Archive for the ‘Gaming’ Category

Weekly News Roundup (22 March 2015)

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Hope you’ve had a good week. I’ve been stuck on a similar them lately, having watched the original Robocop, the remake RoboCop and Chappie, all movies with some shared themes. Out of the three, Paul Verhoeven’s Robocop still stands out as the best, while Chappie had its moments too (I’ve seen it described as a Disney movie meeting Verhoeven’s Robocop, and that feels about right) – don’t listen to the critics, Chappie is a very decent movie, up there with District 9, even though I felt that certain aspects of the film, particularly those ripe for philosophical discussion, were glossed over rather too quickly. And Sony, please stop with the product placements – it’s getting far too obvious, and far too annoying (and this comes from someone who just recently purchased a Sony Xperia Z3 smartphone). There’s a good movie hiding inside the remade Robocop, only if it had a better script, and perhaps, if the stories are true, if the director had been allowed to do everything he wanted to do.

Lots to go through, so let’s get started …

Copyright

EZTV

Beware of which EZTV domain name you’re using – one of them is no longer under the control of the site’s operators

Those that download a lot of pirated TV shows will most likely be familiar with a site called EZTV – think of it as The Pirate Bay, but mainly for TV shows. For many years, EZTV has been using a .it domain name as its official home. That domain name was seized earlier this year by an Italian domain registrar, forcing the site to move to a .ch domain name.

Now normally that would be the end of the story, but for some reason (and possibly something that may not be entirely legal), the domain registrar put the .it domain name back on the market, and it was subsequently snapped up by someone that had a snapback service on the domain (usually used to take control of recently expired domain names, maybe cause the original registrant forgot to renew in time). The reality now is that the .it domain name is now in the hands of someone that has nothing to do with the real admins of EZTV.

And in typical domain squatter fashion, the .it domain name was pointed back to the real EZTV website. This is done in order to maintain the popularity (and trustworthiness) of the now “hijacked” domain – do this for a while, and people forget that the domain name is no longer owned by the real owners, and this is when the fun begins. Fake pages could then be set up to steal user login info, malware could be distributed in fake torrents, anything could happen – or the new owners could simply be good Samaritans and keep the domain name pointed to the real site.

So if you *have to* use the EZTV website, make sure you don’t use the .it domain name!

Pirate Party Iceland

The Icelandic Pirate Party has become the country’s most popular political party

If EZTV ever need to relocate to a new domain name, they could try’s .is. Not yet, but maybe a couple of years down the line when the country’s Prime Minister is actually a member of the Pirate Party. This isn’t as far fetched as it sounds, as a recent poll found that the Pirate Party is now the country’s most popular party, beating long term established parties like Independence Party and the Social Democratic Alliance.

It’s a stunning development for a party that’s only two years old, and perhaps shows that the Icelandic voting public is ready for change, and is stick and tired of the status quo, particularly in relation to lopsided copyright laws.

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Time for some more DRM nonsense. How about a light therapy mask with a 30,000 hour LED globe that has been DRM’d to fail after only 7.5 hours? Trying to make a consumable product when there’s no need for one, it would be like printer makers using DRM to make ink cartridges unusable, even when they’re perfectly fine. On second thought, maybe what this light therapy mask company doing isn’t so different after all!

High Definition

Roll of money

Netflix has been spending a lot on buying and making content

$9.5 billion is a lot of money, and that’s how much Netflix is committed to spend on content purchases over the next few years. The company currently spends around $2 billion a year on third-party content and original productions (which accounts for 20% of their content budget), and leads all other streaming services in terms of content spending.

What’s interesting is that, at least according to Netflix, it’s much better value to spend money on original shows like ‘House of Cards’ and ‘Orange is the New Black’ than buying shows from other networks, at least when it comes to viewer metrics. Netflix deliberately released this information in its last quarterly shareholder letter, no doubt as a warning to third-party content providers (many of whom are also competitors in the field) about the rising cost of content licensing. There’s a mini-boom right now for content holders when it comes to licensing content to streaming providers like Netflix and Amazon, but they should not get too greedy and ruin a good thing for everyone.

Meanwhile, a “God Mode” for Netflix does sound very enticing indeed. While naive me though that a God mode would enable the ability to watch HBO shows on Netflix, but the actual God mode tweak simply allows for multi-row display of titles for those that watch Netflix on their PCs. So nothing as sexy as unlocking the next season of Orange is the new Black months before it’s official release, but still pretty cool for those tired of having to scroll through a single row of content.

