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  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Disney+, , , , streaming   

    Disney+ accounts are under attack 

    Disney+ accounts are under attack

    Disney+ is the home streaming service brought to you by the Walt Disney Company. It just recently launched and is already seen as a competitor to Netflix. It was hugely successful upon its recent launch and it’s easy to understand why. Not only do they provide the famous Disney catalog but they also own many other entertainment properties such as the Marvel movies and former Fox-owned shows like The Simpsons. That’s not even taking the entire Star Wars franchise into account along with the new Star Wars ongoing series The Mandalorian. Of course, where there’s an online success there are people looking to take advantage of that success and Disney+ is no different.

    Within hours of the launch of Disney+, users were already complaining that they had been locked out of their accounts. These compromised accounts are now up for sale on some of the seedier parts of the web. The accounts are going for as little as $3-$11. Many of these accounts were paid for years in advance leaving those affected with little to no recourse. Basically, hackers were gaining access to the accounts with previously compromised email and password combinations. The hackers then change the login information, locking the account’s owner out before putting the account up for sale.

    If you have a Disney+ account and you’re using a password that you’ve used elsewhere, change your password right away. In general, you should never use the same password twice. As always, we recommend using one of the many free password managers out there. If you were thinking about enabling two-factor authentication on your Disney+ account, unfortunately, you can’t. Disney has yet to offer that feature on Dinsey+. You may also want to do a malware scan on your computer as that’s another popular way that scammers and hackers can obtain your passwords.

    You should be enjoying this service and not having to spend hours with customer service trying to get the issue resolved even if you can.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on April 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , streaming   

    Double craigslist scam and more 

    Double craigslist scam and more

    Previously, we’ve told you about gift card scams and phony check scams. Now, at least one scammer tried to swindle someone using both scams at the same time. A woman in Madison, Wisconsin was trying to sell an item on craigslist and she received a check for more than $1000 than what she was asking for. The scammers told her to deposit the check and return most of the balance in gift cards. Luckily, the woman did not fall for the scam. If she had, not only would she have been on the hook for the amount of the phony check but once the gift card numbers would have been given to the scammer, the funds would be virtually untraceable.

    ***

    Speaking of gift cards, a New York man was arrested after allegedly using stolen gift cards to withdraw money at an ATM. The man allegedly used the account information from the gift cards to withdraw around $9,000. While the report doesn’t clarify what kind of gift cards were used we would imagine that they were something along the lines of a pre-paid VISA gift card. This is another potential reason you may want to avoid using gift cards as presents. We have some great tips here on how to avoid being ripped off when buying gift cards.

    ***

    Lastly, you may be tempted to buy a device online that promises you unlimited access to free movies and TV shows. Devices comparing themselves to the Amazon Fire Stick are showing up claiming to be ‘jailbroken’ which allow you to circumvent copyright protection in order to stream movies and TV shows which you would normally have to pay for a service like HBO to view. As you can probably guess, these devices are not only illegal but they’re usually loaded with malware according to CNET. This malware could potentially hijack devices connected to your home network such as microphones and cameras and could also send your personal information to any number of identity thieves. In the long run, you’re better off paying for a legitimate streaming service.

     
  • Geebo 9:01 am on May 26, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Kodi Box, , streaming   

    Facebook Marketplace has banned Kodi Boxes. What are they, and why are they banned? 

    Facebook Marketplace has banned Kodi Boxes. What are they, and why are they banned?

    Facebook Marketplace recently joined other places like Amazon and Ebay by banning the sale of ‘fully loaded’ Kodi Boxes by claiming that they promote piracy. So you may be asking what is a Kodi Box and what’s so bad about it? Before we get there we need to explain exactly what Kodi is.

    Kodi is software that you can install on just about any device that not only organizes all your media, but allows you to play your downloaded content on your HD TV. Some devices are sold that have Kodi pre-installed on them. They are very similar to the Amazon Fire Stick or the Google Chromecast. However, Kodi is open source, meaning anyone can either alter the code or make add-ons that allow Kodi devices to stream pirated content. This can include the streaming of first run movies that are still in the theater or pay-per-view sporting events.

    The Kodi Boxes that Facebook Marketplace is banning are the ones listed as ‘fully loaded’. This is thinly-veiled code meaning the boxes can be used for pirated content.

    For those of us who are old enough to remember the advent of cable television, this is akin to the pirate cable boxes from back in the day that would illegally unscramble all the pay channels.

    In conclusion, it’s not illegal to own or use a Kodi Box, unless it runs the apps that allow you to pirate paid content for free.

     
  • Geebo 10:59 am on March 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , streaming, , YouTube TV   

    YouTube offers new TV service. What’s the catch? 

    YouTube offers new TV service. What's the catch?

