Social / community features in Logos 5 and beyond

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This post has 191 Replies | 8 Followers

Posts 190
EmileB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:29 PM

Hi again Jon!

 

It does seem like the user interface for the Little Snitch is fairly user friendly. I don't know what teh various button options represent in practice on your screen shot, but it looks like I can learn! :-)  I was curious on your original screen shot, though, as it seemed like you were able to be more selective on what TYPES of data Logos was being allowed to send or not send from your computer. looks like that is a feature that a lot of people would be looking for, if I understand them correctly. They can "sync" for updates, resource downloads, etc... but deny various types of data mining?

Posts 180
James Hudson | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:32 PM

Bob Pritchett:
At the same time, though, we are committed to being a web-based, data-driven platform. We are no longer designing a stand-alone, isolated desktop application. Some planned features will require access to databases too large to deliver to user devices; you'll need web access to use them. We will be listening to our users, responding to their feedback and concerns, but like other web-based platforms, we will not necessarily be offering control over every individual setting. Some things come along with being web-based.

 

I understand that some planned functionality may need to access servers. But why should this be two-way traffic (other than the request / response which off course you would log as per any server).

But what I do locally, what I highlight, what notes I write, what books I'm reading locally - that's what the "Send Feedback" set to none should block if it is something I am concerned about.

 

For the record, I'm not particularly into the community aspects and would prefer R&D spent on more useful stuff for real bible stuidy (like improvement of notes engine).

In fact the whole Web community stuff (facebook "likes", twitter feeds etc - so prized recently by Logos) surely is playing to the wrong demographic for Logos users (unless there are loads of female teenage pastors!  Wink)

 

Posts 2277
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:35 PM

Randy W. Sims (Shayne):
Am I at anytime in the future going to lose the ability to run passage guides, exegetical guides, etc. when off line? Is the desktop application going to become another version of the (nearly useless when offline) mobile app?

Hi Randy,

Reading Bob's post here and comments elsewhere, there is no suggestion that this will be the case.

I have seen no suggestion that Logos will reduce or remove existing functionality of L3, L4 or L5 as a result of this announcement (beyond the present limitations of running offline). Rather, Bob suggests that running in offline mode or opting out (whatever that may look like) may compromise the functionality of new, yet to be introduced features. Bob, in his subsequent post, specifically makes reference to an 'all you can read' subscription model (yet to be introduced) which will require online 'opt in'.

In summary, be reassured that there is no suggestion that you will lose the functionality of passage guides and exegetical guides when off line.

Posts 190
EmileB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:38 PM

Edwin Bowden:

EmileB:

... a gentleman always asks.

It is a token of respect... a sign of a cultured and well-mannered man, in a world that seems to have forgotten what that means.

Why not err on the side of being considerate? You can thereby avoid giving unnecessary offense, for what seems to be very little effort.

After all, it's just two little words:

"May I?"

 

Emile,

Thanks for reminding us of the basics of civilization, as well as alerting us to the perils many Logos users around the world face.

I don't question the motives of Logos. I think that Logos wants to produce the best product and study system for its customers. I think it is too easy to get bogged down in all the technical configurations and forget the big picture at times.

Logos does need to remember who's the boss. It is ultimately the customers' choice. Logos needs to remember its servant character. I think that Bob's fairly frequent posts and inquiries show that he does value the input of his customers.

Thank you Edwin! I agree with you 100%..... I have ZERO questions of Logos' motives... and personally I have no issues with entrusting various info to them, anonymous or otherwise. But as I know many folks do, for various reasons... I just think that Christian courtesy would call for a feature to allow them to opt out, especially as in my limited understanding, it doesn't seem like it would hold Logos back or compromise/hinder what they are trying to do. Bob did mention a "all you can read" subscription feature that might be in the works... and obviously it makes sense that if you're going to participate in that feature, you're going to have to agree to data mining (for the reasons Bob outlined). But if one opts out of data mining and the like, those who do so would simply accept that their non-participation would result in certain opportunities of that nature not being available to them. But it shouldn't affect the functionality of the software.

