Brad Feld on How to Deal with Email After a Long Vacation

brad-feldMy Newsle service spotted this post by Brad Feld about his recommended approach to dealing with missed email: ignore it and re-engage with your email stream afresh upon your return. I completely agree; that’s was the same conclusion I came to after my summer vacation in 2013.

Brad ends his post by saying:

I’m always looking for other approaches to try on this, so totally game to hear if you have special magic ones.

This resonates with me because my focus right now is on how the XDI semantic data interchange protocol can give us a new form of messaging that we’ve never had before—something that gives us new and better ways of handling messages that either email or texting give us today.

Stay tuned.

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T.Rob on the Samsung AdHub Privacy Policy – Have We Reached a Privacy Waterloo?

iopt-logoOne of my favorite bloggers in the Internet identity/security/privacy/personal data space, T.Rob Wyatt, just posted an expose of what the Samsung privacy policy really means when it comes to using Samsung devices and their integrated AdHub advertising network.

I can tell you right now: I’ll never buy a Samsung smart-ANYTHING until that policy is changed. Full stop.

If every prospective Samsung customer does the same thing—and tells Samsung this right out loud, like I’m doing right now—then we’d finally see some of these policies changing.

Because it would finally hit them in the pocketbook.

Posted in Internet of People, Internet of Things, Privacy, Respect Trust Framework | Tagged , | 2 Comments

FounderDating Breaks the First Rule of Trust—I Will Never Use This Site

True story: two weeks ago I received an email from an entrepreneur I know and respect (who will remain unnamed). It read as follows:

Hi Drummond,

I’ve just joined FounderDating (no, it’s NOT romantic) – a handpicked network of entrepreneurs connecting with advisors and other talented entrepreneurs. Can you do me a quick favor by leaving a quick vouch (aka reference) for me as an advisor? Should take 2 minutes.
http://members.founderdating.com/advisor/vouch/63582/

(To prove that you’re the real Drummond, you will be asked to use LinkedIn.)

Unlike with some systems, this will help me make much more meaningful connections with potential advisees.

Thank you,
[Name Withheld]

Knowing that this entrepreneur was a very discriminating person who chose his words carefully, I considered this a ringing endorsement of this new site. So I went out of my way to provide a vouch for him.

The site subsequently contacted me with the following email with the subject line, “VIP Invite”:

Hi Drummond:

We noticed your background and wanted to invite you to be a part of a select group of current FounderDating members that are Advisors on FD:Advisors. It’s an expansion of the FounderDating platform that allows entrepreneurs and advisors to meaningfully connect. Others members on FD:Advisors include, Aaron Batalion (CTO/Cofounder, LivingSocial), Josh Handy (Lead Designer, Method Products), Katherine Woo (Chief Product Officer, Kiva) and Sean Byrnes (Cofounder, Flurry), just to name a few.

It’s an opportunity to showcase your expertise, help awesome entrepreneurs and streamline the advisor requests you already get even if you’re not open to others. There is no upfront time commitment. Just click on the button below and fill in your areas of expertise (the ones you want to advise on). We curate the network, but with this invite you are pre-approved.

START ADVISING

Hope to see you online,

Jessica

Cofounder/CEO, FounderDating

Again, given the enthusiasm of the original note I received from the original entrepreneur—and that I am a student of Internet reputation systems given my work on the Respect Trust Framework and Connect.Me—I decided to go ahead and take the plunge. I filled out a few forms, selected a few interest areas, and then did the obligatory selection of a few people would who might vouch for me—chosen from a list of my LinkedIn contacts, of course.

FounderDating never asked me to write or customize a message to them. But this morning, one of them forwarded the email he received (again, I’m redacting his name to protect the innocent):

Hi [Name-Withheld],

I’ve just joined FounderDating (no, it’s NOT romantic) – a handpicked network of entrepreneurs connecting with advisors and other talented entrepreneurs. Can you do me a quick favor by leaving a quick vouch (aka reference) for me as an advisor? Should take 2 minutes.

http://members.founderdating.com/advisor/vouch/63582/

(To prove that you’re the real [Name-Withheld], you will be asked to use LinkedIn.)

Unlike with some systems, this will help me make much more meaningful connections with potential advisees.

Thank you,
Drummond

Ah-ha. I immediately realized that the email I first received was NOT written by the entrepreneur who I thought composed it, but rather forged on his behalf, just like this one was forged on my behalf.

