tag:elgan.com,2013:/posts Mike Elgan 2021-07-27T20:33:12Z Mike Elgan tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1717990 2021-07-27T20:33:12Z 2021-07-27T20:33:12Z New Mike's List! A tech startup wants to turn violence, pain and tragedy into entertainment

Plus: Sandworm robots, margarita robots and sneakers made out of food! Read Mike's List free now!

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1716250 2021-07-23T12:07:02Z 2021-07-23T12:07:02Z The trouble with two-factor authentication (and what to do about it)

Getting a second opinion is a great idea in both medicine and end-user cybersecurity. Two-factor authentication (2FA) and multifactor authentication (MFA) are powerful tools in the fight against all kinds of cyberattacks that involve end-user devices and internet-based services.

There’s just one big problem: It’s far, far too common for people to use text messaging as the second factor. That turns phone numbers into digital identity devices — a role they are poorly designed to play. If someone loses a smartphone or has it stolen or taken from them, they also lose their access to authentication. Worse, the attacker can transfer the phone number to another person, who will now receive authentication requests. 

Here’s what to do about the 2FA and MFA phone problem



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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1716246 2021-07-22T17:54:48Z 2021-07-26T18:22:54Z Why I love Starbucks

You know those annoying people who hang out in coffee joints for hours on end, either chatting, doing business deals or working on their laptops?

Yeah, I’m one of them.

Before you judge, hear me out.

Do you know where coffee houses come from? Most people don’t.

All modern Starbucks and other coffee places descend directly from an Oxford coffee house that opened in 1650. That shop descended from similar establishments in Vienna, which themselves were modeled on coffee houses in Mecca and Istanbul and elsewhere in the Muslim world. (Coincidentally this photo was taken at an Istanbul Starbucks.)

Coffee was a novel beverage to Europeans in 1650. The first Oxford house was a hit, and coffee houses rapidly proliferated across the country, especially in London.

These establishments fueled the industrial revolution and the enlightenment — societal transformations that never could have happened in ale houses.

Their purpose wasn’t to dispense coffee. Entire businesses were set up and run inside the coffee houses. The world’s first newspapers were run out of them, then pamphlets distributed in them. Insurance companies operated entirely out of coffee houses. (Lloyd’s of London was named after Edward Lloyd’s coffee house on Tower Street, which opened in 1688.) Isaac Newton did most of his argumentation and idea exchanging with other scientists in the Grecian coffee house on the Strand.

For more than three centuries, coffee houses have served primarily as offices and meeting spaces for business people, journalists and intellectuals and secondarily as places to buy coffee.

Coffee houses came into existence not as a place where people are supposed to line up like addicts at a methadone clinic, then slink out. They’re a social meeting space for the community.

There’s a reason why 50 cents worth of coffee costs $4 at Starbucks and other places. You’re paying mainly for the space. You're paying for the seat and the table and the WiFi and the outlet and the bathroom and the climate control and the lighting. 

In recent decades, we’ve been trained like lab rodents to drop our cash and leave. McDonald's even trained the public to bus their own tables. In fact, the idea of buying coffee at a coffee house and taking it to go is an extraordinarily new phenomenon. They’ve recently conned us into paying the premium for the real estate, then feeling bad about using what we paid for.

The transition from coffee houses as the public’s place of business to the coffee house as a fast-food joint is part of the disgusting consumerization of the human animal. 

We’re not supposed to be citizens, thinkers or makers. We’re supposed to be consumers. Give me your money, then fuck off.

Ironically, Starbucks gets it. Considered derisively as the McDonald’s of coffee houses, the characterization is totally unfounded. Starbucks is committed to allowing anyone to use their WiFi free for as long as they want, at least in the United States and many other countries. Their stores have tables and outlets and couches and barstools. They invite everyone to hang out and linger. And there are other coffee places that understand the purpose of a coffee house as well.

But far too many believe a coffee house is just a place to extract money from customers, then force them to leave by failing to provide a social space. And when customers can’t find a table because people are staying too long, they don’t blame the establishment for failing to provide enough tables. They blame the campers.

My view is that if today’s coffee houses don’t know what a coffee house is for, they should close up shop and get out of the business. Maybe they can open a McDonald’s franchise.

Just don’t blame the customers who are using coffee houses for their intended and vital purpose. 

