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Briefly: AT&T Wi-Fi calling now live, Netflix increases subscription

10/09, 7:51am

AT&T enables Wi-Fi calling for iOS users on postpaid accounts

AT&T has enabled Wi-Fi calling for some of its customers, shortly after receiving a waiver from the FCC concerning some regulatory aspects of the service. Confirmed in a blog post, users on iOS 9 devices with a postpaid wireless account set up for HD Voice are now able to make their calls over Wi-Fi if cellular connections are unavailable. Users will be able to make and receive calls through their existing number over Wi-Fi, with no additional charges being applied on calls to US numbers.


Chicago 'cloud tax' on Apple Music, Netflix challenged by citizens

09/15, 10:49am

Tax affects Amazon Prime, Hulu, other services as well

Lawsuits have been launched in Chicago to combat the area's new "cloud tax," which hits users of Apple Music, Netflix, Hulu Plus, XBox Live, and other streaming services. The claim by the citizens alleges that not only does the tax violate the US Internet Tax Freedom Act, which is intended to prevent Internet-only taxes, but the city comptroller's decision implements a new tax by fiat, which otherwise would have required a wider city official vote, as well as public debate.


Briefly: Netflix plans expansion in Asia, KitSound Hive 2 ships

09/09, 9:43am

Netflix plans early 2016 launches in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea

Netflix has revealed it is bringing its video streaming service to more countries in Asia in early 2016, following its launch in Japan last month. The service will be surfacing in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and South Korea in the future, though Netflix has not offered a specific date for each country, but they will get a curated selection of popular TV shows and movies in HD and Ultra HD when it does go live.


Briefly: Hulu commercial-free option, Amazon Instant Video offline

09/02, 12:45pm

Hulu offers commercial-free subscription for $12 per month

Hulu has implemented it's rumored advertising-free subscription option to its streaming service. Priced at $12 per month, the new tier offers the same content as its standard $8 subscription but users will be able to watch shows without interruptions from commercials during the show itself, though TechCrunch notes pre-roll advertising for some shows will continue due to licensing agreements. The service advises that the existing $8 service will continue to show "fewer commercials than scheduled television."


Netflix losing major movies in September after not renewing Epix deal

08/31, 9:03pm

Epix licensing deal lapses as Netflix plans bigger original content push

Subscribers of Netflix in the United States will be seeing considerably fewer movies in the streaming service's catalog, as it has decided not to renew a five-year agreement with Epix. A number of major titles will be available until they are removed at the end of September, including Hunger Games: Catching Fire, World War Z, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, as Netflix works to expanding its roster with more exclusive content.


Chicago extends existing laws to tax online services 9 percent

07/03, 6:19am

Streaming services covering users in Chicago required to pay extra tax

Users of Netflix, Hulu Plus, and other streaming services in Chicago can expect to pay a higher subscription rate in the future, after the city changed laws. The "cloud tax" is effectively an extension of existing laws to add a nine-percent tax on streaming services and some other online platforms, which in at least one case will see the end price of services paid for by consumers in the city go up in order to compensate for the extra cost of business.


Briefly: Amazon Prime Instant Video HDR, Netflix gift cards in UK

06/26, 8:21am

Amazon Prime Instant Video starts streaming HDR content

Viewers of Amazon's Prime Instant Video in the United States can now watch some of the service's catalog in a high dynamic range (HDR) mode. The first shows in HDR, Mozart in the Jungle and the pilot of Red Oaks, can be watched on a number of Samsung Ultra HD televisions through the smart TV app, with more programs using HDR and ways to access them said to be on the way.


Briefly: Netflix for Marriott guests, PlayStation Vue on iPad

06/11, 7:04am

Marriott hotel starts rollout of custom Netflix app to hotel rooms

Guests of the Marriott hotel chain in the United States will soon be able to use their home Netflix accounts on the Internet-connected television in their rooms. Following tests earlier this year, the hotel has adapted the Netflix app so that users only have to log in once, with their account details wiped from the app at checkout. Six hotels will get the app initially, expanding to 100 properties by the end of this year, and to most Marriott locations before the end of next year.


