If you are in The European Community, Germany, Safeguarding Internet Privacy, You are Probably Already Broke. What Do You Do?

They only thing reasonable. Cry out for help to the other side of the Atlantic and hope for the best.  This is what Werner Koch had to do.

Werner who wrote in 1997 the free the software, known the as Gnu Privacy Guard (GPG) and still singlehandedly maintains it by issuing regularly patches and updates. He did and still does all of this from his home in Erkrath, Germany. GPC used by whistleblower Edward Snowden and is at the heart of email encryption programs all over the globe.

After repeatedly being unable get enough funds to pay himself, he has made around 22.000€ a year since 2001 — well below Germany’s mean salary — and to fulfill the dream of hiring a full-time programmer, he was in the verge of quitting, but he decided to stick after he realized the instrumental role his software played in Edward Snowden exposing the NSA.

But this time he did differently, didn’t try to get help or coverage from German or Europeans Institutions or Press; but turned to the other side of the Atlantic, the U.S.

The outcome couldn’t had been more different from his earlier efforts. He was awarded a one-time grant of $60,000 from Linux Foundation’s Core Infrastructure Initiative. Since his story made the U.S. Press, through ProPublica, Werner donation page saw unprecedented activity and he easily reached his funding goal of $137,000. Moreover, Facebook and Stripe, the payment processor, each pledged to give $50,000 a year to Koch’s project.

Source:The World’s Email Encryption Software Relies on One Guy, Who is Going Broke – ProPublica.

Form a macro perspective, the question left on the table is what brings better outcome, The Big Hand of big Government or the Lasse Faire of lesser government intervention?

It would not be afar from reality to affirm that most bureaucrats and politicians, at least in the European Union, seem to love talking to the press about the importance world digital economy for Europe’s Economy, but swiftly forget doing anything that would make a real difference. One could say that they seem unable agree, plan and enact any policy that won’t have the potential of grabbing big Media Headlines for them. An in any case they don’t seem to actually be thinking through much about if actually  any of these policies makes any strategic or tactic sense.

Such a claim comes not only from the micro reality of what Werner had to endure, but by a further analysis of where they put our resources, their time and effort to find out their real goals.  This way, we can get a glimpse of where the Big Hand of European Government put its efforts and not just their mouth.

We may look at what they seem to love the most, “Witch-hunting”, where they devote enormous amounts of resources to harass Google and Apple as once they relentlessly did with Microsoft. One might wonder why, they already know that they won’t prosper, as it didn’t against then all mighty Microsoft. These Companies are very careful avoiding using any unfairly practice in light of their dominant position. Then why waste those resources and time, it is an easy way to make Big Fat Headlines in the Int. Press.

Now, it’s fashionable to crack the cross-border transfer pricing, so in Europe are devoting enormous resources to try to enact cross-border fiscal legislation just to levy higher taxes on large corporations doing business at pan-european level. But the real problem is just dodged, the need to have a coördinated fiscal policy is a necessary complement fo the monetary union to work. Why? Another easy way to make populist Headlines. And a way to avoid tackling the problematic but necessary issue of asking citizens further surrender to the Union part of their national sovereignty.

Devoting resources to projects that are worthwhile in real digital economy don’t get them the Big Fat Headlines. So their best efforts (very little, I guess) have devised a system to let them to starve to death or if they ask for help, serve them enough red tape so they can hang themselves from it.

Qué es (y no) es un prototipo

Una buena experiencia no se consigue así como así. Es el resultado cientos de horas invertidas en el proceso de desarrollar el producto, desde su concepción al resultado final.

Muchos clientes y usuarios ven un prototipo y dicen cosas como: “¿Es este el diseño final?” o “¡Mierda! Vaya cosa fea”. Un prototipo es simplemente una simulación del producto final. Es una maqueta interactiva con un grado de fidelidad variable. El principal propósito de un prototipo es comprobar si se va a obtener un producto es fluido y consistente.

Continúar leyendo el artículo: What a Prototype Is (and Is Not)

Empujanos por encima de nuestro récord – Hadi Partovi, Code.org


Megan supo por primera vez sobre informática cuando su curso de 6° hizo una Hora de Programación. Antes  nunca había pensado en programar, ¡ahora va a clases en una universidad de la zona e imagina su futuro!

