Camber Bytes w/c Jan 25, 2021

Brice Gramm
January 25, 2021

This is the lil tech news you need to know for the week commencing Jan 25, 2021.

🚢 Revert! Revert!

Microsoft introduced a price increase for its Xbox Live Gold subscription service late last week… and immediately regretted the decision.

After crushing user backlash over the increase–which would have made its service price double that of rival Sony’s PlayStation Plus service–Microsoft quickly rolled back the changes (and even sweetened the deal).

Our Take: We think this was a great example of how not to introduce price increases and how to act quickly on user feedback to keep a fan base fiercely loyal.

💉 Do the Hokey Poke-y

Turns out distributing double doses of the new COVID-19 vaccine to hundreds of millions of Americans is a difficult task. But mega corporations like Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft have stepped up to offer help.

No, your local barista won’t be jabbing your arm after your next cappuccino order, but Starbucks’ operational expertise from its 33,000+ retail locations could prove useful in planning new vaccine administration sites (with qualified healthcare providers).

And Amazon’s famous 2-Day Prime delivery logistics and broad network of fulfillment centers could also prove useful in delivering doses all across the country efficiently.

Our Take: We love to see great public-private partnerships, and discovering ways to extract new value from existing tech and operations.

👀 Prying Eyes

With recent updates to iOS 14, Apple has rolled out new features, including a new privacy “rap sheet” for App Store listings.

The new privacy section of app download pages show exactly what personal information you’re giving up to the app developer in exchange for your patronage… and it can be downright creepy.

Facebook, for one, is NOT happy. The company–which mines vast troves of user data from its more than 2 billion users and monetizes it with targeted advertising–took out full-page PRINT ads (yeah, like… in newspapers) to voice their disapproval of Apple’s changes.

Our Take: It makes sense, considering the Facebook app appears to have the Al Capone of privacy rap sheets, and this is critical to how Facebook makes most of its money. It remains to be seen if Facebook’s gargantuan ad business will be damaged as apocalyptically as the company claims.

We like to see the transparency to end users about what their app sign ups actually mean, so that they can offer better-informed consent or opt for a more private solution.

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