Weekly News Roundup 20/04/2015

Optus wants Netflix to pay up.

Hmmm.. Something does not look right here.

“That’s a nice video streaming service you got there.. It would a shame if something were to happen to it.”
This is what I hear when I found out that Optus wants Netflix to pay for quality streaming service to support Netflix’s business in Australia prompting fears that the US debate on Net Neutrality may become an issue.

With Netflix accounting for around 25% of total traffic to services like iiNet it is no surprise that there are issues when it comes to bandwidth as ISPs struggle to meet the sudden jump in demand.

The thing with the Net Neutrality debate is that some ISPs want to charge extra for a premium service to heavy users like Netflix, Stan and Presto as these businesses heavily tax the ISP infrastructure. This effectively skews the playing field in favour of the established businesses that pay the premium while startups that cannot afford the premium have to deal with second rate internet service that might impact their businesses.

It is very early days yet and all we have so far is a lot of talk. I am interested to find out where this goes.

To read the SMH story, go here.

Fake flash based ads spread malware

Google’s DoubleClick advertising network has been unknowingly serving up compromised flash based ads to unsuspecting visitors. Another concerning development and another reason to remove flash from your computer and even go to the point of installing AdBlockPlus to avoid having the ads show up in the first place.

The compromised ads attempt to download variations of Cryptowall ransomware which encrypts user data and then presses for payment to get the decryption keys to your files.

To combat Cryptoware ransom ware I recommend installing Foolish IT’s Cryptoprevent tool to help harden your Windows based computer against Cryptowall variants. Also make sure you are running an Anti-malware program like Malwarebytes (available from ninite.com – click here for the direct link.)

To read more about the story go to ArsTechnica.

Netflix watches pirates

This is fascinating stuff. According to Gizmodo, Netflix looks at local piracy rates to determine how it sets pricing. It turns out that Netflix views piracy as a competitor so the bigger the piracy, the lower the cost to subscribers. Kind of makes sense when you think about it.

Read more about the relationship Netflix has with piracy here.

In other news…

50 Years on, Moore’s Law still relevant

April 19, 1965 – Gordon Moore wrote an article for Electronics Magazine predicting the next 10 years in technology. The lead researcher at the time at Fairchild Semiconductor had not idea that this article was going to become known as Moore’s law and will continue to influence innovation for decades to come.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2015/4/20/technology/moores-law-turns-50-taking-credit-digital-revolution

Project Loon – SkyhighWiFi

It looks like Google is close to launching thousands of balloons designed to provide internet access to remote areas. Partnering with telcos in Australia (yay), Latin America and New Zealand this ambitious project could well provide much needed LTE mobile phone access in places that usually don’t have service.

http://www.cio.com.au/article/572953/google-project-loon-close-launching-thosands-balloons/

Disney Research has a 3D fabric printer

Taking a very interesting approach to 3D printing, researchers at Disney have used layered fabric (felt) to create soft interactive 3D sculptures. At this time the technology is obviously in early stages being expensive and wasteful but there are promising properties to the 3D item as it is possible include conductivity and unique structural qualities (bends easier one way than another).

http://www.cnet.com/news/disney-researchs-new-3d-printer-can-print-in-fabric/