If you guys don’t mind, 10Centuries — by a fellow ADNetizen (@matigo on app.net) — fits into my workflow so much better than wordpress. In fact, I would love to post here more but the web interface is painful compared to a native app to write in on all my devices vs. syncing or hoping the web interface doesn’t reset mid-post. So, FYI head over to 10C: I post a notice about an Audio tag cleaner (for those of us with music filled with incorrect tags in iTunes or whatever audio player you use), as well as my opinion on the Tech underneath the 5s’ seemingly boring shell… It’s not hype…
This post was written in 2 hours, and is very “stream/speed of thought” (read “rough”), but I wanted to share it enjoy…
When I meet other WebDevs, one of the questions I am often asked, after showing them a web project, “What Frameworks/CMS do you use for the backend?” When I say, “None.” Every time I say that, the look I receive is often multifaceted. The look simultaneously says: he’s nuts (Why the hell would any Dev in their right mind do that?), that’s a ton of work, followed by, the realization, “OMG this guy wrote all this stuff from scratch.” The question, “Why?” often comes out. The tone ranges from bewilderment to indignation depending on how set a dev is in their ways and their level of experience.
I have gotten about 10 or more fake dropbox invites this past few weeks, and a funny thing happened: my blog stats spiked like crazy! So, given that fact, I want to help people by reposting the link to that article that should show up in searches as being a fresher piece of info. Again, the advice remains the same, timeless in its wisdom: look before you click.
As previously commented: I seriously doubt Dropbox had anything to do with the release of email addresses. Instead, I think that the people phishing have compromised some end user systems and gathered data on who else might have dropbox installed.
Why Dropbox Would Sell Email Addresses
Someone commented that they wondered if Dropbox sold user email addresses. Based on what email address the phishing scam is going to, I would say no. Also, I mentioned that Dropbox makes its money by people upgrading their accounts, and would alienate paying customers if they did. So, the marginal income they would get for selling any customer info would easily be outweighed by the loss of revenue from customers going to one of the many other cloud backup and sync providers.
Personal Cloud Devices
Speaking of cloud or cloud like data access, I am close to purchasing Connected Data’s personal cloud device the Transporter once they can answer a few simple questions. Or I might go with Hyper or Akitio’s Personal Cloud devices. If anyone has experience with these devices, please contact me on app.net (the user name is the same), or comment here. Thanks for reading.
Bye the way: you tech heads need to make sure this Dual 2.1A USB adapter & extension cord succeeds because I need this product. I get nothing out of it but my reward level for backing it, BTW. However, by my estimates, nuPlug will miss funding by 3 days unless we help it out. So please pass this link to NuPlug’s Kickstarter. Daddy needs a new charging solution. I have stepped on extension cords; had to use 2 chargers for a 2.1A iPad and another device, and I have seen companies charging as much (or more) for just a Dual 2.1A USB charging adapter!
People ask me why App.net. This article is spot on in the answer. Also, I do not invite people en masse. I selectively chose people that a interesting and might have something to say or insight. I have invited a Snarky Psychologist that taught me a lot when we were younger, a Charismatic and sharp EMT, a Wick smart and trustworthy Lawyer, a new smart and cool female coder, my best friend who is a beyond great guy and unparalleled genius, a Linux Kernal Dev, a smart young lady that sees things with wisdom beyond her years, and a smart guy with almost no filter that is very much responsible for the chain of events that got into IT when he taught me the basics of Pagemaker last Century. Sadly, most do not see the need for “Yet Another Social Network.” The ones that have joined will recognize themselves. So, do not mistake my invite and my enthusiasm as spam.
I am fortunate. I am thankful, and I take responsibility for being where I am at any given point in time. I sat down to write something very different an this is what is coming out.
I app.net (ADN) a new remote friend, @bojan, was inspired to write an article when we got on the subject of burnout. I was very curious as to his perspective. About a decade ago, I heard from a psychologist that many of her patients in Santa Clara that suffered from burnout where from one field: IT. I was surprised, truly surprised that this field of “smarter than the average bear” professionals would have such a high rate. But then I reflected on my own experience well over a decade ago with burning the candle at both ends and having my inner Scotty giving me more power to work 10,12 even 16 hour days at a great little start up, that still exists to this day.
I have been following Dalton Caldwell on Twitter and reading his blog posts for sometime now. A vast majority of the time, I am nodding along to each of his points, as he points out a company or industry’s fundamental breach of trust or lack of sense in some new strategy that will revolutionize the industry.
