The Independence Day holiday this week brings with it a shortened week and one that did not bring a substantial amount of excitement along with it. But let's start off with a piece of technology that isn't necessarily high tech but that might just be the ticket for you if you want a way to deal with hot summer weather while you are trying to sleep - and possibly saving a few bucks on air conditioning. It's an interesting product called the ChiliPad. It's a mattress pad that you lay on that includes a pump and controller that runs water throughout the pad - and will cool that water down to whatever makes you comfortable. It's not cheap by any stretch but it will also keep you warm in winter.
Independence Day week also brought with it some ongoing National Security Agency (NSA) related things - in particular ongoing debate about just how much spying the United States has done in Europe, and whether or not it brings with it any special consequences. Europe, needless to say, is indignant beyond belief and outraged with our efforts. Though of course every country engages in exactly the same games, being caught doing so always gives the one that was caught a disadvantage in the debate. Europe has taken fullest advantage of this - the European Union voted 483 to 98 in favor of ending two critical data collections programs if the U.S. and NSA didn't "suspend and review" those programs that "violate the fundamental right of E.U. citizens."
Europe also recently toyed with the idea of the “right to be forgotten” - a privacy issue entered on the notion that we should have some control over what is on the Internet and Web or anyplace online about us, including the ability to permanently delete stuff. People want the ability to erase defamatory comments, inaccurate information that could affect their relationships or financial status, while historians and others believe we should not be tampering with primary research that will be invaluable for understanding our times in the future. How about extending that a bit further and allowing couples that break up to be able to delete their joint online conversations - say for example deleting anything they may have posted on Facebook while they were happily together. How would you vote on this?
If you've heard enough about all of this privacy, spying and surveillance activity perhaps it's time to focus elsewhere. Take for example the idea that Zynga might look to Microsoft to replace founder and founding CEO Mark Pincus by tapping former head of Microsoft's entertainment division Don Mattrick. The changing of the guard comes at a very challenging time for Zynga, but can Mattrick's experience provide the turnaround so needed? Interestingly Microsoft and Mattrick have looked at Zynga as an acquisition. Perhaps Mattrick will take on a role similar to Stephen Elop over at Nokia as Zynga's new close friend of Microsoft.
Finally, in this week following BlackBerry's not particularly thrilling latest earnings report, there has been a lot of speculation about whether BlackBerry will be able to survive as an independent company, if it might go out of business altogether, or if it still has merger options to consider. Though it's too early to really make that call yet, we've provided some insights on where the company is likely to go. It's options are limited but it does have some.
TechZone360 Senior Editor
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