I have a theory about why everything has gone wrong with the once-beloved, now-maligned Netflix. In simple terms: They were Scrooge McDuck, and they decided that they wanted to be the Beagle Boys — the gang of hoodlum bank robbers who conceive crazy schemes to rob Scrooge McDuck. One year ago, Netflix was practicing a grateful backstroke through a mountain of money. There was some trouble on the horizon, of course. Content providers were starting to create their own video-streaming services, and mailing DVDs was costly, and users would fly into a blind rage whenever the site slightly updated its interface. Scrooge McDuck constantly faces down threats from competitors like Flintheart Glomgold (Amazon Instant Video) or people who want to undermine his business model, like Magica DeSpell (Starz’ decision to remove its content from Netflix). There were ways to solve these problems. Netflix had an adoring constituency. Everyone you knew was watching Party Down. Your parents were starting to use “Netflix” as a verb. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Tech (91-100 of 855)
Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re wasting your time on Facebook. According to an earnings report that the beloved omniscient mega-corporation just filed in preparation for its Jupiter-sized IPO, Facebook had an average revenue per user of $1.21 for the first quarter of 2012.* That means you, Mr. or Mrs. Average Facebook User, have made just enough enough money to buy a couple packets of Splenda for the Facebook coffee machine — or it would mean that, if Facebook hadn’t long since replaced its coffee machine with a mute Vietnamese monk who serves the most perfect coffee in the world and has no eyelids. READ FULL STORY
How’ve you been, Kratos? After two years of rumors and speculation, Sony confirmed today that a new God of War game will be coming to the PlayStation 3. Called God of War: Ascension, the game’s blood-drenched trailer (see below) suggests that it’s a prequel set before the Spartan warrior became the ash-covered “Ghost of Sparta.” And that’s pretty much all we know at this point. A spokesperson for Sony did say that more game details would be revealed next week. Until then, let us toast to the return of Kratos, who was named one of EW’s 100 greatest characters of the past 20 years.
Check out the trailer for God of War: Ascension below. READ FULL STORY
Mark Zuckerberg apparently bought Instagram without notifying Facebook's Board of Directors -- report
Facebook has spent 2012 making the sort of big-money rollercoaster-tycoon moves that send the go-go ’80s Reaganauts on Wall Street into fits of gold fever, while more sober critics begin pondering just how inflated a bubble can be before it bursts. Just a few weeks away from the company’s presumably-massive IPO, Facebook announced that it was buying the retrogasm delivery system known as Instagram for a cool billion dollars. Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook CEO and fencing enthusiast Mark Zuckerberg closed the Instagram deal on his own, without alerting the board of directors. Zuckerberg apparently invited Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom over to his house, where they haggled over the price of Instagram. (Per the Journal, Systrom initially wanted $2 billion.) READ FULL STORY
Zooey Deschanel and Samuel L. Jackson are an unlikely pair, but iPhone endorsement has the power to unite them. Both actors appear in new ads that tout the 4S’s voice-recognition software. Siri helps the A-listers plan their persona-appropriate days: While the adorkable New Girl struts around in PJs, orders tomato soup from a darling establishment called the Cabbage Patch and has a one-person dance party, Jackson gets his seduction on with his electronic wingman and some ’70s smooth soul. See the ads below. READ FULL STORY
Something is always buzzing in the social media world, but this week Facebook’s $1 billion purchase of Instagram is the queen bee.
The deal between the social network giant and the quirky photo-sharing app has journalists, bloggers and the general mobile population (including 30 million Instagram users) overflowing with energetic opinions and questions about how Facebook plans to use its latest product, and what it means for the future of the little camera app that could did.
Why did Facebook purchase Instagram?
Any media savant will tell you that one of Facebook’s biggest struggles is with its mobile technology — notably on iOS — due to the massive amount of content offered and the clunky, inconvenient platform currently being employed to display it. “They realized that their mobile experience was just too cluttered,” said Nick Bilton, lead columnist for The New York Times’ tech blog. “Facebook has so many different services within the company that it takes 11 steps to take a photo and share it. With Instagram, it’s almost an instant process.”
One approach the company has started to take to rectify their mobile woes involves building out smaller apps — like the recently launched Messenger — which offer standalone doses of specific Facebook features. In the case of Instagram, and considering that photo sharing is the start-up bubble du jour — Facebook looks to have finally found a photo-sharing property that, coupled with other acquisitions, may be the missing puzzle piece of their mobile strategy. Tech pundit Om Malik’s opinion suggests far less amiability: “Facebook was scared s–tless… Facebook is essentially about photos, and Instagram had found and attacked Facebook’s Achilles’ heel — mobile photo sharing.”
NEXT: “The number to watch is really going to be Instagram’s audience”
Google announces 'Project Glass': At last, the virtual reality cyborg glasses we've been dreaming of!
Remember when Google announced that they had a super-top-secret technology laboratory that was going to finally invent the exciting future promised to us by Back to the Future Part II, as opposed to the annoyingly smartphone-infested Philip K. Dick-esque future we currently inhabit? Well, the company has finally started to follow through on the promise of Google X, thanks to a just-revealed piece of juicy tech couture. “Project Glass,” aka “The Google Glasses,” which looks like a fashion-forward version of Geordi La Forge’s visor and allows the user to view the world in RoboCop Vision. Using an Augmented Reality system, the glasses basically appear to function as a smartphone-free smartphone. The company just posted a demo video which shows all the fun things you can do with Google Glasses: Receive email, make phone calls, check in to food trucks, take pictures, agree to meet your weird friend Paul at the bookstore, loudly yell out “Where is the music section!?” in the middle of said bookstore, and keep track of exactly how far away from the bookstore Paul is while you’re presumably planning to strangle him or something. READ FULL STORY
Regardless of what the public thinks, Ashton Kutcher has a stamp of approval to portray late Apple founder Steve Jobs from at least one inside source. According to TMZ, Steve Wozniak, Jobs’ partner in founding the computer dynasty, is A-OK with the casting news.
“The fear that many might have is that Ashton was selected because he’s ‘hot’ right now,” said Wozniak, “but I feel that his selection was done in the most professional manner. And I’m glad that he’s on board. I think he’ll put a lot into it and that he cares about this particular subject.”
The indie biopic, from Swing Vote director Joshua Michael Stern, goes simply by the name Jobs and will reportedly follow the tech impresario’s transition “from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple.” It’s set to begin filming next month. READ FULL STORY
Angry Birds Space, the highly anticipated (by me, at least) third sequel to the massively popular, excruciatingly addicting, relationship-ruining Angry Birds franchise, launches into orbit today on iOS, Android, PC, and Mac.
The fourth iteration of the Birds’ vengeful odyssey against a clan of douchebag pigs sends the feathered heroes through a black hole and into the final frontier: zero-gravity space. Check out the expositional trailer below: READ FULL STORY
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