Posts 190
EmileB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:48 PM

Patrick S.:

Also, with respect to where information is anonymised, if it is, is it anonymised on the Logos user's machine or once it gets to Logos' servers? 

 

Also Logos needs to be very careful with its' privacy position with regards European users. The European Union is not as lax as the US with respect to various aspects of computers, the Internet and privacy — as companies like Google and Facebook have found out to their financial discomfort.

Yes, both of these are questions/concerns in my context. I'm not losing sleep over it, but that would be helpful to know. And as Bob says, the greater danger is probably from a Trojan horse or key logger lurking on one's machine than anything having to do with Logos' servers. But is the transmission to Logos from my machine encrypted (sorry if that is a dumb question)? ANd if so, how could are the encryption protocols? They are very good at breaking those things here. Every server is owned by the government... and using email is even dicey at times. Sometimes, I estimate about half gets to me, and half of what gets sent out actually gets through. The KGB forgets to send the other half... ;-) It varies based on how closely they are monitoring on a given day.

Posts 634
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:54 PM

Bob Pritchett:

Thank you for all the thoughtful feedback. Some further thoughts:

We don't plan to take away the ability to read books offline without the Internet, and we haven't disabled Logos 3 or 4 or your ability to use older versions of the software. Some future new features, though, will need the web -- the data will be there, and won't fit locally. 

I was just wondering for clarification on this part of your statement Bob. If one were to go back to Logos 3 to avoid the data mining, wouldn't they lose resources purchased after March 2012 and also not be capable of adding any new resources. I seem to recall the announcement that as of the end of March resources would no longer be compatible with Logos 3.

 

Edit this is from the Logos support pages:

Logos 3 (Libronix)

NOTE: Libronix Digital Library System was discontinued in 2009. As of March 31, 2012, resource files are only compatible with the Logos 4 program. An archive of help articles can be found here.

Posts 2277
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:56 PM

Bob Pritchett:
I hope this overview is helpful, and that you can appreciate the value that these social / community features add to the Logos platform, and hopefully to your study and investment as well.

Thank you for sharing the direction of travel regarding social/community features. 

I personally find much of what you have announced exciting and I can really see a value in greater opportunities for online sharing and collaboration. I am particularly excited with regards to the prospect of the 'all you can read' subscription model.

I also appreciate the value of aggregated data to the continuing success of Logos the business and the development of Logos software.

I personally have no concerns with regards to privacy or confidentiality. I do not keep any information in Logos which I would consider to be highly sensitive or confidential. Having said this, Emile and Donovan have eloquently shared some of the serious concerns and obstacles facing missionaries (with regards to security and accessibility). I am confident that you will continue to listen to and consider their concerns and needs. 

And I agree with Mark that an easily executed opt out should be made available to those who do not wish to participate.

 

Posts 190
EmileB | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 12:59 PM

Donovan R. Palmer:

Bob Pritchett:

As a concession to "the missionary with the solar-powered laptop and no Internet connection", and to people who still want an isolated stand-alone software package, you can run the software with Internet access turned off. (It's becoming more and more difficult to maintain this functionality, but we'll try to keep it as long as we can.)

I wished this was more than just a 'concession'. I wished it was part of the vision of Logos.  

For some of those who are taking the Gospel out, they're probably about 10 years behind the rest of the world internet connectivity wise. The people who go to places like this accept it as part of the job. It's what they sign up for and in general they don't expect the world to cater to them. They know they often straddle two worlds in many areas... one of them being technology. They know the developed world can't wait up for them and would not expect a company like Logos to hurt its ability to innovate and to bless the church at large. However, it would be nice if it would be than a concession.  It would be nice if it was a vision to do what it can without hurting its business model to support those in these sorts of situations.

