Advertisements that use eye tracking and facial recognition to target ads toward consumers appear to be an inevitable part of the future of public spaces. But if one major cable and wireless provider has its way, this innovation could eventually make it into your living room.
Although the dramatic scenes of super storm destruction in New York and New Jersey have largely disappeared from television screens, the recovery from Hurricane Sandy continues. Now, in a move to help the victims of the disaster, Verizon is planning to waive billing for affected customers.
Who among you have been lucky enough to have won the Verizon FiOS lottery? Okay, perhaps the metaphor isn't quite precise since one cannot choose to win the lottery while one can choose FiOS over a local cable monopoly or satellite TV service. But unlike cable or satellite, FiOS isn't available everywhere, only to around 15 to 18 million homes — and mine isn't one of them. That makes those of you who can choose FiOS the aforementioned lucky lottery winners (now you see the accuracy of the metaphor), and the estimated 4.4 million of you who have chosen FiOS for your TV service and 5 million for broadband connectivity smart lottery winners. And not being a FiOS lottery winner makes me angrier than, well, someone who plays the same numbers in the lottery every week — except the week that number actually comes in. And my anger — and perhaps that of all non-FiOS lottery winners — is unlikely to be sated given the recent Verizon/FiOS news.
I hate to be the bringer of bad news, but Verizon's unlimited all-you-can-use 3G unlimited data plans are coming to an end. That means all of you on grandfathered-in data plans who want to upgrade to 4G LTE plans will have to give it up.
Within the next year, Verizon Wireless will introduce the first text-to-911 service that will do exactly what it sounds like: allow customers to request help from a 911 call center via text messages. Somewhat shockingly, this will be the first text-to-911 service in the United States. Sadly, it only notifies the emergency services, not local superheroes.
It was rumored that Verizon might buy Netflix out to gain a larger foothold in the streaming video service, but alas, the company's settled on a partnership with Costco's Redbox to create a new "compelling" entertainment on demand service.
UPDATE: Verizon says it will not charge the $2 fee anymore. Talk about embarrassing.
Get ready to watch the Super Bowl in a whole new way. For the very first time in history, the Super Bowl will be streamed online and to Verizon smartphones in HD. Why watch teams toss the pigskin around on the Internet instead of on the huge plasma? The additional content you get.
Missing its early November and alleged Dec. 9 launch date, the much-anticipated Samsung Galaxy Nexus is finally official. It's available on Verizon for $300 with a two-year contract and is the first smartphone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
If you can't beat 'em, join throw tons of money in their face until they relent from drowning in all that cash. Word on the street is that Verizon really wants to buy Netflix; instantly adding 23 million customers to its market share. A buyout would be one hell of an entrance into the video streaming biz for Verizon.