The media seems to have taken up reporting software bugs lately. Remember “Goto fail”? Now we have the Heartbleed bug. This seems to be playing out like a lame version of Pacific Rim; one monster after the next.
It would be nice if the media’s new fascination would make our software safer or protect us all. I’d like to call for equal attention to software quality, but with a higher level of maturity and sophistication. We can’t afford to be naive about the technology we rely on so much.
As a software developer, I’m often frustrated by the overly biased pressure to release software quickly. There’s often far less emphasis on quality or usability. The result is invariably poor software quality. Developing software is extremely expensive. It makes sense that companies prioritize as they do. Without making a profit, they can’t exist to do anything.
That said, we as consumers set the bar for what will and what won’t succeed in the market. If we don’t provide pressure to do better, companies will continue to churn out poor software. We need to file bug reports, participate in forums, and vote with our wallets for products with higher quality. There are many other things we can do.
We spend an increasing amount of time using our “devices”. We entrust increasingly sensitive data to software. The number of devices with Internet connectivity is increasing ever faster (see IoT). This means the number of places we can be attacked by hackers, and the number of places we are vulnerable to simple software bugs is also rapidly increasing. If you believe in Tipping Points, this one could be a doozy.
Let’s do our part to increase software quality, and even the process of making it better.
People are concerned about their privacy, says a recent poll. Check out the article for some interesting stats. If you’re not part of the 90% of users that mask their identity at least some of the time, maybe you should consider looking into it.
Check this link for some really geeky glasses. They’re being developed to protect people against facial recognition deployed in Google Glass and other technology. Reminds me a little bit of Minority Report.
It’s ironic that someone who thinks Google Glass is too goofy to wear in public may be required to wear something like this to protect themselves from Google Glass.
Never send anything confidential via email without using encryption. Exchanging tax documents with your accountant? Working with an online Mortgage company? DO NOT use email to transport this type of information in clear-text.
Check out the Collusion plugin for Mozilla/Firefox. You can get it for Chrome also. It allows you to watch who’s tracking you and control access to that data. You may be surprised. Take your privacy seriously.
Interesting what online companies take your privacy seriously. See https://www.eff.org/ for some really cool data.
This one is aimed at Android. Read on to see what kinds of things to watch out for on your device. As we increase our usage of mobile computing for convenience items such as banking and authentication, these types of threats will become more common.