Weekly Rewind: Netflix tax, iPhone 5C leaks, and more

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Netflix is on its way to 70 million subscribers

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After a monumental run that has seen stock prices nearly double in recent months to reach record highs, Netflix has begun to cool off a bit on Wall Street. Still, the innovative streaming service is bound for a strong close to 2015, predicted to end the year with nearly 70 million subscribers. According to a new report by Digital TV Research, Netflix is predicted to end 2015 with nearly 13 million additional subscribers after posting over 57 million subs in January. To give an idea of just how fast Netflix is growing, the company ended 2012 with just over 33 million total members, doubling its customer base over the last 3 years, and then some.

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Apple Music launches, along with always-on Beats 1 radio

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The launch of Apple Music was the talk of the Internet this week, as it arrived on the scene with the intention of knocking Spotify off its pedestal. It’s also accompanied by an always-on streaming radio station called Beats 1. If its first few hours are any indication, the Zane Lowe-helmed 24-hour streaming radio station is targeting hip, young music consumers, and those who want to embrace rising, festival-ready artists. Broadcasting live from LA, Zane Lowe kicked off the integral piece to Apple’s fledgling streaming service today with some simple words: “We must launch,” he said. “To those hungry for music from town to town, from city to city, here we go.” Image courtesy of

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Neighbors with shotguns are the biggest threat to drones

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It’s a boom time for drones as more and more of us buy them for fun, and use them to do things like take crazy aerial photos, deliver packages, or even recreate Star Wars. If you are flying a drone this weekend then make sure you do it safely — and keep an eye out for any shotgun-wielding neighbors near your property. Californian Eric Joe has had to resort to the courts to try and get damages after his drone was shot from the sky late last year. Joe says his drone was on his own property at the time and wasn’t fitted with any recording equipment. His neighbor Brett McBay is accused of firing the shot, and said he thought the drone was a CIA surveillance device. So far, McBay has refused to pay the $850 awarded to Joe through the small claims court.

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Steve Wozniak doesn’t fear the future, so you probably shouldn’t worry

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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak once warned computers would make us irrelevant, and at a technology conference in late June, he elaborated on this, saying the concept of artificial intelligence caused him sleepless nights. However, he has moved passed fear, and reached acceptance. In Woz’s future, the world is at least partially controlled by artificially intelligent robots, but not in a bad, Terminator-style way. He says he’s over his fear of humans being replaced by computers and has now embraced the idea they can live together in harmony, though he admits this sci-fi world is hundreds of years away.

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Chicago’s cloud tax will cost Netflix members some extra surcharges

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Unfortunate for residents of Chicago, the city’s amusement tax will be extended to streaming entertainment services like Netflix, Spotify, Hulu or Apple Music. Basically attaching to any cloud-based service that delivers entertainment to subscribers, companies like Netflix will have to include the tax in the subscription price and collect an additional nine percent for the city of Chicago. The change in the tax code also applies to “nonpossessory computer leases,” specifically to include remote computing platforms like cloud-based services. This new tax is estimated to bring in an additional $12 million a year for the city of Chicago, although the effectiveness of the tax is highly dependent on the number of streaming subscribers that live in the Chicago area. By design, this new tax has been implemented to combat the downturn of physical media purchases as well as the shrinking number of stores to purchase or rent entertainment.

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Cars

GM’s Cruise autonomous car unit teams up with Humanmade on job training

General Motors' Cruise self-driving car division is based in San Francisco, where the tech industry has created some unfortunate economic side effects. Cruise and Humanmade hope to address that imbalance.
Smart Home

The best pet tech products on the market for dog and cat owners

Pet-centric tech has come a long way in the past decade. From self-cleaning litter boxes to DNA tests designed to trace your pup's ancestry through the ages, here is some of the best pet tech available.
Buying Guides

Back to school smart home gadgets under $50 for your dorm

Today’s students are accustomed to a high-tech lifestyle, which they'll want to maintain when they start college. But they're also strapped for cash, so these back to school smart home gadgets under $50 for the dorm are perfect!
Small Business

The 15 best tech jobs boast top salaries, high satisfaction, lots of openings

The bonanza of tech jobs just keeps coming. High-paying tech jobs abound at companies where people love to work. If you’re ready to make a change, this is a great time to look for something more fulfilling.   
Mobile

Go monochrome with some of the best black-and-white photo apps

Despite the ubiquity of color images native to digital cameras and smartphones, the emotion and drama of black-and-white photography maintain their allure. Here are a few of our favorite monochrome shooting and editing apps.
Mobile

Motorola One Action says goodbye to annoying vertical videos

The new midrange Motorola One Action features an ultra-wide-angle lens that means you can take horizontal video while filming vertically. Here's everything you need to know about the Motorola One Action.
Mobile

Critical Bluetooth security bug discovered. Protect yourself with a quick update

Researchers have discovered a major new security flaw in Bluetooth, which could leave millions of devices at risk of a malicious hack. The attack allows a hacker to “break” Bluetooth security without anyone knowing.
Computing

A dead pixel doesn't mean a dead display. Here's how to repair it

Dead pixel got you down? We don't blame you. Check out our guide on how to fix a dead pixel and save yourself that costly screen replacement or an unwanted trip to your local repair shop.
Deals

Score this Amazon-renewed Apple iPhone XS at a $350 discount

iPhones are pretty expensive pieces of technology, but if you don’t mind buying a renewed model, you can save quite a bit of money. Amazon is offering renewed unlocked versions of the Apple iPhone XS at a $350 discount.
Deals

Best smartwatch deals for August 2019: Samsung, Fitbit, and Apple Watch sales

Smartwatches make life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. If you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, here are the best smartwatch deals for August 2019.
Mobile

Learn how to make your iPhone play local radio in iOS 13

Find out exactly how to use the Live Radio in iOS 13: Our guide will explain how iOS 13 connects to live radio, what commands to give, and how to revisit past stations. Enjoy your favorite live radio right from your iPhone.
Deals

Looking for a good cheap phone? Get the Samsung Galaxy A10 for $145 on Amazon

Samsung's A-Series lineup features phone models from the low-end to the mid-tier. One of its cheaper ones, the Galaxy A10, is perhaps watered-down specs-wise but still boasts enough workable features that make it recommendable.
Mobile

These fraudulent Android apps were downloaded 8 million times

According to a new report from security research firm Trend Micro, a hefty 85 Android apps have been caught serving fraudulent ads that take over the user's screen -- and those apps have been downloaded 8 million times.
Deals

Score this Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus with a huge $101 discount at Amazon

If you're thinking about upgrading your phone and not willing to expend over $800 on the S10, the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is a great option. It's discounted by $101 at Amazon, dropping its price from $700 to only $599.
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