Bull Session

Cyberwar

November 26, 2015          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we chat about Anonymous, in the wake of their declaring war on the terrorist group, ISIS.

This conflict represents something entirely new in 21st century warfare, and is strongly related to the transformation of power in the digital age. Both of these groups are new types of organizations — nimble, distributed, and asynchronous — they present their adversaries with few primary targets. They both rely heavily on digital tools to inspire others to join a movement.

Will Anonymous’ war on ISIS ultimately be harmful or helpful? While stopping the ISIS propaganda machine would be of great benefit, removing terrorists from Twitter and other social networks will make it more difficult for national intelligence agencies and security firms to track them. And, in response to the campaign by Anonymous, ISIS will no doubt change its online tactics to defend itself.

As we watch this cyberwar unfold, we can only imagine how it is a precursor to future conflicts where the boundaries blur between the digital and physical worlds.

Resources
Anonymous Takes on IS
Cyber War: What Can Anonymous Really Do to ISIS?
Is Anonymous’ War on ISIS Doing More Harm Than Good?

Bull Session

Apple Software UX

November 19, 2015          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat about Apple and the state of its software design. Is Apple off the rails? Is Google nipping at its heels? You could argue that Google is getting better at design at the same time Apple is getting worse.

An interesting article on Fast Company by Don Norman and Bruce Tognazzini, “How Apple is Giving Design a Bad Name” sets the stage for this discussion. With the mobile iOS, Norman and Tognazzini argue that Apple has abandoned some of the fundamental principles of good design including discoverability, feedback, and recovery.

In contrast, Google is doing some interesting things with its Android OS. Experimental design is part of the conversation and the company is unafraid to evolve in the open.

Resources
How Apple is Giving Design a Bad Name
Google Design

 

5 Questions

Innovation and Crowdfunding

November 12, 2015          

Episode Summary

On The Digital Life this week, we chat about crowdfunding and its place in the innovation ecosystem.

The creative class — knowledge workers in industries like biotech, design, gaming, and software — need new models and structures for collaborating and interacting. Crowdfunding’s open model means that nearly anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit and a good idea can start up a project and hopefully, get some money behind it. For this reason crowdfunding is great for testing markets, and launching new product categories. But for all its benefits, it also come with some high risk potential.

Recently the TechJect Robotic Dragonfly drone project — funded to the tune of $1 million in 2012 on Indiegogo — disintegrated when the company ran out of money. And it’s far from the first.

And the Glowing Plant synthetic biology project — a great example of how cutting-edge technology and innovation could receive crowdfunded backing — set off a series of events that led to genetically modified organisms (GMOs) being banned on Kickstarter.

Is crowdfunding Wild West capitalism for the digital age? The new face of funding for innovation? Or just a flash in the pan?

Resources
Kickstarter
Indiegogo
Another 1 Million Crowdfunded Gadget Company Collapses

Bull Session

Fantasy Sports and Big Data

November 5, 2015          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life we chat about fantasy sports, big data, and the user experience.

It’s an interesting time for fantasy sports, to say the least. With 57 million players in the US and Canada, the industry is seeing booming growth. However, both the Justice Department and the FBI are investigating two of its biggest players, FanDuel and DraftKings. In particular, the Justice Department is looking at whether fantasy sports fall outside of a Federal prohibition on Internet gambling, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which outlawed online poker and sports betting. Is it a game of skill or gambling, pure and simple?

And, on the digital side, we ask, what are the implications for fantasy sports, when your big data product is derived from the activities of athletes whose personal licensing is, at least for the time being, entirely controlled by larger interests, the sports leagues and players associations themselves?

Resources
DraftKings
FanDuel
Betting on the Fantasy World
Pierre Garcon files lawsuit against FanDuel on behalf of NFL players
Michael Jordan, Mark Cuban, Ted Leonsis Betting $44 Million on Sportradar’s Data

5 Questions

Design for Enterprise UX

October 29, 2015          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat about designing for enterprise user experience with UX designer, strategist, author and consultant, Uday Gajander. Uday talks with us about “Wicked Craft”, the current state of enterprise software UX, and how designers can better understand enterprise users.

Resources
Uday Gajendar
Salesforce
GE
Slack
Citrix
CloudPhysics
Dyson


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