Tag Archives: internet

Wisconsin newspapers fight bill to eliminate meeting minute publication

Wisconsin newspapers are pledging to fight a bipartisan effort in the state Legislature to eliminate a requirement that meeting minutes of government entities be published in local newspapers.

A group of both Democratic and Republican lawmakers announced they were circulating a bill to do away with the requirement that summaries of meetings by school districts, municipalities, counties and technical colleges be printed in the newspaper.

Instead, the meeting minutes, or summary of what occurred at a public meeting, would instead be posted on the government entity’s website.

Supportive lawmakers pitched the proposal as a way for cash-strapped governments to save money and a way to increase access to the information.

“I don’t know anyone who keeps a stack of newspapers at home to reference minutes of proceedings,” said Rep. Jason Fields, D-Glendale, in a prepared statement. “It is better to allow taxpayers to save money and have better and easier access to minutes.”

But Beth Bennett, executive director of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, sees the proposal as an attack on the public’s ability to know what their elected representatives and local governments are up to.

“Obviously we’re adamantly opposed to it,” said Bennett, whose organization represents more than 230 weekly and daily newspapers in the state. “Maintaining access to public information is at the very core of what we do as an industry. We believe posting information on a government website does not notify anyone of anything. It is not pushing information out.”

Bennett said she did not find out about the bill until Jan. 24, the day its sponsors put out a press release announcing the idea.

A special legislative task force that last year studied the state’s public notice requirements did not recommend making the changes being pursued in the bill.

The proposal is sponsored by Fields and Rep. Jeremy Thiesfeldt, R-Fond du Lac, along with Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, and Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee.

The sponsors say the proposal is supported by eight groups representing school boards and administrators, counties, technical colleges and municipalities.

The bill would affect the requirement that meeting minutes be published in the local newspaper.

It would not change the requirement that meeting agendas and other legal notices be printed.

Bill sponsors said the change would affect nearly every government entity statewide, except townships, the city of Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Public School District, which already are exempt.

Neither the lawmakers nor Bennett had an estimate of how much the change would save taxpayers — and cost newspapers.

But the bill sponsors did have some anecdotal costs that they reference in their pitch for co-sponsors.

They claim that annual savings would be $12,000 for the Green Bay school district, $3,600 for the city of Wausau, just over $4,400 for La Crosse, $11,000 for Eau Claire and $2,100 for Beloit. And, they say, Outagamie County would save about $6,500 a year while Wood County would save over $13,000 annually.

The measure would have to pass both the state Assembly and Senate — which are controlled by Republicans — and be signed by Gov. Scott Walker before taking effect.

Binge watching on Netflix no longer requires internet access

Netflix subscribers can now binge on many of their favorite shows and movies even when they don’t have an internet connection.

The long-awaited offline option announced this week gives Netflix’s 87 million subscribers offline access to videos for the first time in the streaming service’s decade-long history.

Netflix is matching a downloading feature that one of its biggest rivals, Amazon.com, has been offering to its video subscribers for the past year. It’s something that also has been available on YouTube’s popular video site, though a subscription is required in the U.S. and other countries where the site sells its “Red” premium service.

The new feature puts Netflix a step ahead of two other major rivals. Offline options aren’t available on HBO’s internet-only package, HBO Now, or Hulu, although that service has publicly said it hopes to introduce a downloading feature.

Netflix subscribers wishing to download a video on their smartphone or tablet need to update the app on their Apple or Android device.

Not all of the selections in Netflix’s video library can be downloaded, although several of the service’s most popular shows, including “Orange Is The New Black,” “House of Cards,” and “Stranger Things,” are now available to watch offline.

Downloadable movies include “Spotlight,” this year’s Oscar winner for best film. Notably missing from the downloadable menu are movies and TV shows made by Walt Disney Co. Those still require an internet connection to watch on Netflix.

The Los Gatos, California, company is promising to continue to adding more titles to its offline roster.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings had long resisted calls for an offline-viewing option, much to the frustration of customers who wanted flexibility to use their subscriptions to watch a show or movie when traveling on a train, plane or car where internet connections are spotty or completely unavailable.

