Archive for March 2, 2017

Roku Ends Year with 1 Billion Monthly Streaming Hours

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 2, 2017 by itnerd

Roku today announced that 13.4 million active accounts streamed a record 1 billion hours of video and music in December 2016 and that Roku customers streamed a total of 9 billion hours in all of 2016. According to Nielsen, in December 2016, Roku accounted for 48 percent of active streaming players in the U.S. For the full year of 2016, the company experienced record growth resulting in nearly $400 million dollars in revenue. The Media and Licensing segment which includes content consumption and promotion, licensing, and advertising sales on the platform exceeded $100 million in high-margin revenue in 2016.

Roku continues to outpace other steaming players and smart TVs and is on pace to become the most popular TV operating system in the U.S. Roku offers consumers a highly engaging collection of 4,500+ paid and free ad-supported video streaming channels including 450,000 movies and TV shows. According to IHS, in 2016, Roku TV models accounted for 13% of all smart TV sales in the U.S., only two years into the program.

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#Fail: A Typo Caused AWS To Break The Internet

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 2, 2017 by itnerd

If you were wondering what caused AWS to break the Internet earlier this week. Wonder no longer. Amazon did a post mortem on the incident and here’s what they found:

The Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) team was debugging an issue causing the S3 billing system to progress more slowly than expected. At 9:37AM PST, an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended. The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems.  One of these subsystems, the index subsystem, manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region. This subsystem is necessary to serve all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests. The second subsystem, the placement subsystem, manages allocation of new storage and requires the index subsystem to be functioning properly to correctly operate. The placement subsystem is used during PUT requests to allocate storage for new objects. Removing a significant portion of the capacity caused each of these systems to require a full restart. While these subsystems were being restarted, S3 was unable to service requests. Other AWS services in the US-EAST-1 Region that rely on S3 for storage, including the S3 console, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) new instance launches, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes (when data was needed from a S3 snapshot), and AWS Lambda were also impacted while the S3 APIs were unavailable.  

That’s a lot of text. But here’s the part that is crucial:

At 9:37AM PST, an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.

In other words, a typo pretty much took down the Internet.

#Fail

Here’s the good news. AWS said it’s adding additional safety checks and ways to improve recovery times. A tool used to remove servers from the system will be modified to prevent someone from accidentally removing too much capacity at once. And by extension, they won’t be able to take down the entire Internet again.

‘Mafiaboy’ Teams Up With HP On A Documentary About Cybercrime

Posted in Commentary with tags on March 2, 2017 by itnerd

Canada’s most notorious hacker is Michael Calce. But you might know him better as ‘MafiaBoy’. When he was just 15 years old, he took down the websites of some of the largest companies in the world at the height of the e-commerce boom, causing an estimated $1.7 billion in loss.

Today he shares his story in association with HP and directed by Academy Award nominated director Huber Davis in a movie called‘Rivolta.’ In this documentary, Michael highlights how printers and other Internet-connected devices are one of the biggest weak links to data breaches for small-to-medium sized companies either and even Fortune 250 companies.

Here’s the trailer for ‘Rivolta’ which is coming soon: