This week, Google has given up its Daydream, Blizzard is giving up their loyalty, and tech companies may no longer give up your data.
Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.
Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.
At the resurgence of virtual reality in this decade, many companies saw using your phone and its screen as the basis for VR systems as the best solution. Samsung and Oculus built the Gear VR platform. Google created the Cardboard and then the Daydream platforms. A variety of other companies, including Monster, got into the game. All of these used your phone as the center of the VR experience, rather than creating dedicated VR hardware.
In the past few weeks, Blizzard has made some decisions that have caused not just consumer, but international backlash. It started a few weeks ago when a professional Hearthstone player, Ng "Blitzchung" Wai Chung, made a pro-Hong Kong protest comment after a competition. The company stripped him of his tournament win and banned him from professional play for a year. Consumers responded swiftly, with people across the globe canceling their Blizzard game subscriptions. As a result, Blizzard seemed to disable the ability to cancel a subscription, claiming technical difficulties. After backlash, the company reinstated his win, as well as reducing his ban to six months instead of twelve.
Over the past few years, we have seen a rise in inappropriate data usage. Some of it has come from the data collectors themselves, such as Twitter's recent revelation that they had used security recovery email addresses and phone numbers for targeted advertising. Others have come from third parties, such as Cambridge Analytica and Hyp3r. No matter the source, the inappropriate or unintended use of personal data is on the rise and is causing the world to have less trust in tech companies.
As more video streaming services enter the market, each one is looking for a way to differentiate themselves. Disney+ is focusing on the big Disney franchises. Apple TV+ is focusing on high profile original content with a large production budget. Quibi, short for "quick bites," has decided to focus on short-form episodic content. It's a strong pitch in a market filled with traditional length content on all of the services.