Tag Archives: privacy

a gavel on some legal documents

The Role of Ethics in Human Factors Practice

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Editor’s Note – we are happy to introduce this guest article from Moin Rahman, Founder of HVHF Sciences. His bio and link to his company’s web site are located at the end of his article.

Is there a Hippocratic Oath – or something similar – for Human Factors Practitioners? At least I have not heard of one that is specific to human factors, although there is a similar oath for engineers. And there have been discussions about having an oath for scientists and engineers in general. Nevertheless, human factors professionals are driven by our morals and professional ethics to design devices and solutions that in the words of Asimov’s First Law of Robotics “[A robot] may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.” Good so far. But the ethics of a human-machine system or complex sociotechnical system (STS), particularly at the intersection of humans and safety critical technology may or may not receive the necessary attention it deserves.

a facebook notification

How Long Do We Have to Wait for Effective Notifications?

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I have been sitting on this topic for over a year. I finally am breaking down. After the CES show, I don’t see anything better on the market right now, but this idea for operating system–level notification modeling from Shruti Gandhi has given be enough hope to propose some ideas.

One answer could be consolidation. Snowball is almost headed in the right direction. Snowball consolidates all your alerts in one place.

two guys talking

Ineffective Self Promotion

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Some recent research by Irene Scopelliti and her colleagues should be of real interest. What they found is not only important to those of us who consider ourselves as experts at something for self-protection but also because the social dynamics basis has a lot of human factors to it.

People engage in self-promotional behavior because they want others to hold favorable images of them. Self-promotion, however, entails a tradeoff between conveying one’s positive attributes and being seen as bragging.

a small wearable camera

Uninterrupted Lifelogger?

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I am a little intrigued by the autographer. Not as a product I would want to buy, I am not at all interested in photo lifelogging. But I really want to know what the conversation was like when they decided on the basic functionality.

Autographer is a new type of camera which has been custom built to enable spontaneous, hands-free image capture…

many small scale models of football helmets

The Opportunities and Challenges of a Concussion-Detecting Monitor

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Reebok has developed a product that represents a fantastic example of the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle of design. And since I am such a fan of this principle, I want to use it as a subject for discussion today.

The product is called The Checklight and was featured in the October issue of Fast Company

server racks

Intel on Ambient Computing

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PSFK recently interviewed Lama Nachman, principal engineer at Intel’s UX Research. The topic covered a confluence of ambient computing, recommendation systems, system transparency, and a few other topics, all pulled together to create some intelligent UX ideas. But I think that Lama was a little pollyannish.

Tech that asks not just what but why can begin to understand us across a wide range of situations that make up our lives and deliver tailored content personalized to time and place.

President Nixon with his edited transcripts of the White House Tapes subpoenaed by the Special Prosecutor, during his speech to the Nation on Watergate

Default Selection in Your Design Can Change the World

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Because of the 40th anniversary of Nixon’s resignation, a lot of news shows have been doing retrospectives. As a result, I learned something interesting about defaults and user behavior.

It’s been 40 years since President Richard Nixon became the only US president to resign from office, and historians are still working to decipher the more than 3,000 hours of audio tape the disgraced leader left behind…

a boy staring at a computer screen

Marketing Literacy and Internet Privacy

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Annie Murphy Paul’s Brilliant Report this month has some interesting advice on marketing literacy. This topic is very related to our recent post on self-identity and the furor over Facebook’s secret research.

Many a parent and teacher has despaired over how easily young people’s attention is diverted, especially when they’re online. Stay focused! we urge them. Don’t let yourself get distracted! Our admonitions have little sway against the powerful temptations of the Internet. But there may be a better way to help teenagers resist the web’s lures: let them know that their attention is being deliberately manipulated and exploited…

a close up image of a finger print

Incentives, Mixed Motivations and Behavior

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Today, I don’t just want to bring your attention to some fascinating research I came across, but perhaps to change the way you look at it. OK, that sounded more pretentious than I intended. But seriously, there is a much bigger issue here. The study looked at how much your personal information is worth to you. If your access provider (mobile, home, or whatever) is going to sell your personal information to advertisers, perhaps you should share in the revenue…

a thumbs up from facebook like

Modeling Sensitive Traits from Facebook Likes

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You may remember a recent post on collaborative filtering and some of the amusing mistakes that these algorithms make. Here is the other side of the story. This study from the University of Cambridge and Microsoft Research found that they can predict a ton of very sensitive private information about you based only on your Facebook Likes – which by the way are publicly available.

We show that easily accessible digital records of behavior, Facebook Likes, can be used to automatically and accurately predict a range of highly sensitive personal attributes…