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Thanksgiving Online Sales To Top $1.7B, 26% Of Purchases Made On Mobile


Thanksgiving is now in full swing in the U.S., and while many are focused on food and football, some are turning their attention online to kick off their holiday shopping.

Adobe, which has tracked 100 million visits to some 4,500 retail sites so far today (including 80% of all online transactions from the top 100 U.S. retailers), says that over $1 billion has been spent so far online, and that the final figure is on track to be $1.7 billion — growth of 22% compared to Thanksgiving a year ago, with Star Wars being one of the big brands driving sales.

“Thanksgiving Day online sales continue to trend ahead of expectation as we head into the evening hours, when mobile shopping comes back into the mix,” said Tamara Gaffney, principal analyst, Adobe Digital Index. “We expect the day to come in up 22% YoY at over $1.7 billion, driven by stronger than expected toy sales due to Star Wars items and much higher shopping via email promotions (+25% YoY).”

Meanwhile, IBM — which also tracks sales across thousands of websites in the U.S. — is publishing real-time numbers showing how people are buying online. As of 3 PM Pacific time today, the average value per order has been $142.55. As a point of comparison, a year ago, IBM said the average order value was $125.25; and in 2013, it was $132.

Black Friday — that is, tomorrow — is thought by many as the traditional start to the shopping season. But, on a day when most stores are closed (or people may be pelted with uncooked stuffing for suggesting trips outside to shop in the ones that are open), retailers like Walmart and Amazon are already promoting deals. Adobe says that the average discount on goods today was 24% and that this number will grow as more Black Friday deals are released.

If anything, it looks like the online holiday shopping sales bug is creeping in earlier and earlier.

IBM says that online sales the day before Thanksgiving were up by 35% compared to the same day a year ago, with average value per order up by $9.10. (As comparison, U.S. e-commerce sales overall are only expected to go up by 14% this year compared to last, so 35% is high).

Taken together, yesterday’s and today’s numbers indicate not only that more more of us are shopping online, but we are spending more in the process. We’ll have to see how those numbers bear out over the next days and weeks before saying whether this is a sign of people getting in early and dropping off, or whether this is a bellwether for a strong season overall.

Overall, the period is projected to bring in between $70 billion $95 billion in e-commerce sales.

Mobile shopping in force

Yesterday, comScore published some numbers predicting that mobile would account for less than 17% of all sales in November and December ($11.7 billion out of $70 billion); but that it would represent nearly all the growth. IBM’s numbers today so far are actually improving on those projections. It says that just under 28% of all sales are being made on mobile devices. And mobiles are also account for just under half (48%) of all e-commerce traffic — that is, browsing for goods if not buying outright.

Adobe, on the other hand, is reporting slightly lower numbers for mobile. It says that $283 million in sales have come mobile devices so far this Thanksgiving, with smartphones accounting for 15% of that and tablets 11%. Adobe says this is a big leap over last year’s 18% but actually lower than the 29% it had expected “but will pick up again during Thanksgiving dinner time.”


Significantly, IBM’s numbers are actually down on a year ago, when mobile took one-third of all Thanksgiving day sales and more than half of all site traffic. (Remember we still have most of the day to get through, however.)

As you can see from the graphic below, IBM’s numbers indicate that iOS continues to be the stronger platform when it comes to attracting consumers who will actually buy on their smartphones or tablets compared to Android, and other platforms like Windows don’t appear to be significant enough to figure at all.

Screen Shot 2015-11-26 at 17.05.56

But before you start thinking that mobile sounds like the way forward, note that IBM’s figures indicate an average conversion rate right now of just 2%, with desktop visits on average providing nearly double percentage points over mobile.

Updated with more detail from Adobe and IBM.

Featured Image: Olin Gilbert/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE

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Immerse Me: How To Get Lost In A Story (Story Not Required)


Alexis Wichowski is an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia University.

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The media we use to tell stories has evolved considerably in the millennia since our ancestors swapped their first campfire tales. Regardless of the form stories take, the storyteller always has the same goal: to transport an audience — get people to stop thinking about the here and now and focus on the world of the story.

Despite all advances in storytelling media, there has only been one surefire way to achieve that goal: Tell a really, really good story.

Not anymore. Immersive media — virtual reality, augmented reality, participant-integrated theater and other kinds of whole-sensory engaging experiences — have begun allowing storytellers to transport their audiences, even without a great story. In fact, using immersive media, they no longer need a story at all.

“Immersive media” is a broad term that may conjure different mental pictures for different people — a headset worn by gamers for some, an interactive theater experience like Sleep No More for others. Regardless of how people experience immersive media, through a headset or in a physical space, the goal is the same: totally engage the senses, with no peripheral reminders of the outside world.

