Tuesday, February 28, 2012

iOS Contact Photos appearing by 'magic'

I was a little frustrated to find that I'd been entering contacts by default into a group "All on my iPhone" so they weren't sync'ing to my other address books. And with iOS 5.0.1 it's not possible to move contacts between fro u ps. But that's for another rant.

I've started the rather boring manual process of re-entering my contacts so they end up in the group(s) I want, and I'm tidying up information at the same time. To make life a little easier I'm keeping the iPhone Contacts open, and adding entries to Contacts on the iPad.

However, I'm surprised to discover that some, not all, of the contacts I enter suddenly appear with the person's photo, even though I've not added it. I can't work out where they're coming from and so far there's no pattern I can see: it's not like I've ever used the iPad to login to Facebook, and not all the records with a photo are for people with a Twitter account.

What's going on? How does the iPad Contacts app get these photos? Are they all for people who have an iPhone or iPad?

Update: it looks like this is a feature of the iOS 5 integration with Twitter. See Apple's feature announcement about Twitter at Contacts applies your friends’ Twitter usernames and profile pictures.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Computer security when travelling

Thanks to @schneierblog for quoting advice for the mobile traveller who 'leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves [home] and wipes clean the minute he returns. In [country], he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery, for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "[they] are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop."'

All well and good, but the comments point out that we need equal concern about security from corporate espionage at 'home' as well as 'abroad.' And that all we can do is limit risks, not eliminate them: there is always a chink of opportunity that can be exploited.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Business product or service

Assuming you've engaged your audience with the Executive Summary then readers will want to plunge straight into a description of your planned product or service offering(s).

This is the place to flesh out what you propose to do for customers and how you'll do it. Remember, it doesn't have to be a 'new wheel' - the people who brought McDonalds and Starbucks to new countries built on the shoulders of those who'd pioneered the models in America; they didn't have to invent the entire concept from scratch. But your product or service absolutely does have to meet a felt need in the market you're intending to address. You'll explore the size and nature of that market in a later section of the business Plan.

For now, describe enough of the product and service to identify what you're going to do and to give evidence that you know how you're going to do it: what you already can do, and how you're going to develop it as time goes by. This last point is very important because markets and technologies don't stand still. Something that might be right to sell now will need to develop and change as time goes by and it's important to show some initial appreciation of things you might want to do to develop your position.

Rest easy, though, that the Business Plan is meant to be a living document that changes over time and you will put flesh on those bones when the time is right. For now, readers of the plan will want to know your thoughts about how things might unfold.