Category Archives: Forensics

palace guards

Improving Communication Through Reverse Power Poses

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This paper by James Detert and Ethan Burris in Harvard Business Review has an interesting take on something that has been in the news a lot lately (and even a TED talk). The topic is “power posing” and the basic message is that if you adopt a power pose you exert a wide range of influences. It creates an internal frame by making you more confident in yourself. Even if you can’t see yourself in the pose, you know you are doing it.

Studies on power posing show that intentionally adjusting your body posture, facial expressions, and voice can help you express your ideas and concerns and win greater influence. This is true no matter what title or position you hold. Simply comporting yourself as if you’re a rung or two higher makes people act more deferentially toward you. Often, they’re not fully aware that they’re responding this way, yet the effect is in full force in any kind of hierarchy, whether it’s based on formal or informal status.

Term of Service

Age of Consent

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The minimum age at which kids can legally be held to a Terms of Service agreement might be raised from 13 to 16 in Europe. Currently, companies have to ask parents’ permission for children under the 13. My Take This is an interesting policy question. Businesses want the age of consent to be as low as possible because that expands their market (on the assumption that children are more likely to accept the agreement than their parents are). This explains why Google, Facebook and Twitter…

Autonomous Car

Social Graces in AI

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You have probably read a lot of coverage of ethics in AI design. We will be covering that here next week. But in the meantime, I came across a related issue that I wanted to share – whether we need AI to understand social conventions. In particular, there are two domains that leapt out at me. One is with humanoid robots that use emotional responses to establish rapport with their users and to be more effective at activities like health care support. We have talked…

car dash

Revenge of the End User License Agreement

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There are so many cases where we see customers having trouble with befuddling and legalistic user agreements that get them into trouble. Perhaps a customer reveals more personal information than she realized to an advertising aggregator. Perhaps he ceded the intellectual property rights for something he created while using a development environment. Perhaps I agreed to transaction fees and automatic services I never intended to.

In a later call from emergency services made to Bernstein directly, the driver denied all knowledge of any accident. The driver told the dispatcher that “everything was fine,” before the dispatcher said, “Ok but your car called in saying you’d been involved in an accident. It doesn’t do that for no reason. Did you leave the scene of an accident?”

business woman

Returnships

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At first, I was intrigued by the idea of a “returnship”. Lots of companies are experimenting with them. This is a parallel with an internship but for more senior employees. But also with some key differences that lead Working Mothers to think they are a bad idea.

A recent study found that 70% of women fear taking a career break. From my experience at Women Returners working with returning professionals, I know that many are low in confidence and feel it is impossible to find a satisfying corporate role after many years out. Is the returnship an innovative solution to enable these talented women to get back into senior roles?

Man in suite thinking

This is Serious Stuff

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Case One: e-signatures The Hidden Brain had an interesting study that highlights the importance of framing. There is a strong trend towards the use of e-signatures to promote ease of signing contracts on digital media. But new research shows that even if the regulations for e-signatures are identical and the security is at least as good as with handwritten signatures, people are more likely to cheat when they use e-signatures to sign a document. Note – this is not a question of a third party…

Annual Meeting Banner

HFES 2015 Keynote Address John Nance

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For the remainder of the week we will be featuring post from the HFES 2015 Annual Meeting.

This year’s keynote will be presented by John Nance during the Tuesdaymorning Opening Plenary Session. Nance is a well-known advocate of using the lessons from the recent revolution in aviation safety to revolutionize the patient safety performance of hospitals, doctors, nurses, and others within the health-care domain. His talk, entitled “The Carbon-Based Conundrum,” will deal with the concept that it is only through accepting the inevitability of error that we can eliminate human-caused disasters. As
Nance puts it, “The key to zero disasters is zero denial.”

Windows 10 Image

Windows 10 Default

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How many of you have downloaded Windows 10? On your laptop? On your tablet or phone? If so, did you catch the controversy that Microsoft aroused with the way it designed the default system?

We appreciate that it’s still technically possible to preserve people’s previous settings and defaults, but the design of the whole upgrade experience and the default settings APIs have been changed to make this less obvious and more difficult. It now takes more than twice the number of mouse clicks, scrolling through content and some technical sophistication for people to reassert the choices they had previously made in earlier versions of Windows. It’s confusing, hard to navigate and easy to get lost.

Chubby Noodle and Fat Noodle Logos

Is Fat the Same as Chubby?

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We have discussed the importance of human factors in trademark disputes a few times here on EID. But this one is so good I couldn’t resist bringing it up. Noodles Raw Catering, the parent company of two Chubby Noodle restaurants in the city, is accusing Saison Group LLC of engaging in trademark infringement by picking the name Fat Noodle for its forthcoming Chinese eatery, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The proposed logo for the new restaurant, which shows a stylized bowl of noodles, is also…

nutrition facts

Food Labels

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We have a tough tradeoff when designing food labels. Please note that I am not talking about marketing copy or cooking instructions here – just the information regarding contents, safety, and health. On one hand, we would like to give consumers all the information that they want and/or need to make informed choices. But there is only so much room on the label. Even when there is room, we know that consumers are not particularly good at integrating large amounts of information. Rather than risk being confused or overwhelmed, they often just ignore the whole thing and pick whatever their basic emotions prefer – to their own long term detriment.

Alex Jessee, a young mother, went through the “GMO Experience,” one of the four exhibits. She says she learned from it “that these GMOs could be harmful to us, the environment, but they don’t necessarily have to tell us that we’re eating them. Which isn’t very cool.”