Sunday, January 11, 2015

Wait! my dreams are being mapped into Reality!

In this case, Mapping comes in the form of Clues, rather than @swardleys eminent Mapping approach.

If you haven't read the ClueTrain then do...

But perhaps more importantly read the NewClues: http://cluetrain.com/newclues/

At the end of the preface Doc Searles and David Weinberger state:

We, the People of the Internet, need to remember the glory of its revelation so that we reclaim it now in the name of what it truly is.

They solved my klutzy and limiting "We, the People of the World...", with the use of the key word Internet, an even more expansive version might start... "We, the Entities of the Internet..."

My ONLY quibble is their use of the word "is", for in their own minds they know that we can't know what "it" is, we can only extract Clues that point what it "truly can be!" Though perhaps they think they covered that with their use of "in the name of"

As they are the pre-eminent Clue extractors, I implore you again: "Read the New Clues."

I warn you, to truly grok them, the Clues that is, you will need to read them more than once and preferably in groups...

...Clue Clubs anyone?

 

 

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Digital Feudalism!

I have been discussing on the importance of "Digital Agency" and the need for a "Digital Magna Carta", but the phrase I was looking for just jumped out at me from this article.

The phrase is Digital Feudalism, we seem to be happily sleep walking into a new form of feudal society where the digital behemoths, and a few very agile and forward thinking startups, are happily hoovering up every ounce of digital agency they can. Sadly, they are not just hoovering up the digital bytes that allow us to maintain control of our own environments, they are also capturing as much data as they possibly can, in order to enable them to, know our every whim and desire, and predict our future desires before we ourselves know them. It is this rather spooky activity that has caused those who regulate our societies to focus on Privacy as the key aspect to legislate, rather than the broader and more important aspect of maintaining control of our digital selves, and our environment. This aspect I have labelled Digital Agency. Sociologists and Philosophers are very comfortable that the word agency pertains to the degree of control an entity is able to exert on their environment. In normal usage we are comfortable with the use of the word when it relates to passing our agency to a third party or agent. In fact so comfortable that we are transferring our control ever more completely to the new power brokers, the Digital Feudalists, or Uber Class.

The term "Uber for X", where X is the new industry being targeted by the Digital Feudalists, is starting to create fear in the traditional organisations, used to providing goods and services in the current economic model. Will they be next to be taken out? We should expect them to try and turn us into their digital serfs as rapidly as they know how.

What then, is Digital Feudalism and what are the underlying bets? Digital Feudalism is the act of making Serfs out of both the provider and the consumer. There are two types of serfs in this new model. Firstly the physical serf, the indentured front line provider of the service in question, they are basically providing the labour capital at the lowest possible cost to provide the physical aspects of the digitised service in question (NB Where possible the new Feudal Lords aim to eliminate the need to use human labour in the provision of their services.) The second serf type, is the entity we used to call Customer, they are the indentured digital consumers of the relevant service. In both cases these serfs are bound by an indented** contract to their digital feudal Lord, whether Uber, Google , or O2, (one of the earliest of the new Digital Feudalists in their initial BT Cellnet guise.)

**The indents in the two physical copies of a contract were used to identify the documents as the same contract. Hence the word indentured. Trust and Identity are at the root of so many of our legal and social systems.

Regulators existed in the communications space, who understood the importance of the freedom of choice and ability to move from provider to provider, thus number mobility and the ability to change providers were swiftly regulated. However, the control over the data created by mobile communication devices has not yet been put back into the hands of the rightful owners of that data, as Telefonica the owners of O2 have demonstrated with the creation of Telefónica Dynamic Insights. For that matter nor has the control over the mobile communications devices themselves been put into the hands of the owners of those devices. This is related topic, which describes the importance of our having agency over our Things.

On then to the underlying bets, the key bet of the Digital Feudalists is that there will always be enough digital serfs with the economic capacity to purchase their services, another bet is that there will always be enough physical serfs willing to provide the few remaining required physical activities at below market rates.

An underlying bet is that the human resources making up both types of serfs will be happy to treated as fungible assets. Willing to be treated like cattle or perhaps worse the beets fed to the cattle.

Finally, they are betting on gaining access to our collective digital assets at no charge, at least not from the rightful owners of those digital assets.