Gaming

In our second public service announcement for this issue, you might want to double check ensure the security settings for your Sony PSN account is in good order, as you might not like what happens if your account does get hacked. One users found out the hard way, when his account was stolen and hackers charged $600 worth of purchases to his account via his linked credit card. Unfortunately, Sony’s policy does not allow for refunds of more than $150, and any other course of action (such as charging back the transactions with his credit card company) could see his PSN account banned and his (intentional) purchases (which, to be fair, wasn’t a whole lot) gone. To make matters worse, it might take up to 6 month for his account to be linked to his PS4 again, as per Sony policy. You can read up on the poor guy’s horror story, and the poor response to the problem from Sony, here on Reddit.

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And so we come to another end of the WNR. Hope you’ve enjoyed this issue, see you next week!

Weekly News Roundup (15 March 2015)

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Happy Birthday to me! Yesterday was my birthday, and so today, I’m already 0.00273972602 into my new age. Actually, it’s 0.00273224044 years older because 2016 is a leap year I believe. Nerd!

Quite a bit to get through this week, so let’s get started.

Copyright

Counterfeit Drugs

Yes, this is exactly the same as downloading The Walking Dead. Can’t you tell?

Counterfeit drugs that could harm your health or even cause death is the exact same thing as downloading Game of Thrones, according to the U.S. trade office. The USTR wants domain registrars to start cracking down and seizing domain names, all without due process. The USTR even went as far as listing domain registrar Tucows in its “notorious market” list for failing to shut down domain names after receiving information that these domain names were being used to offer content and products that infringe copyright or trademarks. Except these “notifications” have no legal merit or basis, and somehow Tucows is just supposed to take the word of whomever sent these notices and suspend the domain names. I wonder how easy it would be to have mpaa.com suspended, I’m sure they infringe on somebody’s rights if you look closely enough.

The worst part is that the USTR continues to use the same shtick, or rather, it continues to parrot the same line of argument of linking “rat poison filled” counterfeit drugs to movie downloads, both of which are technically copyright or trademark infringement. Show me how you can download rat poison filled counterfeit drugs from The Pirate Bay, and I’ll totally support your plan to allow private companies to suspend any domain name they want just because they want to.

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Here’s an innovative way to cut down on movie piracy – stop releasing movies! That’s the latest plan from India’s Tamil Film Producer’s Council, which hopes that movie pirates will go out of business if there are no new movies to release. That may very well happen, but what’s stop new movie pirates from starting again once the release of new movies restart? Maybe they haven’t thought this through enough …

Australian pirates have moved beyond having to actually pay for pirated discs and whatnot, preferring to download freely (both as in freedom and in price). The industry-led push to toughen anti-piracy measures here in Australia has certainly had a major positive impact – for VPN providers! Australians are flocking to VPN services in order to escape anti-piracy monitors. Well at least somebody well be benefiting financially from these anti-piracy measures – it won’t be the rights holders, that’s for sure!

High Definition

In this week’s Digital Video/HD news section, we have two new ways to stream movies and TV shows, and one new way which is blocked for Comcast customers.

HBO Now

HBO Now is coming in April, but will you cancel your cable subscription if you sign up?

Starting with the official announcement that HBO’s standalone over-the-top streaming product will now be known as HBO Now, and will be available from April for $14.99 per month. Most of this is not news (other than the April release date), but slightly disappointing will be the fact that for the first three month at least, HBO Now will only be available on Apple devices, no doubt due to “business decisions” made at the highest level (more on these kind of “business decisions” later).

With no international expansion plans for the service yet, it will be interesting to see how hard/easy it would be for people overseas to get access to the service. The VPN/smart DNS thing might not be where the problem is, neither will be getting the app on Apple devices (it’s easy to create a U.S. iTunes account) as it’s the payment method that could get tricky. HBO could easily do a Netflix and allow overseas credit cards without looking too closely (funny how so many people live in the 90210 ZIP code), but they could also be harsh and only accept valid US credit cards. Time will tell.

Even harsher is the fact that PS4 owners using Comcast won’t be able to stream HBO Go despite the release of the app on the game console, due to “business decisions” made by Comcast. Apparently, Comcast and Sony have yet to come to an agreement on the issue, which leaves PS4 HBO subscribers out in the cold. If you ever want a real world example of how the Internet could be ruined by the lack of Net Neutrality, this is it – ISPs having the power to deny you access to something just because they haven’t been paid.

So while HBO Go isn’t available on the latest PS4 consoles, how about Netflix coming to an oldie, but goodie, gaming console? If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to watch Netflix on the NES, wonder no more. Just plug the NES cartridge in, select the episode of House of Cards you’d like to watch, and off you go in all of its 8-bit glory (and don’t let the fact that due to the NES obviously not have Internet access, that everything you see in this video was just a rigged demo, ruin the fun for you). HBO should have a Hack Day as well to make a hack that doesn’t let mass media corporations from telling you how and where you can watch your shows!

Amazon, Netflix and Hulu Plus

Everyone Love Streaming. Well not everyone, but certainly enough people to TV networks start to get worried

Regardless of how you watch Netflix or HBO, one thing is for certain – everyone’s watching it! A new survey from Nielsen shows that 4 in 10 U.S. households are already subscribing to some for of subscription VOD, with 36% of all American households currently using Netflix.

