Netflix Admits To Capping Video Streams On Wireless Networks

An anonymous reader cites a story on Variety: Company says it plans to launch feature to give users control over mobile-video usage in May. Netflix has enforced a maximum limit on the quality of video streamed over AT&T and Verizon wireless networks for years, the company acknowledged Thursday. But Netflix also said it’s working on a way to give users control over how much bandwidth they wish to use to access the service. The No. 1 subscription-streaming service said its default bit rate for viewing over mobile networks has been capped at 600 kilobits per second. That’s ‘in an effort to protect our members from overage charges when they exceed mobile-data caps,’ according to a Netflix spokeswoman.

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A different take on what DevOps is

developer laptop

For the last couple of years I’ve been struggling a bit with the idea of DevOps. At the root of it was my own lack of clarity about what it is. My question remained unanswered and it wasn’t for the want of trying.

I went to conferences, attended talks, read articles and met with people in our business. I gathered logically inconsistent lists of things that it was and wasn’t. In the end, I concluded that there isn’t a consensus, so I had to work out what DevOps means to me.

Well, I’m pretty sure it’s about development and operations being closer together! Not too many people will dispute that (he said confidently!). But I’m not sure it’s really helpful. The context can vary wildly and getting closer can look really different in different situations.

On one hand consider a five supplier global program of work lasting three years in a highly regulated industry and on the other think about a two team program delivering value for an autonomous product owner. Context matters.

I was at the Gartner conference in Barcelona last year and I listened to a presentation by Yve Morieux from Boston Consulting. He reminded me of a story I’d heard before. A car company had problems with high servicing costs (no focus on repairability). They compared two methods of resolving the problem:

  • Put your money where your mouth is and create a bonus scheme to encourage higher repairability
  • Tell the design team that once their vehicle moves into production, they will all move into the warranty department.

The bonus scheme was bolted onto the existing framework, percentages compounded together and in the end, a massive improvement in repairability generated a 0.6 percent increase in pay. People could legitimately choose to ignore it and they did.

By contrast, warranty department costs are massively driven by repairability and the prospect of picking up responsibility for a money pit was truly terrifying. To avoid the terror, small, but thoughtful changes now could create huge savings and they would soon be living in the land of milk and honey.

I’m not sure if the story is true, but in many ways, it doesn’t matter. The point is well made. End to end responsibility makes people care more. When we care more, we try to make things better and we do it much more effectively.

I’ve come to believe that caring about the end to end process is the most important ingredient for DevOps to work. And caring is important for the teams, the management and the client. As soon as smart people care, if they have the appropriate resources, they can collaborate and do all the things that are appropriate in their context. Of course they have to trust each other and believe that no one is trying to screw them over. Of course they have to be empowered and able to self organize. But they can learn any new concepts and choose the best ones to apply. If they care, they can review what they’ve done and check how well it works.

Management must take care to set the priorities correctly and ensure enough resources (people and cash in general) are allocated. Development teams have to care that their application is going live, and know it will need to be looked after and that it will serve real customers. They have to care that it will perform and if it falls over, they have to care about that and care about the people who will need to fix it and build instrumentation to help them. They need to care about the future teams that will add and remove features. Operations teams have to care about the development process, and all of the environments needed from dev through to disaster recovery. They have to care about the ease of initiation and migration through those environments to live. They have to care about all the stakeholders and be hungry to engage and act as one team to make everyone’s life better: customers, development teams and of course operations. All collaborating to break down the silos and get the job done in the best way.

In some contexts, the lines between dev and ops can be blurred to the point of removal. The same people can take responsibility for application development and the design, deployment, operation and support of the live environments. In other contexts, there still needs to be some separation with teams responsible for the live operation of a huge estate.

In my opinion the DevOps journey starts with smart, responsible people who care about all the stakeholders, are empowered and have the resources to make a difference. Everything else will follow.

Peter Brookes-Smith, group managing director, Objectivity.

Published under license from, a Net Communities Ltd Publication. All rights reserved.

Image Credit: alphaspirit / Shutterstock

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Jeff Radke’s ‘levon a’: When e-book formatting falls short

Article note: Of course this isn’t about the shortcomings of ebooks at all, it’s about knowing the medium you are creating in. The book in this case is a truly a work of art and just can’t be transferred to an ebook format. That doesn’t make ebooks bad, just different.

