Former ABC News president now goes in front of camera

In this April 23, 2014 file photo, David Westin attends the Tribeca Film Festival Vanity Fair party in New York. Westin will anchor Bloomberg Television's new morning show, "Bloomberg Go," which debuts Monday, Oct. 5, 2015, at 7 a.m. After many years behind the scenes in television, Westin will step in front of the camera for three hours each weekday morning.

Experian Breach Exposes Info Of 15M T-Mobile Customers; Partners Not Affected

An Experian breach announced late Thursday exposed the personal information of more than 15 million T-Mobile customers who were using the company's credit services, though a company spokesperson told CRN that partners were not affected by the incident. CRN gets a look into what it takes to fight back against the 'bad guys' at Symantec's Security Operations Center in Herndon, Va.

Who Will Step Up To Secure The Internet Of Things?

lego-robots The Internet of Things (IoT) presents a significant mix of opportunity and risk. Compared to the connected devices of the past, the gazillions of new IoT devices that are being predicted for our homes, transportation, cities, medical devices and elsewhere represent a unique set of security challenges for both companies and their users. They also offer a host of new and attractive opportunity… Read More

New documentary casts spotlight on design’s impact on a product’s success

Tobias van Schneider, Art Director & Product Design Lead, Spotify

One of the major components in developing an application, platform, or technological service is how it’s built and this places engineers on a pedestal. However, it’s not just how it functions that matters, but also how it looks. The designers that are the ones that are having an impact on a product’s success because if the customer experience isn’t right, then just why would anyone use it?

It’s because of this that design collaboration platform InVision has produced a full-length documentary entitled “Design Disruptors”. The film features interviews with 15 of what InVision says are the “world’s most disruptive companies,” including Airbnb, Coursera, Dropbox, Etsy, Eventbrite, Evernote, Facebook, Google Ventures, Twitter, Spotify, Salesforce, Netflix, and Pinterest.

“The impact these companies are having on industries that have remained largely unchanged for a century is astounding,” says InVision chief executive Clark Valberg. “‘Design Disruptors’ showcases the incomparable impact design is having on modern businesses, and in turn the world.”

Within the technology industry in Silicon Valley, there are companies and organizations helping startups with design strategy and thinking. More and more venture capitalists are getting involved in helping startups focus on the design element, including the likes of Google Ventures, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, SoftTech VC, and of course the aptly named Designer Fund.

Ben Blumenfeld, the general partner and cofounder of Designer Fund, said at an August event that oftentimes people approach his firm claiming to already value design. But after enough prodding and investigating, that’s not the case, which is a red flag. “How you think of design holistically is important,” he said.

Google Ventures Design Partner Daniel Burka

Above: Google Ventures Design Partner Daniel Burka

Image Credit: InVision

In an industry where engineers are highly prized, it can be equally difficult to bring on quality designers. Blumenfeld said that a lot more needed to be done before great designers can be produced at scale. Google Ventures’ design partner Daniel Burka says “One of the things [Google Ventures] does a lot is sit down with teams to see what skills you have and talk about how to fill the gaps while looking across the timeline: what are the likely skills you’re going to need…right now the industry is much more fragmented in what people can and can’t do and what their skill level is like. It needs to be improved over the next decade.”

If you need proof that design is gaining a seat at the table, just look at companies like August, which was founded by famed designer Yves Behar; and Airbnb, founded by two graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). It’s all about making sure that you’re having a great design culture. Says Burka: “Companies that are successful at design don’t have better designers than everyone else…when designers give a sh*t about teaching everyone else about design…is when you’ll be successful.”

Screen Shot 2015-10-02 at 5.36.21 PM

As Mia Blume, Pinterest’s product design manager, puts it in the trailer for “Design Disruptors”: “People have choice now. If they open it up and in a few seconds they don’t immediately understand the value, they’re done.” With plenty of services competing against each other, what’s going to be the main distinguisher if they do exactly the same thing: chances are the actual experience of using it.

It looks like companies are really paying attention as corporations have snatched up design firms to update their arsenals. Capital One not only acquired Adaptive Path in 2014, but also Oakland, Calif.-based Monsoon. According to KPCB’s John Maeda’s Design In Tech report this year, 27 startups cofounded by designers have been acquired since 2010, including the likes of Flickr, YouTube, Gowalla, Foodspotting, Simple, Tumblr, Mailbox, About.me, and Pulse.

InVision has released a trailer, which we’ve embedded to this post. The full movie is expected to be released in early 2016.

More information:

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This Week On CrunchWeek: Tesla’s Model X, Google’s New Toys, And Someone Called Jack

crunchweek-4-3 Hello friends, and welcome to another episode of CrunchWeek, TechCrunch’s weekly roundup show that brings you the best of the past seven days in just around 10 minutes. This week myself, and the excellent Megan Rose Dickey and Drew Olanoff gathered to riff on Tesla’s new Model X, Google’s recent hardware introductions including the new Chromecast, and, of course, what’s… Read More

Apple decided to redesign the Windows logo, and it looks like clip art

Why?

Apple, for some reason, has come up its own version of the Windows logo.

Hungarian tech blog Szifon picked up on the oddity and pointed it on Facebook. Another Hungarian blog, tech2.hu took note and wrote a post about it.

You can see the strange gray and white logo online at an Apple support page that’s meant to help people install iCloud apps on Windows. The page has apparently been live since May 25.

It’s odd to see Apple treat Microsoft this way. Last year Microsoft went out of its way to bring its Office apps to iPad last year. More recently, last month Apple introduced the iPad Pro, a tablet with a smart keyboard and stylus that looks inspired in part by Microsoft’s Surface. Microsoft executive even came onstage at the launch event to show Office apps running on the device.

And yet, the odd-looking Windows logo is still live now on Apple’s website.

Go figure.

Apple and Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.










Scottrade says victim of hackers who targeted financial firms

hacker

(Reuters) – Discount broker Scottrade said on Friday that it was the victim of a cyber attack from late 2013 to early 2014 that compromised client names and addresses in a database with information on some 4.6 million customers.

The firm said it learned about the attack from federal law enforcement officials who were investigating the theft of data from Scottrade and other financial services firms. The company did not identify other potential victims. FBI officials could not be reached for comment.

News of the attack comes a day after Experian Plc disclosed a breach that compromised sensitive data of some 15 million people who sought to open accounts with T-Mobile US Inc.

The two incidents, announced on the first two days of the U.S. government’s Cybersecurity Awareness Month, are a stark reminder of the challenges businesses face in getting ahead of hackers following a string of massive breaches in recent years.

Scottrade said on its website that its trading platforms and client funds had not been compromised.

“Although Social Security numbers, email addresses and other sensitive data were contained in the system accessed, it appears that contact information was the focus of the incident,” the company said.

Scottrade said it planned to offer customers identity theft protection services, had hired a computer forensics firm to investigate the attack, secured the intrusion point and beefed up network defenses.

Scottrade spokeswoman Shea Leordeanu declined to say if investigators had identified who was behind the attacks.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jim Finkle; Editing by Meredith Mazzilli and Christian Plumb)