Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

O2 I be done with you?

a straight forward data plan is all I desire

When quizzing O2 my incumbent supplier

As my contract ended and you called in excess

To convince me I didn't want an iPhone 5s


Hung up they did having interrupted my flow

Upsell or cross sell a distant after glow


the valiant and misguided said

'That's not till next year –

I have a Samsung S4 which is

way pucker gear!'

An obsession with apple
For this or for that
Is redundant, with the power of
A Kit and a Kat

That's oranges I cried and at best an untruth

I know you trying to maximise my ARPU


Yet your clear desperation to convince me to stay

Assumes my IQ has nose dived the wrong way


so with requirements clear

And tariffs far fromnear

Your endless interruptions

An ill conceived faff

Has swayed me to engage

With a healthy Giff Gaff

The irony of course that you all share the same pipe

Illustrates the contempt for those who worship

The byte.

So, Goodbye O2 you good natured dope
And hello O2 you MVNO

How did Evernote handle the hacking crisis?

This is the second piece for the drum and first in a series. Posted last week here: . The next one should be live on the Drum later today.

Leadership in this digital age comes with plenty of new challenges. Business decisions that in the past would have been easy to predict and manage, have become a lot more complex in the ‘always on’ world we now live in.

‘We won’t make a drama out of a crisis.’ Well you might not, but consumers can and will given half a chance. Social media makes it not only easy for us to engage our customers, but it’s also made it easy for them to tell you, and everyone else, what they think. Especially when things go wrong.

Over the coming weeks we will try to reverse engineer the reasoning behind of some of these decisions, and with your help look at whether the approach stands up to scrutiny, and what can learn from it.

What’s the story?

Hacking is one of the most misused and ubiquitous terms on the net. There are plenty reasons why people do it, and not all of them are malicious. However this weekend, one of the more respected online services Evernote was ‘properly’ hacked, and hence is as good a place to start as any. Nobody barring the hackers themselves know exactly the scope of the damage, but from reading the company’s response it sounds like significant amounts of data was acquired, especially since we (as a whole) still tend to use the same passwords for multiple online services.

However before going public, management were faced with some difficult decisions to make. How do we?

  • Be open, but prevent panic
  • Lose as few customers as possible
  • Prevent long-term damage to brand

What went well?

On March 2nd at 6 a.m. Evernote tweeted and provided a link which explained clearly and concisely that they had been hacked, why they were taking precautions, and threw in a bit about best-practice when it comes to creating passwords. Within twenty-four hours they had updated (at least their Apple iOS app) to focus everyone on resetting their password. And they have for the most part been open, upfront and conciliatory. 

As you can imagine there were a fair number of irate folk on their site. A nice chap called Andrew from Evernote carefully explained what was happening and was attentive when responding to users. Meanwhile co-worker Stefanie, who would probably have failed the Turing test, simply repeating the same statement ad nauseam.

About 10% of the posts on the blog were ‘stop whining they are doing their best’.

About 30% complained they didn’t get the notification email because they no longer had access to the email account they use to sign-up with service! While some folk might have been less diplomatic (including me), many of Evernote’s supporters redirected the hard of thinking to the company’s support page.

The rest were split between helpful suggestions and ‘I’ll never use you again’.

What could have been handled better?

There was no communication on the Evernote homepage itself (and if they did the users certainly didn’t find it). That’s a no brainer – it costs nothing to do and saves a lot of aggravation from those whose sole purpose in life is to complain. There is currently a reference to the original email however it talks about ‘resetting your password’ as opposed to ‘we’ve been breached, find out more’.

Initially many users asked about implementing two-factor authorisation, which Google uses to provide extra security for its users, although precious few people seem to use it apparently.  There was no immediate response on the blog. It’s a fair question that a simple ‘we’re looking into it – thanks for the great suggestion!’ would have gone a long way to help. By the end of the first week they had come out in public saying that this was now a top priority.

