Tag Archives: trend

Trend Micro apps fiasco generates even more questions

The saga surrounding Trend Micro apps being removed from the Mac App Store for gathering data inappropriately drags on, but the company’s latest admission raises even more questions.

In the latest update to its response to allegations that its Mac apps were stealing user data, Trend Micro admitted that it published another banned app — Open Any Files: RAR Support.

Thomas Reed, director of Mac and mobile at Malwarebytes Labs, had previously found the Open Any Files app — listed as being developed by Hao Wu — to be gathering the same data as the Trend Micro apps, transmitting that data to Trend Micro servers and promoting Trend Micro’s Dr. Antivirus app, which was one of the six Trend Micro apps banned initially by Apple. 

While the cybersecurity company based in Japan did not explain why it did not take ownership of the Open Any Files app before, Trend Micro admitted the app used “the same module” to collect browser history data as the other Trend Micro apps. As such, the company said it would “no longer publish or support this product.”

Reed found the admission interesting because Trend Micro had previously described Open Any Files as an affiliate app.

“I’m not sure who Hao Wu is. I had assumed it was someone who was abusing the Trend affiliate program to get paid for referrals to their apps. It’s very odd that Trend is now saying that they own that app,” Reed said via Twitter direct message. “Why would their own app use App Store affiliate links when linking to other apps they own?”

Reed added that Malwarebytes had found the Open Any Files app to be “very shady” and so he had been tracking it since December.

“[Promoting other Trend Micro apps] was its sole purpose. The other functionality it provided was extremely minimal, and it used [a] trick to get triggered any time the user opened an unfamiliar document type,” Reed said. “I’m not entirely sure what the point is. These are all junk apps that are a dime a dozen on the App Store. They really don’t provide much — if any — value to the user, in my opinion. I suspect the data collection was a primary goal, but that’s just a theory.”

When questioned about Open Any Files and the other Trend Micro apps, the company refused to answer and instead linked to the updated blog post, noting that it now has an FAQ and “will continue to be updated with other questions and answers.”

Reed said the company didn’t seem ready to talk about the issues with the Trend Micro apps for Mac, but they should have been because changes to the apps indicated they expected the controversy.

“One thing that is striking is their claim about displaying [an end-user license agreement] that the user has to agree to. That was not the case in any of our testing, which actually started back in December, and was repeated several times right up to just before publication of our article,” Reed said. “Someone on Twitter posted a couple screenshots… before September 7 and after September 7. Before, no EULA. After, the EULA appeared. They knew this was coming, and their response was to add a EULA rather than remove the data exfiltration code.”

Laura Noren advocates data science ethics for employee info

The trend in tech has been to gather more and more data on everyone — customers and employees alike — even if there is no direct reason to collect so much data. This has led to a pushback by users and experts about data privacy and more conversations about standards of data science ethics.

At Black Hat USA 2018, Laura Norén, director of research at Obsidian Security, spoke about data science ethics, how companies can avoid “being creepy,” and why privacy policies often leave out protections for employees.

Editor’s note: This interview was edited for length and clarity.

How did you become interested in data science ethics? 
 
Laura Norén: Data science isn’t really a discipline, it’s a set of methods being used across disciplines. One of the things that I realized fairly early on was people were doing the same thing with data science that we’ve done with so many technologies. We get so excited about the promise. People get so excited about being the first to do some new thing. But they’re really using technologies before they fully understand what the consequences and the social impact would be. So that’s when I got started on data science ethics and I talked fairly consistently to get a course that was just about ethics for data science.
 
But I ended up spending several years just working on, ‘What is it that’s unique about data science ethics?’ We’ve had ethics forever. Most engineers take an ethics class. Do we really need to reinvent the wheel here? What’s actually new about this?
 
I realized it is actually very difficult to ask those kinds of questions sitting solely from within academia because we don’t have business pressure and we don’t have the data to really understand what’s happening. I knew that I wanted to leave for a while so that I could be a better data chief science ethicist, but that it would be very difficult to find a company that would want to have such a person around. Frankly, no tech company wants to know what they can’t do, they want to know what they can do. They want to build, they want to innovate, they want to do things differently. 
 