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1715596 2021-07-20T22:09:02Z 2021-07-20T22:09:02Z What everyone needs to know about FragAttacks

A cybersecurity researcher discovered a new category of Wi-Fi vulnerabilities recently. But the surprising news is that this new category is actually very old. Called FragAttacks, these 12 Wi-Fi vulnerabilities have existed since the late 90s. But they’re new to the cybersecurity world because people only recently discovered and described them. Here's what you need to know about FragAttacks

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1715587 2021-07-20T17:31:38Z 2021-07-20T17:31:38Z Remember "Auto Awesomes"?
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1715585 2021-07-20T17:29:05Z 2021-07-20T17:29:05Z It's time for Starbucks to bring back the American Cherry Pie Frappuccino!

This was available only in Japan in 2017. Instead of a lid, they came with a lid-shaped pie crust. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1715582 2021-07-20T17:24:24Z 2021-07-20T17:24:25Z That time in Turkey when I ordered a cappuccino with three shots of espresso

The answer is yes, I drank it all.
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1715480 2021-07-20T14:02:04Z 2021-07-20T14:02:05Z 7 inconvenient truths about the hybrid work trend

Remote work was forced on many employers last year by the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to a simple, mid-pandemic consensus that “remote work is here to stay.” But as the crisis fades, organizations will get to choose where employees do their work — now with a new set of tools, expectations, and experiences.

As Marc Andreessen said recently, we are undergoing "a permanent civilizational shift” where we can divorce "physical location from economic opportunity.” He’s probably right in the long term, but we still have many questions to answer before that utopian dream is realized.

Here are the seven inconvenient truths and unresolved issues around the new hybrid and remote work trend.

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1715309 2021-07-19T22:45:35Z 2021-07-19T22:45:36Z Where I’m at: Drake’s Brewing in Oakland, California

Drinking a 30 Motels IIPA. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1714486 2021-07-17T15:47:56Z 2021-07-18T17:37:24Z My office today: Dune Coffee Roasters in Santa Barbara
Amira is across the street shopping at Santa Barbara's amazing Saturday farmer's market.
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1713801 2021-07-15T20:00:04Z 2021-07-15T20:00:04Z How companies can gather personal data without abusing customer trust

Data-driven personalization is the practice of delivering relevant content to your customers based on the information you've gathered about them. Before data and personalization, brands had to generate demand for their products or make assumptions about their audiences using generalized data. But thanks to the internet and mobile devices, it's possible to communicate with heightened awareness about your market.

A data-driven approach enables you to collect data and use that data for a better customer experience throughout the entire customer life cycle. More importantly, it allows you to communicate the right message at the right time, based on where the customer is in that cycle, increasing engagement and conversion rates.

But the secret to making this personalization work is trust, which is earned through responsibly managing your customers' data. You have to strike the right balance between data and personalization, and your customers' privacy. 

Here's exactly how to do that

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1713462 2021-07-15T17:32:54Z 2021-07-15T17:33:04Z My wife is a culinary Captain Kirk

Five minutes before dinner (Amira made home made mushroom pasta; I made bread), we realized that we were out of butter. 

Without even hesitating, she grabbed a bottle of whipping cream from the back of the fridge and poured it into a jar. She then tossed in a kefir grain which she always cultivates and keeps in the fridge, closed the lid and handed me the jar. "Please shake this until it's butter," she requested. So I did. 

Once the buttermilk fully separated from the butter, we removed the grain, poured the buttermilk into a jar and put the button in ice water. Amira squeezed out the last bits of buttermilk, and there it was: delicious butter!

Like Captain Kirk confronted with the Kobayashi Maru, she hacked the cream instead of accepting defeat. 

Amira just doesn't believe in the no-butter scenario. 

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1711541 2021-07-08T09:03:09Z 2021-07-08T09:03:09Z Jumped through all the Covid and security hoops and we’re ready for takeoff to Miami
We went through the most elaborate and complicated series of steps I’ve ever encountered before travel. Wow. (One example, our boarding passes were checked 12 times while at the airport. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1711401 2021-07-07T20:53:24Z 2021-07-07T20:53:24Z Where I’m at: a tapas bar in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter called La Alcoba Azul

Scarfing down tapas and sangria! ]]>
Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1711309 2021-07-07T17:28:35Z 2021-07-07T17:28:35Z We’ve got an overnight layover in Barcelona

And that means we get to spend an evening eating our way through the city, starting with jamon iberico on pan con tomate with a glass of vermouth!
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1711001 2021-07-06T21:01:04Z 2021-07-12T20:13:22Z Find innovation wherever you find mad passion for fixing what's broke
Here is my wonderful friend Aurore, a deeply beautiful human running a maker space and co-working space in the tiny but painfully beautiful French village of Pernes-les-Fontaines in Provence. It's called La Bricothèque, Fablab de Pernes, and you should visit if you can. So far from Silicon Valley, she is one of us: a human engine of innovation and possibility. With her partner Olivier (I fucking love this guy), she is opening a door to a new generation of makers creating a better future for all of us. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1710973 2021-07-06T18:05:36Z 2021-07-06T18:05:36Z I love talking to winemakers in their vineyards

We discovered this pretty-new winemaker, a father-and-son team. The dad was a French expat CIO in London who always dreamed of making wine. So he came back to Provence, bought a ruin of a chateau surrounded by grenache and syrah vineyards, and invested in reviving both house and vines. The winery is Domaine du Chat Blanc. They're new, but doing everything right -- organic vineyards, hand-harvesting (mostly) and lots of care in their wines. 

