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UK Online Pornography Age Block Triggers Privacy Fears

W-What if my fetishes are leaked for the world to see? That’s what porn surfers from across the pond are worried about with next month’s age block on pornographic content, which demands Britons prove they are old enough for porn via passport-verified accounts or paid "porn passes." One problem is that a single verification company (AgeID) is behind it all; a single breach could theoretically expose all. "It might lead to people being outed. It could also be you’re a teacher with an unusual sexual preference and your pupils get to know that as a result of a leak."

James Clark, the director of communications at AgeID, said its method of storing the login and password of verified users meant that "at no point does AgeID have a database of email addresses", citing external audits of his company’s processes. "AgeID does not store any personal data input by users during the age verification process, such as name, address, phone number, date of birth. As we do not collect such data, it cannot be leaked, marketed to, or used in any way."

Posted by Megalith March 17, 2019 5:10 PM (CDT)

Tumblr Defends Controversial Porn Ban despite 20 Percent Drop in Traffic

Tumblr’s pornography ban in December has resulted in a major exodus: numbers from web analytics firm Similarweb reveal the blogging site has lost over 100 million monthly page views since the end of January and saw a 17 percent decline in visits over the last 30 days. Despite this slump, Tumblr has defended the ban, calling it "the right decision."

In December, Tumblr CEO Jeff D'Onofrio said in a blog post that it chose to remove adult content after weighting the pros and cons of expression in the community. D'Onofrio said the platform had to consider the impact on different age groups, demographics, cultures and mindsets. "We made a strategic decision for the business that better positions it for long-term growth among more types of users. This was the right decision," a Tumblr spokesperson said Thursday in an emailed statement.

Posted by Megalith March 16, 2019 9:25 AM (CDT)

Netflix Brings Dragon's Dogma and Other Japanese Anime to the Platform

Netflix has announced that it has signed a deal to bring numerous Japanese anime to the platform. These are well known properties from leading Japanese production companies. Some of the announced series include Altered Carbon: Resleeved, Dragon's Dogma, Ghost in the Shell: SAC_2045, SPRIGGAN, Super Crooks and Vampire in the Garden. I absolutely loved the Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen video game and rate it as one of the best RPG games on the PC. PC Gamer hopes this might encourage Capcom to create a sequel.

"Netflix aims to be the most compelling and attractive home for anime fans, creators and production studios. We are creating an environment where production houses can do their best work, and deliver their shows on a service where we connect anime fans from over 190 countries to content they love" said Netflix Director of Content (Japan), John Derderian.

Posted by cageymaru March 12, 2019 11:18 AM (CDT)

UK Will Require Age Verification for Porn Sites in April

The United Kingdom recently passed a law requiring citizens to verify their age before they can access porn sites, and recent reports claim that law will go into effect in April. A spokesperson for the AgeID system designed to enforce the law said "When a user first visits a site protected by AgeID, a landing page will appear with a prompt for the user to verify their age before they can access the site. Each website will create their own non-pornographic landing page for this purpose." Users will have to make an account on the AgeID website before accessing adult content, or purchase a voucher from a brick-and-mortar store in the UK if they don't want to enter an email address. The system's creators claim AgeID is "secure" and doesn't store any user data beyond login credentials and the fact that they're over 18.

lark says, 'When a user registers an AgeID account using an email address and password, both are protected by a salted, one-way hash. This means that at no point does AgeID have a database of email addresses. AgeID does not know the identity or date of birth of its users, all it knows is whether a hashed account is over 18 or not. AgeID has been designed with privacy and security at its core, so much so that we believe we provide the most robust solution available. We look forward to being scrutinised by the BBFC and the auditors of their voluntary certification scheme.'