Obsidian is a new company, but it’s founded by three guys who have been around for a while. They have seen some things that I would say they would find creepy and they didn’t ever want to be that kind of company. They were happy to have me around. [They said], ‘If you see that we’re being creepy, I want you to push back and to stop us. But also, how we can avoid that? Not just that we should stop, but what we should do differently so that we can continue to move forward and continue to build products. Because, frankly, if we don’t put X, Y, Z product out in the world someone else will. And unless we have a product that’s actually better than that, you’re still going to have employee data, for instance, being treated in bizarre and troubling ways.’

Why was it important to study data science ethics from within a company?

Norén: I got lucky. I picked them because they care about ethics, and because I knew that I needed to see a little bit more about how data are actually being used, deployed, or deleted or not, combined in a real setting. These are all dangerous issues, but unless you actually see how they’re being done, it’s way too easy to be hypercritical all the time. And that’s kind of where that field is going.
 
It’s also very interesting that employee data is not yet in the spotlight. Right now, the spotlight in tech ethics is on how tech companies are treating their workers. Are they inclusive or not? Do they care if their workers don’t want to develop weapons? Do they still have to do that anyways? And then it’s also on user data. But it’s not on employee data.

I feel like — I don’t know exactly how fast these cycles go — in three to five years, the whole conversation will be about employee data. We will have somehow put some stop-gaps in place to deal with user data, but we will not have paid much attention to employee data. In three to five years, when regulation starts to come down the chain, we’ve actually already built systems that are at least ethical. It’s hard to comply with a regulation that doesn’t exist, but at least you can imagine where those regulations are going to go and try to be in compliance with at least the principle of the effort.
 
What makes employee data different from a data science ethics perspective? 
 
Norén: One of the major differences between user data and employee data, at least from a legal perspective, is that when someone starts to work for a company, that company usually has them consent to a bunch of procedures, one of those procedures being, ‘And you consent to us surveilling what you are doing under the auspices of this company, using our physical equipment when you’re out in the world representing us. Therefore we need to be able to monitor what you’re up to, see that you’re in line with what we think you’re supposed to be doing for us.’ This means that employees actually have far fewer privacy assumptions and rights than users do in a practical sense. They have those rights, but then they consent to give them up. And that’s what most employees do. 
 
That’s why there’s not a lot of attention here because they’ve signed an employment agreement that they’ve established. Legally it’s not a gray area. Employers can potentially do what they wish. 
 
Is there a way to push back on those types of policies, or is it more just a matter of trying to get companies to change those policies? 
 
Norén: California has the California Consumer Privacy Act; it’s very similar to the GDPR. They’ve changed a few things, and — almost as a throwaway — they stuck employees in there as potential users. It’s moving to be tried in the court of law — someone’s going to have to test exactly how this is written — but it doesn’t go into effect for a while. It is possible that regulators may explicitly — or in a bumbling kind of almost accidental fashion — write employees into some of the policies that are like GDPR copycats.

It’s probably my imagination of how this is going to work [but it’s] the same thing that happened with Facebook. What Facebook was doing was considered by everyone to be kind of fine for a long time. Because just like employees/employers do, Facebook had a privacy policy and they had terms of service and everyone checked the box and legally — supposedly — that covered them for all the things that they were doing. 
 
But not really, because in the court of public opinion, eventually people started to say, ‘Hey, this isn’t right, that’s not right. I don’t think that I really consented to have my elections meddled with. That’s not in my imagination.’ If you look at the letter of the law, I’m sure Facebook is probably in compliance, but ethically their business practice extended beyond what people turned out to be comfortable with. I have a feeling that that same kind of thing is going to happen with employees.

Probably we’ll see this kind of objection happening among fairly sophisticated workers first, just like the Google Maven project was objected to by Google employees first. They’re very sophisticated, intelligent, well-educated people who are used to being listened to.

The law will have to react to those kinds of things, which is typical, right? Laws always react. 
 
What are good data science ethics policies that enterprises should adopt when handling both user data and employee data? 
 
Norén: Well, one of the more creative things that we’re trying to do is, instead of asking people at one point in time to confront a very dense legal document that says, “OK, now I’ve signed — I’m not even sure what — but I’m going to sign here and then I’ll just move on with my life,’ is to kind of do transparency all throughout the process. 
 
Let’s say you’re a typical employee and you emailed your wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, kid, whoever, some personal connection from your work account. Now you’ve consented to let your employer look at that email traffic. They may or may not be reading the contents of the email, but they can see subject lines and who you’re contacting and that may be personal for you. Instead of just letting that happen, you could say, ‘Hey, it looks like you’re emailing someone who we think is a personal connection. Just wanted to remind you that we are able to see …’ and then whatever your agreement is. 
 
