California just launched a "Digital Service" based on the amazing UK Government Digital Service

Since 2011, the UK's Government Digital Service has radically transformed the way Britons interact with their government, streamlining bureaucratic processes, opening up data, and making APIs available for community groups and commercial players -- alas, the GDS has become a political football in Westminster and has hemorrhaged talent, becoming a sad reminder of a once-glorious dream of government delivered humanely, with the public in mind. Read the rest

People really, really suck at using computers

The OECD's 2011-2015, 33 country, 215,942-person study of computer skills paints a deceptively grim picture of the average level of computer proficiency around the world -- deceptive because it excludes over-65s, who research shows to be, on average, less proficient than the 16-65 cohort sampled. Read the rest

Listening to users is the first step in making them secure

Quinn Norton's lecture A Network of Sorrows: Small Adversaries and Small Allies at Hack.lu (helpfully transcribed by the Open Transcripts folks!) is a great call-to-arms for user-centered security. Read the rest

Help wanted: Simply Secure is hiring an ops person!

Simply Secure is a nonprofit whose advisory board I volunteer for; they're devoted to making usable, human-centered interfaces to privacy tools that anyone can use, and they're hiring. Read the rest

Screenshots of Despair: computers making humans sad

Screenshots of Despair: a Tumblr that features shots of computers interacting with humans in ways that seem calculated to make them sad and angry. As Bruce Sterling notes, "Somebody could teach a pretty good interaction-design course with this handy resource. Maybe somebody already is."

Screenshots of Despair (via Beyond the Beyond) Read the rest