Ira Wilsker's archive

As I type this, the extremely popular streaming media company has in excess of 50 million paid subscribers. Originally known for its mail based DVD rental service, Netflix is currently the world leader in streaming media subscriptions. Once thought of in monopoly terms, Netflix is now facing serious competition from a multitude of sources, including the online retailer Overstock.com, retailing megalith Walmart, and the marketing powerhouse of Amazon.

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In recent months, I have written several columns about Internet and smart device privacy issues. Apparently, a large number of popular apps for both Android and Apple iOS devices utilize access to personal information of various types for other than the legitimate functioning of those apps.

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Now that the spring semester is starting, it is quite obvious that almost all of my college students have and are using smart phones and other digital communications devices for much more than the traditional calling function. With the near universal use of smart phones and related devices in our daily lives, it is inevitable that crooks and other dishonest people will find a way to illicitly capitalize on the popularity of these devices. 

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Since announcing in a column here several weeks ago that my wife and I each have a new, high-end Android smart phone, several people have asked me what apps we put on our respective phones.

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Early last summer in this column, I explained several of the alternative methods of purchasing factory new or refurbished smart phones at deeply discounted prices, without any long-term contracts. One of the sources mentioned was Google and its “Google phones,” which are sold directly by Google from its “Play Store” at play.google.com/store/devices.

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