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Aardvark Daily

New Zealand's longest-running online daily news and commentary publication, now in its 24th year. The opinion pieces presented here are not purported to be fact but reasonable effort is made to ensure accuracy.

Content copyright © 1995 - 2019 to Bruce Simpson (aka Aardvark), the logo was kindly created for Aardvark Daily by the folks at aardvark.co.uk



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What did I miss?

05 July 2018

Woohoo... I finally got a proper night's sleep!

The effects of this very nasty head-cold are now starting to wane and my brain is slowly re-engaging so it's time to get back on deck and start dishing up the daily dose once more.

(wipes nasty tissues from his keyboard and starts typing)

So what have I missed? What startling events have rocked the tech-world over the early part of this week?

Hmmm.. it looks like not much, but I'll give my thoughts on the more interesting bits of news today.

Firstly, Sony has given away a free movie to anyone who uses YouTube.

They claim it was a mistake (Cue Tui's ad) but a whole lot of folk have disputed that and believe it was simply a cynical way to try and generate interest in an otherwise minor-league release.

The BBC has a report on the matter and you can draw your own conclusions but if it was a genuine mistake then I really don't think it will hurt the movie's prospects at all and, as they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity.

A more worrying issue (for some) is the disclosure that independent third parties may have access to the contents of your email, if you use GMail and apps written by other parties which request such access.

I don't give a damn, since I don't/can't use my mobile phone (a $19 2G Samsung) to access my email and thus have no third-party apps involved. However, for those who have installed such software on their smartphone it might be a good idea to check the permissions you granted during the install and also the related settings on your GMail account.

When giving these apps permission to access a mailbox, most users would have probably not considered the fact that it would not only allow automated access by applications but also human access by people within the organisations that created those apps. If you're sending or receiving sensitive or valuable information, you might not want prying eyes and that SSL provides no protection against this type of "authorised" access.

And in NZ-related tech news, FreeView (you know, the old fashioned wireless TV) has launched an "on demand" streaming service according to this Stuff piece.

Now I haven't watched FTA television for over a decade and I don't have a smart TV so it is of no relevance to me -- however, it seems that if the comments on that story are to be believed, it's also of little relevance to anyone else.

It looks as if the days of FTA (whether broadcast, streamed or "on demand") are definitely numbered, and it's easy to understand why. Who wants to sit through an endless barrage of annoying advertising when, for less than $5 per week, you can get access to services like Netflix that deliver a raft of content totally ad-free and increasingly in 4K format?

I'd love to know what readers think about the future of FTA ad-funded TV content. Will it stick around at a level that justifies the infrastructure involved? Or will we all end up just subscribing to Netflix and be done with it?

Hell, even YouTube is better value (ads and all) because at least they have the latest movie releases from Sony for free (if you're quick enough that is) :-)

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