Some topics we just don't like to talk about, like death and inheritance. The internet, with its multitude of paid service offerings, has complicated matters further. Who owns a Facebook profile once its original owner has deceased? What happens to digitally purchased movies and ebooks once the buyer is no longer with us? Is it safe to just delete the affected accounts? There are a lot of questions that need answering—and don't count on PayPal, Microsoft, apple, Amazon and others for help.
A few years ago, I needed to get to Hamburg urgently. I didn't know my way around the city so I depended on my navigation device—and was thoroughly disappointed. The display stayed black and has remained this way ever since. In my distress, I turned to Google Maps, for the first time, and boy was in for a shock. The app sucked by battery dry like an electric blanket and I ended up in some shady harbor district, with even more shady characters eyeballing my factory-fresh rental car. The whole time, Google Maps advised me to turn around. Eventually, I was just as lost as the navigation service. It was a friendly local who ultimately came to my rescue. A lot has changed since then. Google Maps is now celebrating its 15-year birthday and, what started as a digital map, has become a powerful exploration tool.
Imagine playing a resource-hungry, visually highly demanding game—on your cellphone, TV or in your browser without dedicated hardware. All you need is a display, internet connection and controller! That's exactly what Google have in mind with Stadia, and they're not shy on large-scale expectations: "If we reach only 100 or 200 million people, we have done something wrong", said Jack Buser, head of business development at Google. The projected figure went as high as 2 billion future Stadia users. It's been a good two months since Stadia launched and all hopes around the hype have faded. Too much went wrong!
The first Christmas in new surroundings always has a more magical feeling to it. Last year, I experienced this first hand in private, this year, the Ashampoo team is spending the Advent season in their new HQ. And there are plenty of differences to prior years: I'm no longer staring at gray rooftops but a (quite pretty) fire pond, we're no longer packed like sardines but have lots of open space and a neatly decorated Christmas tree is sitting next to the main entrance (and it's doing a far better job of conveying the spirit of Christmas than that pile of snow tires ever did in the old building). But some things never change!
There's a new star in the fast-paced world of social media and it's taking the hearts of millions upon millions of kids and teens by storm. It's name is TikTok and it just smoked WhatsApp in terms of download figures for 2019. ByteDance, the company behind the app, consider their users part of a cheerful and creative community with few cases of critical content. Data privacy advocates and journalists beg to differ and warn against potential censorship, lackluster youth protection and the long arm of the Chinese government. ByteDance have admitted to some mistakes and are now fighting to regain the trust of their users.