• On April 19, Netflix launched all 13 episodes of Hemlock Grove, a horror thriller from Eli Roth.  In Netflix’s quarterly report they stated “We’re very pleased with its early performance. Hemlock Grove was viewed by more members globally in its first weekend than was House of Cards and has been a particular hit among young adults.” This caused Netflix stocks to rise very heavily.  Putting Netflix stock at a high it had not seen in sometime since the huge drop after the whole quickster debacle a few years ago. So far more people have watched the new supernatural show than the political drama House of Cards.  Hemlock Grove along with House of Cards, clearly shows the company’s desire to be a media player similar to HBO and Showtime. It appears that Netflix’s original content strategy is paying off, with more than 3 million new subscribers signing up last quarter. That brings Netflix’s total membership to more than 36 million members. Netflix’s next original content offering is a new season of the cult comedy TV show Arrested Development. All 15 episodes of that series will be available on May 26.  Netflix original programming will also add ‘Orange is the New Black’ on July 11th.
  • Commercial video games have been on the market for a considerable amount of time now, and there’s a good chance that anybody under the age of 30 was exposed to home video game systems during their youth. While advanced, high-quality computer games took a few more years to develop, they’ve been around for a quite some time as well. Traditional video game systems and computer games are still very much alive. In fact, there is some evidence that certain segments of the video game market are actually growing; however, there’s a new player on the scene that they’re already competing with: free online games.  Why Are People Playing Online Games? One reason some researchers believe that people are playing more online games is because they’ve come to accept advertising as part of their gaming experience, and they aren’t bothered by ads that interrupt gameplay from time to time. Ad-based services like these are popular in other areas of media of well – sites like Hulu, which offers streaming television shows for free, does the same thing. When asked why they play free online games, the responses are typical – for mental stimulation and to relax. Those are pretty much the same reasons people provide when asked why they play traditional commercial video and computer games. Online Games are Profitable for Companies Making Them Traditional videogames and computer games often take years to develop. In addition, they can be incredibly expensive; however, online games don’t cost nearly as much as they don’t offer the use the same depth. After all, the person playing the game isn’t spending $50-plus for the game, so this is acceptable. Companies developing online games also don’t have to take the risk of investing millions of dollars in the production of a game to have it not...
  • May 4, 2013

    Netflix Loses Almost 1,800 Titles

    Netflix users will see nearly 1,800 titles disappear from the video streaming service.  The video streaming service is losing titles from MGM, Universal and Warner Bros. because its licensing agreements with the movie studios have expired.  Classic movie titles like “Dr. No,” “Goldfinger” and “Thieves Like Us” will no longer be available for Netflix instant streaming. Netflix titles have a tendency to come and go from the service, and are rotated out if they are not watch frequently enough.  Netflix will add more than 500 titles May 1, but we also have titles expiring, this ebb and flow happens all the time. This isn’t Netflix’s first major loss of content. In 2012, Starz let its licensing agreement with the video streaming service expire and Netflix lost another 800 hours of programming from the History Channel and A&E Nexflix says losing the titles won’t hurt its business because it doesn’t want to be a clearing house of rentals. Netflix goal is to be an “expert programmer,” not a “broad distributor” of online content.
  • The ESEA gaming network has been exploiting its users’ powerful graphics cards to mine Bitcoins without their knowledge. “Mining” is the way Bitcoin is created — it involves dedicating some or all of a CPU or GPUs power to solving hashes, which in turn generates the virtual currency. The mining began on April 13th and affected thousands of gamers, who unwittingly mined over $3,700 worth of the currency. ESEA, which describes itself as “the largest competitive video gaming community in North America,” wasn’t aware that the Bitcoin mining was taking place, and blames the behavior on a rogue employee out for personal gain. The full story on how and why the Bitcoin-mining software made its way to users’ computers isn’t yet available, but ESEA had been exploring the idea of adding a Bitcoin mining option to its client. The idea was canned on April 12th, but the next day, the rogue employee secretly distributed the code without permission. The code, which was embeded in the ESEA client, used the gamers’ powerful computers to mine the virtual currency without their knowledge.
  • March 13, 2013

    Netflix Gets Social With Facebook

    Starting today, Netflix streaming members in the U.S. can link their Netflix account to Facebook. The new Netflix/Facebook integration lets Netflix members see what their friends have watched by adding new “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by your friends” rows to Netflix. Members also automatically share what they watch only within Netflix and can optionally share what they’ve watched to Facebook. All U.S. Netflix members will have access to the social features by the end of this week. The way was paved for today’s launch in January of this year, when President Obama signed the new Video Privacy Protection Act into law, after it successfully made its way through Congress late in 2012. The timing couldn’t be better for Netflix, however, since it has just launched its own original programming with the debut of “House of Cards”, and will deliver four more original shows by summer 2013
  • March 5, 2013

