You’ve probably heard about net neutrality a lot lately: 1) we “explained it like you were five” back in November 2) earlier this week the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, announced a plan to kill it, and 3) people on the internet like fighting about internet freedom.
But the fact of the matter is all this boring, confusing, mumbo jumbo is really important. Case in point, yesterday, over 800 startups sent Pai a letter voicing their “deep concern” with his plan.
We’re about to drop some Clear Eyes in those glazed-over Friday eyeballs, so prepare your brain for knowledge.
First, what’s happening?
Net neutrality stops internet providers (like Comcast) from charging companies (like Google, Facebook, Netflix, or Aunt Jenny’s blog) to deliver content to their customers (like you).
Essentially, it makes the web a level playing field where anyone can reach everyone without having to pay the piper.
But, this week’s announcement by the FCC claims the 2015 Title II rules were mostly politically posturing, and that the internet companies shouldn’t be regulated against “paid priority.”
Second, why does it matter?
Current regulations prevent network companies from blocking sites, throttling speeds, and prioritize some companies over others.
Rolling these back would more or less turn everyone’s internet into a “pay to play” scenario.
Which is great for big companies with money to spend, but devastating for upstarts trying to get their foot in the door. (That would really suck.)
Third, what can I do about it?
Well, if you’re in the Twittersphere you can tweet this message to support that letter the startups wrote. Or you can email him at [email protected] and really give a piece of your mind.
But seriously, the best thing we can all do is learn as much as we can about what’s going on, talk to our friends about it, and make sure everyone is informed. The net neutrality battle isn’t anything new and it’s not going anywhere fast.
People just tend to lose sight of it with all the other crazy stuff going on. And the worst thing we can do is forget about Dre… err, net neutrality.
Gotta copyright that name, STAT. According to reports, Apple will be announcing their own Venmo competitor at the end of the year, marking another entry into the crowded peer-to-peer payments space (which hasn’t exactly been a goldmine).
While Venmo ran $17.6B through its app last year, its friend-to-friend transactions are still completely free, and they only recently started charging vendors to accept Venmo for in-app purchases.
That said, this could pump up Apple Pay
Which does make money but hasn’t exactly caught on like they’d hoped. The cardless service did $36B in transactions last year — about a 1/6th of analysts’ $207B predictions.
But that’s not the reason people are jazzed…
iOS integrated payments could eliminate the need to enter billing info in apps once and for all, further lowering the barrier for 2am Uber Eats orders.
Plus, it could be a way for Apple to fold payments into iMessage, an integration no one except Chinese powerhouse WeChat has truly mastered.
But in case you missed the headlines, Amazon’s latest contribution to artificial intelligence isn’t a smart prosthetic, or think-to-text technology. It’s… a personal stylist. Cool.
The Echo Look is a “personal assistant” with a built-in camera that takes full-length photos of your clothes and runs them through an algorithm to tell you if your outfit’s hot or not.
Seriously. It takes a picture or video of you and votes on which pair of shoes goes best with your outfit.
But ya know what’s worse than wearing a bad outfit?
Bein’ a snitch. A lot of people have questions about what exactly the Look is telling Amazon beyond our style preferences.
A 360° view of a person generates a ton of info on things that audio can’t, like age, gender, weight, even socioeconomic status. Not to mention what moments we’re most susceptible to suggestion. Sweatpants 5 days in a row? Seems like someone could use a 4 lb shipment of Butterfingers.
When asked if any or all of this kind of information is fair game for the company, Amazon essentially pleaded the 5th, saying they “can’t speculate” on their own intentions. A likely story…
Our buddies over at Design Pickle wanted to increase sales through an email promotion but didn’t necessarily want to blast their entire database.
So, instead of firing off a 20%-off coupon into the inbox-unknown, they used a one-click poll to find out who was interested in picking up what they were putting down.
And the results speak for themselves…
Using a simple polling tool called YesInsights, the Picklers discovered which of their clients were most interested, then made the offer to the super qualified leads. That strategy led to $30k in sales for the company.
That’s because, unlike most surveys, YesInsights puts the entire survey into the email itself instead of just a big, blue, uninviting “Take our Survey” button.
Don’t believe us?Answer the painfully obvious question below to see it in action:
Who’s the best musical artist from the early 2000’s?