Media and tech execs agree that regulation is inevitable
Execs gathered at Sun Valley conference agree that more regulation of Big Tech is inevitable, but point out that regulation should not be a matter of size, and must address anti-competitiveness and data privacy separately. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: The tech industry is resigned that additional regulations are coming. Tech leaders such as Google and Facebook should lead the industry by working together to develop privacy standards along the lines of Europe’s GDPR’s standards and should develop a standard for fines to be paid by companies that fail to uphold privacy. This action would reduce the chances that lawmakers break up Big Tech.
U.S. Congress fails to create federal privacy laws
Lawmakers are angry with the FTC’s proposed $5 billion settlement with Facebook for privacy violations. Senator Hawley (R- Missouri) is pushing to move oversight of tech companies away from the FTC. Senators Blumenthal (D-Connecticut) and Markey (D-Mass) are pushing for sweeping reform of privacy laws that are seen as too aggressive by conservatives. Meanwhile Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) is calling for breakup of Tech Giants for thwarting competition. Wired
dis-rup-shun: Good news: our elected officials are seeking tighter privacy restrictions which are required for our tech economy to offer services valued, trusted and loved by millions of consumers. Bad news: our lawmakers’ inability to find consensus on nearly any policies will enable Big Tech to continue down its current course of “trust us, we will keep data safe.”
Are virtual reality applications DOA?
For years, news reports of virtual reality for the consumer have said the technology is coming to living rooms soon. VR makers are finding that the high cost of VR hardware, and the high cost of developing content, mean that the enterprise market is a better application for the technology than consumers. HP, Varjo, Microsoft and HTC are developing enterprise-grade VR applications for training and defense. Gizmodo
dis-rup-shun: Virtual reality applications are similar to 3D TVs, for not one, but three years, the buzz at the Consumer Electronic Show was the advent of 3D in our living rooms. Mass market consumers have been reluctant to sit around the house with a something covering their faces and gamers have not found enough compelling content to make a multi-hundred dollar investment on a headset and game titles. Commercial applications will lower the costs of VR headsets, but it is unlikely that the technology will engage more than hard core game players even in the next half decade.
Verizon offers 5G hotspot
Furthering the race to provide 5G, Verizon has announced a mobile hot spot which enables devices to access its new screaming fast 5G network for a purchase price of $650 and monthly data plans costing $90 per month. Verizon is currently serving portions of 5 cities with 5G, and has announced 30 by year end. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: 5G is coming and changes the economics of the Internet of Things by a) making it possible to provide really fast bandwidth to mobile things like cars, or planes or non-mobile things without copper wires such as new buildings, and b) by making 4G a lot less expensive than it is today, enabling things like water meters, security systems, and traffic lights to be inexpensively connected to central stations, providing vast amounts of data that can be used to improve services.
SpaceVR seeks to spread spirituality of space to Earth
Most travelers to space express spiritual moment called Overview Effect. This experience occurs when one gets a view of the Earth from outer space. SpaceVR is a company that plans to launch a satellite that will beam realtime videos of Earth to users of its virtual reality viewing device. Wired
dis-rup-shun: The race to control a piece of space is now being run my many companies and a number of governments. Only one company is looking to outer space to bring a greater sense of peace and purpose to Earth. Let’s hope they are successful.