To understand what we mean, imagine sitting on your sofa. You close your eyes and put on a VR headset. You open your eyes to a forest. The image doesn’t sit on a screen halfway across the room, with the family cat and yesterday’s newspaper in your field of vision. Instead, it completely and totally surrounds you. You can sit, stand, lay down, roll around — the scene doesn’t go away. Turn left, and you’ll discover a trickling creek. Turn right, there’s a deer. What’s more, when the deer notices you, it darts off into the distance.

Not all immersive media is this good, of course — though both the technology and staged experiences available today are better than they’ve ever been. But quality isn’t really the point.

What’s important about immersive media is how it helps us understand the basic human desire to lose ourselves. While it has always been clear that humans like stories that help us do this, only recently have scientists really understood the neurological mechanisms that explain why.

These are precisely the mechanisms evaluated by new research on media impact, a relatively new interdisciplinary field that, in its most robust form, combines neuroscience, cognitive psychology and media scholarship. And studies in this field are starting to yield intriguing insights.

For instance, we’ve long known that stories engage us mentally. But the mechanisms explaining how and why are only recently being uncovered. One mechanism at work is the way stories activate the sensation of action — even while physically at rest. For instance, researchers at Yale University used fMRI scans to examine brain activity during story reading. The study, published in Neuropsychologia in 2010, showed that while reading fiction with action words, test subjects’ brain activity that corresponded with action lit up.

Conversely, the brain scans of a second group of subjects given fiction without action words showed little or no such activity. In other words, just reading stories describing action was enough to activate a sense of movement within the subjects, despite that they themselves were sitting down.

Another reason people want to get lost in stories is because doing so makes us feel good. In a 2012 study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, a group of neuroscientists from Germany and Switzerland teamed up to examine whether readers’ enjoyment of stories was tied to valence — whether the content was pleasant, neutral or unpleasant.

Using fMRI scans, the researchers discovered that subjects were immersed even by unpleasant stories, including narratives about crimes, disasters, accidents or, as the report describes, “content comparable to the content of daily news stories” (in fact, there was evidence that subjects found such stories even more compelling than pleasant ones).

While one could infer something about Schadenfreude here, the researchers’ explanation was much less cynical: Readers like stories when they feel engaged by them. Whether the story is pleasant, neutral or unpleasant matter doesn’t really matter. Readers simply enjoy the feeling of being engaged by a story.

Just because immersive media can engage this kind of intense attention, even without a story, doesn’t mean storytellers should give up. Without some sort of narrative, even a fascinating immersive landscape might get boring pretty fast.

The real promise for immersive media is in combining the two — telling great stories in the intense, sensory engagement of a total story world. And there’s a vanguard of storytellers — filmmakers, theater producers, game designers and writers — already hard at work doing just that.

External evidence suggests they’re wise to do so: Traditional media, according to polls, is starting to lose its audience. According to Nielsen’s The Total Audience Report: Q1 2015, television watching by 18-24 year olds — a group who historically has been seen as a sort of weathervane for entertainment consumption — dropped 17 percent in the first quarter of 2015.

This follows a three-year downward trend: Since 2011, TV watching by 18-24 year olds plunged by 32 percent — almost one-third. And this reflects not only their move away from traditional viewing platforms, such as actual TV screens, but across all platforms — including streaming content via smartphone and gaming devices.

To be sure, the youth demographic hardly represents the entire story-consuming population. And the media industry has been heralding the arrival of immersive media for a very long time, only to see very little actually materialize.

“Virtual reality” was first introduced in 1934 in the science fiction tale Pygmalion’s Spectacles, followed decades later by Morton Heilig’s mechanical theater experience the Sensorama in 1962. The first VR headset was released to the public all the way back in 1991, by Sega. In short, immersive media has been “the next big thing” for a very long time.

But there are signs that, this time, immersive media might be ready for its moment. The tech industry is investing heavily in immersion devices — and in amounts that suggest they’re expecting far more than a niche-market audience.

Facebook spent $2 billion to acquire VR-headset industry leader Oculus in early 2014. Google paid half a billion dollars for “cinematic reality” maker Magic Leap a few months later, following an undisclosed amount of investments in its augmented-reality device Google Glass and its low-cost VR viewer Google Cardboard. With a planned rollout for Oculus VR headsets in early 2016, immersive media will become an option not only for gamers and technophiles, but for anyone looking to easily, quickly and even storylessly, get lost in a story world.

We will always need great stories. We will always want to be transported outside of our day-to-day experience. And the ways we’ve done this up to now — swapping tales over drinks, tuning into a favorite radio show on the drive home, bringing a friend to a film that we know will make us cry — won’t be replaced by immersive media.

But immersive media, combined with great stories, offers promise for experiences unlike anything we’ve seen before. And through studying how both traditional and new forms of media work, we stand to learn more about ourselves, as individuals and societies, than ever before.

