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In The News 02-17-2017

Vizio Pays $2 Million Settlement For Tracking TV Viewers

Vizio, one of the biggest manufacturers of TV in the world is paying the Federal Trade Commission and The New Jersey Attorney General more than $2 million to settle a complaint alleging that the company installed software on smart TVs to track users’ viewing habits without their permission.

vizio

Under the terms of the settlement, Vizio will now have to get express consent to enable that data collection. According to the complaint, this practice has been going on for nearly 3 years. The software was called “Smart Interactivity” and consumers were not told that screenshots of what they were viewing were being sent to Vizio servers and used to target advertising to those viewers.

Headset Helps Legally Blind See

If you were a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, you probably remember the special visor worn by Geordi LaForge than enabled the blind crew member to see. Well, just like communicators and tablets and being able to talk to a computer, and all that other good stuff that came to pass, the headset made by eSight [1]helps the legally blind regain their vision.

esight-3

A camera captures everything in the user’s field of vision and enhances the feed, displaying it on two OLED screens in front of their eyes. The screens can be adjusted to a precise position to take advantage of whatever amount of vision the user has while maximizing side peripheral vision.  It can help users read and write, view a board in a classroom, and make walking and taking public transport safer.  Users can control the device with a handheld remote.

Microsoft Adds Outlook.com  Premium Subscriptions

Microsoft is launching its premium-grade Outlook.com email service. The introductory price is $19.95 (though that will increase to $49.99)

Users will get an ad-free inbox and five inboxes with a custom domain name address.  (mail would go to jsmith@yourbuiness.com instead of jsmith@outlook.com)  This service is targeted at small businesses and families who might each want their own ad-free address.

There’s already a $20 per year ad-free version of Outlook.com with 5 inboxes for those who don’t require their own custom domains.  And, of course, Outlook.com is free if you don’t mind tolerating the ads.

~ Cynthia