Interesting elsewhere – 28 September 2011

Things which caught my eye elsewhere on the web

  • Betagov blues.. « Digital by Default Outside of Hercules House ‘digital by default’ seems a long, long way away and requires making compromises in order just to get some momentum. Small wins are achievable (and you can bet we celebrate each one!) but getting anything larger out of the door requires considerable patience and fortitude.
  • How to be good at work | Stephen Hale Personally, I am much better at my job because of social tools. I’m better informed, often helped by others, better connected, more grateful, and more ready to share my own thoughts than I would be without tools like Yammer, Twitter and blogs.
  • It’s the end of the web as we know it « Adrian Short The promise of the open web looks increasingly uncertain. The technology will continue to exist and improve. It looks like you’ll be able to run your own web server on your own domain for the foreseeable future. But all the things that matter will be controlled and owned by a very small number of Big Web companies. Your identity will be your accounts at Facebook, Google and Twitter, not the domain name you own. You don’t pay Big Web a single penny so it can take away your identity and all your data at any time. The things you can say and do that are likely to be seen and used by any significant number of people will be the things that Facebook, Google and Twitter are happy for you to say and do. You can do what you like on your own website but you’ll probably be shouting into the void.
  • Nik Cubrilovic Blog – Logging out of Facebook is not enough Privacy today feels like what security did 10-15 years ago – there is an awareness of the issues steadily building and blog posts from prominent technologists is helping to steamroll public consciousness. The risks around privacy today are just as serious as security leaks were then – except that there is an order of magnitude more users online and a lot more private data being shared on the web.
  • Prototyping as an ethos | Brian Hoadley So if we take our responsibility seriously, why don’t our clients? Why do they so often try to cut corners, cut out research and prototyping, shudder at the idea of iteration (which will equal cost now but provide potential benefit later), and railroad us down an agile path that promises iteration, but so often delivers linear, scaled-back development with no opportunity to evolve already built functionality?Prototyping and testing gives you a real opportunity to test, iterate and re-test. It allows teams to incorporate learnings (other than their own) so that the end results more closely resemble the type of result that users might actually find useful.
  • Schneier on Security: Complex Electronic Banking Fraud in Malaysia The criminals use a fake card to get a new cell phone SIM, which they then use to authenticate a fraudulent bank transfer made with stolen credentials.
  • Schneier on Security: Complex Electronic Banking Fraud in Malaysia [comment] One problem with multi-channel authentication is that the owners/maintainers of the individual channels may be unaware of the consequences to the end-user of their security weaknesses.
  • Should you launch at a conference? – Joel on Software We probably could have brought it to market after three months. That would have been ever so lean. There was a strong temptation just to dump it on the world super-early and spend the next year iterating and improving.We didn’t do that. We worked for nine months, and then launched. I couldn’t stop thinking that you never have a second chance to make a first impression. We got 131,000 eyeballs on 9-month-old Trello when we launched, and it was AWESOME, so 22% of them signed up. If we had launched 3-month-old Trello, it would have been NOT SO AWESOME. Maybe even MEH. I don’t want 131,000 eyeballs on MEH.
  • A Cohesive & Unified Identity for British Government — Paul Robert Lloyd If we want to talk about reducing bureaucracy, and simplifying government, then surely we need to think abouthow it can be representedwithone singlecommon identity rather than a multitude of different logos.
  • Older freemium app users fork over cash, younger users spend time — Tech News and Analysis Younger users spend more time in freemium apps but don’t plunk down as much money while older users are the opposite, less free with their time but more likely to open up their wallets.