Netflix’s growth slows down just as HBO joins the streaming fight

Netflix is no longer an up and comer, it’s a giant, pushing out well-regarded original content — in 4K even — and constantly expanding its reach. Today we learned that HBO will finally hop off its cable-only throne and do battle with some sort of internet-only service next year, and as Netflix reveals how it did in the last three months, we’ll find out how it plans to respond. According to CEO Reed Hastings’ Q3 letter to investors, despite the “inevitable” move, he believes “it is likely we both prosper as consumers move to Internet TV.” Meanwhile, his company has grown to 53 million customers worldwide and figures it will crack 57 million by the end of the year. The bad news? Those price hikes for new customers appear to have slowed growth, with Netflix adding 980,000 customers in the US, lower than both the 1.29 million net additions in the same period a year ago — when it passed HBO in paid subscribers — and the 1.33 million the company predicted just three months ago. There should be plenty to talk about when Netflix has its investor call at 6PM ET (live video streaming — watch it embedded after the break).

Between the slower-than-expected growth, a sharp drop in its free cash flow and the HBO news, financial outlets like Bloomberg report the prices of its shares have dipped in after-hours trading by as much as 22 percent. So what’s going right for Netflix? Plenty — Its profits are up (operating income nearly doubled from the same period last year, from $57 million to $110 million), it has the recent movie deals for Crouching Tiger and Adam Sandler, and the company says its new animated series Bojack Horseman is drawing more viewers than back-catalog series like Archer, Futurama or Bob’s Burgers did in a similar period. Speaking of original content, Netflix’s next new show Marco Polo (pictured above) will debut December 12th, and it has nine series currently in production.

Netflix says it’s midway through switching to HTML5 for its desktop player, and that its set-top box player is ready to work on more cable boxes. While Virgin / TiVo were the first, it’s “expanded to less high-end systems” — could that mean Netflix on the cable box you already have? We’ll have to wait and see, but for now its set-top box rollout is mostly in the new European territories. Netflix is still agitating against the Comcast / TWC merger for it to be blocked, or placed under restrictions protecting “strong” net neutrality, and the number of DVD subscribers shrank slightly, from 6.3 million to 6 million. We’ll let you know if anything else pops up on the call at 6PM, which you can also watch right here.

Ab in die Zukunft: Ab heute zeigen wir Euch die erste Staffel ‘Futurama’

Und diese 15 Fakten über die coole Zukunfts-Serie um Fry, Leela, Bender und Co. kanntet Ihr bestimmt noch nicht!

15 Fakten über Futurama, die Ihr bestimmt noch nicht kanntet.

Mittwoch, 01. Oktober 2014

Freunde der Zukunft, wir haben gute Nachrichten für Euch! Ab heute flimmert die erste Staffel Futurama täglich außer freitags ab 15:30 Uhr über Eure Mattscheibe! In der Science-Fiction-Zeichentrickserie von “Simpsons”-Schöpfer Matt Groening und David X. Cohen geht es um die zahlreichen Abenteuer der Mitarbeiter des interstellaren Lieferunternehmens “Planet Express”, die im 31. Jahrhundert in der Zukunftsstadt “Neu New York” leben.

Hier entlang kommt Ihr zur ‘Futurama’ Show-Seite

Die Handlung von ‘Futurama’ beginnt am Silvesterabend des Jahres 1999, als der New Yorker Pizzabote Philip J. Fry um Mitternacht (versehentlich) in einen “kryostatischen” Tiefschlaf versetzt wird, aus dem er 1000 Jahre später an Silvester 2999 wieder erwacht. Ein entfernter Nachfahre von Fry, der demente 160-jährige Professor Farnsworth, der den interplanetaren Lieferdienst “Planet Express” leitet, bietet dem jungen Pizzaboten einen Job an und schon bald werden die anderen Angestellten des Lieferdienstes zu Frys engsten Freunden. So zum Beispiel Leela, die sehr kompetente (und attraktive) Pilotin des Lieferraumschiffs und seinen besten Freund Bender, einen humanoiden Roboter, der die meiste Zeit raucht, trinkt und flucht und dennoch ein absolut sympathischer Typ ist.

Supercool: Die besten ‘Futurama’ Tattoos

‘Futurama’ ist ein großer Animationsspaß und wir freuen uns riesig, Euch die Abenteuer von Fry und Co. im TV zeigen zu können. Zur Einstimmung auf die erste Folge kommen hier schon mal 15 witzige Fakten zur Show, die Ihr bestimmt noch nicht kanntet. Klickt Euch dafür jetzt durch die Galerie!

‘Futurama’ seht Ihr im TV bei VIVA täglich außer freitags ab 15:30/ 15:35 Uhr

Article source:

Space Travel Possible Through New Funeral Options With Mesolof

The flight of the ashes into “near space” will also be filmed by GoPro cameras for the loved ones of the deceased to keep as commemorative footage.

Prices begin at $2,800 for a scheduled launch from three of the company’s designated sites in North America, or for a whopping $7,500 the launch can be scheduled from a sentimental location of the customer’s choice.

For anyone who wishes to truly conquer the final frontier in death, there is another American based company which will actually take a portion of cremated remains onto a scheduled space mission.

Through an agreement with commercial space launch services, Celestis Memorial Spaceflights are able to release a portion of ashes into the earth’s orbit, a lunar orbit or even into deep space!

According to the company this offers the chance for a loved-one to “be at one with the cosmos, on a mission of exploration and discovery.” Quite audacious claims to match the $12,500 price tag that it costs to fly 1 gram of human ashes to infinity…

If flying through space doesn’t meet someone’s needs in death, there are other alternative funerals available within the confines of the earth’s atmosphere.

Sticking with the Sci-fi theme, at the top end of bank-busting options is Cyronics, where in a Fry-from-Futurama meets real life scenario, a human body can be frozen in the hope that later medical science will be able to revive them. Prices to become a ‘corpsicle’ can reach up to $200,000 or for a Richard-Nixon-from-Futurama approach, a head can be frozen for $80,000.

On a more natural level, Eternal reef’s can take the remains of a cremation and place them inside concrete orbs which are used to restore a dying reef. Within a few years human bones can help to restore a thriving undersea habitat while the small reef itself stands as a memorial to the deceased.

For the ultra-retro funeral, there remains the millenium-old option of mummification, which, according to one company who provides the service, “allows you to leave this life in as beautiful manner as possible.”

With a number of alternative ways to send off a loved one, it may be worth checking with them sooner rather than later how they would like to spend their ‘afterlife’, before making any decisions on sending them into space or to the bottom of the Ocean. 

Article source:

The Big Bang Theory: "The Focus Attenuation" Review

October 13, 2014

Warning: full episode spoilers follow.

We’ve seen plenty of Big Bang Theory episode that revolve around the guys and girls splitting up to pursue their own separate adventures. The guys’ night/girls’ night premise was nothing new, but the execution this week was memorable enough. Between the in–depth discussion about time travel in the Back to the Future universe and the tag-team duo of drunk Bernadette and drunk Amy, there was plenty of entertainment to be had this week.

This week started off on an interesting note, with Leonard realizing that his scientific career has kind of stalled since meeting Penny. That opened the door for a more serious examination of the Leonard/Penny relationship. Whether that would been a good angle to pursue is open for debate, but clearly the writers opted for the more humorous approach. Leonard and the gang removed all distractions and pooled their considerable collective intellect for one purpose – coming up with the next big, world-changing invention.

Part of the appeal with this plot point was how close it hit home for me. I remember a group assignment in a high school class (American History, of all things) that tasked us with coming up with an invention. Our group basically dickered around with the idea of making Futurama’s Fing-Longer a reality before settling on something much simpler and more boring. The point being, I can certainly sympathize with Leonard, Sheldon, and the rest as they struggled to stay focused on their task longer than 30 seconds.

The guys had a real Three Stooges moment this week.

On one hand, I would have liked to see this plotline actually result in the invention of some goofy device. But it’s hard to complain about the episode’s shift toward celebrating classic ’80s films like Back to the Future, Part II and Ghostbusters. The extended debate over BttF continuity was great, building and building until it reached a crescendo with Sheldon’s monologue/rant about proper time travel tenses. The conflict only grew sillier as the gang switched over to Leonard’s lab and resorted to duct-taping each other’s arms. In the end, perhaps it was fitting that they accomplished nothing more or less than watching some great Blu-ray movies. Science-ing is overrated anyway.

