Here are some of the things we read and saw that made us think this week that we found interesting even if they were more than 140 characters long.
1 Terrible news! (For absolutely no one whatsoever in the world of technology except the scum sucking people behind Intellectual Ventures).
IV rumoured to be running out of cash and looking for $3 billion from investors.
2 How user feedback turned a project to create a timepiece for the blind into a high-fashion, tactile watch.
Brilliant lessons in product development and constantly challenging your assumptions by talking to potential users as early as possible.
“In conversations with people who are visually impaired, we were surprised to hear this feedback again and again. They want to wear a watch that everyone else is wearing, not one specifically designed for someone with a disability. A product designed “for the blind” would accentuate the barriers and differences between the blind and the sighted. Wearers would be no better off with it than with the talking watch in the MIT classroom.
“When we instead introduced the watch to sighted users as an innovative, tactile timepiece that would help them tell time without having to look down at their wrist at inopportune moments — during long business meetings, less-than-magical dates or dinners with family — the response was much more enthusiastic.”
A brilliant perspective on presentation skills and overcoming stage-fright. Kathy Sierra is one of the most brilliant presenters in the world. Period. (Watch this talk on making users awesome). Bet you didn’t know she fears public speaking.
“The Big Problem is… YOU.
“Or rather, the problem is thinking that what matters in your presentation is you. Because unless you’re a paid performer – musician, comedian, motivational speaker – you are not the reason they came to the conference. They are sitting in your session because of someone that matters far more to them than you: themselves. They are there for their own experiences, and “watching you present” is not one of those experiences.
“My path to coping with heart-stopping stage-fright is to focus NOT on what I do but on what theyexperience. And since I’m a software developer, I’ll think of the audience as my users.”
An interesting analysis using Word Clouds of 700,000,000 words from 75,000 people on Facebook split by gender.
5 New Scientist discusses the possibility that the FBI is getting very good at tackling cybercrime as evidenced by their bust of the alleged Dread Pirate Roberts this week.
“The FBI managed to get administrative access to the Silk Road servers and make a copy of the hard drives, then sit in the background watching all the traffic.”We don’t know how that was done, are aware of no routine techniques that would enable that kind of intrusion. If there’s technology to do that, it’s very advanced.”
“The Silk Road take-down also has implications for two important internet technologies – Tor and digital currency Bitcoin. Bitcoin lost 40 per cent of its value as soon as news broke that the FBI had seized Silk Road servers.”
Some of this is obvious, some of this is very good. All of it together, is a very useful primer. If you think that codinig is the easy part, it is a must read.
Drop us a line if you find anything that makes you think that deserves wider appreciation.