Remind them of what you’re able to see and then you say something like, ‘You know, if you were to contact this person after hours or on another device or outside of this account then we wouldn’t be able to see that.’ To encourage them to take their own privacy a little bit more seriously on a daily basis right at the moment where it matters rather than assuming they’re going to remember something that they signed three years ago. Even three minutes ago. Make it really accessible and then do that transparent kind of thing throughout. 
 
Maybe they’re still OK with it because it’s just email. But maybe then you also use some of the information that you have about those emails. Like, ‘OK, I can see that Jane is totally comfortable emailing her mom all the time.’ But then if Jane leaves the company, maybe that’s some of the first steps you investigate and then delete. So not only do you make transparency kind of an ongoing process where you’re obtaining consent all the way along for doing what you’re doing, or at least providing your employees some strategy for not being surveilled, but then once they leave, you probably — as an employer — want to maintain some of the data that they have.

Certainly from the cybersecurity perspective, if you’re trying to develop predictive algorithms about, ‘What does a typical employee working in accounting do?’ you don’t just want to delete all their data the second they leave because it’s still valuable to you in terms of creating a baseline model of a typical employee, or in this case maybe if you require creating a baseline model of that employee, it’s still really valuable. But you probably don’t need to know all the times that they were emailing their personal connections. Maybe that’s something that you decide to decay by design. You decay out some of the most privacy-sensitive stuff so that you can keep what is valuable to you without exposing this person’s private communications any more than they would need to be. 

What are the ethical issues with storing so much data?

Norén: One of the things about these contracts is the indefinite status of holding onto data. We’re very skeptical about hoarding data. We’re very picky about what we keep. And we try to find ways to take the stuff that might be not all that valuable to us but very sensitive to the individual because it’s personal or who knows might make it sensitive, and deleting that kind of thing first.

The right to be forgotten is that someone’s going to come to you and say, ‘Hey, would you please forget this?’ Just as a good social scientist, we know that only a very select group of people ever feel so empowered and so informed of the right to go do such a thing. So it’s already kind of an unfair policy because most people won’t know how to do that, won’t know that they can do that. We feel like some of these broader policies are actually more fair because they will be applied to everyone, not just the privileged people who are entitled to their rights, and they’re going to demand these things and figure out how to do it. So those are the kinds of policies that we’re looking at. 
 
We have decided never to store the contents of people’s emails in the first place. That also falls in line with our “do not hoard” policy. We don’t need to know contents of emails. It doesn’t give us anything additional for what we need to do, so we’re just not going to store it. And we’re not going to get transfixed by what lots of data scientists get transfixed by which is the idea that in the future if we have all the data now, we’ll do this magical thing in the future that we haven’t figured out yet. No, that fairy tale’s dead here.

Mavenlink M-Bridge tether professional services automation silos

Embedded API integration is a significant trend across the software management universe that’s used by marquee-brand independent software vendors, like Salesforce and Red Hat, to break through data access and delivery barriers. Now, API integration has arrived in professional services automation platforms.

Designed for service organizations, such as law firms and nonprofits, professional services automation (PSA) software provides resource management, project management and project billing capabilities for enterprise applications. Organizations typically implement PSA platforms in silos and invest in integration PaaS (iPaaS) or integration middleware to connect with enterprise applications via prebuilt integration APIs.

Mavenlink, a cloud PSA platform provider in Irvine, Calif., hopes to bridge this connectivity gap with M-Bridge, an OpenAPI integration platform to help businesses standardize the data flow between operational platforms. Partner or customer integrations built into Mavenlink using M-Bridge are approved and added to other packaged integrations for other customers to use.

Systems of record, such as sales and financial systems, are typical uses for M-Bridge prebuilt integrations. Examples include integration with an accounting system to help manage and monitor expenses, project billings and a project burn rate; or link with a customer relationship management system to provide alerts about critical needs, such as new staffing requirements for delivering a project.

Streamlining application integration should help companies include more integrations in the initial phase of the implementation.
John Ragsdalevice president of service technology research, TSIA

Most PSA vendors publish integration APIs and packaged integrations to enterprise applications, such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. M-Bridge fills PSA users’ need for standardized API-based integration, which can allow reuse of integration models from one project to another, said John Ragsdale, vice president of service technology research for TSIA, an IT research firm in San Diego.