Poof. There went all the trust I will ever have in FounderDating.com. I strongly urge that you do not patronize this site. I will not respond to any email or any vouch request from them again.

P.S. When I went to the site to delete my account (for which they had never given me a credential), I clicked the sign-in button and got this error message:

{“connections”:1}

That’s it. They won’t even give me a way to leave.

Posted in Connect.Me, Customer Service, Entrepreneurs, Reputation, Respect Trust Framework | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Imitation Game: Alan Turing Unsung No More

The_Imitation_Game_posterAs each year closes, I find myself thinking about the “high water mark film”—the movie that did the most in the past year to raise the bar for filmmaking as a whole. This doesn’t mean it will be the Best Picture winner (although it’s almost always at least a nominee). Rather it’s an entirely subjective judgement in my own mind of how much a particular film did to push the cinematic envelope.

Last year that film was Gravity. This year, although Interstellar was spectacular in many ways, and will live long in my memory for the power of its message of survival, the high water mark film is The Imitation Game:

  • Benedict Cumberbatch is simply extraordinary. He’s risen to the top of my list of favorite actors and this performance put him over the top. (The Academy Award is gone girl.)
  • The script had me cheering for screenwriter Graham Moore. Yes, it stretched the truth. But it did so with so much elegance and beauty that this artistic license should be granted by the Academy itself.
  • If director Morten Tyldum is not at least nominated by the Academy, I’m boycotting the Oscars. This isn’t just BBC good, this sets a new bar for period dramas where every last detail makes a difference.

And at the center of it all is the sheer brilliance and moral power of Alan Turing. Almost no man alive can fully appreciate the impact he has had on the world we live in today. He’s been one of the great unsung intellectual heros of modern times—and this, finally, is his song.

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The Google Flight Info Trick

When I first stumbled across this, I thought I was the only one who hadn’t heard about it. Now I find myself telling other travelers about it all the time and am consistently surprised that they don’t know it.

If you want to see the current departure and arrival time, terminal, and gate for any flight, just type the following into the Google search box:

flight info [airline] [flight-number]

Where [airline] is the name of the airline and [flight-number] is the number of the flight. Example:

google-flight-info-search-box-text

Here’s an example of what you get back:

google-flight-info-search-box

It works from any browser on any device and for every airline and flight number I’ve ever tried. Good job, Google.

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Interstellar: See It in the Biggest Baddest IMAX Theatre You Can

Interstellar_film_posterChristopher Nolan is quite possibly my favorite living director. Inception soars among any other film in the last decade; as far as I’m concerned, the fact that it was not nominated for Best Director is one of the most damning omissions in Academy history.

The Dark Knight Rises, though in a different lane, was equally successful, and did Nolan ever “stick the ending” (his own words).

So my expectations for Interstellar were very high.

Nolan does not disappoint. While Interstellar does not rival Inception in terms of sheer cinematic virtuosity, or The Dark Knight Rises in terms of dramatic punch, it charts its own new territory on several dimensions:

  • The sound design will take you breath away. Literally. The score itself won’t earn any awards, but I have never experienced sound so carefully and majestically interwoven with the unfolding action and pace of a film. See it for that reason alone, but see it in the best-equipped IMAX theatre you possibly can. (My wife and son and I were fortunate enough to see it in the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in LA, where Christopher Nolan himself had tuned the sound system for showing Interstellar.)
  • The feeling not just of space, but of other worlds in space, has never been so depicted so immersively. Interstellar does for deep space what Gravity did for Earth orbit.
  • The special effects, and specifically the wormhole at the center of the plot, are innovative enough to have actually advanced science. Read the Wired article for more.

Though the path he takes to get there is sometimes elliptical and tenuous, in the end Nolan’s exploration of the central question—humanity’s existence beyond earth—resonated with me so deeply in the final scenes that afterwards I knew it was one of those films I’d be thinking about on my deathbed (should I be so lucky).

It is hard to ask a film—or a director—for anything more.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

guardians-of-the-galaxy

When I first heard our 70+ year old neighbor remark that GOTG was the most entertaining movie she’d she’s seen in years, I knew I had to go. And within the first two minutes I realized why.

This is not another Star Wars. Or Star Trek. It takes cheekiness to a new level. But it’s a great level.

This new franchise is going to live long and prosper.

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