Netflix, the undisputed king of full-season TV binge-viewing, is now preparing for battle with networks, along with cable and satellite providers, on a new front: in-season binge-watching. Currently, viewers can easily watch previous full-seasons of a series via Netflix or other streaming providers like Amazon Prime and Hulu Plus. A recent Nielsen study found that 88% of Netflix users engage in binge-viewing, defined as watching three or more episodes of the same TV show in a single day. The practice has in turn helped boost ratings for shows like Breaking Bad and Scandal . But when it comes to binge-watching a show’s current season, options are very limited. The studio’s deals with Netflix/Amazon Prime/Hulu Plus usually cap the number of current episodes a network can offer via video on demand (VOD) at five. So if viewers want to binge, unless they purchase individual episodes via iTunes or Amazon on Demand, they must wait until the summer when the whole season becomes … [Read more...] about Netflix’s Next Big Battle: In-Season Binge-Watching
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The NSA is not the only government agency asking tech companies for help in cracking technology to access user data. Sources say the FBI has a history of requesting digital backdoors, which are generally understood as a hidden vulnerability in a program that would, in theory, let the agency peek into suspects' computers and communications. In 2005, when Microsoft was about to launch BitLocker , its Windows software to encrypt and lock hard drives, the company approached the NSA, its British counterpart the GCHQ and the FBI, among other government and law-enforcement agencies. Microsoft's goal was twofold: get feedback from the agencies, and sell BitLocker to them. See also: Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App? But the FBI, concerned about its ability to fight crime — specifically, child pornography — apparently repeatedly asked Microsoft to put a backdoor in the software. A backdoor — or trapdoor — is a secret vulnerability that can be exploited to break or … [Read more...] about Did the FBI Lean On Microsoft for Access to Its Encryption Software?
We might live in an age of persistent and pervasive surveillance. The recent revelations about the secret National Security Agency programs aimed at collecting vast amounts of data on Americans and foreigners seemingly confirm what tinfoil-wearing netizens have feared for years: They're watching us; technology has turned against its users. Amidst prying eyes, a small but growing group of hackers and programmers is working on applications that use cryptography — the science of creating techniques to hide data and render it readable only to intended recipients — to fight surveillance and give regular citizens access to what was once only reserved to computer experts. It's a battle of geek-made encryption apps against their uniformed snooping foes. SEE ALSO: 10 Better Alternatives to Your iPhone’s Native Apps And the spying agencies of the world are getting more adversaries every day. In fact, there are so many apps it's almost impossible to list them all: Silent Circle … [Read more...] about Is It the Dawn of the Encryption App?
Facebook , Google and seven other major Internet companies are allowing the National Security Agency direct access to a wealth of users' data, according to a report. Called PRISM, the program involves the NSA accessing the emails, documents, photographs and other sensitive data of users from all nine involved companies, according to a PowerPoint presentation obtained by The Washington Post and The Guardian . The PowerPoint was provided by a whistleblower in the intelligence services. Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple are also party to the program, the report alleges. Dropbox is reportedly "coming soon," while the PowerPoint document reveals that Apple held out for five years before finally relenting. A Google spokesperson told both newspapers that "Google does not have a back door for the government to access private user data," but did admit that the company discloses "user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such … [Read more...] about NSA Leak: Internet Giants Let Government Tap Your Data
Twitter announced Monday that it will start labeling tweets that share misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines. The labels will include links to relevant information from official bodies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Twitter plans to enforce a five-strike system for repeat offenders that can lead to locked accounts and permanent suspension. The new labels are similar to Facebook’s anti-misinformation banners or the labels Twitter began deploying early in the pandemic. They appear as text underneath misleading tweets, with links to information from official sources or Twitter’s rules. Twitter says it applies these labels through a combination of human and automated review systems and is starting its rollout with English-language content first. Twitter has specific criteria for labeling in its COVID-19 misleading information policy , but generally, the company targets five categories of false or misleading information: Misinformation about … [Read more...] about Twitter will label COVID-19 vaccine misinformation and enforce a strike system