This time Dalton is trying to kickstart a new social network with a twist: App.net. Instead of selling you, the user, and having you do all the work by posting content and telling the company what you like, only to have them turn around and sell your data to marketing and advertising agency. So, they can resell it to businesses looking for people in your demographic as a higher priced “targeted ad,” he aligns the social network with users by having the money come directly from the users. Dalton—being a “very smart guy”—knows the idea of paying for a service that is usually free in order to get better treatment has come.
When live journal, tribe, friendster and myspace were all trying to figure out how to monetize their social networking sites, the public at large, didn’t understand how valuable having a way to broadcast to the internet was. Now, that the public has had a taste, the idea and acceptance of social networks being a valuable way to communicate with friends has allowed people like Dalton to finally offer a service that people know the value of paying for. Tribe, Friendster, MySpace, LiveJournal, etc. were all trying to ride the wave when it was still out at sea while also getting towed be boatloads of advertising cash. Facebook, Google and Twitter are now trying to catch a line from the advertising boat, and alienating some of the people generating the wave.
They could easily turn around and offer a paid, ad-free service, however the real damage is with their selling and sharing of your data—things such as you email address, name, age, sex, address, zip code, etc. Once sold, the Facebooks of the world cannot redact any of that information. There is no mechanism to pull your data once it is let out to a third party app or game a person tries even just once. While FB’s compliance policy says the app maker must delete your data if you remove their “free” game, there is no enforcement, nor any auditing to make sure this is actually happening. So, really, it is time for a new entity with a clean slate to start with a center that is based on serving the people who pay for the service rather than the advertisers and companies that pay lip service to privacy concerns.
The saddest part is, even when a big company such a Google or Facebook adopt practices that are gross violations of privacy or make errors that would land a person in jail, they get what amount to a slap on the wrist, and publicly apologize, saying, “it will never happen again.” But we all know that their profit-margin from either alleged “mistakes” such as bypassing a DO NOT TRACK header, or sneaking persistent ID cookies in there to follow your browsing habits far outweigh any penalty once they get caught.
For instance an executive at BP could have sat in his office knowing full well they would be forced to cough up up to 2B for gross negligence (as long as they kept their mouths shut and never admitted wrongdoing), but also the net profits will be up 50% to 15B. That 2B dollar fine is just the cost of doing business and still a 30% jump above last year. (All of this is speculation, and I haven’t even checked their numbers, but you get the idea.) The same could go on every day at a large company in the social network space as well. An executive could weigh the risk-reward ratio of any illegal action, and figure that with enough spin, plausible deniability and legal fees and decide that the penalties are far enough down the road, and that public scrutiny only lasts so long.
I see BP gas stations today and they are doing business as usual with pump prices holding steady a lot higher than before the explosion in the Gulf, because people don’t care unless it is convenient for them to. If it is inconvenient to not use a product or service that they know is from an ethically deficient company, they generally make excuses or just admit, “I don’t care” if they are a more honest person. In fact as long as their interests align, they are willing to put up with a few questionably ethical practices.
The thing is, if one of these companies deices that their quarterly profits are worth more than a permanent injury to a group of people (such as their identity being stolen and their credit destroyed) or the environment (such as sea life mutating thanks to oil dispersants used in concentrations that would affect cell replication), then you or the victim of their risk-reward calculation are fucked. Because all that will happen will be a slap on the wrist, and lip service. There is no such thing as a corporate death penalty for accidents, nor gaming the system. But there should be.
That’s why I hope Dalton succeeds. If his service takes off the ground and holds to its ethical center of “people over profit (but a profit is needed)” then companies like his will take care of killing the parasitic companies and the sociopathic companies for us. So, while I haven’t backed the project yet. I will definitely earmark part of my budget for it, and help by telling people. I do the same for any company that “gets it,” such as duckduckgo.com: because face it, Google’s “‘do no evil’ mantra” has evolved into (as George Carlin would say) “pure bullshit.”
I am not against making money, but I think no company should ever place the basis of their revenue stream at odds with sound ethical practices. If their is ever a question, then obviously you are in the wrong business or talking to the wrong people. Advertising and marketing are usually at odds with maintaining honesty and privacy, and those are the areas I would never work in. For instance: What would I say if asked to develop a system to help people find information when they want it? “Great!” Develop a system to monitor what people are doing with this tool? “Fuck off.” Why? because it’s a basis of freedom, and the word “freedom” does not mean “We will monitor what you do, so only do what we want you to.”
So, yeah, I have $50–$100 for dalton because I value people who put their business practices inline with my concerns for privacy and ethical behavior. Do you? Ask yourself if you really do too. Are you concerned enough to pay someone for this so they can erode those that are paying the numbers with your health, safety and security as their poker chips?