Wednesday, February 19. 2014
Google Glasses, 2020 Vision
Google has published a series of "Don'ts" for Google Glass aficionadoes to prevent them being Glassholes - not because of the danger of nerds being disrepected, but because its bad for business - Don't #4:
And Do #2:
Ask for permission. Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends (see Don’ts #4). The Glass camera function is no different from a cell phone so behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others.
But even this still gives huge permission latitude. Most people would find it creepy if someone was sitting in their social situation with someone recording everything, even if there was not a formal "no camera/mike/recording" sign or no real permision required. As TechCrunch notes:
Google’s challenge is not building the Glass platform, but training the general public to welcome Glass wearers into society. Glass’s future rests largely on the public’s acceptance of the technology. If, like Bluetooth headsets, it’s deemed nerdy or, worse, if Glass is lumped in with the NSA privacy scandle, the technology will be an also-ran. A lot is riding on Google Glass Explorers.
The problem is many "Explorers" - being tech nerds - have the social intelligence of...well, tech nerds - the result is increasing unease with Glass, and the emergence of No Glasses Allowed and similar campaigns' hence the publication of the advice. They'd probably also be well advised to give them to more socially aware people rather than the sort of geeks who will pay $1,500 for the privilege of testing them.
But if you think this is creepy, just roll this forward a few generations of Moore's law when you can wear a much less obvious recording device, and it can access a wealth of Big Data Crunching and layer some form of augmented reality over your vision. Here's a scenario - you can walk into a room in 2020, scan all the faces, and do a search of all the data held against those people from a whole range of sources - on Google, from their social networks, from open data given away, and, for a price, from hacked data apps that give you that little bit more. The picture at the top of this post imagines that - imagine a cocktail party where you could see all the dirt on everyone after a guick glass and google.
Creepy? You bet. Impossible? You're fooling yourself - all those in the picture have happened or may soon do so:
The other 2 cases are hypothetical, but could come from Government data already in the frame for being opened up (though I note today we have another 6 months grace for medical records).
Playing Charades at parties will never be the same again....
Tuesday, February 18. 2014
A Salutary Lesson - Zynga Shares (Source: Yahoo Finance)
News out today that King, manufacturers of the current hot mobile game Candy Crush, have filed for a $5.5bn IPO. We were asked what do we think?
- Based on a growth from a few $100m revenue in 2012 to $1.9bn in 2013, and real profits of c $570bn, a valuation of $5.5bn is tame by Dot Com 2.0 standards, but....
They may be able to replace Candy Crush with a "next hit" but the Gaming ecosystem is littered with the bones of companies that didn't The music industry's stage is littered with the bones of 1 hit wonderbands. The movie industry...well, lets see what Candy Crush 2 looks like.
Sunday, February 16. 2014
Kickstarter was hacked - The Verge:
Hackers breached Kickstarter's defenses and stole the information of an unspecified number of customers, the company disclosed today. The company learned of the breach on Wednesday from law enforcement officials, and quickly resolved the breach, Kickstarter said today. It did not disclose how the breach occurred.
Where there's bank account numbers, there will be hackers. Good news is they admitted it, many companies don't.
The issue for any user of any Web service is that the more companies you put your data with, the higher the probability that it will be hacked and identities pilfered. So what to do? A good plan is to leave the minimum data with any company, but companies seem to want more and more data that is largely irrelevant. In the absence of a "minimum data law" or a trusted 3rd party service, or obfuscation services, we think using proxy data wherever you can (ie data that leads to something else, that only then leads to you -eg an email account that is not "you" for example) is the only real option for Joe and Jo Average right now - if anything its going to get worse (see our post on the Dark Side of Open Data - of course this applies to all data, not just Open data)
I can imagine a world emerging where non-digital data is actually valued more than on-line data again, and where private or "Word Of Mouth" networks (WOMNets) make a comeback as the tradeoff between convenience and security shifts.
