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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap 349

jfruh (300774) writes Tech writer Tyler Hayes had never come close to hitting the 250 GB monthly bandwidth cap imposed by Cox Cable — until suddenly he was blowing right through it, eating up almost 80 GB a day. Using the Mac network utility little snitch, he eventually tracked down the culprit: a screensaver on his new Kindle Fire TV. A bug in the mosaic screensaver caused downloaded images to remain uncached.
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Bug In Fire TV Screensaver Tears Through 250 GB Data Cap

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  • by DarkOx ( 621550 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @09:50AM (#47368085) Journal

    Burn is a huge problem on plasma screens and there are still lots of those out there, there is NO WAY a set top box maker should be shipping something without a screen saver on by default!

    It would be nice if they had settings to turn it off if you wanted and maybe even send a CEC power off to the TV if you like, but at the very least set top boxes still MUST have a screen saver. Now in another 10 years when most of the plasma TVs have been put out to pasture, it will be a different story.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:2, Informative)

    by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @10:07AM (#47368241)
    infrastructure's expensive.
  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Informative)

    by e3m4n ( 947977 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @10:16AM (#47368309)

    you are already paying for this... SEVERAL times the goddamn major TELCO's lobbied congress for additional charges...


    these all exist so the FCC can give ATT more money to build broadband to every home. Yes the USF predates the 1994 telecom act and later laws, but its constanty evolving. The FCC, right this minute, is considering USF charges on your internet connection as well.

    the telcos got government permission to bill you and everyone else extra BILLIONS to build out an infrastructure that was supposed to provide 50Mbps connections to the homes. Instead they rolled out DSL (at the time 1.5mbps x 256kbps) which was a technology they already had and pocketed the rest. To this day you are still being charged these extra fee's for a buildout that was declared 'completed' years ago. []

  • Little Snitch (Score:4, Informative)

    by mindstormpt ( 728974 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @10:51AM (#47368629)

    The summary is obviously wrong: Little Snitch, as a local traffic monitor, was only used to rule out his Mac being the culprit. He got to the Fire TV by trial and error.

  • by nabsltd ( 1313397 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @11:13AM (#47368831)

    You can't have burn in when it's a blank black screen.

    LCDs use more power when displaying a completely black screen (since they have to charge the cell to have the crystals become non-transparent), and thus are more likely to get a dark image "stuck".

    Turn off the video signal to the monitor and let the power saver mode kick in.

    The problem is that a reasonable timeout that will provide you some sort of protection is way too short if the power to the display is truly being turned off. It takes my TV about 5 seconds to recognize that the video signal has come back, and it would be very painful if after two minutes (my screensaver timeouts on boxes I can configure) of pause, I have to hit some "do nothing" button to wake up the display so that I can then hit play and not miss anything.

    Also, if you have any of the auto-sensing video switches/receivers, it's a real pain when then source signal completely disappears, as the unit switches to the next input with a signal.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:5, Informative)

    by e3m4n ( 947977 ) on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @11:21AM (#47368885)

    That was its old use... havent you read up on the USF being applied to internet connectivity? It currently is only levied on interstate long distance. You do realize that in 2003 it was only 5% and now its 16.3% right?

    I know of one company scamming the USF right now. He claims its all legal, but he sells phone service to nursing homes. Why a phone company should be getting $4000 a month to deliver a single PRI to a nursing home is ridiculous, but he charges for a dedicated line in each and every room of the facility and only drops in a single PRI. The concurrent call count for all the rooms combined is maybe 6 including the nursing staff using the phones. So to defraud the government for all these 'lines' that dont really exist is insane.

  • Re:Why can't (Score:4, Informative)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) * <> on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @11:22AM (#47368895) Homepage Journal

    Meter internet connections are available, it's just that ISPs choose not to offer them because they want to label their products UNLIMITED* for marketing reasons.

    One of the biggest issues is that you can't control your downstream usage - if someone picks a random IP address allocated to a home users and floods it with traffic their monthly usage will rocket, even though their router drops every packet. People who use P2P apps discover that even though they closed the app other clients keep trying to connect to them and send them UDP packets, sometimes at a quite terrific rate.

    * Limited.

  • Re:It's 2014 (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 02, 2014 @12:46PM (#47369647)

    Since no one else has answered: FireTV has two screensaver options. The first rotates through preloaded images. The second allows you to point to an online album and it will use your pictures. He is obviously using the latter, but for whatever reason Amazon has it redownload the pictures every time.

"my terminal is a lethal teaspoon." -- Patricia O Tuama