It is not clear that our regulators are up to the task of ensuring that Digital Agency rests in the hands of the related entities, whether individuals or organisations. At present they seem to be focussing on prescribing opaque windows in the bathrooms of houses built on the edge of a Volcano. We are in the process of losing control of our individual environments, let alone the data we create in them, and perhaps worse the means of creating wealth from our skills and digital assets. Hence the importance of creating a Digital Magna Carta, that defines and prescribes the key Digital Rights that any entity should hold dear. Such a document would be a useful signpost to enable us, and those that govern us to navigate the next decade, as humanity struggles to address the major social upheavals involved in changing from one economic model to another.

One question that occurs to me is that when all the population of the planet are digital serfs, and that the last vestiges of labour have been expunged by automation from the production process, what then? The film Zardoz springs to mind!

A disquieting thought from the article I referred to at the start of this blog, that you may or may not have read, is that the growth in inequality is higher in San Francisco than it is in Mumbai.

On the up side, the most positive thought was also found in the article:

"Whatever the outcome, the younger generations show a tendency toward being empowered citizens valuing co-creation and sharing rather than becoming consumers."

So what should we be doing about Digital Feudalism, this question is as relevant to business owners, and those that govern us, as it is to ourselves as individuals. Or will we just sit back and let the Millenials deal with it?

Methinks that it is not a good idea for us, the ever aging part of the population, to leave them, the Millenials, with the impression that we thought it was a good idea for them to be treated as fungible assets. They may just jump to the conclusion that the concept should naturally apply even more strongly to the old and decrepit part of the human labour pool!?

Perhaps we need more than a Digital Magna Carta...

"We the People, of the planet Earth, on order to form a more perfect global community...

Now I know I'm dreaming!! ;-)

 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Thing I lost control of....

The announcement of the UK prices for the BEBOP, triggered in me a desire to acquire one, despite :
1) The UK price was higher than both Europe and US prices
2) My prior drone from them had flown off into the wide blue yonder, refusing to respond to any commands, never to be seen again.

This was the contents of the email I just sent them.

So despite my awful experience with my previous drone from you (Parrot Case n° 076016), I plucked up the courage to try you again.

I tried to order a Bebop using the "buy now” button you kindly emailed me…. yeah right!

So after much clicking I then figured out i could get it cheaper from the US including the Import Duty
So I clicked buy from Amazon US, when I thought I wonder what the Customer Reviews are like?

And lo! A spate of "it flew straight up and out of sight" instances…

Funny! that’s exactly what happened to my previous Parrot! ...and despite spending hours trying to persuade you to replace it I got nowhere,

I was quite surprised how I quickly I had forgotten the pain.

Needless to say the negative reviews brought the pain back with a rush….

Happily I was just in time to cancel my order, needless to say I was much relieved.

So to close, my DJI Phantom 2 Video should arrive in time for Christmas and is also going to cost me less. 

PHEW!

That was a mighty close shave!
A still frustrated Ex Parrot Owner, to mis-quote a famous parrot sketch

Mr. Praline: 'Ello, I wish to register a complaint…. I wish to complain about this parrot
….e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, flew off into the sky and joined the bleedin' choir invisible!! THIS IS AN EX-PARROT!!
...
Owner: "We have a Bebop!?”

Mr. Praline: WELL IT'S HARDLY A BLOODY REPLACEMENT, IS IT?!!???!!?

Owner: N-no, I guess not. (gets ashamed, looks at his feet)

Have a reasonably quiet Christmas, but please deal with the myriad of Lost or Damaged Bebop complaints better than you did my Parrot complaint. I will keep scanning for the class action, and instantly join it!


Adrian and Ex Parrot owner.

Remember folks it is important to be able to maintain control over your Things.
Anyone designing a Thing that either leaves them in control of it, or no-one in control of it should feel the full weight of the law on their shoulders. Sadly as with all things legal, the law has yet to catch up with the full implications of Cyber Agency, or lack there-of!

Have a Great Christmas

And be careful about choosing your things....

I was lucky that Parrot had chosen to over-price their thing, as this caused me to see the US Amazon reviews on the Bebop!


Post Blog Note

I just received this email bounce back!



Thank you for contacting Parrot UK technical support.

In order to streamline our support process and improve the level of service we offer to our customers we are currently making changes to the way enquiries are handled, as such this email address is no longer active. Please follow the link below to complete our new online support form and we will be in contact shortly.


Our opening hours are Monday – Thursday 9am – 5.30pm and Friday 9am – 4.30pm.

Sorry for any inconvenience, your enquiry is important to us and we look forward to hearing from you.

=====  !!!!!!!  =====   !!!!!
I suppose it's little wonder they have stopped folks emailing them!