Earlier this year, Hastings finally indicated he might relent and introduce downloading.

The change of heart coincided with Netflix’s expansion into more than 130 countries, including many areas with shoddy or expensive internet connections that make the ability to watch video offline even more appealing.

Netflix ended September with 39 million subscribers outside of the U.S.

The offline option may accelerate the decline of Netflix’s steadily shrinking DVD-by-mail service, which offers the ability to watch video without an internet connection. Netflix’s DVD side still has one distinct advantage — access to recent theatrical releases before they are available for streaming.

Netflix’s DVD service ended September with 4.3 million subscribers, a decrease of nearly 10 million customers during the past five years.

Half world’s population online by end of 2016

By the end of 2016, almost half of the world’s population will be online as mobile networks grow and prices fall, but their numbers will remain concentrated in the developed world, a United Nations agency said.

In the world’s developed countries about 80 percent of the population use the internet. But only about 40 percent in developing countries and less than 15 percent in less-developed countries are online, according to a report by the U.N.’s International Telecommunications Union.

In several of Africa’s poorer and more fragile countries, only one person in 10 is on the internet. The offline population is female, elderly, less educated, poorer and lives in rural areas, said the union, a specialized agency for information and communication technologies.

Globally, 47 percent of the world’s population is online, still far short of a U.N. target of 60 percent by 2020. Some 3.9 billion people, more than half the world’s population, are not. ITU expects 3.5 billion people to have access by the end of this year.

“In 2016, people no longer go online, they are online. The spread of 3G and 4G networks across the world had brought the internet to more and more people,” the report said.

Telecoms and internet companies are expanding as more affordable smartphones encourage consumers to browse the internet, causing demand to grow for data-heavy services. However, less-developed countries – LDCs – still trail the rest of the world.

“Internet penetration levels in LDCs today have reached the level enjoyed by developed countries in 1998, suggesting that the LDCs are lagging nearly 20 years behind the developed countries,” the report said.

It blamed the cost of services and of extending infrastructure to rural and remote customers and the high price of mobile cellular use.

Hacker attacks growing bigger, nastier

Could hacker attacks bring millions of connected cameras, thermostats and kids’ toys to their knees? It’s beginning to look that way.

On Friday, epic cyberattacks crippled a major internet firm, repeatedly disrupting the availability of popular websites across the United States. The hacker group claiming responsibility says that the day’s antics were just a dry run and that it has its sights set on a much bigger target. And the attackers now have a secret weapon in the increasing array of internet-enabled household devices they can subvert and use to wreak havoc.

MEET THE FIRE HOSE

Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc. Manchester, New Hampshire-based Dyn Inc said its server infrastructure was hit by distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, attacks. These work by overwhelming targeted machines with junk data traffic — sort of like knocking someone over by blasting them with a fire hose. The attack temporarily blocked some access to popular websites from across America and Europe such as Twitter, Netflix and PayPal.

Jason Read, founder of the internet performance monitoring firm CloudHarmony, owned by Gartner Inc., said his company tracked a half-hour-long disruption early Friday affecting access to many sites from the East Coast. A second attack later in the day spread disruption to the West Coast as well as some users in Europe.

Members of a shadowy hacker group that calls itself New World Hackers claimed responsibility for the attack via Twitter, though that claim could not be verified. They said they organized networks of connected devices to create a massive botnet that threw a monstrous 1.2 trillion bits of data every second at Dyn’s servers. Dyn officials wouldn’t confirm the figure during a conference call later Friday with reporters.

MAKE THAT, MANY FIRE HOSES

DDoS attacks have been growing in frequency and size in recent months. But if the hackers’ claims are true, Friday’s attacks take DDoS to a new level. According to a report from the cybersecurity firm Verisign, the largest DDoS attack perpetrated during the second quarter of this year peaked at just 256 billion bits per second.

A huge September attack that shut down of security journalist Brian Krebs’ website clocked in at 620 billion bits per second. Research from the cybersecurity firm Flashpoint said Friday that the same kind of malware was used in the attacks against both Krebs and Dyn.