The subplot featuring the girls was a little simple, but definitely amusing. Last time Penny, Bernadette, and Amy attempted a weekend trip to Vegas in Season 6′s “The Love Spell Potential,” they never made it past the airport. This time they actually made it to their hotel before a more mundane sort of disaster struck. It was a nice flip of the usual formula to see Bernie and Amy playing the party girl roles while Penny was stuck being the boring, nerdy one. For one thing, the former two are very colorful drunks. Bernie’s already bubbly personality and squeaky voice were compounded, and Amy was allowed to come out of her shell a little. The scene where the two girls struggled to play a drunken prank on Penny was definitely a highlight of the episode.

But on a slightly more serious note, it was good to see Penny taking the mature route and actually studying instead of hitting the casino. Her search for a more respectable career has been a major focus of the last year or two of this show. And as slowly as the characters on The Big Bang Theory evolve, it’s always nice to be reminded that there is growth and progress at work.

Finally, kudos to Sheldon for explaining the difference between negative reinforcement and positive punishment. Pop culture always tends to confuse the two, as Bill Murray’s “cameo” illustrated.

Article source:

‘Star Wars’ Carrie Fisher to appear at Indiana Comic Con

Credit: Disney/Lucasfilm

Carrie Fisher (center) starred as Princess Leia in the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy alongside Mark Hamill (left, as Luke Skywalker) and Harrison Ford (Han Solo). The three are currently shooting ‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ in London.

Article source:

Bellhop checkup: Hotel union getting flashy healthcare center on Fulton

Pin It

Print this story Permalink

Enlarge this image

Enlarge this image

This futuristic high-rise building on Fulton Street is just what the doctor ordered, according to the hotel workers union building it.

The New York Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of New York City is planning a 12-story structure where a parking lot currently sits, between Ashland Place and Saint Felix Street. The building is supposed to include ground-floor retail, a five-story health facility for members of the union, and office space. It may not be overtly artsy on the inside but its architect, who released designs for the building last week, said that the shiny, teardrop-shaped edifice will fit right in amid the so-called “Brooklyn Cultural District” along Fulton Street, which this paper has dubbed Brooklyn’s Great White Way.

“We want the new building to welcome patients, office workers, and local residents alike to this up-and-coming district,” said James Crispino, president of the design firm Francis Cauffman.

The union runs three other medical centers in the city and they, together with a smaller Brooklyn outpost that the new building will replace, served 50,000 people last year, it said. The organization provides members medical coverage through its own network of healthcare facilities, offering an alternative to typical health insurance, and the new facility will improve that, a honcho said.

“Above all, we want our members to enjoy an unmatched healthcare experience,” Robert Greenspan, executive director of the union’s healthcare services.

An unnamed tenant has committed to taking more than half of the rentable office space but has not yet signed a lease, the union said. A real estate expert noted that such a thing hasn’t happened in Fort Greene or Downtown since MetroTech Center was being built.

“To get a pre-construction commitment is huge,” said Chris Havens, a commercial broker for aptsa‌ndlof‌ “People looking to Brooklyn don’t usually think that far in advance.”

The union has not announced who the tenant will be, but Havens suspects it may have something to do with healthcare.

Pin It

Print this story Permalink

Article source:

New Smash Bros. venture to new platform an overall success

After nearly seven years, the Nintengods have blessed us with the fourth iteration of the wildly popular and insanely fun Super Smash Bros. series, which pits many Nintendo, and other popular video game characters, against each other in an epic battle royale.

This time, however, instead of limiting the gameplay to our living rooms, they have chosen to put the game on the portable 3DS. On Oct. 3, the game was released into the wild, and I finally had a reason to dust off my old 3DS XL.

So, after a week with the game, I have to say it feels both new and very familiar. Let me explain.


This game feels almost exactly like the older version for the Wii, Super Smash Bros. Brawl. The layout, from the menus to the character selection roster, is almost exactly identical. Players can compete in both team and solo matches against either local players — so long as they, too, have a 3DS and a copy of the game — or computer players, as well as test their skill in both Classic arcade mode and All-Star mode.

