The Interview goes streaming, Google silences prosecutor, FB privacy issues #whatsgooingon

kid with christmas pyjamas and a teddy bearMerry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Gooibiz! Hopefully you have recovered from your food coma and are enjoying some time off with your Christmas’ haul. Tech news has not been taking a vacation however. Here’s what’s been happening this week:

  • The Interview has a US streaming release, leads to widespread piracy
  • Google sues critical prosecutor into silence
  • The problem with Facebook’s privacy policy
  • Hackers strike at Xbox Live and PSN over Christmas

The Interview comes to YouTube, Xbox Live, Google Play and more

In a completely foreseeable event, Sony has decided to bypass the theatres who were put off by the threats made by anonymous hackers. Sony Pictures has released The Interview on streaming services like YouTube, Google Play, Xbox Live in an effort to capitalize on the massive hype surrounding this movie. The movie is currently only available in the US and can rented for $6 or owned for $15.

Take away: Making the movie available online this quickly was a great idea. Releasing it the US only was not such a great idea. The movie is already one of the most shared and downloaded on torrent sites. This movie release was put together on very short notice and worldwide rights management is complicated but this situation really shows how futile this kind of effort really is. It’s 2014: if you make it available in one region, it’s going to be available everywhere but people won’t be able to pay you for it. Only the pirates gain from this.

Google gets rid of difficult prosecutor with a lawsuit

The Register has produced a piece on Jim Hood, a prosecutor who became Google’s enemy number 1. Google managed to eliminate this enemy by launching a lawsuit that Jim Hood’s state of Mississippi could not afford. Jim Hood’s motivations for going after Google are controversial: some claim that he was a lackey for the MPAA and others (like this article) that he was trying to stop Google from profiting from illegal drug sales online.

Take away: Whichever side you fall on in terms of sympathy for Jim Hood, this article is an interesting read as it presents an argument that is usually ignored in tech media. It’s critical of the narrative that has been presented in for example The Verge or TechCrunch. It’s a fascinating read and a useful perspective.

What’s wrong with Facebook’s privacy policy?

Another year, another protracted discussion about Facebook privacy issues. At this point it is safest to assume that nothing you post on Facebook is guaranteed to be private and will potentially be shown to however Facebook wants to show it to. Lifehacker has a new story where they outline the issues with the way Facebook handles its privacy policy.

Lizard Squad claim to take down PSN and Xbox Live

In a year of DDOS attacks, hacks and vulnerabilities, it makes sense that Christmas and New Year would also be dominated by security news. The Playstation Network and Xbox Live were down intermittently during Christmas. Hacker group Lizard Squad has taken credit for the attacks and claims it will continue until they get enough retweets. These hacks have been causing difficulties for people trying to connect to the networks to play games or set up new consoles.

Take away: In a startlingly 2014 move, even your Christmas presents have been hacked. Welcome to the future, it kind of sucks.

Have a gooi New Year!

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