View Finder: Netflix does security and Fetch catches new channels

Nick Broughall 24 February 2017 NEWS

american gods

Plus American Gods gets a release date and Castlevania gets a poster.

When someone says Netflix, I bet you think more about Frank Underwood or Matt Murdock or even Kimmy Schmidt than you think about personal security. But strangely enough Netflix and security go hand-in-hand.

This week, the international streaming giant unveiled Netflix Stethoscope on its tech blog. Stethoscope is an open source web application that collects information about a users devices and offers recommendations to improve their own personal security, with the view that it will have a knock on effect for helping improve security for companies as well.

"That's all well and good," I hear you say, "But what does it have to do with me binge-watching 30 episodes of House of Cards in a couple of weeks?" Well, honestly it doesn't really, but it does give as a good insight into how the minds of the boffins at Netflix work.

The general approach with Stethoscope is that the software treats people like people, rather than just "cogs in the machine". Netflix hopes that by giving the freedom to people to do the right thing by informing them of potential security problems rather than mandating fixes, it can both improve security while maintaining employees autonomy.

Netflix has dropped the entire thing up on Github for anyone keen to play around with the tool. It may not help you squeeze in an extra episode of Stranger Things before you collapse in exhaustion after a long day, but it's still an interesting play for the streaming giant.

Let's Fetch again

I'm expecting big things from streaming Pay TV service Fetch TV this year. Last year, the company laid a solid groundwork by improving its hardware offering with the likes of the Fetch Mighty and the Fetch Mini, and now it's kicking off 2017 with a more comprehensive content offering.

That offering includes a complete rejig of its content packages, breaking down the entertainment pack into four "skinny" packs, which cost $6 a month each. To beef it out, the service has added an additional 10 channels to the service, including Disney XD and Cartoon Network. You can get everything for the discounted rate of $20 a month if that's your thing.

This is throwing down a massive challenge to Foxtel. Combined with the fact that Fetch lets you record all the free-to-air channels, as well as stream Netflix and Stan directly, having 49 or so linear channels for $20 a month (with no messy installation) puts Fetch well and truly on the front foot. It's going to be interesting to watch this play out.

American Gods gets an airdate

Neil Gaiman fans around the world are celebrating today with word that his iconic title American Gods is destined to premiere on 30 April on Starz in the US. We're still not 100% sure about where the show will land in Australia, but Starz does have an agreement with Stan in Australia, so fingers are crossed that we'll get the show fast tracked down here when it launches.

Castlevania gets a poster

netflix-castlevania
Netflix has unveiled the first poster for its upcoming Castlevania series. We're still a way off its actual arrival, but damn that poster is creepy. Fits the vibe of being "R-rated as f***", which was how producer Adi Shankar described the series to IGN.

This week in streaming

I don't know about you guys, but I'm super pumped to head home and watch I Don't Feel at Home In This World Anymore on Netflix tonight. It's probably going to be a nice shift from my House of Cards binge session, which is truly devastating my faith in humanity in today's political climate.


Each week, View Finder rounds up the latest news in streaming TV and movies for Australians.

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