Netflix Party Lets You and Friends Watch Netflix Together In Different Rooms

Remember those times you see a really good movie on Netflix and just want to watch it with a friend? If that has ever been you, you know that sometimes you can’t be in the same room to watch Netflix every time you find something interesting to watch. In this day and age being stuck in the same room to watch a film really shouldn’t be a problem, and Netflix Party looks to solve that problem.

Netflix Party is a google Chrome extension that will let you and friends watch Netflix from two different machines. Adding synchronised video playback you never have to worry about your friend being behind or in front of you, even during those embarrassing moments when the call of nature interrupts an action scene. Alongside the playback options, Netflix Party goes so far as to add a group chat to the side of the movie, meaning that if you wanted to discuss and talk during the film without microphones disturbing your experience, the option is there to write your opinions about the plot holes and characters without disturbing the experience for everyone.

You can find the extension here, and the official site has a three-step guide on how to start using the extension which we can summarise right here.

Step 1: Install the extension
Step 2: Open a video on Netflix
Step 3: Click the NP icon to start/join a Netflix party

Simple and enjoyable, just what we like to hear.

Triple The Speed But US Still Lags In Internet Speed Comparisons

One of the most competitive things you can mention is your internet speed. Being able to download and watch your latest games and movies at the press of a button relies on a steady and speedy connection, something that few have. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) have released a report that shows something that might upset some people, even though all it does is say your internet is more than likely faster than it used to be.

The report states that between March 2011 and September 2014 internet speeds within the US tripled, jumping from 10MBPS to 31MBPS. While this may sound amazing, in comparison to other countries like Canada and Japan the US still ranks 25 out of 39 countries as stated by a study in 2013.

While this all sounds amazing you have to remember just how much extra bandwidth people are using on an everyday basis. With the FCC estimating that over 60% of internet traffic is video, estimated to rise to over 80% by 2019, you may need that fiber optic broadband sooner than you think. Don’t forget that the next big thing is 4k, with such a data consuming technology set (or at least many hope) to become the new standard you could soon see speeds of MBPS not being enough to catch up with your favourite shows or watch that new Netflix or Prime movie.

Former Apple Manager Gets 1 Year in Jail, $4.5 Million Fine for Leaking Apple Secrets

Paul Devine, formerly Apple’s Global Supply Manager, has received a year of jail time as well as a fine of $4.5 million for leaking the company’s secrets.

Devine leaked secret product plans to a number of accessory manufacturers in return for money. This comes after Devine pleaded guilty to  wire fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy over 3 years ago. Devine reportedly made $1 Million on the leaks, after working for Apple between 2005 and 2010. As MacRumors points out, it was initially suggested that Devine could receive up to 20 years in jail over his crime, so it’s intriguing that he received such a comparatively small sentence.

Source: MacRumors

Bitcoin Going To Outer Space

Bitcoin is preparing to launch satellites into space as a means of ‘Global’ backup to the blockchain. Bitcoin’s blockchain is to be sent into space in order to reduce coin volatility and ensure safety from major cyber attacks. The blockchain is a constantly changing documents that records all transactions as well as who owns all coins. Bitcoin is dependent on access to the blockchain to verify all transactions and now Jeff Garzik, one of the main contributors to the Bitcoin source code, has announced that he intends to launch a number of satellites into space to host copies of the blockchain and continuously send it back to earth. Garzik, who currently runs Dunvegan Space Systems, intends to launch a fleet of satellites that host fresh blockchain copies and continuously send it back to earth.

This development will allow anyone to obtain “free Bitcoin bandwidth” anywhere in the World, regardless of the performance of their current internet connection or provider. Garzik went on to say that this would protect the blockchain from cyber attacks that set out to manipulate the blockchain. This will be a fantastic development for Bitcoin; although already a groundbreaking development in finance, the currency has suffered from both bad publicity and volatility as a result of concerns about blockchain malleability and the possibility of fraud. Having the code would seek to manipulate the blockchain file. Secure upload centres would need to be put in place across the globe, that would continuously update the blockchain, and these centres would then beam the code into space, the satellites would then receive the code and in turn, beam it to every bitcoin user on Earth. Garzik believes that he could launch some ‘Cubesats’ into space and that this would be the most affordable way to achieve the plan.