Connecting API integration to software management tools hits business users’ sweet spot for functionality and pricing, which sits between a simple set of published integration APIs on the low end and enterprise-level iPaaS and integration middleware on the other. PSA is the latest sector of software management tools enhanced with enterprise-level API integration. Earlier this year, Salesforce added standardized API integration capabilities to its software line with its MuleSoft acquisition, and Red Hat fused integration capabilities into its 3Scale API management product.

M-Bridge is the first domain-specific integration platform in the PSA market, Ragsdale said. Other PSA vendors include FinancialForce, Kimble, Upland, Workday and others.

API integration increased reusability, speed

Ragsdale said he frequently hears PSA software adopters complain about unmet ROI expectations, the causes of which are blamed on siloed data, too many applications and lack of adoption by employees averse to navigate them.

“Streamlining application integration should help companies include more integrations in the initial phase of the implementation, boosting time to value for the project, as well as employee adoption,” he said.

M-Bridge’s prebuilt integrations will help reduce the time to link the Mavenlink platform with other software platforms, said Kim Bernall, product manager at Talisys, a financial sector independent software vendor in Golden, Colo., which uses Mavenlink for resource management during project delivery lifecycles. Each Talisys development project involves the same repetitive tasks; Mavenlink PSA already allows the company to standardize process across projects and monitor and track project activities.

“M-Bridge is going to help us organize the API calls that we’re using now in a more integrated fashion,” Bernall said. Talisys started using OpenAPI over a year ago and with Mavenlink’s support created documentation for use cases. “I am so much more self-sufficient in looking at the documentation and creating calls on my own,” she said.

For Sale – hp pavilion 15″ i3/8gb/1TB – bargain

In continuing my trend of selling everythign to pay for my boiler, i have this nice 15″ HP Pavilion, in black/silver

got windows 10 on it, and 8GB of Ram.

decent little unit, should be good for homework or something.

£150 + Del but open to offers for quick sale!

Price and currency: £175 – NOW £150
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT Preferred
Location: Sussex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – hp pavilion 15″ i3/8gb/1TB – bargain

In continuing my trend of selling everythign to pay for my boiler, i have this nice 15″ HP Pavilion, in black/silver

got windows 10 on it, and 8GB of Ram.

decent little unit, should be good for homework or something.

£150 + Del but open to offers for quick sale!

Price and currency: £175 – NOW £150
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT Preferred
Location: Sussex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

______________________________________________________
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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

  • Landline telephone number. Make a call to check out the area code and number are correct, too
  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – hp pavilion 15″ i3/8gb/1TB – bargain

In continuing my trend of selling everythign to pay for my boiler, i have this nice 15″ HP Pavilion, in black/silver

got windows 10 on it, and 8GB of Ram.

decent little unit, should be good for homework or something.

£150 + Del but open to offers for quick sale!

Price and currency: £175 – NOW £150
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT Preferred
Location: Sussex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
Please be advised, all buyers and sellers should satisfy themselves that the other party is genuine by providing the following via private conversation to each other after negotiations are complete and prior to dispatching goods and making payment:

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  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – hp pavilion 15″ i3/8gb/1TB – bargain

In continuing my trend of selling everythign to pay for my boiler, i have this nice 15″ HP Pavilion, in black/silver

got windows 10 on it, and 8GB of Ram.

decent little unit, should be good for homework or something.

£150 + Del but open to offers for quick sale!

Price and currency: £175 – NOW £150
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT Preferred
Location: Sussex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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  • Name and address including postcode
  • Valid e-mail address

DO NOT proceed with a deal until you are completely satisfied with all details being correct. It’s in your best interest to check out these details yourself.

For Sale – hp pavilion 15″ i3/8gb/1TB – bargain

In continuing my trend of selling everythign to pay for my boiler, i have this nice 15″ HP Pavilion, in black/silver

got windows 10 on it, and 8GB of Ram.

decent little unit, should be good for homework or something.

£150 + Del but open to offers for quick sale!

