Tracking Method vs. Privacy: Which One Will You Choose

Last night, I saw a rather disturbing technology based ad. Not only does it promote a tracking device, it describes how scary this device is.  It tracking method vs. privacy. Which one will you choose?

The device being promoted was the TrackR. It’s a GPS system the size of a quarter. You install the TrackR app on your smartphone. Connect the app to your device. Attach the quarter like system to your keys, wallet, phone, tablet, spouse, significant other, child, employee, or anything or anyone else you wish. If you lose something, open the TrackR app. Tap the ‘find device’ function. The app tells you where your misplaced item is. The ad gave the scenario of being in a big parking lost. You forgot where to park (okay, that is very real situation). The TrackR would tell you where your car is. Another scenario used is the stolen bicycle. You use TrackR app. The app leads you to where your bike is now. How much will this tracking device costs? That’s the most tempting, yet disturbing thing about TrackR. I hope this doesn’t encourage you to get it, but one can purchase a TrackR app online for as little as $29! No, I’m not giving you the address!

Okay, the ad doesn’t say attach the quarter size device on your spouse, child, employee, or any other human being. I’ll give them that much credit. But don’t you see where this can lead? Yes, you can find your wallet, phone, bike or car. Those are best case scenarios. Think about the worst. People can sneak this device onto an unsuspecting human being. They will be able to track that human being wherever they go. A violent ex can track down his wife/girlfriend. An enemy can track down an enemy. A bully can track down his victim. A sex offender can use this device to track a child. All he’d have to do is slip this on the child’s book bag or in his coat pocket. This is why I’m scared to death of TrackR and what it could lead to. We already have our government and foreign governments watching our every move. We already have surveillance watching our every move. Do we really need this? It’s tracking method vs privacy? Which one will you choose?

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Introducing Android 7.0 Nougat

No, Google/Android isn’t coming out with a candy bar. Although, they got their hands in every other business, it wouldn’t surprise me if Google came out with a nougat candy bar. I digress. Here I am introducing Android 7.0 Nougat.

This new operating system is available this week. It can be used on Google’s Nexus devices. Nougat 7.0 boasts of new and improved updates. These updates include better Quick Settings and menus, new emojis, and battery improvement. Perhaps the biggest feature is Google Daydream, a mobile virtual reality app. Many critics praise the Quick Settings menu. You only have to swipe once, compared to twice with the old operating system. This was more of a competition move. Other Droid devices, like Samsung LG and HTC already have this. With Nougat, you can reply to messages without opening an app. Up to 72 more emojis will come with Nougat. We’re not really told what these emojis are or what they’ll be doing. They’ll be more diverse. That’s all we know. It will come with split screens. Nougat puts your phone into low battery phone. Here’s the crazy part: It does it automatically when you put your phone in your pocket.

Some things about Nougat 7.0 aren’t so good. It will take weeks, if not months, for Nougat 7.0 to debut on all Nexus devices. Then there’s the Google daydream. I’m sorry, but I’m weary of any virtual reality app that lets you play in VR 24/7. That just leads to social breakdown, to the point nobody knows fantasy from reality. So no Google Dream for me. But I do like the battery life. How annoying is it to always plug your battery because your phone is near empty? Automatic low battery preservation is a huge plus. So is messaging. How annoying is it to tap the phone several times before you can reply to a message? One swipe messaging is also a huge plus. We could always use more diverse emojis doing more things. Would you get Android 7.0 Nougat?

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How Would You Like A Smart Home?

First came the smartphone. Then came the smart watch. They’re working on the self-driving smart car. How would you like a smart home?

Apple is working on just that. This app is called Home. With Home, you can control all your appliances, from turning on the air conditioning to dimming the lights. I wonder if Home can wash the dishes (thinking aloud). There are three components to Home: Home, Rooms and Automation. With the Home screen, you pick with of your favorite accessories to control. With Rooms, you control individual room accessories. Automation sets up your accessories to function in the real world. Home can be set up with all Apple devices. Say you’re just getting home. Your Apple device tells the Home app to unlock the door and turn on the lights at once. Can it pour you a drink, too (again, thinking aloud)? Home lets you activate scenes. One scene is Goodnight for going to bed. Can Goodnight read you a bedtime story too (again, thinking aloud)? You can control the Home app through Siri voice. You want the lights on? Just say, “Siri, turn the lights on.” She does it. Yes, there is competition for tech home control. Amazon has Echo. Echo’s voice command is Alexa. Google is working on it’s own home tech control.

There’s a reason I’m thinking aloud. All of this home control is totally unnecessary to me. Especially when it’s tasks you can do in seconds. Turn off the light? A toddler can do that. Unlock the door? I can do that in less than a second. Open the blinds? Isn’t that what the pulley is for? Maybe if you lost a key, I can see how Home can work for you. But that’s about it. When Apple Home can wash the dishes, pour me a drink, and read me a bedtime story, then we’ll talk. How would you like a smart home?

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