A Free Smartphone Would Mean Selling Your Soul To Amazon

first_imgdan rowinski Tags:#Amazon#Carriers#free#smartphones Related Posts What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfacescenter_img Everybody loves a free gadget. Or at least a very cheap one. E-commerce king Amazon is well aware of this fact and according to a recent report, could launch its own smartphone for free to the public. A free smartphone? There has to be a catch. And of course there will be—if it ever happens at all, that is.See also: Amazon Reportedly Working On A 3D SmartphonePeople “familiar with Amazon’s effort” told tech reporters Amir Efrati and Jessica Lessin that Amazon has been mulling the idea of giving away its long-rumored smartphone. The general notion is that Amazon would make the phone available without a carrier contract for … nothing.Amazon has a long history of trying to undercut its competitors on price, often in hopes of convincing customers to buy more stuff from Amazon.com. But a straight up free smartphone would be extreme. Many Android smartphones are very cheap these days, but not many of them are sold for nothing.Efrati and Lessin hedge their bets quite a bit in the report, as their sources told them that the free strategy may never happen:The free strategy isn’t set in stone and depends on several factors, including Amazon’s ability to work out financial arrangements with hardware partners, said one of the people who is familiar with Amazon’s smartphone effort. This person and others expressed skepticism about Amazon’s ability to pull off a free device.Amazon, of course, would most likely give away a smartphone only after tying it to all of the company’s services. Want music? You have to get it from Amazon. Movies? Amazon’s Video On Demand. Books, TV shows, apps … Amazon has all those, too. A paid subscription to Amazon Prime (at $79 a year) might also be in order.Essentially, a free smartphone would mean selling your soul to Amazon.Amazon Has Gone Down This Road BeforeSee also: What The Kindle Fire Says About Amazon’s Rumored PhoneFor instance, look at Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets. They are cheap (by comparison to other major tablet makers) and they are restrictive. If you want an app, you have to use the Amazon Appstore for Android. Want to get something from Google Play? Not going to happen. Amazon completely blocks the ability to access Google Play—even the Google Play website—through the Kindle Fire.The company makes its own browser, has its own cloud storage services and content. If Amazon is giving you a smartphone, you are basically consenting to do nothing but purchase anything and everything from Amazon.This might not be an entirely bad arrangement, especially if you buy most of your stuff through Amazon anyway. And Amazon could make it even sweeter.Right now, even if you get a cheap smartphone, you have to pay the gatekeepers: the cellular operators. That cabal includes the likes of AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint and many other second and third tier operators in the United States. One way or another, you have to pay for voice and data plans and texts. Often you are getting sucked into a two-year contract with these companies and the operators know exactly how to wrench every last cent out of their users. Amazon’s Secret Weapon: Free Data!But what if you didn’t need a contract? Or even to pay for data? Amazon might be able to pull that off.Amazon has kicked around the idea of becoming a MVNO, a mobile virtual network operator. A MVNO is an entity that basically resells service from one of the established cellular carriers. MVNOs are often independent SIM card sellers like Simple Mobile or H2O Wireless.Sometimes, though, MVNOs operate specifically to serve up limited connections that deliver a small amount of wireless data from one point to another. In this way, Amazon already kind of works like an MVNO. If you have a Kindle e-reader with cellular connectivity, you’ve experienced it already.Amazon has relationships with carriers across the world to provide data for users wanting to download books or newspapers on their Kindle readers (not the Kindle Fire tablets, though—just the e-ink variety). Users don’t pay for this service, and Amazon recoups the cost when a consumer buys a book on their Kindle. Amazon has already kicked around the idea of becoming a MVNO in markets like Japan.Theoretically, Amazon could extend this capability to a free smartphone. It would mean becoming a full blown MVNO, as opposed to just buying some carrier data capacity for e-books, and Amazon doesn’t really have much experience in that market.But, say you get a free Amazon smartphone that gives you free or very cheap data and voice service up to a certain point—say, 1GB per month. Wouldn’t that be an enticing deal? Amazon could pull it off and completely disrupt both the smartphone manufacturing industry and the carrier model in one blow. Amazon then recoups the cost when you buy anything with the device. It might be a far-fetched plan, but so is the idea of a free smartphone. Jeff Bezos’s company has shown that it is crazy enough, and ambitious enough, to try it.  Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

