bigger fish than CSS3 to fry soon. In the past week I heard about Google spying on people, even those in private mode (I would link to the video, but Google has apparently buried it since the station reporting it uses Google for their search and video); Facebook arguing in court that everyone is “Famous” to their friends so they can use your pictures and name in advertisements; another security flaw that makes 4 out of every 1000 RSA certs easy to crack; Nortel networks that were completely pwned by chinese hackers for a decade, recycled botnet code repurposed for stealing passwords, SoNet’s inflated user number (not a surprise — about 50% of the social network accounts are fake or unused), the Megaupload seizure, and the list goes on! Much of that I read on Ars.

The interesting thing about the Google story is that a person interviewed for the report said that to Google, its users are the product… hmmm, someone I know wrote that a few months back, hehe. (Sadly, not many saw it because it was rejected by Dice.) Anyway, I still have to write my Apps o’ Fame list, but I’m not sure whether to submit it and wait for a month or two or just post it here without editing or delay. (Thus why this update is posted here.)

Social Networking is the hottest property on the internet. Social Networks (SoNets) allow better targeted marketing and allow companies a glimpse into who is buying their products.

Most companies on the internet either have or are working on ways to establish  positive mindshare by encouraging customers to talk about their products and build communities based on common product interests.

It used to be that the best source for information on what people were buying was financial institutions, which tracked what each account was buying, as well as large retailers that offered a wide range of products. Getting this valuable data was expensive and not always easy. Slowly, large online retailers discovered cross-promotion and established partnerships sharing customer information.

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The guiding principle of technology is, technology is supposed to make our lives better by alleviating the drudgery from our lives and letting us have more time doing what we enjoy. But there is a dark side to technology, and I am not talking about surveillance this time. This dark side is perpetrated by people who create it and use it. I’m going to talk about two things: design/process failure and computer etiquette “netiquette” because they have the same basic root cause.

There are many failures in use of  technology by companies that should know better that I wonder how the people in charge manage to keep their jobs. Now it is easy for me to sit here atop my perch and take pot shots, insulated from all the conflicting pressures of making products that both please the management’s bottom line and customers. However, I have always been of the opinion that there is a way to do both. There are solutions that can actually deliver more satisfaction to both company and customer.

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