Digital Content: To pay or not to pay

In the digital age, consumers are very used to getting apps and online content for free. I was listening to a free Joe Rogan Podcast on YouTube recently (irony intended). He was interviewing Sam Harris, who likewise has a very popular podcast. They were discussing their respective business models. Rogan uses an ad-based model, so his show is funded predominantly by sponsors. Harris uses more of a PBS model where you can access much of his content for free, and if you enjoy it you can subscribe to his website and pay. Harris noted an overall trend with digital content: You have Facebook on the one hand, which is just a totally free platform where the users don’t even realize that they’re not the customers, that they’re the actual product, right? The users are having their attention sold to advertisers, and it’s this enormous business. And on the other end of the digital spectrum you have Netflix, which is just a stark paywall, right, and there’s no way in but t

DuckDuckGo : A private alternative to Google search

Recently it was revealed that Google services  track your location , even if you’ve explicitly told them not to. This seems troubling to me. As I wrote in an  earlier post , the terms of service that companies such as Google employ leave you little recourse. If you don’t like it, tough. Using these services can paint a pretty comprehensive portrait of who you are. Here are just a few examples: ·        Maps & Location history – every place you visit, and how often ·        Mail – the contents of all your Gmail e-mails can be harvested for personal information and used to target ads to you ·        Calendar – a synopsis of everything you do ·        Contacts – Who you communicate with ·        Drive – all your personal documents ·        Youtube – what you are interested in ·        Hangouts – what you look like and sound like ·        Photos – what you like to do The last one I’ll note, and of course the big one, is  search . If you really want to

Why do I have to deposit $1 to use a shopping cart?

Really? I need a $1 coin in order to access the convenience of using a shopping cart? This irks me. Yes, I understand the logic - in theory. It will incentivize me to return the cart to the little area, so I can get my loonie back. Frankly, I don't really even care about the dollar. Relative to my purchase at this major grocery chain, a dollar would be relatively insignificant. I'm not shopping at a value chain. This is a "frill" I expect. I am guessing the buck is also meant to stop to those lawless individuals who may steal the carts away. Those individuals would, presumably, amble down the road where there are greener pastures (sans the $1 barrier) for acquiring an empty bottle wagon. Still image from the film "Carts of Darkness" by Murray Siple. Be this as it may, my feedback is that the policy is lamentable. Obviously, I do not carry a purse - I'm a man. I have a change pouch in my car, but there are many occasio