Streaming Media Devices Reviewed; Facebook’s Chief Security Officer; Indiana Jones and the Nuked Fridge
So I’m coming up on about 6 months of Roku 2 ownership and just in time for that, I’ve just stumbled on a recent review (linky here) that pits 5 different streaming media products against each other (Roku 2, Apple TV, Boxee, Google TV and Netgear’s NTV200). Good review that breaks them down and compares their respective capabilities – and while I might be a bit biased, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Roku 2 got the best marks in almost every category – the Boxee comes out slightly ahead in the final aggregate rating. The only thing the Roku 2 really doesn’t do very well is stream media from other sources as I found after an abortive attempt to stream some stuff from the computer via Plex Media Server, but considering that the Roku basically gets used exclusively for Netflix at home on the range, I’m not complaining much. I have to say that it’s been absolutely one of the best tech purchases I’ve made in recent years. Aside from the inexplicable Netflix subtitle glitch a couple times that has never been satisfactorily explained, the Roku’s been rock-solid so far. The display is occasionally glitchy (seems to happen mainly when the Roku wakes up after sitting for a while, probably necessitating a refresh of my ever-expanding Instant Queue), but that’s about as big a complaint I can level.
I also just read a really good piece on Forbes (teh linky here) that profiles the chief security officer at Facebook. As of this writing, Facebook apparently employs 25 people alone just to process requests from law enforcement personnel, out of a 70 person security team. Anyway, the article is a pretty good read that gives a good look at Facebook’s policies on cooperating with law enforcement – Facebookers will be happy to know that Facebook apparently won’t fork over much information about a user in response to a subpoena except for their name, IP address and email address. Anything else like status updates, photos and the like require a warrant. Interestingly, the chief security officer was at one time employed by the US Department of Justice and worked on cybercrime cases before jumping ship to eBay, but apparently he’s not in the habit of simply handing over everything requested by law enforcement without a fight and is quoted in the article as saying “Recently a government agency wanted us to start logging information we don’t log. We told them we wouldn’t start logging that piece of data because we don’t need it to provide a good product. We talked to our general counsel. The law is not black-and-white. That agency thinks they can compel us to. We told them to go to court. They haven’t done that yet.”. Not a big fan of Facebook myself (I use it of course – who doesn’t) but I’ll grant their apparent policy on cooperating with law enforcement seems pretty praiseworthy.
And finally: Silly news item for Friday. We’ve all seen the much-maligned (and rightfully so, methinks) Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull which features Indy inexplicably surviving a nuclear blast by hiding in a lead-lined fridge. Apparently George Lucas has gone on record as saying that Indy had a 50/50 chance of surviving, which prompted a breakdown in a “scientific peer review” format of how ridiculous this claim is (link here). It’s an amusing read if you’ve got some time to kill that of course makes it abundantly clear that Indy probably would have been reduced to a fine paste or burnt to a crisp almost immediately.