Featured Image: jannoon028/Shutterstock

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R.I.P. Kathyrn Gould: VC Pioneer, Straight Shooter, Lover of Curse Words


Earlier this year, I had the great pleasure of interviewing Kathyrn Gould, one of the very first women venture capitalists, and surely the sassiest.

She also had — and may still have — among the better track records in venture investing history.

Gould passed away earlier today after a battle with cancer, and it’s a surely a loss for everyone who knew her well. (I know I’m very sad that I’ll never have the chance to talk with her again.)

Read part of that interview from this past February, and you’ll have the tiniest appreciation for why she was so #*# fantastic — and so widely revered by many in Silicon Valley.





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The Accessibility Of The iPhone 6s


With each passing year, Apple releases a new iPhone. And with each passing year, I’m faced with the question of upgrading.

On one hand, I want to be practical and save money. My phone still works great and runs the latest version of iOS without limitation, so it’s not imperative that I upgrade.

On the other hand, the nerd in me wants the new phone for all the new functionality that comes with it. (Not to mention the fact that, as a writer who covers Apple at close range, my livelihood depends on keeping up with the latest and greatest.) It’s the quintessential first-world problem, to be sure, but the dilemma is real.

Steven Aquino is a freelance tech writer and iOS accessibility expert.

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Much has been written about 2015 being another “s” year for the iPhone. Generally speaking, these phones retain the prior model’s exterior design, but are fitted internally with better, faster guts. In my experience, the “s” models have been among the best iPhones I’ve ever owned, due in large part to the advent of groundbreaking new technologies. The iPhone 4s in 2011 introduced Siri; two years later, in 2013, the iPhone 5s brought with it Touch ID. Not only were these features cool and exciting — so much so, in fact, that I upgraded solely for them — but, accessibility-wise, they made using my phone easier than ever before.

The new iPhone 6s with 3D Touch continues this trend. I used a review unit from Apple as my everyday phone for several weeks and, in my time testing it, have found it to be yet another stellar ‘s’ year update.

My aim with this article is to critique the iPhone 6s from the perspective of a person with disabilities, focusing on aspects of the phone which I feel influence its accessibility.

Using And Carrying The iPhone 6s

I’ve argued in the past that although conventional wisdom dictates that accessibility mostly refers to software, it applies just as aptly to hardware. The kinesthetic value of an iPhone — how it feels to hold and use it — is just as important as the accessibility of the software it runs. As someone with both vision and physical motor impairments, it’s equally important that my phone, as an object, be as comfortable in my hand as possible.

Compared to my personal iPhone 6, the 6s is identical in appearance and feels just as good in my hand. There are differences, however. Other reviewers have suggested that the increase in weight from the 6 to the 6s, caused by the addition of the Taptic Engine sensors, is barely noticeable. I disagree with that notion. I find the increased weight of the 6s to be very noticeable. It isn’t so pronounced that it negatively impacts usage, but it’s there. In other words, the 6s isn’t heavy, per se, but there is more heft to it than the 6.

Another difference between the 6 and 6s is the material from which it’s made. Apple says the new phone is made out of 7000 Series aluminum, touting it as “the same grade of aluminum used in the aerospace industry.” Like my 6, I prefer to keep the 6s in a case (a midnight blue silicone case, also on loan) for protection and added grip. (Grip is key, as the weaker muscles I have caused by cerebral palsy make me prone to dropping things.)

Sans case, however, the 6s is definitely “tackier” than its predecessor; the metal has a different texture to it. Despite this texture helping me hold the phone more securely, I feel better using a case. As the old saying goes, better to be safe than sorry.

The 6s Plus deserves mention here, as well. Over the last several months, I’ve seen many peers on Twitter and on podcasts extol the virtues of the iPhone 6 Plus, saying that its higher density screen and longer battery life are such revelations that they traded up from the regular 6. This made me question which 6s I wanted to test, as I thought about trying the Plus again. Then I remembered what I wrote on TidBITS:

As I was testing the iPhone 6 Plus and taking notes for this review, the phrase that kept coming to mind was “good enough.” The regular iPhone 6 is substantially larger than any iPhone before it, but it still feels like an iPhone. From an accessibility perspective, its 4.7-inch screen is plenty big and bright, but the iPhone 6 is also more manageable to hold and carry around. It has some issues, but it’s good enough.

Though I may revisit the Plus in the future, its main problem for me today is the Faustian bargain it presents. Yes, the Plus offers me the larger screen and other advantages, but I get an unwieldy phone as a consequence. If my vision were the only disability I needed to accommodate, the choice would be simple. The thing is, I have physical motor issues to consider, too. The Plus is a beast that’s difficult for my hands to tame. Put together, these factors make the question of which trade-offs I’m willing to accept more complicated — agonizingly so, since my eyes love the Plus’s screen.

