On Episode 451 of the Waves of Tech, we are following up last’s week off-the-grid living conversation with the tech news and highlights that we need to know about. A new bill from the United States Senate aims to require some tech companies to disclose the actual dollar amount being made off your data they collect. The very popular and entertaining Drone Racing League has secured another round of venture capital to the tune of $50 million dollars. The Home Depot is celebrating its 40th birthday so we venture down the road of why home improvement stores seem to be void of troubles associated with online shopping and other industry store closures. Microsoft is limited which software their employees can use (including Slack and Grammarly) over concerns of intellectual property protection. Monopoly has gone high tech with the integration of a voice command AI-type smart speaker that tracks money and controls to pace of the game.
Putting a Value on Your Data
A proposed bill from the United States Senate is being drafted that would require technology companies that sell your data to disclose how much profit they are earning based on that data. The aim is to require companies that have 100 million monthly active users to report any deals they have with third parties, disclose the types of data gathered, and how much it’s worth.
- The bill missed the point – it’s not about value, it’s about privacy, control for users
- An element proposed is to allow users to delete all or parts of their data
- Is value the correct focus at this point in time with breaches and identity theft
- The draft bill reeks of ways in which companies can manipulate the data and cost
Popular Drone Racing Organization Cashes In
If you have never watched the Drone Racing League (DRL) on a regional sports channel, do yourself a favor and check out some highlights. We are talking about pilots maneuvering drones through a designated course at 90-mph through empty warehouses and sports arenas. In their recent round of funding, the international racing league banked $50 million for expansion.
- International Drone Racing Association (IDRA) founded in 2015 began ranking pilots
- The goal was to capitalize on the enthusiasm of recreational drone use; it’s working
- Prior to this $50M infusion, the DRL raised an additional $27M in 2017
- The league kicks off its 4th season of racing in mid-September, so stay tuned
Brick & Mortar Anything but Dead
Many times on the podcast, we have discussed the rise and fall, opening and closing of several brick and mortar stores – Sears, KMart, Payless ShoeSource, and Toys R Us to name a few. One industry that seems to be void of any troubles associated with the online shopping craze is home improvement stores. Case in point – The Home Depot turns 40 years old this month.
- It’s an ideal situation because no one is buying lumber, paint, fencing, and drywall online
- Home improvement DIYers are buying items that they’ve touched and held
- Many of these stores offer classes on home repair and guidance on troubleshooting
- Home improvement stores have incorporated indoor/outdoor decor that many buy
Microsoft Limits Slack Use for Employees
In a great article by Jason Aten from Inc. (link below), he shares the story of Microsoft’s reasoning for Microsoft telling it’s employees to not use a dedicated list of softwares. Slack is on that list and it’s not because they are a direct competitor to Microsoft Teams. The main reason is the protection of their intellectual property and the lack of controls some software’s exhibit.
- Microsoft has a growing concern of the sharing of information on unprotected channels
- A warning to not use external GitHub (owned by Microsoft) points is on the list to avoid
- Grammarly makes the list as it basically records keystroke that employees are making
- Informal nature of many communication systems lead to sharing information informally
Monopoly Integrates Speaker & New Technology
The once popular money-making, capital pumping board game is back with a new version that is focused on going a bit more high-tech and speeding up a historically slow game. The new ‘Monopoly Voice Banking’ integrates a new smart speaker with commands to players as well as the means to track properties owned and money banked by the four players of the game.
- The upgraded game trims down properties, utilities, and railroads available to buy
- This ‘new type of gaming experience’ is aimed at bringing back interest to Monopoly
- Pre-ordering is available now with the board game set to release in early July
- First time we’ve heard of AI being introduced into traditional board game application
Resources & Links