Month: September 2017

The Updated Home Office

I admit it. I’m… I’m… I’m a serial furniture re-arranger. There. I feel better. But it seems every few months the things that aren’t right about my office space start annoying me enough that I decide to dive in and fix them by moving stuff around. Which doesn’t really solve the problems, it just changes them around and resets the annoying counter. That said — my current office setup is pretty good, and I’ve hit that point where changes I make are pretty cosmetic. So it’s probably time to share it and talk about some of the bits and...

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Fun with the Apple Watch and WatchOS 4

One of new features announced for the Apple Watch in WatchOS 4 was that the pulse monitor would be watching for unexplained high pulse rates and warn the user about them. Well, I’ve now seen that warning in action. Unfortunately, I wasn’t wearing the watch at the time. Here’s the scenario I ran into: I put the watch on the charging dock and went to bed. When I got up in the morning, I grabbed it, put it on and unlocked it. It immediately fired off a large number (at least 30) notifications about the high pulse warnings, which surprised the heck out of me. Once the watch settled down and I was able to clear the notifications I did some snooping. The activity monitor showed that the watch was active all night, evidently thinking that I was still wearing it, although the stand monitor showed zero hours standing (instead of showing those hours as inactive). The charge level also indicated that the watch wasn’t charging overnight. What happened? It looks like the watch didn’t properly seat on the watch so it didn’t charge, and that kept it from going into inactive mode. So it seems to have kept watching my pulse, and for some reason, however it did that was triggered by the dock to think that my pulse was over 120bpm during some of the checks. No...

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Apple and the FDA join up to cut product approval delays

Remember a few months back when I wrote about the rumored glucose monitor Apple is working on? One of my comments was that given the amount of time it takes for medical devices to get through the regulatory approval pipeline to not hold your breath. Well today, the FDA has announced that Apple and some other device companies have worked out a new pilot program that allows them to streamline that process. This seems to me a fairly big deal for a company like Apple who wants to move medical monitoring into consumer devices. The new program allows the...

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Fixing Twitter: Ways to take advantage of reputation systems (part 2 of 2)

In the first part of this article we got into the idea of reputation systems and started to look at how we can tie them into the abuse reporting systems to help an abuse team prioritize which problems to investigate first and how to adapt the system based on user actions and their reputations to encourage constructive behavior and make it harder for destructive users on the system to cause problems. When we left off, we had talked about the actions a system should take on users based on deciding that a given tweet was abusive and deciding to delete it from the system. Let’s carry that forward to see how that decision can affect content throughout the system and leverage that decision to solve other problems as a side effect. Since we’ve now flagged the URL as inappropriate in the URL reputation system, we can do a number of things. Assuming that reputation system actually recognizes the final content, we build a list of ALL URLs in Twitter that point to that piece of content and flag them with a negative infinity reputation. That would trigger Twitter to remove all of the tweets including all of those URLS. Removing all of those tweets would then trigger reputation changes for the poster of that tweet as done above. So, by using user actions (positive and negative) about a single...

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Fixing Twitter: Why Twitter is Broken and why reputation systems can help (part 1 of 2)

Twitter has a fundamental problem: It’s broken. Worse, the company seems unable to understand how to fix itself, and its users increasingly recognize the problem and are getting frustrated at the lack of any solution. As someone who does community management for a living and uses Twitter as my primary social network, I see the problems on a daily basis, I see the friends of mine who have cut back their usage or given up entirely, and I find myself constantly self-editing my use of the service to stay away from topics I know are more likely to bring out the trolls, because Twitter simply doesn’t have the tools in place for me to protect myself if they arrive. I shouldn’t have to self-edit to protect myself from attacks, but that’s the state of Twitter today. How to fix twitter? Can Twitter be fixed? I have had this conversation multiple times recently, and each ended up turning into “it’s hard to explain, but….”, and that tells me it’s time to try to sort the problems and explain how I’d tackle the problems if it were my problem to solve. Which, fortunately, it’s not. Twitter is fundamentally broken How do I define the way Twitter is broken? A user of a social system should have an expectation that they can feel safe using it. If a user gets attacked on...

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