[Infographic]: International Cloud Computing Policies

Small businesses are learning how to leverage the power of cloud computing, and loving it. With the decreasing costs of cloud computing, and its rising capabilities, it’s no wonder business owners are flocking to this new software. However, some businesses are still skeptical about integrating cloud computing, due to uncertainties in privacy and data protection. This is especially true If you’re considering supporting a widespread field service population that crosses geographic boundaries. Do you know the various privacy and data security laws for Germany, for example?

Well, you could hire a bunch of lawyers, but you could also check out our infographic that summarizes the best and worst places to have a cloud-based business.

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By David Strom |  readwriteweb.com

Small businesses are learning how to leverage the power of cloud computing, and loving it. With the decreasing costs of cloud computing, and its rising capabilities, it’s no wonder business owners are flocking to this new software. However, some businesses are still skeptical about integrating cloud computing, due to uncertainties in privacy and data protection. This is especially true If you’re considering supporting a widespread field service population that crosses geographic boundaries. Do you know the various privacy and data security laws for Germany, for example?

Well, you could hire a bunch of lawyers, but you could also check out our infographic that summarizes the best and worst places to have a cloud-based business.

Thanks to ClickSoftware for preparing this infographic.

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Why People Should Chill Out About Targeted Advertising

The other day, I was reading a news article when a skyscraper banner ad to the right of the story caught my eye. It was for a particular bass guitar, which was for sale on Amazon. I happen to be in the market for a new bass, and this model looked like one that I might like. So I clicked on the ad to take a closer look and then and browsed through a few other options.

I didn’t end up buying anything, only because I have more a little research to do before I make a decision. But I will make a purchase within the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll get one through Amazon. Either way, I couldn’t help but notice something rather incredible about the aforementioned experience: I actually clicked on a banner ad on a website.

This was probably the second or third time I have ever done this in my life, despite being served probably millions of ad impressions since I first encountered the Internet via a dial-up-connected AOL account. I’ve clicked on text ads in Google search results and on the occasional Facebook ad, but like most Web users, display banner ads have always fallen into my blind spot while I’m browsing. I rarely even notice them.

This phenomenon is by no means limited to the digital world in which we now live. As a teenager, I would bemoan the number of full-page ads in the magazines I’d pick up, as I flipped through the cologne stench in search of articles to read. To this day, I can’t bear to sit through a television commercial. Most of them are weirdly manipulative and completely irrelevant to my life.


The other day, I was reading a news article when a skyscraper banner ad to the right of the story caught my eye. It was for a particular bass guitar, which was for sale on Amazon. I happen to be in the market for a new bass, and this model looked like one that I might like. So I clicked on the ad to take a closer look and then and browsed through a few other options.

I didn’t end up buying anything, only because I have more a little research to do before I make a decision. But I will make a purchase within the next few weeks. Maybe I’ll get one through Amazon. Either way, I couldn’t help but notice something rather incredible about the aforementioned experience: I actually clicked on a banner ad on a website.

This was probably the second or third time I have ever done this in my life, despite being served probably millions of ad impressions since I first encountered the Internet via a dial-up-connected AOL account. I’ve clicked on text ads in Google search results and on the occasional Facebook ad, but like most Web users, display banner ads have always fallen into my blind spot while I’m browsing. I rarely even notice them.

This phenomenon is by no means limited to the digital world in which we now live. As a teenager, I would bemoan the number of full-page ads in the magazines I’d pick up, as I flipped through the cologne stench in search of articles to read. To this day, I can’t bear to sit through a television commercial. Most of them are weirdly manipulative and completely irrelevant to my life.

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Firefox Data Visualization Shows You How Dumb Your Passwords Are

Do you reuse passwords across multiple websites? The habit is alarmingly common, despite being a well-known security risk. You know how the warning goes: If you use the same password across a number of different websites and one of those accounts is compromised, some evildoer could infiltrate the other sites, potentially exposing a wide range of personal data and even putting one’s finances or identity at risk.

Mozilla knows all too well the online privacy and security issues that its users face. Its Firefox browser is the gateway to the Web for millions of people, and it doesn’t take that responsibility lightly. Mozilla Labs recently launched what it calls the Watchdog initiative to help users understand and manage passwords and privacy-related matters.

The latest Watchdog project to see the light of day is a Firefox add-on called the Password Reuse Visualizer. Once installed, it allows users to see a data visualization of their stored passwords and how they’re being used across sites.