Briefly: Audible audiobooks on Amazon Echo, Netflix Europe expansion

06/08, 7:21am

Amazon adds Audible audio support to Echo speaker

Amazon has updated its Echo network-connected speaker to work with Audible. Via voice prompts using the Alexa assistant or the Amazon Echo App, the speaker can start reading out Audible audiobooks to the user, with vocal commands allowing the book to be requested by title, paused, resumed, and to go forward or back 30 seconds. It also works with Whispersync for Voice, allowing listeners to pick up an audiobook from where they left off on another device.


Netflix denies third-party advertising coming to streaming service

06/02, 1:26pm

Tests showing trailers before Netflix shows prompts advertising denial

Netflix will not be bringing third-party advertising to its video-streaming service, the company has advised. Recent reports suggested that Netflix was testing putting in trailers for Netflix programming before and after shows being watched on the service, though the company has since spoken out denying it is considering bringing any revenue-generating advertising anytime soon, and it is just promoting its self-generated shows.


Briefly: Google Maps image insults Apple, X-Files HD hits Netflix US

04/24, 9:07am

Image on Google Maps depicts Android mascot urinating on Apple

Users of Google Maps may find an odd image if they search Pakistan. Team Android reports someone has inserted an image of the Android mascot urinating on the Apple Logo. While it is unlikely to be an addition by a Google employee, it is possible that the image was added as part of Map Maker, a system that allows users to submit edits to the map for inclusion into the main Google Maps service, with the insulting image possibly overlooked during moderation.


Netflix passes 60M paid subscriber milestone in quarterly results

04/16, 5:22pm

Over 40M Netflix subscribers in United States, $1.57B total revenue

Netflix has crossed the 60 million members barrier, the streaming service revealed in its latest quarterly results. Globally, it now has 62.27 million members in total, 59.62 million of which are paid, and reflects a quarterly increase of 4.88 million users. In the United States, total members reached 41.4 million, with paid subscribers nudging past another milestone, with 40.32 million subscribers.


Briefly: Netflix adds audio descriptions, Office Delve for mobile

04/14, 10:47pm

Audio Description tracks added to Netflix-produced shows

Netflix is making some of its content more accessible to the visually impaired, by adding an alternate "Audio Description" track to shows. Starting with the recently-released Daredevil today and reaching other Netflix-produced shows in the coming weeks, the extra option provides a narration track that describes scenes and important character attributes, such as costumes, facial expressions, and actions.


Briefly: Google Play Music expansion, Netflix adds more kids content

02/25, 10:17pm

Google Play Music expands track storage to 50,000 songs

Google Play Music has received an upgrade to its music storage component, allowing customers to keep more songs on its servers for streaming to computers and mobile devices. The music locker has increased its upper limit of 20,000 tracks to 50,000, double that of the paid iTunes Match service. Despite vastly increasing its storage capacity, the digital locker is still a completely free service.


Netflix launches streaming service in Cuba, keeps price at $8

02/09, 3:08pm

Video streaming service enters Cuba after US relaxes trade restrictions

Netflix is continuing its current strategy of fast expansion into new countries, by unexpectedly launching in Cuba. The video streaming service is being made available to residents of the country for the first time, following the recent easing of trade restrictions that have been imposed on Cuba by the United States since 1961, though potential users still have some obstacles in the way between them and watching House of Cards.


Weekly Game Replay: Nintendo video woes, Joystiq changes, Monopoly

02/08, 9:58pm

News from the gaming industry for the week of February 1

Every Sunday, Electronista and MacNN compile some notable news items from the world of gaming in a bumper post. In this week's edition of Weekly Game Replay, Nintendo's YouTube policy woes, a TV show based on Zelda, and some notable offline game items are overshadowed by the loss of one of the games industry's major news sources.


