Turning Paper Delivery Back On

This week I turned paper delivery back on for T-Mobile and all my credit card statements. I didn’t do this to save the US Postal Service from extinction. I did it because these businesses’ statement ePickup services weren’t delivering an adequate level of service. I call their electronic statement services ePickup because instead of delivering the statements they send you an email notice telling you to go pick up your own statement. Read more about ePickup in my previous post.

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Fat Fingered Financial

Sophos ran an article this morning describing how “two typosquatting sites, Wikapedia.com and Twtter.com, have been forced offline and fined £100,000 ($156,000) each by a UK telephone regulatory agency.”

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Apple Restricts iCloud to Apps in App Store

For the forthcoming Mountain Lion release of Mac OS X, Apple is advancing their support of iCloud and introducing the Notification Center. Third party app developers will not have access to iCloud and the Notification Center unless they release their software through Apple’s App Store.

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Stupid Password Rules

I covered passwords in enough detail in this post. You’d think most companies would have got the message by now and the only companies with stupid password rules would be those with legacy sites. You’d think.

T-Mobile

Today T-Mobile introduced their new stupid password rules:

  1. Must be at least 8 characters long
  2. Must contain both letters and numbers
  3. Must contain both uppercase and lowercase letters
  4. Cannot contain spaces or special characters (!, @, $, %, \’)

Sigh.

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iBook: Apple At It's Worse

Apple’s greed has passed the threshold for anticompetitive behavior that makes them evil. No company wants to compete in an open market, but Apple is going the extra mile to eliminate competition.

This I conclude from three distinct moves:

  1. Apple long ago blocked third party document innovation on their devices
  2. Their new iBook format is built as proprietary extensions on the shoulders of ePub
  3. Any content produced with it’s new, free iBooks Author tool can only be used on Apple devices

You wouldn’t think Apple would need to limit competition with earnings results such the ones they announced today, but I guess when you’re big, the only way you can grow your value is to bite off new markets to own.

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SOPA: Was the MPAA Stupid or Manipulated?

There’s little point in adding to the discussion on SOPA (and PIPA), particularly since the protests from this past Wednesday have been so effective. If you don’t yet understand what is wrong with SOPA read this or watch this.

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Solving e-delivery: Solutionscape

This is part four of a series on e-delivery:

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In my previous post I looked at the requirements for an e-delivery solution. That post hinted at the need for standards so that businesses could future-proof whatever solutions they adopt. I discussed the existing cloud-centric solutions in a bit of detail in my post Statement E-Delivery is Broken. In this post I dig a little deeper and look at what constraints and trends businesses should consider and how they should future-proof their solutions.

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Solving e-delivery: fundamental requirements

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You are a bank, biller, health care provider, insurer, payroll or other businesses. You currently do not have a way to push confidential documents and messages to end users and to notify your customers (users) of new content or messages.

How do you send messages and documents to the user, and make them aware that they have new content? For a message solution to work you need to make notifications available to the user in a place that your customer frequents. You don’t send the actual message or document via email because of security and reliability issues. Instead you are putting the message or document on your own web site and, for important content, sending users an e-pickup notice via email. But content is only retrieved when users get around to it, which in many cases never happens.

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Statement E-Delivery is Broken

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It’s year end and like millions of other households I am rounding up all our electronic records for reconciliation and tax purposes. Much of our information is still best or only presented in paper or as PDF statements. Beyond this fact, many of us would prefer to have access to offline copies of our records that we can archive, quickly navigate, cross reference and be sure to retain beyond when a particular account is still active.

Businesses are pushing for electronic delivery of these statements, bills and tax documents, but e-delivery is broken. In fact {“ what businesses today are calling e-delivery is actually e-pickup “}, and true e-delivery doesn’t actually exist! The onus is on us to visit the 20 or more web sites where our content is stored, then manually retrieve, save and organize this content. No wonder so many people are not willing to turn off paper!

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Why do banks still have no way to send us confidential messages?

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We’ve crossed into 2012 yet banks and health care are still putting us through contortions to retrieve confidential electronic messages. Why? Paper and FAX were the accepted practice in the old days, but when it comes to electronic delivery there really is no push delivery replacement. E-mail sounds kind of like the right solution, but it’s not secure.

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