Do you reuse passwords across multiple websites? The habit is alarmingly common, despite being a well-known security risk. You know how the warning goes: If you use the same password across a number of different websites and one of those accounts is compromised, some evildoer could infiltrate the other sites, potentially exposing a wide range of personal data and even putting one’s finances or identity at risk.

Mozilla knows all too well the online privacy and security issues that its users face. Its Firefox browser is the gateway to the Web for millions of people, and it doesn’t take that responsibility lightly. Mozilla Labs recently launched what it calls the Watchdog initiative to help users understand and manage passwords and privacy-related matters.

The latest Watchdog project to see the light of day is a Firefox add-on called the Password Reuse Visualizer. Once installed, it allows users to see a data visualization of their stored passwords and how they’re being used across sites. Leer más “Firefox Data Visualization Shows You How Dumb Your Passwords Are”

Sorry, RIM: The Playbook Still Sucks

You have non-threaded conversations for each account. This means that you see separate messages in your thread, which is something that Gmail had oh, six years ago. And if you want to group delete messages? Can’t do it. Strike two: the various accounts are segregated by their component features, so that you read your LinkedIn or Twitter Inbox in the Messaging client, you see your Gmail Calendar in the Calendar client, and see your contacts for everyone in the Contacts client. You can’t view your complete Twitter stream or see any of your LinkedIn discussions in anything but their respective Web clients, which means using two or three or even four different interfaces as you move around one of your services. That is progress?

Strike three: Missing apps. There isn’t any Blackberry IM client for the Playbook. Ironic, when this is one of the compelling reasons that people use the original Blackberry smartphones. Ditto on a Kindle app. Strike four: That darn power button. I had forgotten in the ensuing months where my Playbook was gathering dust on my shelf how annoying it was. At least the Fire’s on/off button is big enough and protrudes far enough to operate!


By  | http://www.readwriteweb.comThis post is part of our ReadWriteMobile channel, which is dedicated to helping its community understand the strategic business and technical implications of developing mobile applications. This channel is sponsored by Alcatel-Lucent. As you’re exploring these resources, check out this helpful resource from our sponsors: Cultivating a Developer Ecosystem: Understanding Their Needs

I updated my Blackberry Playbook yesterday to the new OS, and I was struck with a confluence of ironies when it comes to the current crop of tablet computers: We have a company that made its name in messaging (RIM) that took a year to deliver a substandard email app to its tablet. We have a company that made its name in graphical interfaces (Apple) that doesn’t support many graphical websites on its tablet. And we have a company that made its name in online ecommerce (Amazon) that delivers a substandard Web browsing experience on its tablet.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the best of all three rolled up into one? Yes it would. But we aren’t going to see that anytime soon. I am not alone: our story yesterday about common tablet gripes can be found here.

I like some of the features from each of the tablet trio of iPad/Fire/Playbook. But each of them also infuriates me for different reasons. Since the new Playbook OS has just arrived, let’s pick on it first.

RIM has made it easier to connect the Playbook to your email, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts. That should be impressive, but the way they have gone about doing this is so wrong-headed. Strike one: their messaging client is sub-par... Leer más “Sorry, RIM: The Playbook Still Sucks”

Everybody is Lying to Me and I Don’t Care

For instance, the most recent blow up is that Google and three other advertising networks were violating Apple’s Safari guidelines for third party cookies. Google issued a statement to Ars Technicasaying that the tracking was completely unintentional and was a product of tying the “+1” button to Safari to determine if a user was signed into his/her Google account. Apparently, the third-party advertising cookie running through doubleclick.net also accidentally made it through too.

Wups.

Whatever.

Apple allows cookies in Safari across all of its devices. That can be first-party cookies from the homepage of a domain or certain social third-party cookies, like the ability to like something through Safari on Facebook. Cookies are used for important things, like remembering logins and password credentials. They are also used for delivering important outside information, like location-aware messages and advertising.

Apple wants this information as much as Google does. The more Apple knows about you, the more it can tailor your experience and keep you coming back to Apple for devices and services. Blocking third-party cookies in Safari is not some altruistic motive by Apple. It is a marketing gimmick and a way to shut out other services from accessing data that would be available elsewhere on the Web without Apple’s intervention.


privacy_150_erase.jpgWhy do I feel like everybody is lying to me all the time? I cannot get around the idea that every technology company with a major platform is doing everything it possibly can to get as much data from me as it possibly can through any means necessary. No barriers go un-trampled in the quest to track me, cookie me and use my personal information to obtain the greatest level of profit … from me.

