You could go to jail for a year for sharing HBO Go passwords

Even New York Times Is Oblivious To Fact That Sharing ‘HBO Go’ Passwords To Watch ‘Game Of Thrones’ Breaks Law – Forbes:

It was left then to Mike Masnick at TechDirt to point out that Wortham had admitted to violating federal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (or CFAA) which has been the target of heated debate given its use in the controversial prosecutions of AT&T iPad hacker Andrew “weev” Auernheimer and public document hacker Aaron Swartz. The CFAA makes it a crime “to obtain without authorization information from a protected computer.” It’s a misdemeanor with a maximum one-year prison sentence. What Wortham describes is unauthorized access, in that it violates the companies’ terms of service.

“[I]f someone is violating Netflix or HBO Go’s TOS to stream they are guilty of a misdemeanor CFAA right off the bat,” says Hanni Fakhoury of the EFF. And if the worth of the stolen information or damage caused in its procurement reaches $5,000 (that’s a lot of HBO episodes!), it could be a felony with multiple potential years of prison time.

It’s awesome how media companies have paid lawmakers to make so many laws that go against common sense.

Netflix CEO teases potential fifth season of Arrested Development

Netflix Ups Investment in New Shows, Teases More Arrested Development:

If you’re wondering how Netflix plans to follow up the success of its original programming like the fourth season of Arrested Development, the answer appears to be “more of the same” — including a tease for a possible fifth season of the Bluth family comedy. But the news isn’t as positive for fans of Firefly and other long-lost cult favorite shows looking for resurrection.

I haven’t gotten very far into the new season of Arrested Development, but I have heard quite a bit about the new format –  from fans and people who’ve been turned off by it alike. It’s not the show we all remember, and there doesn’t seem to be a consensus on whether or not that’s a good thing.

With that said, the show is still damn funny. I’d love to see Netflix give the creative people behind the show another season’s worth of episodes to experiment with.

I was sad to see this though:

He added that fans shouldn’t expect to see any new episodes of other beloved-but-cancelled shows like Joss Whedon’s fan-favorite space western Firefly, since its current audience would be “fewer than the 6 million who watched it [on Fox in 2002].”

It’s unfortunate, but if anyone would have the data to back up such a decision, it’s Netflix.

Airmail for Mac is awesome

iMore:

Airmail for Mac is a new third party mail client that not only supports a plethora of account types, but is also one of the most visually appealing email apps for Mac I’ve ever used. For users who are still clutching onto Sparrow while waiting for a viable alternative, you may just find your solution in Airmail.

Having been a user of Sparrow, I’ve been meaning to switch away ever since I realised that the app was probably going to meet its ends soon enough, having been acquired by Google. The problem was that the only viable solution was to switch over to Mail.app. To me, Apple’s Mail.app feels so bloated and horrible that the two week stint where I switched everything over was basically like living in hell.

Alas, Airmail has come along now and I love it. The review linked is basically what I think of the app as a whole, written by Allyson. The day of salvation has arrived.

HTC One with stock Android to be sold by Google

The Verge: 

It was rumored, and now it’s here: on stage at D, Sundar Pichai just revealed a new version of the HTC One that runs an untouched, stock version of Google’s Android operating system. It will be available from the Google Play store starting June 26th for $599.

For me (and probably most iOS users with a keen interest in technology) this announcement marks the first phone that they’d consider switching to Android for. The HTC One is a stunning device with great features, good battery life and a good design and now it has Google’s uncluttered version of Android. I’m glad Google struck the same deal with HTC that it did with Samsung for the much uglier, more plasticky Galaxy S4.

If only the apps were better… – sigh –

MPs call for Google to curb access to porn

Liat Clark reporting for Wired.co.uk:

In the wake of the horrific murder of five-year-old April Jones, MPs and charities are calling for search engines and ISPs to restrict access to pornography. However, critics warn a blanket ban on legal content is not the answer.

The matter has been raised in the context of some of the worst crimes against children in recent British history. During the trials of Mark Bridger, sentenced this week to life imprisonment for his crime, and Stuart Hazell — who killed 12-year-old Tia Sharp in August 2012 — it was revealed that both had been searching online for disturbing images of child pornography and violent rape in the days leading up to the crimes.

This is an intriguing situation. I was discussing the concept of internet censorship earlier and as a result now don’t know where I stand on the issue. On the one hand the internet should remain as neutral as possible, but on the other, indecent images of children have no place anywhere in society.

