The current Netflix navigation system—scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll until you find something—can be a nightmare to use. But apparently it has plans to scrap that system in favor of an entirely recommendation-based system.
With over a million visitors a day, Megashare is one of the largest video streaming portals on the Internet.
The site operates from .sh and .info domains and has enjoyed steady growth since its launch in 2010.
However, out of nowhere, visitors were welcomed by a rather shocking notice on the site’s homepage this morning. Apparently, Megashare has plans to shut down due to trouble with its video hosting provider.
“Because there are problems with video hosting company, MEGASHARE is closing and not updaing new movies in future. Thank you for your support!” the announcement reads.
The abrupt decision comes as a surprise, and seems illogical for a site of its nature. Megashare doesn’t host any of the videos itself but relies on files from third-party sites such as Google, Putlocker and Sockshare.
Interestingly, a few days ago we published an article which revealed that Megashare was one of the streaming portals that used Google as video hosting provider. Whether this is related to the “video hosting troubles” is unknown.
In any case, users are not happy with the site’s decision and the site’s Facebook page and Twitter are filling up with people begging the site not to throw in the towel. Whether this will have any effect remains to be seen.
Bad news: Netflix will be hiking its prices for new subscribers. Per a first quarter letter to shareholders, CEO Reed Hastings says:
Our current view is to do a one or two dollar increase, depending on the country, later this quarter for new members only.
Hastings added that the $8 rate for existing customers will stand for a "generous time period." It will only be a dollar or two a month, which isn't much, but if you've been thinking about signing up for Netflix and you haven't already, now might be the time if you want to save a few bucks. Hastings hasn't mentioned when this is happening, just that it is going to happen at some point. We've reached out to Netflix and we'll update when we have more. [Netflix via The Verge]
VLC media player was one of the first open source platforms that managed to seamlessly integrate with the Linux/UNIX operating systems, although it started out as an academic project back in 1996.
Just as any open source platform, VLC doesn’t have a developing team of its own (or at least not in a traditional manner); instead, groups of people devoted to this media player are continuously coming up with new ideas, improvements, and proposals. Just as it happens, one of them had the brilliant idea of morphing VLC into a streaming platform for torrents. In other words, if the bounty offered by them ($10.000) for the person that can write such a code proves to be successful, you will soon be able to download and stream torrent files through the media player.
The project was made public on Elance.com just last week, and here’s what the announcement reads:
“The developer should submit a working patch for VLC that lets a user open a torrent file or ‘magnet link’ in VLC, and start watching any media files within VLC after a minimal delay.”
Jean-Baptiste Kempf, one of the most devoted coders for VLC (he’s been working on the project right from the beginning), told TorrentFreak that the thought of merging BitTorrent technology with the video player wasn’t really new. The problem, however, is that no one could come up with the right code.
“So far, all BitTorrent related modules for VLC have been of low code quality and have not been merged. We really care about code quality and maintenance, since we are not many in the VLC project,” he told TF.
“A BitTorrent module for VLC could be a fun idea, but it would need to match and behave correctly in our VLC architecture.”
Arvid Norberg, also a brilliant mind working with BitTorrent’s library (libtorrent), was drawn by this challenge and is willing to offer his full support:
“The main reason I’m interested in being in touch with whoever does it is because the streaming support in libtorrent is not all that well polished, and this seems like a good opportunity to be able to get some real testing of it,” he said.
“I think it’s pretty exciting, and parts of it could be somewhat challenging as well, such as tuning the streaming logic and user interface in a way to make it a solid user experience. Especially the case where the download capacity is close to or less than the bitrate of the media being streamed.”
If you think you can give a helping hand, don’t be shy and submit your ideas here.