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Showing posts from March, 2005

How Not To Sell Crap

I wish the sales people I know would read this...
So many sales droids keep making the same mistakes, I thought I’d put together a handy primer on how not to sell crap to me.
Imagine that the sales process is a game and you have to score 100 points to win. When you win, I buy your crap. Now, at least 50 of those points comes from "having a good product". Another 25 of those points come from "being easy to work with" which includes having a non-ridiculous price point for whatever it is you’re selling.
The final 25 points come from your company’s track record — have you ever done this before or are you making it up as you go along? A little thing that marketers like to call "success stories" is key here, as well as metrics (numbers, whatever) that demonstrate some kind of return on investment. (I realize that "ROI" is a hackneyed business droid cliche; if you like, we can rephrase it by say…

Microsoft to ditch passwords?

"Microsoft has revealed at a security panel at CeBIT that it is preparing to dump passwords in favor of two-factor authentication in forthcoming versions of Windows. "

Microsoft doesn't really have track record for integrating authentication properly into their products. The situation has improved over the last years, but there are way to many different passwords and authentication systems used. Every office application has a password-protect feature, databases are protected through built-in user management and smartcards or securIDs are not so easy to be deployed. Why can't I just assign ANY smartcard (certificate) with my windows account? I could reuse existing banking cards (even using only the serialnumber) instead of handing out additional ones.

So, this is good news.


Two factor authentication outdated?

According to the article below from The Register (quoting Bruce Schneier), two-factor authentication seems already be outdated. I believe, we should take a careful approach here: Two-factor authentication is certainly better than just user-id and password. Especially online banking in the US has been using just user-id/password and now they are paying the prize for this lax security measure. Stepping up to use onetime passwords (such as RSA SecurID or Aladin tokens) is a first step against sniffing out passwords. However, there is no such thing as complete security. But two-factor authentication is a first step. As every Information Security Officer nows, user awareness is key to increase security. By giving user a device, this awareness increases dramatically.

Link to original article.

New threats need new response
Banks are spending millions on two-factor authentication for their customers but the approach no longer provides adequate protection against fraud or identity theft, accordin…

Microsoft buys

Very interesting. I just downloaded the groove trial and it seems to be worthwhile looking at.

And it looks like Ray Ozzie will be the new CTO reporting directly to Bill Gates. Wow, I'm not sure I ever would have thought of Ray Ozzie as a Microsoft employee. It will be really interesting to see how the Groove stuff gets integrated into the rest of the Office family. Clearly there's more to this than what's on the surface. Gives you a good sense of where Microsoft wants to take Office and how they might plan to get there.[Michael Gartenberg]

Boing boing on Blinde Kuh

There is now also a "Blinde Kuh" (blind cow) restaurant in Basel. (Site in german only). There seems to be also some cultural program, including music, theater and radio plays.

Xeni Jardin:
Boing Boing reader and radio producer Adam Burke did a nifty story for NPR's Morning Edition about a restaurant in Zurich, Switzerland called the Blind Cow. Diners eat in complete darkness and are served by blind waitresses. "It's an extraordinary experience that I really loved," says Adam. Link.

Reader Anne Kinner says,

As soon as I saw this Boing Boing post, I remembered a video that I watched about Berlin in preparation for my trip there which featured a similar restaurant. I tracked it down through Google and found an article from the Financial Times (Link). The article states that the first Unsicht ("invisible bar") opened in Cologne in 2001. There seems to be quite a bit of info Google wise and is incredibly interesting. It seems, from articles and the video…