Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"The Cloud"

According to this article on Rolling Stone's website, Amazon recently started a new project called “Cloud Player” and “Cloud Drive”, which allows music lovers to store their many files on Amazon’s servers and lets them play that music on their iPhones or iPods. This is a very ingenious idea created by Amazon, because it helps satisfy the demands of a music-lover by providing a service. The customers who load of music on a daily basis run the risk of their hard drive crashing or running out of room. So people have been demanding more computers with more hard drive storage. For Amazon, they made it possible so a person can store all of their music on the company’s servers, which helps decrease the plausibility of a hard drive crash and helps meet the demand of more space to store music. Music takes up a lot of storage on the hard drive, and by Amazon providing a very interesting type of storage as a service to help the demands of the people. Later in the article, it also states that this “Cloud Player” and “Cloud Drive” will be compatible with AAC files, which is a very specific type of media file that iTunes uses. For them to broaden the capabilities of the music-storage system to include all types of music files is a great way to help meet the demands of the people to store more music, because the demand for music is inelastic, meaning that no matter how much money a certain song costs, people will still shell out the bucks for that awesome song they heard on the radio. Amazon has a great idea going, but will it be able to survive in the ever-changing dynamics of the music business?

- Caitlin Harrington

Monday, March 28, 2011

Wi-Fi Cars

This truly is a digital era. One where everything is connected to something else, whether it is via the internet, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or phone networks. Now, our cars can be connected too. Apparently since last year, car manufacturers have been offering Wi-Fi in cars, turning them into mobile hotspots. Soon, several more manufacturers plan to jump on board. Companies such as General Motors, Honda, Toyota, and Volks-Wagon, are all interested in adding this new piece of technology to their cars. So what exactly does this mean for us? Well, Jeff Kagan, an independent telecoms analyst says that “initially, putting internet access in the car sounds like a distraction and frivolous, but as time passes it will become part of our lives and we will feel uncomfortable not having access.” This seems to be the case with everything. Companies such as apple are always shoving the latest and greatest technology inside their products, lots of stuff we know we don’t even need when we buy it. But over time we become so accustomed to having it there, that it’s simply unthinkable to make a product without it. Same with these cars, as Jeff says, we will soon be so used to always having access to the internet (like on our phones), that having a mobile hotspot for our laptops and other devices will become very popular amongst the public. It’s almost ridiculous how everything in today’s world has to be digital and internet friendly, but I guess it’s just another way to make life ‘easier.’
Matt Willis

Sunday, March 27, 2011

AT&T Buys T-Mobile

AT&T giant telecom company is planing to carry out a deal to buy T-Mobile for $39 Billion Dollars. The purchase in confronted by strong opposition from other telecom companies because of fear that AT&T might use its advantage to crush competition.T-Mobile is currently one of the telecom companies who offer the lowest prices. This purchase will give AT&T an advantage over the control of the prices of the communication prices. The merge of this two giant companies will benefit the consumers because according to the Business Insider, “A 2010 report from the U.S. General Accounting Office (GAO) states the overall average price (adjusted for inflation) for wireless services declined 50 percent from 1999 to 2009, during a period which saw five major wireless mergers”.  AT&T’s advantage with this merge will allow it to control and lower the prices, this will benefit the consumer since it will have to spend less money on communication services. AT&T and T-Mobile customers will see service improvements, including improved voice quality as a result of additional cell tower density and broader network infrastructure. This means that not only customers will be able to spend less in communication services but the will also get a more and better quality from the services.
-Santiago Z

Crisis in Libya

The current conflict between Libyan revolutionaries and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s troops has caused a national rise in the price of gasoline.  Libya has typically been the producer of a “light, high-gravity crude oil” that is used by refineries all over the globe.  While Libya is in a current state of internal chaos, the crude oil it usually produces is not being distributed, and refineries are looking for substitutes with similar qualities and chemicals.  As usual, an increase in demand causes an increase in price.  Companies who produce these crude oil substitutes are raising their prices to make as large of a profit as possible while their product is greatly needed.  As the price of gasoline components rises, so does the price of each gallon at the pump for most Americans.  Gasoline has been a product that, according to Ms. Lundberg, “has been growing at a rate of 1%”.  Since there are ways to avoid excessive use of gasoline, the rising price can be expected to force citizens to find alternatives.  Carpooling, walking, and riding the bus are three simple alternatives to avoid the use of expensive gasoline.  While our economy is still attempting to recover from it’s current depressive state, this gasoline mishap could certainly prolong our suffering.  As people will most certainly look for alternatives, the demand for gasoline will drop, furthering our economic problems. 
Written by: Arin McGovern

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Libya Crisis sends Gas Prices Soaring in US

“U.S. gasoline prices have increased nearly 33 cents in two weeks, which is the second highest jump in such a short period of time of two weeks in the history of the gasoline market”, said CNN. The jump was the biggest since a 38-cent rise in 05’ driven by Hurricane Katrina. This recent jump is human forced rather than naturally forced. As the opposing forces begin to start what looks like a civil war, we can see that lower gas prices in America are not in our near future. While Libya only supplies the U.S. with 3% of their oil, you can still see how much this has affected the people in the United States. Although Libya’s oil is only in demand by small refineries, as this Libyan oil supply becomes unavailable to them, this will force those smaller companies to then substitute Libyan crude oil for oil from other companies, which will then increase the demand, which will then lead to higher gas prices in the United States. The latest Lundberg survey has found that gas prices have raised nearly 83 cents since this time last year. With the Libyan “civil war” in process this leads me to think that this event will lead to hurting the nation’s economic recovery, which the gas demands rising every day.

Written by Sarah Allegro