Tech

Should Apple Inc. Deny the FBI access to hack iPhone Devices?

In the last 48 hours, social media has been riddled with support and opposition to the "Message to Our Customers" published by Apple Inc. In short, the United States government has requested that Apple grant them access to bypass any iPhone passwords. This would grant the FBI the ability to access and unlock all iPhone devices. Creating such a technique would compromise iPhone and smartphone users privacy.

Supporters of the hack are arguing that it could be an efficient way for the FBI to prevent terrorism and stop it in its tracks, using the recent San Bernadino shooting as an example. They believe the FBI should intervene and that prevention overrules the protection of privacy for iPhone users. Furthermore they claim that the hacking technique has already been created and that it is pointless to deny the FBI access any longer.

However, those who oppose the hack and support Apple's final decision not to grant the FBI such a device, stand behind protecting privacy. If the power to unlock any iPhone device were to end up in the wrong hands the consequences could be disastrous. As Apple has stated, there is no guarantee that it will remain in the right hands and cannot be limited or controlled in any aspect.

It is safe to say that with many recent cases coming to light to the American public, people are fearful of future attacks but also the threat the government has implied on their privacy. It is unclear how much power is already accessible to the government regarding our personal privacy. The final outcome for now at least is that Apple stands behind it's customers and furthermore has gained even more trust from the American people for upholding its morals by denying the government access to such a controversial technique.

Pandora's Royal(ty) Problem

$90 million. 

That's how much Pandora is required to pay to record labels in royalties for pre-1972 recordings. In a settlement between Pandora and several record labels, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group, Capitol Records and ABKCO Music & Records, has covered themselves through the end of 2016 for pre-1972 royalties. 

Pandora isn't the only coughing up back royalties to Labels. 4 months ago Sirius XM had to pay $210 million three months ago to resolve a similar case filed against them for pre-1972 recording royalties. 

LA Times has an interesting write up here

 

Has Cord-Cutting Finally Hit Its Stride

Scott Swigart /Flickr

The concept of cutting the cable cord has been an ever-growing trend over the past few years. As a cord-cutter myself, I enjoy the freedom to watch content when and where I choose for a much lower price than traditional cable. Netflix, Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime have all become staples in the cord-cutter repertoire. Traditional content providers are finally understanding that cord-cutting is more than a passing phase. In late 2014, HBO announced that it would be offering subscriptions to its popular HBO GO app for users without the requisite cable subscription, and cord-cutters rejoiced. 

Dish Network became the most recent and interesting company to jump on the bandwagon when it announced its new app Sling TV in January 2015 . Sling TV allows cord-cutters to pay $20/month to have access to a bundle of cable channels. These 12 channels include CNN, ESPN, ESPN 2, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, TBS, ABC Family, TNT, HGTV, and Food Network.  Users are only allowed to watch channels live and are not able to pause or rewind. The app is currently compatible with iOS, Android and Roku platforms. There are additional packages of channels that can be purchased for an additional $5. 

I'm interested to see how and if Sling TV takes off. I applaud Dish Network for actually paying attention to trends in the industry. Albeit a bit late, it's still the first of the cable/satellite providers to do so. The biggest drawback it seems is the inability to play shows when the user wants to. 

What do you think? Will Sling TV save Dish Network as the cord-cutting trend continues to grow?