Tech Today: March 17, 2021

Tech Today: March 17, 2021

Here’s what you need to know about what’s happening in tech today:

You don’t own what you buy
At this point, we’re all kind of used to the idea that we’re actually renting access to music and movies when we sign up for Apple Music, Spotify or Netflix. Rather than having collections of CDs and DVDs, we can stream nearly anything we want from anywhere. Software like Adobe’s Creative Cloud and Microsoft’s Office suite also run on this model: keep paying every month to keep using it.
What happens when hardware, physical devices in your home or office, also go this route? Craft cutting machine manufacturer Cricut is about to show us. Even after you purchase a $300+ device from them, you’ll need to pay an additional $95/year or more to use the cutting device more than 20 times. The only reason for this is Cricut’s drive for more profit.

Force Feedback on Apple’s… sneakers?
A patent application doesn’t mean the product is ever going to exist, but this one is too good to ignore. AppleInsider reports on a new patent filed by Apple for “haptic output devices.” If you’ve got an iPhone, you’ve already got a haptic output device – it’s that force touch feedback you get when typing or using certain other elements of the system that makes you think you’re pressing a button when you’re really just pressing on a flat screen. But the new patent also mentions that the devices “may include foot-shaped structures such as socks and shoes with cavities configured to receive the feet of users.” Is Apple about to compete with Nike? Probably not. But this will be one to watch for.

Justice at Spotify!
A new campaign by musicians and artists held rallies at Spotify locations around the world to call attention to the awful ways that Spotify treats them. The Union of Musicians and Allied Workers new Justice at Spotify campaign is asking for at least one cent per stream, a user-centric payment model, transparency in contracts and more.
One cent per stream! Artists don’t even get that right now. Without musicians, Spotify would just be an empty website. Tech for the People supports this campaign and encourages its followers to sign on.

Google wants to watch you sleep – with radar
File this one under “no, thanks.”
Google’s newest line of Nest devices have been announced and one of the major features everyone’s talking about is the ability of the Nest Hub to monitor your sleep. Google realized that most people probably wouldn’t trust a camera – especially controlled by Google – in their bedroom, so it doesn’t include one. Instead, the new Nest Hub uses Google’s Soli radar technology to monitor how well you’re sleeping “based on [your] movement and breathing.” I’m all for cool new uses of technology but can’t imagine putting a Google device with any kind of sensor and an Internet connection in my home – let alone my bedroom.