Right now, the regular 6s is the better choice all around. While I do miss the Plus’s bigger, higher resolution screen, better battery, and optical image stabilization, the regular 6s remains good enough. It’s easier to use one-handed and carry around. Most of all, it still feels like an iPhone, as opposed to the “iPad Nano” feel of its big brother.

3D Touch

3D Touch is the hallmark feature of the iPhone 6s, and I’m a fan. Apple bills 3D Touch as “the next generation of Multi-Touch,” and it works very well — for the most part. There are two parts to 3D Touch: Quick Actions and Peek Pop. Both features are very well done, but Quick Actions has proven to be more of an accessibility aid than Peek Pop in my usage.

Quick Actions work pretty much exactly how I hypothesized. They really are shortcuts to commonly used actions, which saves me from the tedium of multiple taps. More critically, these shortcuts save my eyes and fingers from expelling so much energy in finding and pressing the button to, say, post a picture to Instagram. It seems like a trivial thing, but it makes a huge difference for those with special needs who may take longer to navigate an app’s UI. I appreciate the efficiency boon Quick Actions offers as much as anyone, but that it’s also a bona fide accessibility gain is icing on the cake.

So far, the majority of my Quick Actions usage comes from some of the iPhone’s built-in apps: Messages, Mail, Camera and Phone. (My favorite is Messages, as it gives you access to your three most recent conversations.)

As for App Store apps, as a heavy user of both Twitter and Facebook, I enjoy using Quick Actions to quickly post a tweet or update my status, respectively. Furthermore, I enjoy being able to quickly import a photo to VSCO Cam for editing, as well as adding new calendar events in Fantastical. Conversely,  there are apps that I hope add 3D Touch support soon. For example, it’d be great if I could jump to my favorite groups in Slack or request a ride in Uber with a simple Quick Action.

One third-party app that makes particularly good use of 3D Touch is Voice Dream Writer, by indie developer Winston Chen. Voice Dream Writer is a Markdown text editor for iOS (and Android) that lets users write using their voice, along with typing. The app also will read text aloud, which is helpful for proofreading.

Accessibility-wise, Voice Dream Writer is notable in two ways: Not only does it support 3D Touch, but it makes writing prose easier for blind and visually impaired writers. It’s useful for the non-disabled too, who may like to use speech-to-text or just tire of constantly mashing on a keyboard.

3d touch photos

I had the chance to speak with Chen by phone recently about Voice Dream Writer and how it leverages 3D Touch. He told me he feels 3D Touch is most beneficial to VoiceOver users, as he believes VoiceOver and 3D Touch working together provides an enriched experience. Chen also explained how users can use a force-press to adjust fast-forwarding, whereby a hard press on the fast-forward button will double the speed. If you lighten your touch, the speed returns to normal, a behavior similar to that of old cassette players. It’s a very clever implementation of 3D Touch.

3D Touch is made even more accessible by its deep integration with many of iOS’s accessibility features. Specifically, Apple has engineered 3D Touch to work with VoiceOver, Large Dynamic Type, Switch Control, and AssistiveTouch. (Also of note: It’s possible to bring up Quick Actions when using Zoom.) VoiceOver users are able to use standard VoiceOver gestures to cycle through a list of Quick Actions, as well as “peeked” content, such as maps and URLs.

Regarding Large Dynamic Type, I tested this by setting text size to smallest and biggest, respectively, and the Quick Actions interface responded accordingly. Switch Control users are able to assign various movements to invoke a 3D Touch action. Finally, AssistiveTouch users are able to define a 3D Touch press in the AssistiveTouch menu.

Beyond the individual accessibility features, Apple has added global 3D Touch settings to the Accessibility preferences (Settings General  Accessibility  3D Touch) on the new iPhones. Users are able to adjust the pressure sensitivity of the display in three increments: Light, Medium, Firm. There’s also a nice picture of flowers that is used to test the sensitivity of presses. Press it, and the photo will pop up; let go, and it goes away.

Having fiddled with these settings, I’ve settled on Light as my preferred level. I don’t relish the idea of jamming my finger into the screen, so I like that a delicate touch does the trick. I can see Light (or even Medium) being popular with those who suffer from RSI or other muscle-affecting conditions.

As for Peek Pop, my opinion is less effusive. As I wrote earlier, I think Quick Actions is more attuned to accessibility. Peek Pop feels more like a feature of convenience, though I do enjoy peeking into albums in Apple Music and photos in Instagram. (Also nice: the swipe-up gesture to reveal available actions. Examples include liking a photo on Instagram and acting on an email.) It reminds me of Quick Look on OS X. I wish you could zoom in on a Mail message to read it, for instance; then again, you can zoom by just “popping” into full screen and using pinch-to-zoom. Still, it’d be nice if you could double-tap to zoom in the preview.

