(comparison screenshot from @KikkiPlanet)
This morning, Edmonton’s 630CHED (AM) put up a poll on their website (and linked to it from their Twitter) which caused a fury that I’ve been monitoring primarily through the Twittersphere, plus the odd blog post. The offending poll, and its later edit, are pictured above.
It’s also spun up #630CHEDPolls where people are throwing out some other “equally offensive” ideas for polls:
630CHED issued an apology regarding the incident and offered this link as the context for the poll:
A quote from the post they linked:
A “Hard Talk Panel On Rape Culture” was held Wednesday at the Santa Maria Goretti Community Centre here in Edmonton, as Sexual Exploitation Week in the city continues.
Staff Sergeant Shawna Grimes, who is in charge of the sexual assault section with the EPS, explains what these deliberations are all about.
“People will say things like, maybe if she hadn’t gone out that late at night, or maybe if she wasn’t dressed a certain way this sort of thing wouldn’t happen to her. Basically it boils down to objectification of the victim, and the focus being very much on the complainant rather than on the actions of the accused and their behaviour.”
Grimes then added that the key to end sexual assault is education at a younger age.
Do I think the poll was ill-advised? Yes. This is an extremely loaded subject, and they would have done better to open a discussion on the matter instead of trying to boil it down to a simple yes-or-no poll that could be misconstrued entirely the wrong way.
Do I think they deserve the backlash that they’ve been receiving? No.
I think it’s a goddamn witch hunt.
Nobody said that Twitter was a reasonable, rational medium filled with calmly thought-out people or content. And any kind of sober second thought check on this by 630CHED’s part could have prevented this from blowing up out of proportion. People love to get outraged (#CancelColbert, anyone?) and be part of the group, standing tall in what they perceive to be the moral right. But they took a chance to further the discussion on sexual assault and rape culture and turned it into a farce.
I don’t think that the poll was malicious. I don’t believe that anyone involved in the creation or publishing of the poll believes that the answer to their question - does a victim of sexual abuse share any blame? - is yes. I believe it was something of good intent pushed out with some terrible execution, and that they did not handle their PR crisis well at all.
When I first saw it, I thought the question was stupid as well, but I was more incredulous of the numbers:
And I think that reaction is what 630CHED was going for.
I think this was the discussion they wanted to have - that there is still a large percentage of the population out there that thinks, that believes victims of sexual assault and rape carry at least some blame in what happens. They wanted to add to the conversation about rape culture and open people’s eyes to the reality of what this culture looks like in our everyday lives, that we likely have friends, family, and peers who believe this erroneous fact. It’s pertinent for #yegsecret.
A lot of people are acting like the mere asking of the question is enabling rape culture. Like the assumed answer to the question is yes. That, in itself, should lead to an open discussion, not bashing the asker. The question is not loaded, and don’t assume you know what the person’s answer is. Let people ask freely, and let it serve as an opportunity for education, not anger.
There’s no moral high ground in what’s happening right now, and people are losing the chance to educate those who might have answered yes. Or those who might not know the reasons behind why all these people are so outraged.
Take a breath, people. Let’s take a good look at ourselves.
630CHED, think through the repercussions of even benign actions before executing. And fix your goddamn poll software - 35% should not look like 50%, and 65% should not look like 90% in shading. That’s misleading.
I think all of us can do better than this.
Forget the mobile web - worry about the open web
I’ve had Gruber’s Rethinking What We Mean by ‘Mobile Web’ open in my browser for a couple days now, thinking over its contents. I think that his main point is a semantic separation and broader shift between (or back to) ‘mobile web’ and ‘Internet’, which adequately addresses the point raised by Dixon.
Gruber dances around the point that I think he wants to drive at, but doesn’t explicitly make.
We shouldn’t think of “the web” as only what renders in web browsers. We should think of the web as anything transmitted using HTTP and HTTPS. Apps and websites are peers, not competitors. They’re all just clients to the same services.
If we’re looking at the broader trend away from ‘mobile web’, it’s larger than just a shift back to “the web” - it’s a shift to platforms. And since I’m sure we could get very semantic about it, I’m talking specifically about Internet applications and ecosystems which are accessible through an API, whether open, closed, or somewhere in between.
Consider Facebook, the single biggest winner in Flurry’s “time spent” statistics. On the desktop, all Facebook usage takes place in browser windows. On mobile, most of it takes place in a native app. Same with YouTube and Twitter: on the desktop, they’re in the browser; on mobile, they’re in apps. It’s not about the politics of open-vs.-closed platforms. It’s simply about providing the best possible experience for users.
It’s not a question of browser or app. Taking the examples of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, they started in the previous era of computing, before the “Post-PC era”. They started on the web. And when they did go mobile, they didn’t start with apps. There are a range of factors which affected their evolution, and I’m sure that mundane items like initial infrastructure setup and resource allotment was a huge part of it.
Compare instead to something that started in the Post-PC era. We’ll look at an example that correlates to the above examples - Instagram, which overlaps a lot of the same categories that Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube do. Instagram started as an iOS-only app. Eventually, it moved to include Android. It took them a while longer to bake in some web (browser) capabilities.
Instagram may not be the norm in this, but the broader trend is that we are moving to cloud-based platforms, networks, and applications with robust APIs to access their functionalities on an increasing number of devices in an increasing variety of ways. We may view websites as the norm, the fallback, the standard - but that’s because we come from the pre-Post-PC era, when that was how things worked.
A web interface is no longer the authoritative version or the “true face” of a service. For me, the face of Twitter is Tweetbot. The face of Reddit is Alien Blue. I consume most of my news through Feedly, not their respective homepages. I use the Yahoo Weather app almost every day, but have never been to their website.
