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  • Geebo 8:57 am on June 16, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Is Netflix fighting for net neutrality once again? Sort of. 

    Is Netflix fighting for net neutrality once again? Sort of.

    Previously, the CEO of Netflix said that his company was not worried about net neutrality since he said they were “big enough to get the deals they want.” Now it appears the subscription video streaming service may have changed its tune. Recently, Netflix made an announcement they were participating in the July 12th Battle for the Net campaign, alongside sites such as Reddit, Etsy, Kickstarter and Amazon among many others.


    Relative content between 4:36 and 5:12

    In a tweet from Netflix they said, “Netflix will never outgrow the fight for #NetNeutrality. “Everyone deserves an open Internet.” The tweet also included a link to the ‘Day of Action’ website. It’s still unknown what is going to take place on July 12th, but back in 2014 many websites participated in a similar protest where they displayed animations to make it look like their websites were loading very slowly.

    So why did Netflix have a change of heart? Probably for PR reasons. Many Netflix subscribers are cord-cutters, meaning they’ve gotten rid of their expensive cable or satellite subscriptions in favor of the less expensive internet streaming service. Their customers do not want to see those savings nullified by internet service providers raising their rates even further just so people can have quicker access to prioritized sites.

    Again, even with Netflix wearily on board, this latest campaign for net neutrality may be like trying to hold back the ocean with a broom, as the President Trump-backed FCC has full intentions of repealing the net neutrality regulations put in place by the Obama administration.

    You can go here to voice your opinion about net neutrality to the FCC.

     
  • Geebo 10:17 am on June 15, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Moby, Wheely's Cafe   

    Swedish company testing mobile store that seems to solve the problems Amazon Go has 

    Swedish company testing mobile store that seems to solve the problems Amazon Go has

    Previously, we’ve posted on this blog about Amazon Go, Amazon’s proposed attempt at an automated brick and mortar store with no employees. One of the issues Amazon came up against was that the store’s system crashed when there were too many people in the store. To that end, the store with no employees would then require employees. Now, a Swedish company is testing a similar concept, and may have a better grasp on the concept than Amazon.

    Wheely’s Cafe is a company that already franchises mobile coffee stands around the world. Now, they are testing a mobile marketplace called Moby. Like Amazon Go, it has no employees, however, unlike Amazon Go it only allows four people inside at a time. Also, rather than being a brick and mortar store, a Moby is mobile. While now it requires a driver, Wheely’s is hoping to use autonomous driving in the future. Currently, Moby is only in beta testing and is only being tested in select Asian markets.

    Amazon may want to take a few hints from Wheely’s by making Amazon Go mobile. Not only could they be used as regular stores like Amazon is proposing, they could also be used as a sort of delivery hub. The last mile of delivery is the most expensive according to online retailers. If Amazon were to deploy mobile stores they could have mobile hubs where people could come to pick up their orders without waiting as long.

     
  • Geebo 8:55 am on June 14, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , McDonald's, , Snaplications   

    McDonald’s using Snapchat to recruit new hires 

    McDonald's using Snapchat to recruit new hires

    If you need to hire a large number of new employees, you need to go where your potential hires are. For McDonald’s, that would be social media and not just any social media, but Snapchat specifically. The fast-food pioneer is using the photo sharing app to appeal to the 16-24 demographic in order to hire 250,000 people for the summer.

    If you use Snapchat, you may see a short ad for McDonald’s about open positions. In a process McDonald’s is calling ‘Snaplications’, if you’re interested in the position you can swipe up on the ad where you’ll be taken to the company’s career webpage where you can complete your application.

    It will be interesting to see if this recruitment drive is successful for the Golden Arches. While their appeal to a younger demographic through Snapchat seems ingenious, there is still somewhat of a stigma when it comes to working at McDonald’s. The term ‘McJob’ comes from that stigma after all. Many young users tend to portray themselves on Snapchat as being more financially well off than they actually are. They may see working at McDonald’s beneath them even if it is one of their better financial options.

     
  • Geebo 9:07 am on June 13, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance 

    Florida Facebook Marketplace shooting shows need for safety vigilance

    A very sad and unfortunate incident recently took place in Jacksonville, Florida, that involved Facebook Marketplace. A father of two was shot and killed in front of his children when a man giving away a dog on Facebook Marketplace became suddenly violent in the man’s home. The gunman was giving away a dog that he had allegedly found in the back of his truck. The father wanted the dog for his children and asked the man if he could pick the dog up but the man insisted that he drop off the dog at the father’s home.