Lance Cottrell, chief scientist for the cybersecurity firm Ntrepid, said while DDoS attacks have been used for years, they’ve become very popular in recent months, thanks to the proliferation of “internet of things” devices ranging from connected thermostats to security cameras and smart TVs. Many of those devices feature little in the way of security, making them easy targets for hackers.

The power of this kind of cyberattack is limited by the number of devices an attacker can connect to. Just a few years ago, most attackers were limited to infecting and recruiting “zombie” home PCs. But the popularity of new internet-connected gadgets has vastly increased the pool of potential devices they can weaponize. The average North American home contains 13 internet-connected devices, according to the research firm IHS Markit.

Since the attacks usually don’t harm the consumer electronics companies that build the devices, or the consumers that unwittingly use them, companies have little incentive to boost security, Cottrell said.

WHAT’S BEHIND THE ATTACKS

Like with other online attacks, the motivation behind DDoS attacks is usually mischief or money. Attackers have shut down websites in the past to make political statements. DDoS attacks have also been used in extortion attempts, something that’s been made easier by the advent of Bitcoin.

For its part, a member of New World Hackers who identified themselves as “Prophet” told an AP reporter via Twitter direct message exchange that collective isn’t motivated by money and doesn’t have anything personal against Dyn, Twitter or any of the other sites affected by the attacks. Instead, the hacker said, the attacks were merely a test, and claimed that the next target will be the Russian government for committing alleged cyberattacks against the U.S. earlier this year.

“Twitter was kind of the main target. It showed people who doubted us what we were capable of doing, plus we got the chance to see our capability,” said “Prophet.” The claims couldn’t be verified.

The collective has in the past claimed responsibility for similar attacks against sites including ESPNFantasySports.com in September and the BBC on Dec. 31. The attack on the BBC marshalled half the computing power of Friday’s attacks.

A SHIFTING GLOBAL ASSAULT

Dyn said it first became aware of an attack around 7 a.m. local time, focused on data centers on the East Coast of the U.S. Services were restored about two hours later. But then attackers shifted to offshore data centers, and the latest wave of problems continued until Friday evening Eastern time.

“Prophet” told the AP that his group actually had stopped its attacks by Friday afternoon, but that others, including members of the hacker collective known as Anonymous, had picked up where they left off. Anonymous didn’t respond to a request for comment via Twitter.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is monitoring the situation, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Friday. He said he had no information about who may be behind the disruption.

Cottrell noted that there are several firms that offer protection against DDoS attacks, by giving companies a way to divert the bad traffic and remain online in case of an attack. But monthly subscription fees for these services are generally equal to a typical DDoS extortion payment, giving companies little incentive to pay for them.

Meanwhile not much is required in the way of resources or skill to mount a botnet attack, he said, adding that would-be attackers can rent botnets for as little as $100. Cottrell said the long-term solution lies in improving the security of all internet-connected devices.

 

 

Millions view Facebook video showing aftermath of officer-involved shooting

A live, 10-minute video of the aftermath of a police officer shooting a black man in Minnesota was the latest example of the riveting power of video streaming and the complex ethical and policy issues it raises for Facebook Live and similar features.

The graphic video taken by the victim’s girlfriend and broadcast on her Facebook page shows Philando Castile covered in blood in the driver’s seat of a car as the officer points a gun into the vehicle.

By early July 7, the footage had more than 4 million views and together with another police shooting in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, topped the items on Facebook’s Newswire, which promotes stories of broad interest.

Facebook this year has made its Live feature, which allows anyone to broadcast a video directly from their smartphone, a central component of its growth strategy. Rivals Twitter and Alphabet’s YouTube are also pushing live video as a new frontier in Internet content.

While traditional TV broadcasters are subject to “decency” standards overseen by the Federal Communications Commission — and have a short delay in their broadcasts to allow them to cut away from violent or obscene images — internet streaming services have no such limitations.

That easy accessibility and openness are fostering a new type of intimate, personal broadcasting that proponents said can be extraordinarily powerful, as evidenced by the demonstrations that began shortly after the Minneapolis video.

