One of my favorite books: The Design of Everyday Things, Revised and Expanded Edition By Don Norman [@jnd1er] – jnd.org
From the Preface: “This is a starter kit for good design. It is intended to be enjoyable and informative for everyone: everyday people, technical people, designers, and non-designers. One goal is to turn everyone into great observers of the absurd, of the poor design that gives rise to so many of the problems of modern life, especially of modern technology. It will also turn everyone into observers of the good, of the places where thoughtful designers have worked to make our lives easier and smoother. Good design is actually a lot harder to notice than poor design, in part because good designs fit our needs so well that the design is invisible, serving us without drawing attention to itself. Bad design, on the other hand, screams out its inadequacies, making itself very noticeable.”
Google is facing a lawsuit for its collection of location data even when users turned off location services.
The suit came just four days after a report from the Associated Press about Google’s data collection practices. Google user Napoleon Patacsil’s response was to go to court.
“Google expressly represented to users of its operating system and apps that the activation of certain settings will prevent the tracking of users’ geolacation,” Patacsil’s lawyers wrote in a legal complaint filed on Friday. “That representation was false.”
The energetic identity for London-based hotel brand Assembly invites visitors to get up and go explore the city.
The affordable hotel category isn’t giving travelers what they want. Airbnb has raised the bar by offering genuine, relevant experiences, but, bland, cookie-cutter budget hotels have so far failed to respond. Assembly is looking to change that with a brand that removes the pointless extras, in favor of what really matters to its audience.
Max Ottignon and his team at Ragged Edge faced the branding of this affordable urban hotel head on. Folks don’t go to central London to hang out in a hotel room. So they invite guests to get out! Great concept.
Google sucks up consumer data in ways users might find surprising—such as when browsers are in “incognito” mode—according to an analysis of the company’s data collection by a researcher from Vanderbilt University.
The study, released Tuesday and commissioned by the trade org Digital Content Next, looks at how data is gathered from all Google products, including Android mobile devices, Chrome web browsers, YouTube and Photos. In addition to incognito data collection, the study looked at other “passive” means of collection, where “an application is instrumented to gather information while it’s running, possibly without the user’s knowledge,” the report says.
Many users assume that when they’re in the incognito setting, their online footprints are hidden. But Google could retroactively link the private browsing to specific consumers, the report points out.
As the reports puts it: “While such data is collected with user-anonymous identifiers, Google has the ability to connect this collected information with a user’s personal credentials stored in their Google Account.”
“While such information is typically collected without identifying a unique user,” the report says, “Google distinctively possesses the ability to utilize data collected from other sources to de-anonymize such a collection.”
I’ve been doing some research on video news delivery over the Internet and found these as some of the best.
Why off-network? Because the TV, cable, and satellite news providers have a formula to get you to watch their commercials and it drives most of us crazy – long on tease and promotion, short on information and actual news.
You can spend a half hour watching network or local affiliate news and get about 8-12 stories. Who has time for that? I really don’t care to watch their non-stop fancy production graphics and their promos. Get to the news already! Those same 8-12 stories can be delivered in 10-15 minutes without all the fluff.
The news videos I found are not big on hi-end video production values but they provide a lot of information in their broadcasts.
Vimeo has over 13 thousand videos in their “news” and reporting & journalism categories. That includes a lot of promo videos masquerading as news, video news packages from Iran, Vietnam, and other countries, trade show video news segments, etc.
YouTube has a mix of the usual networks, local affiliates, government or quasi-government video (like Voice of America), corporate news, and much more… 7.5 billion videos that are tagged “news.” Virtually every possible media outlet has a YouTube Channel.
Here’s just a few of the good streaming news productions that provide great information to their audiences (doesn’t include the usual networks for the above reasons):
Tech News Weekly
Science News Non-Profit Society for Science & the Public has been published as a magazine since 1922. They started their YouTube Channel in 2013.
This Week in Palm Beach (Full Disclosure: R. Michael Brown from Brownie Bytes writes and produces this)
Australian Mid-Western Regional Council Community News
Post-lite weekly news and events for the week from Lorton Valley, Virgina Star newspaper, with Valerie Nalls of Nalls Produce
What makes these broadcasts great is the writing and producing! The audio for the most part is not off-the-cuff, it’s planned out, not lots of useless banter from the anchor or between those on the screen, and the visuals match what is said.
