Ephemeral Vs. Perpetual Messaging: Thinking Outside The Timeline

If you are following the battle of the short messaging systems, you might think it is a one-dimensional contest between the systems that maintain your chat history for all time – like Twitter and Facebook – and the so-called disappearing messengers – like Snapchat – where messages vanish after being read.

Each new application stakes out a place somewhere along this timeline between zero and infinity. Chat systems rush to add ephemeral features, and email systems for the enterprise add more features around mail expiration dates and “information lifecycle management.” The question remains whether retention time is the real issue here.

Most of the supposed uses for disappearing communication are prurient at best. Snapchat’s popularity is based on the appeal among teens to share illicit photos that they don’t want to get caught sharing. Mark Cuban famously funded CyberDust after the SEC scoured his social media records looking for signs of insider trading.

None of these companies have yet to make an argument that their products provide any social good. As the founders of the once high-flying, but now-defunct Secret learned, the lack of social good is fatal to mainstream acceptance.

Meanwhile, those who think ephemeral messaging will protect their questionably illegal activities, or worry that such products will enable illegal activities, are also missing the boat. Consider the most ephemeral messaging of all: the telephone call.

It is consumed in real time, as it is created. Any online communication has the same limitation where if your device is talking, someone else can listen in. The Bin Ladens of the world are using couriers, not Snapchat, despite what the British Parliament might say.

Consider the most ephemeral messaging of all: the telephone call.

Much of the positive desire for ephemeral messaging comes from the ease at which conversations in different contexts can be aggregated. Comments made on a personal message board in support of gay rights can be traced to a popular teacher at a Catholic school, who is then out of a job for his beliefs. The solution is not to make these messages disappear, but to stop storing so much identity in the first place.

This desire for these apps comes from the unnatural state of current online social communication. In real life, all communication happens within a context and people only have a limited identity in that context.

When I am teaching my class, I use my teacher qualifications. When I am reviewing a restaurant, I want to share the fact that I dine out frequently. When I am talking politics, it is relevant to know if I am liberal or conservative. What mainstream social networks lack is the ability to utilize only the relevant subset of your identity in online communications.

Outside of celebrities and other brands, there is little benefit from being fully identified in every conversation. If I am sharing tech gossip, it is much more useful for my audience to know that I am a high-tech CEO, rather than to know my actual name and entire conversation history.

When I am reviewing a recent Amazon delivery, my professional background is irrelevant. The ideal way to handle the retention of personally identifiable information is to simply not collect it in the first place.

Therefore, if aggregating identity is not useful, we are left wondering why all social networks put so much emphasis on this. It is because these networks are not in the business of enabling effective communication. Their actual business is in collecting users’ personal information and selling it to the highest bidder. Their advertisers are their customers, not the people who use their products.

Luckily, alternative social platforms are starting to emerge and showing that they do not need to compile aggregated identities into lists of friends or followers in order to get relevant information.  Using a verified subset of facts, users can be more powerful than if they were fully identified.


Source : by



ICANN President Fadi Chehadé leaves

I had the great opportunity to attend ICANN47 in Durban two years ago. The Global Audience expanded my understanding of the Internet as I knew it.

What is ICANN ?

ICANN is a not-for-profit public-benefit corporation with participants from all over the world dedicated to keeping the Internet secure, stable and interoperable.

It was with great pleasure getting to meet and sharing conversation about Africa with Current CEO Fadi Chehadé . Today we found out that he will be resigning from ICANN, yet remaining focused to the Mandates of ICANN.

Herewith his Current Departure Address

As you know, I have made the difficult decision to leave ICANN in March of 2016. While it was not an easy decision, it was the right one. In keeping with our shared commitment to clarity and transparency, I would like to take a moment to share some thoughts behind my decision and reassure you of my dedication on the road ahead.

As a community, we are on the verge of accomplishing something truly remarkable. We made a commitment to transition ICANN to a global, independent, and accountable institution and to deliver a proposal to the U.S. government on how to do it. We faced extraordinary skepticism, pressure and criticism at the outset, but we as a community rose above it, joined together and exceeded all expectations. The ICANN community will now fulfill that promise and present a comprehensive framework that will establish ICANN as an independent and reliable global organization that coordinates the unique identifiers for one Internet. Seventeen years on, we will continue to fulfill our duty based on the same common principles and mutual commitments that have steadily interconnected us with our technical community partners – the IETF, the Regional Internet Registries, and Top Level Domain Operators around the world.

