Network Wednesday 10/18/17

Lots of things have happened this week in the technology industry, including Spectrum’s dropping of Viacom, Google’s Chrome browser gets and update, and Microsoft unveils the Surface Book 2. That’s a look at what happened this week, now lets break it down.

Spectrum vs. Viacom

This is adapted from my personal blog post on Monday from my website here.

In the recent days, Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) and Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB) have been in probably one of the, if not the largest, battles in television history. Charter Communications is the owning company of Spectrum, of which I’m assuming you’ve all heard about in the last few months. The problem here is that the two are arguing about retransmission rates and channel allotment, aka how many channels Charter is providing Viacom to broadcast, and at what price.

Now I don’t have Spectrum, because I’m in college. Our service is provided largely by Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH), but I am aware of how many of my friends and family are on Spectrum because of the purchase of Time Warner Cable.

This strife could easily lead to the loss of these channels if you are on Spectrum.

  • CMT
  • Comedy Central
  • Logo TV
  • MTV (MTV2, Classic, Live, U, Tres)
  • Spike (which will be Paramount Network in early 2018)
  • TV Land
  • VH1
  • Nickelodeon (including all subsidiaries)
  • BET (including all subsidiaries)

The channels listed above has a little ticker running across the bottom of the screen urging you to call and tell Spectrum to keep their channels, and has also created this website, which provides various videos and ways to contact Spectrum. These are all normal things in a battle like this, but here is one important not,

THESE CHANNELS HAVE BEEN DROPPED BECAUSE AN AGREEMENT HAS NOT BEEN MET.

It’s not looking too promising though, as this has been going on since May when Charter moved some of Viacom’s channels to the higher priced tier of channels.

Chrome Updates

Google has just released a new update on it’s web browser, Chrome, which utilizes two new tools to make your Gmail inbox more secure and prevent you from sharing information on websites that may try to steal your information. Now this has been around for a while, but now it is in it final form, as some would say. This tool is amazing though, able to protect you from a site that has just been created to phish. Phishing is an ongoing problem, and Google understands that, and they are doing all they can to prevent it from happening.

Another thing Google unwrapped this week is the Advanced Protection Program in which users who may be subject to attacks, have to have a physical USB lock.

This is not only limited to computers, as they also encourage a bluetooth key for your phones and tablets. They use a digital signature that is unique to you and your account, making it the most secure public mailbox.

The only real downside is that you won’t be able to use the stock mail app on iPhones, because they don’t support digital keys (yet, hopefully).

Surface Book 2

Here’s the deal; Microsoft is trying to cater to the creative crowd of Apple junkies who can’t leave their Macbook yet. How do they do this? Copy, but make it better (maybe?).

So the confusing thing to me is how close to Apple they are following. Their sales model, for example; the biggest and best processor and special features are only available in the 15″ model (iPhone X much?).

The 13″ still offers the similar specs of the 15″, but I just thought it was ironic considering how many anti-Apple folks point and yell “COPYCAT!” whenever Apple releases something new. But I do have positive words for this device. Apart from the specs, the computer offers a new way of getting heat away from the processor, by using the device lid as a “heatsink” for say. Developing things like that are groundbreaking, but don’t really ever get noticed, so kudos to the design team.

Here’s the unveiling video:

 

Thats all I have for this weeks Network Wednesday. Thanks for visiting the new web home of my business, Mason Media Group. See you next week!

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