Yes Yes Yes

Donovan R. Palmer:

When big resource updates in the early days of Logos 4 were being rolled out on things like the interlinears, it killed us.  The problem was that the software worked just fine, but if you needed to buy a small resource of 20mb, you could not do so until you downloaded all the updates. It was physically impossible to leave your computer hooked up for enough weeks and months to get them all. 

Boy, Donovan! Can I relate! haha!

Donovan R. Palmer:

  (Even while typing this post, my internet connection has completely failed. I'll have to copy and save my message offline for posting later)  I am finding that I run Logos 5 more and more offline because I think it gets a bit stroppy when it has a number of failed attempts to sync with our poor internet.

Heehee... It took me about a half an hour or so to post my original post in this thread (not counting writing time... and then it came out garbled... took another 15-20 minutes or so just to get it to respond so that I could edit it so that it was readable again...

Donovan R. Palmer:

One thing for the record though... we don't use solar panels. We use mice powered generators and we're still using Intel 8088 turbo processors with MSDOS 5.0.  We just got a 2400 baud modem and are loving the new speeds over the old 300 we just retired! :)  

WOW! REALLY?!?! You've got MODEMS??? In my village, I have to connect to the closest tower with a pair of dixie cups and a really, really long string!

I agree about the solar panels... none here either... it's cloudy all the time. We burn peat bricks to fire up our machines.... Wink Wink Wink

Some days I really can't believe I'm in Europe.....

Posts 762
Patrick S. | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 1:18 PM

Rene Atchley:

Since secure data is of little concern perhaps Mr. Pritchard would freely give us his private cell phone so we could contact him in more convient ways....you know its all in the public domain anyway. 

I believe we should not get personal in this discussion.

I'm working from the position & belief that Bob & the whole Logos team are honestly working for the best for the product, and for users. I'm simply asking that they consider the usage of the Logos application, and the needs and wishes of users. In the end that things are balanced, and there be options in the software to cater for the valid wishes and concerns of users.

"I want to know all God's thoughts; the rest are just details." - Albert Einstein

Posts 611
Graham Owen | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 1:22 PM

David Taylor Jr:

Graham Owen:

PLEASE let me turn off globally what I see as a pointless distraction.

 

 

This can already be accomplished by right clicking the visual filter and turning off for all resources.

Sorry but it can not. I can turn off one of the items using a specific command, I can not currently disable the community ratings or tags and I can not disable any future options that may be introduced...

God Bless

Graham

Pastor - NTCOG Basingstoke

Posts 2277
Andy | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 1:27 PM

Patrick S.:
I believe we should not get personal in this discussion.

I agree 100%.

Posts 2061
Forum MVP
Randy W. Sims | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 1:36 PM

Andy Evans:

Randy W. Sims (Shayne):
Am I at anytime in the future going to lose the ability to run passage guides, exegetical guides, etc. when off line? Is the desktop application going to become another version of the (nearly useless when offline) mobile app?

Hi Randy,

Reading Bob's post here and comments elsewhere, there is no suggestion that this will be the case.

I have seen no suggestion that Logos will reduce or remove existing functionality of L3, L4 or L5 as a result of this announcement (beyond the present limitations of running offline). Rather, Bob suggests that running in offline mode or opting out (whatever that may look like) may compromise the functionality of new, yet to be introduced features. Bob, in his subsequent post, specifically makes reference to an 'all you can read' subscription model (yet to be introduced) which will require online 'opt in'.

In summary, be reassured that there is no suggestion that you will lose the functionality of passage guides and exegetical guides when off line.

