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publié le 29 janvier 2018 Beauté › Boxs Beauté

Back in October Cisco moved to take control of the 1Mainstream assets, just a few months after Sky had put its last tranche of cash into the fledgling OTT start up and it looks now like Sky saw the chance to take control of its underlying OTT technology by partnering with one of its all-time favorite technology firms.Remember Cisco bought NDS for $5.0bn in 2013, a company which had been hived off only a year earlier from 21st Century Networks, and which originally had its relationship with Sky in the UK, managing encryption for it.Cisco bought 1Mainstream in October last year, not only to please Sky, but also because it needed a more flexible, more recently written, end to end OTT system.1Mainstream has always written pure iOS, Android and TV apps, and has existing DRM relationships with Widevine and PlayReady, and already plugs into multiple CDNs. It comes with its own subscriber management and entitlements databases, and offers an online promotions system and its own CMS based analytics engine. In the past, it has worked with Envivio encoders although Sky is now pretty much exclusively Elemental, and it uses the Wowza streaming engine, and offers support for the Freewheel programmatic advertising system.

1 Mainstream was acquired by Cisco alongside (in the same week) ParStream, a big data analytics firm, and Lancope, a cloud security firm, but we’re not sure if either of those are significant to OTT delivery.Prices of the OnPrime services vary from the lowest at around £8.99 ($11.50) in Hindi, to £17.99 ($22.75) and each come with a free month trial. We suspect now that Sky will partner with local MNOs and operators to do the marketing on these, in operator partnerships right the way across Europe and even beyond. It is even possible that Sky could engineer their sale in the US, although we imagine that such a move would come directly from Fox.In the meantime, the UK’s BBC has teamed up with the UK independent broadcaster, ITV to bring a British based service to US viewers, based on much the same logic. They are calling it Brit-Box, and it is advertising-free, paid SVoD, which will launch early next year. AMC Networks, which operates BBC America in the US, as a joint venture with BBC Worldwide, is likely to take the lead in bringing this to US viewers. BritBox will make British TV available as soon as 24 hours after being first broadcast in the UK.

On-call Welcome again to On-Call, our weekly column in which we recount readers' tales of jobs gone wrong, often at times or for reasons that are just plain wrong.This week, meet “Aaron”, who once worked for a construction company he says “didn't need in-house IT but had delusions of grandeur and so employed me.”The company had just one server and about 30 users. Aaron says “most were former builders and mostly clueless when it came to technology.”“One such user had climbed the ranks from bricklayer to contract manager and was constantly finding fault with IT where there was none. Then one day he came in to the office declaring that he could solve all of his problems. He had seen something on TV that he claimed would make him much more efficient.”“Said item was the IBM Transnote, which our very own Lucy Sherriff covered at the time of its launch in the year 2001.

It has a digital notepad attached, for making handwritten notes. IBM says that the digital pad can be used to fill in customised forms so will be marketed at industries where there is a lot of form filing - for example, insurance firms. "Anywhere where there is a lot of duplication," an IBM spokeswoman said. Lucy quoted the price of the machine at £2,059. Aaron remembers that price tag as rather excessive at the time, so when the chap asked for one “I laughed and said that there was no chance of us purchasing this for him.”But this user had leverage and “the call came from above that he absolutely needed this and we were to order it in immediately.” So Aaron swapped it for his perfectly functional laptop and got on with other things.Until a couple of months later when “the magical machine was placed before me with the claim that it was faulty and its fan must be broken as it was so noisy.” Aaron was pretty sure the user just couldn't figure out how to work IBM's magic digital notepad, but assured the user he would take a look at it immediately.Two weeks later Aaron told the user he'd sent the machine to IBM for repairs. But it was really still on the shelf.