    Pandora Limits Free Streaming

    Pandora users who listen to the free streaming music service on their mobile devices will now be limited to 40 hours per month.  The online music streaming company announced it will begin charging those who exceed the 40-hour limit have to pay 0.99 cents to continue their service for that month, or subscribe to the premium service, which features unlimited music and is advertising free. Users will also have the option of listening to unlimited listening via desktop.  Users will receive a warning when they near their limit. Pandora, which eliminated a similar listening limit for desktop users in September 2011, blamed increasing royalty licensing costs for the mobile cap’s introduction.  Pandora’s per-track royalty rates have increased more than 25% over the last 3 years, including 9% in 2013 alone and are scheduled to increase an additional 16% over the next two years. The change will affect less than 4% Pandora’s total monthly active listeners.  For perspective, the average listener spends approximately 20 hours listening to Pandora across all devices in any given month.  Pandora founder Tim Westergren made the announcement on the company blog.
  • February 28, 2013

    How to Determine Your Cloud Usage

    Cloud adoption rate is at all time high right now. Irrespective of sizes and industry, enterprises are embracing cloud based technology for leveraging business by adding dimensions of flexibility, portability and agility to it at reduced cost of IT. Cloud now offers commercial solutions for data storage, developments and testing without additional costs of hardware and infrastructural modernization. It has liberated organizations from expensive licensed software, hosted in internal servers. With as a service solutions hardware and infrastructural expenses are born by the service provider, who is also responsible for upgrading the levels of available services in a timely manner for the benefits of users. Cloud is also flexible, which means that the capacity can be increased or decreased as required. So, adding new users is relatively easy for hosted services. Further, cloud services are accessible from any part of the world – a desirable advantage for modern global organizations. Nonetheless, it can also prove expensive if its usage isn’t monitored the right way. Your cloud performance will be measured on two parameters: Return on Investment (ROI): It is based on up-front calculation of business needs, organizational maturity, data control requirements, regulatory considerations and measurements of benefits against costs associated. Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): It measures the direct and indirect costs associated with cloud adoption. It helps determining your cloud performance. The costs of cloud adoption can increase by leaps and bounds if not monitored the right way. The complexities of services offered and multi-vendor situation often make it difficult to measure cloud usage of an organization. Moreover, many organizations aren’t sure of how to optimize their cloud capacity. If you are planning to adopt visualization in your organization you’d need a clear cloud strategy. Your success will depend upon successful determination of your current requirements and successful prediction...
  • February 27, 2013

    House Of Cards Success For Netflix

    Netflix’s second original series House Of Cards which is based on a novel by Michael Dobbs and stars Kevin Spacey, Robin Wright and Kate Mara is doing great for Netflix.  Netflix took a big gamble spending over 100,000,000 dollars to buy the series and make it a Netflix original series.  Netflix has often times said to be a major player with HBO, Cinemax and Starz they needed original content. 86% Of Netflix Users Say ‘House of Cards’ makes them less likely to cancel their subscription.  Numbers have shown 36% percent called the series “exceptional,” while 43% deemed it “good.” Moreover 1 in every 10 users has watched an episode making House Of Cards the most watched show on Netflix. Unlike a traditional network, Netflix released all 13 episodes of House of Cards’ first season at once, so customers can stream them on their own schedule. With DVR usages becoming more and more prevalent Netflix though this was a good move, and it has been data has shown many people are doing marathon watching of this show. Many people including myself enjoy the technology references to blogging, paper print dying, and Twitter.  The show is wonderful and I have enjoyed the few episodes I have watched all we can hope for is a season two.
  • Kim Dotcom announced Saturday on Twitter that Mega will have Bitcoin support he also announced that Mega will support Email, Chat, Voice, Video and Mobile in the coming years.  Kim reemphasized his company’s commitment to privacy, while also suggesting that Mega is uniquely positioned in New Zealand to safeguard user data.   Kim cautioned against using U.S.-based servers and email providers calling out Gmail, iCloud and Skype, because the American government can demand access to user data, he said. Mega now accepts bitcoin via reseller Bitvoucher.  If you head to, you’ll see three ways to buy Mega services with Bitcoin. There are three monthly options and three yearly options (no refund or exchange for any): Mega Pro I: 500GB of data storage and 1TB of bandwidth for 0.5184 Bitcoin per month or 5.1888 Bitcoin per year. Mega Pro II: 2TB of data storage and 4TB bandwidth for 1.0373 Bitcoin per month or 10.3781 Bitcoin per year. Mega Pro III: 4TB of data storage and 8TB bandwidth per month for 1.5563 Bitcoin per month or 15.5674 Bitcoin per year. Bitcoin is a decentralized digital currency, currently the most-widely used alternative to common forms of money. Because it has no central issuer, it has no single authority and thus no way to lock out certain users (or countries) out of the network. Bitcoin can be used to pay for certain transactions both offline and online. Mega supporting Bitcoin makes perfect sense. Doctom’s company wants to distance itself from governments as much as possible, and a virtually untraceable payment method is an excellent way to do so.