Lately, Starbucks got some bad lucks. From the news, a cop was suing Starbucks for spilled hot coffee. Another news reported that hackers are targeting Starbucks’ customers who use Starbucks app. Just in, a manager exploded and accused a customer of stealing a straw. The whole incident was recorded and now is being shared on the Internet. Check out the videos right after the break to have a glimpse at the incident.
I got free coffee from Starbucks before, and so I’ve had great experience with Starbucks. Nonetheless, I definitely don’t want to ever have to experience something similar to the customer who was at the receiving end of an angry Starbucks’ manager. Fortunately, so far I have not yet had any crazy incident like that at anywhere I have gone to. Oh wait, there was one time that I went into a Subway sandwich store near the closing time, and a stranger gave me a peck (a brief kiss) on my cheek for no apparent reason. I think she was drunk or something of that sort. I felt uncomfortable of course, but everyone was laughing in the store. I laughed along, but I got out of the store as quickly as I could after I had my order fulfilled.
Arstechnica reports that RIAA and ISPs will monitor your web traffic, starting in the second quarter of this year (i.e., 2012). I feel this is a very wrong approach to stop online piracy! Online piracy isn’t terrorism, and so we should not use this draconian measure in an effort to weed out online piracy, because this will make online privacy even worse than how it’s now (i.e., some social networks might be too eager to implement web features that strip away better online privacy).
Do I have to worry about my normal web traffic being monitored by ISPs? Of course, normal web traffic has nothing to be worried about being flagged as traffic of pirating contents, but I have the feeling that people might not feel so good of knowing they’re being watched constantly. It’s the same idea as I do not want my phone company to listen into every conversation I have had or will have with my folks.
God knows what they might do with such phone conversations, right? They might store my phone conversations forever! I might have nothing to hide, but I might fear I do sound stupid during those conversations and do not ever want to be reminded of. Sure, they might not or if ever reveal those phone conversations of mine to anyone or even me, but do I want to know that they have my stupid phone conversations on record forever or however long?
You see, it’s logical for people to fear that they’re being watched as if they are guilty of something even though they have done nothing wrong! I don’t think people will be happy if they know their ISPs are constantly watching them for the sake of the entertainment industry — but not every customer of each ISP is the customer of the entertainment industry — therefore not everyone who is the customer of an ISP should be subjected to be scrutinized for the sake of the entertainment industry!
If I’m wrong on all points, I still think ISPs’ customers deserve to be treated as customers and not some criminals from the start! What do you think? You can check out Arstechnica’s RIAA and ISPs to police your traffic this summer (updated) article/report to read more on ISPs to monitor your web traffic.
Image via Wikipedia
Some major brick and mortar retailers are worrying how Amazon could best them at their own games by rolling out Price Check app that help customers use their stores as showrooms. Amazon could always allow customers to see better deals on Amazon through Price Check app. Furthermore, Amazon could possibly allow customers to purchase products directly on Price Check app, but I don’t know if this is truly possible since I haven’t yet tested the app. I just say Amazon could do it if they want to. If they have done so, then that’s exactly my point. I think this could potentially cripple retailer stores.
Image via Wikipedia
I think Amazon is creating a new trend where more online stores will copy Amazon promotional approach. We may never know, but if this specific approach becomes so effective, major brick and mortar retailer stores could lose big time. Perhaps, in the near future, only true online retailer stores (i.e., as big as Amazon or even bigger) could afford to open brick and mortar stores so customers could experience the wall garden experience.
My use of the phrase wall garden is to compare what I mentioned to how Steve Jobs executed his business philosophy. That is, Steve Jobs preferred in having Apple owned the hardware and software platforms through and through, and he went even further by skipping the third party retailer distributors and built the many brick and mortar Apple stores. I think the successful existence of brick and mortar Apple stores might be an excellence model for online stores to create the wall garden experience Steve Jobs adamantly worshipped.
I think sooner or later, some smart online stores might program their apps to allow the lowering of product prices on the fly so customers will save money more and the online stores will make more money at a faster rate. Of course, the algorithms for such apps need to be super smart, otherwise online stores could sell products way below the profitable point and end up lose more money than they would want. Brick and mortar retailer stores might see this as constant price wars. Obviously, I don’t think brick and mortar retailer stores can beat this kind of tactics, because such physical stores need to have ways to monitor product prices of online competitors and then change prices in the moments.
I can also see mom and pop stores that serve local communities lose out to online stores if people love to frequently use mobile apps to compare products at physical stores against online stores. Such phenomenon will drive mom and pop stores out of business. Perhaps, the future can only embrace brick and mortar stores that truly have big online presences.