 

Thanks Andy,

That's what I was hoping. The paranoid in me saw that second post where Bob (probably unintentionally?) skirted the issue by only saying the books would be readable, coming short of saying the current look-up functionality would remain available offline. That's my one really big issue, having offline access. I love Logos and I love the mobile apps, but in some of the places where I need it most (both, at church and at group bible study) I don't have internet access for my tablet. Early next year, I'm planning to buy a Windows Tablet device just so I could have the full Logos desktop available. That is the only reason I'm looking to buy it, to use Logos offline. I don't want to spend $1500 to $2000 on a new hybrid tablet device to end up with the same functionality as my $250 Nexus 7. There are other reasons for needing offline use, but that's the most immediate.

I really appreciate all the hard work that Logos has put in both the desktop and the mobile apps. I hope basic offline look-ups in commentaries, dictionaries, topicals, etc  will be an important part of both products going forward.

 

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:25 PM

Bob Pritchett:

If you have information / data / comments that would cause enormous damage if disclosed, or risk your freedom in an oppressive country, do not put it on a computer. I don't mean don't put it in Logos, I mean don't put it in digital form, on any device, anywhere. There's no adequate digital protection, and you should plan for everything you type to be disclosed. Someday people will, if only for idle entertainment purposes, write software that you can plug a thrown-away laptop or hard drive into and upload it all to a massive search engine in the cloud. This isn't a "Logos-specific" issue. This is common sense. And your biggest risk isn't even our server being hacked -- it's a trojan, a virus, a key-logger, losing your smart phone, walking away from your logged-in computer someone else has physical access to, etc.

Bob,

Perhaps you could reconsider. There are many frontline missionaries that work in oppressive countries on a constant basis. Why should they not risk carrying Bible software if it helps their mission? It's very reasonable for them to take the risk to carry Bible software and yet have the ability to tell it not to "phone home" and thus create another risk for them. It's one thing to carry content that is a risk and, as you point out, there are risks to carrying information on computers. However, it's another thing for that content to automatically trigger authorities to come find the content. In other words, it's one thing to hide Bibles at risk in a house. It's another thing to put a sign over the house saying "Bible reader here." Yes, it's probably a small demographic for Logos, but hopefully Logos could serve that demographic and hopefully Logos remains functional offline. It's so frustrating that Logos won't work correctly on my iPhone when I don't have a data connection, that I really hope Logos desktop isn't moving in that direction. I think a lot of us would be very grateful to have clarification on that.

I get everything you are saying for a web application, but some of us bought Logos as a desktop application. I expect Google to track me. Maybe I'm misunderstanding it, but it seems like Logos is moving toward more of a Google approach which is, "trust us this is good" rather than giving us a simple option to opt out and an assurance that we will have a functional program in the future if we do opt out.

I think it's a great business idea to offer a subscription "Netflix" type version for some people that are constantly wired, but many of us prefer to have the desktop option and one that doesn't advertise it's presence unless we want it to.

Blessings,

Samuel

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:37 PM

Patrick S.:
There really needs to be made clear the distinction between information such as logs which are recorded on web servers as a result of people browsing a website anonymously where there is usually, and rightly, no Personally Identifying Information (PII) being (able to be) stored;

Not true. The IP address is personally identifying information, and many other things can be used to identify you. In many law enforcement cases even people piggy-backing on neighbors' IP addresses have been identified. Cross-indexing IPs from logged-in sites to non-logged in sites, use of embedded iFrames for logged in sites like Facebook, etc. open your identity up to nearly every major site. In the Petraeus scandal the woman used wifi in hotels to stay anonymous -- till the FBI cross-checked hotel guest lists against the dates of server log entries.

Patrick S.:
Who in your organisation is telling you that? Logos 5 is not a web application — as in a HTML web browser based application, it is not a 'Software as a service (SaaS) application

I think you confused statements I was still making about web sites with statements I was making about Logos. You are correct, we're not a web application -- yet. But all applications are going that way.

(Don't anyone freak out! We are moving with the tide, not ahead of it. I know, as much discussed, that many people have poor Internet / no Internet, etc. We aren't planning to abandon reality -- but the reality is changing and we'll be going along. In 1991, when we started, none of our users had broadband Internet. Someday everybody will, even in Africa....)

