How the Amazon-Google feud is hurting customers | IOL Business Report

INTERNATIONAL – Last fall, I uploaded some family videos to YouTube. Then I bought my mother an Amazon Fire TV so she could access them on her living room television.

Well, so much for being a good son. At the end of the year, as you may have heard, Google cut off access to YouTube from Amazon’s popular line of connected TV devices. Now, when my mom presses the remote-control button for YouTube, Amazon invites her to select between two web browsers, instead of taking her to the popular video sharing app.

It’s all part of an ongoing standoff between the two tech giants that’s nearly gotten lost amid the bitcoin boom, the big chip flaw, SoftBank-Uber and Donald Trump’s tweets. But the fight is significant and even frightening in its implications for customers and the principles of internet openness. Alphabet Inc. and Inc., two of the largest companies in the world, are slugging it out in pursuit of their own agendas, hurting customers in the process.

The battle goes back years. Back in 2011, Amazon developed its own version of the Android operating system for its Kindle Fire tablets, leaving apps like Google’s Play Store off the device and offering its own app store. More recently, Amazon has kept its Prime Video app—the service that offers up shows like the Man in the High Castle and the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel—off Apple TV and Google’s Chromecast set-top-boxes.

Blockchain Technology Will Transform the Practice of Law

The term “blockchain” refers to a decentralized digital ledger that combines powerful cryptography algorithms with a system of decentralized computing power that redundantly verifies transactions, which are ultimately recorded on a public digital ledger available to the world. … In the future, transactional lawyers may draft contracts that resemble how developers code software applications. In fact, future lawyers will likely need basic-to-intermediate training in coding in order to implement smart contracts based on the blockchain — a phenomenon that is already taking hold in the general population. In addition, lawyers will need to understand the intricacies of how these systems work in order to counsel clients on potential pitfalls and best practices in utilizing these systems for their business. … While this technology is only in its infancy, its application to business is developing at a rapid pace. With Goldman Sachs, Nasdaq and many other leading financial firms and companies investing hundreds of millions of dollars into blockchain technologies, one thing is clear — the lasting legacy of the blockchain is likely to be far greater than Bitcoin or any other single cryptocurrency. This has significant implications for lawyers and the business of law. Ultimately, however, this technology offers a great opportunity for those firms who can innovate. Those firms that are willing to adapt and embrace this technology will be able to provide more effective and efficient services, which will lead to a competitive advantage over those firms who do not evolve.