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Sunday Discussion: Aereo, Google Plus, And Internet Explorer Is In Trouble

Geek Alabama Discussion

On this Sunday Discussion being written late because I was helping to cover some severe weather on Sunday, I am talking about three different things over the last week that are in a lot of trouble in my opinion.  Aereo had a date with the Supreme Court.  The head of Google Plus resigned.  And Internet Explorer has a huge security flaw, who uses IE?  So, let’s go!

Aereo And The Supreme Court


Aereo had its date with The Supreme Court last week and the decision made by the high court this Summer will change TV forever, win or lose.  So let’s start off with the basics, what is Aereo.  Aereo is an online company that allows users to stream TV shows from the broadcast networks over the internet to wherever they are.  Aereo installs small antennas in an antenna farm in various major US cities, the signal from each antenna is sent over the internet to one individual user, and that user can record and watch shows online.  Here is the problem, the companies that make up the broadcast networks; CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX, The CW, and others, says Aereo is stealing their signals.  And Aereo does not pay the broadcasters a retransmission fee, and that fee makes a lot of money for the broadcast networks.

Yea, this court case is all about money.  The broadcast networks makes billions each year on retransmission fees charged to all cable and satellite companies to pick up the local stations in each TV market in America.  With Aereo, cable and satellite could say we won’t pay the broadcasters any more money and use Aereo or another similar service to pick up the local stations.  So, what happens if Aereo loses the Supreme Court case?  It means Aereo has to pay a lot of money to the broadcasters, and since they don’t have the money, they will shut down, and consumers will continue to shell out a lot of money.  Now, what happens if Aereo wins?  Things would get interesting!

The broadcasters could just give up broadcast TV, and move to cable, like some have already said.  This would leave the local TV stations high and dry, and without good programming, ad revenue would go down, and many stations would start cutting back and laying off people, some might even shut down.  Some have already said that your local TV station is about to experience major cutbacks like what has happened with radio, where the morning drive is done by local people, and the rest of the schedule is done by one person who is also on a lot of other stations.  And if broadcasters moved to cable and TV stations shut down, Aereo would not survive.  Still, all of this is bringing up a big point.  TV has gotten more and more expensive, and people are cutting back which is effecting companies bottom lines.  So if cable companies lose more cable subscribers, why not change how internet is charged so they can make more money.  Oh wait, they are trying to do that with the end of Net Neutrality.

Google Plus Slow Growth


Google is trying everything they can to get more people to use Google Plus.  Last week,  Vic Gundotra left Google, and Google Plus was Vic’s grand pet project.  Google Plus was created to go against Facebook and Twitter, the two most popular social media networks today.  But, Google Plus has barely grown, and many people who have signed up to Google Plus, are barely using it today.  Also, many people working at Google who were assigned to work on Google’s social media network have been re-assigned to work on Google’s mobile products.  So, does this mean that Google Plus is about to die?

Many other sites are calling Google Plus the techy version of The Walking Dead, which means the social media network will stay on for a long time, but hardly anyone will use it.  Google Plus is mostly used by people who have a lot of tech know how, but even someone like me, who is someone who knows their tech, or I would not be writing the Geek Alabama blog, hardly uses Google Plus.  I think Google Plus will never be a direct competitor to Facebook and Twitter.  Sure, Google Plus has brought us Google Hangouts, circles, larger photos, and more.  But as a social media network, Google Plus will never reach the traffic Facebook and Twitter sees each day.

Now, there are some ways Google Plus can change so more people will use them.  One, open up their API so app developers can use Google Plus.  I use Buffer App to schedule my posts each day, and there is still no option to schedule posts for my Google Plus personal account.  Buffer can not set up the option until Google releases a public API.  And other services wants to help Google Plus become popular, but Google needs to open a public API.  Two, Google never gave me an option to choose my web handle for my account.  When the option became available to create a unique URL, I wanted to use the same URL username I use on Facebook and Twitter and other sites I use.  Instead, I was forced to use one Google created for me, and Google says I can not change my URL, forever, come on!

Google, if you want your social media network to grow, you need to make it easier for outsiders to create apps and software to make Google Plus easier to use, if not, enjoy your slow death!

Internet Explorer Security Flaw


So, did you see this story over the weekend that confirms that no one should be using Internet Explorer, well, unless you use it to download another browser.  Sadly, around 58% of the computers around the world uses Internet Explorer as their main internet browser.  And for the people who use IE, they need to know that there are better choices for their internet browser like Google Chrome and Firefox.  I remember while in school the computers all had Internet Explorer, and I asked if the school knew that there was better browsers that could be used, but nothing changed.

Thanks to the folks from FireEye, who discovered the security bug.  They are calling this vulnerability Operation Clandestine Fox, and this bug allows hackers to execute remote code execution, and do things such as viewing, changing, or deleting data, installing malicious programs, or creating accounts that would give hackers full user rights.  The bug has been found in Internet Explorer versions 6-11 and also in Windows XP, that Microsoft is no longer supporting.  This means if you are still using Windows XP, you need to stop using it for good!

This latest bug from Microsoft and Internet Explorer is just another reason why you need to switch to a better browser like Chrome or Firefox.  Seriously, around half of all the computers connected to the internet still uses IE?  I bet many of those computers are found in schools, offices, and libraries.  At least the local library where I live has installed Chrome and Firefox to their computers so you are not forced to use Internet Explorer.  Plus, Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers comes with many more features to make your online experience super!  If you are still using IE, this might be a great time to dump them for good!

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