Data caps and preferred traffic get shot down in Canadian ruling

01/30, 2:52am

CRTC rules data caps can't be used to give an unfair advantage to carriers' own services

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) announced a decision on Thursday, acting on a complaint regarding data caps and preferred traffic. Wireless carriers Bell Mobility and Videotron both have their own subscription mobile television services, neither of which count towards the data caps written into subscribers' contracts, while competitor's services -- such as Netflix -- do, providing the carriers with incentive to sell larger data plans or favor their own offerings. With today's ruling, that practice must end.


Netflix financials reveal increase in viewers to 57.4M globally

01/22, 10:54am

Forecast for Q1 2015 places Netflix subscribers at over 61M

Netflix has grown its total audience by 4.33 million subscribers globally, the streaming service revealed in its financial results. The faster increase in viewers compared to the last quarter is reflected in additional subscribers for both US and international markets, 1.9 million and 2.43 million respectively, with the total Netflix audience hitting 57.4 million members.


Briefly: Drone 'drug mule' crashes, The Interview hits Netflix

01/22, 7:09am

Drone used to transport drugs across US-Mexico border crashes

A drone used to smuggle drugs between the United States and Mexico has crashed. The drone, a six-propeller craft, was found in a supermarket parking lot near the San Ysidro crossing carrying over six pounds of methamphetamine, according to the Associated Press. While Tijuana police spokesman Jorge Morrua did not say whether they had suspects for the drug trafficking attempt, he did advise that drones have been used for transporting drugs before, along with light aircraft and catapults.


Marriott tests Netflix, Hulu streaming to hotel room televisions

01/20, 7:25am

Test allows Marriott guests to use own Netflix accounts during stay

Travelers may be able to log into their own Netflix accounts from a hotel's television in the future, if tests performed by Marriott are successful. The hotel chain is trying out a new in-room entertainment service which would allow guests to view streaming content from Netflix, Hulu, and Pandora, as well as the usual on-demand TV services.


Briefly: Netflix on YouView in UK, online success at Golden Globes

01/12, 3:07pm

TalkTalk adds Netflix app to YouView set-top box

Netflix is being included on the YouView set-top box in the United Kingdom for the first time, giving viewers another way to watch shows from the streaming service. The TalkTalk-owned device will start rolling out to pre-registered customers initially, with Digital Spy reporting that the rollout is expected to continue to the end of the month, covering all 1.2 million TalkTalk TV homes.


Roku announces partnership plans: 4K streaming, Roku TVs

01/05, 9:49pm

Netflix, Haier, Insignia on board as partners; releases across the year

Entertainment streaming platform provider Roku made a number of announcements today at CES regarding Roku televisions and expanded HD content streaming. Roku will be partnering with television manufacturers Haier and Insignia to produce new HDTV models of Roku televisions, while NetFlix works on delivering 4K compatible content through Roku's platforms, and a previous Roku TV maker will focus on debuting a Roku 4K Ultra HD TV for the new year.


Briefly: Colbert Report in Street View, Netflix on Dish Hopper DVR

12/18, 6:16am

Google adds Colbert Report set to Street View using Business View

Google has recreated the set of The Colbert Report in Street View, in honor of the show's last episode. The virtual tour of the studio, including around the main desk and interview area, was created by Business View, a service which uses a Google-certified photographer or agency to take photographs at a location before generating the explorable 360-degree images.


Netflix caching for offline playback 'never going to happen'

12/17, 3:21pm

Offline caching a short term fix, claims Netflix executive

Netflix will not be allowing its users to cache television shows and movies from the streaming service for later playback, an executive has advised. In an interview, Director of Corporate Communications and Technology Cliff Edwards denied Netflix would offer offline storage of content, categorically stating "It's never going to happen."


Briefly: Netflix Twitter promotion test, Android OneDrive app updates

12/05, 10:31pm

Netflix tests original show marketing with reminder Twitter messages

Netflix is testing a new way to remind subscribers to watch their original shows. A custom card for upcoming show Marco Polo is being used on Twitter to promote the show, complete with a "Tweet Me a Reminder" button. According to The Next Web, the @MarcoPoloMP Twitter account will be sending a message to anyone who opts in to the service at 12:01AM Pacific Time on December 12th, with participants also receiving a custom video message from the cast.