The ‘Cubesats” are micro-satellites with dimensions of approximately 10cm cubed. For $2 Million he can put one into space and for $5 Million he can put eight into space, providing almost continuous coverage to all of the World. He has announced that he intends to begin fund-raising at the end of the summer, and if this is successful, as he expects it to be, he will be in a position to launch the satellites by August of next year (2015). There are, however, potential flaws in this brilliant idea. For one thing, the satellites would have to ensure that the ‘Bitcoin-Bandwidth” did not conflict with other satellites already in space. Further, the satellites have a useful life of no more than two to three years, and this will in turn mean there will be a need for future fundraising for future launches.

 

Thank you to The Telegraph and Virtual Mining for providing us with this information.

Chromecast Developer Restrictions Lifted With New SDK, To Make It Available Abroad Soon

Google has officially announced the release of the Google Cast SDK, allowing developers to integrate the Chromecast in their Android, iOS and web applications. Rishi Chandra, Chromecast MP, said that their “opportunity set is fairly large”, mentioning that he could see millions of mobile apps and websites adding support for the Google Cast.

When it first came out nine months ago, it had limited support available, along with a few select apps allowed on the platform, such as Pandora, HBO Go and Hulu Plus. Google also made a preview available for the SDK in order to give developers a taste of how to build their own apps on the platform, but did not allow them to publish their apps.

The newly released SDK offer developers simple ways to just beam a photo to the TV screen, without the need of integrated casting capabilities and the ability to build it from scratch. Chandra said that he will also want to see developers go further with developing new tech with the new SDK, having mentioning multiplayer gaming.

Google has also made some changes to the SDK, being part of the Google Play Services framwork now. This means that an Android update will no be required to get Chromecast applications on the platform, something that consist with Google’s efforts to make fragmentation less of an issue with Android.

We can see from the above that Google wants to really expand the Chromecast this year, attempting to fill it with apps and widening its Android grasp. Also, Mario Queiroz, VP of Production at Google, stated that Google is looking to make Chromecast available abroad soon.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Gigaom

Global Hardware & Software Sales Chart, All Formats 12/14/2013

The pre-Christmas sales figures have been counted and while we will not know the full extent of the Christmas rush, or of course the boxing day sales that follow it for another week or so, we can already see that there are some clean trends in the market right now. The PlayStation 4 was ahead by over 600k units, but this gap has been growing ever since and it’s safe to say that Sony will have around a 4:3 sales ratio against the Xbox One. While Sony may be ahead in hardware sales, Microsoft are far from losing, selling millions of hardware units in such a short space of time is an incredible achievement and the transition to next-gen consoles has been incredibly quick, Microsoft and Sony are both doing great right now, despite what some internet forums may tell you.

Nintendo are still going steady and while it may look like they’re Wii U console is in the lead (technically it is), keep in mind that it has had an extra years head start over its new rivals, which have already sold half of the Wii U’s lifetime total in less than a month! Software is a big win for PlayStation again, with Sony fans picking up over 1.3 million more software titles than on Xbox One, obviously there are more PlayStation 4’s being sold and this will help, but it also looks like PlayStation customers are picking up more games on average.

The top five games are fairly predictable, with call of duty taking two spots in the charts with Xbox taking the number one spot and PS3 taking the number three spot, and other favourites such as Puzzle & Dragon Z, Pokemon X/Y and Just Dance 2014 show the world that Nintendo still knows how to turn a good profit, despite their new console being little behind the pace in terms of sales.

Gen 8 Hardware Lifetime Totals:

  • PS4 374,879 (+40%) 2,753,910
  • XOne 306,436 (+19%) 2,126,782
  • WiiU 264,627 (+53%) 4,749,539

Gen 8 Software Lifetime Totals:

  • WiiU 1,403,817 (+42%) 15,983, 418
  • PS4 1,000,956 (+11%) 6,531,17 2
  • XOne 818,064 (+34%) 5,203,605

Weekly Software Sales (all formats)

  • 1 – Call of Duty: Ghosts (X360) Activision, Shooter 550,854
  • 2 – Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS) GungHo, Puzzle 540,821
  • 3 – Call of Duty: Ghosts (PS3) Activision, Shooter 495,843
  • 4 – Pokemon X/Y (3DS) Nintendo, Role-Playing 451,019
  • 5 – Just Dance 2014 (Wii) Ubisoft, Misc 434,064

Did you pick up a new piece of gaming hardware this holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below what you’ll be gaming on throughout 2014.

