Monday, August 20, 2012

Meat from a 3D printer - Are vegetarians saved?

Breakout Labs, eccentric billionaire Peter Thiel’s biotech foundation, announced an intruguing investment in a start-up that makes 3D printed meat. The company engineers tissues to create leather and edible meat, in a process that eliminates many of the negative environment effects associated with traditional livestock practices, according to a report by CNET. It uses animal stem cell tissues to create input material, and prints out meat that involves no harm to animals. It's also a process that should be more environmentally friendly than normal meat production. CNBC Small Business.

OAuth and Facebook - take care to clean apps up

since Gmail added OAuth support in March 2010, an increasing number of startups are asking for a perpetual, silent window into your inbox.

I’m concerned OAuth, while hugely convenient for both developers and users, may be paving the way for an inevitable privacy meltdown.....

....

If you’ve ever granted permission for a service to use your Twitter, Facebook, or Google account, you’ve used OAuth.

This was a radical improvement. It’s easier for users, taking a couple of clicks to authorize accounts, and passwords are never sent insecurely or stored by services who shouldn’t have them. And developers never have to worry about storing or transmitting private passwords.

But this convenience creates a new risk. It’s training people not to care.

It’s so simple and pervasive that even savvy users have no issue letting dozens of new services access their various accounts.....

Stay Safe

Clearly, we’re not going to stop using awesome new utilities just because there’s a privacy risk. But there are best practices you can follow to stay safe.

  • Clean up your app permissions. The best thing you could do, right now, is to log into each service you care about and revoke access to the apps you no longer use or care about, especially those that have access to Gmail. Finding the permissions pages can be tricky, but the nice folks at MyPermissions.org made a handy dashboard linking to every one.
  • Think before you authorize. Before authorizing an account, find out who you’re granting access to. Look for a staff page, contact address, and take a look at the privacy policy to make sure they’re not sharing or selling your info with third parties. Bonus points if they outline their security policies and offer a way to disconnect service from within the app. If anything seems off, don’t do it.
  • When in doubt, change your password. Have a feeling that someone might be reading your mail, but not sure which app is to blame? Changing your password instantly invalidates all your Google and Facebook OAuth tokens, though Twitter tokens persist after password changes.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quick Personal Security Audit Tool

Wired has found a useful new tool to check who or what you have authorised to have access to your Facebook, Google and other accounts, quickly and easily: MyPermissions.org. Give it a check now.

The Article goes on to note:

since Gmail added OAuth support in March 2010, an increasing number of startups are asking for a perpetual, silent window into your inbox.

I’m concerned OAuth, while hugely convenient for both developers and users, may be paving the way for an inevitable privacy meltdown.....

....

If you’ve ever granted permission for a service to use your Twitter, Facebook, or Google account, you’ve used OAuth.

This was a radical improvement. It’s easier for users, taking a couple of clicks to authorize accounts, and passwords are never sent insecurely or stored by services who shouldn’t have them. And developers never have to worry about storing or transmitting private passwords.

But this convenience creates a new risk. It’s training people not to care.

It’s so simple and pervasive that even savvy users have no issue letting dozens of new services access their various accounts.....

Stay Safe

Clearly, we’re not going to stop using awesome new utilities just because there’s a privacy risk. But there are best practices you can follow to stay safe.

  • Clean up your app permissions. The best thing you could do, right now, is to log into each service you care about and revoke access to the apps you no longer use or care about, especially those that have access to Gmail. Finding the permissions pages can be tricky, but the nice folks at MyPermissions.org made a handy dashboard linking to every one.
  • Think before you authorize. Before authorizing an account, find out who you’re granting access to. Look for a staff page, contact address, and take a look at the privacy policy to make sure they’re not sharing or selling your info with third parties. Bonus points if they outline their security policies and offer a way to disconnect service from within the app. If anything seems off, don’t do it.
  • When in doubt, change your password. Have a feeling that someone might be reading your mail, but not sure which app is to blame? Changing your password instantly invalidates all your Google and Facebook OAuth tokens, though Twitter tokens persist after password changes.
Reade the rest of the Article at Wired.
For more on how OAth works:
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Friday, December 30, 2011