One thing I do know is that it is not the job of Google alone to deal with this. There are other means of getting information on the web, so for a burden to be put on Google like this is rather unfair, even if they are the biggest player in the market. Nonetheless, this article is an excellent summary of the state of play here in the UK.

Iain Dodsworth leaves Twitter

AllThingsD:

Iain Dodsworth, founder of the power-user application TweetDeck, announced Friday that he is leaving Twitter, two years after TweetDeck was acquired by the microblogging company.

“Two years since the @TweetDeck acquisition and now feels like a perfect time to start something new. Goodbye @Twitter, it’s been marvellous,” Dodsworth said in a tweet on Friday morning.

It’s a shame to see Iain leave Twitter. He’s a fellow Brit and in TweetDeck built an astoundingly popular piece of software. The move reminds me of Loren Brichter’s departure from Twitter little over a year after Twitter acquired his app, Tweetie, and used it as their official client. Companies that acquire have a habit of taking steps to make apps move away from the original vision. Those steps are usually necessary to make the apps successful in a wider market, but they often disgruntle those behind them in the first place. That said, there’s no implication that this is the case with Iain, I’m just looking beyond what has been said and seeing a possible wider state of affairs.

Contra: Evolution Launches on North American App Store

contraevo

Though originally only available on the Chinese App Store, Contra: Evolution, an HD remake of the original game, is now available for $0.99 on the North American App Store.

Details from TouchArcade:

I’ve only given it a short go, but it’s pretty much what I hoped it would be: a revamped Contra. The two original action heroes Lance and Bill make their return, but there’s two new female characters to play as too. The remade visuals look nice too, though it does feel like it’s lost some of its charm over the original graphics.

Something that might be a point of concern is the addition of a dual-currency and IAP system into Contra: Evolution. So far it appears to be just the “speed things up” variety, and all the different weapons look like they can just be bought through playing the game, leveling up, and earning the currency. Time will tell how this shakes out.

Revamped Contra is nice, but if you’re playing one of the hardest action series in gaming history, tight control is key. I’m a little torn on the idea of touchscreen controls. The IAP sound interesting, though. Having access to a Spread Gun at any time would definitely speed up my NES runs.

Elon Musk says humans must move to Mars or we will go extinct

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk thinks that another global extinction event (like what killed the dinosaurs) is “inevitable,” and that if humanity wants to stick around for the long-term we need to settle other planets – starting with our red neighbor, Mars.

In his recent interview at AllThingsD’s D11 conference, Musk said that colonizing Mars may seem difficult, but is certainly achieveable. As for the potential hazards of going to a planet that is, on average, 225 million kilometers away from our lonely blue dot? “All things considered, if one’s going to die anywhere, it would be kind of cool to die on Mars.”

This isn’t the first time that the real-life Iron Man has talked about settling other worlds. Back in November, Wired covered a  establishing a colony of 80,000 people on Mars. This wouldn’t be a trip for your average joe, of course: he wants to provide the flights there for a cool $500,000 per person.

Cable TV is socialism that works

Ben Thompson -The Cord-Cutting Fantasy:

The truth is that the current TV system is a great deal for everyone.

Networks earn much more per viewer than would be sustainable under a la carte pricing. Networks are incentivised to create (or in ESPN’s case, buy rights to) great programming; making your content “must-watch” lets you raise your affiliate fees. Viewers get access to multiple channels that are hyper-focused on specific niches. Sure, folks complain about paying for those niches, but only because they don’t realize others are subsidizing their particular interests. Cable companies know the cable TV business, and would prefer to put up with customer disgruntlement over rising prices than become dumb pipes.

A great post that perfectly demonstrates why we don’t simply pick-and-choose our channels from our cable companies: by making us pay for every channel, every network is able to fund the programming we love.

Americans dropping home Internet in favor of wireless

Cord-Cutters Lop Off Internet Service More Than TV – WSJ.com:

Hundreds of thousands of Americans canceled their home Internet service last year, surveys suggest, taking advantage of the proliferation of Wi-Fi hot spots and fast new wireless networks that have made Web connections on smartphones and tablets ubiquitous.

Last year around 1% of U.S. households stopped paying for home Internet subscriptions and relied on wireless access instead, according to consumer surveys by Leichtman Research Group Inc. Just 0.4% of households in the last year canceled their pay-television subscriptions in favor of getting video entertainment over the Internet via services such as Hulu or Netflix.

When LTE-Advanced comes out in the next few years, this is going to look like a pretty attractive option –  assuming data caps raise to the point where an HD movie doesn’t make you hit your data cap in an hour.