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17Jul/180

Netflix’s shows didn’t pull in as many new customers as expected

Netflix is spending billions of dollars on new shows and movies this year, with an expectation that this will add to its subscriber base. Unfortunately, over the last three months, that plan didn't work quite as well as it had predicted. In April the company notched 125 million subscribers and predicted it would add 6.2 million more. Today it announced numbers (PDF) that CEO Reed Hastings called "strong but not stellar" growing by 5.15 million customers worldwide with about 670,000 of in the US compared to the 1.2 million it anticipated. Even that number isn't too shabby, since last year during the same period it added 5.2 million people to pass the 100 million subscriber mark.

The letter did highlight all of those Emmy nominations, which show that it has delivered quality along with the quantity, plus much of the highly-anticipated content that has yet to debut in 2018. What it didn't go into was any note of the "Ultra" price testing users recently spotted in Europe, or the public response to possible feature restrictions and higher prices. Netflix will stream a video of its earnings call at 6 PM ET on YouTube, and if we hear any interesting answers to those questions or others then we will update this post.

Update: The video call is live (embedded after the break), and begins with execs saying the "fundamentals have never been stronger" citing the forecasting as incorrect this time more than any factor slowing growth.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/netflix-q2-2018/

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17Jul/180

‘FIFA 18’ correctly predicted France’s World Cup win

EA ran a simulation this past May that called France as the eventual winner of the real World Cup, using free Russia World Cup DLC available in April. The company also tallied up stats from the 406 million virtual games played by FIFA 18 owners, including one billion goals and 1.7 billion keeper saves. 170 million games were played for Brazil, 153 million with the French team and 81 million for Argentina. The most wins per country included France with 248,000 wins, Brazil with 226,000 and Germany coming in at 105,000 wins. Mobile platforms aren't as precognitive, however. 1.4 billion goals were scored across the 410 million mobile games played, and these stats predicted Brazil with the most World Cup wins.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/ea-sports-predicted-france-world-cup-win/

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17Jul/180

Future earns highest-charting streaming-only album on Billboard 200

Future's new album, Beastmode 2, is now the highest-charting streaming-only album, Billboard reports, debuting at No. 3 on Billboard's Hot 200. With this album, Future has dethroned Chance the Rapper, whose Coloring Book became the first streaming-exclusive album to chart on the Billboard 200, peaking at No. 8. Coloring Book also went on to earn Chance the Rapper the first Grammy awarded for a streaming-only album.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/future-highest-charting-streaming-only-billboard-200/

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17Jul/180

CRISPR might cause more unintended DNA damage than we thought

The researchers tested three types of cells -- mouse embryonic stem cells, mouse bone marrow cells and human retinal cells -- and observed that the CRISPR system resulted in DNA rearrangements and DNA deletions that were sometimes hundreds or even thousands of DNA letters long. And the problem appears to arise in the repair portion of the procedure. "The cell will try to stitch things back together," Allan Bradley, a professor at the Wellcome Sanger Institute in the UK and lead author of the study, told Nature News. "But it doesn't really know what bits of DNA lie adjacent to each other."

How have these deletions and rearrangements slipped under the radar so far? It's likely a combination of chosen technique and search area. Certain methods may not pick up on these larger types of DNA changes and studies will typically look for them in more narrow regions of DNA. With this new study, the research team used a different method to hunt down deletions and looked over a much larger area. "You find what you look for," Bradley told New Scientist.

These findings don't necessarily mean CRISPR-Cas9 is unsafe, and for certain applications it may prove to be just fine. But when you begin dealing with billions of cells inside of a human body, there could be repercussions. "There's a risk of causing cancer sometime in a patient's lifetime," said Bradley. "We need to understand more before rushing into human clinical trials."

Other types of CRISPR systems -- and there are a few variations -- work differently, and they may not be quite as prone to these types of mistakes. Further, CRISPR-Cas9 may not have these same results in different types of cells. But ultimately these findings highlight the need to make sure we're looking for these accidental alterations everywhere they might be. "It means that when people use it, they need to do a more thorough analysis," Brandeis Professor James Haber, who was not affiliated with the study, told Nature News. "It's generally important to know whether your mutations are as you think they are."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/crispr-unintended-dna-damage/

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17Jul/180

Adidas pledges to only use recycled plastics by 2024

A lot of that cost likely has to do with economies of scale. Recycled polyester can carry up to a 20 percent premium over the freshly-made variety, and it could prove daunting to process the material in Adidas-level quantities. The company is likely betting that refined techniques will bring the costs down over time.

