Friday, February 02, 2018

There’s an App for that! What could Equifax do to stop these claims?
Ethan Wolff-Mann reports:
In September, entrepreneur Joshua Browder’s Do Not Pay chatbot website added a new skill: allowing people to sue Equifax for its monumental data breach that exposed the personal information of 145.5 million people, which included Social Security numbers.
A few months later, the results are coming in and people are winning judgements approaching $10,000.
Yahoo Finance spoke to a few consumers who have taken on Equifax in small claims courts, a process that they found surprisingly smooth, with no need for lawyers.
It was the easiest nine grand I ever made,” said Darrow B. of San Francisco, who just won a judgment of $9,100.
Read more on Yahoo!
[From the article:
Darrow points to her ruling as a good blueprint to go from when arguing before the court. In it, the judge noted that Equifax had a duty to safeguard information, failed to heed warnings from the Department of Homeland Security, and “willfully” violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act and state regulations.
To some judges at least, demonstrating Equifax was negligent in its duty is enough for a positive judgment. The credit monitoring company was slow to disclose the breach (not everyone affected even got an email notifying them of what happened); it also pointed consumers to a useless website to see if they were affected, and then pushed them to sign up for a monitoring product that both could strip consumers of the right to sue the company and provide it with potential future revenue.




Sure! All I need is a few billion dollars of seed money...
Just the announcement that Jeff Bezos, Warren Buffett, and Jaime Dimon will be entering the health care space has sent shock waves for industry incumbents such as CVS, Cigna, and UnitedHealth. It also puts a fundamental question back on the agendas of CEOs in other industries: Will software eat the world, as Marc Andreessen famously quipped? Is this a warning shot that signals that other legacy industrial companies, such as Ford, Deere, and Rolls Royce are also at increased risk of being disrupted?
To start to answer that question, let’s tally up the score. There are three types of products today. Digital natives (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, IBM) have gained competitive advantage in the first two, and the jury is still out on the third:
  • Type 1: These are “pure” information goods, where digital natives rule. An example would be Google in search, or Facebook in social networking. Their business models benefit from internet connectivity and they enjoy tremendous network effects.
  • Type 2: These are once-analog products that have now been converted into digital products, such as photography, books, and music. Here too, digital natives dominate. These products are typically sold as a service via digital distribution platforms (Audible.com for books, Spotify for music, Netflix for movies).
  • Type 3: Then there are products where input-output efficiency and reliability of the physical components are still critical but digital is becoming an integral part of the product itself (in effect, computers are being put inside products). This is the world of the Internet of Things (IOT) and the Industrial Internet.




Perspective. Once Operating Systems reach “good enough” the scramble for “new and improved” versions is reduced.
StatCounter: Windows 10 overtakes Windows 7 in usage share
Windows 10 has overtaken Windows 7 in usage share. The milestone was reached some 29 months after the latest and greatest operating system from Microsoft first debuted, according to StatCounter.




“Sincerity – if you can fake that, you've got it made.” George Burns
The Rising Importance of Soft Skills
Conversable Economist: “What skills are most important for an employee to succeed at Google? Back in 2013, the company undertook Project Oxygen to answer that question. Cathy N. Davidson described the result in the Washington Post last month (“The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students,” December 20, 2017). She writes:
“Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both brilliant computer scientists, founded their company on the conviction that only technologists can understand technology. Google originally set its hiring algorithms to sort for computer science students with top grades from elite science universities. In 2013, Google decided to test its hiring hypothesis by crunching every bit and byte of hiring, firing, and promotion data accumulated since the company’s incorporation in 1998. Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas.”
Well, Google is a big company. Perhaps the soft skills matter for a lot of its employees. But for the A-level invention teams, surely the technical skills count for more? Last spring, Google tested that hypothesis with Project Aristotle. Davidson reports the results…”




For all my students.




For flipping the classroom?


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