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But the many disadvantages of the Tandy 200 included slow operation, a liquid crystal screen that was hard to see, and minimal storage capacity. Articles which had not yet been used by the paper - and could therefore still go astray - had to be deleted to make room for the next one.It was tempting, then, to contemplate the next generation of portables. They had virtually limitless memory compared with the Tandy, their backlit screens were easy on the eye and they ran much faster. But they were power-hungry: they had hard disks and built-in fans to keep the works cool, not to mention fancy software such as Windows. They needed heavy nickel-cadmium battery packs, but could not do without mains power for long.If you avoided using the hard disk too often, and switched off the machine while you thought, a battery pack could last four hours. That might seem plenty of time to finish one's work, but it was never that simple.Unless nickel-cadmium batteries are charged up fully, then drained fully, they lose their ability to retain any charge at all. Short of carrying a battery charger and spare packs, the peripatetic computer-user sooner or later has to use the mains to power the machine in the middle of a work session, with the kind of consequences described above.

Enter the next generation of portables, which attempt to return to the virtues of the Tandy 200 while retaining the advantages of its successors. My Hewlett Packard Omnibook 300 weighs 3lb, eschews backlighting and uses 'flash card' technology, which requires scarcely any power, instead of hard or floppy disks. The small nickel-metal-hydride battery pack can be partially recharged without ill effects and can keep running for five hours. And it can run on four AA batteries as well.But the main reason for giving up on portables was last year's launch of the Amstrad NC100 Notepad. This is the size of a skinny A4 road atlas and uses four AA batteries which give up to 20 hours of use, foregoing the need for frequent traipsing to the Ladies in search of a hairdryer socket for recharging purposes. This activity becomes vital when your computer's four-hour battery gives up after two hours and ten minutes, a fact of computing life always overlooked by computer designers.The Amstrad can take the punishment meted out by casual transportation in my shoulder bag, where it jostles with a small tape recorder and a Swiss Army knife. The pruning attachments in the knife were once needed to repair fingernails brutalised by the short-travel keyboards of laptops and notebooks, but it is no longer needed as the NC100 is blessed with a decent full-size keyboard. This has knobbles on the 'home' keys, put there to tell you that the NC100 is not a toy in spite of its Fisher-Price appearance.

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And I can even work the Amstrad without recourse to those multicoloured 'dumbo' keys. Once you have got the hang of the thing the red, yellow, green and blue function keys serve only to remind you of how computer-illiterate you were: 'To use the word processor, press Yellow and Red, stupid.'The NC100 is ludicrously easy to get started as it does not require you to undergo the tyranny of learning Dos or Windows - the PC-compatible operating systems - before you can write your first letter. It even prints to almost anything you can find that fits the sockets on the back. This is How Computers Should Be.The Amstrad stores up to 150,000 words at a time on its one megabyte PCMCIA storage card. This card is battery-backed and removable and one card can carry the manuscript of a full-length book. These devices are the size of a Barclaycard and less of a liability than floppy disks.When the computer world eventually catches up with the Amstrad, I will be able to buy a PCMCIA Card Drive to grab the data from the cards directly - at the moment I need a null-modem lead to transfer data to the PCs and Macs I use whilst deskbound. And the computer knows just enough about communications to be able to send and receive text documents via the telephone, so a small battery operated modem lives alongside it.

I did dally recently with a Dell 325SLI notebook PC and for a while was besotted with its VGA screen and slim-line looks. But the Amstrad is much closer to the ideal machine for a peripatetic scribbler as it does not have a hard disk to suffer the slings and arrows of daily misfortune. Previous experience confirms that hard disks and mobile authors only work well together until the day after the warranty expires. Then all is irretrievably lost as a matter of course.Naturally, the NC100 lacks some features. It does not have a 120-megabyte hard disk, there is no spreadsheet for charts of accounts and it does not run Windows.Nor does it have a VGA colour display and it consequently does not impress people on trains. This is extremely useful as I can work away undisturbed without some suit leaning over my shoulder proffering advice on Windows Swapfile settings. The Amstrad has zero street cred. People leave you alone when they find out you have one.To celebrate its splendid non-standardisation, the NC100 has the words 'User Friendly' printed above the screen in small affable letters. If you decide that you do not agree after five minutes of use, then Alan Sugar will give you your money back, no questions asked. This is the sort of heavyweight guarantee that should come with all computers, regardless of size.

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