March 22nd, 2012
The question may cause some hesitation while the individual tries to sift through their brain for an explanation. Privacy seems to be the buzz word these days, especially when it comes to the Internet and social media. The general assumption used to be that we were entitled to privacy whenever we felt the need to be discreet. That assumption has left many individuals questioning when it seems that anyone who feels so inclined can access personal information about you with the click of a button. More than that, it seems that we divulge this information unknowingly or without much forethought through the many social media services that are now available, not just on your computer, but through smartphone apps as well.
We should be reminded that anyone can access the information that we toss into the ether. Those that can harvest our valuable intellectual goods range from advertisement companies, that seem to know exactly what I want to buy before I even know I want it, to potential employers that can access your Facebook and find pictures that may bar you from the job of your dreams. That’s when we usually come back and demand that we be given our anonymity and dignity back, but many times it’s too late. The damage has been done, and you are left feeling vulnerable. That is when you search the infinitude of the World Wide Web to find an answer and end your grieving only to realize that your privacy, that seemed to be an unalienable right, comes at a shocking price. It may not even be much money but it seems so unnecessary and you vow instead to remove yourself from the thing that caused you so much pain, social media, but you know it’s not going to last since it is who we are and what we are doing with a good portion of our time.
Secure.me is a company that is willing to take on some of this burden for you, where it is probably needed the most: Facebook. Gone are all of those embarrassing photos of you at that party where you were perhaps not acting yourself, the night before your big interview. With secure.me’s biometric face recognition software you can find and remove unflattering images (even if you have yet to be tagged in them), and demonstrate your full potential. The best part about this software is that it comes at a very small cost. With the click of a button you can easily and instantly start taking control of your online presence.
So, I ask, what are you willing to pay for your online privacy? If you wouldn’t leave your front door unlocked and wide open to the world, then I think it’s high time you paid more attention to your online profile. Put your foot down and take a step toward protecting yourself, take responsibility of your image. Secure yourself.
March 6th, 2012
With the massive amounts of new products infiltrating through numerous different distribution channels, start-ups don’t necessarily have to rely on early adopters. After hearing Pinterest’s Founder, Ben Silbermann, speak at the Start-up Grind’s meet-up last week I was excited to find out that when Pinterest first launched in 2010 the first place it gained traction was in the Midwest. Let’s face it, us West Coast urban dwellers have little in common with Midwest residents, especially when it comes to networking, fashion and interests. Luckily, the Midwest trend-setters don’t have to have anything in common with every other user of Pinterest, because it became popular in other groups and social circles outside of the Midwest groups. Eventually Pinterest hit on a group of users that took it viral and the rest is history. In this day and age, companies, especially tech and Internet based, have the luxury of reaching early adopters in all different sorts of social groups because they have second chances handed to them through all the different channels of communication. Facebook, obviously being the most enormous channel out of the bunch, has over 845 million active users as of February 2012 according to Wikipedea. Think about that, 845 million people that understand how to login, connect and discover billions of new articles, ideas, news, ANYTHING! With Facebook alone developers should feel confident getting the word out about their product through early adopters, semi-early adopters, middle adopters, next month adopters, and as long as the product is actually worth it’s weight in gold, then it should have a smooth transition into virility.
February 23rd, 2012
Why is Pinterest dominated by women users? Is it “OK” for men and women to like and use the same stuff? Are social networks actually geared toward either male or female users? These are some of the topics we have seen floating and whizzing around Facebook, Twitter and the media this week.
According to an article by NPR, “all tech considered,” published this week, 58 percent to 97 percent of Pinterest users are female. Obviously, this is based off of different surveys and articles. The point being: the majority of “pins” are placed by the touch of a lady, so is that what is pushing out the males from “pinning” and “re-pinning?” Or was the user interface initially geared toward women and thus not appealing to men? In that same avenue of thought are all social networks created with one sex predominate over the other? Again, hot topics for the advertising world – Like this Article in ADWeek. We see more and more the shift in consumer web and advertising is looking to the female user/buyer. But what we are also seeing, is that traditional routes to engaging users are different for women. Think Farmville and Zygna and what they went through in regards to understanding their user base, that is predominately female.
