You may recall that once, perhaps a few months or years ago, some fellow from the electric company wanted to put in a new meter. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, don’t hold your breath, but it could eventually. Either way, the electric companies have been installing Smart Meters for consumers, which measure energy usage as it is consumed rather than at the end of the month. The good news? No more meter readers making the dog go bananas. The bad news? Security is one of those things that nobody thinks about until a disaster (like flood insurance in the Sahara). For better or for worse, this is the first of many “smart home” advancements in technology worming their way into your life.
Smart Meters are designed to monitor energy usage to help consumers save energy, but privacy issues arise when people start noticing that the system could very easily catalog how you spend your day, whether or not you’re on vacation, and what sorts of devices you have in your home, which makes some rather crabby. Read the rest of this entry »
If there’s anything that makes company leaders and representatives crabby, it’s Apple sucking 30% of the profits from their apps sold through the App Store. Evidently, Apple’s competitors have had quite enough because the rumor mill suggests an impending FTC investigation. However, as Jeff John Roberts points out, rumors of FTC investigation hardly indicate legal consequences for Apple, especially since they are neither a monopoly nor competition killers. For example, Spotify Premium, which is typically downloaded from the App Store for $12.99 per month, can be downloaded from Spotify’s website for $9.99 per month because the website version doesn’t have to contend with Apple’s 30% cut.
Following the launch of Apple Music, criticism has increased because the App store can sell its premium service (Apple Music has no free tier at the time of this writing, aside from Beats 1) for the standard $9.99, but other music streaming services must either increase their price to compensate for Read the rest of this entry »