I love it when Apple unwittingly, but always purposefully, hands us our future — for a steep admission price. Watching our new watch-centric Futureworld unwind yesterday — in the din from a bright new set of iPhone 6 twins — was a surreal and foreboding experience. Apple takes us by the hand and we lovingly follow, and play along, all while paying up — and we believe we’re all better for it in the effervescent end; but are we?
Last month, Google shook up the hosted online content creator world with news that their search rankings will start to reflect HTTPS security. That’s big news. Google wants a secure web, and to get us all there — kicking and screaming, if need be — they will reward those who leap on the SSL bandwagon with higher visibility.
For these reasons, over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
In the Fall of 2004, I was teaching a course at Rutgers University in Newark called “From Page to Stage” where the idea — as I was teaching the course — was to take original scripts written in class and present them in live performance to learn how the process of active creation worked.
The final project was a series of group presentations where students shared their lives as they were living it — and the alarming result of one racially diverse group was: “Newark in Black and Blue.” That group’s bruising presentation was tough and blunt and dramatic and I decided we had to record that performance in audio so we could preserve the truth of the moment.
Yesterday, I posted what I thought was an innocuous Twitter update asking if we’ve gone too far with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge because now it is more about famous people getting wet than actually raising ongoing, substantial, awareness for the disease. Sure, we remember people doing stupid things for a video camera, but aren’t there more dangerous things going on in the world that more demand our rapt attention like, say Ferguson, Missouri and beheading Americans?
If you were a reader of David Boles Blogs back in the day when we were more formally known as — GO INSIDE Magazine in the early 90’s — you will be as delighted as I was to hear from our venerable friend, and early ally, Joyce Kohl, who touched in this morning via the Boles Blogs Contact form to give us an update on her wonderful life.
Our second American Sign Language book published in three weeks — Day One: Learning American Sign Language in 24 Hours written by Janna Sweenie and David Boles — is now available for purchase online as an eBook. You may read the book online, on your smartphone, tablet, computer or Kindle! You also get 150 free HD ASL videos for use with the book! We invite you to join us in our ongoing effort to help propagate American Sign Language as a proper foreign language!
In what has to be one of the oddest, and least nimble — but purposeful Public Policy gaffes and pre-planned Public Relations stumbles — Twitter have doubled down on the bifurcation of their service into 103,000 Verified accounts vs. 271,000,000 active, monthly, non-Verified know-nothings:
And today we’re beginning to roll out two new features to verified users on the Twitter mobile apps: alerts when another verified user follows them on both the Android and iPhone apps and the option to view their verified followers from their own profile on Twitter for iOS only. We hope these two features will help verified users easily connect with each other so we can continue to deliver those only-on-Twitter conversations to users.