Thursday, September 29, 2011

Facebook's Ticker?

Now that Facebook has launched their new "ticker", a real-time news feed, almost everything you do is broadcast online: every song you listen to on Spotify (a music app), every story you read on Yahoo! News, and every video you watch on Hulu appears on Facebook's "ticker" for all of your friends to see. Spotify is the most intense example of forcing users to broadcast through Facebook. The company recently began to require new users to sign in with a Facebook account. Therefore, if you don't want to use Facebook, you aren't able to listen to music on Spotify. Even E-book reader Kobo is getting ready to launch "Kobo Pulse," an app that will broadcast what books you are reading. Even though it seems everything you do will be broadcast on Facebook, it is possible to turn it off. However, you can't choose to not have any updates broadcast on the "ticker" through Facebook. Instead, you must go to your settings in ALL of your accounts (Yahoo!, Spotify, Hulu, ect.) and turn off the feature, which becomes an inconvenience for many people who don't wish to share everything on Facebook.

There is only one way to stop all of the sharing altogether: delete your Facebook account. Consumers will have to make a descision of costs and benefits: does the benefit of being able to connect with people all over the world at any given time outweigh the cost of potentially having everything you do online broadcast for the world to see? Each user of Facebook will have to answer that question for themself.

Are Drones replacing our Aces?

In recent years, the advancement of computers has led to technological innovations in all industries, particularly the defense industries. The manufacturing of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, has grown dramatically and leading to a new version of warfare where the soldier is staring at a screen selecting targets for the drone to eliminate. The growth of UAVs has led to a major change in the function of modern fighter aircraft because the risk of losing a $20 million UAV is better than an $89 million state-of-the-art aircraft and a trained pilot as well. For the last 100 years of aerial warfare, manned aircraft have been the only competitors, and now advancements in technology have led to the decrease in demand for manned fighter jets. Advancements in aviation technology have led to "generations" of fighter aircraft which have adapted to the ever-changing battlefield. Over 30 years, 33 Fourth generation fighters have been manufactured worldwide (averaging about 1 new aircraft a year!). However, in the last 10 years, only 8 designs have been introduced. Of those 8, only 4 aircraft have been produced worldwide (averaging about 1 new aircraft every 2 years). This change in production of aircraft has changed from the change in demand for manned fighter aircraft. In contrast, over 30 military UAVs have been produced or are in production in the last 20 years in the USA alone! In conclusion, the evolution of technology has led to a decrease in the production of manned fighter aircraft because of the demand for the aircraft to become smarter as well as the growth of the UAV industry. While manned fighter production is on the decline, it will not be lost completely to the UAVs.

The NBA Lockout

There are many questions about the NBA lockout, one of the biggest being "Why?". With a disagreement between players and owners of all 32 teams, the NBA season is closing in on its official cancellation. The basic idea of this lockout is that owners want to prevent paying their players a high salary over a 5 year span (Amare Stoudamire will make 100 million dollars over the next 5 years), but the players feel that if the league is cut to 30 teams and a shared revenue system, those types of ridiculous contracts can be made. The players are looking out for their own self interest, wanting to recieve as much money as they can get, which is understandable for any working person. Another big point in the lockout is that teams, such as the New Orleans Hornets and the Sacramento Kings, are not making enough revenue money to keep their franchises alive. The players and owners want a system where each team creates revenue and shares a bit of it with the league, keeping the money going and balanced. The New Orleans team is actually costing the league money because the NBA holds ownership to the team (costs money) and the team is not creating a positive amount of revenue. So, with that said, why not just end the franchise? The NBA is looking to do so, but at the cost of losing fans and an important franchise to NBA history.

NFL Lockout Comes to an End

The NFL Lockout was a workforce strike by the players that demanded the CBA be reconstructed and bargining agreements had to be reached. The owners of the teams wanted to pay less and also to add two more games to the NFL regular season. They wanted to do this in order to maximize their profits by having lower wages to pay the players and more games to produce a larger income. However, both sides have to consider their own self-interest and they want to get the most profit out of their careers in NFL. The players also wanted more medical sercurity, this included having a league-sponsored medical plan for life. The players are constantly having to think at the margin because the average NFL career is only 3.3 years. Players have to think how much longer can I continue to play this game, and how much money can get before my career is over. On July 25, 2011, the NFL Lockout was lifted and the players and owners agreed to a new deal that will last for the next ten years.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

“Amazon’s Android Tablet is Coming Soon”

The iPad from Apple was and continues to be extremely popular, selling millions of iPads and pulling in huge revenue for Apple. Every firm’s goal is to maximize profit, and Amazon is doing so by creating an Android Tablet that will compete with the iPad. This tablet is a 7-inch touch-screen, slightly small than that of the iPad, but has additional features that the iPad does not, such as higher resolution. In terms of technology improvements, this device is not significantly more advanced or improved than the iPad, so Amazon will compete with Apple on price. They are going to price the Android Tablet at a lower price than the iPad. Consumers will buy the cheaper product out of their self-interest, and by pricing the Android Tablet at an obviously lower price to grab attention, Amazon hopes to win over consumers’ purchases. Analysts have made predictions that the Amazon will be Apple’s top competitor in tablets, and that the tablet is “going to be a big deal.” As of right now, Apple dominates the tablet market. Other companies such as HP and Blackberry have tried to do what Amazon will be doing, but have failed because their tablets were not able to compete with Apple and had to be taken out of the market. Amazon on the other hand is likely to stay in the market if they “compete on price, content, and commerce,” states Rotman Epps. Amazon plans to price the tablet at a lower price than the iPad, and by lowering the price, they hope demand for their product will go up. This would follow the law of demand which states that as price decreases, demand for the good increases. They hope consumers will notice both the lower price as well as the quality and features the Android Table has to offer.

Trend in jobs in the field of Psychology

In today's economy competition for jobs is extremely high. The demand for jobs is continuously rising while the supply is falling. Perhaps though one career path that is on the up curve is psychology. Several different occupations within this broad field are experiencing an increasing demand for highly trained psychologists to fill the spots. Some of these occupations include career counslors, school psychologists, genetics counslor, or forensic psychologist. On several college campuses now one of the most popular majors is psychology while the modern science of psychology was not even invented until the late 1800's. The higher level of degree that is earned is better for the chances at receiving these interesting jobs.