Aside: I wonder when the news media is going to pick up on the idea of rogue drones with software flaws "<"Think: Mind of it's own!">" flying off out of control and creating mayhem....

Monday, December 08, 2014

Who owns the controls for YOUR Things?

The take up and benefits of the Internet of Things are likely to be dramatically reduced if the great Consumer Control Grab continues. A growing and concerning trend, accelerated by the dramatic reduction in the cost of making everything "smart", has the makers of virtually everything from TVs to shoes thinking that if they add the Smarts, they naturally should be in control of the Thing in question..

The trend can only be recognized if one actually reads the Terms and Conditions of the increasingly smart things, and puts in place very comprehensive and technically complex monitoring regime. The goal of this monitoring would be to establish the answer to the question: "Who is controlling my Things?"

But who has the time to do that?

Imagine that a Samsung employee, with his own ke,y let himself into your home and proceeded to alter the settings of your new television, deleting your favorite applications.

How would you feel?

Know that he is apparently totally in his rights to do this, albeit virtually, for you accepted the Terms and Conditions.

Though I still have not established what part of the Terms and Conditions gave Samsung the right to delete Google Maps from MY television?

What should we do to the address this issue?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The best way to lose e-trust

All enterprises with Customers should take note, the emerging way to lose the e-trust of partners or clients, is to openly or surreptiously remove from them the control of their own data. The issue comes not only from using their data without their express wish, in a way that does or does not benefit them, but more importantly from removing their ability to control how it is collected and used. The usual Internet Giants have become masters of these malpractise, the best examples of which feel very spooky to those on the receiving end. However the media and thus the public are waking up to the issue. For a while there have been a few pathfinders who have been deliberately taking back control. (Usually by eschewing the free services on offer that gave organisations the ability to control their data, or by creating watermarked data.) Once such pathfinder, Janet Vertesi, Professor of Sociology, at Princeton University, recently realised that Google knew about her planned engagement to be married prior to any of her family or friends, and worse were acting upon that knowledge to make money for Google. Importantly, it is not just the Internet giants that can fall foul of our natural desire to retain control over our own information. 

Signs of this malpractise can be found in how your organisation; 
    - gains access to data and identifying the data's owners
    - enables the owner to control of current and future use of their data
    - uses the data in respect of those express wishes

The result of not appropriately managing the control owners have over their data can have a profound impact on your clients and partners e-trust in you and their future behaviours. These malpractices have been erroneously labelled the Privacy Problem, by regulators and politicians. Worse some EU politicians have gone down the path of legislating the "Right to be forgotten" In truth the problem is far simpler, it is a control problem, one that sociologists label as our natural desire and capacity for "agency".

How does your organisation stack up in the race to attain and maintain e-Trust in an increasingly Outside-In world?

Some Diagnostic Questions
Does your Company sell or acquire lists containing external data to or from outside organisations?
Warning most such lists will contain toxic data, are you clear on how you can filter out such toxic  data?
Eg A customer whose data was on such a list despite their express intent for it not to be used or re-used.
Personal example, I passed my contact details to a Jamie Oliver website having unchecked/checked all the do not share boxes. I gave an email address that uniquely identified the Jamie Oliver website. In less than a month the email address was being spammed. I no longer trust Jamie Oliver or his companies and no longer visit his restaurants.

Do you give your data owners direct control over their own data, and how you may use it?
Warning this is not a trivial activity. Do not answer this question lightly. Sadly the Digital Fabric is not yet in place to give a clear affirmative to this question. But that's another topic!

Do you gather the express wishes of data owners?
When you acquire others data do you only use it having established and stored the express wishes of the owner, as to how it may be used, now and in the future? 
Do you give the owner a simple means of changing these wishes? That is, can the owners view and change your entitlement to use their data? And I don't just mean their email address!

Do you give data owners the ability to classify their data?
By establishing from the data owner the regard in which they hold their data, you can decide more effectively how you wish to protect it and even if you want to store it.

Are you transparent with all your sharing controls/settings?
Warning: Hiding such controls deep in a system, or obfuscating them in anyway, can reduce e-Trust. 
Apple's latest iOS has a setting found at the end of this chain:
Settings/Privacy/Location Services(scroll to the bottom)/System Services/Frequent Locations
Not only is it placed deep within the iOS control panel, but when the facility was first enabled the user was not directly asked whether it should operate, and it is by default set to "Collect and store times and locations visited".

Do you comply with the express wishes you have collected?
eg LG Smart TV had a setting that ostensibly disabled the collection of personal information. The collection took place whether or not the box was checked.

