Amazon hardware reveal next week: What devices would you like to see? (The Daily Charge, 9/16/2019)
The Daily Charge
Today I'm daily charge Moviepass throws a hail mary, Mozilla announces grant for the web program, and Amazon's got a big hardware launch event next week.
Let's take a closer look.
And welcome to CNet's daily charge.
It's Monday September 16.
I'm Ben Fox ribbon
And here today stories
Okay, movie pass was expected to shut down over the weekend after its parent company failed to raise enough money to keep the lights on.
The service which let folks watch up to a movie a day, for $10 a month was beloved by users but it burned through cash.
Alfred, were you a movie pass user?
No, but I didn't know, did you know that your company has to make money to stay like a company?
I was not aware of that.
I guess they just didn't make money.
Who would imagine that allowing people to watch something that was usually worth about $10 or $20 a day-
10 to 15, yeah, exactly.
For a whole month for only, what, $10 a month, wouldn't make money.
So one of the interesting aspects of this is that the more popular Movie Pass became, the more money They actually burn through.
So the more folks that started using the service, the more expensive it got for the company to actually make up for those outlays.
Yeah, I know, right.
One of the things that I do appreciate about the existence of movie pass is that you're kind of introducing this Netflix model.
So I feel like AMC some of the other guys have actually at least tried to model after this, not nearly as cheaply.
Yeah, they're all like really bad like, Like, like versions of it though, where it's like you can only watch like 30 minutes of one movie.
One get out like I remember when movie past tried switching to a model that might work for it everyone like I hate all this.
It's like you can only watch these movies that no one wants to watch
Yeah, and yeah, ultimately here we are.
When are they gone?
I think they were expected to be gone this weekend.
I just wanted to like confirm that they were actually dead.
But yeah, they said on Friday that we're toast and then they were expected to shut down over the weekend.
So yeah, poor guys.
Next up, Mozilla and its partners announced the $100 million grant for the web program which will encourage companies to develop new business models that don't heavily rely on ad tracking.
Alfred you wrote the story
Tell us a bit more about it
So this grant is going to be distributed out throughout the next five years or so.
And it's not like one project will win all that money.
So they're basically investing in a bunch of different types of projects to see what Avenue is out there.
That's not based on the current internet model that we have right now.
Right where everything is free, but you know.
You're being tracked across all of these websites that you go on and then advertisers know how to target to you directly.
They're hoping that there's an alternative to that.
So they're not saying that we're gonna get rid of the free internet or anything like that, but There should at least be some sort of alternative where in the same way if I don't disagree with, I don't know, caged chickens or something like that, there's alternatives for that.
Like there's beyond [UNKNOWN]
Free range chickens.
Or free range chickens, even.
Right now, on the internet, like spectrum like there really is nothing like To that level.
There is no like, I want to be conscientious buyer online and I only want to use websites that don't violate my privacy or something like that but still help them make money.
There is really no way to do that currently.
Okay, so ultimately, so like I'm thinking about $100 million.
$100 million feels like a lot of money and also very little.
So What are your impressions as far as how likely it is that they're actually going to make substantial change?
I wish them the best of luck.
I don't think that will make a substantial change in the next five years.
But I do think that it would help give opportunities to projects that can later on like.
Basically giving them startup money essentially.
I don't the 100 million will solve everything immediately.
But it does at least give some sort of launching pad for companies that aren't thinking privacy focused like business Now during the time that we were talking about it, I think Google made 100 million dollars.
Yeah, that's probably what happened.
Anyway, last Amazon is planning its big hardware launch event for its eco devices next week.
Alfred you've written a lot about privacy elements for the echo devices and for amazon's voice assistant are you hoping maybe they talk a little bit more about privacy features or what am i gonna i don't i really don't feel like they might it's it's honestly gotten to such a level that It's almost like they have to, but maybe I'm wrong about that.
I mean, you were at the Amazon devices event in Seatle, like last year, right?
Last year, yeah.
And how much of privacy did they talk about there.
They were really just trying to push one feature and one-
Device after another.
If anything, I think That they're gonna be introducing more products that will like continue to a road at the level of privacy that we think that we have.
And like that when they came out with like a clock and like a microwave last year and all those other weird
And I don't know how popular those devices are, I mean, they might go the way of the dashboard button one day, which Was also tracking your buying behaviors.
You're talking about dashpots that they eventually got rid of.
Also tracking your buying ehavior.
So honestly I have no reason to believe that they'll come out and say that privacy is a focus for them.
So one of the elements is like Amazon on the go.
Or Alexa on the go has really been a big push.
So they're trying to put it in the car.
They're really trying to emphasize it on mobile.
They're hyping it like a wearable potentially where you would have the voice assistant, I don't know baked into a pair of smart glasses.
So one of the things to consider here is Amazon is try to push Alexa in a more mobile atmosphere whereas a lot of those privacy concerns become much more significant.
And if now you have this voice assistant on the go with you.
Here's a big step they could take if they really wanted to talk about live valuing privacy, Putting all these privacy settings on by default.
The data collection stuff, deleting your records.
All of that is stuff that you have to do on your own, right?
You have to go to your settings and change it to say, please delete all of this automatically within a few months or something like that.
[UNKNOWN] Google history settings lets you do that.
So Apple with Siri, they had recently announced that they're not gonna be collecting any data by default
So, you have to opt in to be in their little research program to improve their AI.
No one else is doing that right now, you have to opt out for both of those, like, if you really care about privacy more then care about developing your AI to be a better product in the future.
Make that a by default thing like have people opt in to give you their voice data.
I defiantly think that would be a significant change however if they make that announcement at the hardware event there's gonna be Would be like one privacy reporter in the back of the room that's gonna you know, cheer.
I don't think they invited any privacy report, right?
surprised by that.
So But anyway, are there any specific products by the way that you would be interested in
[UNKNOWN] Anyway, for the Daily Charge, I'm Ben Fox Rubin.
I'm Alfred Ng.
Thanks for joining us.