“Promoting Public Confidence”

Some call it security theater. Others talk about “promoting public confidence.” From a Scientific American article about an eventual flu pandemic: Screening incoming travelers for flu symptoms, for instance, “lacks proven health benefit,” the grou…

Some call it security theater. Others talk about “promoting public confidence.”From a Scientific American article about an eventual flu pandemic: Screening incoming travelers for flu symptoms, for instance, “lacks proven health benefit,” the group concluded, although they acknowledged that countries might do it anyway to promote public confidence. Similarly, they were skeptical that public fever screening, fever hotlines or fever clinics would do much to slow the spread of the disease.

When do they compete on value?

This quote from the IHT hits the point: One angry “customer reviewer” of Van Zant’s album put it another way on Amazon.com: “Boycott Sony!” he wrote. “It looks like it’s now safer to download pirated copies than to buy CDs!!” The music labels are …

This quote from the IHT hits the point: One angry “customer reviewer” of Van Zant’s album put it another way on Amazon.com: “Boycott Sony!” he wrote. “It looks like it’s now safer to download pirated copies than to buy CDs!!”The music labels are on an expensive quest to reduce the value that they offer for the money they are paid. Music that you can’t copy on (or off) your ipod. CDs that don’t work in your car. Costly mobile content that expires together with this year’s mobile device. CDs that hack or damage your computer.The competition between labels and black market downloads is no longer just about price: It’s about the value offered. When downloads are universally useful (by just being MP3s), safer than CDs bought in the shop, and less of a hassle than walking to a shop or using a legal download service — where’s the value proposition that should drive customers to get music through legal channels?

Phishing by Phax

The most fascinating phishing message in a long time is aimed at Barclays’ customers. It’s remarkable for moving away from fake web pages: Instead, it squats on UK area code 870 phone numbers used by Barclays’ by trying to convince recipients to f…

The most fascinating phishing message in a long time is aimed at Barclays’ customers. It’s remarkable for moving away from fake web pages: Instead, it squats on UK area code 870 phone numbers used by Barclays’ by trying to convince recipients to fax a ton of personal information to a country code 870 phone number — an Inmarsat fax number, it seems. The difference that you can spot is a single digit 0 more in front of the fax number.The fax form itself includes bullet points with good advice on how to avoid web-based phishing attacks.