As of Friday 7th of March there has been no blog update or any further emails about the ‘event’. I appreciate they are no doubt busy trying to understand what happened. But it would make sense to create a new post explaining; what they have subsequently done to improve security, answered some FAQ questions, and actually diffused any on-going comments. Having said that the majority of comments and complaints dried up after two days, which is pretty good going frankly.

Reverse engineered strategy

Be honest, transparent, and really, really fast.


Empower your staff to:

  1. Establish and communicate the severity as best you know it – immediately (ideally via Twitter)
  2. Reiterate and reassure using language that is as human and as easy to understand as possible
  3. Allow people to comment where possible and have somebody standing by to answer questions. Don’t rise to unhelpful posts from disruptive folk, commonly known as trolls, and let the community help where it can
  4. Talk to the media – nothing is worse than radio silence to set off the blogosphere in a outburst of speculation and negativity
  5. Make sure channels internally and with your customers remain open – informing everyone what has happened, and why they should be cautious
  6. Provide additional guidance i.e. restating common sense password etiquette when it comes to the breach in a practical and in an un-patronising way
  7. Make sure that you keep everyone up to date.  Watch what questions they are asking, and create a crisis FAQ which responds to their actual questions. Not your perception of what they might be
  8. Perceptively being slightly hacked is like being slightly pregnant it’s pretty black and white. It happens, deal with it.
  9. If you are in management ultimately it’s your responsibility to make sure it gets fixed. I’m afraid you can’t blame Robot and Andrew for that.
  10. Keep calm and carry on (and fix the hole)

So was Evernote’s response common sense, or a stroke of genius?

How else could they have handled it?

How would your organisation have dealt with this?

Does this count as a win, or a fail?

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Blogsy seems pretty cool

Hmmm. Might start writing again!

Jake is off nursery again today…

Bad Dad part 5 – doing the light year dance

It’s late, i’m ‘tired’ and now we are really screwed. Copyright and Patents are converging. Part 0.1

Right(s) Based on an execution of an idea.

Patents: Based on a description of an idea.

One is music, art and film etc The other pharmaceuticals, tech, software etc

Given the confusing international legislation going on you might as well admit that one equals the other equals a law suit.

So could Kraftwerk ‘patent’ the inspiration they gave or owe JG Ballard coin?

Could band x argue that even though Band Y sound nothing like each other that the other was inspired by the idea of having, well, a band.

Somebody invented Ketchup. Now any tomato based condiment is fucked,

The world of copyright monopoly and patent monopoly are converging – rapidly.



How I stopped worrying and learned to love the Stop Online Piracy Act

Unless you’ve been living under a rock you will have heard about the legislation that they are trying to rush through in the States right now to curtail the rise of online piracy using methods which really are best described as draconian. I’ve been deeply concerned about this as it looks potentially to be the death of user generated content and innovation within the tech sector – something I’ve been part of for over twenty years.

Well I’ve had at attitude readjustment, I’m going to go with the flow and embrace what i just realised is the future of business models for the content world.

You see the the anti-SOPA lobby have assumed that the MPAA / RIAA (collectively known as the MAFIAA) weren’t willing to adapt and viewed folk like Anonymous as a threat. That sending letters to individuals a-la ACS-LAW wasn’t a viable strategy. Turns out we were wrong. They actually saw an opportunity. They watched, they learned and are proposing a new model even more impressive than the good old ‘Denial of Service’ attack the hackers use.



(Denial of Safe Harbour)

This new ‘model’ is fantastic especially as you need virtually NO technical, creative or legal skills to play. It’s truly open and democratic.

Here’s how it works and how I plan to make millions! (so don’t tell anyone!)