Price and currency: £175 – NOW £150
Delivery: Delivery cost is not included
Payment method: BT Preferred
Location: Sussex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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By replying to this thread you agree to abide by the trading rules detailed here.
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Explosion in unstructured data storage drives modernization

Digital transformation is the key IT trend driving enterprise data center modernization. Businesses today rapidly deploy web-scale applications, file sharing services, online content repositories, sensors for internet of things implementations and big data analytics. While these digital advancements facilitate new insights, streamline processes and enable better collaboration, they also increase unstructured data at an alarming rate.

Managing unstructured data and its massive growth can quickly strain legacy file storage systems that are poorly suited for managing vast amounts of this data. Taneja Group recently investigated the most common of these file storage limitations in a recent survey. The study found the top challenges IT faces with traditional file storage are lack of flexibility, poor storage utilization, inability to scale to petabyte levels and failure to support distributed data. These obstacles often lead to high storage costs, complex storage management and limited flexibility in unstructured data storage.

So how are companies addressing the unstructured data management challenge? As with all things IT, it’s essential to have the right architecture. For unstructured data storage, this means a highly scalable, resilient, flexible, economical and accessible secondary storage environment.

Let’s take a closer look at modern unstructured data storage requirements and examine why distributed file systems and a scale-out object storage design, or scale-out storage, are becoming a key part of modern secondary storage management.

Scalability and resiliency

Given the huge amounts of unstructured data, it’s undeniable that scalability is the most critical aspect of modern secondary storage.

Given the huge amounts of unstructured data, scalability is undeniably the most critical aspect of modern secondary storage. This is where scale-out storage shines. It’s ideal for managing huge amounts of unstructured data because it easily scales to hundreds of petabytes simply by adding storage nodes. This inherent advantage over scale-up file storage appliances that become bottlenecked by single or dual controllers has prompted several data protection vendors to offer scale-out secondary storage platforms. Notable vendors with scale-out secondary storage offerings are Cohesity, Rubik and — most recently — Commvault.

Attaining storage resiliency is another important requirement of modern secondary storage. Two key factors are required to achieve storage resiliency. The first is high fault tolerance. Scale-out storage is ideal in this area because it uses space-efficient erasure coding and flexible replication policies to tolerate site, multiple node and disk failures.

Rapid data recovery is the second key factor for storage resiliency. For near-instantaneous recovery times, IT managers should look for secondary storage products that provision clones from backup snapshots to recover applications in minutes or even seconds. Secondary storage products should allow administrators to run recovered applications directly on secondary storage until data is copied back to primary storage and be able to orchestrate the recovery of multi-tier applications.

Flexibility and cost

To handle multiple, unstructured data storage use cases, modern secondary storage must also be flexible. Central to flexibility is multiprotocol support. Scale-out storage should support both file and object protocols, such as NFS for Linux, SMB or CIFS for Windows and Amazon Simple Storage Service for web-scale applications. True system flexibility also requires modularity, or composable architecture, which enables multidimensional scalability and I/O flexibility. Admins must be able to quickly vary computing, network and storage resources to accommodate IOPS-, throughput- and capacity-intensive workloads.

Good economics is another requirement for modern secondary storage. Scale-out storage reduces hardware costs by enabling software-defined storage that uses standard, off-the-shelf servers. It’s also simple to maintain. Administrators can easily upgrade or replace computing nodes without having to migrate data among systems, reducing administration time and operating costs. Scale-out secondary storage also provides the option to store data in cost-effective public cloud services, such as Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.

Moreover, scale-out storage reduces administration time by eliminating storage silos and the rigid, hierarchical structure used in file storage appliances. It instead places all data in a flat address space or single storage pool. Scale-out secondary storage also provides built-in metadata file search capabilities that help users quickly locate the data they need.

Some vendors, such as Cohesity, offer full-text search that facilitates compliance activities by letting companies quickly find files containing sensitive data, such as passwords and Social Security numbers. Add to this support for geographically distributed environments, and it’s easy to see why scale-out storage is essential for cost-effectively managing large-scale storage environments.

Data management

The final important ingredient of modern secondary storage environments is providing easy access to services required to manage secondary data. As the amount of unstructured data grows, IT can make things easier for storage administrators and improve organizational agility by giving application owners self-service tools that automate the full data lifecycle. This means providing a portal or marketplace and predefined service-level agreement templates that establish the proper data storage parameters. These parameters include recovery points, retention periods and workload placement based on a company’s standard data policies. Secondary storage should also integrate with database management tools, such as Oracle Recovery Manager.

