software tags

Bull Session

Hacking Power

January 21, 2016          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat about hacking power grids, the IoT, and the escalation of cyber warfare.

Power grids are becoming increasingly subject to cyber attacks and now, at least one has been successful. In December, an attack on a utility in Western Ukraine caused a blackout for 80,000 customers, which was the first known power outage caused by a cyber attack. The malware used in the attack, called BlackEnergy, infected systems via a corrupted Microsoft Word attachment. In January, Kiev’s main airport went dark after a power outage, once again linked to BlackEnergy. As cyber attacks begin causing life and death situations in the real world, the concern over security and the IoT grows.

First Known Hacker Caused Power Outage Signals Troubling Escalation
Malware Clearly Behind Ukraine Power Outage, SANS Utility Expert Says
Hackers caused power cut in western Ukraine – US

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.

How Apple is Giving Design a Bad Name
Google Design


5 Questions

Open Humans

October 8, 2015          

Episode Summary

This week on The Digital Life, we chat with Madeleine Price Ball, Co-founder and Principal Investigator of the Public Data Sharing study, about Open Humans, an online platform that enables people to not only connect and participate with research studies but also receive data back from the scientists conducting them.

We explore the origins of the Open Humans project, its revolutionary data sharing model, and how it works for both members and researchers.

Open Humans
The Personal Genome Project
GET Conference

Bull Session

The Volkswagen Software Scandal

October 1, 2015          

Episode Summary

This week, on The Digital Life, we chat about the Volkswagen scandal and the increasingly important role that software plays in controlling our physical world.

Last week, Volkswagen, the biggest automaker in the world, got caught cheating on its diesel engine emissions tests. The automaker installed software, a “defeat device” in its cars to make them appear cleaner while they were being tested. As a result, the company faces $18B in fines in the US alone.

While this is probably not the first time software has been used to circumvent regulation, the VW scandal is so high profile that it feels like a game changer. In this, the digital and physical worlds are colliding in ways we haven’t seen before. What is the responsibility for software in the real world? And what is the responsibility of design and user experience?

Bosch warned Volkswagen about illegal software use
Volkswagen: The scandal explained
Volkswagen scandal…in two minutes


5 Questions

The consumerization of enterprise software with Suzanne Livingston

July 22, 2015          

Episode Summary

In this episode of The Digital Life, we chat with special guest Suzanne Livingston, senior product manager for IBM’s enterprise social software platform, about the “consumerization” of enterprise software and the bring-your-own-device trend.

This is a unique time for the enterprise, as software eats the world. Product managers need to keep in mind a variety of factors as they consider the ongoing “consumerization” of enterprise software from user experience to security to productivity. How are enterprise software vendors responding to the trend of employees bringing their own mobile devices into the work environment? Has the time come when enterprise software needs to be “mobile first” in its UX strategy? Are successful upstarts like Trello, Box, Slack indicative of the way enterprise software needs to go? We examine all of these questions and more as we consider the the migration of enterprise software to a “consumerized” paradigm.


IBM enterprise social software
Why Software is Eating the World by Marc Andreessen

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