Nielsen: TV viewing drops four percent from 2013, streaming booms

12/05, 7:53am

Average time spent watching TV in US lower, online viewing up 50 percent

The viewing of television shows in the United States via broadcasting has dropped in the face of streaming services gaining in popularity, according to Nielsen. The ratings company's third-quarter report claims the average American watches more than 141 hours of live television per month, or more than four hours a day, but the figure is a year-on-year four percent drop from last year's 147 average hours per month.


FCC Commissioner asks Netflix to answer ISP fast lane allegations

12/03, 12:30am

Pai questions development of Open Connect, believes cache devices could lock others out

A commissioner from the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is asking Netflix to answer allegations that it is touting net neutrality in one hand, while constructing Internet "fast lanes" with another, by December 16. Commissioner Ajit Pai issued a letter to Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, asking that the company reply to allegations that its development of Open Connect and decision to forego membership in the Streaming Video Alliance is actually helping tip the scales in its favor.


Billboard, Nielsen tipped to track streaming music, video services

11/20, 9:53pm

Billboard introducing streaming plays, digital sales into album chart

The way the popularity of content is measured may be seeing some changes in the coming weeks, both for audio and video. Billboard will start to include streaming and digital track sales as part of the Billboard 200 albums chart, while Nielsen is said to be preparing to track content watched through streaming services starting from next month.


Briefly: Netflix expanding to Australia, Ofcom plans 700MHz changes

11/19, 6:58am

Netflix launching video streaming service in Australia, New Zealand from March

Netflix is planning to expand its service to Australia and New Zealand from early next year. Starting from March 2015, the streaming video service will be available in the two countries, complete with 4K video playback with compatible devices, though The Next Web notes the inclusion of "a curated selection" in the announcement points to a more limited TV show and movie collection at launch than in other territories.


Verizon testing FiOS bundles with year of Netflix in NYC area

10/29, 11:19am

'Limited time promotion' sees Verizon, Netflix coexisting

Surprisingly given the public animosity between the two companies, Verizon has begun offering a year of video streaming service Netflix to some of its new customers. Customers who sign up for FiOS Internet and television bundles in the immediate vicinity of New York City are being offered the deal. Packages including a year of Netflix start at $80 a month and include a free year of Netflix.


Netflix comes to Ubuntu via Chrome, 4K video subscription cost hike

10/12, 3:18pm

Support comes from Chrome 37, $12 a month plan required for new 4K video subscribers

Linux users of the Ubuntu variety can now watch Netflix without hacks or workarounds. The ability to stream Netflix comes with the latest build of the Chrome browser for the operating system, for up-to-date Ubuntu users. Netflix also confirmed that subscription fees for users wanting to stream 4K Ultra HD video are increasing.


Briefly: Logitech's new wireless mouse, Netflix apps updated

10/06, 12:12am

Logitech releases wireless mouse with asymmetrical, curved form

Logitech has introduced a new wireless mouse, designed with a curved shape for a natural hand position. The M320 wireless mouse features an asymmetrical form, with a wide wheel for improved scrolling and an updated optical sensor for precise responsiveness. Though intended for wireless use, its Nano receiver allows users to elect using a cord; when used wirelessly, the mouse automatically enters a sleep mode when not in use to improve the duration of its battery charge. Available in blue, red, black and gray color options, the M320 wireless mouse is priced at $30.


Comcast accuses businesses of extortion for merger support

09/24, 4:17pm

Provider calls Dish Network, Discovery Communications, and Netflix out in FCC response

Comcast believes that a number of companies are trying to bully the cable and Internet provider in order to get favorable terms -- in exchange for their non-opposition of the merger with Time Warner Cable. In a response to the comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the proposed merger, Comcast claims that companies are engaging in a sort of blackmail to further their own business interests at the cost of the deal.