Google gets a lot of blame for its tracking behaviors in relation to advertising and cookies. I stopped trying to hide data from Google a long time ago because I am not sure it is even feasible anymore. I am a denizen of the Internet, therefore Google knows everything about me. The undisputed king of tech, Apple, often gets a pass on privacy concerns because we all love our damned iPhone and iPads so much. Apple should get no such pass. It wants your data as badly as all the other tech companies and it does not want to share. Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Amazon? Yeah, you are in this discussion too. At some point I just throw up my hands and say, “you know what? Screw all of you.”

 

Thumbnail image for shutterstock_smartphone_privacy.jpgI am not generally opposed to tech companies tracking my activities and data. Most of the time I believe that the general purpose is to provide me a better experience. I do not set any of my browsers for private browsing by default and only use “safe browsing” techniques on mobile devices to keep me away from spam and botnets. I use an HTTPS connection whenever possible to make sure my user name and passwords are not being intercepted by nefarious third-party entities.

What I am sick of is that every time one of these privacy stories breaks, it is nobody’s fault. The script is the same: “we’re sorry, we didn’t mean to do it, we will shut it down right away.” You know what? It is everybody’s fault.

For instance, the most recent blow up is that Google and three other advertising networks were violating Apple’s Safari guidelines for third party cookies. Google issued a statement to Ars Technicasaying that the tracking was completely unintentional and was a product of tying the “+1” button to Safari to determine if a user was signed into his/her Google account. Apparently, the third-party advertising cookie running through doubleclick.net also accidentally made it through too.

Wups.

Whatever.

Apple allows cookies in Safari across all of its devices. That can be first-party cookies from the homepage of a domain or certain social third-party cookies, like the ability to like something through Safari on Facebook. Cookies are used for important things, like remembering logins and password credentials. They are also used for delivering important outside information, like location-aware messages and advertising.

Apple wants this information as much as Google does. The more Apple knows about you, the more it can tailor your experience and keep you coming back to Apple for devices and services. Blocking third-party cookies in Safari is not some altruistic motive by Apple. It is a marketing gimmick and a way to shut out other services from accessing data that would be available elsewhere on the Web without Apple’s intervention.

Google wants the Web to be as open as possible to serve its purposes. Apple wants the Web to be as controlled as possible, providing a funnel about everything you do and everywhere you go back to Apple and/or its developer partners. To many, this has become a war against the “open” Web. Facebook has also been accused of this very same practice with its closed platform. Microsoft has long known everything you do through its Windows and Internet Explorer platform. Amazon wants to track you so it can provide better shopping data.

Thumbnail image for shutterstock_online_privacy.jpgJohn Battelle sums up the nature of Safari in regards to his iPhone nicely when reacting to the Google tracking story:

Or perhaps it’s because Apple considers anyone using iOS, even if they’re browsing the web, as “Apple’s customer,” and wants to throttle potential competitors, insuring that it’s impossible to access to “Apple’s” audiences using iOS in any sophisticated fashion? Might it be possible that Apple is using data as its weapon, dressed up in the PR friendly clothing of “privacy protection” for users?That’s at least a credible idea, I’d argue.

This is why I throw my hands up and say, “you know, screw it.” Every one of the tech companies has an agenda and each of them wants your personal data. Whether that is Path, Twitter, Foursquare or others uploading your contacts list without your consent or Google tracking your cookies or Apple tracking your location. Each is going to push the boundaries of what is perceived to be acceptable and when they get caught they are going to say “sorry, we’ll stop now.”

I am also a firm believer that the technology and the Web is not free. The foundation of the Web was built off of user data. User data keeps the Web gassed up and moving down the information super highway (as we used to call it in the 1990s). I do not mind giving up my cookies and a certain bit of my privacy for a better experience. Take Path for instance. After Path allegedly deleted all of the contacts it had automatically uploaded, it prompted me if I wanted to upload my contacts. I said yes. Because without doing that, Path would be a barren place to me and I would have no way of finding my friends on the platform.

privacyicons1.jpgWhat I am really trying to figure out when it comes to privacy decisions by technology companies is whether or not harm is being done. Is this going to hurt me now? Will it in the future? Will it hurt my friends and family? My greatest fear is that I am framed for a crime and all of my data on the Internet will be used against me. Or that someone will cause harm to me or my family financially or physically. Will the government take my data and make my life difficult? These are all legitimate fears.

