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Monthly Archives: January 2015

26
Jan
2015

NFL And Google Reach Landmark Deal For YouTube Channel Content

by Bill

The distribution methods of digital content continue to change and now Google has added another premium content maker to its growing list of official channels on the YouTube platform. Long considered the crown jewel of Television programming, the NFL has raked in billions of dollars in yearly contracts for the television rights to its games over recent decades. That led to the creation of its own NFL network on cable systems and to a slew of award winning documentary programming produced by their own in-house studio NFL Films. Now the NFL is leading the movement across the digital divide toward direct programming for Internet viewers as well.

“Located at YouTube.com/NFL, the NFL’s official channel on YouTube allows viewers to access a uniquely packaged, seven-day-a-week NFL content programming schedule” stated the NFL’s official website. “Content posted to the NFL’s official channel on YouTube will include game previews, in-game highlights, post-game recaps as well as clips featuring news, analysis, fantasy football advice, and other select content from NFL Network and NFL.com”

A large part of the benefit for content providers pushing their products across YouTube is the ability to engage international consumers with a platform that is completely agnostic to regional cable deals and other nationalized interests of heavily regulated radio or television media. Much the way Netflix is quickly becoming the platform of choice of US based content providers to reach customers overseas, YouTube is now giving studios and networks a simplified way to reach across oceans and directly into the desktop or mobile devices of an audience that extends around the globe.

“Partnering with YouTube and Google provides the NFL unique access to millions of highly engaged fans through the global leader in video and search,” said Hans Schroeder, Senior Vice President, Media Strategy, Business Development, & Sales for the National Football League. “We continue to see an insatiable appetite for digital video content, and this partnership further expands fans’ ability to discover and access NFL content throughout the year.”

Backing this deal technologically is the most advanced video streaming system ever created, with a nearly limitless amount of available bandwidth and virtually zero cost for anyone seeking to upload content online. Along with the search traffic benefits integrated into Google, the high branding visibility afforded and the simplicity of displaying your own YouTube videos as embeds within your official website – this platform appears poised to grow even more as flagship producers like the NFL educate audiences and lead them away from traditional media outlets. If you aren’t harnessing these resources for your own brands, now is the time to get up to speed as content consumer tastes evolve in your direction.

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16
Jan
2015

Electronic Frontier Foundation Aims to Encrypt the Entire Internet

by Bill

SSL CertificateThe international non-profit digital rights organization, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), recently announced the fruition of a project that has ongoing since 2009, to switch all internet hypertext from insecure HTTP to the more secure HTTPS protocol.

Working with Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai, IdenTrust, and researchers at the University of Michigan, EFF has created a simple, one click solution to enable all webmasters to obtain a Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate with a “single click.”

Currently the difficulties in obtaining a TLS certificate and configuring it properly is the main reason that sites keep using HTTP instead of HTTPS, and as anyone who has used the internet in recent years knows getting it correct and is beyond the reach of many sites, as we’ve all seen errant warning popups indicating that the site you’re trying to visit has a a problem with its security certificate.

EFF has launched a new certificate authority project, called Let’s Encrypt, which will provide TLS certificates for free, and auto-install and configure on any website, and eliminates the complexity, bureaucracy, and cost of the certificates that up until now, running a site with HTTPS requires.

The HTTP SSL protocol has had a good run, but it is inherently insecure. Users and site owners alike face a myriad of perils, from account hijacking to malicious scripts, surreptitious surveillance to identify theft. In one fell swoop, Let’s Encrypt promises remove all barriers to implementation of HTTPS, theoretically making the internet a safer place, and will likely result in a measurable traffic penalty for those sites that lag in their implementation of this more secure encryption protocol.

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06
Jan
2015

The Newest Net Neutrality Squabble May Be Great For Consumers

by Bill

Good news for consumers?

As part of a recent change in public posture on the issue of Net Neutrality sparked by the White House, the FCC is now gathering public feedback about the idea of regulating all Internet Service Providers (ISPs) under Title II of the Communications Act. While cable companies are vehemently against this new framework of government regulation for obvious economic reasons, there is an even greater danger to their nearly unilateral grip on broadband dollars as Google and other new entrants may be able to turn this change in regulatory structure into a way to gain greater access to existing infrastructure.

 

Google filedpublic comment with the FCC emphasizing the fact that regulation under Title II must also confer the benefits of that Act along with the well-known responsibilities, and that includes full access to utility poles and other existing infrastructure that many industry pundits have long regarded as an artificial barrier of entry preventing new broadband providers from entering the ISP marketplace.

 

The FCC has already recognized that access to poles, ducts, conduits, and rights-of-way owned or controlled by utilities is essential for broadband deployment according to Austin Schlick, Google’s director of communications law who stated “Forbearance from allowing [broadband Internet] providers access to available infrastructure under Section 224 would… maintain a substantial barrier to network deployment by new providers such as Google Fiber.”

ARS Technica also reported its findings after speaking with Cable Industry Lobbyists who pointed out many scenarios that would be catastrophic for monopolistic providers, but sound very intriguing to many consumers. Chief among those findings was the admission by Cable Industry insiders that a change to Title II regulation could also lead to “rate setting” requirements being imposed on ISPs, similar to the way other utilities are now managed by governmental standards and practices.

 

Whether this change is really going to happen or is simply a strong bargaining chip to be used as leverage in the battle to keep the Internet neutral remains to be seen, but everyone will be watching these maneuvers in 2015 and in the run up to the next national elections in 2016.

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