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Super Mario Run
App Pick - Super Mario Run

Netflix hits 50 million US users

Netflix has passed the 50 million user mark in the US alone, which is a huge milestone. If you compare that to cable users (48.6 million) and satellite users (33.2 million) its a pretty impressive feat. Everyone else is lagging far behind when it comes to streaming and on demand systems and Netflix is pretty much the go-to service if you are giving up your traditional TV service. 

On a side note, as Netflix hit 50 million users in the US, 760,000 people in the US cut the cord on their cable service which is up significantly from 120,000 in the same quarter of the year previous.

Engadget has the full story.

If it wasn't already clear that Netflix has become a mainstay of the American media landscape, it is now. A combination of official data with Leichtman Research estimates shows that, as of the first quarter of 2017, there are more Netflix subscribers in the US (50.85 million) than there are customers for major cable TV networks (48.61 million). This doesn't make it bigger than TV as a whole (the figures don't include 33.19 million satellite viewers), but it's still a big milestone for a streaming service that had half as may users 5 years ago.

Also, internet-only TV subscriptions are playing a small role. Leichtman reckons that there are 1.36 million Sling TV subscribers, and 375,000 DirecTV Now members.

Why people cut the cord on cable

Every month or so there is a new study that polls people and asks them if they'll be cutting the cord from their cable provider in the next year. The folks over at TiVo asked the question just to people who've made the switch "why did you cut the cord?". Not surprisingly cost was a factor, I'm just a little surprised at how big of a factor it was. Poor customer service and quality of service were also factors but not the deciding factor. DSLReports has the story.

"37.1% of respondents spent at least $101 per month -- with some spending more than $150 per month -- on pay-TV services alone," notes the report, which indicates that this is a percentage of users that increased 2.3% quarter over quarter.

With a growing number of streaming alternatives emerging, and companies like Charter now blindly imposing rate hikes in utter tone-deafness to what should be obvious industry trends, there's every indication this pattern (both cable TV price hikes, and the subsequent defections by frustrated consumers) will only accelerate.

After price, the survey found that use of streaming alternatives (57.6%) and use of over the air antennas (32.5%) were the most common reasons given by users that cut the cord.

Alienware & Dell Bet Big on Threadripper

Dell and Alienware are betting big when it comes to AMDs Threadripper CPU. Alienware has two separate systems based on the new Threadripper CPU and is betting big that VR will start to really matter this year. In addition to Threadripper, they are putting some serious graphics power in their laptops with the GeForce GTX 1080 Max-Q. It looks to be a good summer for hardware.

Alienware and Dell head into this year's E3 with a triad of new PC gaming systems and components – high-end Alienware gaming desktops with new multi-core processor options, a full range of performance gaming monitors and peripherals with Alienware's signature design and a new Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop bringing VR to all. Alienware and Dell continue to demonstrate why, together, they have become a leading PC gaming brand worldwide with gaming solutions for players of all levels and budgets.

Source: PRNewsWire

5 Billion Mobile Accounts Globally

Wireless phones are ultra popular and it's amazing how many people rely completely on wireless devices - rather than a hardline. The downside is that networks can get congested, but the good news is that companies like Samsung are doing quite well. As of this week, there are now 5 billion active mobile subscribers globally. That means that only about 2 billion people (adults and children alike) are NOT connected. Zing!

Because of the relatively low subscriber penetration in India, the country is expected to lead the market growth with an expected 310 million new unique subscribers by 2020. By the same time, GSMA predicts the world will achieve 5.7 billion unique mobile subscribers.

Source: Neowin

Tesla SUV Nails Crash Rating

Tesla has had a rough time with some crashes being catastrophic. With all that Lithium inside a car, things can go wrong - and go wrong very quickly. Still, the good news on the horizon is that their latest SUV has actually received a full five stars - in every category of the crash tests. This is awesome and Tesla is in fact the only SUV to achieve 5-stars in all tests.

We engineered Model X to be the safest SUV ever, and today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced that after conducting independent testing, it has awarded Model X a 5-star safety rating in every category and sub-category, making it the first SUV ever to earn the 5-star rating across the board. More than just resulting in a 5-star rating, the data from NHTSA’s testing shows that Model X has the lowest probability of injury of any SUV it has ever tested.

Source: Tesla

Neflix Places Limits on Downloads

When Netflix finally allowed downloads for offline viewing, many of us rejoiced. Now it seems that they have imposed a limit of how many times you can download a particular media file. While they claim they aren't the ones setting the limit, it is important to know that you can only download the same movie about 4-5 times within a year. Those details are pretty fuzzy, but it seems that their is a limit and it could easily catch you by surprise.

Currently, all content downloaded from Netflix has an expiration date. After a certain amount of time, you have to "refresh" the download. Caching a video always counts as a download whether you're downloading on a new device or just refreshing an existing download. After a few downloads, some episodes and movies will pop up a warning that explains you can only download them one more time before a particular date (probably a year from the first download).

Source: AndroidPolice

Android App Pick #211 - Super Mario Run

We have just posted up another Android App Pick and this week we get our fast shoes on and get down with Super Mario Run. Unlike many other "run" games, this follows the classic Super Mario format and is a side-scroller. While there is a free version, the paid version unlocks the full game with no further micro-transactions required. Take a look and get in the game.

App Pick 211


Social Media is Harmful

Social Media is a lot like McDonalds. We all know it's not good for us, but there is something about those fries, yummy gossip and the desire for instant gratification when it comes to information. The reality is that it, in fact, is really bad for you. Social media is super addicting - like a real addiction for many people and harmful to your mind as the tendancy is to look for other for constant affirmation. Grow up and rely on your self - not others to tell you if you suck or not.

Most of us rely partly on the ability to reflect on our thinking, feeling and behaving to form our own self-image. The problem with social media is that self-image relies mainly on others and their opinions. A recent study found higher narcissism (an exaggerated self-image of intelligence, academic reputation or attractiveness) in millennial college students, compared with previous generations. This does not bode well for a society where self-reflection is key to making informed and balanced decisions.

Source: Phys

Far Cry 5 E3 Trailer

With E3 happening this week, there is a ton of game news and a plethora of game trailers. I have watched a few, but this one looks pretty interesting to me. Many trailers don't leave me wanting and wondering more, but this one sure does.


Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop Now Stateside

It appears that Dell has put together a pretty solid gaming PC across the pond and has now seen that there is a demand on this side of the big water as well. The Dell Inspiron Gaming Desktop starts at a mere $599 and uses AMD CPUs excusively, but graphic options are available from AMD and NVIDIA as well. If you don't want to build a basic - yet solid machine yourself, this may be a great way to get into the game.

First unveiled two weeks ago, Dell announced today that its Inspiron Gaming Desktop will be available tomorrow in the United States. The firm says that the device is built for "gamers seeking a competitive advantage at an affordable price".

Source: Neowin

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