links for 2010-05-16

  • I am quite used to controversy—unsurprisingly, given the topics that I have been exploring with my academic research. But what has really been a surprise is the hornet’s nest that I seem to have stirred up with my two TechCrunch posts and BusinessWeek column on the dearth of women entrepreneurs. At every event I’ve been to recently, women have come up to me to say thanks for raising awareness of this issue and for providing them with encouragement; the New York Times ran a big feature story echoing my words; and several VC friends sent me emails congratulating me for “having the courage to speak up”. On the flip side, I’ve also taken fire from some VCs. One woman VC wrote a TechCrunch post chiding me for being “patronizing”; others declared on Twitter that all my posts are “garbage”; and I received some really nasty e-mails questioning “my agenda”. So I know that I’ve touched a nerve, and that this is a really important topic.
  • In discussing the features likely to be found in the forthcoming Firefox 4, Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox, stressed user the importance of making sure that users can control their data and browsing experience.
    Mozilla is out of step with the industry in giving control to the user. The trend is to give users less control, to manage the experience for them, as Apple does with its iPhone, iPod, and iPad devices. Mobile is all about less (control) is more (enjoyment).
    (tags: firefox)
  • When Google launched Buzz, a microblogging social network, several months ago, the company boasted that the network had been generated automatically, by algorithms that could connect users to each other based on communications revealed through Gmail and other services.
    However, many users balked at having what they perceived as mischaracterized social connections, forcing the company to frantically backpedal and make the Buzz service less automated and more under users’ control.
  • Facebook’s users are a lucrative target for Internet criminals looking to steal passwords and more. To combat malicious attacks, phishing scams and spam, the online social network is rolling out new security features.
    First, users can choose to be notified when their account is accessed from a computer or mobile device they haven’t used before. To do this, go to “account settings,” then “account security,” then click change. There you can choose to be notified of logins by e-mail or text message.

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