December 29, 2019 - Episode 546 - Show Notes

December 29, 2019 - Episode 546

Sunday Dec 29, 2019 (01:12:49)


This week, Sony's changing the controller, Cox is paying for your piracy, and Sling is charging more for TV.


Scott Ertz


Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.

Avram Piltch


Avram's been in love with PCs since he played original Castle Wolfenstein on an Apple II+. Before joining Tom's Hardware, for 10 years, he served as Online Editorial Director for sister sites Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag, where he programmed the CMS and many of the benchmarks. When he's not editing, writing or stumbling around trade show halls, you'll find him building Arduino robots with his son and watching every single superhero show on the CW.


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Messaging is changing, encryption is more important than ever

This week saw a couple of revelations about the state of messaging services. An announcement from Facebook reversed a previous policy, with the company now requiring that new users have a Facebook account to use the service's Messenger app. Previously, new users could get access to the Messenger service without the need to create a Facebook profile. For many, a Facebook profile comes along with significant privacy concerns, and the ability to use the Messenger service without a full profile was appealing. However, as the company begins to integrate the various messaging platforms, they seem to be looking for tighter control. This will not affect current users who signed up using a phone number, however.

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Sony is shaking up the DUALSHOCK controller design once again

Over the past 4 generations of PlayStation, Sony has not made a tremendous number of changes to the design of the controller. In fact, there is a popular meme that plays on this common knowledge, though the meme is really about Nintendo, the inverse of Sony. However, a new filing from the company might indicate what is potentially the largest usability upgrade to the controller design ever. While the front panel on the DUALSHOCK 4 controllers might be a big visual change, they turned out to be less of an everyday feature.

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Cox Communications found liable for its users' internet usage

In 2018, a coalition of more than 50 companies filed suit against Cox Communication for not limiting the actions of its users on the internet. These companies included some heavy hitters, such as Sony, Universal, and Warner. The issue at hand surrounds piracy on the internet and the company's lack of response to the activity on its network. The music companies argued that Cox Communications was legally responsible for selectively preventing access to certain content on its network.

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Sling joins competitors in raising streaming subscription prices

When Sling appeared at CES to first introduce the idea of a cable subscription delivered as a streaming service, it was an attractive alternative to traditional hardline cable subscriptions. You got your cable and local channels, you could choose a la carte options, and all of it was far less expensive than your regular cable options. However, in the years since that fateful CES, the cable and network landscape has changed significantly. Comcast has taken a tighter hold over the NBCUniversal ecosystem, AT&T owns the Time Warner and Turner networks, as well as DIRECTV and the competing streaming service HBO Now.


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