  1. Create some ‘music’. Highly recommend GarageBand autoplay instruments. Since a 4 year old can use it, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to make a tune.
  2. For a one time fee of $35 dollars register your opus with – you can do it online so no need to move off the couch/stool.
  3. Go to Tunecore and get it popped on iTunes for 99c . Make sure you come up with a cool sounding name for your band and label – I’m going with ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ for the band and ‘RogueDoSHRecords’ – am thinking my first track will be ‘Legalise Extortion’ again please don’t steal it as I haven’t registered it yet.
  4. Go to WordPress (if it still exists) and create your label site – to be honest you don’t have to do much more than say ‘welcome to… XX records home of YY’ and pop some copyright notices everywhere and a link to iTunes.
  5. Have a cocktail – you are now in that elite group – the Content Owner!
  6. Enlist some friends to help out and repeat 1-5 with them – I’m guessing 10 mates/labels would be enough for most situations – a mini Anonymous if you will.
  7. At this point you *could* try and get folk to buy your tune but frankly it isn’t worth the effort instead each of you upload the others tracks to YouTube and/or create some torrents.
  8. So far I reckon they should have taken about a day of ‘real’ time, some hangover recovery time plus however long it takes to get the copyright approved.

STAGE 2 – Exercise your Rights

  1. All you have to do is find a bunch of blogs ( any site on any subject will do these days that allow comments) and get your mates to pop some links to your track on YouTube or to the torrent.
  2. Send the site owner an email accusing them of being ‘Dedicated to infringement’ – and that you will NOT report them to their ISP, payment partner etc if they hand over I dunno – $1000 bucks sounds fair.
  3. Now at this point you would expect the site owner to take it down, if they do just pop it up again ( or even better pop one of your mates tracks up to confuse them. )
  4. After you’ve done this a few times you announce that you have got a some class-action from a bunch of legacy sounding labels including ‘Phonographic Memories’, ‘The Long Tail Players’, ‘8 Track Marks ‘, ‘Tape me up, Tape me down’, ‘Cassette My Ass’ and of course the hip-hop label ‘MP3some’.
  5. Give them one last chance to pay up (it’s going to cost them $5k now btw)
  6. If they DO pay up – wait a couple of days /weeks and repeat with some new labels until they just give up and shut down
  7. If they DON’T pay up shop them to their ISP and Payment partner who are so inundated with these claims that they’ll have no choice but to close the infringing scum down, just in case it’s legit. Don’t worry about needing legalese I’m sure you will be able to find a form letter online to help you out – no lawyers required!
  8. Repeat on as many sites as you feel like, the smaller the better of course. I’m thinking of going for gardening blogs myself – the poor dears won’t know what hit them.

I imagine a motivated team of ten could manage a few dozen each a day while sitting in the pub. Even with a 10% conversion rate you’ll make a load of cash, secure in the knowledge that those who didn’t play ball won’t be able to make any money for themselves! Win Win!

You can of course do this with anything that can be copyrighted so feel free to make some films of you and your mates celebrating in the pub (Dogma movies are due for a resurgence anyway) and copyright them – go for it! You’ve even got the soundtracks ready made so you can pop a compilation out. Even Better! You are now ‘Multimedia Copyright Owner’ – diversification is everything in this day and age.

And there you have it – as far as I can tell under SOPA its totally legal – we as Copyright Owners and we are entitled to get paid without having to sell even ONE bit of content, attract ONE fan or play ONE gig. Superb. We truly have entered The Golden Age of Copyright.

If anybody says ‘Conspiracy to defraud’ just say ‘The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing’ or better yet ‘the tea-boy is going to lose his job UNLESS we do it’.

Go on – try this at home!


the business model for the post-modern creative!

And that’s why I’ve learned to stop worrying and love SOPA, it’s going to make things so much better.

‘Sneakers’ even more prophetic than ‘Network’

Cosmo: Posit: People think a bank might be financially shaky.

Martin Bishop: Consequence: People start to withdraw their money.

Cosmo: Result: Pretty soon it is financially shaky.

Martin Bishop: Conclusion: You can make banks fail.

Cosmo: Bzzt. I’ve already done that. Maybe you’ve heard about a few? Think bigger.

Martin Bishop: Stock market?

Cosmo: Yes.

Martin Bishop: Currency market?

Cosmo: Yes.

Martin Bishop: Commodities market?

Cosmo: Yes.

Martin Bishop: Small countries? —

IMDb Quotes: Sneakers (1992)