Are you using the Identity of your Customers, or do you require them to use your identity for them?
Having a very effective Identity, Entitlement and Access Management system is key. NB This is not the traditional Access Control List or Active Directory approach. An Outside-In IdEA system needs to be architected as such. Would you trust a person who choses to give you a new name and refuses to use your own?

When contacting a Customer do you demand from them information that assures their identity or do you first give them information that assures yours?
Do you have a means of identifying and authenticating yourself to your partners & customers and then vice-versa?
Personal Example: I was phoned by an Insurance company, they demanded that I give them personal details to authenticate myself, and gave me no way of authenticating them. The banks also currently operate this practise, especially after they have discovered a fraudulent transaction. Potential Solution : Your Google Authenticator should currently be showing this pin for us...

Who in your Organisation owns ensuring that your customers are, and remain in control of their own data?
The answer to this question can give you a clue to your organisation digital agency maturity.

5* Office of Co-Creation
4* Office of Information Asset Management, Chief Data Officer
3* CISO or Compliance Manager
2* Privacy Officer **
1* Someone in IT
0* The Marketing Department 

**(Position of this role depends upon the mindset of the encumbent, too often they see their role as protecting their organisation from litigation, instigating practices such as the wholesale deletion of evidence of malpractice which they laughingly name the Retention Policy. Those Privacy officers who see their role as protecting the Privacy of the their Customers and even better giving their Customers control over their data could achieve 3* or 4*. Sadly too many fall into the lower position)

Your organisations e-Trust is founded upon your capacity to deliver agency to your customers. 

On the journey to Outside-In, your ability to deliver digital agency will be a key organisational capability, it needs developing, but be warned it is not a muscle that most enterprises are used to using, for it involves giving control to Customers, not wresting it from them.

However, by far the more important question is; How you can build on your capacity to give digital agency to your customers, by adding value to you and your customers? The answers to that question lie in the Clockwise Security topic, a discussion of how security can be used to create value, not just avoid risk, and in this direction lies Co-Creation.
 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Where is the party I could vote for?

The party would have a number of features... they would aim to:
Expand Social Mobility
Create a balance between taxation of wages & capital, that favours wages paid to workers that create real products and services. (For example bankers who are paid vast amounts of money simply for gambling with other people's money, or rich people who create more wealth simply from being wealthy would be heavily taxed, however tax on interest, would only apply on interest greater than the cost of inflation)
Make the U.K one of the best educated and healthiest countries in the world.
This would involve significant investment into our national education and health services.
Create a police force that targets cyber criminals, as well as traditional criminals, with the capacity to deal with civil unrest.
Create a modern army, without nuclear weapons, that has the capacity to deal with Terrorists and support global stability, as well as responding to global epidemics.
Give young people a sense of pride and self discipline, by ensuring that they spend at least a year supporting the poor and needy in other parts of the world, likely as part of a global civil defence force.
Eliminate bloated European, Central and Local Government bodies, 
Support the development of a global economy, and deal with global poverty.
Ensure investment in the core infrastructure services of Energy, Water, & Transport
Deal with the impending disaster of an aging population bulge.
Deal with corruption in all it's forms sexual, moral, financial, etc.


The above is not in order of importance.

Any party that best aligns to this list could have my vote.

The unfortunate thing is that for the moment I cannot find such a party.

Thoughts anyone?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Apple do you really want to lose me for the sake of a charging cable?

In the past few months I have attempted to buy some new cables for our iPhones and iPads. We love them, but we love them better if they are charged.

Thus we want charging stations dotted around the home, and in the car. I have loads of Apple USB Chargers but you changed the cable end....

So I went to Amazon to buy some more cables.

All of them stated they worked with the required devices, and when they arrived they did! 
All plugged into Apple Chargers! I don't want to buy cheap chargers that would likely catch fire!

Then a nasty piece of software was downloaded from the Apple Bullying Corporate Department. First the software started to signal that the cables might not be reliable, then the software actually disabled charging when the perfectly functional cable was plugged in.

This is a despicable act that is not good for the planet nor my pocket, and neither is it good for my Apple Loyalty!

Your greed has started me to look elsewhere.

Seriously I am starting to actually consider shifting away from my decades of Apple fan-boy status. 
I was happily able to ignore the jibes of my technologically impaired friends.

I am not however willing to ignore your greed and negative impact on our planet.

Please stop pretending my charging cables are broken!
They are not! You are lying to me!

You just want me to buy your cables at up to 10 times the cost!!!