Papa John’s finds out the problem with blaming the NFL for its poor sales

On Papa John’s most recent earnings call, its CEO and founder John H. Schnatter blamed poor results in part on controversies surrounding the NFL, which the restaurant chain sponsors. Stepping into the middle of a political controversy was a mistake. So was clumsily trying to walk it back on Twitter. What Papa John’s said on … Continued

EA’s mistake on Reddit: Defending how it manipulates gamers

Game company EA is about to release Star Wars Battlefront II,¬†but you won’t get to play Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader right away. On Reddit, the company defended of its policy to require payment or many hours of gameplay to unlock those characters. Reddit users responded to the EA statement with a record number of … Continued

How can Louis C.K. be honest and awful at the same time?

Five women accused comedian Louis C.K. of sexual abuse. Unlike most people in this situation, he denied nothing and took responsibility. So how did he still get it wrong? According to the New York Times, since 2002, Louis C.K. has on several different occasions asked women he worked with permission to masturbate in front of … Continued

Protecting your backend from jargon-laced error messages

Code that goes wrong generates errors. It’s typical for developers to spend their time on the code, not on the error messages. This is a plea to put a little more effort into those messages, even if you think no one will see them. Unknown attackers¬†ambushed the Boston Globe site with a DDOS (distributed denial … Continued

Did Kevin Spacey just post the worst apology ever?

Anthony Rapp, the actor now appearing on “Star Trek: Discovery,” says Kevin Spacey sexually assaulted him when he was 14. Kevin Spacey apologized by saying he was gay. This is wrong on so many levels. Rapp was a child actor appearing on Broadway in 1986. As he told BuzzFeed News, he remembers going to Spacey’s … Continued

The challenge with how Reddit is shutting down violent speech

Reddit clarified its policy to ban speech that “encourages, glorifies, incites, or calls for violence or physical harm.” Sounds great, but as always with free-speech issues, the lines between acceptable and awful are fuzzy. Reddit has a challenging history to deal with. Among mainstream public social platforms, it has been the most tolerant of extreme … Continued

The DFJ case: When should we believe a woman who claims sexual harassment?

Sexual harassment claims tend to come down to “he said, she said.” Is venture firm DFJ’s founder Steve Jurvetson a predator or a victim? Let’s look at the dueling statements. The accusation Entrepreneur Keri Kukral posted this on Facebook: Threshold reached after long contemplation. Women approached by founding partners of Draper Fisher Jurvetson should be … Continued

Can Forrester empower consumers with its Tap app?

Forrester Research, my former employer, has released a consumer app called “Tap.” The essence is simple: tell the world what businesses are doing wrong, and they’ll listen and fix it. It’s a crowded app world out there, but if this one catches on, it could make a difference. The world is filled with ratings and … Continued