Sunday, September 21, 2014

Price Discrimination in TV channels in Canada

Interesting article on TV channel bundling and price discrimination in Canada.

Thanks Charlotte Persson-Gulda for the link!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Privacy Problem


Pando published an interesting article on privacy. 

Of the 1,200 apps surveyed, 85% failed to disclose how they used information, while 59% of the apps ‘left users struggling to find basic privacy information’, the organisation said.
Simon Rice, the group manager for technology at Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which is a member of the GPEN, said: ‘Today’s results show that many app developers are still failing to provide this information in a way that is clear and understandable to the average consumer.’
Thanks Jarek Langer for the article!

Uber and Big Data

Continuing our discussion on Uber (which never seems to end).. Uber published a blog post recently highlighting a very interesting use of big data. They are using the "destination" entered by some Uber users to predict where exactly their different customers go, and which businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc) they patronize.

In another fascinating blog post, they announced the launch of UberPool, which is expected to further drive down the economics of intra city transportation.

Thanks Takashi Kano for the link!

Fairness in Humans (and monkeys)!


Tuesday’s discussion in class on differential pricing and the backlash it can cause because of the innate human desire/ expectation of fairness was very interesting. This video shows an experiment with Capuchin Monkeys that shows how deeply wired our expectation of fair treatment is! 

Thanks Xander Boutelle for the link!

Exploiting Signaling

Building along the lines of our discussion in class on 'Signaling'. An article in the New Republic about how a startup CEO convinced a lot of people to give him a lot of money by "signaling" that he was similar to other successful startup CEOs. Fascinating read! 

Thanks Rachel Schecter for the article!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apply Pay

Techcrunch reports from Apple's iPhone event on 9/9/2014.

"Confirming rumors and leaks, Apple announced this morning that the new iPhone 6 devices will support mobile payments. The feature, which also uses Apple’s Touch ID, will take advantage of NFC technology. That means users will be able to pay for goods and others services in the real world using the payment information already associated with their iTunes accounts.". Read the full article here.

There are also rumors about 'i-watch' incorporating mobile pay,nets using NFC technology. More on that here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Subsidizing data plans may threaten Net Neutrality

Pando recently published a very interesting article on how T-Mobile's "Music Freedom" plan may actually be threat to Net neutrality. This article is especially important when we think about connectivity in developing countries, where large telecommunication companies are offering "Free facebook data plans" and other similar offerings.

Streamlining Tweets!

Twitter is a great source of information and news for most of us, however, sometimes there can be an information overload, especially when you regularly see all sorts of personal and non-informational tweets from people who you are following for a particular area of interest.

A recent Techcrunch article featured a project called 'Persona' which has built a machine learning driven categorization tool, that scans the words in your tweets and assigns them to three categories: personal, professional and social. The founders are hoping to monetize this value added categorization service, built on top of free tweets.

Thanks Zach Freeman for sharing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

UberX vs Car Ownership

The debate around Uber continues. A recent blog post on Medium shows a financial comparison of car ownership with UberX. As expected, the answer depends on the number of miles driven, but the author estimates that Americans driving less than 9,481 miles a year would be much better off ditching their cars and using UberX exclusively.

Innovations in college campuses

The New York Times recently published a great article on the technological innovations for college students. It features many interesting EdTech companies, including Chegg, and Boundless that are making the college textbook market more efficient.