Posts tagged “scandal”

An inflection point for user research: scandal

A user researcher is front and center in a Silicon Valley competitor-workers legal snarl.

One now-former employee, Ana Rosario, was hired by Fitbit as a user experience researcher around April 16 but did not disclose that she planned to leave Jawbone until April 22, the complaint said. On April 20, according to the complaint, Ms. Rosario held a meeting with Jawbone’s senior director of product management to discuss the company’s future plans and then downloaded what the company said was a “playbook” outlining its future products.During her exit interviews, Ms. Rosario initially denied taking confidential information, but she later acknowledged downloading its “Market Trends & Opportunities” presentation, the complaint said.

I don’t know Ana (although LinkedIn shows me I know many people who do know her); I do know people at Jawbone (and probably people at Fitbit). I’m not sharing this to comment on any of the players or the details of the situation itself, but to note at a meta-level that in the trajectory of user research as a business function, it’s grown in prominence to the point where you can pick up the New York Times one morning and see a story like this.

The Media Can’t Get The Right Message About The Medium

Rep. Foley’s Explicit Messages are big news. But ask yourself this, based on what you’ve read so far. Were the inappropriate communications in email? Or IM? Or both? I really can’t tell. What I’ve seen is sloppy reporting, where a non-technical publication doesn’t bother to distinguish between very different technologies. It was a running joke when reporters kept calling Undercover a “chat room” or a “message board” or an “online forum” instead of a mailing list – you don’t expect much accuracy (or interest in accuracy) from entertainment reporters (I think one story in ’97 or so referred to me as Eve Portigal) and those technologies were somewhat newer back then. But now we’ve got front page coverage by hard-news journalists in all the top publications, presumably with fact-checkers and lawyers looking this stuff over.

Don’t these sort of details matter?

And it was all yellow

The SFChron reports on the man who provided the chili fingertip. The whole affair has been handled by the press about as lamely as you’d expect (hype, sensationalization, etc.) – probably not as bad as Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson, et. al, but still pretty bad. But the Chron takes it way into yellow journalism, like something out of 40s-era scandal sheets about Hollywood starts caught in love-nests, etc. Here’s some of the story that seemed most egregious (and let’s start with the photo, above), making the dude out to be as much of a low-life as they can. For no reason, except, hey, it sells papers. This was a front-page story today, BTW.

Las Vegas — After days of hiding, the man whose infamous fingertip ended up in the middle of the Wendy’s chili scandal said Thursday night that his life had been thrown into a tailspin by the case.

“It’s been hell — you don’t even know!” Brian Rossiter, 36, bellowed from behind the door to his apartment at Thrift Suites, where residents pay by the week. He slammed his fists on the door and yelled obscenities as two reporters stood outside.

Rossiter said he had done nothing wrong but refused to discuss the case. He also said he was tired of the media attention and at one point shoved a television reporter before retreating behind the door.

Although Rossiter was terse Thursday night, he held court the day before at his favorite watering hole, the Sporting Chance Saloon, where his bar buddies refer to him by his nickname, “Fudge.”

Rossiter showed off his mangled hand, patrons said Thursday, and asked people if they wanted “to shake the most famous hand in America.”

Bar buddies bought him shots of his favorite drink, a cinnamon-flavored schnapps with gold flecks called Goldschlager.

Bartenders said he had gotten belligerent and then cursed his mother, who lives in Pennsylvania and told The Chronicle on Tuesday that her son had given away his fingertip to get out of a $50 gambling debt he had with Plascencia. A friend at the bar had to drive Rossiter home, about 5 miles away.

Ira Byrd, who lives in an apartment below Rossiter, saw him come home around 4 p.m. Wednesday. Rossiter confided in Byrd that he was having a bad day.

“I asked him why his day was bad, and he asked me if I had heard the Wendy’s chili story,” Byrd said. “Then he held up his hand and showed me it was him.”

Rick Fuller, a maintenance worker at Thrift Suites, said he believed that Rossiter would sell his fingertip for money. Rossiter was three days behind in his $175 weekly rent Thursday, said Thrift Suites chief engineer Alan Sneddon.

“Most people come in here with a story, like they lost their wallet,” Fuller said. “Rossiter just said he spent his paycheck gambling. At least he told the truth — that’s unusual around here.”

Stones Press Release and time travel

Rolling Stones press relese

Fans, along with hundreds of members of the U.S. and international media gathered at Lincoln Center, were treated to the ultimate surprise performance by the Rolling Stones. As the famous opening notes of ‘Start Me Up’ blared across the plaza, a giant banner with eye-popping signature tongue logos dropped revealing the band performing on the balcony-turned-stage of the 100 year old conservatory, Juilliard. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts and Ronnie Wood played three songs for an ecstatic crowd, including ‘Oh No Not You Again,’ a new track off their upcoming CD along with their classic hit ‘Brown Sugar.’

This release came out several hours before the performance was scheduled. Written in the past tense but written and released ahead of time. Obviously, this isn’t journalism, but still seems unethical. Reminds me of the Mitch Alborn scandal recently.

Hewitt Investment Weekly Review

susser
Andrew Susser, head of Bank of America’s high yield research group, was fired after a report was sent to clients with Mr. Susser’s head superimposed on a woman’s body. The report, entitled Checking In, included on its front page a doctored picture of Mr. Susser in women’s clothing being carried through the threshold of a hotel suite by another man.

Series

About Steve