If you’ve been living under a rock–like me–you might have missed the news that Google purchased YouTube last year (2016) for a cool $1.65 billion. This allowed Google to get into the online video revolution that has taken the internet world by storm. It seems that everyone engages in video-sharing these days so why not take something great like YouTube and turn it into something fantastic? Well it didn’t take Google very long to create something amazing. The birth of YouTube TV (see YouTube’s TV Shows) is answering this call!

Currently, you can watch TV online as part of your cable provider’s paid service–AT&T/DirectTV, Comcast/Verizon, etc. But what if you don’t want to pay for television service and simply want to use online streaming to access videos on-demand and regular cable networks too?  This is where the online video revolution comes in. AT&T’s DirectTV Now offers such a service for over 100 channels, for $45 a month, relieving the consumer from having to pay a heavy price for regular cable access–assuming you’re ok with a limited access to your usual television networks. But Google’s YouTube TV is starting its offering at a cheaper price, $35 a month, with a smaller lineup than DirectTV Now (fewer than 100 channels), but it will include 40 providers (from networks like Fox, ABC, CBS, and NBC), regional sports, and a few dozen cable channels. It hasn’t signed deals yet with premium networks like HBO, Showtime, and such, but it’s only a matter of time before everyone gets on board.

To sweeten the deal for consumers, Google will offer consumers unlimited cloud DVR and an “AI-powered search and recommendation system.” With a billion (yes, a billion) video clips being watched or uploaded on YouTube each day, it is no surprise that Google scooped up YouTube right away! Its vision of endless online streaming opportunities is definitely an exciting one. Soon we’ll all have access to every current television lineup that exists through our cable channels, but on an online platform. I know that I’m particularly excited about being able to stream all current television-channels online, for much cheaper price than what I currently pay with AT&T’s DirectTV. For more information on this exciting new service, visit How Google’s YouTube TV Will Compete with DirectTV Now.

– Marianna
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FORBESForbes magazine recently put out an article talking about the rise is power (or importance) of the often disregarded generation: generation X.  This group of people, born between 1965-1980, are the grandkids of the baby boomers of the 40s and 50s, are outnumbered by the millenials in the workforce, and yet “not only do they now make up the majority of of managers at U.S. companies, [but] they are far more entrepreneurial than millennials, both at early ages and now.” (“Generation X’s Moment of Power Is Almost Here”. 2016. Web. 28 Dec. 2017.)

If you’re like me, you tend to do nearly all your shopping online in order to avoid heading to the mall (or driving all around town for just a couple of items.)  And as we all know, online scams are unfortunately part of the norm that we live with in our interconnected world.  Online shopping is definitely not without its  risks, and Amazon (as well as many customers) recently became the victim of site-wide order processing scams that I want you to be aware of.

Forbes magazine did a nice job at explaining the way in which the Amazon scams are run, and although the article leaves the consumer a little more nervous about the online risks that a shopper is exposed to, it also brings about awareness and education so that we exercise more caution when shopping online.  Please take the time to read the article and stay vigilant about the (Amazon-listed) products you buy and the vendors you buy them from, as this can either leave you satisfied with your online shopping experience or feeling like you’ve been taken to the cleaners.  Stay alert dear friends and happy shopping!