My main concern, though, is not this move to cloud-accessible services (which presents its own concerns), but the fact that many of them are now restricted by various platforms. Any service that wants to build an app to put on iOS devices has to be approved for that App Store. Mac OS X is also starting to move in this direction with the Mac App Store and Gatekeeper. Android, of course, is less restrictive.
Yes, Apple and Google (and Amazon, and Microsoft) control their respective app stores. But the difference from Dixon’s AOL analogy is that they don’t control the internet — and they don’t control each other. Apple doesn’t want cool new apps launching Android-only, and it surely bothers Google that so many cool new apps launch iOS-first. Apple’s stance on Bitcoin hasn’t exactly kept Bitcoin from growing explosively. App Stores are walled gardens, but the apps themselves are just clients to the open web/internet.
 Note too, for example, that Twitter itself has imposed far more limitations on mobile Twitter client apps than any app store has. Or consider the spat between Google and Microsoft regarding Microsoft’s YouTube app for Windows Phone. The jostling for control is not limited to the app stores themselves.
Let’s focus on Apple specifically, since they are to most people’s eyes - including mine - the most restrictive. Yes, Apple doesn’t want cool new apps launching Android-only - but what’s cool in their eyes isn’t necessarily what’s cool in the eyes of the customers. And they clearly balance “cool” against their security/control priorities. It obviously doesn’t matter how “cool” an app or service is if it goes against their policies.
Apple’s stance on Bitcoin hasn’t kept it from growing explosively - but how might it have affected BTC if Apple had allowed it on their devices? How might it have affected BTC if Apple had baked Bitcoin right into every iOS device, and accepted it on the App Store? Sure, that’s wild speculation, but what I’m saying is that we’re no longer dealing with the idea of the open web. Android is a lot closer to that ideal, but Apple is far from it.
You might argue that people can still access the open web from a browser on iOS - but you’d know just as well as I that these relegate most of those services as second-class citizens on that device where apps rule supreme.
And yes, Twitter may have imposed far more restrictions on apps than Apple does on App Store submissions - but this is a whole different class of restriction. These limitations don’t affect a customer’s access to the open web, they restrict what an app that accesses the Twitter API (and undoubtedly carries the Twitter name to it in some way) and displays information from Twitter can or cannot do.
Now this ties back to the original post that Gruber was addressing, and while Dixon spends most of his post lamenting the rise of apps and the downfall of the mobile web, the most valid and critical of his arguments lies in the last paragraph:
Most worrisome: they reject entire classes of apps without stated reasons or allowing for recourse (e.g. Apple has rejected all apps related to Bitcoin). The open architecture of the web led to an incredible era of experimentation.
This is where we should be worried - or at least vigilant. The open web is an incredibly important foundation that has stood for the most part until the Post-PC era. The risk of losing it, or at least compromising it, is very real as we move more and more to owned and closed devices/ecosystems like iOS which is quickly overtaking traditional computing.
Project Christine, Razer’s revelatory concept for a subscription-based modular computer, may be an idea too innovative for its own good.
I wouldn’t necessarily that “being too innovative” is Project Christine’s problem. And I think Razer might need better marketing people to sell the idea properly to manufacturers (“they just don’t get it” isn’t really too valid a frustration in this day and age - you need to talk to them in their language instead of ranting that they don’t understand yours).
But I think that Ming-Liang Tan is one of the few passionate, connected, and really focused CEOs out there in the tech industry right now. He’s putting out products that aren’t about the bottom line or maximizing profits (necessarily) - he’s putting out products of passion and labors of love. He might not be very good at selling them, but that’s another point altogether.
Google is finally ready to say what a smartwatch should look like. Earlier today, it gave a first peek at Android Wear, a version of its mobile operating system designed specifically for wearable devices.
Gorgeous, thoughtful, functional. This is more what I expected to see from the second-gen Pebble: a higher-res, color, and touch-capable screen; better design; more predictive services. Makes sense that Google is able to fill this role much better with Android Wear.
If this is incompatible with iOS - and I don’t see any reason why Google should make it compatible with iOS, apart from my love for unconditional interoperability - and it turns out to be a good product, I would ditch my iPhone to use the Moto360. I’ve already ditched my iPad Mini for a 2013 Nexus 7.
Given everything presented above, it’s pretty clear to me that a “smartwatch” isn’t in Apple’s immediate future. But they’re clearly interested in wearable technology. So what are the alternatives for a product that could be released this year? […]
What if Apple’s entry into this space is a ring?
Then I guess I’d double down on Pebble and we’d see Apple stock take a hit. I can’t think of any reasonable way in which Apple could make a ring wearable a compelling sell.
The hackers appear to be using a variety of techniques to commandeer the devices and make changes to the domain name system (DNS) servers used to translate human-friendly domain names into the IP addresses computers use to locate their Web servers, according to a report published Monday by researchers from security firm Team Cymru.
There are suggestions in the article for how to check if you’ve been infected, and best practices for how to avoid being the target of such an exploit. I highly recommend you run through these now, as they’re good simple suggestions for improving your network security as a base minimum. Team Cymru does excellent work, and I’m glad to see them continue to inform and improve.
The paper is incredibly dense, even getting to the level of detail of which flavor of particular encryption algorithms are used in which security controls. I will likely be digesting it for months, but one particular section contained an important nugget that explains why the NSA can’t snoop on your iCloud Keychain passwords.
This will interest a lot of people. I haven’t read the whitepaper yet, and I’m sure it’s well over my level anyway - but it is a good sign that Apple is releaseing these details and increasing consumer confidence in their security. And if there are flaws, I’m sure that those much, much smarter than me will point them out and they will get fixed. Transparency is always better.