Skip to main content

The technology of divorce

This morning a fascinating article showed up in my RSS feed on how technology is changing divorce. I encourage you to go read it over at the NY Times, but the quick summary is that things like texting and email have made face-to-face conversations less required in a divorce situation. That can end up being beneficial in situations with kids, since the chance of having a big argument in front of the children during an exchange or in a phone call become more rare.

As someone who is divorced with joint custody of my kids, I can say with first hand experience that it works. Firing off a quick text to coordinate scheduling or letting the other parent know about an upcoming event, are fast and easy. As talked about in the article, having the children have their own cell phones is also a great idea, since the parents can talk to their kids with quick calls and messages without having to deal with the ex-spouse.

However, there are certain areas where technology hasn't quite caught up to the reality of modern divorced families. Particularly with things like school parent portals, and church databases. When I signed up for a user account for my kids on-line portal they informed me that my username would include part of the child's home phone number. I immediately thought... "Which one? Between my ex-wife and I, and the kids cell phones, we have 4 phone numbers." Plus, they only gave us one account, so my ex and I have to share the same username and password to access the kids records.

Our church's database software ins't much better it seems since it doesn't seem to understand the notion that my kids might have two addresses that they live at, and that sending me mail with my ex-wife's name on it next to mine (even with her maiden name on it), isn't the best idea. I'm sure it's just a simple mail merge database, but it does go to show that often times software developers don't take in to account some of the more common family situations that occur in our society.

Hmm, maybe I can start a consulting business to educate these shops....

Popular posts from this blog

Push it... push it real good...

The other day I got a chance to play with the new Apple force touch trackpad. This is a new design that Apple has put on their laptops for non-mechanized clicking on trackpad. When you press on the trackpad it senses the force that you're pressing with, and when you reach a certain level, you feel a 'click'. If you keep pressing, you feel a second 'click'. The unique thing is that these 'clicks' aren't physical in nature. The trackpad never moves at all, but the click that you feel is from haptic feedback. In essence, when you press with enough force, the trackpad clicks back at you. You feel the sensation of clicking, but it's simply the trackpad responding to your pressure.

I got to play with this for a while, since the Apple Store rep was talking with us about soccer, and after a short bit I was getting the hang of it. I feel that it would take quite a bit longer though to really feel comfortable with this new paradigm. I'm someone who has a …

Hack! Slash! Burn! Crush!!

The big tech news story of the weekend was the hacked account of Mat Honan. As documented in his posting on Wired.com, in the space of a few hours his digital life was in shambles. And as much as we always talk about strong passwords, etc., this was not a case of password failure. It was a case that shows just how our desire for on-demand, cloud based services that are convenient can come back to haunt us.

I highly suggest you go read all 4 pages of the article, but the quick summary is that a hacker wanted control of Mr. Honan's Twitter account. In order to get it, they started with basic social scouting, and proceeded to use all of the built-in tools of Google, Amazon and Apple to gain access to his accounts without ever needing to crack a single password. At Google they discovered what his Apple ID e-mail address was when they did a simple "Forgot my password" query. Then at Amazon, they called up customer service and game'd the system to get access to the last 4 …

The beat goes on

Yesterday Apple revealed their long awaited entry into the streaming music field. They were able to do this quickly because of the acquisition of Beats last year, and the systems and intellectual property that came with that purchase. Considering that the music reveal was pretty much the only big news out of a pretty benign developer keynote, I'll take a few moments to talk about what I think about it.

Apple was perhaps the defining company in the music revolution of the past 20 years. With the introduction of the iPod that revolutionized portable music, to the creation of the iTunes store and the eventual death of DRM, Apple has been at the forefront of digital music. This leadership comes with high expectations to continue to lead, and so many people have long questioned Apple not getting into the streaming music business quicker.

For the past few years new companies have come forth to lead the change in the streaming music evolution. From Pandora and its ability to create uniqu…