Overall, I’m bullish on 3D Touch. Like with Markdown and Apple Pay, 3D Touch is one of those things that isn’t  created expressly for accessibility, but is designed so well that everyone can use it without needing special modes or settings. My hope is that it eventually makes its way to iPad, and I’m interested in trying Force Touch on the Mac. It’s early days yet for 3D Touch — I find myself pressing on every icon to see if more third-party apps support it.

My only gripes would be that I get frustrated by inadvertently activating “jiggle mode” (to move/delete apps) when I mean to access 3D Touch. Also, I think Apple missed an opportunity to borrow the force-press-to-clear-notifications gesture from Apple Watch. It’s a natural fit for 3D Touch, but alas, it isn’t there. It’s a curious omission on Apple’s part.

I wish it existed on iPhone because, in accessibility terms, the current method of clearing Notification Center is a chore. This is due to the X and Clear buttons being small to see and tap, which results in eye strain and requires a level of fine-motor precision I don’t have. (There’s also the convenience: Two taps are needed to clear notifications on the phone, whereas you press once on the watch.)


I’ve been very pleased by how much Siri has improved, and for good reason. Siri is much more adept at quickly and accurately parsing my commands. This improvement is made even more impressive considering I have a speech impediment. As a stutterer, Siri has historically been frustratingly bad at understanding me, so its progression is refreshing.

On the iPhone 6s, Siri is better in a couple of ways. First, Apple has added a tutorial whereby you train Siri to learn your voice, using queries such as “Hey Siri, what’s the weather like today?” This accomplishes two things: It prevents other voices from accidentally prompting Siri, and, more importantly, it opens the door to hands-free communication. From a technical standpoint, Apple told me “Hey, Siri” is made possible by the M9 motion co-processor being built directly onto the A9 chipset. (Previously, the co-processors were discrete chips.)

Second, that Siri on the new iPhones is hands-free and ever-present has an obvious accessibility benefit. For users with physical motor delays, the act of pressing and holding the Home button for Siri may be problematic — this may be due to reduced dexterity or low muscle tone. The iPhone 6s, however, alleviates those problems. It’s now possible to interact with Siri simply by voice, making it more accessible and inclusive than ever.

At a macro level, the addition of “Hey, Siri” marks a significant step forward for Siri’s usefulness as an accessibility tool. Not only is it improving technically at recognizing non-standard speech patterns like mine, it also is removing literal friction for those with motor issues by allowing someone with a 6s to summon Siri without touching the Home button. I’ve long maintained Siri has great potential as an assistive technology, and its recent advancements move it closer to fully realizing that power.


Battery life on the iPhone 6s seems on par with that of the iPhone 6, but it should be better. In my mind, if there’s one reason for Apple to boost battery performance on the iPhone, it would be screen brightness.

As someone with low vision, I absolutely need my iPhone’s (and my other devices’) screen to be set at max brightness, as it’s easiest for me to see the screen. The first thing I do with every new device I get is crank up the screen brightness; to me, max brightness is a de facto accessibility feature. Of course, the trade-off is that my battery takes a hit from having to keep the screen so bright all day long.

Toning down the brightness to preserve juice is an untenable compromise; I need all that light in order to use my phone effectively. Nonetheless, I admit to feeling pangs of guilt because I know my phone’s battery has to work harder. Hence, a bigger battery would make me feel better about having my screen so bright.

I can’t imagine being the only one who needs maximum screen brightness, and I *know* I’m not the only one wanting a better battery. It seems battery technology improves at glacial speed, but I think it would behoove Apple’s battery team to address this. Maybe next year.

iPhone 6s Phone Rear

Some Random Observations

As others have reported, the new iPhones are crazy fast. Touch ID is especially impressive; it’s so fast now that I have to remind myself to use the Sleep/Wake button when checking the Lock screen.

“Trackpad mode” with one finger is easier to maneuver than on the iPad, which requires two fingers. I don’t use it, though, because I find the cursor to be too small to see comfortably.

I don’t like using 3D Touch to access the multitasking UI. It’s uncomfortable, so I instead double-click the Home button.

Speaking of 3D Touch, I love the feedback you get when an app doesn’t have Quick Actions. It’s as if the system is telling you, “uh-uh,” in a way similar to the wrong password “head shake.” Both are great examples of delight and playfulness in UI design.

The vibration motor, powered by the Taptic Engine, is great. It has a more pleasant, almost soothing feeling than the old kind did.

The camera is phenomenal yet again.

The ad, “The Only Thing That’s Changed Is Everything,” is awesome. It’s fun, light-hearted, and perfectly captures what’s new about the iPhone.

Bottom Line

I wrote at the outset of this piece about the “dilemma” of upgrading my iPhone every year. The logic against doing so is and will always be valid, but the truth is that updates like the iPhone 6s makes my decision a no-brainer.

