The Danger of Remotely Managed (i.e. cloud-based) Software

Today you can buy a lot of software on a subscription, cloud basis scheme.

Of course, from the software-house point of view there are no issues.  But from the users’ perspective the fact that cloud, subscription-based business models are widely enforced by the market, and that its supporters claim this to be an advantage for the users doesn’t turn a bad management choice into a good one. Continue reading “The Danger of Remotely Managed (i.e. cloud-based) Software”

The Dieselgate Crisis Management: Played by the Book

The way Volkswagen is handling the Dieselgate is a very good example of proper crisis management and seems coming from a crisis management handbook (such as “Master of disaster“): once discovered, the company neither denied the facts nor tried to hide it, announced an independent review, fired the culprits, called-in a new, serious manager started cooperating with the authorities, saved the money for the inevitable fines and damages.

This way Volkswagen has been able to keep the public outcry under control because no collateral damages – such as deep burying evidences, threatening or bribing involved people, further doctoring information etc. – have been suffered, thus helping the company recover its image – and customer base – faster.

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate and The Danger of Closed Source Intellectual Property

The not uncommon practice in the ICT/Mobile business of “doctoring”products to look good on benchmarks has find its way into the automotive (and God knows into how many others) business.

Volkswagen, though, isn’t the only to blame because, true, they cheated, but no public supervising authority ever glimpsed at the software ran by its vehicles, only focusing on “hardware” tests. And – I guess – even if the controllers would have thought of examining the software, they would have been prevented to do so by “the need of protecting Intellectual Property” that – as the “National Security Excuse” – is a buzzphrase to stop any further investigation on controversial matters.

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate shows once more that (a certain way to think of) Intellectual Property – as well of Privacy – has neatly changed its role from being a tool to protect legitimate interests into a shield for wrongdoings.

Were the Volkswagen software released under an open source licensing model, the fear of being exposed would have forced the company to play by the book and would have allowed a true and thorough check by the competent authorities, avoiding a major damage for the industry, investors, employees and citizens.

 

Hacking Team: A Class Action Against Adobe?

After the Hacking Team scandal, everybody and his cousin is calling for a “death sentence” against Adobe Flash, accused of being the “vessel” that allowed Hacking Team’s malware to land on users’ PC and smartphones.

A logical consequence of this  vulnerability and its exploiting by several malwares, including those made by Hacking Team, would be a class-action against Adobe that, as a matter of fact, released a “bugged-by-design” application.

But this is not going to happens against Adobe, as against the other (big or small) fishes of the software pond. We are much too “programmed” to accept a software fault as an act of God instead of either a mistake or a deliberate marketing choice.

Will things change after the Hacking Team scandal? I don’t think so, thus get ready for the next viral infection, information theft or denial of service: is just business as usual.