The company wouldn't be on the vanguard of embracing recycled plastics. Stella McCartney's fashion label has vowed to stop using brand new nylon by 2020, as an example. It'd be uncharted territory for a company the size of Adidas, however, and that could have a significant effect on the viability of recycled plastics across the apparel industry. There's certainly an impetus to make the transition. Eco-conscious design is good for the public image, of course, but it's also crucial when ocean plastic is a serious problem that will only get worse if usage habits don't change.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/adidas-will-only-use-recycled-plastics-by-2024/

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17Jul/180

Instapaper buys itself back from Pinterest

Back in 2013, developer Marco Arment sold his popular read-it-later app Instapaper to Betaworks, the company that had previously acquired Digg. Two years ago, Pinterest bought the little company to "accelerate discovering and saving articles on Pinterest." Now, the very same team that's been working on it for the past five years is taking Instapaper back.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/instapaper-buys-itself-back-pinterest/

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17Jul/180

Amazon warehouse workers in Europe stage protest on Prime Day

According to The Washington Post, 1,800 workers in Spain went on strike today, July 16th, and the protest in the country is expected to last until July 18th. Thousands of workers across six fulfillment centers in Germany plan to walk out tomorrow, July 17th, while those in Poland intend to do the bare minimum to stay employed.

It's far from the first time Amazon's warehouse workers staged a protest: distribution center employees in Germany and Italy also walked out on Black Friday last year over pay issues and workplace health hazards. Over the years, reports about harsh working conditions in the company's distribution centers regularly popped up, including stories from people claiming they were injured on the job and collapsed due to exhaustion. Just earlier this year, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health named Amazon as one of the most dangerous places to work for in the US, citing seven workhouse workers' deaths since 2013.

The company insists, however, that its fulfillment center jobs offer competitive pay and benefits, with workers earning 12.22 euros ($14.31) an hour or more after two years. "We believe Amazon's Fulfillment Center jobs are excellent jobs providing a great place to learn skills to start and further develop a career," a spokesperson told Reuters. Amazon also believes only a fraction of its 12,000 workers in Germany will walk out tomorrow and that the protest will not affect its Prime Day sales. The Post says the event is expected to bring in a whopping $3.4 billion this year, so it's no wonder the company doesn't seem concerned. Unfortunately for the protesters, a few thousand people walking out might truly not be a big deal for the e-retail titan.

Update: An Amazon spokesperson has reached out and told Engadget that the company "is a fair and responsible employer" committed to dialogue:

"Amazon is proud to have created over 130,000 new jobs in the last year alone. These are good jobs with highly competitive pay and full benefits. One of the reasons we've been able to attract so many people to join us is that our number one priority is to ensure a positive and safe working environment. We use our Connections program to ask associates a question every day about how we can make things even better, we develop new processes and technology to make the roles in our facilities more ergonomic and comfortable for our associates, and we investigate any allegation we are made aware of and fix things that are wrong. We believe it's this commitment to our associates and operational excellence that makes Amazon the most attractive place to work in the U.S., according to the annual LinkedIn Top Companies List. We encourage anyone to come see for themselves what it's like to work at an Amazon fulfillment center by taking a tour -- sign up and learn more at http://amazonfctours.com."

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/amazon-spain-germany-poland-prime-day-protest/

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17Jul/180

‘David Bowie Is’ coming to your home through AR and VR

Did you miss your chance to see the David Bowie is museum exhibition and pay tribute to the late, great musician? You won't have to wallow in regret for very long. The David Bowie Archive, Sony Music, Planeta and the Victoria and Albert Museum have announced plans for both augmented and virtual reality 'recreations' of the exhibit. These digital productions will use a series of "audio-visual spaces" to showcase 3D scans of Bowie's artifacts and let you get much closer than you might in real life. You might not only see a legendary costume, but try it on for yourself.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/david-bowie-is-ar-vr-exhibit/

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17Jul/180

What’s on TV: ‘Humans,’ ‘Snowfall’ and ‘Killjoys’

This week we have a season finale for AMC's robot series Humans and FX's Pose, as Syfy brings back Wynonna Earp and Killjoys plus FX has a second season of Snowfall. Netflix's latest series features David Spade in Father of the Year, while gamers can check out Sonic Mania Plus. Look after the break to check out each day's highlights, including trailers and let us know what you think (or what we missed).

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/whats-on-tv-humans-snowfall-and-killjoys/

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17Jul/180

Microsoft Edge iOS beta offers handy visual search tool

Microsoft Edge beta testers on iOS also get a couple other new features. One, paste-and-search, saves you a step by letting you look for whatever's on your clipboard instead of having to paste it in a search field first. Those with a work or school account can access intranet sites from their home as well as the ability to see mobile browser activity on the Windows 10 timeline feature.

Unlike the Android beta users, those who get an early look at Microsoft Edge on iOS must be enrolled through Apple TestFlight.

Article source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/07/16/microsoft-edge-ios-beta-offers-handy-visual-search-tool/

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