Posted by alphaatlas March 05, 2019 10:54 AM (CST)

Steven Spielberg Is Gunning to Make Sure Netflix Never Has Another Oscars Contender

Are Netflix movies such as "Roma" "real" films? Nah, says Steven Spielberg: the director of classics such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, and Jurassic Park has drew the contempt of various Hollywood insiders after he revealed his plans to propose changes to Oscars eligibility rules, arguing "films that debut on streaming services or get a short theatrical run should qualify for the Emmys" instead. While Spielberg appears to be speaking out merely as a "dedicated cinephile," The A.V. Club suggests he may be "serving as the mouthpiece" for studios that are growing increasingly concerned about Netflix’s prominence.

People are pissed off about money -- how much Netflix is spending, and how much it is, or isn’t, bringing in. We’re willing to buy the idea that Spielberg’s motives are more pure -- he’s a dedicated cinephile, and he’s already got more cash than god -- with a focus on the idea that there’s a fundamental difference between visual media made to show on a theater screen, and that designed to run on a monitor or a phone. But it still sounds likely that he’ll end up serving as the mouthpiece for a movement fueled in large part by established studios who don’t like the way the new kid on the block operates.

Posted by Megalith March 03, 2019 11:20 AM (CST)

Netflix May Be Losing $192M per Month from Piracy, Cord Cutting Study Claims

New research published by suggests Netflix could be losing an estimated $192 million every month and $2.3 billion every year due to subscription mooching (i.e., password sharing), with freeloading users saving $207.74 over a 26-month period at (the previous) base price of $7.99 per month. This is substantially more than Amazon and Hulu, which have lost $45 million per month and $40 million per month, respectively. "Millennials, not surprisingly, account for much of the freeloading."

There’s an argument that those who pirate would never be paying customers, so these aren’t true losses. It’s the same sort of thing that was said about Napster mp3 downloads back in the day, or about those pirating movies through The Pirate Bay. But there is some portion of the freeloading population that claims they would pay, if they lost access. According to the study, 59.3 percent said they would pay for Netflix (or around 14 million people), contributing at least $112 million in monthly revenue, if they lost access.

Posted by Megalith March 02, 2019 10:40 AM (CST)

Netflix Cancels The Punisher And Jessica Jones

Even though Netflix's Marvel TV series are still quite popular on the platform, the streaming platform has steadily been axing all of them. They already canceled Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, and today, Deadline reports that Netflix has all but finished off their slice of the Marvel Cinematic Universe by canceling Jessica Jones and The Punisher. Jessica Jones will still get a third season, and the 2nd season of The Punisher came out relatively recently, but Netflix confirmed that those will be the final seasons of both shows. While Netflix didn't mention Disney by name, they did say "on behalf of everyone at Marvel Television, we couldn't be more proud or more grateful to our audience. Our Network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters… but you know Marvel better than that." Thanks to exlink for the tip.

After Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil were all given the chop late last year by the streamer, the unplugging of further seasons of the blood and bullet strewn Frank Castle saga should really come as no surprise. With new and old Marvel content a big component of the upcoming Disney+ streaming service, the final stage of the disentangling of the once burgeoning relationship between the House of Mouse and Netflix has now become more a matter of when and how not if. Additionally, the Jeph Loeb-run Marvel TV inked a four-series and one special deal with the soon-to-be Disney dominated Hulu on February 11 that will surely become the new focus of the comic giant’s small screen division.

Posted by alphaatlas February 18, 2019 11:49 AM (CST)

"Resident Evil" TV Series in the Works at Netflix

An original scripted series based on Resident Evil is in development at Netflix. Deadline has heard the show will "expand the Resident Evil universe and deepen the existing mythology," but whether it’ll be faithful to the games is anyone’s guess: the studio responsible for the Milla Jovovich-led films, Constantin Films, is also behind this production.

I hear the series will keep the basic premise, which also served as a setup for the movie franchise. The drama series will explore the dark inner workings of the Umbrella Corporation and the new world order caused by the outbreak of the T-virus. While the project is in early stages, the series is expected to incorporate all of Resident Evil’s signature elements, including action sequences and "easter eggs."

