Since the early days of Internet services such as Google and Facebook, we’ve accepted that in return for these amazing services, we have to give some of our data away. It’s a value-exchange. We get to perform a search about anything, or store and share photos for free in return for the website having some data about us and selling that to advertisers. It’s a fair value-exchange.
It’s value because our advertising tends to be personalised toward us. I’d rather see relevant adverts, for example new bicycles products from my favourite brands, rather than tampons. Continue reading Privacy: the update→
When the iPhone was launched, industry commentators predicted that everything would have a touch screen. And then Alexa came along, and those commentators predicted nothing would have a screen – everything will be Internet-enabled and voice controlled.
And the latest version of Alexa – has… a screen! Sometimes I think Amazon’s product strategy includes Jeff Bezos’ sense of humour.
We have had a Google Home device in our house for a year now. Actually, my son bought it and it stays in his room. Everyone in our house has an Android phone, and the Home device tries to be extra clever by automatically linking our phones to the speaker. I remember the first time I worked from home after he bought the Google Home and I kept hearing something upstairs. When I went to investigate, all my alerts were being announced by Google Home in his room!
The reaction to the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data story has been more divided than any other technology I can remember. (Real-life) friends have closed several web accounts, beyond just Facebook, formally requesting their entire data to be wiped clean. And some friends don’t care.
But even if you quit Facebook and ask for your data to be deleted, it probably won’t. This is because Facebook stores shadow profiles about people anyway. This is one of the ways that Facebook seems to make accurate friend recommendations on the platform. Continue reading Facebook’s data privacy issue→
Has Google become a content provider that can ban certain types of advertising? Until now, Google was purely a search engine selling pixels on user’s search results. They weren’t responsible for any of the signposted or copyrighted content.
(The same applies to Facebook and pretty much any other advertising funded content platform).
Note that my issue isn’t with the cryptocurrency companies. My issue is that Google and Facebook have shattered the professional journalism industry, only to then lay down their own moral advertising code of conduct when they are among the last remaining mass publishers.
Each quarter, Tesla’s costs keep increasing by hundreds of millions of dollars.
Its profit margin keeps slipping further into the red.
Other companies, both traditional and new entrants, will catch up to Tesla in 2018.
Finally, 2017 was generally a good financial year, and if consumer confidence drops in 2018, people will buy fewer cars. There’s also the debt pile-up in the US car loans industry. Total auto loans in the US have increased 70% in the last 7 years to $1.17 trillion – and much of it is subprime, with some buyers opting for 7(!!) year loans (think about the value of the car at the end of 7 years).
Here’s a summary of interesting stories I’ve seen over the last week. I try to concentrate on the stories which aren’t necessarily mainstream.
The Spanish Bank, BBVA, approached its latest mobile app in a totally different way. They reduced the size of the team to 15 and incorporated Design Thinking (for more information about Design Thinking, read this excellent article from the UK Design Council). The results have been very impressive:
Credit card applications increased by 80%
Current account openings by 20%
Sales of investment funds up 50%
Sales in pension plans, health insurance and home insurance doubled
It’s been a shameful week for security with two large public scams. The first was a fake WhatsApp app appeared in the Google Play store. It would have taken a very keen eye to spot any problem with the fake app. And the second scam was fake supermarket vouchers being distributed among WhatsApp users. The problem with the voucher was that it took users to a landing page which asked for personal details. Continue reading Weekly news round up 9 November 2017→