10 months agoLeicester boss Puel to bench Vardy for Man City Cup clash

first_imgAbout the authorChris BeattieShare the loveHave your say Leicester boss Puel to bench Vardy for Man City Cup clashby Chris Beattie10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveLeicester City boss Claude Puel is set to omit Jamie Vardy from his line-up for their Carabao Cup quarterfinal tie with Mannchester City.Puel is planning to prioritise Saturday’s Premier League match at Chelsea by making a number of changes to his line-up on Tuesday, including starting Vardy on the bench, even though Leicester are three games from Wembley.Vardy, Leicester’s joint-top scorer with five Premier League goals, has been managing a groin problem but returned to fitness for Saturday’s match at Crystal Palace where he played the full 90 minutes against expectations, says the Daily Mail. Puel has been advised Vardy requires some recuperation and has decided to provide it for the visit of City. last_img read more

a month agoEx-Real Madrid GM Mijatovic: Zidane doesn’t know what to do

first_imgEx-Real Madrid GM Mijatovic: Zidane doesn’t know what to doby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveFormer Real Madrid GM Pedja Mijatovic has questioned whether Zinedine Zidane is capable of leading the club out of it’s slump.Mijatovic was reacting to their 3-0 Champions League humbling at PSG.He said, “I did not expect such a game. I expected to see another game, I was very confident and I hope that Madrid will present itself in a better way in a competition in which it has made history. “PSG has been better in every way. It is a worry. The season looks like last year.”From minute one, Madrid was not involved in the game. When a team lets you play they all seem like phenomena to you. Madrid has to improve a lot. They have to worry and look for solutions. I don’t see Zidane finding solutions or helping the team to improve.” About the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Regardless Of Rumors, Butch Jones Is On The Hot Seat

first_imgButch Jones surrounded by his players.Twitter/@6NewsThis season was supposed to be a return to form for the proud Tennessee program. While Georgia was the favorite to win the SEC East, some liked the young, talented Volunteers to take a big leap and challenge the Bulldogs for a spot in the SEC Championship. After rough Lane Kiffin and Derek Dooley regimes, Butch Jones looked like the guy to lead the Vols back to national relevance. Instead, Tennessee is 2-3, with brutal losses to Oklahoma, and most recently Arkansas, another disappointing SEC program. The three losses have featured incredibly questionable coaching decisions, and the tide has seemingly turned for head coach Butch Jones.Butch Jones was a darling in Knoxville just three weeks ago, but now some Tennessee fans want to see him gone.To all the people wanting to fire Butch Jones: Charlie Strong will probably be available at the end of the season. #vols— Wesley Mason (@RealWMason) October 4, 2015What’s it like to have all the tools and still fail @UTCoachJones— Will Caffey (@Caffeyteria) October 4, 2015After tonight I am convinced Butch Jones isn’t the man for the job. He can recruit, he can say the right things, but he can’t coach…— Chase Slaven (@chaseslaven7) October 4, 2015Butch Jones has to go. There is no process. There are no bricks. Just mile high piles of cow sh*t— Zach Breazeale (@breazeale31) October 4, 2015Dear diary: today @UTCoachJones was a clown….again, when will he quit?— graeham jones (@JackDaddyJones) October 4, 2015Butch Jones sucks so much at coaching it’s hard to really describe. Recruits, please stop placating him. Dead man walking .— Baltz Vol (@Baltz_Vol) October 4, 2015Lyle @UTCoachJones has had 13+ lead in each of his games and is 2-3. All other Power 5 teams that have led 13+ are 157-5. #Vols #GBO— Matt Broyles (@matt_broyles) October 4, 2015#vfl #vols Here are Butch Jones’ impressive UT wins. pic.twitter.com/FHhBFvyOw7— Charlie Miller (@ChuckInMemphis) October 4, 2015“The magical cure” is taking Butch Jones out into the middle of the desert and leaving him there. kay? Kay.— Sara (@_saral93) October 4, 2015Brick by brick just ain’t cutting it anymore. House is crumbling. Not impressed with Butch Jones. Never should’ve fired Phillip Fulmer.#Vols— Heather☮Brewer (@heatherkayb) October 4, 2015To make matters worse, there are some very nasty rumors out about Jones now. They are completely unverified, but it can’t help the situation. Fox Sports’ Clay Travis, a Tennessee fan, tweeted a link to a post on the VolNation message boards, which includes an absolutely crazy rumor.Butch Jones is Derek Dooley with worse hair.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) October 4, 2015You know things are bad for Butch Jones at UT when rumors that he punched offensive lineman Mack Crowder blow up: http://t.co/1p4rENPkTL— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) October 4, 2015 I don’t believe Butch Jones punched an offensive lineman because I think he’d swing and miss and blame it on youth.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) October 4, 2015Again, these are just rumors, and pretty unbelievable ones at that, but even without them, Jones’ seat seems unbelievably hot after just five weeks.last_img read more