Posted by Megalith January 26, 2019 10:40 AM (CST)

Most Customers Would Stop Watching Netflix if it had Commercials

Netflix reportedly tested video ads for other series earlier this year, and those tests didn't go well. The company has no public plans to implement video ads anytime soon, and a recent survey conducted by the market research firm Audience Project seems to justify Netflix's reluctance. After asserting that Netflix is the leading streaming in the US and several European countries, the research firm claims that over half of Netflix's users would stop watching content if the streaming platform introduced commercials. In the U.S, 42% said they would still stop watching if a price drop accompanied the commercials. Thanks to KitGuru for spotting the survey.

When asked whether the Netflix users would stop watching content on Netflix if the company were to add commercials into its streaming service, more than half - and in some countries up to two thirds - confirm that they would do this. And even when presenting the Netflix users for a scenario where Netflix lowered the subscription price while introducing commercials, around half still confirm that it would make them stop watching content on Netflix... The study is based on more than 16.000 individual survey respondents across seven countries; The US, the UK, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Posted by alphaatlas January 23, 2019 9:30 AM (CST)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Lays Out the Company's Vision for Its "Netflix for Games"

When Microsoft unveiled its Project xCloud project, which lets users stream Xbox titles to a range of devices, many saw flashes of the world’s most popular streaming video service. That analogy, of course, was Microsoft’s plan all along: CEO Satya Nadella has admitted the project’s internal nickname is, quite literally, "Netflix for games," and claims Project xCloud will be better than the competition due to the "huge" back-catalog of Microsoft-published Xbox games, success of Xbox Live, and the brand having a foot in both the console and PC space.

"There are 2 billion people who play video games on the planet today. We're not going to sell 2 billion consoles," Spencer told Business Insider in an interview in June. "Many of those people don't own a television; many have never owned a PC. For many people on the planet, the phone is their compute device," he said. "It's really about reaching a customer wherever they are, on the devices that they have." For now, Project xCloud -- the "Netflix for games" service Nadella spoke about -- is still in development. Microsoft is planning to run public tests of the service in 2019.

Posted by Megalith January 20, 2019 10:30 AM (CST)

Netflix Points to Fortnite as Major Competitor

Netflix's Q4 earnings report is out. The streaming giant said they made $16 billion in revenue and doubled their operating profits to $1.6 billion this year, and they say that growth was fueled by "high member satisfaction." But and other media outlets spotted a particularly interesting comment in the report: Netflix said that they earn about "10% of television screen time" in the US and less for mobile, and say that they "compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO." In addition to aknowledging the sheer popularity of the battle royale game, Netflix also talked about their interactive Black Mirror episode. As we reported yesterday, Netflix sees huge growth potential in the field of interactive media, and believes producers want to blur the lines between video games and television.

"There are thousands of competitors in this highly fragmented market vying to entertain consumers... Our growth is based on how good our experience is, compared to all the other screen time experiences from which consumers choose." This is another indication of just how big Fortnite has become. In November 2018, the various versions of Epic's battle royale title had a total of 200 million registered players -- a number that has almost certainly climbed since then.

Posted by alphaatlas January 18, 2019 8:50 AM (CST)

Netflix Raises U.S. Prices

Reuters reports that Netflix is raising prices for U.S. subscribers by "13 to 18 percent." The standard plan will now be $12.99 instead of $10.99, the basic plan is getting a $1 price bump to $8.99, and the premium plan that allows for 4K HDR streaming is now $15.99 instead of $13.99, but those new prices aren't reflected on Netflix's website yet. Interestingly, and perhaps a bit counter-intuitively, Netflix share prices are up 5% following the announcement, though they are still significantly lower than their peak prices in June and July of this year. Some might think higher prices would turn Netflix subscribers to competitors, but investors apparently see it as an opportunity for more revenue.

The price hikes will be applied to all existing members over the next few months and to all new members immediately, Netflix said in a statement. This is the first time since October 2017 that Netflix has raised prices for its U.S. subscribers.

Posted by alphaatlas January 15, 2019 10:19 AM (CST)