Bertrand Duperrin's summary presentation
I've written up the 2 days of case studies from the Enterprise 2.0 Summit I attended last week in Paris, they are over here - Day 1 and Day 2 - on the Agile Elephant blog. There are a number of common threads emerging from the studies. Being lazy, I've copied Emanuele Quintarelli's list to start with, based on his study (as they concur with my analysis), I've added my thoughts in italics:
- The project is explicitly supported and sponsored by the top management (70% vs 34% for laggards). Long lasting processes, technology and process change should be somewhat mandated by the formal organization. Informal projects are easy to start but need formal acceptance to embed themselves in the enterprise
Other stand-out observations so far from the case studies:
- Any system needs time to embed/mature/settle in (words varied, but the concept was the same) before it becomes stable and self sustaining, you can't "make a baby in 1 month with 9 mothers" as it were.
Over the 2 days I did sense a departure of what the case studies were showing vs. what some of the Social Business theorists were espousing, in general the case studies showed that pragmatism and evolutionary development (what Dachis' Dion Hinchliffe called "Sustainable Transformation") was the order of the day vs more revolutionary/dramatic transformational approaches.
Update - I have also put up Bertrand Duperrin's slides (at top) now that they have been posted up, it was a very good talk on the subject as well
Saturday, February 8. 2014
Eddie Izzard de Latine
Vel potest esse solebas, nunc demum urget ab Anglis translate it lorem fermentum. Post haec audivi quasi. Et omnia, quæ sunt Cæsaris Caesar reddens. Quod ultimum test, nimirum, est ut in ipsum interprentatur interprentatorum:
Non ne forte....
Hmmm...Dies ne des opus
Friday, February 7. 2014
Personal, Private, Portable - and baked into the infrastructure... not a Pi in the (Cloudy) Sky idea anymore
Worries about how private data in the cloud is has set entrepreneurial minds a-spinning - TechCrunch:
The article is about a hardware based private cloud system startup - a personal, encrypted cloud device that plugs into your home Internet via Ethernet and provides cloud storage for your digital content without having to go through any third party intermediaries, and with support for unlimited expansion of said storage — either by chaining together multiple Pixeoms, or by plugging in additional USB hard drives.
I got quite excited about this. Private Personal Clouds are not that new, but Portable ones are much more interesting. Just as big servers in the office was a passing through phase, big servers in the cloud will be too, and at some point where Moore's Law trumped Zuckerberg's Law, the Portable Private Personal Cloud was bound to appear. In fact we even did a high level design* for one for some other people a year or so ago, and at Broadstuff Towers Mr Short has been known to get very excited about getting his hands on Raspberry Pi for this sort off thing (and getting his hands on the little computer Pi as well...) so i guess there will be more of these devices to come.
And of course, we can't end this post without the inevitable reference to an Internet (full) Of (these) Things, and what that will mean for Fridges everywhere**
*The next step up from the paper serviette doodle.
Thursday, February 6. 2014
There is a new head of the Borg. But it is the Borg*. He will be assimilated. Resistance is Futile. That is all you need to know.
*Though interestingly, he attributes his rise to cricket Maybe the Borg will be assimilated instead, cricket being a very subtle, insidious Force....
Wednesday, February 5. 2014
Was interviewed today by Resonance FM on the "Dark Side" of Data (soundcast is over here, I'm about 1 minute in).
Anyway, apart from blowing my own trumpet, there is another piece in the 30 minute section, about 7 minutes in, about Loyalty Cards which I wanted to comment on.
I was at a Futurist conference many years ago (if thats not an oxymoron) looking at online trends, and I always remember one person saying that the endgame will be data mining YOU! to get an accurate prediction of your future Net Present Value. At the time the only datamining was Loyalty cards and low rent Credit cards as these were the only people who could collect lots of "Big Data" at the time (shop till data and credit card data) and could afford the very expensive computers of the day to process them. Today, there is a lot more valuable data and a lot more and cheaper computing power
Anyway, the view taken by one respondent in the audio piece is that people are starting to get more savvy about the value of their own data, and will start to broker it for higher prices than the sh*tty fractions of a % the loyalty cards currently offer, and that will shift the payback economics of datamining in all sorts of ways. Interesting idea, but if the very slow takeoff of awareness of the risks to privacy is anything to go by, this will take some time. The main problem I see, as with all things VRM (which is really the endgame of this thesis) is the lack of low cost, easy us tools for people to use, and the hassle factor of using them. But thinking about that possible economic shift made me realise another major risk of untramelled Open Data release - done unwisely, it will effectively crash the value of your knowledge of YOU!rself to near zero. If its easy to find where you live, what you earn, some basics about your life, what your major assets are and how you pay for them etc, its fairly easy to construct a model of your future NPV without asking you. And if I can buy your credit card transactions or shopping data from someone....
