Connect with us

affilate software business


Are My Neighbors Spying on Me?



Regardless, the apps are popular. As of Wednesday, Nextdoor was the fourth most popular free app in the Apple App Store’s news category, and Citizen ranked sixth. Neighbors ranked 38th in the social networking category. There’s enough material to go around that the Twitter account @bestofnextdoor has gained almost 300,000 followers sharing particularly absurd postings, like one warning neighbors to be wary of teenage trick-or-treaters who may actually be criminals posing as children.

All this data also may paint a skewed picture of the areas where we live. Across the U.S., crime is falling. In 2018, property crime dropped 6.3 percent from the previous year, and almost 28 percent from 2009, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yet log into Citizen or Neighbors and you might think you were in the middle of a crime wave.

“We need to learn how to be data literate and we’re not,” said Pamela Rutledge, a media psychologist at Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, Calif., and director of the Media Psychology Research Center, a nonprofit organization. “We need to know what we’re looking at and know what it means.”

We may not be data literate, but our thirst for data seems boundless.

Now, for $2,000 a year, a concerned homeowner can buy a service from a company that will affix a camera to a pole and angle it toward the street to capture pictures of the license plates on every car across two lanes of traffic up to 100 feet away. Two cameras, one positioned at either end of the block, could capture all the cars coming and going down a street. The company, Flock Safety, can view or access the footage with the homeowners’ consent. Flock cameras are in 400 cities in 36 states, and half of its customers are civic associations.

The idea behind the camera: If someone steals a bike or breaks into a house, police can review the footage looking for any suspicious vehicles. While Ring has partnered with 405 law enforcement agencies around the country, potentially providing them access to homeowners’ video feeds, Flock alerts authorities if a camera spots a vehicle with a license plate in the FBI’s National Crime Information Center database.

“Is this a surveillance state? We don’t think that it is,” said Garrett Langley, chief executive of Flock Safety.

At some point, you have to wonder how many cameras we actually need, and how much of the footage is worth watching. Robin Guarino, who has lived in her house in West Orange, N.J., for 20 years, doesn’t mind that many of her neighbors installed video doorbells. She sees the benefit — a camera might deter a porch pirate.


Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


E-Trade shares fall on disappointment it’s not the one being bought by Charles Schwab




Pedestrians walk outside an E*Trade Financial office in New York.

Daniel Acker | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Retail broker E-Trade appears to have just lost the most recent battle in the brokerage wars.

E-Trade shares fell more than 8% on Thursday after sources told CNBC that brokerage giant Charles Schwab is in talks to buy TD Ameritrade, leaving investors worried about E-Trade’s future.

“I think a bit of a surprise this morning in terms of the players,” said Devin Ryan, managing director or equity research at JMP Securities. “The market wasn’t anticipating the Schwab-Ameritrade combination, I think people were more looking at who would be buying E-trade.”

Shares of Schwab are up 6% and shares of TD Ameritrade are up 18%.

While Goldman Sachs, who has been beefing up its retail banking business in recent years, CFO Stephen Scherr said in June that the bank would be active in so-called bolt-on acquisitions, a person with knowledge of Goldman’s situation said it was unlikely they would purchase E-Trade.

“This will certainly put pressure on ETFC to find its own partner,” said Don Bilson of Gordon Haskett research advisers in a note to clients on Thursday.

To be sure, E-Trade still looks like an attractive acquisition target as the company has a large deposits business, said Ryan.

“E-trade still would be attractive to both kind of the obvious firms out there, like Schwab or Ameritrade, or potentially others as well,” said Ryan. “Consolidation makes sense today, I think it will make sense in the future.” But Ryan said Schwab will have its “hands full for while,” with the TD Ameritrade acquisition.

The reportedly $25 billion imminent deal between Schwab and TD Ameritrade will create a “Goliath in Wealth Management” according to Wells Fargo’s Mike Mayo, with more than $5 trillion in combined assets. The industry consolidation came as no surprise to investors, following massive disruption in the space after all of the major brokers dropped commission fees in recent months.