Thank you VGCharts for providing us with this information.

Xbox One Launch Kicks Off The Battle Against Sony’s Playstation 4

The wait is over and the time has now come for eager fans around the world to collect their Xbox One and immerse themselves in the next generation of console gaming from Microsoft. New Zealand was one of the first countries to have the console available at midnight of the 22nd November, and even hours before hand, fans were queuing up outside Shed 10 on the Waterfront in Auckland, New Zealand ready to pick up their pre-orders.

A little closer to home for us here at eTeknix, the UK also saw their launch at midnight last where over 300 game shops and more than 100 Tesco’s supermarkets stayed open late into the night for sales and pre-order collections to be made. Whilst the PS4 is not yet here in the UK until the 29th of November, Over in the US Sony’s launch of the Playstation 4 is now a week behind us and so the battle over there has started to see who will be crowned victorious as the must have games console this Christmas.

Whilst the Xbox One is going to cost you around £80 more than the PS4, it seems that this has not put any fans off as Microsoft see record numbers of pre-orders being made, beating that of the Xbox 360 a number of years ago. The two consoles, as we have seen, do pack somewhat similar specifications to each other – although there has been word that Sony may just have the upper hand on graphics as reports come in that Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Ghosts has a better game play in terms of resolution. Whilst this may be a major selling factor to a small number of people, the challenge really is going to be based on who has the most loyal fans on their side, however this is not as plain sailing as you may think. Since the launch of the Xbox 360 and Sony’s PS3, there has been a dramatic shift in the games market as we see many avid gamers moving away from the console platform and over to the PC gaming side of things. This has been mainly down to the massive improvement in graphics performance that we have seen from both NVIDIA and AMD in the last 2-3 years.

With games console now offering much more than just a gaming experience, with social and entertainment media becoming more and more popular, the is certainly more than one reason to pick either console and as the Christmas rush comes into full swing, it is anybody’s guess at the moment as to who will be at the number one spot at the end of the year.

If you’ve just got an Xbox One or PS4 (or are waiting for the PS4 in the UK), let us know your thoughts on the new consoles in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Xbox Wire

WikiLeaks Unveils Largest Release Ever – The Kissinger Cables

WikiLeaks continues its tradition of releasing confidential information with the release of what is dubbed the “Kissinger Cables”. This included the release of formerly confidential information that includes 1.7 million diplomatic records from 1973 to 1976 of which 205,901 are connected to American diplomat and US Secretary of State (at the time) Henry Kissinger.

The sum of the release by WikiLeaks is 700 million words long and contains “significant revelations about US involvements with fascist dictatorships, particularly in Latin America, under Franco’s Spain (including about the Spanish royal family) and in Greece under the regime of the Colonels.”

These files should have been reviewed for declassification after 25 years, meaning they should of been released in 2001-2003 but the US government repeatedly attempted to reclassify them to hide secrets of America’s diplomatic past. In order to make these documents publicly accessible WikiLeaks obtained all the files from the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA) and sorted them into a single, searchable database.

“The US administration cannot be trusted to maintain the history of its interactions with the world,” said founder Julian Assange. “Fortunately, an organisation with an unbroken record in resisting censorship attempts now has a copy.”

The Kissinger Cables form the largest component of WikiLeaks’ public library of US Diplomacy (PlusD) which has been launched today and has two million records for you to browse.

You may or may not agree with the tactics of WikiLeaks, but what they do is hold governments accountable – a key tenet of democracy. The effort is valiant and it is good to see a strong and well-known organisation pursuing causes that most people would otherwise forget about or choose to ignore.

What do you think of WikiLeaks latest release? Are you excited to see what might be revealed from it?

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