What defines privacy is constantly evolving in these modern times. Smart phones, live streaming video chats, family safety tracking apps and smart home devices have made life much easier. But the flip side of these devices mean that GPS location tracking, microphones and cameras accessible via most any wireless devices have made “living off the grid” an impossibility. Reasonable expectations of privacy have become the subject of debates ranging from our nation’s highest courtrooms to the family kitchen table.
As you read this article, for instance, there are currently 2,000 satellites orbiting in the skies above us. By 2025 as many as 1,100 satellites could be launching each year, including SpaceX’s Starlink plans to add 12,000 small satellites by 2027. These satellites are being created and launched to provide everything from weather monitoring to global GPS positioning to boosting internet accessibility and taking pictures of every angle of the Earth.
Kristy CooperRedefining privacy in these modern times
Robocalls. Fake neighbor spoofing. Cell phone spam. Whatever you call them, these types of illegal calls are getting worse, and definitely getting more annoying. In fact, according to YouMail’s Robocall Index, last month Americans received 4.4 billion robocalls during just that month. That breaks down to 145 million per day, or 6 million per hour, or 1,700 calls per second. In addition to the inconvenience, robocalls also pose a danger to those who fall prey to fraudulent scams that attempt to invade people’s privacy and often their bank accounts. So how can we block robocalls and the like?
While registering on the “Do Not Call Registry” was an initial solution that helped a little, lately it doesn’t seem to matter how careful you are, they still get through. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that the U.S. government is taking action.
Kristy CooperHow to Block Robocalls and Fake Neighbor Calling
Wireless data allows us to access the power of the internet from practically anywhere we want to, and a recent study shows that Americans are putting that easy access to use as wireless data use more than doubled in the U.S. in 2018 as compared to 2017 and continues to grow at an impressive rate. In fact, mobile data use was up more than 82 percent growth last year – more data than was used in the first six and a half years of this decade all together.
This growth in voice calls, texts, and data is driven in part by the increasing number of wireless devices in the U.S. In 2018, Americans connected another 21.5 million mobile devices for a total of 421.7 million devices. But it’s not just about smartphones anymore as people are using data-only wireless devices that connect on-the-go such as watches, cars, health and fitness monitors, and household items with use growing 10 percent in 2018 to reach 139.4 million devices.
Kristy CooperU.S. consumers use record amount of wireless data in 2018
If you like the idea of adding smart technology to your home, but are worried about complications or expense, you’re in luck. All you need is a smart phone and high-speed internet and you can easily add “smart technology” such as thermostats, smoke detectors, garage door controls, home security cameras, doorbells and locks to your home. The good news is that a lot of this kind of tech can be installed quickly and easily by the homeowner and without spending a lot of money.
Ready to get started? Here are a few ideas for smart home-tech upgrades that are easy to DIY.
Kristy CooperSimple ways to add smart technology to your home
If you use AT&T, they are probably aware that you are reading this article right now, where you are reading it, what you click on before and after you read it, and storing all of that information to use in targeted marketing and advertising later on. It’s not just AT&T, either, but we’re sharing this info with you after a recent profile of AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson in Fortune magazine in which he openly laid out the mega-company’s plan to profile and target customers for advertising.
AT&T has transformed itself into a media colossus by buying Time Warner, adding to its incredible array of content from holdings including HBO, CNN, TNT, and others in combination with a huge distribution network across mobile broadband, DirecTV, and U-verse. Stephenson shared his vision of permanent, across-the-board surveillance of all those customers for extremely targeted – and personal – advertising.
Kristy CooperHow AT&T plans to use private customer info you may not be aware of
Keeping up to date with technology is important for every kind of business – even ones that have nothing to do with technology. Technology is inescapable part of life and business. Farmers carry smart phones, vineyards utilize drones, and brick-and-mortar businesses have sophisticated security systems. Crafters use the online shopping carts to sell their products, and cupcake makers use tablets to accept payments on the road. These are just a few examples of how everyone needs access and familiarity with technology to help their business thrive.
The risks of ignoring or trying to do without technology can harm a business in many ways, but the rewards can mean getting ahead of your competition and thriving in the long run. Here’s a few reasons why.
Kristy CooperWhy keeping up with technology is good for business
From checking in at your local polling venue on a computer or tablet, to registering to vote by smartphone, or using an electronic voting machine to cast a ballot, computers have become an important part of voting in America, and a contributing factor in the election security concerns for 2020. As election time nears, however, concerns about the security of those computers is high, and everyone from politicians to engineers are addressing ways to keep the process safe from hacking or harm.
Even though touch screen computers have been in use for more than a decade, the last four years have brought so much news of foreign and domestic computer hacking, disruptive social engineering, and potential election rigging that many people are asking to return to systems with paper receipts.
A war started last year that may have escaped your notice. The players: Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Prime, Apple and more. The issue: A full-scale battle for your attention, in what’s being called the “streaming wars.” Options are increasing, pricing and platforms are changing, and some of your favorite shows are bouncing from one service to another. Here’s a quick overview of what’s going on and how it can affect you.
Costly, contentious, and with all the drama of the latest Kardashian scandal, the streaming wars are what you see happening as various studios, media giants and tech companies are trying to position themselves to become long-term essential streaming platforms. Low-cost subscriptions, mega-budget original programing, and non-stop jockeying for who gets licensing rights for popular shows like The Office, Seinfeld, and Friends are just a few of the moves that are being used to try to stay on top. Too many options can equal viewer fatigue, and streaming companies know that they need to rise above the crowd when households decide they want to only deal with a few at a time.
Kristy CooperHow the streaming wars will affect your viewing habits
We’re adding a little science to our blog today to bring you news that the North Pole is moving! We’re not talking about reindeer and elves here, but rather the magnetic North Pole, which affects everything from navigation systems to military operations to apps on your smart phone.
What is the magnetic North Pole?
The magnetic North Pole’s location is used as part of the World Magnetic Model that both civilian and more sophisticated mapping systems are based on. It’s actually one of several “north poles” on our planet. One is true north, which is the northern end of the axis on which the planet turns. But the magnetic North Pole is actually the place where you could stand with a compass and all the magnetic field lines would be pointing vertically down. Magnetic north is susceptible to the movement of liquid iron in the Earth’s core. These currents tug on the magnetic field, which is what makes it move around. In fact, since its first formal discovery in 1831, the north magnetic pole has traveled more than 1200 miles from the Boothia Peninsula in the far north of Canada to high in the Arctic Sea. This wandering has generally been quite slow, around five to six miles a year, allowing scientists to easily keep track of its position. But since the turn of the century, this speed has increased to around 34 miles a year.
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Kristy CooperHow to be the first to know when Softcom is available in your area
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