    When the man showed up at the house the father and his fiancée invited the man in for a drink to thank him for the dog. The man is said to have overstayed his welcome and becomes drunk and belligerent before getting into an argument with the father and shooting him dead. Thankfully the children and the father’s fiancée were physically unharmed.

    Normally, when a murder is committed through the use of a classifieds site, mainly the notorious craigslist, it’s usually a robbery that goes bad. However, it’s not unheard of for freak occurrences like this to arise. Having someone come to your home is never a good idea no matter how trustworthy you think the person may be. As soon as they try to talk you into meeting you at your own home you should immediately say that you’re no longer interested in the item. It’s recommended that you always ask someone who is about to complete an online exchange with you to meet you at a police station as most police stations in the country now welcome these transactions to take place within the safety of their walls. If something does not feel right when making any kind of classifieds transaction, listen to your gut and walk away.

     
  • Geebo 7:54 am on June 12, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , mouseover, Tinba, Zusy   

    New malware doesn’t even need you to click on a link 

    New malware doesn't even need you to click on a link

    Another week and another new type of malware comes out, this one even has a new trick to it. Normally, when your computer gets infected by malware you have to open an attachment or click on a link. With this new type of attack, you don’t even have to do that. All you have to do is hover your mouse over the link and it could infect your computer.

    This particular attack exploits a flaw in an unpatched version of PowerPoint. Usually, PowerPoint will warn you that something is attempting to download itself to your computer. However, it’s pretty easy to accidentally bypass the warning, allowing the malware to infect your computer. This attack is said to download a type if malware known as both Zusy and Tinba. The malware is designed to copy any financial information you may input while you’re on the internet such as account or card numbers.

    The fact that you don’t even have to actively click on anything to get infected shows that the war with malware has reached a new level. As we’ve previously mentioned the best defense is not to click on unsolicited links or attachments. With this new type of attack the best thing to do would probably be not to even open emails from unknown entities.

     
  • Geebo 9:03 am on June 9, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Popcorn Time,   

    Ransomware makes you choose between your friends or your files 

    Ransomware makes you choose between your friends or your files

    With the WannaCry ransomware attack largely gone, news is making the rounds of another type of ransomware that is even more malicious than that. While this other attack has also come and gone, the thought process behind it is so malicious in its genius that it’s worthy of discussion. The ransomware is called Popcorn Time, and it forces you to make a choice of Faustian proportions.

    If your system were to become compromised with this ransomware, you’d be offered two options to unencrypt your files. You can either pay the ransom of one Bitcoin to the attackers, or you can simply click a button and spread the ransomware to two of your friends. These two friends will then be sent a disguised link to download the ransomware, and once their infections are recognized by the attackers, your files will be released. Testing people’s morals like this at the expense of other people could almost be considered super-villainy. Dr. Evil would be proud.

    While no method is 100% foolproof, you can protect yourself from ransomware attacks. Keep your system updated regularly by turning on automatic updates. Also, the age-old adage applies of never clicking on links or attachments in emails from people you don’t know. Regularly backing up your data to the cloud or an external device also goes a long way in saving you from having to deal with lost data. Because in the end, isn’t better to take some extra time to protect yourself than it is dealing with the fallout of a no-win situation?

     
  • Geebo 9:03 am on June 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , food stamps   

    Is Amazon’s Prime discount for low-income families a boon or a bane? 

    Is Amazon's Prime discount for low-income families a boon or a bane?

    Earlier this week, online retail giant Amazon announced they will be offering a discounted fee for their Prime service to low-income families that are on government food assistance. Prime is usually $99 per year, or $10.99 a month. With that service, Prime members receive unlimited free shipping, faster shipping, and access to Amazon’s streaming video library among other services. For those families who receive benefits through SNAP or EBT cards, they will have a monthly fee of $5.99 a month subtracted from their cards.