Cage fighter in Yukonstyle federal election race

first_imgAPTN National NewsA Juno award-winning musician, a former cage fighter, a climate change specialist and Canada’s hardest working MP are all vying for Yukon’s only federal seat.APTN National News reporter Shirley McLean has the story about the heated election race in the Yukon.last_img

Offshore drilling foes denied microphone hold rallies

first_imgHAMILTON, N.J. – With giant inflatable whales, signs that read “Drilling Is Killing” and chants of “Where’s our meeting?” opponents of President Donald Trump’s plan to open most of the nation’s coastline to oil and natural gas drilling have staged boisterous rallies before public meetings held by the federal government on the topic.That’s because the public cannot speak to the assembled attendees at the meetings. The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is meeting one on one with interested parties and allows people to comment online, including typing comments on laptops it provides. People also can hand bureau officials written comments to be included in the record.What they can’t do is get up at a microphone and address the room.That has led drilling opponents on both coasts to hold their own meetings before the official ones begin. The latest took place Wednesday in Hamilton, where one attendee wore a furry red lobster hat with claws protruding from both sides.“They’re dodging democracy,” said Cindy Zipf, executive director of New Jersey’s Clean Ocean Action environmental group, which held a citizens’ hearing before the bureau meeting. “The government works for the people. I understand it’s uncomfortable to have a bad idea and be held accountable for it, but that’s what they’re proposing.”The Republican president’s decision last month to open most of the nation’s coast to oil and gas drilling horrified environmentalists, and many elected officials from both major political parties oppose it. But energy groups and some business organizations support it as a way to become less dependent on foreign energy.The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management’s chief environmental officer, William Brown, said Congress has mandated five-year energy plans since the Arab oil crisis of the 1970s sent prices rising.“The charge is to develop a program that provides for the energy needs of the United States, balancing environmental risk with energy need,” Brown told The Associated Press. “We all know renewable energy is something we should develop more of, but renewables are not going to take the place of fossil fuels immediately. The people who are going to read your story are mostly using cars.”Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy addressed the environmental rally by video link before the bureau meeting Wednesday, sending a message to Trump: “You will not drill off our precious shores! No way!”Bureau spokeswoman Tracey Blythe Moriarty said the open house format lets people speak directly with agency staff to learn about the drilling proposal.“We find this approach to be more effective than formal oral testimony,” she said.But many attendees at past meetings disagree.Environmentalists rallied on the steps of the California state capitol in Sacramento before a bureau hearing there, citing damage from a 1969 oil rig spill in Santa Barbara and a broken oil pipe in Refugio Beach three years ago. People upset at not being able to speak publicly chanted “Where’s our hearing?”The bureau set up informational displays at its Feb. 8 meeting, including one titled “Why Oil Is Important.”Before a Feb. 8 meeting in Tallahassee, Florida, drilling foes invoked the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which fouled the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, and said they want to ensure that Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s promise to exempt Florida from the drilling plan — the only exception publicly announced — remains in place.In Oregon, some meeting attendees said bureau staff were unable to answer their questions about the drilling plan and were frustrated at being directed to a row of laptops to type out comments.___Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAClast_img read more