One of the reasons we are in a position to make this transition is because ICANN itself has also undergone an extraordinary professional transformation to become a more stable, professional and global organization.

Now more than 300 people strong, with full gender and cultural diversity, ICANN has operational hubs in Istanbul, Singapore and Los Angeles and staff working across 28 locations that regularly engage with governments, companies, end users and civil society. We have improved accountability, transparency and technical competence, adding systems and processes that ensure a reliable infrastructure. Perhaps most importantly, we have exceptional leadership from a community of people dedicated to ensuring the success of ICANN and global multi-stakeholder collaboration. ICANN is well beyond one person or one executive. It now rests on the strength and integrity of the community itself and the institution that supports it.

After three years of intense work and extensive time away from my family, it is time to make way for new leadership. Leadership that can take ICANN into this historic future. I remain profoundly committed to the operational excellence of ICANN and all for which it stands, culminating in our successful transition to a truly global, independent, and accountable institution.

On the transition, let’s continue steadily – stakeholders, board, and staff in lockstep – to review, complete and deliver our community’s proposal to the U.S. Government around ICANN‘s meeting in Dublin this October; then let’s work diligently and respectfully with members of the U.S. government to secure NTIA‘s review and sign-off; and from now until that sign-off, let’s commit ourselves to the careful and deliberate operationalization of the community’s proposals. The road towards the final sunset of the U.S. stewardship of ICANN is clear and I know each of you will join me in remaining focused on the tasks that lie ahead of us in the coming months.

I am confident that our community’s ethos and unequalled commitment will continue to guide us, one step at a time, without missing a beat, to carry on together on this remarkable mission. I look forward to a productive time together with many of you in Buenos Aires for the next week.


We look forward to meeting with the Organisation again at ICANN54.

ICANNSource :



Throwback Thursday The dot-com bubble bursts

The dot-com bubble was a speculative bubble covering roughly 1998–2000, during which stock markets in industrialised nations saw their equity value rise sharply from growth in the more recent Internet sector and related technology fields.

A combination of rapidly increasing stock prices, market confidence that the companies would turn future profits, individual speculation in stocks, and widely available venture capital created an environment in which many investors were willing to overlook traditional metrics in favour of confidence in technological advancements.

The bubble reached its peak on 10th March 2000, with the NASDAQ at 5132. This was followed by a crash with huge numbers of startups going bust. Between 2000 and 2002, more than $5 trillion was wiped off the value of technology companies.




6 cool uses for augmented reality in healthcare

Augmented reality is already making inroads in several industries, including healthcare. A session at Augmented World Expo 2015 highlighted six of them.

 Image: Erin Carson/TechRepublic

“[Healthcare is] one of the most important and practical applications of AR technologies that we can come up with,” said moderator Brian Wassom, moderator for a session covering AR’s use in healthcare at the Augmented World Expo in Santa Clara, California, on June 8.

The session was an overview of projects and companies finding uses for augmented reality in healthcare, spanning from training and education, to improving sight and determining if a child can sit still for an MRI.

The basic overarching idea is to take tasks and functions and improve them with the use of augmented reality. Some presenters’ products are on the market and in use in hospitals. Others are in earlier stages. Either way, here are six examples of what’s happening in the augmented reality and healthcare space.

Medical Realities

Founder Shafi Ahmed talked about the role wearables and AR could play in medical education. He’s used Google Glass to perform live operations for roughly 14,000 students in 32 countries. The idea is to get students through the learning curve much quicker, and to get them to participate in the global community. He cited a Lancet study that said there are 5 billion people in the world who don’t have access to safe and affordable surgery. There are 143 million simple operations need to be performed annually, and that requires need 2.2 million surgeons, aestheticians, and obstetricians.Medical Realities also has 360-degree videos on YouTube from the operating theater.


Anyone studying medicine has to learn anatomy. There are many ways to do it — flash cards, textbooks, charts, even things called bone boxes (imagine opening a box of bones and having to use some reference aid to figure out what it is and its characteristics). Those are tried and true methods, but ARnatomy wants to make them better. They’re working on a few projects, including an app that uses OCR to match a word like femur, for example, with visuals and info on the bone, or one that lets users manipulate a “a tangible skeletal model of bones affixed with augmented reality (AR) targets,” according to their site.