Twitter Subpoena demonstrates extent of Surveillance

In an Interesting new development - Boston Police have issued a subpoena for information on all Twitter users that used the hashtag BostonPD or twittered occupyBoston. The information specifically includes Date and IP Address of account creation. I wonder how many established their accounts using a VPN? I know I didn't use one back then. It will raise interesting questions about the safety of International users. Sympathisers in other Countries with their own "Occupy" and protest movements can be exposed - in some cases with serious potential consequences. We await the Court decision with interest.
The moral: more than ever, be careful what appears in your social media stream - even if you are just following interesting developments and not actively participating. Your actions are being tracked. The subpoena appears below.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/76393350/Subpoena-on-p0isAn0n-OccupyBoston-BostonPD-d0xcak3

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Indian and Chinese Entrepreneurs Leaving US

Interesting Article from Venturebeats' Entrepreneur Corner. This US downturn is more serious than a mere recession - in part because of the fear of Foreigners that has rarely been a part of US public life in the past. There may have been many individuals with prejudiced views, but public figures stood for America as a great innovation capital for the World. To do that one needs to let people travel relatively freely. Enhanced border security and pat downs for every flight leg reduce the willingness of people to visit. Border Security personnel do not seem to be acting as though they are America's frontline of Welcome - people's first impression of arriving in America is likely to be harsh. In contrast China works hard to make visitors welcome. Immigration control officers each have a little 'voting button' where you register if you were happy with them or not. Every visitor votes. If America loses the innovation lead, other losses will follow.

Venturebeat says:

skilled immigrants are leaving the U.S. in droves. This is because of economic opportunities in countries like India and China, a desire to be closer to family and friends, and a deeply flawed U.S immigration system. It doesn’t matter whether we call this “brain drain” or “brain circulation”– it is a loss for America. Innovation that would otherwise be happening here is going abroad.

With all the stories we read about weak infrastructure in India, authoritarianism in China, and corruption and red tape in both countries, the perception is that these entrepreneurs are facing major handicaps back home. They have no chance of competing with us, so we have nothing to worry about, right?

Wrong.

Read the full Article




Friday, October 08, 2010

10 Things CEO's Need to Know about Design

Jason Purtoti was lead designer for Mint.com. If you want to know the key design decisions that affect visitors and generate a 'call to action' then this is the place to start. The transformation of the American Airlines site is one of the best User Experience (UX) stories out there.

This presentation doesn't have sound, but take your time to think about what each slide is saying. For the best experience, click through to SlideShare.
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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Web Site Makeovers - Case Studies

How do you get visitors, how do you keep visitors returning and how do you convert visits to sales? If you want real-life practical demonstrations of how to do this, then do I have the video for you!

In this recorded presentation, Andrew Fingerman spoke to the folks at Telluride about Extreme Makeovers of Photography Websites. Using dozens of live examples, Andrew shows photographers how to turn a photography website into a more powerful marketing tool to attract new visitors, turn them into customers, and keep them coming back for more... but it applies to much more than photography websites.

His examples of how blogs are an integral part of the site, and examples of how web site owners have made them relevant are core demonstrations of the 'new' way the web works. This is no 'casual' presentation. It uses real life examples and works through what has changed and why it matters. It's worth putting aside some time. The 'technical difficulties' mean that sound drops occassionally, but persevere.

Andrew isn't a 'big name' outside photography, and this isn't some 'flashy' speaker on a podium. He's a coffee addict whose livelihood depends on doing.



Passion can see Beauty and Share it

Making a promotional video beautiful and captivating. This brilliant (no pun intended) video from laughing Squid shows how it can be done - a pleasure to watch. Set to Alfred Brendel's lyrical Piano Concerto No.5 in E flat major, it shows the process from top to bottom of how ink is made. The vivid and even balletic video captivates us with beauty - the lush yellow ink folding into itself at the beginning is the hook that keeps us watching - the whole video - completely enthralled. Enjoy - and learn.