The reason I want to upgrade my phone so often isn’t so much because I’m a nerd or I need it for my job. It’s because my iPhone is the “remote control” of my life. My phone is an indispensable tool, and I want the best tool.

The iPhone 6s fits the bill. It’s the best, most accessible remote control yet.

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Putting Money Into Security


I’ve long been immersed in the world of technology — as a hobbyist, a venture capitalist, a board member and now as a CEO. But looking back at key segments of my personal investment history, I’m struck by the story it tells about security. Yes, information security — it may just be the most dynamic sector of this dynamic market.

That doesn’t mean the security discipline has followed a meticulous plan. In fact, it’s often charted a parallel course to two distinct trends: the hot new technology, and the most current threat. Investment opportunities in this area have gone this way, too.

It all started with point solutions. Technology professionals and their most tech-savvy customers would identify specific pain points — often after the problem had taken its toll — and developers would come up with solutions to guard against it. This was like the proverbial Little Dutch Boy trying to plug holes in the dike. (Sadly, many infrastructures still rely heavily on these isolated niche solutions.) Perhaps effective in the early days of the security market, this strategy is now far from adequate; even with some holes plugged, the dike remained leaky…and I’d argue it’s becoming more leaky.

So, the industry moved on to event detection and incident response. The goal was to sniff out individual trouble spots as soon as a real problem arose and put corrective measures in place, and/or respond more effectively when a vulnerability was exploited. In the process, security became a more strategic part of software development and deployment, but still an “add-on” — not core to the strategic information technology that runs a business.

I’ve been immersed in this field a long time, and I’ve seen how these features were built into software designed for other purposes. I was an early investor in (and a board member of) Spyglass, a name that will likely resonate with tech historians. It was one of the first HTML browsers to hit the market, and that was before the Internet really entered mainstream consciousness. By design, it had security layers built in.

Of course, many non-tech professionals will know what Spyglass became — the mighty Microsoft OEM’d the software, then made it available for free as Internet Explorer. It helped dethrone the previous browser champion, Netscape, and essentially commoditized the browser market over night.

But then things got more interesting, because as networks increasingly connected people and businesses, ever-greater amounts of content began to flow everywhere and stored online. So, the investment focus turned toward the next critical area: firewalls.

In hindsight, this was a turning point. While networks are fundamentally designed to enable easy access — what’s the point of having data online if the people who need it can’t reach it? — the firewall is charged with gatekeeping: preventing unwanted access but also allowing proper access from the inside out and outside in.

Viruses, the earliest threat to computers, reared their ugly heads again, so firewalls were modified to perform deep-packet inspection and capture them. Black lists and filters were added. Oddly, pornography was another driver of security innovation. It’s a two-pronged problem: the network has to block incoming X-rated spam, but it also has to prevent outbound access to certain URLs (yes, business users have been known to surf porn sites while at work).

I was on to the firewall market early. From my investment perch, I scoured the market to find the best firewall companies, and there were many options from which to choose. I wasn’t just after innovation — I wanted enterprise-class software companies with a solid business plan and recorded revenue. That’s how Check Point caught my attention: It had an OEM deal with Sun, then the “backbone of the Internet.”

Moving on, we get to malware. For the uninitiated, this is a broad term that covers software with many uses, none of them good. It also brings us to the vital area of Intrusion Detection — the task of sniffing out incoming packets for suspicious characteristics. By its nature, this is an inexact science: We don’t know what we’re looking for, which inevitably leads to false positives that in volume create more problems than value. This is how Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) came to be incorporated into firewall defenses.

Inevitably, data leaks became a critical issue — sensitive information began to leave the network without authorization, and certainly without control. That led me to Vontu and its Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions. Now owned by security giant Symantec, these offerings helped organizations prevent the loss of confidential or proprietary information, regardless of where it was stored or used. In a sense, it was firewalls in reverse. I also focused on Splunk, which features the capability to identity data breaches by analyzing mountains of information with user-friendly analytics.

Over time, the security environment has evolved from isolated problem areas to sweeping threat matrices — a single attack from sophisticated cyber criminals can encompass multiple attack modes, multiple technologies and stealthy tactics. There are completely unpredictable zero-day threats, where bad actors exploit previously unknown software vulnerabilities, and Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) that go after the weakest link in any security system.

That’s why I turned my attention to FireEye, which protects against data packets that can assemble themselves — a level of sophistication that would have been unthinkable when I first started investing in security.

From my perspective, I see everything from crude (but effective) phishing attacks to sustained, multi-pronged attacks that last for months and infiltrate global infrastructures. No point product, or set of point products, can with 100 percent certainty guarantee that an attack will be prevented. That’s why security executives need to accept that their networks will be breached. It’s not a question of if, but when.

