Category Archives: Tech

These are technology related posts.

App of the Week: Yo

For the most part, the only apps I use are Messages, Mail, Tweetbot (for twitter), Pandora, and Chrome. Lately, I’ve been venturing out and decided to do another App of the Week post even though I don’t do them weekly.
As you guys know, I’m all about what’s next and being one of the early adopters. I did so with Instagram. It was my first app of the week post back when no one I knew had it yet.

Recently, I discovered this app called Yo. It does pretty much just that. You’re able to create a friends list and tap a buddy’s name to send them a Yo! They’ll get a push notification alerting them about your Yo! No other communication is available through the app. It seems pretty silly because it’s so simple and limited but I think that’s genius. It’s intriguing because depending on who it is and the context, that Yo! can mean different things.
If it’s sent in the morning, it could be a simple good morning. At noon, when you’re late to meet a buddy for lunch, that Yo! could mean “hey man, where are you?” Maybe you don’t have much to say to someone and a Yo! is much easier than sending a text. This is what makes the app exciting for me.
Yo has received over $1 million in funding and received a lot of media attention because the idea seems so silly. However, investors must’ve seen value in it. After using it for a few days, I found it intriguing myself.

It’s a cool app and who knows what the future holds for it. Head over to the App Store and download Yo and all me to your friends list. Yo me at my username mikexcore. Let me know your thoughts on the app.


T-Mobile offers unlimited streaming to some providers

T-Mobile just announced a new initiative yesterday called Music Freedom. This program allows customers to stream a few music services, selected by T-Mobile, without it affecting customers’ monthly data allowance. These music services include Pandora, iHeartRadio, iTunes Radio, Spotify, the forthcoming Beatport, and a few others. They’ll also be taking votes on their website and twitter for other services to add to their exemption list. T-Mobile is offering this free of charge to content providers.

On paper it looks great. I use Pandora a lot and it makes me get very close to my data allowance each month so being able to stream with no worries sounds great to me! However, you have to see the bigger picture.

Why does T-Mobile gets to dictate who gets preferential treatment on their network? What about the small start ups barely trying to make a name for themselves? It would be a hard sell when customers can use free data with the larger providers. With data consumption steadily increasing, small start ups can’t compete with free.

What if this isn’t the end? What if photo services are next to get an exemption? It seems like a slippery slope and not a road I would want carriers to go down. On the surface, it looks like a huge win for customers like myself who have a problem using up a lot of data, but I would rather limit myself than have a select few content providers get preferential treatment. I don’t think anyone should be treated unfairly. What are your thoughts?

The surveillance of Americans shouldn’t be condoned

After reading the entire story on PRISM, the NSA program used to spy on Americans, I am a bit outraged. Read the full story on The Washington Post if you don’t know much about it. At first when I heard bits about the story, I said I didn’t mind having the government look over my data. My logic is that I don’t have anything to hide so I don’t care if they go through my silly emails or whatever if they’re actually preventing any terrorism from happening.

However, upon reading the full extent of the program and how supposedly they have special software installed on Google and other tech companies’ servers that gives the NSA direct access to all the data flowing through their servers, I began thinking where is it going to end? I know that the government gets warrants to obtain data from these tech companies but that’s when they have probable cause, which isn’t the case here. If we keep giving up more liberties just because it gives us more sense of “security” where will it end? When they can just walk into your house and “check” to make sure you don’t have anything potentially harmful. It seems far-fetched now right? But keep giving the government an inch and soon they’ll take you completely over.

They did millions of data requests according to the leaked documents and I wonder how many of those requests resulting in findings actually connected to potential terrorist activity? Is it worth invading people’s privacy? The NSA has uncontrollable power and congress has failed to act thus far. The story broke a few days ago and I’m shocked not a lot of people are as vocal about this. None of my friends on Facebook or Twitter are really talking about it. Either they don’t know or don’t care. I fear things need to get worse before they get better. Change needs to come.