Internet

Sling TV brings cable channels to cord cutters for $20/month

Sling TV brings cable channels to cord cutters for $20/month

What is Sling TV? It’s not the Sling you might be thinking of for media consumption, but it’s close. While the Sling Player lets you broadcast content just about anywhere you like, Sling TV lets you subscribe to cable without having to go through a legacy Cable TV provider. It’s Internet cable, and comes courtesy of Dish. Maybe best of all, it only runs $20/month. For that spend, you get access to a variety of popular cable TV channels, including ESPN.

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Netflix said to be shutting out international VPN users

Netflix said to be shutting out international VPN users

Due to international laws and different contracts with copyright holders based on country, Netflix's digital content available for streaming can vary widely depending on your location in the world. It has long been a tactic of international Netflix users to rely on VPNs (virtual private networks) in order to get around the site's regional locks and access content available in the U.S. Unfortunately for those subscribers, it appears that Netflix is cracking down on some VPN services and keeping their users out of its walled garden.

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Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

Canadian ISPs required by law to notify users of illegal downloads

January 1st saw a new law, part of the Copyright Modernization Act, go into effect in Canada that requires internet service providers and website hosts to notify their users when copyright holders have detected illegal downloading. When an ISP now receives a letter of complaint from a copyright holder, they must forward it to the customer tied to the IP address associated with the download, or face fines of up to $10,000. The same applies to VPN (virtual private network) services, who must also record customer logs for a least 6 months.

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Microsoft’s mistaken Bing update takes down Yahoo search

Microsoft’s mistaken Bing update takes down Yahoo search

You might not have noticed since it was Friday afternoon immediately after a holiday when most people are still on vacation into the weekend, but both Bing and Yahoo search engines went down for a few hours. The good news is that the downtime didn't last long, and wasn't the result of some nefarious hackers' campaign to disrupt our lives. It was actually just an accident caused by a bad update from Microsoft to the Bing engine, and since Yahoo's search is powered by Bing, it was interesting example of the domino effect among internet giants.

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Gmail revived in China but block remains a mystery

Gmail revived in China but block remains a mystery

Gmail access has apparently returned to China, with users of the email service in the country reporting that the four day outage which nobody would take responsibility for seems to have come to an end. Google's POP and IMAP servers were unexpectedly unavailable over the weekend, with widespread claims that the "Great Firewall" China's government relies upon to limit access to the internet had clamped down on another victim. Just as suddenly, though, emails have begun to make it through, and Google's own metrics indicate a slight rise in Chinese traffic to Gmail.

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Fastest Internet Ever hits Minneapolis first

Fastest Internet Ever hits Minneapolis first

Global internet and data services provider US Internet has let it be known this week that they're bringing the fastest internet connection in the history of the world to Minneapolis, Minnesota. The company, founded in 1995, will be bringing on "the same broadband as Fortune 100 companies" and beyond to small business owners and residential customers. According to Joe Caldwell, Co-CEO of US Internet, "With our new fiber network, we have redefined what is considered broadband Internet and taken our speed capabilities to next-gen levels, resulting in the fastest Internet service the world has ever seen for home users."

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Marriott wifi blocking plan gains opposition from Google, Microsoft

Marriott wifi blocking plan gains opposition from Google, Microsoft

If you're like many of us, a trip to the hotel usually means eschewing the available WiFi in favor of setting up your own hotspot. The reasons for this are numerous: speeds are usually better, you don't like the risks of hotel WiFi, and you can side-step any fees the hotel might require. Marriott was recently fined $600,000 for jamming guests' hotspots at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, and around the same time it had petitioned for the right to continue blocking guest hotspots, citing security reasons.

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North Korea’s internet is down in wake of The Interview

North Korea’s internet is down in wake of The Interview

Late Sunday, the 22nd of December, North Korea began suffering a major internet outage cross-country. This sort of internet failure is not common in North Korea, and researchers have suggested that it's very possible the country is under a concentrated DDoS attack. This would be a denial-of-service for North Korea shortly after the FBI suggested whoever was responsible for the digital attack on Sony would suffer costs and consequences. Meanwhile President Barack Obama suggested that "we will respond proportionally, and we will respond in a place and time and a manner that we choose."

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Several Tor servers mysteriously taken offline

Several Tor servers mysteriously taken offline

Tor, the secure browser that leaves your traffic and identity as anonymous as you like, is having some difficulty. A cluster of servers in the Netherlands has been taken offline, and it’s not immediately clear why. It’s also not known if it was the work of law enforcement, or some rogue agency. It could also be a single black-hat hacker who is tying to disrupt service. Thomas White, who runs a large portion of exit nodes for Tor, says they’ve lost “all servers” under that particular ISP.

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Reddit Notes: users getting 10% equity with kinda-sorta currency

Reddit Notes: users getting 10% equity with kinda-sorta currency

Reddit has just announced an odd initiative that aims to see 10% of the company's shares distributed among users, making true on a promise they made back in September after receiving $50 million in new funding. They're calling it Reddit Notes, and the details are still very slim. The basic idea is that Reddit Notes are to act a kinda-but-not-really form of currency that holds no real world monetary value, but can be used to "tip, donate, or trade" with other users for things of value.

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