But critics said the lack of regulation can allow a somewhat cynical exploitation of tragedy.

Facebook and others can “rush forward and do whatever they think will get them clicks and users” without concerns for potential legal consequences, said Mary Anne Franks, a law professor at the University of Miami who helps run the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative. She advocates on behalf of revenge porn victims and would like companies to do more to prevent dissemination of such content.

Indeed, internet companies enjoy broad protections under federal law for content users posting on their services. Merely hosting third-party content that is objectionable or even illegal does not expose those companies to litigation as long as they adopt reasonable takedown policies.

The companies do enforce their own terms of service, which restrict many types of images. They rely heavily on users to report violations, which are then reviewed by employees or contractors for possible removal.

POLITICAL PRESSURE

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, head of the Los Angeles-based nonprofit Simon Wiesenthal Center’s Digital Terrorism and Hate project, said live video provides unprecedented opportunity to seize public awareness and cultivate political pressure on a topic such as police brutality.

But Cooper said the technology also raises concerns. “The availability of a live broadcast, unencumbered, becomes a horrendous tool in the hands of a terrorist.”

Facebook said last month that it was expanding the team dedicated to reviewing live content and staffing it 24 hours a day. The company would also test the monitoring of broadcasts that go viral or are trending even before they are reported, giving Facebook a way to stop offending broadcasts quickly, just as a TV network might do.

In the July 6 shooting in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota, the footage was taken offline for about an hour, leading to outrage on social media. It was then restored with a warning labeling it as “disturbing.”

“We’re very sorry that the video was temporarily inaccessible,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement. “It was down due to a technical glitch and restored as soon as we were able to investigate.”

Details of the technical glitch were not immediately known.

Facebook’s push into live streaming assures that such violent or otherwise disturbing events would not be the last.

About 1.65 billion people used Facebook monthly as of March 31, spending at least 50 minutes per day on the social media platform. In Facebook’s most recent quarterly earnings, it reported a 50 percent surge in revenue, handily beating Wall Street expectations as its promotion of live video won new advertisers and encouraged existing ones to increase spending.

Facebook pays some companies, including Reuters, to produce content for Facebook Live.

The Minnesota shooting followed other violent events that were streamed live on the Internet and went viral.

Just last month, a 28-year-old Chicago man, Antonio Perkins, filmed himself on Facebook Live spending time with his friends outside when shots rang out. The graphic video showed Perkins falling to the ground and what appears to be blood on the grass.

Days earlier, there was a double homicide in France in which the killer later took to Facebook Live to encourage more violence in a 12-minute clip.

In April, an 18-year-old woman was charged after she live streamed her friend’s rape on Twitter’s Periscope. In May, a young woman in France recorded herself on Periscope as she threw herself under a train.

 

 

Summer streaming all about movies, miniseries and catching up with the year’s best shows

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Will Arnett plays the title character in the third season of “BoJack Horseman.”

NETFLIX

When your Orange is the New Black binge is over (so, probably three days ago) there’s a long wait for new stuff on Netflix (unless you’re a fan of Marco Polo…). But the wait should be worth it. Animated cult favorite Bojack Horseman is set to return July 22, with Will Arnett’s washed-up anthropomorphic horse character considering his legacy amid a turbulent Oscar campaign. In August, Baz Luhrman’s latest project, the ’70s-era musical drama The Get Down, about the rise of hip hop in the Bronx, will debut its first six episodes on August 12.

Tired of internet streaming being all about TV? Good – you’re on the same page as Netflix, which is positioning itself to bulk up its film library this summer with some new deals. It’s already acquired the original Jurassic Park trilogy and Oscar-winner Spotlight. The summer will see the addition of the Back to the Future trilogy (July 1) and The Big Short (July 6), among many others. And in September, Netflix’s exclusive partnership with Disney will begin, bringing all the latest films produced by the company — now including Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies — to the service.

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“Difficult People” stars Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner.