35% of households with broadband still haven’t started using services like Netflix, so there’s definitely room to grow for the likes of Amazon and Hulu Plus, both of which lag behind Netflix in terms of market share (13% and 6.5% respectively). Plus there’s also the quarter of all American homes that do not yet have broadband.

What there is less room to grow is the amount of TV households watch per day, which (although having dropped slightly) is currently at 4 hours and 51 minutes. I don’t think I can manage to squeeze 4 hours and 51 minutes of free time every day from my already fairly lax schedule, so I don’t know how people are doing it!

Gaming

February NPD results are in, and we’ll discuss it in more detail next week. Suffice to say, it’s business as usual which means the PS4 was on top yet again.

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One year older, one year wiser? Um, probably not. I’d be happy to just be able to maintain my current level of intelligence for as long as possible, and no, that was not my birthday wish. See you next week (when I’ll be +0.0263157895 years older).

Weekly News Roundup (8 March 2015)

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Welcome to another edition of the WNR. We have quite a bit to go through today, everything from a Chinese ’50 Shade of Grey’ to Blu-ray malware. It’s nice to have news stories to write about.

No time to waste, so let’s get started.

Copyright

50 Shades of Grey - Chinese Version

50 Shades of Grey – Chinese Style!

Those not wanting to give money to anyone involved with the ’50 Shades of Grey’ phenomenon (book of film), or those that are simply too embarrassed to go see it at the cinema will have been waiting for a good quality pirated version of the film. The morality of illegal downloading aside, the news that a very good quality HD version of the film ripped straight from a legal streaming outlet who had early access to the film will have been received as a piece of very good news indeed. But there’s a catch – this newly uploaded version is the PG-13, censored, airline version of the film, or to be more precisely, the Chinese government approved version of the film.

In other words, it’s the version with all the “good” bits removed, nudity, sex scenes or pretty much the only reason you’d ever even consider watching a film like this. If there’s one Chinese censor approved film this year that you have to watch, this film is not it.

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The sleazy world of political lobbying has been revealed by Google’s lawsuit against the state Attorney General of Mississippi Jim Hood. Hood started an investigation last year to discover whether Google is guilty of helping to distribute copyrighted content, but it was later revealed (ironically via the hacked Sony emails) that the MPAA was the one pulling all the strings, even going as far as creating an astroturf group (the Digital Citizens Alliance) and helping Hood draft letters that the AG was signing and sending to Google. All of this was an attempt by the MPAA to bring back SOPA.

Going back to AG Hood’s original claims, while there is no doubt that you can find pirated content via Google, but you can also find pretty much everything else on Google (um, that’s what a search engine does). It’s like making Yellow Pages responsible for all the actions of every company listed in the phone book.

Google promptly sued Hood to stop his investigation, and this week, a Federal court judged granted a temporary injunction against the investigation. While this is definitely a victory (judges don’t tend to grant temporary injunctions, and may even throw out the case altogether, if there’s nothing backing Google’s claims), it’s only a minor one as this TR only issued to ensures the “status quo”, as the judge puts it. A full trial will still be needed to determine whether Attorney General Hood and his MPAA buddies will get to blame Google for everything that’s wrong with the world today.

High Definition

The Big cinema chains, AMC, Regal, Cinemark and Carmike, are starting to get increasingly worried about the death of the release window, especially now that Netflix is getting into the movie releasing business in a very serious way this year. Netflix has several first-run movies planned for simultaneous theatrical and streaming release set for this year, including the sequel to ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’. The chains, worried that their monopoly on movies released during the typical 90-day release window, are boycotting any film that does not have this exclusive window.

Cinema Audiences Being Watched

Movie cinema chains have Netflix in their sights

The latest release to get banned is ‘Beasts of No Nation’, starring The Wire’s Idris Elba and directed by True Detective’s Cary Fukunaga, a drama following the tale of a child soldier in Africa. Netflix purchased the rights to the film and will be making it a streaming exclusive when it is released later in the year, but has been seeking a theatrical release for the film that many considers an Oscar contender. With the big cinema chains all boycotting the film, it will be up to the smaller independent chains to pick up the slack, with around 250 screens set to show the film (a drop in the ocean compared to the number of screens owned by the big chains – Regal, the biggest chain, has more than 7,300 screens alone in North America).

So instead of giving viewers the choice between legal streaming and the full theatrical experience, the big chains appear willing to use their market power to maintain their precious release window, not realising that they’d still have to “compete” with another form of free digital movie viewing – piracy.

