In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from this week. Everything from Netflix upping its subscription price to an attempted hack of Uber linked to competitor Lyft — it’s all here.
Beginning today, Netflix has increased its standard subscription to $10 per month. While existing subscribers on the two-screen plan will receive a grace period, the price increase goes into effect today for new subscribers in the United States, Canada, and parts of Latin America. The price for the one-screen standard definition plan ($8 per month) and four-screen “premium” plan ($12) will not change. The video streamer explained the increase is to offset the cost of adding new TV shows and movies.
It was a busy week for Twitter. Just a day after the company announced that Jack’s back, it rolled out a major new feature it hopes will drive engagement and ultimately draw in much-needed new users. “Moments” aims to showcase “the best of what’s happening on Twitter in an instant” by pulling together tweets – with accompanying images, videos, Vines, and GIFs – on big stories as they emerge throughout the day. The company has been testing the service internally for several months now and was previously known as Project Lightning. You can access Moments by tapping on the lightning bolt icon in the bottom bar of the Twitter app, or in the top bar if you’re using the desktop version.
Solar energy currently is an untapped resource, only providing 0.39 percent of the energy in the US. This figure is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years with some visionaries like Elon Musk predicting solar will become the dominant energy source by 2031. So what would the Earth look like if it were powered by solar panels? Land Art Generator Initiative used some fancy calculations to find out. According to Land Art’s calculations, we would need 496,805 square kilometers or 191,817 square miles of solar panels to provide renewable power for the entire Earth. This solar panel requirement is roughly equivalent to the land mass of Spain.
Microsoft’s October 6 event in New York City held several expected announcements and a few surprises. New Lumia phones, Surfaces, the HoloLens, and even a revamped Microsoft Band made an appearance. Microsoft also highlighted the HoloLens project and how Continuum in Windows 10 works with the Lumia 950 and 950XL. We’ve put together all the news from the event in one handy list. For more info, you can check out our hands on with the Lumia 950 and 950XL, Microsoft Band 2, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book.
For most of modern history, we’ve treated the human body as a chemical system, and used pharmaceuticals to cure our ailments. But DARPA thinks that’s an outdated approach. The agency thinks that we should start looking at the body as an electrical system — and it just dedicated a bunch of funding to exploring the idea. Earlier this week, DARPA announced the first seven research teams that will participate in the agency’s Electrical Prescriptions (ElectRx) program. As its name implies, this project is dedicated to creating technology that will treat mind and body disorders with therapies that alter the electrical pulses that run through nerves.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week