Briefly: Pebble firmware update, Netflix out in two more countries

09/19, 6:43am

Pebble Firmware version 2.5 adds iOS 8 support, emoji

A firmware update for the Pebble smartwatch range adds iOS 8 support to the device, among other new additions. Version 2.5 of the firmware also activates its compass features using its magnetometer, allowing developers access to the component, as well as reintroducing the Domo watch face and adding the ability to display emoji within notifications and messages.


Netflix comes to Germany with day-one support on many devices

09/16, 3:07pm

Includes Apple TV, Chromecast

Netflix has expanded into Germany, according to an announcement by the streaming video service. Plans start at €8 per month ($10.37 US) for basic SD streaming. Two simultaneous devices plus HD quality is €9 ($11.66), while four simultaneous devices with Ultra HD (when available) is €12 ($15.55). As elsewhere, each account can have up to four profiles, which can be age-restricted if need be.


Briefly: Netflix adds Post-Play to Chromecast, new Epson printers

09/09, 11:21pm

Netflix announces availability of Post-Play feature for Google Chromecast

TV and movie streaming platform Netflix has announced that its Post-Play feature is now available for use with Google Chromecast devices. Netflix "casted" to Chromecast is now capable of playing the next episode in a TV series automatically after the end of an episode. Customers using Android or iOS devices sending content to a Chromecast dongle can utilize this function as they already have been able to when viewing Netflix on their device alone. PC support is expected to be made available in the future.


Netflix formally objects to Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger

08/26, 11:31am

256 page FCC filing lays out case for rejection of merger

Video streamer Netflix has formally objected to the Comcast and Time Warner Cable merger, with a complaint filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) earlier this week. The streamer believes that the merger hampers consumer access to data, and "would set up an ecosystem that calls into question what we have to date taken for granted: that a consumer who pays for connectivity to the Internet will be able to get the content she requests."


Netflix signs interconnectivity deal with Time Warner Cable

08/20, 9:53am

Deal marks fourth major deal with Internet service providers

Netflix has signed a new peering deal, this time with Time Warner Cable. The deal now gives the video streamer interconnection deals with Internet service providers that cover about 68 percent of all the broadband customers in the US. Notably, the 32 percent it doesn't have deals with are smaller providers - largely carriers that have pro-net neutrality views, and haven't been found to limit or slow down Netflix traffic for users.


FCC looks into six more content providers, ISPs in peering probe

08/03, 3:51pm

Agency asks for interconnection agreements for understanding, regulation depends on discovery

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is looking into six additional Internet service providers (ISP) and content providers over interconnecting and peering agreements, according to reports. An official spoke to Ars Technica after it filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking information on the Netflix peering deals with Verizon and Comcast. The news comes after FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler announced in June that the agency would be investigating such agreements.


Netflix to give customers better speeds through AT&T peering deal

07/29, 8:13pm

Agreement dates back to May, but wasn't planned to be announced to the public

In the quest to give its users a better streaming experience, Netflix has reached an agreement with AT&T to gain a direct network connection. The two companies revealed that they entered into a peering deal after news broke from anonymous sources that the movie service reached another streaming arrangement. Previously, Netflix had worked out similar deals with Verizon and Comcast.


Netflix passes 50 million subscribers in US, posts $212 million profit

07/22, 9:25am

Company planning mass European expansion in September

Netflix is the latest company to release its quarterly financial results. Touting expansion to 50 million subscribers in the US, the company reports $1.15 billion in revenue from streaming, adding 1.7 million subscribers in a quarter. Profit came in at $212 million, nearly triple that of the second quarter of 2013.


