Studies Show Consumers Creeped Out by Facial Recognition Technology

eMarketer logo

There are a lot of people excited about facial recognition, but so far the most aggressive experimenters (aside from law enforcement) have been marketers. This is especially true of retailers who see a lot of opportunity to exploit the technology to enhance in-store experiences, conduct research, or to stop shoplifters. Yet new polls show that consumers are truly creeped out by facial recognition, and privacy groups, consumer advocates, and even some regulators are coming out against it the technology.

See more on the controversy surrounding facial recognition…

Continue reading

The Volatile ‘Fits & Starts’ of Housing Starts

Census Bureau Logo

As regular Strata-gee readers know, I follow basic economic data for our readers. Not all economic data, just that data I feel are germane to the custom integration and consumer electronics industries. Normally, that is a fairly sane and sedate task – but lately, it has gotten a bit crazy, with wild up/down swings the likes of which I haven’t seen since the last great recession. Take housing starts, for example…

See the latest data on housing starts…

Continue reading

Shocking Results for Tech in New Brand Reputation Poll

A newly created poll by Axios and The Harris Poll reveals what Americans think of the reputation of the top 100 most visible companies in the U.S. Tech, as you might imagine, was well represented here, and this poll bared a difficult truth for many tech companies…their reputation is crashing.

See the surprising pluses & minuses for Tech companies…

Continue reading

Sonos One to be Replaced with Upgraded ‘Gen 2’ Version

Photo of Sonos One in white finish

Thanks to some heads-up reporting by The Verge, we learn that Sonos will announce an upgraded version of their Sonos One speaker system. According to the report, the upgrades are all internal and the new version will, somewhat confusingly, look exactly like the original one.

See more on the ‘new’ Sonos One…

Continue reading

New Home Sales Rise in December, But Remain Lower Than Last Year

Housing Prices Photo

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that sales of new single-family homes in December were a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 621,000 or 3.7% above the revised rate in November of 599,000. However, it remained 2.4% below the year-ago rate of sales in December 2017 of 636,000.

See more new home sales data…

Continue reading

Japan Opens Antitrust Inquiry into Amazon

Amazon logo

At the urging the industry minister of Japan, the country’s Fair Trade Commission will look at a new program announced by Amazon Japan that some suggest may be anti-competitive in nature. Depending on the Commission’s findings, Amazon may be forced to abandon the idea, which is a form of a consumer rebate program.

See more on Amazon’s troubles in Japan…

Continue reading

Family Members are at Your Door…Or Are They?

Image of Ring Doorbell app

Imagine this, you leave work early to grab a quick bite of lunch and get home before your sister, niece, and nephew arrive for a family visit. At lunch, you get a notification from your Ring Doorbell app and see that they’ve arrived early. No problem, thanks to Ring, you can let them in and head out to meet them there.

But is it really your family? Or is it a hacker who has figured out how to hack your Ring Doorbell and is now in your home, emptying it of all of its valuables?

New Ring Doorbell vulnerability discovered…

Continue reading

Dec. Housing Starts Drop to Lowest Rate Since 2016

Photo of housing under construction

The U.S. Commerce Department released new data this week on housing starts for December 2018. Overall residential construction dropped to 1.08 million units on a seasonally adjusted annual rate or 11.2% lower than the November rate of 1.2 million units. This is the lowest rate of residential construction since September 2016.

See more on this key economic indicator…

Continue reading

Nearly 8 of 10 Economists Predict Recession by 2021

graph showing economists expect recession ahead

A new survey by a business economics organization reveals that nearly 8 out of 10 economists (77%) say there will be a recession in the U.S. by 2021. A majority or 52% of them suggest that a recession will take place by the end of 2020. Yet even so, a majority of these economists anticipate that the Federal Reserve Board will continue to raise interest rates yet this year.

See the surprising results of this survey of economists…

Continue reading