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6 Things We Learned From the Unofficial Netflix “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit

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NetflixYesterday, the Ask Me Anything community on Reddit was surprised to see a Netflix employee on the site offering to answer any questions the community had. A customer service representative opened an AMA to answer questions, providing a picture of their lanyard as proof.

While the proof provided was not a major identifier, the amount of knowledge the person had about the company helped back up their case. After a few hours, the account was deleted along with the picture of proof. The comments they made addressing questions remain however, and they contain some pretty juicy information about the movie providing service.

Also Read: Netflix Kills Notion of Offline Playback; Says it Will “Never Happen”

1) Netflix doesn’t actively monitor VPN usage

Question: How do you feel about people outside the supported countries accessing Netflix using VPN [virtual private network]. And what’s happening with the Netflix expansion in India? Or at least Asia?

While the question doesn’t relate specifically to the usage of VPN, the customer service representative shared information that should put all VPN users at ease. According to them, Netflix isn’t actively monitoring VPN usage.

Answer: No word on Asia as of now from me, and we don’t actively monitor VPN usage. If you ever need to call tech support they can see right away, and will just advise you to turn off the VPN before they troubleshoot because most issues are slow connection from VPN.

Recently, there’s been a myth that Netflix wanted to crack down on VPN usage when accessing their platform. However, when speaking to The Next Web about the rumor, a Netflix employee said they aren’t actively cracking down at all.

“Netflix simply uses industry standard methods to prevent illegal VPN use,” seems to be the official word, backing up the anonymous customer service representative’s remarks.

2) Netflix buys DVDs in bulk

Question: Why are all the good movies only available on DVD?

Ever wonder why all the best movies are always on DVD, or why that service still exists in the age of streaming? The answer isn’t amazing, but it provides one of those “Oh!” moments.

Answer: DVD is different than streaming because we can pretty much buy all the DVDs in bulk and mail them. Don’t have the same licensing limitations

There’s the “Oh!” moment. It makes perfect sense that Netflix would simply buy the DVDs in bulk and mail them out to users. They don’t have to worry about acquiring rights or cutting deals with productions companies. The answer is so simple it makes you feel dumb.

3) Netflix is working on HTML5 videos

Question: Netflix Player to HTML5, when? If you know…

If you’ve never experienced the amazing feats of an HTML5 video, you’ve been missing out. All those low-quality Tumblr GIFs that you’ve been experiencing for the past few years are about to get blown out of the window once HTML5 video takes off.

Here’s an example of a great HTML5 video:

Sick of watching slow-loading videos on YouTube? Well, the format also supports sound!

According to the Netflix employee, Netflix is testing this out now.

Answer: [It’s] happening right now through chrome 37+.

4) Netflix is expanding to more cable boxes

Question: Is it true that Netflix may soon be working with Cable providers, so Netflix will be accessible with Video On Demand, and [through] a cable box?

The answer? A quite enthusiastic yes.

Answer: Yes! If you’re in the U.S. and have a dish hopper, you’re able to grab the app from your dish receiver now. The U.K. has TiVo through Virgin and some BT boxes as well. More are being added very soon.

5) Netflix is testing skipping opening credits of TV shows

Question: How come there isn’t an option to skip the opening credits of any TV show you may be binge watching?

Ever binge watch a show for hours on end, just to hear that same opening jingle over and over each time? I get it; I’ve seen all of Futurama at least 12 times. I don’t need to hear that same song again and watch Leela crash the Planet Express ship through the billboard for the hundredth time.

Well, it looks like Netflix is currently testing a tool that would skip the opening credits for binge watchers.

Answer: That’s on some accounts right now being tested. Have it happening on my personal account actually.

6) Netflix is currently rolling out a new user interface

Question: I feel like the Netflix UI is really clunky across almost all of the different devices. I’ve only used the Roku, PS3, AppleTV, and a normal web browser so far and none are really that good. I don’t have any suggestions, but I feel like there could be a better way of displaying the UI.

So my question is, are there any plans on unifying the UI across all devices (this might be difficult) or just a more user-friendly UI to use in general instead of endless scrolling?

This one has been a gripe of many Netflix users over the past few years. As the services rolled out on nearly all devices, some interfaces are clearly superior to others. Once you get used to a certain layout, it’s hard to switch back and forth – especially to one that doesn’t perform as well.

Answer: Yes actually! It’s rolling out now actually!

