Archive for March 5, 2020

Canadian Government Tells “Big Three” Wireless Carriers To Cut Bills By 25% Or Else…. And Their Plan Is A Joke

Posted in Commentary with tags , on March 5, 2020 by itnerd

The Canadian Government appears to be going the brute force approach to deal with the fact that wireless carrier bills are insanely high. They’ve put out the following this afternoon. You can find out more via this link to the CBC but here’s the highlights:

  • Canada’s big three national wireless providers have two years to cut their 2-6 GB plans for cellphone services by 25 per cent. This would apply only to post-paid plans where consumers already own their devices or purchase a new one at full price.
  • If the “big three” don’t do this, the government will introduce regulatory measures to bring about those price cuts.

Here’s my thoughts on this and they can be summed up in four words: Good luck with that.

The Canadian Government has come up with a plan that would only help a handful of people. As in most people get their phones via finance plans with their carrier. I am one of the few people who buy their phones outright. Not only that, I would very surprised if the “big three” obeys the government. Seeing as one of the big three, namely Telus, has threatened a form of retaliation if the Canadian Government tries to mess with with wireless prices. And if the Canadian Government does impose some sort of change, expect that to go to court and be tied up there for years.

Are wireless prices high? Yes. Insanely so. And this needs to be addressed. But this isn’t the way to do it as it really doesn’t solve the core issue. Which is that there’s an oligopoly in the Canadian wireless industry. And this is how you solve it:

The only way to lower cell phone prices for Canadians is to have the Canadian government let in a very large foreign telco or telcos such as Deutsche Telekom or Vodafone, and have them set up shop in Canada. And by set up shop, I mean build their own infrastructure. Now to be clear, I am NOT advocating that the government should bankroll these companies. What I am advocating is that they simply have to open the door and let them walk in and set up shop. The simple act of doing that will see wireless prices drop in this country to levels Canadians have never seen before. Why? Because for the first time there will be real competition in the wireless space. If you don’t believe that this would happen, look at the panic that Verizon caused the “big three” telcos when they were rumored to be expanding into Canada a few years ago. Face it, the “big three” telcos would lose their minds if a big international player were to move in and set up shop in Canada because they know that there is no way on God’s green earth that they could get away with charging Canadians what they currently charge in such an environment.

If the Canadian Government really wants to solve this issue, they should take my advice as that would actually solve the issue. After all, it benefits the many and not the few. And isn’t that what they want?

 

Sonos QUIETLY Walks Back The “Recycle Mode” Fiasco

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 5, 2020 by itnerd

You might remember that Sonos had a program earlier this year where a customer who leverages this nets a 30% discount off a new device. But the catch was that you had to put your existing Sonos speaker in what Sonos calls “Recycle Mode”. That starts a 21 day countdown that at the end of the 21 days, your existing Sonos device gets “bricked”. And by “bricked” I mean it no longer works. Forever. You can then take it to your local eWaste recycling center or send it back to them.

To nobody’s surprise, this was an #EpicFail. But according to The Verge, that’s changed:

The trade-up program still exists, and customers who own eligible legacy products can get the same discount, but they’re no longer required to permanently brick devices that might still work just fine.

With the change, Sonos is now giving customers full control over what happens with the older gadgets they’re “trading” up from. They can choose to keep it, give it to someone, recycle it at a local e-waste facility, or send it to Sonos and let the company handle the responsible recycling part. Sonos quietly removed Recycle Mode from its app last week and replaced it with language asking anyone seeking the discount to call customer service. Within the next few weeks, Sonos will update its website with a new flow for the trade-up program that no longer includes Recycle Mode, and you won’t have to call anybody.

Well, that’s a great change. But it’s a quiet change. They might have been better off saying to anyone who will listen that this change happened and they’ve learned from their mistake. But they didn’t do that and I guess that they were hoping that nobody would notice.

So much for that.

There’s one other thing. Sonos still isn’t going to bring new features to older speakers. I guess they have to give you an incentive to get a new speaker.

Dell Technologies Publishes Study On Managing Disparate Cloud Environments

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 5, 2020 by itnerd

Today, Dell Technologies shared insights regarding a recent study, Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), in partnership with Dell Technologies, VMware and Intel, that examines how organizations are managing disparate cloud environments. The global survey of 1,257 IT decision makers found that:

  • 80% of respondents say they see strong value in hybrid cloud. Yet only 5% say they have achieved their goals of having a consistent hybrid cloud.
  • Surveyed orgs say they expect consistent IT management tools for private and public cloud to cut costs 19% on average.
  • When asked about the prospect of using consistent infrastructure management tools across private and public cloud locations, [respondents said] they would expect to reduce the number of security breaches, application outages, or other events affecting its public cloud-resident data by 30%, on average.

The study can be seen here.

New Report Details Online Harassment and Digital Threats to Journalists

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 5, 2020 by itnerd

Newsroom executives need to better protect journalists from online abuse and harassment if they are to retain women and people of color in media, according to a Women’s Media Center report released today.

The report, “What Online Harassment Tells Us About Our Newsrooms: From Individuals to Institutions,” looks at online harassment and systemic bias in U.S. newsrooms. The report analyzes the most recent studies and findings regarding online hostility to journalists and concludes with recommendations for newsroom leaders, including committing to understanding the relationship of inclusivity, online harassment, and free speech in their newsrooms; acknowledging bias and engineering around it; and making journalists’ safety a company-wide priority.

The report examines the ever-expanding digital threats to journalists and includes insights gleaned from industry research and from three news leaders whom the nonprofit organization convened for a special symposium in New Orleans in October: Nicole Carroll, editor-in-chief, USA Today; Mitra Kalita, senior vice president, news, opinion, and programming, CNN Digital; and Raju Narisetti, who has overseen news operations at The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and Gizmodo Media Group and is founder of India’s Mint newspaper.

Studies consistently show that for women; ethnic, religious, and sexual minorities; as well as gender-nonconforming people, online harassment is more frequent and intense and likelier to result in self-censoring, according to the report. Journalists are usually responsible, as individuals, for “staying safe” online, and a long-standing journalistic tradition urging journalists to “grow a thicker skin” frequently inhibits genuine understanding of the dynamics of abuse. The report’s authors contend that this approach creates an imbalance that results in organizations persistently ill-prepared for the virulence of online hate and harassment.

According to the report, in addition to clearly influencing how journalists work, online harassment also affects organizations’ ability to recruit, retain, and reward diverse staff and cultivate inclusive media environments and leadership. In an environment that rewards visibility and audience engagement, women and minorities, who as a result of being targeted reduce their social media presence, may lower their chances of career advancement, according to the report.

The WMC report also includes separate interviews with Soraya Nadia McDonald, culture critic at The Undefeated; Jill Filipovic, contributing opinion writer for The New York Times and freelance writer; and Katelyn Burns, freelance writer for Rewire and Vox, who discuss their challenges in navigating an increasingly vitriolic online arena.

The report can be downloaded here.