DirecTV Now and Cyber Monday Issues

directv-now-channelsOn Episode 332 of The Waves of Tech, we dive into the inner working of AT&T’s newest streaming TV subscription service called DirecTV Now.  DirecTV Now will offer traditional media content to new subscribers at a reasonable cost with fewer programming options.  Black Friday and Cyber Monday are gone but the holiday season is still upon us.  We share tips and tricks to stay safe online this shopping season.  In addition, we share the story of Macy’s Black Friday fiasco.  And finally, a transit authority in the Bay Area was hit by a ransomware attack that allowed riders to ride free for nearly one day and costs the authority $73,000.  Enjoy the podcast and continue to ride…the waves of tech!


AT&T’s DirecTV Now

AT&T announces their newest streaming TV subscription service and it’s called DirecTV Now.  After the acquisition of DirecTV a few years ago and Time Warner this year, we are now seeing the culmination of their efforts.

  • DirecTV Now offers four levels of subscription service and included hundreds of channels
  • “Zero rating” which means AT&T subscribers can stream from the service to their smartphones and tablets without tapping into their wireless data plans
  • The cost of service is kept down through highly targeted advertising model
  • DVR-functionality is expected to be available in 2017
  • Offer original programming from trending artists and stars in the business

Cyber Monday & Safe Surfing

Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping is stressful.  Add to that the threat of identity theft, credit card fraud, and email scams, our stress levels escalate.  Here are some safe surfing tips this holiday season.

  • Be cautious and aware of email scams offer better than usual holiday discounts
  • Don’t click through on email deals, rather go directly to the website
  • Be sure your security systems are up to date on your PC, Mac, and laptops
  • If you suspect a scam or issue, leave the site immediately
  • Check with friends and family as they may have heard of fraudulent actions and schemes

Macy’s Website Crashes

Black Friday is not the day you want your website to suffer from web traffic management issues, as companies lose nearly 4% of sales per hour when customers cannot access your site.  That exact thing happened to Macy’s and others this last Friday.

  • Macy’s forced customers to refresh every 10 seconds to gain access to their site
  • Customers drew frustrated and either left site or heady to social media to vent
  • Web traffic issues hit e-commerce and brick-and-mortar companies
  • Other sites, like William-Sonoma, had longer load times creating frustration to visitors
  • Web traffic management seems to be an issue year in and year out

San Francisco Transit Struck by Ransomware

Last week, the San Francisco Municipal Transport Authority was hit by ransomware and forced to pay $73,000 of bitcoin to a Russian hacker.  Here are some details.

  • The attack hit 2,000 of the 8,600 computers managing the transit authority
  • Commuters rode for free as ticket kiosks and other systems were attacked
  • Despite the progress, hackers and ransomware seem to be one step ahead most times
  • Experts suspect phishing tactics were used, making employees unknowingly introduce code to the network of computers through a phony website or an email
  • Profit margins are thin in transit so this affects their revenue cycle


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