It looks like Netflix is bringing a lot of things to the table, and it’s unfortunate to see the AMA end. Netflix representatives and public relations people were certainly watching, so the hope is that they saw the community response and can use that to address certain features in the future.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Clay Gillespie a writer and reporter for many different platforms across the tech industry. He holds a B.S. in Public Relations from Ball State University, and freelances for different clients in technology and cryptocurrency. For more information, visit his personal website, claygillespie.com.




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Uber: $120 Billion IPO?

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Uber Technologies Inc., the global ride-hailing giant, is reportedly eyeing an initial public offering (IPO) worth as much as $120 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal, the IPO could take place early next year, giving investors ample time to prepare.

More Valuable than the Auto Giants

The $120 billion value proposal was delivered to Uber last month by Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS), two of Wall Street’s largest banks. The banks were presumably advising Uber on how to position stock offerings to potential investors before underwriting the IPO.

The new valuation far exceeds the one Uber received from Toyota Motors Co (TYO), which priced the ride-sharing service at %72 billion.

At $120 billion, Uber would be worth more than the General Motors Co (GM), Ford Motor Co (F) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) combined. The Detroit auto giants have seen their valuations rise in the wake of the financial crisis, buoyed by a prolonged recovery and increased appetite for automobiles. However, their growth has paled in comparison to Uber’s, which was founded in 2009.

Uber’s expansion hasn’t been without growing pains. The company has been mired by regulatory bottlenecks, workplace scandals and the alleged theft of trade secrets from Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL), Google’s parent company.

It is not entirely clear what metrics the Wall Street banks used to evaluate Uber’s potential value. The company reportedly told Morgan Stanley it won’t be profitable for at least another three years, though annual revenues are expected to reach up to $11 billion this year. That’s a marked rise over the $7.78 billion generated in 2017.

While there’s no guarantee that Uber will go public in the proposed timeframe, it must issue a public offering by the end of 2019, according to WSJ sources. That’s the agreement it has in place with investor SoftBank Group Corp.

Uber by the Numbers

Uber’s startling growth over the past nine years can be represented by a few statistics. As of May 8, 2018, the company had 19,000 employees. This doesn’t include the more than 3 million drivers who are getting paid through the ride-hailing service. Since inception, Uber drivers have completed some 10 billion rides. This averages out to about 15 million rides each day. Gross bookings in 2016 alone amounted to $20 billion.

As of June, 75 million riders were using the Uber app. In the U.S. alone, adult users are projected to reach 48 million by the end of 2018. The Uber app is installed on 21% of U.S. adult Android devices.

Currently, Uber owns up to 87% of the U.S. ride-hailing market. The growth and widespread adoption of the service has opened the door to other competitors, with Lyft being the biggest. Founded in 2012, Lyft is available in about 220 cities across the U.S. as well as in major cities across Asia.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.6 stars on average, based on 647 rated postsSam Bourgi is Chief Editor to Hacked.com, where he specializes in cryptocurrency, economics and the broader financial markets. Sam has nearly eight years of progressive experience as an analyst, writer and financial market commentator where he has contributed to the world's foremost newscasts.




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Argo Mining as a Means of Diversification

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Buying Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency) is something we talk about a lot, but earning crypto is just as interesting. There are many ways to earn crypto that allow for arbitrage-like opportunities, but the focus of this piece is on mining companies.

More specifically, Argo Mining, which is the first cryptocurrency mining company to IPO. That might not sound like a big deal, but it gives Argo a critical competitive advantage over other companies.

The Mining Industry

One thing is clear right now, the mining industry is still very opaque. Users are constantly worried about being scammed, which is very similar to how it was when trading exchanges were popping up left and right. There are numerous options out there for companies that will help you mine cryptocurrency, but it isn’t always clear what the best choice is.

You can go one of two routes: have a mining application operate on your computer, or pay for a rented service. Honeyminer is an example of a native application that works well and pays out cryptocurrency, and Argo is an example of a “shared service”. Argo operates much like Amazon Web Services does. You pay to rent computational capabilities, but your goals end up being slightly different. The business models are sound, but very different.

Where Argo’s Advantage Comes From

Argo is the first mining company to IPO, which adds a level of trust that no other company can currently command. There are so many potential risks for users that they tend to shy away from these companies. They are worried about their payment information being ripped off, withdrawal of the coins, and the costs being greater than the revenues.