HULU

Hulu’s bread-and-butter is still next-day streaming of what’s on TV during the regular season, so the best recommendation for the summer months is just to catch up on all the things you’ve missed while watching your other streaming services. Our picks would be Broad City, the last (and admittedly least) season of The Good Wife, the no-longer-final season of Nashville and ABC’s full slate of family comedies that are way better than Modern Family (i.e., Fresh Off the Boat, The Real O’Neals, Black-ish), but follow your instincts.

That said, Hulu’s original content arm is making a big play. It’s already dropped a new season of Casual, the comedy it casually (see what I did there?) launched last October about a newly divorced mother living with her brother and teenage daughter. In July, it’ll add a new season of Difficult People, the hilarious, offbeat comedy starring Julie Klausner and Billy Eichner as struggling and jaded comedians (July 12), and East Los High, the teen drama set in east LA now in its fourth season.

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Last year’s breakout hit “Mr. Robot” has arrived on Amazon Prime.

AMAZON PRIME

Summertime is Amazon pilots time, but grownups only have two options to vote on this season (the rest are for kids’ shows). Which of the two you’re more drawn to may depend more on which facet of Peak TV you’re more irritated by. If you’re done with aggressively gorgeous period dramas, check out The Interestings, which follows a group of ambitious friends who meet at an arts camp in the ‘70s, are chasing their dreams in the ‘80s and have for better or worse settled into adulthood in the ‘90s, featuring Lauren Ambrose (Six Feet Under) as the primary friend alongside Jessica Paré (Mad Men) and David Krumholtz (Numb3rs). On the other hand, if you want something that isn’t trying to be drama and comedy simultaneously, try The Last Tycoon, a Matt Bomer-driven depiction of 1930s Hollywood, inspired by an unfinished F. Scott Fitzgerald work.

Amazon Prime has also snagged the first season of one of summer’s hottest shows: Mr. Robot, only a few weeks away from its July 13 season two premiere on USA Network. The drama follows Elliot Alderson (Rami Malek), a hacker with social anxiety disorder and depression who is recruited to join anarchist “Mr. Robot” and his team of hacktivists.

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Bill Simmons hosts the weekly show “Any Given Wednesday” as part of his new deal with HBO.

HBO GO

True Detective may be dead in the water, but HBO isn’t willing to give up on gritty, enigmatic crime miniseries so soon. July 10 marks the premiere of their new venture: The Night Of, an eight-part series that follows the investigation of a murder in New York City. Originally, the show was a passion project of the late James Gandolfini, who loosely adapted it from British show Criminal Justice and planned to star as the central attorney. John Turturro will now play the role, chasing the answer to whether or not a young Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed) murdered a female stranger on the Upper West Side.

This summer’s also marking the premiere of HBO’s new series Any Given Wednesday, a talk show helmed by ousted Grantland editor-in-chief Bill Simmons. Like that ESPN-hosted longform journalism site, the new show (now with a few episodes already in the bank online) will feature interviews and discussions about pop culture and technology as well as Simmons’ core focus on sports.

In internet age, pirate radio arises as a surprising challenge

In the age of podcasts and streaming services, you might think pirate radio is low on the list of concerns of federal lawmakers and broadcasters. You’d be wrong.

They’re increasingly worried about its presence in some cities as unlicensed broadcasters commandeer frequencies to play anything from Trinidadian dance music to Haitian call-in shows. And they complain the Federal Communications Commission can’t keep up with the pirates, who can block listeners from favorite programs or emergency alerts for missing children and severe weather.

Helped along by cheaper technology, the rogue stations can cover several blocks or several square miles. Most broadcast to immigrant communities that pirate radio defenders say are underserved by licensed stations.

“The DJs sound like you and they talk about things that you’re interested in,” said Jay Blessed, an online DJ who has listened to various unlicensed stations since she moved from Trinidad to Brooklyn more than a decade ago.

“You call them up and say, ‘I want to hear this song,’ and they play it for you,” Blessed said. “It’s interactive. It’s engaging. It’s communal.”

Last year, nearly three dozen congressional members from the New York region urged the FCC to do more about what they called the “unprecedented growth of pirate radio operations.” So did the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, which said pirates undermine licensed minority stations while ignoring consumer protection laws that guard against indecency and false advertising.