Clearly, distributed file systems and scale-out object storage architectures are a key part of modern secondary storage offerings. There is an evolution of secondary product portfolios to address the immense unstructured data storage needs of modern organizations in the digital era. So stay tuned, as I expect nearly all major data protection vendors will introduce scale-out secondary storage products over the next 12 to 18 months. 

Unconventional Wisdom – Microsoft Design – Medium


Unconventional Wisdom

Field notes from a design team at Adobe MAX 2017

I’m encouraged by the trend of conferences and groups for women in technology. It’s fantastic that women are starting to come together to find their voice and grow as professionals in a male-dominated industry. However, as a creative woman in design at a large technology company, I feel something is missing; where are the groups to support women in creative positions and design leadership?

As a member of a women in design group at Microsoft, we addressed that gap last week in Las Vegas. We decided we didn’t need to go to a conference focused on women, but that we could go to a creativity conference together; and that we would lean on and learn from one another during the experience. We all expected lots of of tech, tools, and processes, which Adobe MAX certainly delivered. But what really excited us were the passionate and talented people we encountered.

Here are 5 inspiring things we discovered

EMPATHY

Christina Koehn

The theme that resonated most with me was empathy; for our customers, for the teams we manage, and for all people. We are all different, and differences should be celebrated. As designers, we have a role to play in making sure the products and services that we shape are flexible enough to help all people, not just a few select groups.

Tina Roth Eisenberg

Tina Roth Eisenberg, founder of Creative Mornings, spoke about the importance of fun in the work place, but also the importance of empathy and understanding for the situations those you work with. She said that “trust breeds magic,” and that “business relationships are like real relationships.” Amazing things happen when team members trust and respect each other and enjoy working together. Work (and life) shouldn’t be all about personal gains and personal winnings; create an environment where people feel heard, safe, and respected and the team will flourish. Kindness + Empathy = Loyalty.

Albert Shum, Corporate Vice President of Design at Microsoft, spoke of radical empathy, and how important it is to advocate for human interests in this new era of of artificial intelligence. How do we keep people, rather than tech, at the heart of things, and how do creators of AI embrace inclusivity and represent a diversity of perspectives? The data used to train machine learning models needs to represent the diversity of the customer base, and designers of AI have a role to play to be empathetic and ensure no one is excluded.

The most inspiring part of Adobe Max was seeing the creative community come together not just to make products and marketing materials that look amazing, but to truly change the world through empathizing with others different from ourselves and empowering them to be co-creators. We have a role as designers to practice empathy, and to shape the future we want.


HUMANITY

Priya Chauhan

“When you humanize a culture or an issue, people are very capable of getting it” — Annie Griffiths

Adobe MAX was a culture shock. I was expecting “Hello, I am Adobe and this is how you use a brush”, but instead I got an amazing experience listening to creatives speak about life and art as a single entity. Design should not just be about grids, rules and check-lists but it should feel free and come from the heart. When design can pull at heart strings, then you know it’s something special.

Two speakers who totally rocked this message were: Annie Griffiths, a photojournalist, who uses her photography to tell stories on empowering women and children in developing countries. It is through her photos she gives them a voice. The second was graphic designer: Aaron Draplin, who gave a great talk about how to be human in this industry, and that design should not be a process but be about life experiences. It is so easy to get comfortable and blend into our environment, but our quirkiness and personal style are what sets us apart from each other and this is what our work should reflect!

Watch Annie Griffith’s talk here, under ‘Community inspires creativity’

I walked away from Adobe MAX thinking, never stop creating art for yourself and try to bring a touch of you into all your designs at work. In other words, don’t stop being you!


BRAVERY

Hui Lui

I was attracted by 3 extraordinary speakers. Jonathan Adler talked of leaving his day job to pursue pottery, freeing him to begin each day attempting to realize his overnight vision at the potter’s wheel. Aaron Draplin relayed that he designed his own workspace. He’s a visual designer that runs right through walls. Literally. And there was Emily Pilloton, an architect (and now teacher) who, when asked if she would design an addition to a school building replied- “Yes and…” then went on to develop Project H, a design/build program for students who proceeded to construct their own place of learning.

Slides from Jonathan Adler, Aaron Draplin, and Emily Pilloton

These speakers shared a passion which transcended their career into every aspect of their lives. I believe their passion fueled their bravery, their willingness to get out of their comfort zones—to try something new. 
One of my fears is that of being ordinary. : 0 
By emulating these inspiring creators, I hope to be able to summon my own courage to attempt extraordinary things.


