Friday, December 13, 2013

Instagram Adds Best Friend Feature

It seems sometimes we don't want to share everything with everyone.  There are times we simply want to communicate with a smaller circle of friends, our "best friends" so to speak.  Well Instagram wants to let you private message your select few and has created Instagram Direct, "a new private messaging service built into the platform that will allow users to send a photo or video, along with a caption, to between one and 15 people." 

Now you can limit who gets to see that picture ... or can you.  While on first blush, used wisely, it enables smaller group messaging, but so does iMessage, for those on unlimited data plans.  "Because such messages don't count against SMS messages allotted by wireless plans, these apps effectively allow smartphone owners to communicate using only their data plans." 

Of course, teens, the largest demographic using Instagram should remain careful that anything posted is shareable.  Even a photo to a select few can get reposted and reposted again.  So be careful what kind of snarky or "mean girl" comments you might be considering sending in an Instagram Direct message.  Nothing is really private when it is posted.  Snapchat fans learned that the hard way, too.

Aereo Wants A Definitive Ruling

Question, when is a broadcaster not a broadcaster?  When they don't transmit over the air.  And does it matter where an antenna is located to receive those signals and display them on a screen?  According to Aereo, it does not.  Despite all the additional manipulations that Aereo does to move the signal from antenna to home, their bottom line contention is that they have every right as consumers have had to make copies since the days of the VHS tape.  Could they be accused from reselling the signal, costs to rent the antenna and provide additional value to the free signal.  And that seems to be the center of their argument.  So with a number of court victories already, Aereo wants a definitive ruling from the Supreme Court to end this continuous litigation.  "We want this resolved on the merits rather than a wasteful war of attrition,' said Aereo Chief Executive Chet Kanojia in a statement." For Aereo, such a move makes complete sense. 

And while Cablevision is not a fan of Aereo, they don't agree with the broadcasters argument as it relates to "cloud-based technology and future innovation", according to a spokesperson.  And so the issues that the Supreme Court are asked to review are far more complicated than just the acquiring and re-airing of signals.   And until the Supreme Cort decides to rule, lower courts will keep ruling within their jurisdictions.