The New York State Broadcasters Association estimates that 100 pirates operate in the New York City area alone, carrying programs in languages from Hebrew to Gaelic to Spanish. Many also broadcast in and around Miami and Boston; FCC enforcement data shows agents have gone after at least one pirate in nearly every state in the past decade.

The FCC has been discussing possible solutions, such as penalizing pirate radio advertisers, and last month urged landlords and government officials to look out for rogue broadcasters.

The alleged pirates include Jean Yves Tullias, a barber living in Irvington, about 15 miles from New York. The FCC claims he appropriated an unused frequency to broadcast his show, which includes church services, gospel music and a call-in program for fellow Haitians.

Tullias denies any wrongdoing. Cutting hair recently at his barbershop, he said a friend broadcast his Internet radio show without telling him he used a pirated frequency.

Tullias, 44, started his show because the local Haitian community “had no communication, nobody to help them,” he said.

“When you get that radio station, that prayer line, you feel comfortable,” he said of older listeners who speak little English and feel isolated. “You feel happy.”

Broadcasters are increasingly concerned because the FCC has gone after fewer pirates in recent years. The commission issued more than 100 warnings and fines against alleged pirates last year, compared with more than 400 in 2010.

That number fell despite a “significant increase” in the number of pirate stations, tallied by David Donovan, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association.

Donovan said the signals interfere with the Emergency Alert System, which relies on a phone-tree-like chain of stations listening to one another. Listeners also can’t hear the alerts, he said.

In his response to lawmakers’ concerns, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler cited a stagnant budget and its smallest staff in 30 years. Fines and seizures are not enough, he added, because pirates often refuse to pay and quickly replace transmitters and inexpensive antennas.

For about $750, pirates can buy equipment to broadcast at a range of at least 1 or 2 miles, experts say.

An FCC spokesman said the agency remains dedicated to combating pirate radio and has added agents to its New York office. Meanwhile, lawmakers and FCC officials continue to discuss solutions.

The FCC has tried to encourage more diverse and underrepresented groups to start community stations through its Low Power FM effort, but it has had its limits.

The program has helped spawn 1,500 stations with a reach of about 3.5 miles since 2000, including Riverwest Radio (RW 104.1) in Milwaukee. But there have been fewer opportunities in crowded urban radio markets, and anyone known to have pirated the airwaves is barred.

Charles Clemons Muhammad, who started an unlicensed Boston station for black listeners in 2006, is among those banned. The commission fined him $17,000, shuttering the station in 2014. He continues to broadcast online but must work to bring his older listeners with him.

“I did this to give my community a 24-hour voice,” he said.

John Nathan Anderson, director of media studies and journalism at Brooklyn College, said pirate radio remains a “medium of last resort when you have no other way to communicate broadly to a community.”

“A lot of people look at radio as dead,” he said. “But what we’re actually seeing in many respects is a renaissance of radio as it goes into its next 100 years.”

Belgium tourist boards latch on to cat craze on social media

Belgium’s tourist boards have latched onto a social media craze of cats that gave Brussels light relief during a tense five-day security lockdown in the wake of militant attacks in Paris.

Images of the city’s streets deserted as security forces hunted suspected Islamist militants have dealt a blow to Belgium’s tourism industry, with hotels reporting many cancellations.

When police on Sunday asked the public in Brussels not to share details of their operations on social media, Belgians took to tweeting each other pictures of their cats.

Capitalizing on the social media hit, Belgium’s three tourist authorities have now released a 20 second video film showing cats at Brussels’s landmarks such as the historic Grand Place or the Atomium, which they said was filmed at the height of the lockdown.

The video depicts cats dancing all over the city, some wearing black bowler hats or with green apples in front of their faces in a nod to paintings of the Belgian surrealist painter Rene Magritte.

In the background, a saxophone is heard, an invention of the Belgian Adolphe Sax. The original trend drew a warm response on social media, and the tourist authorities said they wanted to show how proud they were of Brussels and its residents for their good-humored response to the crisis.

Belgium’s capital has been on maximum alert since Saturday over the threat of a possible Paris-style attack. A coordinated assault in which 130 people were killed in Paris on Nov. 13 was claimed by Islamic State.