    Now obviously, this is a pure business approach on Amazon’s part in their ongoing battle with Wal-Mart, but does it actually help low-income families or does it more to hurt them? In some ways it’s great. For those people who may not have access to a vehicle, they can get food and other much-needed goods delivered to their residence. In a lot of cases, what some may consider a short trip to the store can end up as a recurring expense if all the transportation they have access to is either a taxi or a ride share service. Also, items that are needed frequently can be ordered in bulk from Amazon. In other instances there are low-income families who may not be educated enough, or have the experience, on how to spend wisely. A wide open pipeline to Amazon like this could lead them to make purchases that aren’t financially sound for their budget.

    Still, details are still a little sparse on this program. Hopefully, Amazon will add some type of documentation for these families on how to best use their service if they choose to.

     
  • Geebo 9:03 am on June 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Big name steps in to replace Netflix in net neutrality debate 

    Big name steps in to replace Netflix in net neutrality debate

    As previously posted on this blog, video streaming heavyweight Netflix has withdrawn itself from the net neutrality debate. They claim they are so large an entity they can command any deal they want from internet service providers. By doing so, the net neutrality supporters lost their biggest ally. Now, a number of tech companies are banding together for a ‘day of action’ on July 12th to try to show the need for a neutral net. A number of those companies are no slouches, such as Mozilla, Reddit, Kickstarter, Etsy, Nextdoor and Patreon just to name a few. However, the most important name to thrown into the debate is the internet’s largest retailer, Amazon.com.


    (Relative content is between 4:20 and 7:00)

    Not only is Amazon the largest retailer on the web, but they are also Netflix’s number one competitor in the online streaming market. With the Trump-backed FCC getting ready to gut the net neutrality regulations installed by the Obama administration, the fight for a free web needs more powerful icons like Amazon to take up the banner. With such a huge ally on their side maybe the net neutrality debate isn’t quite over just yet.

    The problem is, it doesn’t appear the FCC is going to budge on their net neutrality stance anytime soon. Ronald Reagan could rise from the grave and testify before the FCC in favor of a free net and the FCC still wouldn’t reverse their decision. While it’s a good sign that net neutrality proponents have a number of tech giants on their side, you can’t fight city hall, or in this case the FCC.

     
  • Geebo 9:02 am on June 6, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: AAA, ,   

    Car insurance for Teslas is about to go through the roof 

    Car insurance for Teslas is about to go through the roof

    So you finally made it to the point in your life where you can purchase a Tesla as your primary vehicle. Good for you. They’re great for the environment and they surpass most, if not all, of the safety standards put forth by the government and consumer groups. Unfortunately, that doesn’t change the fact that you may be paying another arm and a leg for the insurance. AAA has come out and said they are raising the rates for insurance on the Model S and the Model X. So if the cars are so safe why are the rates being raised?

    It comes down to the fact that in this case, Tesla is a victim of their own success. Their manufacturing process is so unique that not only are the parts prohibitively expensive, but so is the cost for specially trained mechanics. You can find many stories on the internet where Tesla owners ended up paying thousands upon thousands of dollars for something as routine as a blown tire. In AAA’s eyes this means even though the safety standard is high for Teslas, the cost of replacement parts is so astronomical it has to raise their rates to properly insure these uncommon vehicles. Other insurance companies are expected to follow.

    Do you think AAA is making a cash grab by raising the rates of one of the safest vehicles of all time, or are they justified due to the costs of parts and labor even for the most minor of items?

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on June 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Walmart to possibly have employees deliver packages 

    Walmart to possibly have employees deliver packages

    In case you were unaware, the nation’s largest retailer, Walmart, has an online presence that is working on rivaling Amazon. The place where Amazon beats Walmart is delivery. With an Amazon Prime subscription you can get unlimited free delivery. Now, Walmart is planning on challenging that by asking their employees to deliver packages from their stores.

    Late last week, Walmart announced the testing of a new program where their employees can deliver online orders to houses during their commute home in their own cars. Walmart doesn’t have the greatest reputation when it comes to their employees, as many believe they are underpaid and in some cases grossly overworked. By asking their employees to use their own cars, one has to wonder if the employees making the deliveries will be fairly reimbursed. While Walmart says the program is voluntary for employees, in the past Walmart has been accused of having a very liberal interpretation of the word ‘voluntary’.

    However, Walmart does have one valid point. They have said all their stores they are within a mile of 90% of the US population. All companies that use any kind of delivery say the last mile is the most expensive part of any delivery so Walmart could end up potentially beating Amazon in this area. The real problem is will the Walmart employees who volunteer for this program be fairly treated?

     
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