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Facebook TV Coming Mid-June

Photo: Getty

Facebook is planning to launch around two dozen original “TV-like” programs in mid-June. It appears that Facebook is looking to follow Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix. More competition folks.

They are saying that the social network has been looking for shows in two distinct tiers: a marquee tier for a few longer, big-budget shows that would feel at home on TV, and a lower tier for shorter, less expensive shows of about five to 10 minutes that would refresh every 24 hours.

 

The new video initiative means Facebook would play a much more hands-on role in controlling the content that appears on its social network with nearly 2 billion members — and it comes as companies like Amazon, YouTube, and Snap are locked in an arms race to secure premium video programming.

Gotta Smart TV? Well It Could Be Hacked

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Security consultant Rafael Scheel of Oneconsult AG  demonstrated the attack by using a cheap transmitter to embed malicious commands into a rogue TV signal. When that signal is broadcast to devices in the vicinity, it can gain access to the televisions. What can cause the attack is the exploitation of two documented security flaws in the Web browsers that run in the background of the TV models used in the test, both manufactured by Samsung. This can work on other TV sets as well. Once a hacker has control over theSmart TV, the TV could be used to attack further devices in the home network or to spy on the user with the TV’s camera and microphone

Vizio TV Manufacturer Agreed To Pay $2.2 million

 

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The California-based TV manufacturer agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle the charges and  disclose when and how it collects user information. Since February 2014, software installed on the televisions allowed Vizio to continuously collect customer’s viewing history through software called “ACR,” or automated content recognition. This software captures a selection of pixels displayed on Vizio smart TV screens and sends that data to the company’s servers, where those pixels are compared to a database of different TV shows, movies, and commercials. ACR can also collect information like your Wi-Fi signal strength, nearby Wi-Fi access points, and IP addresses.

The complaint alleges that over 100 billion data points per day (information like what content you’re watching and how long you’re watching it) from more than 10 million Vizio televisions have been collected, and the company planned to store this data on their servers indefinitely. A stipulated federal court order requires that Vizio delete all data collected before March 1, 2016. An anonymized version of the data omitting customers’ name or contact information was sold to third parties for advertising and audience measurement purposes.

 FTC’s complaint said Vizio did not make it clear to customers that they intended to collect their TV viewing history, and the collection was turned on by default, which did not give customers a chance to opt out. A key part of the complaint is that Vizio promised customers recommendations based on the data collected, but never provided them to owners of older Vizio TVs

If you own a Vizio TV, you can disable data collection by going to your TV’s Menu > Settings > Smart Interactivity, or any option with Automated Content Recognition, and turning it off.

More Streaming Services for Less Bucks

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SelectTV: Rather than a streaming service, SelectTV is a streaming aggregator. You can find movies and TV shows from all over the Internet

SeeSo: SeeSo is a comedy lover’s dream

Daily Burn: Daily Burn is a unique offering in the streaming world. Focusing on physical fitness, Daily Burn offers you the chance to stream thousands of workout videos.

Shudder TV: If you’re a horror fan, Shudder TV is a must-have. Like SeeSo is for comedy, Shudder has all you need if you’re a horror lover

 

 

AT&T and Time Warner

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October 2016, AT&T announced that they had reached a deal to buy Time Warner for $85.4 million, a move that could create one of the most powerful media companies in the world. This would mean that AT&T (a telecommunications provider) would merge with a content provider in Time Warner, and creating the possibility for conflict to net neutrality if AT&T were to provide faster than normal access to Time Warner content. The merger would represent another step towards mass media consolidation over the past few decades

AT&T and Time Warner

(Image Source: WSJ.com)

2016 has brought with it a number of media consolidations and acquisitions that have included Comcast’s (CMCSA) acquisition of DreamWorks Animation (DWA) for $3.8 billion, and AT&T’s 4-year deal with DirecTV.

This deal has gained opposition from all sides of the political spectrum, from the far left and the alt right. Bernie Sanders has come out in opposition to the deal, warning, in a letter to the Justice Department, that the deal could lead to “gross concentration of power” in news media, and that preventing the deal would help “preserve our democratic discourse and open competitive markets for speech and commerce”.

From the right, President Elect Donald Trump is highly critical of the deal.

AT&T declared that it would create a “new company with complementary strengths to lead the next wave of innovation in converging media and communications industry“.

These huge content and service providing monoliths are a serious fear for those who value the idea of net neutrality; the more consolidation there is between content and provider the more the lines will become blurred, and net neutrality will be the victim.

Spike Lee To Direct Spike lee’s She’s Got To Have It Series For Netflix

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

Thirty years ago, Spike Lee released his first feature film, She’s Gotta Have It, in 1986, and it’s on its way to a revival. Netflix has just ordered a 10-episode series of She’s Gotta Have It, which the company is framing as a “contemporary update” to the original film. Lee will direct every episode, and executive produce alongside his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee. The project will be Lee’s first TV series.

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