Brussels, home to the European Commission, reopened its metro system and schools on Wednesday, albeit with armed police and soldiers still patrolling.

“Tourism Flanders, Visit Brussels and Wallonia-Brussels Tourism are proud of the people of Brussels and wanted to give them an extra boost,” they said. “Their winking cats evoked great sympathy at home and abroad.”

On the Web…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AB6K7rWlG4 

At a Glance: Internet TV options

You’ve heard about Comcast’s new streaming video service. A glance now at the ever-changing viewer’s scape of Internet TV options.

COMCAST

Monthly price: $15.

Live offering: A dozen networks, including HBO.

On demand: Yes.

Restrictions: Internet customers only.

AMAZON

Monthly price: $8.25; only through $99-a-year Amazon Prime subscription.

Live offering: None.

On demand: Apart from original shows such as “Transparent,” offerings tend to be past seasons, plus movies. Next-day access to shows for $2 or $3 an episode.

Restrictions: Not available directly on Apple TV. Prime requires one-year commitment.

CBS ALL-ACCESS

Monthly price: $6.

Live offering: More than 90 markets.

On demand: Day-after access to shows on mobile devices (on traditional computers, it’s free without a subscription). Full seasons for many shows, not just past five episodes. Past seasons for a handful of shows, including “The Good Wife,” ‘’Survivor,” ‘’The Amazing Race” and “60 Minutes.”

Restrictions: No apps for streaming TV devices. Some sports blackouts.

DISH’S SLING TV

Monthly price: Starts at $20.

Live offering: About 20 channels, including ESPN, ABC Family, AMC and Food Network. No broadcast channels like CBS or NBC. Add-on packages for sports, movies, kids, lifestyles and world news available for $5 each and HBO for $15.

On demand: No recording of channels, though some offer older episodes, including HBO. Access to WatchESPN on-demand app, with others coming.

Restrictions: Can watch only one stream at a time, so members of households will need multiple subscriptions, although HBO content can be streamed on three devices at a time. DVR controls, such as pause and rewind, aren’t available for many channels. NFL blackouts on mobile devices.

HBO NOW

Monthly price: About $15.

Live offering: New episodes are available through apps about the same time they are shown on TV.

On demand: Current and past seasons of most HBO shows, including “Games of Thrones,” ‘’Girls” and “The Sopranos.” Hundreds of movies, including those from Universal, Fox, Warner Bros. and Summit.

Restrictions: Can subscribe only through a partner. Apple has exclusive deal among non-traditional distributors and requires Apple TV, an iPhone or iPad to sign up (you can then watch through a browser on other devices). Cablevision is the only pay-TV provider so far to offer HBO Now.

HULU

Monthly price: $8 for Plus, though many shows are free on Windows and Mac computers.

Live offering: None.

On demand: Next-day access to shows from ABC, NBC, Fox and CW, along with some cable channels. Some movies and original shows.

Restrictions: Fox and CW shows restricted to pay-TV subscribers for first week. ABC requires pay-TV or Hulu Plus subscription during that time. Plus also needed for viewing on mobile and streaming TV devices.

ITUNES

Monthly price: None.

Live offering: None, except for special events such as iTunes music festival.

On demand: Next-day access to shows for $2 or $3 an episode.

Restrictions: No Android devices. Apple TV is only streaming device supported.

MLB.TV

Monthly price: $20 (or $110 for full season).

Live offering: All Major League Baseball games, subject to hometown blackouts.

On demand: All games.

Restrictions: Lots of blackouts. Extra $5 a month or $20 for season to watch on mobile and streaming TV devices. Separate package available for minor-league games.

NETFLIX

Monthly price: Starts at $8.99

Live offering: None.

On demand: Apart from original shows such as “House of Cards,” offerings tend to be past seasons, plus movies.

Restrictions: Ultra high-definition (4k) streaming for $3 more, standard-definition only for $1 less.

NICKELODEON’S NOGGIN

Monthly price: $6

Live offering: None.

