Internet & Websites News - Page 1
Netflix has been playing around with its ad-supported plan for 12 months now, taking in a considerable amount of feedback from users and its partnership with Microsoft Advertising, and its continuing to evolve the ad-supported tier with downloads in the coming days.
The streaming giant published a new article explaining its last year in Netflix ads, where it's pointed out that it's enhanced the member experience with upgraded features within their ads plans to include 1080p versus 720p video quality, two concurrent streams, and now downloads will be available "by the end of this week".
Netflix says that every member of their ad-supported plan will be able to download their favorite TV shows and movies, which will make Netflix the first -- and only -- ad-supported streamer to offer downloads. On top of that, the streaming company explained that starting in Q1 2024, their advertisers across the planet will be using their new binge ad (wt) format that has been analyzing the behavior of watching multiple episodes in a row. We'll see streamers enjoying 4 episodes in a row without ads versus the 3 in a row after which you're presented with an ad. That changes in the coming months.
Elon Musk has told us that X - or the social media site formerly known as Twitter, as we prefer to call it (well, it's snappier) - will be getting two new tiers of premium subscriptions.
As per Musk's tweet, one subscription tier will be pricier, but won't have any adverts, and the other will be cheaper (than the existing $8 plan) and will sport all features, but with no reduction in ads compared to the current level. (The $8 tier will halve ad numbers).
In short, denizens of X will have three choices of how they wish to pay - if they wish to pay a subscription at all.
Netflix has just announced some price hikes to its Basic and Premium subscriber plans while keeping the prices of its ad-supported and Standard plans the same as they are now. The last monthly subscription price hike was in early 2022, so it's been a good while since Netflix increased its prices.
Netflix butchered its Basic plan earlier this year, but will now (as a grandfathered customer) cost you $12 per month -- up from $10 per month -- while the Premium subscription is now $23 per month, up from $20 per month. The ad-supported and Standard plans will remain the same, at $7 and $15.49 monthly, respectively.
Recently, the streaming giant cracked down on password-sharing, which seems to have resulted in more monthly subscriptions. Netflix has reported 247.15 million subscribers, which is a chunky 10% annual increase. Netflix also reported a paid net subscriber addition of 8.76 million for Q3 2023, the biggest increase of the year in fact.
If you've ever managed to misspell something in a post on the X social network and then cursed the fact that you can't edit the post, you're going to like what Mark Zuckerberg has just announced about Threads. That's the X competitor owned by Meta, the company Zuckerberg heads and it's just added an edit button to help people who just can't seem to get things right the first time.
Sure, you can edit posts on X if you're an X Premium subscriber, but few people seem to be willing to pay the money needed to get in on the act. And if all you want to do is edit typos the X Premium subscription seems a bit pointless. However, over on Threads, you'll be able to edit posts for free. No subscription required. Everyone can do it.
Are you watching, Elon Musk?
Reddit is changing the way it works in terms of the adverts the platform serves up to users, specifically making it so that some folks won't be able to opt out of targeted ads being served based on their activity.
A bunch of changes are coming in, as announced by Reddit's global head of privacy and assurance, Jutta Williams (well spotted, The Verge).
The controversial bit, though, is that at least for some regions, Reddit is going to remove the choice to not have adverts personalized based on what you do on the platform.
Popular review and tech YouTube media company Linus Tech Tips is in the midst of some pretty severe controversy at the moment, sparked by its poor handling of putting together a water-cooled PC using a prototype of a Billet Labs' Monoblock, which then exploded to include countless examples of inaccuracies and rushed content courtesy of an in-depth expose by competitor Gamers Nexus.
And that's a competitor in that both channels offer reviews and critiques of everything from CPUs to GPUs to cooling solutions. The Gamers Nexus video goes in-depth, highlighting and showcasing what feels like a mountain of erroneous reporting by Linus Tech Tips (LTT), from incorrect benchmark results to several critical inaccuracies. The video purports that this is due to LTT "rushing content out of the door" and focusing on quantity over quality.
Linus Tech Tips founder Linus Sebastian wrote a lengthy rebuttal, admitting to some of the mistakes and sloppiness in LTT's hardware reviews while admitting that not reviewing the prototype Billet Labs' Monoblock with a video card recommended by Billet and then selling it was a mistake, adding that "our intention wasn't to hurt anyone."
Instagram's Threads might be getting support for direct messages sooner than we had expected following the leak of an internal Instagram document.
Instagram's top dog Adam Mosseri had previously said that Threads would not be getting a direct message feature any time soon, but a new document leaked from within the company and reported on by social network analyst Matt Navarra and Business Insider suggests that something might have changed.
While there is no indication of exactly when this new feature will come to the social network, but it's said to be "Coming Soon" according to the document. Direct messages aren't the only new feature that is on the way, though. The same document appears to have leaked the fact that trends and topics and improved search are also incoming.
It's not every day that you stumble on a website powered by hardware that pre-dates the dial-up modem era of the internet, but that's exactly what's happening over at Brutmans Lab. It's a site dedicated to early 1980s computing and projects, so it's fitting that it's running on a 39-year-old IBM PCjr - a low-cost PC from 1984 designed to compete with the likes of the Apple II and Commodore 64.
Hardware-wise, this custom PCjr features an NEC V20 CPU running at 4.77MHz and a paltry 736KB of RAM. Storage-wise, it's more 2023 than 184, with a jrIDE sidecar (IDE adapter and memory) and a 240GB SATA SSD on a SATA/IDE bridge. This is then paired with IBM PC DOS 5.02 (IBM's version of MS-DOS) and the mTCP HTTPServ web server for DOS. The result is BrutmanLabs.org, a fully functional site that is admittedly a little slow to load up from Australia.
But, as per the main page, the server has been up for over 2,500 hours without any restarts or reboots - an impressive feat. Per the status page, it went live on Friday, March 31, 2023.
Germany is witnessing the impressive download speeds delivered by SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet constellation.
With a vast array of satellites, this network quickly gained renown for its exceptional performance upon its public launch, with download speeds now reaching a staggering 600 Mbps, according to some tests. The fast-growing popularity of Starlink resulted in the mass adoption of the new internet service, and while some users living in populated areas across the United States experienced average internet speeds, other users located in rural areas have been blasted with high-speed internet.
Starlink users located in Germany's rural regions are an example of that, and serve as a reminder that satellite internet connections will truly be part of the future when it comes to high-speed internet. During the recent test, Starlink achieved download speeds exceeding 500 Mbps, and in other tests even reached about 600 Mbps. These tests highlight the achievement that Starlink has made at bringing high-speed internet to rural regions around the globe, further enabling more humans to be connected to the internet.
Have you noticed a recent trend regarding the Steam store page for games that the media section would be full of videos and trailers, and you'd have to scroll to see screenshots?
Well, the good news is that Valve has, too, with a new update to Steam for developers now limiting the presentation to a maximum of two trailers before screenshots.
"Starting today, a maximum of two trailers can appear in the row of thumbnails to the left of screenshots," Valve writes in the update. "Any remaining trailers will be displayed after the screenshots, resulting in a default view for players that always has a mix of screenshots and trailers in view."