Great Beyond

Best Buy, Amazon Fighting To Get Into Your Home To Install Smart Devices

For years, Best Buy’s Geek Squad has offered to enter customers’ homes to install, troubleshoot, or teach people about their new electronic devices. With the rising popularity of the connected home, such a service seems all the more useful. Not one to be left on the sidelines, Amazon is getting into the installation and education business when it comes to their own connected home devices, setting up a house-call showdown of sorts between the e-commerce giant and the brick-and-mortar electronics retailer. [More]

Amazon Debuts Tool Allowing Parents To Track Kids’ Activities

Amazon Debuts Tool Allowing Parents To Track Kids’ Activities

Many parents monitor their child’s activity when using a computer, phone, or tablet, but the task of checking individual apps and browsing history can be daunting. Amazon thinks it has the answer, at least for kids using its FreeTime program, in a new Parent Dashboard.  [More]

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Payday Lending Trade Group Promises To Clean Up Misleading Online Ads

Google dealt a big blow to the payday lending industry, when it recently decided to ban the short-term/high-cost lenders’ ads from search results. At the same time, federal regulators are pushing for stricter regulations on these controversial financial products. Now a payday lending trade group is hoping to do some damage control by creating a program to identify companies making misleading claims in online ads. [More]


Cnet has rounded up a list of free bandwidth monitoring apps for Windows and Mac users who will be facing Comcast’s new 250 GB download limit next month. They aren’t perfect, but they “should tide you over until Verizon brings some Fios action to your hood.” [] Doesn't Practice Good Security Hygiene Doesn't Practice Good Security Hygiene

You’d think a credit monitoring service—even one as skeevy as—would take great pains to keep up the appearance of security and confidentiality. You’d be wrong. When Brian called to cancel their service he was asked to call out his social security number and his mother’s maiden name, even though it turned out they could easily access his account and cancel his service with only his phone number and birthday. Oh, and the first CSR hung up on him, but (sadly) that’s not really very newsworthy anymore.

Are Bundled Packages A Threat To Privacy?

Are Bundled Packages A Threat To Privacy?

The L.A. Times read the privacy policies of several bundled service providers and found that they are feverishly monitoring their subscriber’s activities. With the ability to monitor internet, phone, and television preferences, bundled service providers are able to track nearly every aspect of their subscriber’s digital lives. While Google retains personally identifiable for less than two years, some ISPs like Time Warner cling to your data for an astounding fifteen years in order to “comply with tax and accounting requirements.” It gets worse.

There are red flags to be found in each telecom provider’s privacy policy. A close reading of Time Warner’s policy reveals: