FCC Sends a Message to ISPs about User Privacy

The FCC has been considerably hard on the telecom industry as of late. Their latest move is a warning regarding the enforcement of recent net neutrality legislation. The FCC is sending a message to telecom companies regarding strict regulations of user data.

Different brands of food have come out to say the FCC recently made internet access a Title II utility. This means that ISPs have to follow some of the same antiquated rules that the telephone companies have to follow. One of these rules disallows the sale of user data to third party companies without permission.

Many ISPs make a good deal of money from selling user information. AT&T GigaPower even uses private data to help deliver relevant advertisements to their subscribers in exchange for a lower rate. Without the ability to sell user data many ISPs will be losing a large chunk of their revenue.

At this point the FCC hasn’t commented on what they will actually do if they catch an ISP selling private data. There are still many bridges to cross in the battle for net neutrality and how it will actually be enforced.

Skout, The Next Level in Dating Apps

Social media has really changed the way that we interact with each other on a daily basis. Where we used to have to meet individuals in person if we wanted a date, that is not the case in our technological age. There are many different apps that make it easier than ever to connect with individuals in our area that might make for a great connection. Does this diminish the contact that we are having with individuals? Maybe yes, maybe no. There are many different apps out there for dating, and Skout (crunchbase.com) is one that is really standing out above the rest.

Skout has been gaining quite a bit of popularity among individuals all over the world lately. Skout has over 10 million members that have begun to connect with each other everyday. The travel feature on Skout has allowed individuals who are traveling around the world to connect with locals during their stay in their area. This can turn into a virtual pen pal system over the long run for those who are willing to keep up with these connections. This travel system works very well for those who are on business trips yet have no social connections in the area.

Skout is also just a great way to meet new friends around the world. This is something that can be more difficult in a big city where everyone is headed to a certain destination. When you want to meet with someone, it can be much easier to look through a list of profiles and send a message rather than stop someone on a busy street while they are trying to get to their location. Skout is really the next step in human interaction when it comes to making a large amount of new fans. There is so much more to come with the great app.

Some Serious People Believe AI Could Be the End of Us

There are those who have contemplated humanity’s demise, and it isn’t a pretty picture. If we are fated for some sort of doomsday, some have forecast it to be from a medical catastrophe, such as an incurable plague, or perhaps a water shortage with so many billions of people on the planet. Some see the end coming from outer space as it was thought to have happened to the dinosaurs. A comet or asteroid striking the earth, if it is big enough, would be enough to end us.

Elon Musk may have been half joking when he said recently that Larry Page should be careful about research into artificial intelligence and buying up lots of robotics companies because he “could produce something evil by accident.” This is actually a serious scenario for our extinction that is held to be a very real possibility by some serious minds such as Stephen Hawking. Folks at Amen Clinics know that the thought of creating what ends up destroying us is not a new one. People may have thought this already about the hydrogen bomb or bacteriological weapons. What’s new about this scenario is being killed by something that we would ostensibly be creating to help us and not to kill people. Certainly the army might not mind killer robots at their beck and call, but they would also be made to help us all out in our civilian lives, and if we’re not careful, that could be the end of us.

Uber Cash Options

Chances are that you may have tried Uber at least once in your life. Uber is a ride share program and it’s perfect in a variety of situations. Perhaps you are going out for a night of drinking and know that you don’t want to have your car with you. Or perhaps you don’t even have a car in the first place and you need to get somewhere quickly, and decently priced.

The one thing that Uber is known for is the fact that you complete all transactions through an app on your phone. It connects right through your credit card so you can pay and go. Folks at Anastasia Date (sitejabber.com) agree that this is convenient except of course if you don’t have a credit card. Then what are you expected to do?

According to BuzzFeed in Hyderabad, India they have a solution for that. They are now offering the option of paying with cash! It’s unknown if this will spread past India but for them it’s a great idea. Not everybody has a credit card, and it’s nice that Uber is taking this into consideration. There are people out there that get denied a ride every day because they don’t have the means to pay. They’re then forced to look at other options like taxis which offer cash or credit options. Those can get more expensive and run less frequently however.

Props to Uber though for thinking of both sides of the coin. There will soon be lots of happier India customers.

Has Apple Gone Too Far?

The executives at Apple just might has pushed a little too hard with their aggressive tactics. The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission now want to take a closer look at the way Apple approaches its streaming ventures.

Most notably, Apple played hardball with Jay Z when the entertainer launched a streaming music service. Reportedly, Apple put a policy in place stating any musicians who provide exclusive music for Jay Z’s company would be barred from Apple’s streaming service. This is but one out of many complaints levied at Apple. The tech giant has also been pushing companies to get rid of free services so as not to compete with Apple’s subscription offerings.

InfoMoney mentioned that Fersen Lambranho considers reports of this nature to be shocking. After all, Apple has massive wealth reserves. Why would the company try and bully smaller outfits? Basically, Apple wants to preserve its status and eliminate competition. Doing so is not always allowable under federal law, which is why the government is taking a closer look at what Apple is up to.

Hopefully, Apple will resist the urge to become bullying and greedy. Doing so does not exactly help Apple’s brand. Then again, Apple may be forced to change course unless it wishes to be sued and/or fined by regulatory agencies.