TOUCH

Kristin Standiford

Amidst all the high-tech, automated, machine learning, and AI presentations, what I found to be the most inspiring was hearing about the truly human, tactile, intuitive, and emotional aspects of design.

Kelli Anderson’s wonderfully tactile pop-up books

Kelli Anderson is an incredible paper artist and designer. She reminds us that paper, like design, has the ability to demonstrate and show us things we otherwise could not see. Beginning as a flat sheet, once folded or curved, paper can occupy a myriad of 3-dimensional spaces. For example, twist a strip of paper into a Mobius strip. By physically experiencing this, we instantly “get it.” But take a look at the math behind a Mobius strip — it seems much more complex than simply twisting the paper. Similarly, design — by subtly (or dramatically) “twisting” and “bending” — can emulate a myriad of personalities. Design can create surprise and delight. It can bring to life emotions and tones. These things are harder to quantify, but make experiences memorable. As designers, sometimes we don’t always need to start out with the math and the data. It’s ok to invent, discover, and feel things out first.

Adam Morgan is a creative director at Adobe and spoke about the value of emotion and creativity in a world focused on data and rationalism. Is it important to connect to an audience on an emotional and visceral level? If people can comprehend and react to a straightforward and logical message, why get creative? Logic has been king recently: test, evaluate, use data, think rationally, emotion will cloud your decision making. But emotions make us human. Our conscious brain looks for patterns. When it senses a disruption, or anomaly, it perks up and pays attention. Then the chemicals [emotions] start firing, and a memory is made. How can we better connect with customers and initiate action? Create something unexpected and lock it in with a positive emotion and a stronger memory will be made. People will connect, react, and remember. Attention + emotion = action.

I came out of Adobe Max completely blown away by the creativity and marvelous software technology. But what it really reminded me of is that we are humans. We live in a tactile world with nuance. We have memory, reactions, and intuition. Data, information, numbers, and all the quantifiable things are important signifiers, but let’s not forget that logic needs emotion. And the squishier, experiential, and tactile feelings are what our senses consider memorable.


HEROES (ARE HUMAN)

-Jiwon Choi

Designers have superpowers to change minds and influence people…and you don’t have to wait for someone to ask you to do it— Bonnie Siegler

Adobe Max was the first conference I’ve ever attended and I came home after three days feeling inspired, rejuvenated, and in reference to our CEO’s newest book, refreshed. From the 72 hours spent in Vegas — which breaks my ultimate life-rule of never spending more than 48 hours in the Sin City — the talks that resonated with me the most were the speakers who opened up about their personal experiences in design.

Mina Markham, the first engineer on Hillary’s design team, talked through her experience from day one to the final election. Final results aside, she talked through her long journey of building a pattern library famously coined “Pantsuit Nation” which by its final development led to the beautifully designed and coded website, Hillary.com. Her experience showed courage and despite the blood, sweat, and tears along with unsolicited personal attacks on social media on her color, gender, and support for Hillary Clinton — she steadfastly stated that it was worth it, one hundred percent. As a creator, I oftentimes find myself facing a sea of challenges but Mina Markham’s story taught me that the hard work put into ensuring a genuine and thoughtful experience is worth all the punches.

The genuine failures, successes, and navigation through moments of ambiguity were all places I’ve been — and these hard earned insights inspired me to reflect and internalize the lessons from those who also create. Adobe Max set up a platform not only to excite us with their new tools and innovation — but also a way to hear from our heroes in the industry, making them more accessible, relatable, and human.


Your reporting design team at Adobe MAX

As a woman in tech it’s interesting to see that all the things that inspired us were different aspects of humanity. As a woman in design it reaffirms my belief in human-centered design. And as a member of our women in design group, I gained new appreciation that we are all unique — with diverse backgrounds, personality types, and passions. We are also at various stages in our lives and careers—with different goals and approaches. I believe this diversity can only make our design teams stronger. — C.K.


What inspired you at AdobeMAX? Share your thoughts with us in the comments.
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Adobe MAX Speaker Links:

Watch the sessions here.

See some of Kelli Anderson’s amazing projects here.
A pop-up book.
Buy it here
A pop-up pinhole camera book.
Buy it here.

Read more about and from Adam Morgan here.