Owning up to your Facebook codependency

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I’ve characterized Facebook as an addiction. I think I was wrong. After yesterday’s outage, now I think the correct way to describe our relationship with Facebook is as codependency. Codependency is “a psychological condition or a relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition.” (Merriam-Webster). … Continued

Could Facebook read encrypted messages? Would it?

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A week ago, Facebook announced a shift to focus more on messaging (or as Mark Zuckerberg designated it, Facebook’s “privacy-focused” vision). I suggested that this would allow the company to personalized its ads even more. Would this even be possible if, as the company promised, the messages would be encrypted? A guy I respect on … Continued

The 45-minute research interview

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Interviews make your reports and book chapters come alive; the more you can get, the better. To get them, you’re typically asking busy people to give you a little of their time on the phone or by video. How much time? 45 minutes. That’s my magic number, and I’ll explain why. The setup and the … Continued

What is machine learning? A psychedelic graphical journey

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You must always treat the reader’s time as more valuable than your own. That’s the Iron Imperative, and it’s just as valid for graphics as it is for text. If you find yourself endlessly fiddling with with an elaborate diagram, ask yourself, “Is this really helping?” Then get help from a decent graphic artist. When … Continued

Before you buy “The Room,” ask yourself, is your workplace hell?

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You can buy your own office phone booth for $3495. Here is a picture. This is “The Room,” which has apparently been written up in The New York Times, Time, and Business Insider. It is soundproof, ventilated with a “discreet fan,” mobile, and made out of recycled plastic bottles. Two people can put it together … Continued

How Facebook’s “privacy-focused vision” will further violate your privacy

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Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced a major strategy shift towards messaging and “privacy.” Don’t be fooled. It’s not about making you feel safer — at all. At the center of this two-step are two different definitions of privacy. When you think about privacy, you are thinking “I don’t want my private information shared.” That’s not what … Continued

Some better questions for Goop’s Gwyneth Paltrow

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The New York Times interviewed Gwyneth Paltrow, CEO of the $250 million wellness site Goop. She’s a charlatan selling snake oil, but the Times can’t decide whether to call her on it or be nice. I can. So I wrote my own interview questions. David Gelles’s interview for the “Corner Office” column highlights CEOs. Because … Continued

The last chapter of your business book

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How do you end your business book? Many just fizzle. Here’s how to leave your readers on a high note. I already wrote about how the first chapter is the scare-the-crap-out-of-you chapter. And I explained how to write all the other chapters. But once you’ve said all you need to say, what’s left to say? … Continued