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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Product Review

Mercedes-Benz fires its first salvo in the luxury electrification war

The EQC is Mercedes-Benz's answer to the Tesla threat, bringing performance, tech features, and luxury to the growing electric SUV segment. We headed to Norway, the electric car capital of the world, to get a taste of it.
Cars

2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport uses cameras to spot off-road obstacles

The 2020 Land Rover Discovery Sport gets a host of new tech features, including a camera system that shows what's underneath the car. It also gets a mild-hybrid powertrain to improve gas mileage.
Deals

Here’s one thing you need to do before giving your child a smartphone or tablet

Monitoring your kids' digital habits can be a challenge in today’s high-tech age, but great parental control software like Qustodio gives parents a much-needed advantage. Learn how you can protect your child from online dangers.
Movies & TV

Sit down and watch some of the best stand-up comedy on Netflix

Feeling a little funny? There are hundreds of hilarious comedy specials out there, and you can't be expected to comb through them all. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of the best stand-up specials on Netflix.
Mobile

U.K. carrier EE will flip the switch on its 5G network on May 30

5G will launch on all major networks in the U.K. during 2019. Here are all the details from Vodafone, EE, O2, and Three UK to help you get onboard with the right carrier, and choose the right phone.
Mobile

Cardinal red Galaxy S10 doesn't appear destined for the U.S.

Samsung 2019 flagship smartphone lineup is here, and there aren't just two phones as usual — there are four. There's the Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, as well as a new entry called the S10e, as well as the Galaxy S10 5G.
Mobile

Sony not giving up on smartphones, but will only focus on 4 regions

Sony says it will not give up on phones, and still considers them indispensable to its business, but will focus on only four regions around the world — Japan, Europe, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Deals

REI cuts prices on Garmin Fenix 5 and Suunto 3 fitness smartwatches

REI is currently dropping prices on Garmin Fenix and Suunto smartwatches for its anniversary sale. With fitness tracking, GPS, and smartphone connectivity, a solid wearable is one of the best companions outdoorsmen could wish for.
Deals

Best Memorial Day sales 2019: The top deals from Walmart, Dell, and Home Depot

If you're looking to save big on some shiny new stuff for Memorial Day 2019, we've gathered everything you need to know into one place. Find out where to save the most money before the summer hits its stride.
Mobile

Chip architecture firm ARM ceases business with Huawei, claims latest leak

The U.S. Commerce Department has added Huawei to its "Entity List." Google, Intel, and ARM are all confirmed or rumored to be ceasing business with the company, which may have disastrous effects on Huawei.
Mobile

Keep your gadgets fully powered with the best Micro USB cables

A lot of older gadgets and Android smartphones still rely on Micro USB cables to charge or transfer data. Check out our picks of the best Micro USB cables, whether you want something reliable, tough, feature-packed, or simple.
Android

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Mobile

Looking for love or just some fun? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.
Mobile

Embattled Huawei preps its own backup operating system that runs Android apps

According to a new report, Huawei is developing its own mobile operating system, just in case it loses its access to Android -- something that could happen to ZTE in the near future.
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