One ray of hope - on the programme it mentions the Chaos Computer Club in Germany, which is facilitating its members swopping their loyalty cards so the dataminers can't pick up a useful pattern, That sounds like a very good swallow in the wind of early grassroots resistance. Worth keeping an eye on that trend. Which is a good thing, because, as i point out at the end of my talk, short of trying to mimimise data you give out, opting out where you can, or just entering downright wrong data, there is very little Joe or Joanna Average can do right now to obscure their digital footprints. The tools don't exist, and most obvious remedies (like setting up a 2nd identity) are either illegal or very hard to manage.
Tuesday, February 4. 2014
Just had a chance to finally read Janet Parkinson's latest post on this subject - it was to me the stand-out concept of our recent Patchwork Elephant conference, but she has pushed her ideas further - in essence, she argues that “The future is here, it’s just not evenly distributed yet” for businesses becoming just another part of the social network:
In other words "the social network" has become a business market that has already allowed a new form of hotel business to rapidly become almost the biggest market for beds in just a few years. As Janet points out, this is just the beginning:
And eventually this will just be a part of "the matrix". Janet also mentions Ronald Coase's theories about transaction costs in making this happen (ie the social network will match buyers and sellers at a fraction of the present costs), I hope thats because she's heard me bang on about them all the time - but the endgame she sees is actually more Nick Carr:
Over time, this mesh will become regulated – infrastructures always do. Electricity, water, telephony all ended up as part of the utility infrastructure and this will be no different. The main problem for the individual will be the sheer scale of the mesh – we will need tools to navigate it. Some tools will come from the infrastructure itself but we imagine that some tools will come from yourself. This ties in closely with the VRM concept of tools being created for individuals to manage and control their own data, allowing access only to those to whom they give permission. We could imagine us all owning our own smart systems with data controlled by ourselves – a bit like owning an electric appliance which you plug into the mesh – that could source the relevant data, barter the deal and present the options in order of importance, then automatically make all the necessary arrangements for you. The opportunity for profiteering in these transactions would be minimal – regulation would be complex.
I think that is still the optimistic outlook, I can imagine quite a few stones on the road - but history has shown other once hard-to-do things have just been absorbed into the infrastructure....eventually.
Sunday, February 2. 2014
Great post over here by Tuttler Anke Holst on starting your own cult:
Because really, starting a cult isn’t a big deal. You need to find a theme, a dogma, write some scripture, invent a mythology, establish the old ‘us and them’. Then find some way to exploit people’s insecurities, ‘save’ just a few people with the right set of hangups to be your first disciples. Then you build a framework of rules and regulations and routines that is so difficult to follow that nobody is able to, and when they come to you with problems you can blame it on the fact they aren’t following your instructions.
There's more, but you have to go to Anke's blog to read it This is a really good post and should be read by all wannabe marketeers, movement starters etc - says in a page what other more famous pundits take a book or two to say. And when your cult starts to wane:
....you say to the newer ones ‘oh, they weren’t strong enough to withstand the power of the illusory energy, they have fallen by the wayside, ignore them, they have turned into enemies. This should be doubly easy because you can now busy yourselves exploiting the positions of power they left.’
Now, Anke doesn't go into the "how to monetise your cult" bit, so I thought I could Add Value there, as it were. Ideally there is something in your cult about renouncing all worldly possessions (but ensuring they go into The Cult's asset base, not FreeCycle). Ensure that at least Tithing (a 10% minimum tax on all followers incomes) occurs (or at least a healthy whack as a Membership Fee). Then there are the books, clothing, posters, events, whale music CD's, crystals etc etc that should all be money making opportunities. Ideally Cult members also give their labour for free, though you may have to invest in some form of accommodation to feed and house them - so make sure you own it and gain its capital appreciation benefits. And of course set it up in a place where you get tax breaks for being charitable/religious/not for profit
Anke pointed out over Twitter that "cash for karma" is as rife as it was in Mediaeval Europe, see this video
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