→ LinkedIn Intro’s security nightmare

→ LinkedIn Intro’s security nightmare:

But what happens when using profiles for non-security, non-enterprise features becomes widespread? Won’t Google, Facebook, Twitter, and just about every social or ad-supported service want the same access to make it easier to mine your private data, spam your contacts, and evade App Store restrictions? It won’t be hard for the big services to come up with compelling features and friendly messaging to get millions of people to install their profiles, too.

[It’s a mess to be sure. Don’t miss the original if you want the nitty gritty.]

Source: Marco.org

Google’s idea of open

Google’s iron grip on Android: Controlling open source by any means necessary:

For OEMs, this means they aren’t allowed to slowly transition from Google’s Android to a fork. The second they ship one device that runs a competing fork, they are given the kiss of death and booted out of the Android family—it must be a clean break. This, by design, makes switching to forked Android a terrifying prospect to any established Android OEM. You must jump off the Google cliff, and there’s no going back.

Any OEM hoping to license Google Apps will need to pass Google’s “compatibility” tests in order to be eligible. Compatibility ensures that all the apps in the Play Store will run on your device. And to Google, “compatibility” is also a fluid concept that an Android engineer once internally described as “a club to make [OEMs] do what we want.” While Google now has automated tools that will test your device’s “compatibility,” getting a Google apps license still requires a company to privately e-mail Google and “kiss the ring” so to speak. Most of this is done through backroom agreements and secret contracts, so the majority of the information we have comes from public spats and/or lawsuits between Google and potential Android deserters (see: Acer).

Another point of control is that the Google apps are all licensed as a single bundle. So if you want Gmail and Maps, you also need to take Google Play Services, Google+, and whatever else Google feels like adding to the package. A company called Skyhook found this out the hard way when it tried to develop a competing location service for Android. Switching to Skyhook’s service meant Google would not be able to collect location data from users. This was bad for Google, so Skyhook was declared “incompatible.” OEMs that wanted the Google Apps were not allowed to use them. Skyhook sued, and the lawsuit is still pending.

[Surprised? Why would you be?]

The Decline of Wikipedia: Even As More People Than Ever Rely on It, Fewer People Create It

The Decline of Wikipedia: Even As More People Than Ever Rely on It, Fewer People Create It:

Yet it may be unable to get much closer to its lofty goal of compiling all human knowledge. Wikipedia’s community built a system and resource unique in the history of civilization. It proved a worthy, perhaps fatal, match for conventional ways of building encyclopedias. But that community also constructed barriers that deter the newcomers needed to finish the job. Perhaps it was too much to expect that a crowd of Internet strangers would truly democratize knowledge. Today’s Wikipedia, even with its middling quality and poor representation of the world’s diversity, could be the best encyclopedia we will get.

[I’ve experienced the pain. It drove me away. I had stuff to contribute, but I don’t care to contribute my way past their walls.]

Continuations : Twitter: Life is Unfair?

Continuations : Twitter: Life is Unfair?:

So why does the Twitter story remind me of Prof. Hausman’s admonition? Because it demonstrates the relative importance of hitting upon the right thing at the right time over early execution. This goes a bit against one of the historic ideas held dear in venture capital that execution matters more than ideas. And yes it remains true that an idea alone is worthless, you have to build something. But beyond that it turns out that building the right thing at the right time will let you get away with all sorts of mistakes. Conversely, hypothetically perfect execution but too early or too late or on the wrong variant will not get you very far. For everyone working really hard on a startup that’s not going gangbuster this seems, well, unfair.

So there you have it. Prof. Hausman was right all along. Actually not quite. I used to think that but more recently I have changed my outlook to: Life just is. Unfair implies some kind of moral standard. Somewhere somebody right now is building the next big thing and most likely it is not you. Just accept that and you’ll be happier.

[Raise your hand if you think it’s you?]

Oh sugar, you won’t melt — trust me.

