Monthly Archives: May 2017

Tech’s ‘Frightful 5’ Will Dominate Digital Life for Foreseeable Future

Description:There’s a little parlor game that people in Silicon Valley like to play. Let’s call it, Who’s Losing?

Source: nytimes.com

Date: Jan 20. 2016

There are currently four undisputed rulers of the consumer technology industry: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, now a unit of a parent company called Alphabet. And there’s one more, Microsoft, whose influence once looked on the wane, but which is now rebounding.

So which of these five is losing? A year ago, it was Google that looked to be in a tough spot as its ad business appeared more vulnerable to Facebook’s rise. Now, Google is looking up, and it’s Apple, hit by rising worries about a slowdown in iPhone sales, that may be headed for some pain. Over the next couple of weeks, as these companies issue earnings that show how they finished 2015, the state of play may shift once more.   read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Does this narrative of the tech industry give you positive view of of tech development going forward ?  why or why not?

2.   “Tech people like to picture their industry as a roiling sea of disruption”    Do you agree with this statement, why or why not?

Giving the Behemoths a Leg Up on the Little Guy

Description: Every year, the internet gets a little less fair. The corporations that run it get a little bigger, their power grows more concentrated, and a bit of their idealism gives way to ruthless pragmatism.

Source: nytimes.com

Date:May 3. 2017

This column is nominally about network neutrality, the often sleep-inducing debate about the rules that broadband companies like Comcast and AT&T must follow when managing their networks. But really, this is a story about ballooning corporate power.

At the moment, the internet isn’t in a good place. The Frightful FiveAmazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, Google’s parent company — control nearly everything of value in the digital world, including operating systems, app stores, browsers, cloud storage infrastructure, and oceans of data from which to spin new products. A handful of others — Comcast, AT&T, Verizon — control the wired and wireless connections through which all your data flows. People used to talk about the internet as a wonderland for innovative upstarts, but lately the upstarts keep getting clobbered. Today the internet is gigantic corporations, all the way down.  read rest of story

Questions:
1.  What is Network Neutrality?

2.  What are the pros and cons of network neutrality?

How to Protect Your Privacy as More Apps Harvest Your Data

Description: In the real world, your personal life is a private space. But in tech, your personal data is a ripe resource for businesses to harvest in their own interests.

Source: nytimes.com

Date:May 1. 2017

When it comes to data collection, services like Unroll.me and Uber are small fry compared with internet giants like Google and Facebook, which have a wealth of information about people. And then there are large data brokers like Acxiom, CoreLogic, Datalogix and ID Analytics, which collect, analyze and sell billions of details about consumers’ online activities for marketing purposes.

For consumers, giving up some data has become part of the trade-off of receiving compelling, personalized services. But that doesn’t mean you have to be caught by surprise. Here are some tips from privacy experts on protecting yourself from tricky data collection.  read rest of story

Questions:
1.  Should we, as consumers have to give up personalized information to use a digital service?  Why or why not?

2.  How does one make sure that their personal data is being protected and is secure?