Wow, it’s been a full month since we’ve done one of these.
Suffice to say, there’s been plenty to keep us busy here at FlashRouters, what with our newly redesigned website and all that. But we still want to keep you posted about interesting developments in the world of internet privacy and general technology. So won’t you please take a look below? There’s certainly a lot to get you excited (and a few things to make you a little nervous).
Stories from the World of Streaming Media
Streaming Video Advertising Many of us have made the leap from paying for expensive cable packages and watching our favorite shows at network regulated intervals to buying streaming media devices and watching movies and television at our own pace. It’s a cheaper, more autonomous existence, one largely free of unwanted interruptions from cloying advertisers. Well, no longer; the advertisers have finally noticed.
Hitbliss On the other hand, maybe there are some advantages to having advertisers dump themselves into the middle of our peaceful, streaming media existences. Although it’s only available on desktops and on the web (not mobile devices) at the moment, a new streaming media service called “Hitbliss” wants to let you watch some newly released movies (like Argo or The Bourne Legacy) for free, provided that you’ll sit through some targeted ads. Sit through enough ads, and you accumulate funds that you can spend on new movies and television.
Pandora Limits Mobile Streaming Though desktop streaming will remain unlimited, internet radio giant Pandora has officially put an end to unlimited streaming for mobile devices. Due to the heavy increase in royalty payments, Pandora has limited mobile users to 40 hours of free ad-supported streaming a month. If you wish to exceed 40 hours, you’ll have to pay a fee.
Stories of Online Security & Privacy
Another Java Zero-Day Vulnerability Mere weeks after the release of an update to the Java browser plug-in, a Zero-Day vulnerability has been found. Visit this article if you want to find out how to protect yourself from it.
Evernote Hacked Evernote, the popular note-taking application, has been hit by hackers. You know, like everyone else lately. On the positive side, premium members’ credit card numbers were not exposed. However, if you use Evernote, you might consider changing your password.
And Your Locked iPhone Isn’t Safe Either A locked iPhone is still way less vulnerable than an unlocked one, but some industrious hackers have figured out a way to get around the locked screen using the Emergency Call function. This means that your contacts, photos, and voicemails aren’t quite as safe as you’d like them to be.
12 Personal Security Resolutions Okay, now that we’ve shown you that seemingly everything in the world has been, or is going to be, hacked, how about some ways to assure you that can protect yourself and maintain your privacy? Sure, you’re two months removed from making your 2013 New Year’s resolution and ever-s0-slightly less removed from when you decided your resolution was stupid and abandoned it, but here are some practical ways you can beef up the security around your internet presence without driving yourself crazy.
Google in Europe Privacy and free speech laws in the US and Europe differ a whole lot more than you might think, and the complications those differences create can lead to some truly knotty legal issues. Whether or not American internet companies that also operate in Europe have to abide by European laws is dependent on the outcome of this fascinating ongoing privacy case.
Stories from the World of Technology
Facebook’s New Newsfeed The ongoing social experiment that is Facebook’s Timeline interface continues with yet another development in the look of their Newsfeed. The new look is supposed to be more picture oriented, which we predict will be jarring at first, until you get used to it, at which point they’ll change it again.
Why Web-Browsing on an iPad Sucks It boils down to this: Apple would rather you downloaded the app for the website you’re trying to visit, rather than simply visit it. That’s why web-surfing on an iPad is so frustrating. The whole article’s worth reading though.
Why Are Progress Bars So Inaccurate? While we’re on the subject of your technology failing you, have you ever wondered why the progress bars designed to indicate the speed of a page loading are so maddeningly erratic?
Google Posts Compression Code Rather than flooding you with links about the limits of technology, we’ll give you something heartening for a change: Google has posted a compression code, Zopfli, which is designed to speed up web downloads. And they say the big companies are heartless just because they usually are.
Surface Tablets, Big-Screen TVs to Be Cheaper in March Lastly, and because we know how prohibitively expensive these things can usually be, you should know that the folks at Techhive are predicting that Microsoft’s Surface Tablets, Ivy Bridge Laptops, and big-screen HDTV’s are due to become a bit cheaper this coming month.