Weekly output: a fixed Hue vulnerability, techno-optimism, mobile apps versus mobile sites

I’m watching the Oscars as I type this, and a look at this year’s nominees shows I’m even more out of touch with pop culture than usual, having seen only two of the pictures nominated. I’m sure none of you are surprised to learn that I watched one–American Factory–on an airplane.

Speaking of that, if my travel posts here have you interested in hearing more on that subject, I’ll be discussing the finer points of business travel at Frequent Traveler University Washington DC on Sunday, March, 8. Twice: once that morning with travel blogger Tess Zhao (you’ll need a pass to the Travel and Adventure Show happening around FTU DC, $11 in advance for the day), and then an advanced version that afternoon for FTU DC pass holders ($129). For more on this event, I’ll point you to FTU DC speakers Tiffany Funk of One Mile At a Time and Matthew Klint of Live and Let’s Fly.

2/5/2020: Yet another joy of the smart home: Light bulbs at risk from hackers, Fast Company

I got an advance on Check Point’s documentation of an already-fixed vulnerability in the hardware bridge used by many Hue connected light bulbs–as did many other reporters who wrote up this story.  I hope that my critiquing the hopelessly-vague release notes for the patch that closed this “vuln” added some distinct value.

2/7/2020: New Industries & Opportunities: The Case for Techno-optimism, Greater Good Gathering

I headed up to New York Thursday to moderate this panel Friday morning, in which Microsoft Research director Eric Horvitz, Ownable president and CEO Brian Selander, CoverUS co-founder Peter Shanley, and Columbia University engineering professor Vijay Modi spoke about reasons to feel some optimism about where technology is taking us.

Yes, this was another manel for me. Until a week ago, I was supposed to moderate a different panel at this conference at Columbia that would have had some gender balance, but then the organizers had to reshuffle a few speaking slots.

2/9/2020: No, there doesn’t have to be an app for that, USA Today

About that Iowa app: Couldn’t the work of transmitting caucus results have been done much more simply via a mobile-friendly site? Mobile sites have other advantages over mobile apps for users–if not necessarily developers–and I outlined them in this USAT column.

Weekly output: digital technology and personal relationships, vulnerability reporting

I got in a quick trip to New York this week, thanks to an invitation to speak at a conference at Columbia University that arrived after the event organizer read the Data Privacy Day piece I wrote for the Washington Post last month.

2/7/2019: Panel IV:​ Connection: Building or Destroying Personal Relationships?, Greater Good Gathering

I talked about the problems and possibilities of social media–more of the former than the latter–with Fred Davie of the  Union Theological Seminary, the University of Southern California’s Todd Richmond, the Women’s Media Center’s Soraya Chemaly, and Robin C. Stevens of the University of Pennsylvania’s nursing school. My contribution to the discussion was suggesting that these social apps might be less amenable to abuse if their development teams weren’t dominated by people whose race and gender render them immune to the usual racist, misogynistic word vomit online.

2/8/2019: How you can report security problems to tech companies like Apple, Yahoo Finance

This post unpacking Apple’s delayed response to a 14-year-old’s discovery of a serious vulnerability in Group FaceTime–which looks pretty good compared to how many companies handle “vuln” reports–went through a couple of post-publication revisions.