Con tu ayuda, ya hemos introducido a 45 millones de estudiantes de 180 países a una Hora de Programación.

Todos los estudiantes deben tener la misma oportunidad que tuvo Megan. Por eso Code.org ha lanzando una ambiciosa campaña de crowdfunding, para convertir esta visión en una realidad. Te pido tú ayuda para seguir adelante.

Dona ahora

Estamos a únicamente 180.000 dólares de romper nuestro récord

Esta semana, las fundaciones de los principales benefactores de Code.org Mark Zuckerberg, John Doerr y Rich Barton han donado generosamente más de 1 millón de dólares a nuestra campaña. ¡Estamos cerca de convertirnos en la mayor campaña de la historia de Indiegogo!

Por favor ayúdanos a romper nuestro récord y a conseguir suficientes fondos para introducir a 100 millones a una “Hora de Programación”. ¡Estamos a mitad de camino de alcanzar nuestra principal meta!

Cada dólar es igualado: con fondos adicionales que doblan tu impacto.

Donantes generosos se han comprometido a igualar cada dólar que tú dones. Tus donaciones liberarán esta inversión en el futuro de nuestro niños. ¡Además, tenemos divertidos detalles para agradecértelo!

Todos los niños se merecen la oportunidad de aprender las habilidades fundamentales de siglo XXI.

Dona ahora y forma parte de la historia

 via Hadi Partovi, Code.org

Your phone: The ultimate shopping assistant & expert advisor

Nowadays that the fad for Personal Shoppers Assistants has gone the way of the economy, down and out. Technology has become a perfect substitute. Mobile devices are so ubiquitous, we no longer need anyone to do our shopping, has enabled us to do it ourselves throughout the day while hardly disrupting the rest of our obligations. Google research found that 75% of smart phone shoppers plan to use their phones also in-store during this holiday season. Before Customers went to the store looking help and advice from sales associates on the products they had a rough idea they wanted. Each play more and more shoppers arrive into the store with a clearer idea of what they want and they bring along their own independent expert advisors, their phones. One out of three shoppers use their smart phone to research for by themselves and dodge store employees for that info and everything else but pay (most stores have not implemented self payment). But in the few stores where it’s allowed they are happy to willingly dodge the lines and the clerk.

Google found that when retailer come to terms and truly understand mobile behavior on their premises, they can act proactively and met shoppers online even before the even enter the real store and offer services and helpful information tailored to them. The fact is that 46% of shoppers who use their phone within a store will end up making the purchase on-site, an 11 point increase from 2011. Consumers, now, come into store with a defined purpose, more informed more than before, and savvy retailers are and can turning this into new an opportunity.

A real live case study how a retailer is mastering this convergence. It  is how Apple Inc. integrates its retail locations, with its Web and its mobile Apps in and out the store.

They have embraced this tendency earlier than any other retailer and have developed it further than anyone else.

They already give its customers with user oriented, intuitive and friendly tools to:

  • Gather all kind of information on the products being sold and their optional upgrades or alternative configurations.
  • Check actual stock on the stores around you and if not out of stock, if there are substitutes, and when would it be available in any of the stores they chose (including the on-line) and have the App notify them when available.
  • Order a custom configuration back to Shanghai that they can pick up at the store.
  • Receive notifications about when they can pass-by to pickup the purchases made over  Web or App so they don’t have to wait a second for logistics.
  • On-premises self-service checkout using the mobile camera to introduce the products by their bar codes and then settle their balance on the App using either Apple Pay or their iTunes Account.
  • Making a reservation for support and getting notified X minutes before their turn comes up, so the can wander in the store or go for an errand (what do you think most do during the wait?)
  • Making reservations for free training sessions

When you let aside your needs and those of your company’s and concentrate in thinking smartly about your customers needs (which doesn’t mean exactly what they want or demand,  some times they may not even know they have these needs or don’t know how to express them), and excel at executing the strategy to address them; you are actually doing the best for your company.

Source: GoogleThink Article