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In the latest of unexpected news, TPG Telecom has today announced that they will be purchasing 100 percent of iiNet, "Australia's second largest DSL Internet Service Provider" - as quoted by the company themselves.
The $1.4 billion AU buyout means iiNet's shares will be acquired for $8.60 AU each, seeing $1.80 AU per share paid more than they are listed right now. As according to Gizmodo, $8.60 AU is also higher than iiNet's shares have ever been seen - their peak being $8.36 AU last December.
iiNet's Chairman Michael Smith is happy with this move, stating "The board views this as a significant reward for shareholders who have shown their faith in iiNet. The price of $1.4 billion is a very tangible measure of the value that the extraordinary people of iiNet have created through their innovation, brilliant service and capacity to add value."
Disney Toy Collector may be racking up millions of dollars on YouTube for showing kids what's inside of a Kinder Surprise, but the video streaming giant has announced YouTube Kids, which will hit the Google Play Store later today.
YouTube Kids will have content from Jim Henson TV, Dreamworks TV, National Geographic Kids, Reading Rainbow, Thomas the Tank Engine, and more. There will be various categories for the content too, such as Shows, Music, Learning, and Explore. There will also be a search function where you can look for age-appropriate content that ensures YouTube Kids is the perfect tool for young ones watching videos.
The new app will also have parental controls that will allow parents to set time limits on the app, and more.
With Google launching Fiber in Kansas City, other internet providers are looking to step up their game in order to continue profit and growth. AT&T have been the first to do so in this region, offering up their U-Verse with GigaPower network - set for launch in Kansas and "parts of Leawood, Lenexa, Olathe, Overland Park, Kan. and in surrounding communities located throughout the metro area."
Offering 1Gbps for $70 per month, with an additional Internet and TV package bumping the price up to $120 per month total - AT&T is trying to closely match Google's Fiber pricing in that regard. However AT&T are also offering something a little different, with an internet, TV and Voice plan for $150 per month.
Their Kansas president Mike Scott issued a release, stating "we're proud to launch in these cities as the first locations where we will offer ultra-high speeds to local consumers and employers in the Kansas City area. The AT&T GigaPower network will help encourage economic development in the area by facilitating a new wave of innovation through enhanced opportunities for education, health, research and small business growth."
Two of the most talked about shows have their season premieres for free right now, with the season premieres of Better Call Saul and Game of Thrones free on the Google Play Store.
Any device that supports Google Play can watch these episodes, including your desktop, smartphone or even Chromecast. There are purchase options for the rest of the episodes, or the entire season run, too. Better Call Saul episodes are $1.99 each, or $16.99 for the entire season (with the first two episodes only available right now obviously).
Game of Thrones is a bit more expensive at $2.99 per episode or $28.99 for the entire season, of which there are four to secure. As for your region, you'll have to make sure that they're free before grabbing them, because for as far as we're aware, it's for the US only. If you find out it's free for you too, let us know in the comments below.
Your move, iTunes.
There are millions of people that use Facebook, that think that everything outside of it - you know, the Internet - doesn't exist. According to Helani Galpaya, who surveyed a large number of Indonesians, they said that they didn't use the Internet.
But, when they were in focus groups, these same people talked about how much time they spent on the largest social network on the Internet; Facebook. Galpaya works at LIRNEasia, a think tank, who said: "It seemed that in their minds, the Internet did not exist; only Facebook". QZ has a large piece on the matter, but diving into it, the article says that Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg says that in the developing world, "people will walk into phone stores and say 'I want Facebook'".
Continuing on that statement, Facebook's Head of Localization and Internationalization, Iris Orriss, says that "Awareness of the Internet in developing countries is very limited. In fact, for many users, Facebook is the internet, as it's often the only accessible application".
The third season of House of Cards floated up onto Netflix yesterday, but it was quickly pulled by the streaming giant, put back in its slumber until its February 27 release date.
Netflix has said that a "technical glitch" saw House of Cards' third season arrive early, but reiterated that the entire 13 episode run will be launched on February 27. The official House of Cards Twitter account tweeted: "This is Washington. There's always a leak. All 13 episodes will launch February 27". If I had to make a guess, I'd say this was elaborate marketing to remind us that the third season of House of Cards is coming, and it's coming very soon. Knock on wood.
Major advertisers such as Microsoft, Google and Amazon have secretly entered negotiations to pay Adblock Plus to stop blocking ads from their advertising networks. Eyeo, which makes Adblock Plus, said the free extension has more than 50 million monthly active users and has been downloaded more than 300 million times.
Non-intrusive advertisements could be added to an Adblock whitelist so they will not be blocked - which is how Eyeo makes money - and larger advertisers will certainly have to pay.
"Microsoft will always give consumers choice when it comes to advertisements," according to a statement Microsoft issued to the Financial Times. "We are committed to working with partners who share our vision for relevant, impactful brand interaction and respect the integrity of consumer choice."
Ye olde trusty wooden pirateship has sailed back! The Pirate Bay, hailed as "The galaxy's most resilient BitTorrent site", is now back online at thepiratebay.se. This long hiatus has come to an end after a Swedish police raids shuttered the site, and employee infighting led to several of the original cast and crew heading for bluer waters.
The latest Pirate Bay saga began when Swedish police raided the servers, which were housed in a converted nuclear shelter in Nacka, Sweden. The Pirate Bay was taken offline and its web ratings plunged from being the 88th largest website in the world to 176. In recent weeks a timer appeared that counted down to the time that the site came online, letting the world at large know that The Pirate Bay may have been down, but it certainly was not out.
The familiar pirate ship logo can still be found throughout the site, but upon resurfacing The Pirate Bay is sporting a new homepage logo with what appears to be a Phoenix, which is unsurprising since The Pirate Bay has once again sprung from the ashes.
Islamic extremist groups still enjoy using the Internet and social media to spread propaganda and recruit, but are becoming more skilled in flying under the radar. Intelligence experts are collecting information from previous reckless Internet posts, and that is something the terrorists want to avoid in the future.
To help share propaganda, the groups are largely turning to the Dark Web - and using Skype, WhatsApp, and software that isn't as open. ISIS went a step further by issuing guidelines to its members posting on social media, such as blurring out faces, ensuring geographic tagging is disabled, and being careful what information they are providing on current operations.
"We realize that the people we are interested in are increasingly specialized in computing," said Philippe Chadrys, the head investigator of France's judicial police responsible for fighting terrorism, in a statement to the AFP. "They master encryption software and methods to better erase data. That makes our probes much more complicated."
As of today, YouTube will now default to HTML5 video on your web browser when available - if not, Flash will still be used. This is said to promote faster video loading, better compression and smoother frame rates.
Flash was was seen on almost every major website, providing a once-new aged feel and expansive additions to various companies who loved to auto-play music, display animations and provide interactive experiences. Now these features are long gone, along with Flash and their default integration with the massive online streaming service, YouTube.
Explained as a four-year development cycle, HTML5 will enable YouTube videos to load "15 to 80 percent" faster due to this process including updates for MediaSource extensions, enabling ABR and the potential for time-shifted live video broadcasts. This HTML5 inclusion supports Ultra HD and 60 frames per second streaming, hinging on Google's open-source VP9 codec - often known as WebM. WebM is said to continue the video quality trend of H.264, but will reduce bandwidth requirements by 35 percent as explained by Gizmodo.