On the face of it, $10/month seems like a great deal for unlimited movie theater tickets. That is, until you realize that there is a hidden cost to seeing every new Marvel or DC movie to hit the cinema – incessant advertisements in your email promoting every new action figure, poster, video game, kids toy, or special Spiderman themed food item at Walmart. In reality, you are subsidizing your movie habits with personal information that advertisers are buying at a premium, just to get their marketing in front of your eyes.
Ian pledged $50 to get a glorified selfie stick, but only half of it has been shipped. Chase spent $100 on a video game that may or may not actually be made one day. A combination of physical and psychological factors lead to successful campaigns on crowdfunding platforms, but sometimes even the most convincing sales pitches turn out to be much less impressive – so what makes people willing to hand over their money?
Don’t call it a comeback, we’ve been here for months! That’s the song that introduced me to hip-hop, and I listened to my mp3 of it over and over before the bitrate degraded too much for WinAmp to play it anymore. It was my copy, but every time I put it on a new hard drive it got a little fuzzier. I don’t know why I’m explaining this; you know how DRM works. Eventually I farmed out enough spare CPU cycles that I could afford another copy, but by that time (of course) I was just buying the rights to the song anyway.
There is a fine line between creepy technology and helpful technology. Amazon, Google, and even Facebook ride very close to that line. But does that line shift? Do you know when it’s been crossed? And what drives these artificially intelligent machines?