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A mixed April for United Airlines

UNITED AIRLINES has just had a great month. Of course, there was the odd downside. First, the video of a bloodied United passenger being dragged off an overbooked flight for the crime of wanting to stay in the seat he had paid for. Then there was the giant rabbit, en route from London to Chicago to compete for the title of world’s largest bunny, who died in United custody with lawyers alleging the airline put the live beast in a freezer for 16 hours. Then there was the airline’s apology to the Paris-bound passenger who ended up in San Francisco instead. And the flyer whose trip was cancelled after he taped an argument with a United employee.

Yet despite this month of PR…Continue reading

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With security awareness, money talks

According to a recent report, academics have been analyzing brainwaves of computer users to improve how they are alerted to cybersecurity dangers. I’m sorry, but getting users to pay stricter attention to security isn’t brain surgery: It’s all about money and job security. Come to think of it, job security itself is all about money, which makes money the only carrot and the only stick that IT needs.

That report, courtesy of Bloomberg BNA, said, “Many computer users automatically swat away repetitive dialogue box warnings of impending doom, especially when they are engaged in another activity. Now, engineers are using data analytics based on user tracking to discover what might help users pay attention to warnings. Software engineers are exploring promising techniques, such as changing background colors in warning notifications and switching formats to distinguish substantial security warnings from mundane messages. Tapping people’s brains helps the engineers design more effective user interfaces.”

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