Vipaar is basically a video support solution. For example, in 2013, the company partnered with University of Alabama, Birmingham on an orthopedic surgery using Google Glass. A remote surgeon could essentially project his hands into the display of a surgeon on site wearing Glass and point and guide. They do more than just telemedicine, with the idea of bring in remote expertise to a situation where it’s needed.


Having blood drawn is not a pleasurable experience for patients. It only get worse when they have to get stuck again, and again, and maybe once more in pursuit of a vein. AccuVein is essentially a handheld scanner that projects over skin and shows nurses and doctors where veins and their valves and bifurcations are in patients’ bodies — or aren’t, in the case of cosmetic procedures (you wouldn’t want to shoot Botox into a vein). AccuVein’s Vinny Luciano said 40% of IVs miss on the first stick, and the numbers get worse for children and neonates. The device in use in hospitals across the country and they estimate it’s been used on more than 10 million patients, making finding a vein on the first stick 3.5 times more likely.

Current Studios

In order to take an MRI, the patient has to be very still. This can be a difficult request of a small child. Current Studios developed a tablet game kids can play before they go in for an MRI that measures their ability to lay still for extended periods of time. Their doctors get a dashboard with their stats, and then can better determine if a child would need general anesthetics — and that’s helpful because children shouldn’t be sedated unless necessary, said Current Studios’ president Nathan Kroll.


“The majority of people who are legally blind, have some remaining vision,” said Stephen Hicks, researcher and founder of VA-ST. For many of those people, the problems they encounter have to do with recognizing faces, driving, reading, and avoiding objects in their path. The VA-ST visor is intended to be used in the daily life of those with these type of issues. So, for example, the device would create something of a stencil outline around a person’s face to help with recognition, and help improve situations with poor contrast. VA-ST is going to be tested on about 300 people in the UK in the next nine months, and potentially on the market in 2016. They were a 2014 winner of Google’s Impact Challenge.


“Make it work!” Cross-Device Websites a Must for UK Consumers

In the UK, customers’ buying habits are changing. People now use an average of three devices [1] and with 32% of them making a purchase every month on a smartphone, the UK is now the number one country in Europe for mobile shopping [1]. Now more than ever, consumers use multiple devices to search for, research and buy products while at home, in the office and on the move.

This is a huge opportunity. Certainly, brands must respond to the changing needs of their existing customers so they don’t lose their custom. On the other hand, they can win new customers, as people look for services and products motivated by their context, whether on the high street or on the sofa, browsing with whatever device is closest to hand.

To take advantage of this, your website must work well for users on smartphones, tablets and desktop computers.

Customers want the same user experience, whatever the device

To accomplish a task, 90% of people move sequentially from one device to another [2], with 67% of these moving from screen to screen while shopping. It’s surely no coincidence that as people use more devices, we see an increase in many online activities. In 2014, 83% of UK consumers use the Internet daily up – from 75% the year before. More crucially, 77% buy online today compared to 72% in 2013 [1].

In a recent interview with us, Dixons Retail highlighted a huge growth in customers visiting their site across devices, from browsing products to using mobile when picking up goods from the store. “Nearly twice as many reservations come from mobile devices than desktop devices, because they’re on the way, reserving the product,” says Jeremy Fennell, director of multichannel at Dixons Retail [3]. Key to their impressive results was Dixons Retail’s use of responsive design, one of the key approaches to designing websites for multiple screens, alongside a focus on mobile.

For brands to keep up with today’s customers, sites must “just work” whatever screen they happen to be on. Customers don’t want to pinch and slide the screen to view your content. And they don’t want to struggle – to get pages to load, fill out a form or make a purchase – on their smartphone.

See the below report for more details on why a mobile-friendly site is now mandatory and top tips on how to set up or improve your site for all devices.

A good user experience is critical, yet many brands neglect it and lose customers

With 67% of mobile users more likely to order from a mobile-friendly site [4], people are highly influenced by their experience of your site on different devices. A great experience means a happy customer, but provide a poor experience and you may risk losing them to your competitors. In fact, 61% of people who visit a site that’s not optimised for mobile will go elsewhere [4].

A mobile-friendly site has to be part of your overall multi-screen plan. Still, it’s a challenge for brands to deliver a great experience for all these screens and their contexts. And this is where many of today’s marketers are far behind their users.