WTO creates two dispute settlement panels to review US softwood lumber duties

first_imgMONTREAL – The World Trade Organization says its dispute settlement body has agreed to establish two panels to examine Canada’s complaint about duties imposed by the United States on softwood lumber imports.The Canadian government requested March 27 that a panel be set up to examine the dispute after consultations with the U.S. in January failed to resolve the matter. It also requested a second panel to review the U.S. use of differential pricing methodology in its anti-dumping determinations.The U.S. objected to the Canadian requests, which argue that the anti-dumping and countervailing duties imposed on softwood lumber imports were inconsistent with U.S. obligations under the agreement on subsidies and countervailing measures and the general agreement on tariffs and trade.Ottawa says the duties represent a “considerable hardship” on softwood lumber producers and communities across Canada.The United States has argued that the duties were fully consistent with its obligations under the WTO agreements.It has also raised concerns that Canada’s request for a panel included an item that wasn’t identified in its request that wasn’t part of the consultations.The U.S. said the request included claims against the measures that don’t exist and therefore couldn’t be challenged. It also said Canada stated the matter was urgent even though the final determination in the anti-dumping investigation of softwood lumber from Canada made in November 2017.The United States said it was disappointed that Canada had proceeded to request a special DSB meeting to consider its second panel request rather than addressing these concerns.Canada has also launched a separate wide-ranging complaint to the WTO about the way the U.S. applies punitive tariffs that has infuriated the Americans.The Canadian government has suggested it might drop that major international trade case if it gets a softwood lumber deal.last_img read more

French fuel fight Prime minister offers to meet protesters

first_imgPARIS — France’s prime minister is offering to meet with members of a motorists movement who have blocked roads over rising fuel taxes and held protests that caused damage to central Paris.Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on BFM television Wednesday that the protesters are expressing “a lot of legitimate things that should be heard.”The drivers may ignore the outreach. Some are calling for a new action Saturday on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, where a protest last Saturday degenerated into violence.The drivers denounce perceived elitism by President Emmanuel Macron, who failed to defuse the anger with a speech Tuesday explaining the environmental need for the tax hikes.Protesters shouted at the minister for overseas territories, Annick Girardin, as she sought to calm tensions Wednesday on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion, where demonstrations have been particularly violent.The Associated Presslast_img read more

Report Feds got seat complaints on van model teen died in

first_imgCINCINNATI — Federal regulators received nearly 180 seating complaints about Honda Odyssey minivans over the years, according to a newspaper’s investigation after a teenage boy died trapped in one such van.A coroner said 16-year-old Kyle Plush, of Cincinnati, died April 10 of asphyxiation because his chest was being compressed. It’s suspected the 2004 minivan’s rear, third-row seat flipped over and pinned him as he reached into the back.The Cincinnati Enquirer reported its investigation shows that a quarter of Odyssey seating complaints were over stability and that one of five stability cases involved problems with third-row seats.More than a dozen warnings about the Odyssey’s third-row seating for models made between 1999 and 2012 were found by the newspaper. Some complaints said seats were loose, rusting or wouldn’t latch; others noted instances when heavy seats suddenly slammed down or flipped out of place.The Enquirer also reports it obtained documents showing local investigators inspecting the minivan indicated that they had difficulty getting the rear seat to latch in place and that it would “rotate freely” after appearing to be locked.Honda said in an emailed statement Wednesday that it hasn’t received any direct claims of fatal injuries from “interaction with third-row seats” in 1999-2004 Odysseys.Honda spokesman Chris Martin said that the automaker has requested permission to inspect the Plush vehicle but hasn’t received it and doesn’t have any specific information “from which to definitively determine what occurred in this incident.”Martin also said there were no seat-related recalls of the 2004 Honda Odyssey in the United States.Honda last year recalled some 900,000 later-model Odysseys because of concerns about second-row seats tipping forward if not latched properly.The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration told The Enquirer that it worked closely with local authorities and Honda to “understand what happened” in the Cincinnati death.“Based on the available information, including internal data analysis, the agency has not found evidence of a vehicle safety defect trend,” the agency said.The NHTSA said part of its review included past Odyssey complaints and it would “continue to monitor complaints” and “take further steps as appropriate.”The agency didn’t immediately respond Wednesday to an Associated Press message seeking further comment.The teen’s father found his son dead nearly six hours after the first of Kyle’s two 911 calls seeking help. Two officers sent in response to the student’s first 911 call drove through parking areas around the school but didn’t get out. Police have said they didn’t have information needed to narrow their search.A prosecutor determined that no one would face criminal charges in the death. The family has expressed frustration over what they say are incomplete explanations and the slow pace of reforms in emergency response. The city already has been upgrading smartphone communications, computer-assisted dispatch, police in-car mapping, and training.The Enquirer reported that the Plush family didn’t respond to messages seeking comment on the newspaper’s investigation.___Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.comThe Associated Presslast_img read more