Archive for day September 18th, 2011

China Creates "Infinite Hero Bacon" by Cloning Invincible Earthquake Pig [Cloning]

Where does one secure the very best bacon? The supermarket? Shut up, rookie! You secure it from the heroic pig that survived for more than a month buried beneath the rubble of China's horrific Sichuan earthquake. More »


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Jack Loftus

September 18th

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Jonathan S. Geller

September 18th

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Wool Felt iPad Case Rolls Itself Into a Subtle Tablet Stand [Ipad Cases]

As an Incase product owner I'm pretty used to the idea of my iPad and MacBook cases being simple black and white affairs that perform their jobs well with little fanfare (and a high price). More »


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Jack Loftus

September 18th

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Reed, Don’t Listen To Wall Street.

Netflix stock chart

Netflix took a beating on Wall Street last week.  After revising subscriber estimates downward by 1 million subscribers, its stock went into free fall, closing the week at $155, down from a $300 peak in July. Netflix, the darling of Wall Street for the past three years, has lost half its value in a few short months.

It must be a gulp moment right now for CEO Reed Hastings, who has always set Netflix on its own path and let investors figure things out for themselves. More than any other company, Netflix represents the transition of high-end video entertainment (movies and TV shows) to the Internet. A bet on Netflix, is a bet on streaming video. That transition is inevitable. It is going to happen for many reasons. Reed knows this. He saw it earlier than most. Sending people DVDs by mail was always just an interim business model until broadband, the studios, and customers caught up.

We are still not quite there yet. The pace at which people are dropping DVDs is faster than the rate at which they are adopting streaming. The pressure on Netflix to do something to restore confidence must be severe. But Reed, don’t listen to Wall Street. Just keep pushing the studios to open up more of their movies and TV shows to streaming, and customers will follow.

However, do listen to customers. Raising prices for those of us who opt for both streaming and DVDs would have been fine if Netflix had a deeper streaming catalog. But the gap is still too big, and the price hike seemed premature. Your customers are extremely loyal. Don’t piss them off.

If you remember, it was back in July when Netflix announced new pricing that would raise prices for subscribers who get both DVDs in the mail and stream movies over the Internet. This caused a backlash among some customers, although it did have the effect of making Netflix’s streaming-only plan more attractive, with 75 percent of new customers now signing up for it.

Still, it’s not enough to offset the drop-off in DVD subscribers. Of the 1 million fewer subscribers Netflix now expects, 800,000 will be from DVD-only subscribers. The remaining 200,000 decline will come from streaming-only subs, with the number who pay for both remaining steady. Out of Netflix’s expected 24 million subscribers this year, 21.8 million will have access to streaming in some form, and only 2.2 million will stick to DVD-only subscriptions.

The shift is already clear. It is just that the exact rate at which that shift is occurring is hard to predict, hence the wild swings in the stock price. Losing the renewal of its streaming distribution deal with Starz didn’t help matters either.

Getting the studios and entertainment companies on board will continue to be the biggest challenge for Netflix. The economics of streaming don’t match the economics of other forms of distribution (like cable) for the media companies. But consumer behavior is already going in the direction of streaming. It is only a matter of how many screens you have connected to the Internet and how big they are. If it is only your computer screen, streaming is more of a last resort. But once you can get Netflix on your iPad or flat-screen TV, then it becomes one of many viewing options—and often the best one.

Personally, I stream Netflix whenever I can, even if I know the same movie is already in my DVD mail-in queue. If I could watch everything via streaming, I would. But I can’t yet, so I am reluctantly paying more for my DVD-streaming combo subscription in the hopes that I will feel comfortable dropping the DVDs in a year. If Netflix can deliver on that promise over time, then I will continue to be a lifelong customer and so will millions of others. In the end, making its product better is the only part that Netflix can control. Keep doing that, Reed, and your customers will keep backing you no matter what Wall Street thinks.


Company: Netflix
Website: netflix.com
Launch Date: September 19, 1997
IPO: NASDAQ:NFLX

With more than 23.3 million members in the United States and Canada, Netflix, Inc. is the world’s leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For $7.99 a month, Netflix members in the U.S. can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streaming right to their TVs and computers and can receive unlimited DVDs delivered quickly to their homes. In Canada, streaming unlimited movies and TV shows from Netflix is available for $7.99 a month. There are...

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Person: Reed Hastings
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Companies: Netflix

Reed Hastings co-founded Netflix in 1997 with then CEO Marc Randolph and launched the subscription service in 1999. He currently serves as Chairman and CEO of the movie-rental company. In 2005, Time magazine added Reed to its “Time 100” list of the one hundred most influential global citizens. In March 2007 Reed was appointed to Microsoft’s board of directors. Earlier in his career, Reed founded Pure Software, which was acquired by Rational Software in 1997 after a successful IPO and numerous...

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Erick Schonfeld

September 18th

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Look at This MIT Grad’s Diminutive DIY Off-Road Motorized Skateboard [Video]

Charles Guan, recent MIT grad, is certainly a certifiable tinkerer. Where I see a skateboard and a snowblower engine he sees a portable off-road skateboard. Completely DIY, it got noticed at the World Maker Faire New York on Saturday. More »


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Jack Loftus

September 18th

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Google Wallet Likely Launching Tomorrow

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Last week, Google posted an awesome teaser video for Google Wallet featuring George Costanza. The implication: Google Wallet would finally be launching soon. Now we think we know when: tomorrow.

As you can see in the above image, documentation is being sent around to partners stating a September 19 launch day. We’ve heard from others that this is accurate. And it also lines up nicely with NFC World Congress, which kicks off tomorrow in the French Riviera. Google is not listed as a speaker or exhibitor at the event, but their main partner MasterCard is the official sponsor.

Back in May when Google Wallet and Offers were initially unveiled, Google stated that field trials for Wallet would beging immediately and that an official launch would come this summer. Initial reports pointed towards a September 1 launch. Technically, summer lasts until September 22, so it looks like Google will hit their deadline with a few days to spare.

While this will be the official launch, the product itself will likely still be quite limited. The only officially compatible phone is the Nexus S 4G, which is only available on Sprint in the U.S. Google has an NFC sticker product to bring tap-and-pay to other phones, but it’s not clear if that will be ready at launch or not. Hardware to enable the payments on the merchant end is also needed. And again, MasterCard has been the only official partner on the credit card side of things so far. Perhaps Google will have more to say on that tomorrow. But the above documentation still points to PayPass-enabled Citi MasterCards as the only way to use the service for now.

It also makes sense for Google to get Wallet out there now before their next flagship Android phone, the Nexus Prime, launches next month. It too will have NFC capabilities built in and will bring the Wallet functionality to the much larger Verizon customer base.


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MG Siegler

September 18th

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This Massive Cold War Spy Satellite Was Hidden from the World Until Now [Space]

The HEXAGON satellite spied on America's Cold War foes for over a decade, taking extremely detailed (film!) photographs from space. It was 60 feet long—bigger than a bus. And the public never, ever saw it. We did. More »


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Sam Biddle

September 18th

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‘What Was There’ project adds a pinch of history to augmented reality

So, it works as such. You dig up ancient photos -- a few generations prior, or even a few decades ago -- scan 'em in, and tag them to their rightful place on Google Maps. Then, folks who visit the 'What Was Here' project website or download the iOS app (all linked below) will be able to see what kind of world they'd be living in if Uncle Rico's time machine actually worked. 'Course, the initiative needs you, you and you to participate if it's to be dubbed a success, so we'd recommend using whatever's left of your weekend to contribute. And then send your mum a "thinking of you" letter using the very map you're improving. Who said retro had to be retro, anyway?

'What Was There' project adds a pinch of history to augmented reality originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 18 Sep 2011 16:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Darren Murph

September 18th

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The Solar System’s Newest Beach Spot Is an Icy One [Space]

One ticket to Pluto, please! Seems there's an ocean there just waiting to be discovered, surfed or lounged about. Don't worry about my well-being though—I'll be packing a sweater. More »


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Jack Loftus

September 18th

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There Is Still Heavy Fighting In Libya [Libya]

As much as the news cycle would want to move on and declare "victory" in Libya there is still very much a war going on there. More »


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Jack Loftus

September 18th

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