    YouTube recently announced that they would be getting into the broadcast TV game by revealing their new service called YouTube TV. Launching later this month, YouTube TV will be offering live streaming of the four major broadcast networks along with some other cable channels for $35 a month. A major component that separates YouTube TV from its competitors is that it will be offering unlimited cloud DVR storage to record your favorite shows. That’s not to say that YouTube TV doesn’t have some drawbacks.

    Among some of these drawbacks is the fact that it’s missing most of the popular cable networks. Channels like AMC and Comedy Central will not be available through YouTube TV. Another drawback is that YouTube TV will not be available on all devices at first. At launch the service will be available on mobile devices and Google’s Chromecast, but if you use a device like a Roku or Apple TV you’ll be waiting a while to get the service.

    The price also seems a little steep for cord cutters. While $35 is much cheaper than most cable plans it’s a lot more money than successful streaming services like Netflix and Hulu that most cord cutters already use.

    Lastly, it all comes down to your personal use. If you can live with the small amount of channels being offered by YouTube TV then it might be for you, plus it has the backbone of Google behind it since they own YouTube. That could provide a more reliable stream than most other streaming services.

     
  • Geebo 10:51 am on December 5, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: downloads, , streaming   

    Netflix now allows offline viewing. What this means for you. 

    Netflix now allows offline viewing. What this means for you.

    Content streaming behemoth Netflix recently announced that they were allowing the downloading of videos for offline viewing. This is great for people who have long public transportation commutes or who or about to take a long trip. However, and there’s always a however, this is not an option for all devices.

    So far, Netflix is only allowing downloading on mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets. When you log into Netflix on these devices you should see an option for downloading select videos to your device. I personally tried this on my mid-range Android phone and it worked like a charm. Apple’s iOS is also supported as well.

    Unfortunately, laptops are not considered a mobile device by Netflix. When I logged in to both the Netflix website and the Windows Store Netflix app there were no download options. While this would be a great feature for users with less than optimal vision, it’s an understandable step to combat online piracy.

    Another minor drawback is that the downloaded video can not be viewed in 4K resolution. While this is negligible for most users there is a hardcore base of fans who want to view all content in 4K.

    Who this feature will be a huge boon too will be parents, especially with the holidays approaching. This will allow parents to load a plethora of content to their mobile device and allow their kids to watch as much content to keep them occupied for the entire trip without having to drain their data connection limits.

    While Amazon Video has had this feature for a while, it’s Netflix that everyone flocks to.

     
  • Geebo 10:08 am on October 20, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , streaming   

    Google to launch its own streaming service 

    Google to launch its own streaming service

    Google announced recently that they will be launching their own video streaming service in 2017 to compete with services like Netflix. Reports say that Google is already in talks with Disney, FOX, and CBS to feature their content. This is both good news and bad news for consumers.

    The good news is that Netflix could use some real competition. Once the darling of the cord-cutting movement Netflix has recently been shown not to have access to all the movies that users feel they should. So, if Google offers an alternative to Netflix, this could cause Netflix to step up its game. Competition and choice is usually good for consumers.

    On the other hand however, Google is entering into an already crowded industry and if Google has the same issues obtaining properties like Netflix does it could just be another service that cord-cutters may have to sign up for. Since not all the services have all the movies or TV shows, this could cause some cord-cutters to subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, Sling TV, HBO Go and now the new Google service. Since these services cost anywhere from $9.95 to $19.95 a month, the charges for these services start to add up and start to resemble the cable bill that cord-cutters were trying to escape in the first place.

    If any one can beat Netflix at its own game it’s Google with their branding and cache. Maybe we can see a time where Google and Netflix actually become complimentary with each other so we won’t see the return of outrageous bills for our entertainment.

     
  • Geebo 10:01 am on September 9, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , streaming   

    FCC proposal attempts to free us from the cable box 

    FCC proposal attempts to free us from the cable box

    It’s no secret that cable TV is expensive and shows no sign of ever decreasing in price. The cable companies make a big chunk of that money for the rental fee they charge customers for the cable box. The cable box has been a fixture of cable TV since the late 1970s but if the FCC has their way, the cable box may be a thing of the past.

    With more people using streaming devices, like a Roku or Apple TV, the FCC wants the cable companies to allow their services to be accessed through these devices rather than exclusively through cable boxes. The FCC believes that this will allow consumers more choices for their viewing habits. The cable companies and some major TV networks oppose this idea fearing that the device makers will favor other content over the available cable content.

    With the much cheaper services, like Netflix and Hulu, many more consumers are making the choice to cut the cable in order to save money and many say that they don’t even miss their cable service. The cable companies see this as a threat to the cash cow that they’ve been milking for decades. Rather than innovate, they’d rather just keep the same system in place they’ve had for years. If it wasn’t for sports fans who have little to no choices when it comes to seeing live events the industry might have been in free fall. However, if an industry fails to innovate another one rises to take its place and cable is in that position right now. If they don’t start making more palatable choice for consumers they’ll become the modern-day equivalent of the buggy whip manufacturers.

     
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