Tag Archives: Mobile

FBI Director James Comey Gets Phone Encryption Completely Wrong

Watching 60 Minutes tonight, and in an interview with FBI Director James Comey, he compared Apple and Google’s plans to encrypt phones by default to having car trunks that can never be opened or houses that can never be entered, even with a court order.

Except his comparisons are completely and utterly incorrect. Law enforcement, even with a court order, still requires me to open the trunk, or open the door to my house for them to conduct their search. What they want with mobile devices is the equivalent of having a key to every single house in the country and freedom to enter them without your knowledge. No, I’m sorry, you don’t get to have that.

If law enforcement has a court order to search a seized phone, then it can be presented to the owner and they can be required to enter their passcode. Why is that so hard? Why does the government need access to decrypt personal data on mobile devices without the involvement of the owners of that data?

No. No. No!

 

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Marriott Gets Caught Blocking Mobile Hot Spots

My new toy

As a card carrying Gold level Marriott customer, the wifi situation has always been a source of confusion for me. When I travel for work or personal reasons, I generally stay in the lower end Marriott properties, the Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn and Suites, etc. Those rooms usually come with free wifi.

The more expensive properties, however, charge for wifi. That makes no sense to me, especially when the typical business traveler would have a mobile hot spot anyway. (I have one for my work travel).

On the other hand, if you block mobile hot spots, you can force customers into paying for your wifi, couldn’t you?

They can claim to be trying to protect their network and customers from rogue devices but at the end of the day isn’t that the point of the hot spot? When I just want to surf the web easily, I can connect to the hotel wifi, when I need to do some work, or access some more secured sites, I can connect to my mobile hot spot, use a VPN connection, and not be a target for the other people on the hotel’s wifi network. Best of both worlds, right?

I really don’t enjoy paying more for a room, and for wifi on top of that. Not very nice, Marriott.

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Common, but Outdated, LinkedIn Advice?

It’s been true for years. Every single social media article that talks about how to “do LinkedIn right”, or lists all the things you are doing “wrong” with LinkedIn has an entry explaining how you should never just send a connection request, but that it should always be personalized.

I saw it again just the other day.

It reminded me of something that I discovered about the LinkedIn mobile app quite a while ago, namely that it didn’t have that ability. Once you hit the connect button on a profile as you viewed it, the default message went and you were done.

So I decided to check and see if they had changed that. Not that I could see. This also made me curious about how the website works. Lo and behold, I do not see any option to personalize the connection invitation. Again, looking at a profile of someone I am not connected with I am given two buttons, Connect and Send InMail. Since I have only a free account, inMail isn’t really an option, so I hit the connect button. Just like the app has done for a long time now, the next thing that I saw was not a chance to personalize my message, but an “Invitation Sent” notification.

So social media “experts”, the next time you decide to trot out that old advice, maybe you want to actually use the website that you’re professing to be expert about. Or prove that you really are an expert and explain exactly how a user is supposed to follow your advice? Because if there really is a way to personalize invitations and I’m just not seeing it anywhere on the site, I’ll be glad to chastise LinkedIn for making it so hard to find! (Not that they don’t deserve chastising if they removed it as well!)

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Why Net Neutrality Matters

TechDirt has a good example that should show you what is at stake with net neutrality rules.

For about $12, Sprint will soon let subscribers buy a wireless plan that only connects to Facebook.

For that same price, they could choose instead to connect only with Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest—or for $10 more, enjoy unlimited use of all four. Another $5 gets them unlimited streaming of a music app of their choice.

Think about how this plays out. If you run a website, in order for mobile users to actually be able to reach your site, you’re going to have to negotiate with the mobile carriers to get your site carried so that users can access it. It’s no longer enough to spend money on hosting and building a site, now you have to also pay the carriers. So long to independent voices on the web.

If this type of scenario sounds familiar, it’s basically what we see with cable tv now. All those conflicts that saw you lose a network for a few days or weeks here and there? Now imagine going through these negotiations for every single website? Yeah, no one wants that, except the ISPs who aren’t happy charging you for internet access, they also want to charge the internet for access to you, one website at a time.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Flipboard Magazines as Google Reader Replacement

Since I’ve been playing around a bit with creating a Flipboard magazine, I’ve been giving this some thought. Now, don’t get me wrong, at it’s core Google Reader was an RSS reader, and there’s no way I could replace the simplicity of following 200+ feeds in Reader with following 200+ magazines on Flipboard. Reader also had a very popular feature, well back before Google killed it off in order to get everyone to start using Plus, called Shared Items.

Shared Items were a great way to follow a handful of people, who had similar interests to you, and see what kinds of things they were sharing. I could see Flipboard magazines being a similar way to follow a handful of magazines, and see what those folks are sharing.

I’ve been creating a few of my own to match up with my own websites. The thought process, again, is that if mobile users won’t come to the website, because they don’t browse the web, we’ve got to share content with them in the apps they use. Flipboard is one of those apps. So I can share, not only my own blog posts, but lots of other content as well, all within the app or from the web, and you, as a Flipboard user, can “follow” the magazine and get a glimpse at what I’m sharing.

View my Flipboard Magazine.View my Flipboard Magazine.View my Flipboard Magazine.

What about you, have you started “flipping” items to your own magazine in Flipboard? Share a link so we can check it out!

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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Smartphones Are Changing How People See The Internet

Reading this latest article about the future of the mobile web, Smartphones: The silent killer of the Web as you know it, I’m struck by the difference between how young people interact with the web, and how us old veterans do it.

Young people don’t use tablets because they don’t see them as necessary for accessing the internet, since their perception is that apps are what makes up the internet. They’ve grown up primarily using their phones, not using laptops with Web browsers. To this generation, it seems slow, purposeless even to go from website to website in a single, sub-par Web browser environment when they can get rich app experiences right from their home screen.

Of course, this sort of information intrigues me in two ways. One, is that part of the reasoning behind using apps instead of a web browser has to be because using a web browser on a phone sucks. Partially that is because sites don’t look good at all at that size even with a mobile theme like the WordPress option I use for this site. It’s better, but not great. Another reason it sucks is because we’ve become so good at redirecting people using phones to an app instead of the website. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to click a link in a blog post on my phone to a news story, and have that site take me to the iTunes store to download their app, or redirect me to the mobile home page of their site instead of the link I wanted to read. It degrades the experience of using my phone to browse the web, so it’s no wonder people are much more likely to use an app instead.

This leads me to the second reason this intrigues me. If it’s true that more and more of the internet “audience” is using mobile devices, and only accessing the web through apps, what’s a website owner to do? As an independent, and unpaid, site owner I can’t pay to have someone develop an app for me. I’ve looked at some of the free “create your own app” services, and frankly, between very limiting licensing and very limited features, they didn’t really provide much of a resource. Not to mention that you still have to pay to be an Apple developer or Google Play developer if you want your app to be available in either of those places.

So it would seem that the only way to get your content in front of this growing mobile audience who doesn’t use a web browser, is to get your content into the apps they do use. This is why I’ve been toying around with various social networks, trying to get my content, and the other content I want to share, in front of this audience. I’ve been using the more traditional routes, posting to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus, but recently I’ve also started to dabble on Tumblr and Flipboard, which seem to be a bit more popular among that younger, smartphone-using, audience. Over at my child abuse blog, I’ve already added a Flipboard magazine, and a tumblr blog. Both are an effort to get that content in front of smartphone users, and hopefully to get them to likewise share it. Over the next few weeks, I suspect I will be doing similar types of things here and on my other sites.

The bottom line is that I have my website in order to share ideas and information with other people, whatever the topic might be. If they won’t come to the site, I should try and get that same information to them another way. Developing my own app isn’t really an option, but getting the content into the apps they already use, is.

The trick is being able to also interact with people in those apps as well so that you don’t appear to just be auto-posting to a social network and dropping out like some spammer, which takes some time and effort, but ultimately that is the goal of all this sharing isn’t it, to spark conversations? So what if they happen in Tumblr instead of in the comments.

As I develop other tools for this site and others, I will be sharing that information, so if you want to use those services to get the content I’m sharing on your smartphone, or know someone who does, they’ll be able to do that.

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This Week’s Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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