I then ask myself when these “scandals” take place, who is being harmed? The media loves a big “my god, they did what?!” story. If we put it in perspective, this Google tracking Safari story is no big deal. They then shame the offending company until it apologizes and gets on with its life. The fact of the matter is that it does not really matter to the user to share in this shame and outrage because in the long run nothing is going to fundamentally change. Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, Amazon, Path and all the rest are going to use our personal data however they want. We may cry privacy violations and they may apologize again. And againAnd again.

That is why I say screw it. Screw the companies for setting up the system that perpetuates this mess, screw the media for making it a scandal every time, screw the users who let it happen. Everybody is to blame.

Use my data. I wash my hands of you and it. Just make for damn sure that no harm comes of it.

Because then, we would really have problems.

5 Signs of a Great User Experience

If you’ve used the mobile social network Path recently, it’s likely that you enjoyed the experience. Path has a sophisticated design, yet it’s easy to use. It sports an attractive red color scheme and the navigation is smooth as silk. It’s a social app and finding friends is easy thanks to Path’s suggestions and its connection to Facebook.

In short, Path has a great user experience. That isn’t the deciding factor on whether a tech product takes off. Ultimately it comes down to how many people use it and that’s particularly important for a social app like Path. Indeed it’s where Path may yet fail, but the point is they have given themselves a chance by creating a great user experience. In this post, we outline 5 signs that the tech product or app you’re using has a great UX – and therefore has a shot at being the Next Big Thing.


By http://www.readwriteweb.com
 ________________________________________

If you’ve used the mobile social network Path recently, it’s likely that you enjoyed the experience. Path has a sophisticated design, yet it’s easy to use. It sports an attractive red color scheme and the navigation is smooth as silk. It’s a social app and finding friends is easy thanks to Path’s suggestions and its connection to Facebook.

In short, Path has a great user experience. That isn’t the deciding factor on whether a tech product takes off. Ultimately it comes down to how many people use it and that’s particularly important for a social app like Path. Indeed it’s where Path may yet fail, but the point is they have given themselves a chance by creating a great user experience. In this post, we outline 5 signs that the tech product or app you’re using has a great UX – and therefore has a shot at being the Next Big Thing. Leer más “5 Signs of a Great User Experience”

Community Manager Appreciation Day 2012

Characteristics of a Community Manager

A well rounded community manager makes everyone feel welcome.
He doesn’t judge a user based on his ability to communicate (or to type).
She always gives warnings and second chances, because her goal is a happy community, not vengeance.
He may not be an extrovert in real life, but online he’s the life of the party, bringing a great deal of charisma, wit and wisdom to every encounter.
May start her career as an unpaid volunteer. Often brags that it’s the best ROI of any career decision she’s ever made.
She knows every meme and can work that knowledge into most conversations.
Doesn’t mind long hours, because he knows that the work he is doing makes a difference in the lives of so many people across the world.
Smiles in real life every time she types a smiley emoticon.
Often is ‘discovered’ based on his passionate voice within an exiting community.
Innately understands marketing, customer support, product strategy and user experience.
Enjoys learning new things, from honing a new skill to becoming fluent in a new language.
Devours analytics because it’s the best way to truly understand his community.
Knows that first and foremost, she’s the user’s advocate, because in any meeting, everyone else is the company’s advocate.
Defends his company fiercely, but is not afraid to admit when a mistake has been made.
Fights tooth and nail for the right outcome in a situation, even when it’s not the easiest or most popular solution.
Enjoys the spotlight externally, but tends to be quietly efficient internally.
He doesn’t toot his own horn, but it often gets tooted for him.
Is fascinated by how people think. He reads psychology texts and stats reports for fun.
Truly enjoys helping others.
Is empathetic to a fault.


http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/community_manager_appreciation_day_2012.php#more
By 

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Today is the 3rd Annual Community Manager Appreciation day.Originally founded back in 2010 by Jeremiah Owyang, the 4th Monday of January has since become a day to both thank Community Managers and to enjoy some great community-themed content.

Community Managers are, on the whole, good people. They are slow to anger, and quick to give second (and tenth) chances. They cheer-lead awesome folks and great ideas, while quietly, but firmly, discouraging bad behavior. They’re passionate about their product, protective of their site and fervently supportive of their community. And, despite working long and varied hours, they still will tell you that they have the coolest job in the world. Keep reading to hear my decidedly biased view of community managers, colored by my almost 16 years of managing communities.

Role Definition Leer más “Community Manager Appreciation Day 2012”