Seems simple, right? Believe me there is a lot of streaming drivel out there. Chatty intros and what must be inside jokes because I didn’t get it. Moving powerpoint like screens with voiceover, or no audio at all – just text on the screen to read – YIKES! Reading videos?
Of course there are many streaming news services. The more the subscribers, the higher production values. Listed in order of views or subscribers:
Is “OldBook” trying to become relevant with younger audiences again?
Or is it just going to get a bunch of creepy divorced people hooking up – or promoting divorce among sneaky spouses?
I thought Facebook was cracking down on fake accounts? Isn’t this going to just spawn a rash of new fake profiles?
…sometimes I crack myself up.
From The Verge
According to internal Facebook posts:
“This product is for US Facebook employees who have opted-in to dogfooding Facebook’s new dating product,” a screenshot reads, using slang for employees testing out their own software. “The purpose for this dogfooding is to test the end-to-end product experience for bugs and confusing UI. This is not meant for dating your coworkers.”
Facebook asked employees to use fake data for their dating profiles, and plans to delete all data before the public launch. “Dogfooding this product is completely voluntary and has no impact on your employment,” a screenshot reads, adding that the product is confidential. It also warns employees that its anti-harassment policies apply to the dating product.
Google has added an optional new feature in G Suite’s Admin Console that alerts customers of cyber-attacks on their accounts.
Administrators of Google’s G Suite collection of cloud-hosted productivity apps can now get alerts from Google of potential government-sponsored backed attempts to break into their account.
The company has added a new feature to the administration console in G Suite that will trigger an email alert to enterprise customers any time Google’s threat-detection system detects activity that might be related to a government backed cyber-attack on users’ computers or accounts.
The feature is entirely optional. Administrators can choose to disable it or they can set it to send default notifications to specified users in their organization. When the feature is first activated, the default setting is for the alerts to be sent via email to the primary administrator for G Suite, according to an August 1 announcement on the G Suite Updates blog.
Google has been warning individual Gmail users since 2012 about any malicious activity targeting their accounts that the company believes may be the work of government-backed attackers. Now this service is being integrated into the G Suite admin console.
By: Liz Alton [@Beinglizzie] Insights from Disney:
Emotions and Storytelling
Disney is one of the best storytelling engines in the world. Immersive storytelling elevated the brand beyond the basics of regional amusement parks and water slide attractions to become a global titan that’s captured imaginations from Orlando to China. The dream team that builds the attractions, the destinations, and every aspect behind the experiences are the Imagineers.
From immersive storytelling to bringing cutting-edge technologies to bear, the line between marketing and entertainment is thinner than ever before. Brands are creating apps, virtual reality experiences, pop-up branded events, and full-scale immersive tours to delight customers, tell their origin stories, show the manufacturing process, and help build deeper, emotion-based connections.
I was fortunate to know the executive VP of Imagineering at Walt Disney World in Orlando (his son was my best surfing and cycling buddy in high school / college). I got the inside scoop on how Disney produced their story-themed attractions. Then my buddy and I were the first two “test particles” (that’s what the imagineers called us) at Typhoon Lagoon. Yep, the first two surfers at the wave pool.
Prior to Typhoon Lagoon, in the mid-1970’s in college I worked for an engineering firm that tested a lake/beach/wave machine in a Disney World lake. It was a complete failure. The wave washed away the sandy beach every 2-3 waves and the water looked like the stirred up brown cypress oil muck that it was. I got to ride 1 wave. That’s right 1. It was a white-water-willy wave only the white water was the color of barely foamy puke. Not a pleasant experience. Not all Disney rides make it to the public. In fact, most are running at 20% of their capacity for safety reasons. Typhoon Lagoon can crank out a 9 foot wave. But the public only sees 2-4 feet.
Years later I was fortunate to work for both IBM and Motorola. I was the first multimedia producer at both companies so I got to work with Disney imagineers to build business and home of the future exhibits at EPCOT. I learned how to develop stories with the integrated Disney spin. A great experience.