For those who have never played any games in the series or don’t remember, Classic mode is essentially a series of matches in which the character you have chosen fights until all the stages are complete or the character is defeated. All-Star mode is similar, except any damage that is sustained in one match is carried over to the next. The online mode has returned as well, however, it now has leaderboards and much faster loading times. Returning characters from the old games also have the same moves as they did before.


Although the game looks the same, there are quite a few new features. The most fun for me has been character creation, which allowed me to import any Mii I have created and give it outfits, powers and fighting styles. With this feature, I’ve essentially been able to add characters to the game that were never originally intended to be in it. Some of my favorites are Iron Man, Batman, Spongebob SquarePants, Dr. Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog, Peter Griffin from “Family Guy”, Zoidberg from “Futurama” and, of course, Snoop Dogg.

Another neat feature added to the game is that players can now give characters boosted stats in some game modes. This is done either by making them hold certain items that players can unlock through gameplay or through leveling them up in the training mode. Characters can also use special techniques, albeit only a certain number of times per battle.

Speaking of game modes, there are now nine, including four main modes —StreetSmash, Solo, Smash Run and OnlineSmash — and their sub-modes. Some were familiar, while others will not, but they all have something challenging and fun about them that kept bringing me back for more.

I was a little disappointed that they removed the Subspace Emissary from Brawl, however. As silly as the story was in that mode, having platforming stages between battles was pretty fun. Stage Creation was also removed, but honestly, I’m probably the only one who ever used that feature.

There are also more than a dozen new characters added to the game, least of which are Mega Man, Pac Man, and Little Mac.


This is where the game both succeeds and fails. The gameplay itself is as fluid and seamless as it’s ever been on Smash Bros., but it was a little hard to see what I was doing on the little 3DS screen. My version of the 3DS is actually the larger version, and it’s still pretty tough to play. I can’t imagine how tough it would be on an original 3DS screen.

This is especially a problem when there are three or four characters on the screen. The camera tends to zoom out when this happens, and all of the characters get very small. Aside from the problems with the 3DS’s tiny screen, the game is nearly flawless.


For those familiar with the series, this game is everything you’ve come to expect from a Super Smash Bros. title. The gameplay is fun and many of the new features add a new dimension to the game that was never there before.

The only downside of the game is that it has to be played on such a small screen. The good news is that this little problem will be rectified Nov. 21 when the game gets released for the Wii U — exactly the same in every way but bigger and in full high definition. Until then, the 3DS version is well worth getting.

Article source:

The Simpsons: “Super Franchise Me”

Viva nimmt "Futurama" ab Oktober ins Programm

Während bei ProSieben die letzte Staffel in den Startlöchern steht, beginnt “Futurama” bei Viva ab Oktober noch einmal ganz von vorne. Der geschrumpfte Sender strahlt die Serie künftig täglich am Nachmittag aus.

Die Überraschung ist Magnus Kastner gelungen, als er Ende Juni ankündigte, die Viacom-Sender in Deutschland neu positionieren zu wollen. Großer Verlierer der Umbaumaßnahmen ist Viva, das künftig nur noch bis 17 Uhr auf Sendung sein wird und sich eine Frequenz mit Comedy Central teilen muss. In einer Art Gewöhnungsphase sendet Viva schon jetzt nur noch bis zum Abend, ehe am 1. Oktober tatsächlich bereits am späten Nachmittag Schluss ist.

In den elf Stunden, in denen Viva dann noch sendet, könnte man fast schon wieder von einem Musiksender sprechen – allerdings hält am Nachmittag als Einstimmung auf Comedy Central schon mal eine Cartoon-Strecke Einzug ins Programm. Dazu gehört auch die inzwischen eingestellte US-Serie “Futurama”, die vom 1. Oktober an täglich um 15:30 Uhr bei Viva laufen wird. Der Sender hat angekündigt, mit der ersten Staffel beginnen zu wollen.

Zwischen 1999 und 2013 entstanden insgesamt 140 Folgen der Serie, die zu Beginn des 31. Jahrhunderts spielt und von “Simpsons”-Erfinder Matt Groening stammt. Kurz bevor Viva noch einmal ganz von vorne beginnen wird, nimmt ProSieben übrigens die letzte “Futurama”-Staffel ins Programm: 13 neuen Folgen laufen ab dem 27. September jeweils samstags um 12:35 Uhr.

Article source: