Advice to My 10 Year Old Regarding SnapChat Hack

SnapchatSnapChat was recently hacked. 4.6M user account names and their associated phone numbers were accessed and published on the web and put on dozens of torrent and mirroring sites. Users will be exposed to tons of additional spam and phishing exploits.

This prompted me to give my ten year old budding social media maven the following decidedly boring parental advice:

  • The more accounts you have out there, the more likely this is to happen – it is better to be selective and strategic about which services you and your friends are going to use rather than trying out every single one and then getting bored 5 mins later and leaving a residue account to be hacked.
  • Now that your account info and telephone number are out there, people may call your number or send you messages designed to trick you – they will look like messages from friends, etc. This is going to suck, and you are going to have to be very careful what you click on. I’d strongly suggest confirming by text any link a friend sends you before clicking on it.
  • If you cannot confirm it, never, EVER, click on a link someone sends you in some sketchy way.  99% of the time it is phishing designed to steal from you.
  • Ask a grown-up if you are at all uncertain – talk to your parents or go and INITIATE a separate note to the person (i.e. don’t reply to the orginal one) and ask them if they sent you something.
  • Close down any accounts you are no longer using on a very regular basis – yes, I know this will be a tragic loss for your 3 followers on that system.  Trust me, they will get over it -it is more fun to be mysterious anyway.
  • Now is the right time to change all the passwords on all your accounts (now you understand my advice about having fewer dormant ones, huh?).
  • Digital life sucks and it will almost certainly get worse before it gets better through biometrics or some other means, so be smart out there and try always to tell the difference between something that USEFUL and something that is merely NEW. You are the first generation growing up on the internet where strangers with bad intentions can get right into the least expected places – like your pocket, your purse, your chat stream with friends. Be careful out there.
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Top 10 New iOS 6 Features I’m Stoked About

This week at its World Wide Developer Conference, Apple publicly exposed some of the features of the next generation of its mobile operating system, iOS 6. It is not coming out until the Fall, probably in conjunction with the next iteration of the iPhone, but here are the things I am really impatient for: [Read more…]

Multiple Monitors Does Not Equate to Multi-Tasking

Image courtesy of MacWorld Magazine, June 2008

I am a long time member of the cult of multiple monitors. And the practice is really taking off.  But the NYT has it all wrong.   [Read more…]

Cloud-Enabled Business Models (Or Why iTunes Match Will Change Your Phone)

Gartner’s hype cycle charts how all emergent technologies start with a trigger, quickly ramp up to a peak of inflated expectations, drop in to a trough of disillusionment and then move back up a slope of enlightenment onto a relatively stable plateau of productivity. Cloud computing is moving right along that curve; the initial buzz was followed by a paralyzing fear of security issues, but we are now well up the slope of enlightenment: cloud computing is here to stay, and nobody disputes that it’s going to have a huge impact.

The power of cloud computing to enable radical new business models is really starting to be felt on a massive scale.

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Is the traditional publishing model dead?

I’ve touched on this topic before (for example,  Amazon becoming a publisher; Amazon really stepping up publication efforts; ebook growth; blogcasting), but three recent events bring it back to the forefront. First was a conversation with someone at a TCN panel talk I gave last week who had just self-published her own book, second was a conversation with a friend who had just published a book with a traditional publisher and third was an interesting piece just published by Matthew Ingram at GigaOM about the value of publishers.

At the panel last week I was discussing intellectual property issues in the start-up context, and one of the participants was focused on IP questions around a book she had just published. The questions were straight-forward, but what was interesting was that when asked who her publisher was, she said that she had self-published.

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iPhoneography Update

The New York Times has an article discussing the the iPhone telephoto lens from my earlier post on the subject.  They have uniformly positive things to say about the burgeoning area, and mention a couple other seemingly good alternatives as well.

Similarly, Ars Technica has just posted an in-depth article on this subject, except theirs is much more focused on the results than the accessories.  It is about as thorough examination of the subject as you are likely to find, and worth checking out (best read on a good bright monitor instead of a mobile device since it contains a ton of comparison photos.)

By way of update on the Photojojo unit, in my experience having a lens that can pull in distance shots is proving quite handy.  And the tripod and tripod mount are also useful.  Unlike previous efforts I had tried, the case for the Photojojo unit I mentioned is sturdy enough, unobtrusive enough, and easy enough to use that you can just put the case on in advance of an event and then keep the lens handy for quick installation & removal.

Subscribe – To get an automatic feed of all future posts subscribe to the RSS feed here, or to receive them via email enter your address in the box in the upper right-hand corner of this page or go here and enter your email address in the box in the upper right. You can also follow me on Twitter @cmirabile and on Google+.

Are Entrepreneurs Wild Risk-Takers?

When I wrote my post about What I Look For in an Entrepreneur, I did not include a gigantic appetite for risk on the list of desired attributes. Ben Smith recently wrote a great guest post on peHub suggesting that great entrepreneurs need to take big risks: Why Great Entrepreneurs Take Risks and Get Fired.  In it, Ben points out that thinking differently, taking risks and being unafraid of failure are the essence of entrepreneurship.  So what gives?

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Localytics CEO on Steve Jobs, Raising Capital, Mobile Apps & TechStars

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Telephoto Lens for Your iPhone 4S

Add-on lenses for cellphone cameras have been around for a while.  And most of them are crap.  But I stumbled onto a great little kit that is very nicely made, and, when combined with the out-standing new camera on the iPhone 4S, takes such great photographs, that I had to share.

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Godspeed, Steve

The world lost a great mind today.   Although I had warning, I am still more deeply affected than I would have expected.  I have admired and respected Steve Jobs and adored his products for almost 30 years. Apple is almost entirely responsible for two of the most abiding passions of my life – a fascination with technology and what it makes possible, and a love of excellent design.  When well executed, computers are, as Jobs called them, “a bicycle for the mind.”  There is no business figure I have read more books and articles about, watched more of, or followed with greater interest.  Watching him get sicker and sicker over these last years has been truly awful, and, as odd as it is to say about the CEO of a for-profit company making consumer electronic devices, I feel like a little piece of me died today as well.  I truly will miss him.  I can think of no better way to mark his passing than to dig up the following note I wrote him right after his liver transplant, a month after the iPad debut, when he had begun to make regular headlines for answering the occasional private email, and Apple was taking a lot of heat for refusing to support flash on the iPhone.

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