Patrick S.:

You simply cannot equate anonymous web browsing with private use of a computer, it surprises and alarms me that you make statements like that. Again...

Logos has, if not the right, then the ability as the server system belongs to them, to collect information about how I interact with Logos' web servers. It does not — automatically — have the right to reach into my computer and collect private and personally identifying information of any manner.

Well, when you use a web-connected, web-integrated app, some of these things start to change and the definitions get fuzzy. The web browser app is "an app on your private computer", but everything you do it in is reported to a server. Your Tivo / cable DVR device is a piece of hardware in your home that reports back your television browsing; Tivo famously could report what moments of a football game caused the most people to hit the "rewind/rewatch" button.

Just because your fridge doesn't tell Whirlpool your eating habits doesn't mean it's not going to. It's going to. :-)

When you install the LinkedIn app on your iPhone I'm pretty sure it records the same info about whose profiles you viewed that LinkedIn's web server would record if you visited with a browser.

Being an app isn't some sacred status. I agree our app shouldn't scan your hard drive for your financial records and email them to us. But I don't agree that reporting what you do in our app is the same kind of offense, particularly since our EULA explicitly states that it will do so.

(Again, I'm just working through the arguments, not saying we'll be ignoring your points! We are listening!)

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:38 PM

Thomas Jackson:
If Logos plans to offer the ‘Social / community’ features in a Logos 6 or higher version, I have no objections to the new direction.  I will, however, reconsider future purchases until I can get a clearer understanding as to how the new direction will be implemented.

I think I've outlined everything we have in mind at the moment; if you have remaining questions let me know and I'll try to answer them specifically. We'll also be letting you turn off seeing other people's community input/data, likely in v. 5.0b.

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:42 PM

DMB:
looks to me big whopper downloads constantly isn't going to last for long. What with transmission companies raising their prices as quickly as possible.

I don't know the details of where you live, but I'm going to predict that the cost of Internet bandwidth is going to drop, not increase. There may be fluctuations, and local differences, but I'm pretty sure Internet access is going to stick around and become easier and cheaper. (The first increase will be as we all drop our land line phones, cable television, etc. and the carriers try to recoup that revenue via Internet charges, since all that traffic will move to Internet. But then prices will enter a permanent free fall, like long-distance telephone rates.)

And, of course, if I'm wrong, it'll be fine -- we'll change our strategy and code to the new reality.

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 2:56 PM

John Duffy:
The analogy isn't correct.  The difference is that data acquisition on our purchases is normal, but that while the vendor/manufacturer have the right to monitor sales in their own store, they don't have the right to see what we do with our purchases after we have bought them e.g. what we eat our jelly with at home.  Even though for digital downloads/sales, the fact that the sales and usage are done on the same computer,  tehre should still be a distinction between the two.  Logos has the right to sales/support stats, but for what started out in life as a desktop application, anything more than that really should have our permission, which can only be granted when there is an option to not give it, not the option it seems that we have at present which is 'like it or lump it' (I don't know if that expression is well known across the pond, but I assume you know what I mean - either live with it or stop using Logos software).

Yes, we like it or lump it in America, too. :-)

I think the analogy is correct. You're just more mentally adjusted to sales tracking, and less so to tracking "once you've taken it home." But like the Tivo example in my earlier reply, this kind of tracking is already standard. Medical devices phone home to manufacturers and doctors. Blu-ray players communicate with servers that can tell you watched the movie. Cell phones have GPS and are effectively tracked all the time, as cell towers log movement in/out of their range.

And Logos does, effectively, have your permission -- exactly what we're doing is in the EULA, which you agree to when using the software.

(Again, to be sure, I'm not saying 'like it or lump it' -- I'm pursuing the theoretical points to their conclusions... we are still listening!)

