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…

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

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…

Four keys to your late-career working life
| |

Four keys to your late-career working life

Imagine your retirement. What are you doing? Traveling around and hanging out with grandchildren? Sounds boring to me. Sure, after the end of a frenetic work life, it sounds attractive to have few actual responsibilities. You can think of it as a longer vacation. But people who are active workers, thinkers, and problem-solvers aren’t likely…

Newsletter 6 December 2023: Problematic motivations; infinite suckage; TaylorSwift.ai?
| |

Newsletter 6 December 2023: Problematic motivations; infinite suckage; TaylorSwift.ai?

Newsletter 21: Challenges beat bribes to get problems solved, cheaper audiobooks, Michael Lewis’ antiheroes, woman of the year, plus three people to follow, three books to read, and a holiday discount on the top manual for authors. How to motivate smart people I love to solve problems. I have always loved to solve problems. I’m…

What companies own is now almost worthless. Labor is winning.

What companies own is now almost worthless. Labor is winning.

Take a close look at what has happened in the last few months and at OpenAI, in the last few days. The Hollywood writers and actors went on strike, and the entertainment industry companies were forced to yield to their demands. Because without writers or actors, there is no entertainment. Movie theaters, streaming services, and…

Creating reviewable drafts: complete but not finished
| |

Creating reviewable drafts: complete but not finished

If you are creating a draft of a book chapter, essay, blog post, or other content that others must review, it’s tempting to just assemble something quickly and fling it out there. After all, people are just going to criticize it anyway. Alternatively, you may be tempted to make your draft as complete and polished…

How writers can efficiently serve two masters (or more)
|

How writers can efficiently serve two masters (or more)

Whether you’re writing in a corporate setting or as a freelancer, you’re likely to face this common issue: multiple “client” individuals that you must satisfy before the project is complete. How can a writer serve more than one master? In my experience, this is both extremely common and very tricky. In the business writer survey…