Netflix Isn’t Against Offline Viewing

Netflix is a huge company, with price increases to help cover the increased traffic that people use with the HD streaming experience. In a recent call though Netflix may look at helping you watch those movies on the go while avoiding the data usage costs that come with offline viewing.

CEO Reed Hastings responded to questions about the possibility of letting its subscribers watch shows offline by saying that they would “keep an open mind on all this”. Part of the reason Hastings gives for this open approach is the “uneven set of networks” that Netflix is noticing as they expand to new areas of the world.

With Netflix’s Chief Product Officer, Neil Hunt, stating last year that they wouldn’t add the feature thanks to the “complexity [it brings] to your life”, directly followed by “with Amazon Prime”. Amazon Prime lets you download and stream shows, and with a new pricing model offering monthly subscriptions, Netflix may be changing their tone to help fight off the competition in the media streaming market.

With services like Sky Go, Amazon Prime and even BBC’s iPlayer letting you watch content offline, Netflix is one of the few services that doesn’t offer offline viewing, something that can often put people on or off services when their internet cuts out mid-show.

MIT’s Polaris Hopes To Speed Up Your Browsing Online

Sadly the experience on some websites these days can very quickly be summed up by the word “loading”. We like our pictures, our videos and some even like ads, the problem being is that everything you view on the internet has to come from somewhere and that is where the loading comes in. MIT and Harvard want to give you a hand and help speed up your browsing online.

MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and Harvard have gone and created a framework that focuses on those things you have to download to view your favourite sites. With everything from images to Javascript downloaded to your computer, the new project, titled Polaris will help download all those different features in the most efficient sequence possible, avoiding the constant pinging and server routing that comes with traditional browsing.

Polaris was in fact built using JavaScript, something which means that any browser and website can use the new system, the only requirement is that the server the sites on is running Polaris in the first place.

The plan for Polaris is to open-source the framework, meaning you could soon find it in every site and browser you use, and with it showing reductions of up to 34% in loading time on websites, you can get one more cat video in on your lunch break.

Latest Sony Leaks Reveals How MPAA Want To Change DNS

It’s no secret that the MPAA are wanting to take stronger measures against piracy, but recent Sony leaks suggest they’re pushing to crack down even harder than they already are; they want to target the internet’s Domain Name System (DNS).

The plan was first proposed as part of SOPA a few years ago, but as many of you know, it failed to pass Congress after a lot of protesting and complaints. New information suggests that the MPAA’s lawyers have been looking for a way to use the tactic under existing law, allowing them to remove offending sites from DNS, effectively removing them from the internet phonebook and preventing people from finding the sites. Of course, the major issue here is, who defines what an infringing site is and will we just end up with a trimmed down internet that only shows sites deemed suitable for us.

“A takedown notice program, therefore, could threaten ISPs with potential secondary liability in the event that they do not cease connecting users to known infringing material through their own DNS servers,” the letter reads. “While not making it impossible for users to reach pirate sites (i.e., a user could still use a third-party DNS server), it could make it substantially more complicated for casual infringers to reach pirate sites if their ISPs decline to assist in the routing of communications to those sites.”

It’s a brute force tactic and one that would be very effective, but currently it’s also illegal to do so. Even current DMCA notices walk a fine line, as they’re often handed out broadly and without proper investigation. Worst case scenario is we end up with people using dodgy DNS servers, exposing themselves to severe security issues in the process.

SOPA may be dead, but those behind it are still trying to find ways of rebranding it and making it law.

US To Implement Its “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System From Next Week

After a series of delays, the six strike system is finally all set to roll out to make ISPs punish their customers. The Six strike system is designed to prevent/discourage copyright infringement within the United States. The six strike system works with a concept of throttling the speed of the internet connection in the hopes of discouraging the end user to infringe on copyright material and even forcing educational videos about copyright infringement from the anti-piracy groups.

Its video presentation emphasized that under any circumstances, it will not share private information to the companies that filed copyright infringement complaints, although ISPs are ending up playing the role of a “policeman” in this system.

As of now, Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, and Time Warner who are associated with its large media partners and are no strangers to throttling speed seem to look like its early adopters and even formed a group called “Center for Copyright Information”, but this system was supposed to go online by this week. The reason it wasn’t able to do so was due to Hurricane Sandy which lead to issues with testing servers that got knocked offline.

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The CCI even started its own website and started its promotional video on YouTube (that manage to achieve an amazing milestone of receiving 4400 dislikes) which it lead to believe that the new will system will be online by next week.

According to the six strike system, the first warning has no actions, but later on ISP’s will be sending more warnings about acting on the copyright infringement. The CCI stated that there will be a $25 filing free which maybe waived if one can meet the affordability criteria, but the fees would be refunded if the challenge is successful.

However, real estate owners and Wi-Fi cafe owners are concerned about this system as it would be near impossible to keep an eye on customer activities all of the time. So the only choice they have is to quit their business deals with the following ISP’s mentioned above and get a local ISP for their customers, but if more ISPs sign up with CCI, it’s not possible to avoid this system.