AT&T will cough up 5 bucks to subscribers affected by its outage. Is that enough?

AT&T will cough up 5 bucks to subscribers affected by its outage. Is that enough?

After an extended outage on February 22 that left around 50 million mobile customers (including me) without service for many hours, AT&T is crediting some people’s accounts by $5. Is that the right compensation? What went wrong AT&T says the cause of the problem was an error in installing software — and there is no…

Who will remember you?

Who will remember you?

I’ve met thousands of people over my long career — colleagues, clients, direct reports, bosses, executives, and “influencers” of every stripe. I also have a really poor memory for people. So I’m a decent test case for the question, “Who will remember you?” If I remember somebody after decades of work, they were truly memorable….

Is “data” singular or plural? The Wall Street Journal wants it both ways.

Is “data” singular or plural? The Wall Street Journal wants it both ways.

If you are writing about data, you have a choice to make: singular or plural. Singular: The data is so persuasive that only one conclusion is possible. Plural: The data are so persuasive that only one conclusion is possible. Both are correct, depending on the audience Colloquially, most people speak about “data” as a singular…

Pyramidal ideas; ASSes and PEONs, book bans; AI crushes everything: Newsletter 21 February 2024
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Pyramidal ideas; ASSes and PEONs, book bans; AI crushes everything: Newsletter 21 February 2024

Newsletter week 32. How to think about ideas, book bans, AI killing everything, plus three people to follow and three books to read. Full-stack idea development: don’t be an ASS or a PEON Authors have ideas. Authors have expertise. But unless those ideas and expertise reinforce each other properly, you can’t build a good book…

As Air Canada just learned, chatbots’ owners are responsible for their actions
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As Air Canada just learned, chatbots’ owners are responsible for their actions

If an employee of a company told you something wrong that cost you money, you could sue the company for damages. It’s the same with a chatbot. Here’s what happened. Air Canada features a customer service chatbot on its website. You’ve probably interacted with service chatbots like these on other companies’ sites — I researched…

Why you should love your tough developmental editor

Why you should love your tough developmental editor

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, editorial director of the publisher Berrett-Koehler, recently wrote that if you love your editor, they’re probably not doing a good job. This contradicts my experience. Great writers love great editors — and hate them at the same time. It’s a strange relationship. An analogy Imagine that you are working with a personal trainer…

Ghostwriters, confidentiality, and desire for vindication

Ghostwriters, confidentiality, and desire for vindication

A clash between two rights characterizes every story you read in a nonfiction book. You, the reader, have a right to the truth. And the people you’re reading about have a right to privacy. The author walks the narrow path between those rights. But it becomes even more challenging if the right to privacy is…