This is why we talk about network resilience — keeping the infrastructure as safe as possible from outside attacks, but also keeping the business running while under attack. Every CEO must be thinking about this; security budgets are the fastest-growing part of their IT budgets, yet attacks continue to happen more frequently and with greater impact. This is not an easy problem solved by one simple install, network redesign or army of cyber engineers.

Today, organizations need networks that are digitally resilient. This includes an accurate understanding of data flows, host access, redundancy, full back-up and, most importantly, the ability to initiate recovery measures immediately in the event of an attack.

Effective digital resilience requires a complete understanding of the infrastructure. Understanding the infrastructure requires automation, measurement and testing, then more and continuous measurement of the network and its cyber readiness.

For my part, I’ve put my money in (and currently lead) RedSeal, which offers cybersecurity analytics solutions to Global 2000 organizations to maximize their digital resilience.

Featured Image: Pavel Ignatov/Shutterstock

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essere aiutato Bounty aumentare la consapevolezza circa la necessità di ulteriori prodotti per la pulizia in classe. Chanel gioielli è classico ed elegante


Spesso i progettisti sono in grado di ottenere alcuni nuovi ispirazioni dai vecchi disegni e creare qualcosa di nuovo, che è spesso dimostrato di essere vero nel campo della moda. Come un superbo esempio, questo Chanel Reissue borsa lembo 2.55 alligatore è spesso una versione rinnovata di few.55 epoca Chanel, ma più esotico e sontuoso. Tralasciando familiare superficie trapuntata e hardware in oro-tono,
christian louboutin outlet, quello alligatore rivela un’atmosfera fresca e freddo. La borsa Chanel 2.55 è stato sviluppato da Coco Chanel nel mese di febbraio, ’55. C’è una tasca con cerniera nascosta dove Coco spesso memorizzare lettere d’amore la borsa vera e propria. La borsa regarding.55 Chanel è fatto a mano in pelle di agnello,
replica borse chanel, panno e lavare brevetto straccio. Chanel vanta il 2.55 a colori di stagione ogni anno, così come classici come marrone, avorio, bianco, nero,
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Chanel sito ufficiale, ma il panorama era meraviglioso. Il primo sito vedemmo come abbiamo trasformato in Ensenada è stato l’hotel,
hermes outlet, una volta di proprietà di Al Capone. E ‘molto di Storia Americana a Ensenada. Vorrei poter ricordare molto di più che il che significherebbe che potrei descrivere ai clienti. Si tratta di un grande edificio bianco a destra proprio il cuore nel quartiere commerciale di Ensenada. E ‘presumibilmente una delle strutture più belle della città reale mondo. A quanto pare, Capone ha questo come un hotel e bar quando Divieto ciò che il cibo era in vigore negli Stati Uniti. Ora è utilizzato per essere un nucleo convenzione. Qui può essere la storia di borsa Hermes Birkin di origine. La borsa Hermes Birkin è stato ispirato da Jane Birkin, un cantante e actor.Jane Birkin incontrato il fondatore e CEO Jean-Louis Dumas, mentre il volo per Londra. Dopo aver condiviso il suo desiderio di ottenere una borsa che può eventualmente ospitare la sua data libro Hermes cose diverse,
borse burberry prezzi, che la borsa è prodotta. Borse Hermes sono status symbol vere forme classiche e in pelle di lusso. Alcuni rivenditore online di sacchetti della replica di alta qualità, il valore di una borsa Birkin di coccodrillo autentico edizione limitata tempestato di diamanti è 120.000 $! Borse Birkin prezzo originario vanno da $ 7000 tutta la strada fino al fine di sei cifre. Kimora Lee Simmons è recato nella Alain L. Locke Elementary School di Harlem questa mattina indossava un cobalto hermes birkin blu. L’evento scuola elementare Kimora Lee Simmons ha assistito è stato il sviluppare una campagna di differenza pulita attraverso Bounty. La campagna mira a sensibilizzare l’opinione pubblica sulla necessità di creare una scuola pulita. Bounty ha trovato che il 71% degli insegnanti stanno portando i loro prodotti per la pulizia uniche all’istruzione. La campagna sta portando alla luce l’impulso per gli elementi di pulizia in aula. Kimora Lee Simmons ha aiutato a pulire la scuola oggi con genitori volontari e,
Hermes outlet, eventualmente, essere aiutato Bounty aumentare la consapevolezza circa la necessità di ulteriori prodotti per la pulizia in classe. Chanel gioielli è classico ed elegante, i gioielli fa ‘si guarda migliaia di dollari’. Tutti i diversi orecchini e collane destra fuori del blocco sono adatti sia per il giorno e da sera. Vigilanza di stile degli uomini di A è una persona di quegli accessori che esalteranno qualsiasi vestito. Molte aziende di orologi di design fanno di stile degli uomini orologi per le femmine e hanno appena adeguato mix di raggiunge maschili e femminili. Chanel riconoscendo le donne che oggi per avere le mani libere mentre frequentano le funzioni sociali progettato una cinghia doppia tracolla a catena,
Trench burberry uomo, qualcosa comune dei prodotti downmarket, ma rara nei circoli di lusso a periodo. Le catene sono stati attaccati da pelle catena-threaded inserito però occhielli. I custodi del convento è cresciuta a includono le chiavi al loro vita che penzolano da uno stesso associato con catene come collane cinghia 2.55 spalla.