My Mom Lives in a Small Town:

Oh sugar, you won’t melt — trust me. I lived in Seattle for 24 years where rain is a way of life.

Side note: I bet you my Mom was thinking of the classic Asimov short story Rain, Rain, Go Away when she wrote “sugar, you won’t melt.” (I know that story’s in her library because that’s where I read it.)

And: the scene with the Public Works people reminds me of Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in a Strange Land when the government dudes land on his flower beds. “Get that God damned heap off my rose bushes!”

[Brent (or his Mom) hits it out of the park with Asimov *&* Heinlein. As a kid (I read Stranger when I was 12) I wanted to be like Jubal. I got some of it right.]

Source: inessential.com

The noise of stuff

The noise of stuff — What I Learned Today — Medium:

You might be holding on to that book you bought a year ago that you swear you’ll read or those killer pair of shoes that you’ll bring out for just the right occasion.

But the reality is, you probably made a mistake in buying those things and it literally hurts your brain to come to terms with that fact.

Researchers at Yale recently identified that two areas in your brain associated with pain, the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, light up in response to letting go of items you own

[A work in progress to be sure, on so many levels.]

On why nothing is simple about syncing

Vesper Sync Diary #1 – Syncing Tags:

If a note has tags like this…

tags: paris, packing, travel

…then it would be changed to look like this:

tags: packing, travel

The actual tag could remain in the database — it’s just that no notes would refer to it. In the case of tags, that’s the equivalent of deleting it.

And if you started using that tag again in the future, it would, correctly, appear just for new notes. It wouldn’t get resurrected for old notes, since those notes were changed to not refer to that tag.


I’m still thinking about tags. I could change my mind (particularly if I think of a better way, or if someone tells me about a better way).

Much of the rest of syncing is conceptually nailed down. (Much of it was nailed down before I wrote the first line of Vesper code last February.) But things can change as theory meets code.

[What is simple to understand is that sync is never simple.]

Source: inessential.com

Sowing a Change in Kitchens

Sowing a Change in Kitchens:

The soil-tilling food experts happen to be every bit as expressive, and iconoclastic, as their knife-wielding counterparts in the kitchen. These days, many in the culinary world tend to view produce in a black-and-white way: You have either your delightfully lumpy, bumpy farmers’ market treasures, or your scarily uniform corporate Frankenfood. As Mr. Barber said, it’s “heirlooms over here, Monsanto maniacs over there.”

But Monday’s convocation, overseen by the Basque Culinary Center, suggested a third way: Independent breeders are ready to help make our breads and salads richer with deep flavor, bold color and plenty of nutrients. They just need someone to ask them.

What they do may also be seen as an old-school alternative to the spread of genetically modified plants, which have not been shown to be harmful but still frighten and concern many people.

“We’re making crosses within the same species, and we’re doing it the way it’s been done for 300 years,” said Dr. Stephen Jones, a wheat breeder from Washington State whose accessibly folksy lecture had the room transfixed. “There’s no forcing here. We put these plants together and we let them mate.”

[Since this ultimately will be driven by business and not love, it cares me a bit. But I’m curious to see where it goes.]


The NewAer ProxPlatform: iBeacons are BlueTooth LE or BT Smart and 4.0:

Many reporters have described iBeacons as an indoor GPS solution, which it clearly isn’t if you read the API.  Instead of thinking of iBeacons as a localization system, think of it as a proximity system, and design your applications appropriately to create an event or trigger when you enter or leave the range of one.

[There’s a lot of spin in the above post or it’s poorly written. Thinking about beacons around my home, maybe it could simplify some of the interactions with things. Make my phone beep when walk into the kitchen? Notifications when I walk past stores? Meh or worse. Reminders when I enter my office? Car? Hmmm. Maybe. Creating an easier experience so that a business or doctor can collect information that I specify so that I don’t have to fill out a paper form? I’ll take that. And as we get better at sharing information using a beacon as a trigger for data sharing seems reasonable. I’m curious to see if Apple has plans for this in their own stores any time soon.]