(Also: I love grenache and syrah, the only varieties they grow.)

So nice to meet these winemakers, and to share a few moments about their wonderful new winery. Can't wait to visit them again next year and see how they've grown. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1710923 2021-07-06T11:48:23Z 2021-07-06T11:48:24Z Our daily (French) bread
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1710642 2021-07-05T13:45:59Z 2021-07-05T13:46:00Z So many new places to discover in Provence!

No matter how many times we live in Provence, we still aways discover new and wonderful places. Like this village of Le Barroux, which is old and beautiful and a still-active community. A family still lives in the castle and, if you look closely, you can see them having dinner on their balcony. Here comes the drone video
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1710563 2021-07-05T07:44:25Z 2021-07-05T07:44:26Z A postcard from post-pandemic Provence

Greetings from Provence! We couldn't wait to return to Europe. So we didn't wait. We landed in Spain early in the morning on the first day Spain allowed vaccinated Americans without pandemic restrictions. And then we flew to France early in the morning two days later on the first day France welcomed vaccinated Americans.

After a few weeks, I'm here to report what it's like traveling in Europe after the pandemic. (tl;dr: It's awesome!)
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1708112 2021-06-28T10:25:06Z 2021-06-28T10:25:07Z Understanding the connection between 5G, Big Data, AI and multi-access computing

It's widely understood that 5G is set to transform business. But you can't talk about the coming 5G transformation without talking about 5G and big data. And you can't talk about 5G and big data without talking about artificial intelligence (AI) and multi-access edge computing (MEC). There's a ton of change coming. But don't be overwhelmed. Be prepared.

To oversimplify, 5G is needed to distribute AI to the edge and to devices. And AI is needed to bring intelligence to complex 5G networks. Widely distributed AI, edge computing and 5G all should drive very fast, very low-latency interactions throughout an organization. 

Here's why the future of business IT depends on the symbiotic relationship between 5G, Big Data, AI and multi-access computing

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1705376 2021-06-20T15:51:29Z 2021-06-20T15:51:30Z My office today: a very old but modernized farmhouse in Provence with 3-feet thick walls
The only way to use My laptop via Google Fi is to have my phone outside on a chair with line-of-sight between laptop and phone. No signal can penetrate these walls. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1704839 2021-06-18T19:35:07Z 2021-06-18T19:35:08Z Swam in the Mediterranean today for the first time in two years
This is an old fishing village East of Marseille. That speck swimming in the direction of Algeria is me. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1704669 2021-06-18T09:52:11Z 2021-06-18T16:13:07Z My office today: a cafe in front of the Friday market in a sleepy costal town on the French Riviera.
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1704573 2021-06-17T22:13:34Z 2021-06-17T22:13:34Z I'm staying on an "Island" in Provence

We're staying for a month in a town in Provence called l'Isle Sur La Sorgue, which means "The Island on the Sorgue." The Sorgue river starts as a natural spring coming out of the ground. At some point, the river splits in two, then re-joins later down the river. The land between the split is this amazingly charming town, an "Island" on the Sorgue river. Over the centuries, local residents have built canals throughout the town to support various industries, and so there's water everywhere (it's basically the opposite of California). 

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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1703994 2021-06-16T12:15:51Z 2021-06-16T12:15:51Z Get on the “bus,” or whatever
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1703322 2021-06-14T14:39:44Z 2021-06-14T14:39:45Z Just landed in Marseille!
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1703245 2021-06-14T11:58:03Z 2021-06-14T11:58:03Z We're leaving Paris now. But I'm really going to miss Paris without tourists. Wow.

The good news is that we're about to spend a month in Provence without tourists. 
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1702906 2021-06-13T18:01:03Z 2021-06-13T18:01:04Z Where I’m at: eating cheese with a view of the Apple Store
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Mike Elgan
tag:elgan.com,2013:Post/1702832 2021-06-13T14:59:14Z 2021-06-13T14:59:15Z Where I'm at: Some random cafe in Paris ]]> Mike Elgan