So you CAN get away with Copying

Written by Adam Weiss on 2016-08-11

Check out this week's must-knows in tech: subscriptions, security, and copycats

What came first, no-risk subscriptions or our inability to commit?


Pretty soon, everything we need will be offered as a subscription. The biggest struggle is of course the saturation point; Netflix blames their slow subscription growth on the Olympics (which we find questionable considering Olympic viewership is down). Hulu, on the other hand, is axing its free, ad-supported service. Before you fret that you'll need to pay for a subscription to catch up on your favorite show, it's likely that Yahoo instead will offer these for free on Yahoo View. Pokemon Go could become one of the first subscription based mobile games apps, now that Apple allows apps in any category to offer subscriptions.

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Major props to Pokemon Go for still being relevant after its launch one month ago. Niantic, its developer, is continuing to launch updates to appease and retain players. Yelp has even jumped on the bandwagon, letting visitors search for businesses with PokeStops (a PokeStop is a physical location that lets you load up on important items to play the game better). With any craze, Pokemon Go has spurred some unusual occurrences over the past month. Like the time everyone assumed Nintendo made the game, making the company's shares skyrocket and investors rejoice before shares fell a few weeks later (Nintendo does own 32% of the game).

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Privacy has never been more important to Apple. In the iOS10 update, users can mark themselves as anonymous so advertisers can't collect or see that particular user's data. This doesn't eliminate ads completely; instead users will just see irrelevant, untargeted ads. Anonymity aside, Facebook could care less if its users don't want to see any ads because they don't think the ads are annoying. Duh, that's like agreeing that no one likes your kid. To work around ad blockers, Facebook has made the code for ads look like any other content. Hopefully ad blockers will create a workaround around Facebook's workaround.

CVS to Put Receipt Paper Manufacturers Out of Business


CVS has a solution to shortening the in-person purchasing process. Similar to Starbucks' app, CVS is launching CVS Pay, a mobile app that lets you pay for products, earn rewards, and pick up prescriptions by just scanning a barcode once. We hope this means the end to their three foot long receipts as well! Will other brick-and-mortar businesses take cue?

A Wireless World

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Set to launch in September, the new iPhone is unlikely to have a headphone jack. But Apple's got you covered with their wireless headphones. We're one step closer to a wirefree world. Don't want to adapt? Fear not, you can spend more money on purchasing ports that plug cords into devices. And pretty soon, kids will think it strange we had so many wires in the first place.

It's not plagiarism if....

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By now, you should know that Instagram copied Snapchat when they introduced Instagram Stories last week, and CEO Kevin Systrom doesn't even care how obvious it is because companies apply "borrowed" ideas all the time to their own platforms. But hey, imitation is a form of flattery and competition is a good thing. All jokes aside, what are the differences? For the Instagram pros out there, a "save draft" feature is in the works. Planners, rejoice!

Online Security is Kind of a Big Deal

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If you're worried about the upcoming election in November, you're not alone. To add one more thing to your list, check if your state's voting process is at risk of getting hacked. Don't underestimate the value of security. Netflix is introducing HTTPS encryption for its video streaming. Why is this good news? Though your boss may still see what you're viewing online while using the office's internet, this extra security limits companies other than Netflix from viewing and collecting your data.