There are three ways to make your site work on any screen

There are three main approaches: responsive web design, dynamic serving and separate sites. Many factors come into play when deciding which path to take. In the end, you know your business needs and the needs of your customers best. Our new white paper “Any Place, Any Time, Any Device [5]” offers the latest tips to succeed with all three approaches.

Some brands are starting to wake up to the opportunity and see great results

Over the last few years, the conversation around cross-device optimisation has grown louder and many brands are realising that it pays to keep ahead. So far, 58% of the top 100 advertisers have mobile-friendly sites. That figure breaks down as 11% implementing responsive web design and 47% creating separate mobile sites [6].

Using responsive web design as their multi-screen strategy, Plusnet have found it easier to maintain both content and a consistent experience. “We felt responsive web design was the best solution for developing content that will work across all devices… making it as future-proof as possible,” says Ben Fretwell, online marketing manager for Plusnet. Since launch,sales have grown tenfold on smartphones and tablets year on year [7], and time taken for users on smartphones and tablets to convert has decreased by 40%.

Having designed a mobile-optimised site in 2010, Autoglass now invest in mobile search advertising and see great returns. “We’ve seen a significant uplift in traffic, spend and bookings due to mobile search which now accounts for 23% of our total search traffic,” says Paul Kasamias [8], search director of SMG, Autoglass’ online marketing partner. Autoglass have seenmobile bookings go up by 10%, and 4,000 app downloads in 10 months as a result of the new approach.

Make your site work across devices and win more customers

More and more devices are coming to market and consumers are evermore mobile in their research and purchase habits. Brands must respond with a good experience across devices or risk losing customers. But with a user-focused, mobile-friendly website as part of a multi-screen strategy, they stand to win many more.

Now is the time to make your website work across devices, deliver for you and delight your customers.

Matt Brocklehurst
Product Marketing Manager


  1. Global enumeration study, TNS/Google, Global, Q1 2014
  2. The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-Platform Consumer Behavior, Google and Ipsos MetdiaCT, US, August 2013
  3. Multi-Screen Success Stories UK: Dixons Retail Full Interview, Google, UK, December 2013
  4. What Users Want Most From Mobile Sites Today, Google/Sterling Research/SmithGeiger, US, July 2012
  5. Any Place, Any Time, Any Device, Google, US, May 2013
  6. Mobile Site Optimisation Study III, IAB, UK, September 2013
  7. Plusnet Uses Responsive Web Design, Sees Traffic Grow 2x and Sales 10x on Smartphones and Tablets, Google, UK, August 2013
  8. Autoglass drives bookings with mobile site and mobile search ads, Google, UK, February 2014
Principles of Mobile Site Design

Principles of Mobile Site Design: Delight Users and Drive Conversions

The Rundown Consumers increasingly rely on the mobile web to research and make purchases, which makes it more important than ever for companies to have an effective mobile presence. But what makes a good mobile site? To answer this question, Google partnered with AnswerLab to research how a range of users interacted with a diverse group of mobile sites. From this research, Google established 25 principles of mobile site design to help companies build mobile sites that delight customers and drive conversions. To Review all 25 principles download the white paper here.


Tip : Hiding Smartphone Photo Location Information

Q. Is it true a smartphone can embed map coordinates in the photos you take with it?

A. Smartphones have the ability to capture a lot of information about each photo snapped, including the camera’s settings at the time and place the picture was taken. This material is commonly called “metadata” or the “EXIF data”(short for Exchangeable Image File) and it is stored within the image file itself. You can see the coordinates with a program that displays EXIF data, or even by looking at the photo’s Properties or Info box on a Windows PC or Mac.

Having this information can be great if you want to easily arrange your geotagged photos on an online map, but not if you have privacy concerns. Someone could, in theory, copy the photo’s listed longitude and latitude coordinates (like 40° 44’ 52.8” N 73° 59’ 6” W) into a program like Bing Maps and pinpoint the location in seconds. (Many social media sites, including Twitter, do strip out EXIF data from photos posted online.)

To stick with undisclosed locations, turn the GPS feature off entirely while you are taking pictures. Open your phone’s Settings icon and select Location (on Android andWindows Phone) or Privacy (on iOS 8) to get to the controls for Location Services.

If you prefer to leave the Location Services feature on because you use it for other programs, you can prevent your phone’s camera app from using the information. The steps may vary based on the phone and the app involved, but if you do not see controls for the camera app in the Location Services area, check the separate settings for the camera app.

Source : New York Times

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