When looking at Pinterest, I think it is safe to say that I would share all the pictures with at least one of my female friends, on the other hand I would be hesitant to show even a fraction of the “pins” to my male friends. Would this be a different story had Pinterest gained traction with males from the beginning? How much does content play into a Social Network – some say it is everything, while others say it’s about the friend graph.
I agree with Drew Hawkins, the founder of the Pinterest “Board of Man,” that “It’s OK for men and women to care about the same things. Some guys really like to cook. And that’s OK.” But, at the same time, I wonder if the majority of guys really enjoy sifting through all “girly” Pinterest boards? It might be that eventually Pinterest may have to launch a new site specifically for male users.
*Fancy may have saved Pinterest the trouble. They apparently have 60 percent male users.
February 17th, 2012
Today, we invited our friend in to share his eight years of video gaming wisdom with us. He is currently 12 years old, but is well on his way to becoming a developer for the next World of War craft or Halo. His favorite game is Minecraft.
Here is what he had to say about Temple Run:
What I like:
What I don’t like:
Temple run got boring for me. Its a great idea but after a while all you are doing is running. Its one of those games where you play and it gets boring. The game doesn’t give you a reason to run, you just start running.
- The “monsters” chasing you don’t do anything
- Store item prices are extremely expensive for the amount of coins you get
- It’s not interesting and just not fun because all you do is run
What they could do better:
- Make store items cheaper
- Make there be a story or at least let you make progress
- Make the creatures actually be part of the game instead of running next to you when you tumble over a branch
- Make it more fun!
What features I wish they would add:
- Difficulty levels
- More store items
- More challenge
- More to do that avoid trees and rocks
- Add more hazards
- Add more items
- Add a way to fight back
- A way to WIN
- A reason you got in the temple
Here is what he said about Minecraft:
What I like about:
Very good idea. I like that you have to build things to survive. Really fun to play. Like the idea of gathering things to survive and be in a story, with a goal.
What I don’t like:
Nothing bad about it.
What they could do better:
Focus on multi-player version of the game. Make it better.
What features I wish they would add:
That the multi-player version was easier to use, and better.
What game he would make if I could:
Horror video game. I think they are more fun when it’s scary. More exciting to play when your in trouble.
February 9th, 2012
How do we go about taking in more information, storing it and using it to our advantage?
The first step is to clear up some space, in our brains to make room for more knowledge. One way of doing this is to organize some of our personal intelligence in our chaotic, geeky lives. Along comes - Evernote.
Evernote is for people who are serious, people who like memories and people who enjoy being productive. It is a memory bank, a place to log notes about anything, and in exchange the end user is able to focus more directly on other things. Things that are hopefully making you smarter.
At the Xconomy Xchange forum last night, Evernote CEO Phil Libin, explained that - Evernote is like our external brain. It’s our permanent online brain. It has perfect photographic memory, and is a steal trap for anything you add to it. We really enjoyed how Morgenthaler Ventures partner Gary Little described Evernote as a “Google for our personal stuff” because you can keyword search through all your notes and find things that you vaguely remember, such as passwords, recipes, people you meet, instructions, etc.
The more you use Evernote the more useful it becomes, and the more space you will have to fill up that amazing human brian, and get smarter!
February 7th, 2012
Although Adam Lashinsky adamantly stated at his book release party last Friday that he did not intend to portrat Apple in a negative light, I could not help feeling glad that I am outside Apple. In his book, Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired – and Secretive – Company Really Works, Lashinsky takes us through a labyrinth of the inner-workings of Apple.