By raising $32 million in their June 11th IPO, Argo has alleviated many of these worries, and added a degree of trust to their brand. They started off mostly mining altcoins such as Bitcoin Gold, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, and Zcash, but have recently announced Bitcoin mining packages as well.

The overall goal of Argo, as stated by their CEO, Jonathan Bixbay, is to democratize mining so everyone can participate. Right now, most of the mining is done by a select few of the elites, and Argo is enabling the wealth to be spread here.

Can Argo Actually Make You Money?

The big question to answer about Argo is whether you can actually make money doing this. The costs per month could potentially be higher than the value of the crypto you mine. Sure, you don’t have to pay trading fees on them, but it is important to calculate exactly how much you are coming out ahead.

It depends on the package, but you could potentially end up paying more for the fees than you earn. The trick is to remember that the crypto market isn’t like other markets – it isn’t perfectly efficient – and there are always arbitrage opportunities if you look hard enough.

An Alternate Route to Being Long Crypto

With much of crypto mining currently being done by elites because of the massive investment involved, it is clear that Argo has tapped a massive market. The company had a waitlist of 50,000 in September, and with the funds from the IPO, they can finally finance the expansion of their operations in a way that will speed up the number of people they can bring online.

If you believe Bitcoin (or cryptocurrencies in general) is coming out of a rut soon, then this is a good way to diversify into the market. Do your own tests and make sure that you are coming out ahead after the fees, but it should be a simple way to make some extra money in what is currently an inefficient market.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD at Risk of September Bull Run Being Completely Deflated

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  • Ripple’s native token XRP is at large danger of totally giving back the big September bull run gains. 
  • XRP/USD is capped to the upside at $0.6000. Vital near-term support seen tracking from $0.4550-0.4350.

Ripple’s native token XRP price has further been sent down to the burning south. This comes after the chunky and excessive bull run observed at the back end of September. XRP/USD had run higher by some 190%, from lows of around $0.27. Bulls managed to see a spike up, just short of $0.8000, within the early $0.7900 territory. Since this initial big trek to the north, up to mentioned highs, the price has dropped around 40%.

September Recap

There was not one catalyst behind the rocket move of around 195% in September for Ripple’s XRP. A few developments are worth recapping. Fintech heavyweight in Japan, SBI Holdings, announced their plans to launch a Ripple-powered mobile payment application known as MoneyTap. Elsewhere, London-based firm TransferGo announced they are using Ripple’s blockchain. This will be to facilitate digital currency transfer from Europe to India.

Furthermore, the litigation between R3 and Ripple Lab announced that they have reached a settlement of all outstanding litigation between the parties.  To top all the above, there was huge anticipation ahead of the xRapid product launch. This is now live, available for commercial use, allowing both individuals and businesses to access instant liquidity and low fees, using Ripple’s XRP. This trumps the traditional process of a 2-3 day wait. A sense of buy on the rumor sell on the fact was definitely observed here.

Technical Review

XRP/USD is on its journey south, looking to completely give back September’s run higher. Starting off with resistance, as can be seen the price upside has been capped at $0.6000. There hasn’t been enough momentum since the exhausted rally, to clear this chunky supply cap. Firm rejections have been observed at the mentioned resistance block since the bull run. If life kicks back into the bulls, they will need to comfortably settle around $0.7500, before then conquering $0.8000. Ripple’ XRP is still a long way away from of reclaiming the big psychological $1.00, with much supply even seen within the early to mid $0.9000 region.

XRP/USD 4-hour chart

Given current downside momentum, near-term support is now eyed from a range of $0.4550-0.4350. This is a demand zone, having proven to be the case during the fall on 25th September. The price managed to receive a bid within this area, moving back towards the $0.6000 resistance, before again faltering. Should the demand zone fail to hold, there will likely be a very fast move, back down to 0.2700-0.2500 area. XRP/USD had been within consolidation mode, for much of September, it was floating around this territory.

Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Important: Never invest (trade with) money you can't afford to comfortably lose. Always do your own research and due diligence before placing a trade. Read our Terms & Conditions here. Trade recommendations and analysis are written by our analysts which might have different opinions. Read my 6 Golden Steps to Financial Freedom here. Best regards, Jonas Borchgrevink.

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4.5 stars on average, based on 32 rated postsKen has over 8 years exposure to the financial markets. During a large part of his career, he worked as an analyst, covering a variety of asset classes; forex, fixed income, commodities, equities and cryptocurrencies. Ken has gone on to become a regular contributor across several large news and analysis outlets.




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