While Goldman Sachs said it is an unlikely buyer, its not impossible another bank looking to beef up its retail business snatches up E-Trade. Especially as the broker’s stock down nearly 20% in the past 12 months, which would give a buyer a major discount.

“With the obvious candidates now spoken for…ETFC could end up with someone who isn’t necessarily an online broker,” said Bilson.

Ryan of JMP said a bank that is pushing into consumer finance could benefit from E-Trade’s very strong deposit base, which generates about $60 billion in deposits each quarter.

“A bank that is able to leverage that and generate stronger net interest income off of their customers, I think that could be quite attractive,” said Devin Ryan, managing director or equity research at JMP Securities.

Less cost synergies

The downside to an acquisition from a bank is less “expense synergies” than there would be from a merger with a traditional broker, said Ryan. The advantage to the Schwab-TD Ameritrade deal is the brokerage giant will be able to cut costs and stream new revenue opportunities. There will also be an opportunity to improve the platform for clients.

“Given the high amount of overlapping back-office operations and vendor costs, we would expect to see about 60% of AMTD’s costs removed,” said Stephen Biggar, Argus Research Director of Financial Institutions Research. Merging with a giant bank would remove some of those cost-cutting advantages.

What most of Wall Street agrees on is E-Trade needs to make some sort of deal.

“Over time, if firms are left out, it could create some pressure on those stocks, and as the distribution platforms become larger, it could also create a bit more pressure for the asset management industry,” said Bank of America research analyst Michael Carrier in a note to clients on Thursday.

E-Trade did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

—with reporting from CNBC’s Hugh Son, Kate Rooney and Michael Bloom.


Continue Reading


British Airways flights are being delayed due to a ‘technical issue’




An unknown number of British Airways flights have been delayed in what the airline has blamed on a “technical issue.”

The social media team of the airline took to Twitter late Wednesday in an attempt to reassure passengers that steps were being taken to accommodate passengers affected by delays and cancellations.

On its website, British Airways also warned passengers that while it still planned to operate a full schedule on Thursday “there may be some knock-on delays to flights.”

The U.K. flag carrier has suffered a series of bruising jabs to its reputation in recent months, including at least two computer failures, a pilot strike and a massive data breach.

Shares in British Airways parent company, International Airlines Group, slipped around 1% on Thursday morning. The share price is more than 14% lower on a 12-month basis.

One customer claimed on Twitter that while stuck on the tarmac in San Jose, California, late Thursday, the pilot had warned passengers that the “entire flight planning system is down.”

In an emailed response to CNBC, the airline declined to elaborate on the nature of the problem but firmly rejected any suggestion that any of its systems had been hacked.


Continue Reading


Senate passes funding bill to avoid shutdown sending it to Trump




The Senate passed a bill Thursday to dodge a government shutdown for another month ahead of a midnight deadline.

The measure now heads to President Donald Trump, who barring a change of heart is set to sign it into law. The Senate approved it in a 74-20 vote. 

The Democratic-held House passed it on Tuesday by a 231-192 margin, seeing considerably more Republican opposition than the GOP-controlled Senate did.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Joshua Roberts | Reuters

The legislation holds government funding at current levels through Dec. 20, setting up yet another appropriations showdown. Funding will lapse Friday if the president does not approve the spending bill.

The measure gives the House and Senate a few extra weeks to hash out a long-term spending deal. Lawmakers failed to strike an agreement before funding ran out this week amid another dispute over border security funding.

Earlier this year, Congress passed a two-year deal to set budget levels and suspend the U.S. debt ceiling. The House and Senate have struggled to decide how specifically to allocate the money to federal departments.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

Subscribe to CNBC on YouTube.


Continue Reading


We use cookies to best represent our site. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the use of cookies.