Sono così legato con la maggior parte dei miei grandi borse finitura progettista hanno rivolgono a essere in grado di essere un elemento vitale della mia insegne personalizzate. La borsa Birkin è davvero una bellezza costruita a mano di squisita skillfullness. Ogni creazione in pelle considerare fino a 48 ore di cercare di completare


Trovare il jeans giusto a volte può essere un’esperienza di orrore, soprattutto se si tende più pesanti in privato. Sapere come vestirsi per la tua forma fisica può fare miracoli per la vostra esperienza armadio e l’esplorazione dello shopping una gioiosa un’attività veloce, invece di auto-critica shock. Sono di solito molte quattro forme di questa parte principale,
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borse celine luggage, rettangolare,
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borse burberry prezzi, ogni sacchetto viene con le sue benedizioni e battaglie. Siate onesti con voi stessi si sosterrà che definisce solo la sua forma, per guadagnare più soldi il vostro tipo di corpo e consigli di moda per soddisfare la vostra forma. L’Hermes Birkin è stato creato nel 1980 aveva avuto inglese attrice / cantante Jane Birkin versato il contenuto della sua over-packed, troppo piccola borsa su un progettista Hermes durante un giro in aereo comune. Microsof società. Birkin era estremamente popolare in Francia si classifiche musicali in tempo. Era diventata il nome-bene del famoso,
Chanel sito ufficiale, difficile da ottenere Hermes Birkin borsa di plastica. C’è circa un 3 anni in lista d’attesa per avere una borsa Birkin, e nessuna garanzia vostro sarà mai arrivare. Conosciuto anche come borsa della falda classico, la Chanel 2.55 è amato da quasi tutte le donne della terra. E ‘stato inventato nel febbraio del 1955, e quindi è stato chiamato 2,55 dopo la data di invenzione. Speranze grande tasca esterna sul sacchetto per cose più grandi, mentre il dentro le tasche sono eccezionali per mantenere elementi quali rossetti. Si prega di non prendere mio punto di vista nel modo sbagliato. Se non ti dispiace che trasporta una borsa subito dopo un estraneo può fare uso di esso, questo è la selezione per fare non la mia. Mi piace capire il Prada zaino nero che ho intenzione di avere bisogno di utilizzare quando sono in viaggio è completamente salvato nella sua borsa dormiente all’interno del ripostiglio cercando il mio prossimo viaggio. Per aiutare il condividendo la mia Vintage Gucci JackieO con un individuo che non ho mai incontrato,
hermes outlet, non è disposto a. L’esatto è corretto per i miei pregiati Hermes Birkin e Kelly borse del progettista. Potreste immaginare chiunque altro la creazione di vostra borsa preferita? Sono così legato con la maggior parte dei miei grandi borse finitura progettista hanno rivolgono a essere in grado di essere un elemento vitale della mia insegne personalizzate. La borsa Birkin è davvero una bellezza costruita a mano di squisita skillfullness. Ogni creazione in pelle considerare fino a 48 ore di cercare di completare, il che significa che considera settimane producono solo un originale borsa Hermes. Questo spiega il cartellino principianti prezzo borsa $ 5.000, su un massimo sulle migliaia a due cifre per i sacchetti che ottengono il trattamento da star. Una nota Birkin con diamanti e pelle di coccodrillo nero venduto per $ 65.000 nel 2005. Robusto e affidabile – borsoni promozionali sono prodotte per resistere pressione superficiale estrema. Anche i militari usano per trasportare armature pesanti e attrezzature per le loro missioni e compiti. Sono generalmente robusti per non ottenere strappato liberamente. Anche in questo caso, il genere di materiale plastico utilizzato nel giocattolo che mia figlia metterà in bocca non suona attraente all’interno. Non chiamare quanto tempo è necessario per la plastica a decomporsi. Un sacchetto di plastica prende 10 anni. È difficile immaginare quanto tempo impiega il più grande dei giocattoli di plastica dura. Set linee guida. Potete aiutare il vostro bambino di tornare in altalena delle cose confermando loro di andare a dormire questi così come eventuali restrizioni di telefono che di cui molto online hanno tutto l’anno scolastico. Per i bambini più piccoli,
replica borse chanel, si dovrebbe rafforzare la loro routine di andare a dormire di fare il bagno,
burberry outlet, lavarsi i denti, e ottenere un sonno della buona notte.

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