MoviePass Scandal And Google Flights Guarantee

On Episode 458 of the Waves of Tech, we are back with a host of new topics and technology news to cover. First up, we received our 5th nominations in the Podcast Awards (thank you all) and Dave was invited to speak at the Sunshine Summit. Big news hit this week as we learned that MoviePass deliberately changed user passwords to prevent users from using their subscription service. Surprisingly, railroad crossings are not a standard feature in navigation tools and certain safety agencies are pushing big technology to change that. Samsung announced their future headlining products will not feature a headphone jack, a major trend in the mobile market. Lastly, Google launched a new flight price guarantee program where consumers may request refunds when prices drop below what was originally paid.

MoviePass in Major User Password Scandal

In the most horrendous news of the past week, it was reported by Business Insider that Mitch Lowe (CEO of MoviePass) specifically instructed his employees to change passwords of subscribers to purposely prevent them from using the application. This direction came during a time of financial loss and hemorrhaging of money within the company.

  • MoviePass often assigned technical issues as the reason for app outages
  • A ‘trip wire’ scenario triggered an automatic shutdown of user accounts
  • Former employees have blown the whistle on the entrenched CEO’s actions
  • Legal action related to the CEO’s direction has yet to come to light in reports

Navigation & Mapping Tools Ignoring Safety Features

Back in 2016, the National Transportation Safety Board investigated a railroad accident that lead to the death of an engineer and several injured passengers. NTSB recommended that mapping apps managed by the likes of Apple, Google, Microsoft, MapQuest, Omnitracs, and others incorporate railroad crossings into traditional navigation tools and functionality.

  • All companies have essentially ignored the pleas from NTSB and safety agencies
  • Many have argued this feature would inundate users with too much information
  • The argument of whether this feature actually prevents future accidents is a valid one
  • Users have a responsibility to navigate and drive vehicles safely without the aid of tech

Samsung Does Away with Headphone Jacks

As the mobile industry attempts to create thinner phones that provide the same amount of computing power is forcing manufacturers to do away with the 3.5mm headphone jack. At Samsung’s Unpacked event last week, the company announced the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ will have no headphone jacks. The trend continues to wireless continues.

  • OnePlus, Motorola, Sony, and Huawei have stated future plans to remove jack ports
  • This is frustrating consumers that must now purchase and manage multiple dongles
  • On the other hand, other users are embracing the wireless lifestyle in its entirety
  • The growing popularity with bluetooth and wireless headsets is creating marketplaces

Google Flights Guarantee Price Booking

We have all been there… You pick up a new tech gadget, two weeks later the item hits the discount shelves, and you are out some hard earned cash. When it comes to the cost of booking and paying for travel, every dollar matters. And that is why Google has introducing a price guarantee program for airfare (with some restrictions of course).

  • You can request a refund for the difference if the price lowers unexpectedly at any point
  • The maximum amount of refund is $500, the minimum being $5; every dollar counts
  • The hurdles – submit a payout request; Google determines validity of request
  • International travelers are very much looking forward to the price guarantee program

Resources & Links

Podcast Awards
Sunshine Summit
MoviePass scandal
Rail Crossings to Maps
Headphone Jacks are Gone
Google Flights Guarantee

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