Chatfé – Interview with CEO, Paul Orlando (Part 2)

Chatfé – Interview with CEO, Paul Orlando (Part 2)

Chatfé is a new kind of social platform that lets you have anonymous phone conversations with like-minded people, and I recently got the opportunity to talk with Paul Orlando, CEO of Chatfé, to learn more about this social networking tool.  To see part 1 of this interview and a comparison of Chatfé and Chatroulette, check out this post.

I came across an interesting point on Chatfé’s blog when Paul Orlando, CEO of Chatfé, described Chatfé as an antidote to the conversations sparked by smokers bumming a cigarette.  In my recent conversation with Paul, he said he thought that while NYC’s cigarette tax is a good thing overall, it extinguished a conversational spark that existed for the last 50+ years.  When people ask strangers for a cigarette or a light, it’s often an excuse to talk to someone.  Paul notes that, “smokers were members of a culture that had a built in mechanism to talk to another person without any pressure.  Now that that’s gone, I hope that Chatfé can bring forth another conversational spark.”

Chatfé recently won the Best Business Viability award at Microsoft’s BizSpark, for which one of the evaluation criteria was how it addresses a business problem.  Chatfé succeeded in this category, Paul notes, because the technology and platform enable individuals and businesses to engage with people in a different way where text is not enough.  People can have an opt-in, free-flowing conversation and go deeper into learning.

This past February, Paul presented at Dorkbot on his experience on what happens when connections are totally random and when they’re completely filterable.  Paul calls Chatfé the “reverse of a social network,” in that they’re working on getting people to speak to one another instead of relying on text and images.  They want to move beyond the popularity of things like Twitter followers, Facebook friends, profile images, etc. and bring conversations back to voice, surrounding topics people really care about.  Paul calls it a “pleasant wrong number experience.”

So who is Chatfé for exactly?  Well, on their website, they say it’s for everyone, including entrepreneurs, students, artists, club-crawlers, sports-lovers, and language learners… basically anyone looking to talk about different topics or spark a debate.  Paul mentioned, however, that they’re “exploring working with a non-profit customer who would benefit from using Chatfé technology to enable their members to connect.  A support group that connects qualified members confidentially and anonymously by phone would be a great way to do that.”

No matter how Chatfé evolves in the coming months or years, it is certainly a breakthrough concept that will be interesting to follow and see how it can be put to use either personally or within various industries.

Windows 7 Launch Today

Windows 7 Launch Today

We’ve all been anxiously awaiting the official launch of Microsoft’s Windows 7.  And guess what?  It’s here!  So far, the response seems very positive with many saying that this is the upgrade Windows Vista was supposed to be.  And we all remember the commercial with the cute little girl who made a slideshow of “happy words” from Windows 7 reviews.

“With Windows 7, the OS is great again.” – Gizmodo
“Windows 7 offers a massive leap forward.” – Maximum PC
“Windows 7 is snappy and responsive.” – ZDNet
“Windows 7 is… stable, smooth, and highly polished.” – CNet

Some of the most hyped up new features include Snap, a tool used to compare two files side by side with a flick of your mouse to the edge of the screen, and the Live Taskbar Preview, which allows users to manage open programs, documents, and browser windows easily with both thumbnail and full-screen previews.  The HomeGroup feature is also pretty nifty for those who want to easily share photos, music, and files on all the PCs in your home network that are running Windows 7.  HomeGroup is especially great for people like my parents who run their company from home and share a printer.

With a quick Google search, you can pull up tons of reviews, but from what I’ve seen, seven certainly seems to be Microsoft’s lucky number for operating systems.  Let’s just hope that luck will wash away all the lingering dissatisfaction with Vista!

Microsoft Security Intelligence Report

Microsoft Security Intelligence Report

Microsoft’s latest Security Intelligence Report came out today detailing the changing threat landscape, among other analyses of malware, software vulnerability, privacy, and the like.  For those who may not want to read the entire 184 page report cover to cover, Larry Dignan, Editor in Chief of ZDnet, gives a summary of the top five points to take away from the report.

One interesting aspect from the report was the following graph depicting the malware infection rates by region. Gizmodo notes that Myanmar and Ethiopia run a pretty tight ship, as noted by their favorable green coloring.  And while the U.S. may not be as bad as Russia or Brazil, Larry Dignan notes that Malware is still dominant in the U.S. and accounts for 67% of all infected computers.

malware-infections-map
Another interesting fact from the report is that Microsoft’s cyber security team concluded that spam is up to 97% of all emails.  This is 3% higher than Google’s reportings from Postini in their Spam Data and Trends: Q1 2009 report, which I referenced in my post from March 31st.

With all of the increasing fears around malware and viruses, it’s no wonder that fake security software is gaining ground.  Microsoft reports that simply by double clicking the icon, the rogue software is launched.  It then claims to have detected a bunch of non-existant infections on your computer, which you then must protect by paying for their services.  And voila, the rogue anti-virus software has infiltrated your system just like that – something my coworker, Lillian, discovered all too well just weeks ago when something similar happened on her computer – better luck next time Lil’.