The problem here is that human beings, as a general rule, stink at assessing intangible risk, and even when it is demonstrated to us in no uncertain terms, we do little to rectify it. Free search engines that value your privacy exist. Why don’t people switch? Conditioning to Google and the expected search result quality, and sheer laziness (most likely some combination of the two). Why didn’t people flock from Facebook to Diaspora or other alternatives when Facebook screwed with privacy options? Laziness, convenience, and most likely, the presence of a perceived valuable network of connections.

via GetWired.com

Is the Web really free?

on the Web

So Italy launches three times as many startups compared to San Francisco and has a third of the institutional investors in Silicon Valley? Holy sh*t: Startup paradise! Well … not really. And while the numbers may be correct, quality and quantity are two very different things. I know something about it: Since January 2010 I’ve cofounded two startups and invested in 10 others, occasionally mentoring dozens more (mostly in the 500Startups network).

- Italy has one of the highest unemployment rates of Europe. It’s a staggering 43.3% for people below 25 years (yep, you read it right). That’s a scary figure, and it’s of course deeply connected with the political situation of the country. When startups are all the rage, “being an entrepreneur” is the new “being unemployed”. Easy as that.
Armando Biondi, VentureBeat.com

Sorry, but Italy is no startup paradise

on the Web

Technology leadership is not defined by patents, which history has repeatedly shown to be small protection indeed against a determined competitor, but rather by the ability of a company to attract and motivate the world’s most talented engineers. We believe that applying the open source philosophy to our patents will strengthen rather than diminish Tesla’s position in this regard.
Tesla Motors, Inc.

All Our Patent Are Belong To You

FLOSS, Hardware

designing User Interfaces for Your Mother

on the Web

It happens about once or twice a year. I travel over to my mother’s house for a visit and, about two or three hours in, she says something like:

Hey, can you take a look at my computer? I just want to make sure everything is okay with it. You know I don’t know what I’m doing.

She’s right. She doesn’t know what she’s doing. She wants to, though.

And that’s what brings her and millions of people like her to the websites we create every day. They fumble frustratedly through signup forms, hidden gestures, and confusing interfaces. As designers and developers, it’s our responsibility to make our websites not only useable, but enjoyable enough to come back to again and again.

Here are a few things I try to keep in mind about my mother when I’m designing a new website or interface

An interesting read by Tony Gines on the pages of Medium: designing User Interfaces for Your Mother. I personally think that this kind “goal” in the design process, should be extended to everything we build.

Offscreen Magazine n°7

Life

While Kai was announcing the freshly pressed release of Offscreen Magazine n°8, I had to force myself and abandon the daily RSS reading routine to finish the 7th issue on my bedside table.

If I had to choose I’d say that the most interesting interviews were the ones to Jake Nickell of Threadless fame, and Scott Thomas, full of inspirational thoughts on the technologies in our lifes.

Also, Chase Adam’s story on WATSI made me believe there’s some really gold mine under the ‘tech startup’ babbling over the blogosphere, and stuff that can be truly done to improve people’s life…