Yes, this line of reasoning says "you agree or don't use our software", but I think your argument is equally subjective in "where it draws the line.' You're saying "okay to track my purchase" (which you're not told about, but assume) but "not okay to track my use" (which you are told about). It's fine for you to feel that way -- and we need to hear and respect the collective user feedback on that -- but it's equally arbirtrary.

John Duffy:
Bob, with respect, in my view the argument that nothing can be confidentially stored on a computer is a serious overreaction, and does not correlate well with the reality that much is stored confidentially on computers worldwide.

Respectfully, I think you're wrong. You really can't store anything confidentially. The reality is that not banks, not corporations, not people, and not the U.S. federal government (wikileaks!) have succeeded in keeping things confidential online. And, horrifyingly, there's even been a lot of targeting of innocents -- people of no position or fame who wouldn't consider themselves interesting or worthy as targets. (http://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2010/06/24/peeping-tom-arrested-for-webcam-blackmail-attack-spree/

This has nothing to do with the Logos discussion -- we are trying to improve security/privacy, etc. -- but I just didn't want to leave un-rebutted your suggestion that confidentiality exists online. It's too dangerous a misperception.

 

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:02 PM

Frank Sauer:
As I've already stated, comparing the data mining to Google has one distinguishing difference - we do not purchase our searches on Google. Comparing to being tracked through browsers ignore the incognito modes that have been implemented into browsers specifically for users who choose to not be tracked from their own computers.

I don't think the purchase/no-purchase distinction is as big a deal as you make it out to be. Where is it written that your data is trackable when you use a free service, but can't be when it's a paid service? I think the distinction is more about what you agree to, and some products are sold only with the agreement of tracking. You can't subscribe to Netflix without them tracking your viewing. You can't buy anything at Costco without a membership card, which lets them track your purchases with personally identifying data, even when you use cash. You don't have the choice to be untracked at Costco -- only to not shop at Costco.

In Logos the EULA spells out sync, data mining, anonymous stats, etc. So, even though you paid, you paid for something where you agreed to that as part of the deal, without any discount being offered for agreeing or higher price for not agreeing. (Yes, some grocery stores lets you pay less if you use the tracking loyalty card. But some stores, like Costco, make it all or nothing.)

(Again, one more time... I'm not saying you're stuck here, or even that we won't make changes... just following the argument through....)

Posts 113
Samuel | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:13 PM

Bob,

First of all, I really appreciate your openness to sharing your business philosophy. We all appreciate it. With that being said, it would be helpful if you could clarify something. You seem to keep point out how pervasive tracking is even though, in some cases we aren't even aware of it, and you pointed out it's in the Logos EULA. I appreciate your openness, it just seems like there is a resistance to providing a clear way to opt out of usage tracking and various internet connected features. Why would it be such a big deal to keep this clearly and easily a user choice? Many users will be willing to submit the data and that, combined with sales data, will give Logos the information it wants. Meanwhile, it lets the rest of us use a desktop application the way we would prefer to without tracking and "feedback." Other apps I use ask me if I want to send feedback when I install them and give me the choice.

Most of us expect that a desktop application doesn't track us without asking and gives us an opt out. Because of Google, we expect ever attempt to be made to track us when we use online apps and sites but the same shouldn't be true of a desktop application. Can you help us to understand why there is hesitation to do this? Why not gives users a full choice?

Blessings,

Samuel

Posts 1690
LogosEmployee
Bob Pritchett | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Dec 3 2012 3:19 PM

Frank Sauer:
If one were to go back to Logos 3 to avoid the data mining, wouldn't they lose resources purchased after March 2012 and also not be capable of adding any new resources.

True; we are no longer making new resources for the Logos 3 platform. But the stuff we sold you in 3 still works with the software you bought then; you are correct that some of our new stuff is only made for our new readers, which are only available under newer EULA. So some new products you can't choose to use under the older EULA, just as you can't use Netflix under the privacy rules of your old VHS player. :-)

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