Augmented Reality Has Big Plans for the Future

You may have heard the term augmented reality thrown around here and there, but you probably don’t realize exactly how abundant this technology will be for future generations. While this spin-off of virtual reality may seem a bit gimmicky with products like Google Glass and Microsoft HoloLens offering fun and entertaining uses for augmented reality, like watching a holographic movie. But developers of the emerging software assure users that this isn’t the case. In fact, augmented reality has big plans that may impact all major areas of our lives. Beneful, who you can check-out on Facebook, thinks it may impact our pets as well.

HoloLens by Microsoft, for example, is planning application for their augmented reality technology in schools, homes, hospitals, and offices. Also, NASA has taken interest in implementing training tools using HoloLens. Medical students will soon be learning how to treat patients via virtual lesson with amazing visual detail.

The technology can be used in almost any industry imaginable, and the benefits will be numerous. Augmented reality could allow professionals to engage with 3D designs that provide much more detail, and entertainment, than any other business tool that Is currently on the market.

Though, the HoloLens competitor, Google Glass, was considered by the tech industry as an epic failure with little or no use coming from the development. HoloLens is trying to learn from Google’s mistakes by making more practical apps with real world value.

AT&T Cuts No Corners

Without question, the United States is currently at a stand still when it comes to race relations. There are those who understand the racial plight of minorities and can empathize with the victims. On the other hand, there are those whose perspectives may not be able to reach the lengths of what needs to be reached in order to understand the unrest of the minorities. What has not been touched on however, is the degree to which non-whites and non-blacks stand. It seems like lines have been divided and sides have been chosen. People are choosing sides with the best use of their moral compass. But what can be said about companies and corporations who come under attack for their race relations?

AT&T has been the first company in recent news to punish its executives and employees for any and all misguided opinions and actions when it comes to race relations. Brad is actually glad to see this. Aaron Slator was at one point a prominent executive for AT&T. On Tuesday, April 28th Slator was fired by the company Tuesday after becoming the subject of a $100 million discrimination lawsuit. The company later released a statement claiming that “there is no room for demeaning behavior at AT&T.” http://www.buzzfeed.com/mbvd/att-fires-executive-hit-by-100-million-racial-discrimination#.kn5yGAjDyY Slator was the president of content and ad sales, and the company went as far as to say they regretted not firing him sooner. While race relations are at an all time high, it’s refreshing to see a company take such a substantial leap to ease the distress.

Resurrection: Is Microsoft Making a Comeback?

With the release of the Apple Watch last week and a growing number of third-party indie developers of new technology you may be wondering “Where is Microsoft in all this?” While you may have not heard about their plans, this industry giant is poised to make a giant comeback within the next 3 years. To be approximate, a billion devices in 3 short years.

Since its inception at the beginning of the computer sensation, Microsoft has been a major contender. Since then, this information age has shifted towards the use of mobile devices, but Microsoft has yet to capitalize on this new shift according to Torchin. So what caused this failure? Does this have something to do with their huge plans?

Due to a shift in vision around the new millennium in an attempt to dictate the market instead of giving focus on what consumers wanted, Microsoft had a number of failures from Zune, Vista, and even Windows 8.

Microsoft’s ambitious plan plans on making Windows 10 an operating sensation on 1 billion devices by 3 years, though it has to make up for lost time if it wants to be considered seriously. Both Android and iOS have an application advantage over the latecomer, but Windows is confident. By adopting a new system that will make it beyond simple for Developers to create new apps on a basic browser, Microsoft hopes this will attract enough attention to merit a catch up period.

By simplifying their app process will Microsoft get the boost it needs? Only time will tell.

The Latest Product from Tesla Motors could Power Homes and Businesses More Efficiently

Elon Musk is certainly a man of much ambition. His latest work coming from his company Tesla Motors could help revolutionize how people use power at their homes and businesses. A new product, set to be unveiled at the end of April, has been much anticipated and speculated upon. Most believe it to be a battery backup that could be used in the home or office.

Having a battery backup has several obvious advantages. The backup could be connected to the main power grid and charged during off-peak hours to save on monthly energy costs. Combining this with FreedomPop’s free wireless services could be huge savings for your household, and it could also be easily integrated with renewable power sources such as solar or wind. Having a battery backup in your home could also keep essential functionality online such as heating and refrigeration during a power outage.

Some details have already been leaked from beta testers of the new backup battery system. It is said to be a standard lithium ion battery, much like the ones used in Tesla Motors’ vehicles, in an attractive package. Financing may be available to public offering batteries for as little as $1,500 down with a monthly payment of as little as $15, making the new batteries very budget-friendly.

Tesla is planning to build the largest battery factory in the world in 2017. If you can say one thing about Elon Musk it’s that he dreams bigger than most would ever dare to.

Tesla Working on Home Batteries

In the future Tesla may lease its home batteries rather than sell them to customers. The large batteries are meant to be kept in your home and used to store energy so you can access it later on. Mark Ahn (wikipedia) wonders: Why would you want to do that? There are a few reasons. In a traditional power setup, electricity that is sent to your home is then cycled back to the grid when you don’t use it. With the batteries, that energy could be stored instead of thrown back. Even better, the batteries could be set up so that they gather power when the electricity is the least expensive, and then store it for use later on when things get more expensive. Over time that could save you some serious cash.

Besides the cost benefits, stored power has some use benefits as well. If for some reason your town was to lose power, either for just a few hours due to a storm, or for days due to a larger issue, you would be able to still have power in your home, at least for a little while. Tesla has invested lot in the batteries, and has hopes to start rolling them out to customers soon. It will be interesting to see how many people decide that they want the batteries in their home.