Jeff_1 (1)Another case of e-books not adequately mirroring a super-fancy print book has come to light. In this case, the book in question is levon a by Jeff Radke. Radke blogs on The Writer’s Block that he is extremely disappointed by the dearth of formatting options available in converting his printed book to an e-book.

The complaints start with the lack of a properly textured cover, as his printed book was designed “to take the shape and 3D form of an old wood jewelry box containing… get ready for this… a severed hand of a baby, which is central to the novel’s plot.” Of course, that’s not possible with an e-book, but it goes on from there.

You can’t duplicate the typesetting, which is specifically designed for the print book, and the one-size-fits-all text of an e-book discards “the carefully considered spacing between words, the choice of font size and grouping of words on a line”. Furthermore, the print book contains various puzzles, with symbols in the margins to denote specific letters in the text—something else that’s not possible with an e-book.

The icing on the cake is that the page numbers of the book run backward, starting with 333 and counting down to 1 at the end. (It ties in with how the book’s title is “a novel” backward).

To my disappointment, there appears to be no way of making the page numbers go in reverse on an ebook! I didn’t believe the IT people tried hard enough to tackle this problem at first. There is always a solution, right? Well if anyone out there knows of one, you are a coding genius. My publisher tried everything. Without the page numbers moving in reverse, the ebook version loses its charm.

This is the rare edge case where the e-book format that’s sufficient for 99.9% of print books simply falls down, because it’s designed to meet the needs of the lowest common denominator. For most e-books, typography and font size doesn’t matter so much, and there’s no need for anything in the margins. And as for page numbers, don’t even get me started.

It seems that a good part of the artistic value of Radke’s book is tied up in its idiosyncratic presentation. It’s an objet d’art in the truest sense of the word—but our current e-book formats simply aren’t designed to leave room for idiosyncrasy. Unlike the “e-books” on Mozart and wine I looked at in December, this is a book in its truest form—no multimedia or interactivity, just symbols on a page. But it runs into the same problem that our current e-book formats simply don’t support the things it wants to do.

But what can Radke do about it? About the only way he could get the presentation he wants is to release the book as a PDF, as has frequently been done for other books that wouldn’t translate well to EPUB/Kindle—for example, role-playing games, with their multitude of tables and charts. Or, alternately, perhaps he could have some kind of app crafted to encapsulate the book as he wants it to appear.

But when it comes to creating an e-book format that will preserve the book’s uniqueness but read in standard e-readers and apps, books like this are always going to be out of luck—there are simply so few of them that there’s never going to be sufficient demand to engineer an e-book format capable of supporting their quirky rule-breaking. One-size-fits-almost-all is good enough for everybody else.

That’s sad for Radke and his objet d’art, but I don’t think most people who read e-books would complain. After all, if they just want to read a straightforward story, not solve puzzles in the margins or marvel at backward page numbers, it’s already got everything they need.

(Found via The Passive Voice.)

The post Jeff Radke’s ‘levon a’: When e-book formatting falls short appeared first on TeleRead News: E-books, publishing, tech and beyond.

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How developers can take advantage of machine learning on Google Cloud Platform

Google is trying to make machine learning easier for developers to use. Here are their three approaches to the technology.

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Podcast: How to disappear from the internet

On this week’s episode of the TechRepublic podcast, Frank Ahern reveals the secrets of skip tracing and social engineering. Frank also explains how to disappear completely and never be found.

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Show HN: Station307 – Stream files between cURL, Wget and/or browser

No script?

No problem! You can use Station307 to send from your terminal and download files with the browser. If you are looking to send files from your browser you’ll need to enable JavaScript.

Station307 features

  • A free service!
  • No need to wait for your upload to finish, stream files directly
  • No size limit
  • Files are never stored on the server
  • Secure transportation of your data
  • File hosting ends when the browser tab is closed
  • Terminal friendly
  • Mobile friendly

Use Station307 to share files from your terminal


curl -T  -Lv 2>&1 | grep located-at


wget -S --post-file 2>&1 | grep located-at

cURL and Wget won’t stop by themselves – to stop hosting your file, simply press CTRL+C.

For more tricks with the terminal (like streaming log files!) have a look at the recipes.

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