On demand: Games and activities created for service alongside archives of shows no longer on any of Nickelodeon’s TV channels. Aimed at preschoolers.

Restrictions: Available on Apple mobile devices only at first.

SONY’S PLAYSTATION VUE

Monthly price: Starts at $50.

Live offering: Base plan with CBS, NBC and Fox broadcast channels and cable channels from AMC, Discovery, Fox, NBCUniversal, Scripps, Turner and Viacom. Additional sports and other channels for $10 or $20 more. More than 50 channels in basic; more than 85 in all. Main omissions: CW network and Disney channels, including ESPN and ABC.

On demand: Recording capabilities with unlimited storage, though shows expire after 28 days. Many shows over the past three days are automatically available. Access to some channels’ on-demand apps.

Restrictions: Available in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles only. Up to three simultaneous streams in a home, but each must have a separate PlayStation 3 or 4, and only one can be PS4. Some content is available on an iPad app for out-of-home viewing, but a PlayStation is still required for set-up.

In Tech: Lifetime video service, Sprint’s new price plans

Fans of Lifetime’s melodramatic movies can now see them for $4 a month — without subscribing to cable.

Lifetime’s online video service is the latest move by an entertainment company to bypass the traditional cable bundle, which easily tops $70 a month. For example, HBO has made its shows and movies available online for $15 a month to people who don’t pay for cable, while Showtime has an $11-a-month service debuting this month. CBS and Nickelodeon also have Internet offerings that don’t require a cable subscription.

Subscribers to Lifetime’s service won’t get the regular cable channel, which has ads and is available on many cable and satellite lineups. Rather, the Lifetime Movie Club service will let viewers watch a rotating pool of movies, about 30 at a time, from Lifetime’s library of more than 300 films. They will be shown without commercials. The channel’s reality shows and scripted TV series won’t be available.

Lifetime has long been known for its movies about stalkers, affairs gone bad and thrillers based on juicy headlines. It has been trying to appeal to younger audiences with such movies as “Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B.” It also has reality shows like “Little Women: LA” and the dance show “Bring It.”

“Lifetime movies definitely have a long history but they’ve changed over the years. Some of our biggest events on Lifetime are the movies,” said Dan Suratt, executive vice president for digital at A+E Networks, which owns Lifetime as well as the History channel and A+E.

While other online video services such as Dish Network’s Sling TV are aimed at people who don’t subscribe to cable, Suratt said he expects the movie app to be “entirely complementary” to Lifetime’s TV channel.

Like many channels, Lifetime’s primetime viewership has declined this year, according to Nielsen.

The new Lifetime Movie Club service will work on iPhones and iPads, with other devices coming this fall.

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Sprint is introducing an “all-in” pricing plan, meaning a single, $80-a-month price that includes both a smartphone and a service plan for voice, text and unlimited data.

The new plan, though billed as simpler, won’t have many benefits for consumers. Prices for a Samsung Galaxy S6 and HTC One M9 won’t change, as it had been $20 for the phone and $60 for the service plan. An iPhone 6 plan will cost $10 a month more as Sprint gets rid of a promotion. These three phones are the only ones eligible, as they are among the most popular.

With the new pricing, Sprint is going back to how all wireless plans used to be sold. Until recently, phone companies routinely offered subsidies on phones in exchange for two-year contracts and made up for that in higher monthly fees. In the name of transparency, T-Mobile lowered the monthly service fees two years ago and started charging for the phone separately. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint followed on some of its plans.

Now, Sprint is returning to the old ways in combining the two charges.

There’s one big difference: Sprint is leasing the phone. Customers have to turn it in when upgrading or pay extra to keep it. With subsidies, customers own the phones outright and have no obligations beyond the two-year contract. That means a customer can resell the phone when upgrading or cancelling service.

In a statement, T-Mobile described the move as a “pushback against a trend that wireless users have overwhelmingly supported.” T-Mobile says separating the charges gives consumers more information to make better choices.

Sprint will still sell phones outright, though at higher monthly prices. Those options aren’t as prominent on Sprint’s website.

Sprint’s $80-a-month price doesn’t include taxes and surcharges, including a one-time $36 activation fee.