Corporations Blocking New Media Application from Providing Services

Aereo is an application that lets you view and record live, over-the-air television programs over the internet from various types of devices (i.e., smartphone, HDTV, tablets) for just $8 per month in the New York area.  This is a great deal for people who do not want to spend hundreds of dollars for television service when they only watch seven to ten of the channels.  Even though this is a great concept for most people, a new report from VentureBeat suggests that multi-billion dollar companies are starting to target Aereo since it is a threat to their profit margin.  The National Football League (NFL) and Major League Baseball (MLB) collaborated with other broadcasting companies to request government intervention against Aereo for alleged copyright infringement.

This is an interesting development in technology because it shows the strength of open source software and technology entrepreneurs.  During the past few years, we’ve seen the success of websites such as Netflix and Hulu but these companies get funds from movie, cable, and broadcasting companies.  Aereo does not receive funds from any of these organizations.  Therefore, they are not bound by any agreement or restrictions due to receiving funds from the organizations.  This is a benefit to the consumer because we get to choose a provider that does not charge a ridiculous amount of money for programming.  Some individuals are not able to afford a monthly $17 charge for a DVR plus a $69 charge for cable service.  Therefore, an $8 charge for over-the-air viewing and recording service is beneficial to them.  As we move forward, we must advocate for more access to services like Aereo before they are revoked my multi-billion dollar corporations.

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Mobile 3.0 Brings New Privacy Concerns into our Pockets

A new article on VentureBeat from Mihir Shah discusses the next evolution (or revolution) of our mobile lives.  The article discusses Mobile 3.0 and its attempt to shift our adoption of mobile phones into a stage of “emotional connection.”  This shift takes away our use of mobile devices as a mere distraction to our everyday life and turns the usage into something that will make our lives easier.  Some examples of this include, letting us know about products and services around us that we might be interested in, giving us the opportunity to leave private messages for friends in different areas around town, among other things.

For many technology enthusiasts, this information is great because it allows us to evolve all tech-related devices, products, and services.  However, for others, this is just another privacy concern to add to everything else they currently deal with (i.e., Facebook privacy issues, NSA, “Big Brother”).  In my opinion, this group has a valid reason to be concerned about privacy. 

The article discusses new hardware within the iPhone 5s phones called the M7 motion co-processor.  This co-processor activates sensors on the phone that always stay on, which means they are aware of everything taking place while your phone is on you.  The author touts this as a positive enhancement by stating “our personal devices will gain an ability to understand not only where we are but also what we are looking at.” 

This “enhancement” leads to some serious ethical concerns for individuals.  It is a great thing for advertisers and the NSA.  However, who gets to control all of the information that smartphone users share with others?  Just because you turn off the sensor in settings, does this mean that the sensor is not secretly recording your every move? 

In reality, the shift to Mobile 3.0 might bring many positive enhancements to our everyday lives.  However, how much of our personal life do we need to sacrifice to get these enhancements?