Lashinsky does a phenomenal job in describing why Apple is in a league of their own making. I was intrigued by the Start-up mentality and the level of serious secrecy Steve Jobs instilled in his employees. It will remain a mystery how Lashinsky managed to gather so much information from such a top secret, military -esque company, but feeling like you’re reading classified information makes for an enlightening and almost exciting experience.
It is interesting that the Silicon Valley is curious to see what will happen to Apple without Jobs because I believe his influence will remain through the next 15 some odd years. Even if Apple wanted to change the way it operates, we are creatures of habit, especially when our habits result in positive profitable margins, and I would venture to guess that Apple will continue implementing Steve Jobs’ rigid policies because they are obviously working.
Despite my argument for Apple not drastically changing, I cannot help but wonder if there has been a slight change in company culture since Tim Cook has become CEO. It must be incredible to be in a public place and see half of the population plugged into a device that your company created, but for me, I appreciate being able to talk openly about what I am working on, laugh out loud at work and allow my ambition and drive to move me up and expose me to new opportunities.
December 28th, 2009
How many times have you lost a file because your computer crashes or your flash drive mysteriously disappears? I know these situations far too well as it has happened to me one-too-many times. Is there an easier approach to storing files without worrying about any of the incidents listed above? Luckily someone has made it possible to stop those unpleasant mishaps from occurring: Dropbox.
Dropbox is a cloud based storage application and service that enables users to sync their files online and between computers. Being able to sync files online, Dropbox makes it easy to access files through a web browser and/or phone. Hereâs how it works: it is a Python-based desktop client (available for both PCs and Macs) that acts like a folder on your computer. Managing your files is simple: drop all the files that you want to save into the Dropbox folder, and there you can edit, delete, and copy them as you please. All the storage will be kept and processed quickly in Dropboxâs Amazon S3-backed storage âhelping your computer run quickly and efficiently.
Sharing files such as pictures, music, documents, spreadsheets, presentations etc… (any file you would normally save on your computer) is easy and accessible. For example, letâs say youâre on vacation away from your computer and without a flash drive, but you need to divulge important information to a client. You want to send the data quickly and continue enjoying your vacation. Being a Dropbox member, you can log into Dropbox’s website and send your client the link to the file needed, and alas your problems are solved.
Check out Dropboxâs website here; the website has a tutorial video. Also, if you’re convinced already, you can follow the easy step-by-step instillation instructions.
June 19th, 2008
Just wanted to share the Nerd Girl love and invite you to check this out – The Revenge of the Nerd Girls ! I am so happy that finally this exists too bad it has taken so long for our society to accept attractive and smart as socially acceptable.
May 31st, 2007
So not sure if I was the only one that loved to watch Star Trek and was looking to see when V was on when they were little, but to see something I always thought was possible brought to life and by Microsoft leaves me feeling all kinds of things. If you haven’t seen it here it is – The Table.
May 12th, 2007
My emotional reaction to this word when it is used to describe the “Web 2.0″ and “the Valley” leaves me frustrated, annoyed, and irritated. This environment is not about echoing what is cool and what everyone else is saying – this place is about freedom of thought. Itâs about having an idea that changes the way people live. It is about Innovation. The ecosystem that enables this to exist is vital and critical and should be protected not abused.
Stop the Echo chamber:
Have an Opinion. It does not have to be right, but it must be your own. An opinion that you have developed, not because you heard something, but because you took the time to analyze the information and come to a thought /feeling about the issue / product. Do not offer up information that you have “heard” as your own opinion.
Offer value. This comes in so many forms; listening, connecting one person to another, and giving real honest feedback…you get the idea.
Provide insight. Be a critical thinker and take a real look at things and when capable provide relevant insights.
International aspects. Try and remember that while Silicon Valley is the “end all be all”? in our minds there is an entire world. And fortunately for us technology is rampant and widespread. Travel and seek out others in other markets and learn from them.
I have no idea what sparked this rant or this above list. I have a strong notion that it’s because people building companies and businesses need to have the right environment around them, and Silicon Valley is far to valuable to loose.