Briefly: 'Post-Play' for Apple TV Netflix, Curio 9.1

07/21, 8:11pm

Netflix updates Apple TV channel, adds 'Post-Play' feature

Television and movie streaming service Netflix is updating its integrated app for Apple TV. Its popular web and iPad feature "Post-Play" has been brought to the Apple TV, allowing users a brief countdown once a show's credits begin rolling, followed by automatic playing of the next episode in a series - unless otherwise interrupted. AppleInsider has speculated that though the Post-Play feature was found on multiple Apple TV units during testing, it is likely that the update has yet to be fully released to all customers.


Briefly: Google Now reminders in search, Netflix privacy mode testing

07/21, 6:57am

Google Now reminders can be created via Google Search

Google is now allowing for the creation of reminders in Google Search. Similar to the vocal method using Google Voice Search and Google Now on smartphones, Google Operating System reports users can set a reminder by typing "Add reminder" or "Create Reminder" in the search box. A reminder card with extra settings will then appear, with a "Remind me on Google Now" link finalizing the notification.


Level 3 blames Verizon for Netflix stream congestion, offers to help

07/18, 10:44am

Verizon congestion fix claimed to be cheap, simple, completed in five minutes

The ongoing feud between Netflix and Verizon has stepped up, with a transit provider weighing in over Verizon's connection congestion claims. Level 3 claims the high utilization of the connection between Verizon and itself is Verizon's fault, as the Internet service provider is actively refusing to upgrade its connections at the point of the apparent congestion.


Verizon claims Netflix connections cause stream bottlenecks

07/11, 5:03am

Claims majority of Verizon network is stable, Netflix connections as weak point

The battle between Verizon and Netflix over connectivity continues, with Verizon completely refusing to accept any of the blame for slow streams. The latest feud installment involves a Verizon blog post claiming its network operations team found no congestion on the Verizon network in a recent review, laying the blame squarely at Netflix's connection decisions instead of with itself.


Netflix putting public API out to pasture in November

06/15, 2:05pm

Steaming service ending API to focus on other efforts, eight applications partner directly

Netflix announced last week that it would be ending its public API program in an effort to better focus their efforts internally. The company stated that any requests through the public API after November 14 will be unable to access any content. Netflix announced a year ago that it would no longer be issuing new API keys to developers, or accept new affiliates.


FCC examining continued Netflix problems with Verizon, Comcast

06/14, 11:50am

Peering deals seem to have little lasting effect on Netflix user speeds

After a bevy of consumer complaints were filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) against Verizon and Comcast regarding Netflix "throttling," the regulatory agency has begun looking into the problem. The FCC demanded, and has received, the terms of peering deals that Netflix made with both Internet giants, and will examine the issue to see if there is anything that can be done on behalf of consumers.


Netflix attacks Verizon shifting blame over ISP congestion warnings

06/12, 4:09pm

General counsel for Netflix sets congestion blame squarely with Verizon

The war of words between Netflix and Verizon over Internet service provider (ISP) performance issues is continuing, a new leaked letter reveals. A response from Netflix General Counsel David Hyman to his counterpart at Verizon firmly pins the connection blame on the ISP, after receiving a cease and desist letter over Netflix's congestion warning messages.


Netflix Verizon congestion message was a 'small scale test'

06/09, 4:54pm

Verizon drops places in latest Netflix speed rankings

Netflix will soon stop its customized error message warning of issues with specific Internet service providers (ISP), the video streaming company has advised. At the same time as releasing ISP speed results for May, Netflix states it will stop the customized notifications when its "small scale test" concludes on June 16th, before deciding whether or not it will extend the practice to other markets and ISPs.


Briefly: OTA update for Tegra Note 7, Netflix Android app update

06/07, 11:39pm

NVIDIA's Tegra Note 7 tablet OTA update includes streaming of Netflix in up to 1080p

Nvidia's Tegra Note 7 tablet has received an OTA update, allowing for streaming of Netflix HD content up to 1080p on the device. The Tegra Note 7 tablet features a seven-inch HD display, with enough battery capacity for up to 10 hours of video streaming. The tablet is one of the first Android devices available that can stream Netflix in high-definition. Available with a 16GB storage capacity, the Tegra Note 7 is priced at $200.



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