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A warning for those that download Blu-ray ISOs to burn their own discs, you could be burning a disc that launches malware on any computer, or selected Blu-ray hardware disc players, that plays it. Security consultants have found a vulnerability that allows malicious code to be launched via a Blu-ray movie’s BD-J interactive content. The most obvious attack vector is though the PC based Blu-ray player software PowerDVD, where a flaw in the software allows BD-j applets to run outside of the normal sandboxed environment and access the OS and file systems. Those with hardware Blu-ray players are not immune either, as a second vulnerability allows root access to Blu-ray players when the malicious code is launched.

Gaming

20th Anniversary PlayStation 4

Congratulations on winnings a 20th Anniversary Edition PS4 … oops, we’ve lost your details, bad luck!

The paper-less, cloud based office is the office of the future. And if this is true, then the office of the future is also where a multinational corporation accidentally erases the list of winners of a high profile, nation wide competition. Sony Japan has accidentally deleted the winners of their much hyped Anniversary edition PS4 competition. With the PlayStation brand entering its 20th year, Sony released a limited edition PS4 that has the same “silver/grey” finish as the original PlayStation console. Japanese consumers who bought a PlayStation console or an approved accessory in December or January received an unique code that could be submitted to Sony to go into the draw to win one of these fabled PS4 consoles, with Sony Japan choosing 123 winners. The only problem? Sony has lost the list of 123 winners “somehow”, and now the winners will have to find their unique code again, or to provide other evidence of their purchase. Sony assures customers that their data has not been stolen. The data has merely been lost with no explanations given. I guess someone should have printed out the list or something.

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That’s all we have for this week. Hope you enjoyed this week’s eclectic collection of news stories, I’m hoping for more of the same next week. Until then, have a good one!

Weekly News Roundup (1 March 2015)

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

Again, apologies for not having anything to talk about last week. And apologies for having too much to go through this week. No time to waste, so let’s get started …

Copyright

Net Neutrality

A big win for Net Neutrality, no surprises that ISPs didn’t like the FCC ruling, nor did Republicans

So while last week was super quiet, this week was anything but. The most exciting, and perhaps important news of the week came via a source you don’t usually associate with excitement – the FCC. This week, the FCC voted (3-2 on party lines, 3 Democrats vs 2 Republicans) to reclassify Internet access as an utility under Title II of the Communications Act. What this means is that, after the setback in the courts which seems to have doomed Net Neutrality, the new strategy by Net Neutrality proponents to seek a Title II reclassification appears to have worked. The FCC can now implement their Open Internet rules via regulation that’s designed to protect consumers, much like how the government does so in regards to electricity or water access.

What I found most interesting were the Republican responses, many slamming the ruling as “big government overreach”. But when it comes to protecting the free (more as in money, than freedom) flow of information on the Internet, I will side with big government any day of the week over big corporations and monopolies – corporations like Comcast and Verizon who want to toll up the Internet, relegating those who cannot pay to second class net citizens. The choice is not between regulation and no regulation, the choice is between government regulation designed to protect the consumer, or big business regulation designed to enrich themselves.

The funny thing was that many of these big business anti-regulation politicians took to social media platforms like Twitter to vent their outrage, the very same social media platforms, and indirectly free speech itself, that will be harmed if Net Neutrality is destroyed. The “market knows” mantra doesn’t work when in effect there is no market, just monopolies – in this instance, the only thing the market knows is how to line their pockets with money at the expense of everyone else.

The fact that most big Internet businesses, like Netflix and Microsoft and Twitter and Tumblr, are all hailing the ruling should be giving these so called pro free market politicians some pause for thought. Sometimes by being anti-regulation simply means you’re supporting one business or industry at the expense of another, and when free market politicians active campaign and legislate for this, aren’t they the ones, in government, doing all the regulating and altering the results of what was supposed to be a free market? Add in the fact that the market and its participants are often not rational at all, it all adds up to the idea that you sometimes cannot have a free, healthy market without strong regulation (designed not to stifle it, but to protect it).

Google DMCA Stats

Google removes so many results due to DMCA requests, but how many invalid requests do they receive?

Now I know the story above is less to do with copyright and more to do with the Internet in general (didn’t stop the MPAA from somehow tying the ruling to their anti-piracy crusade), but this next story definitely is a copyright story, and had it gone the wrong way, could have had an even bigger impact than Net Neutrality. The Internet was one bad DMCA takedown request away from having the world’s most popular downloads all being blocked on Google, if Google had been sleeping on the job. Everything from Java, to Skype, to WhatsApp, to Redhat/Apache/MySQL server software, could have been removed from Google’s index if the DMCA request from Total Wipes Music Group for an obscure music album would have been processed without intervention. Luckily, Google’s system is designed to prevent this type of false positives, although right now, there appear to be no punitive action for companies that continue to submit bad requests.

To be fair to Total Wipes Music Group, they accepted total responsibility and vowed to never let it happen again (apparently it was a software error that, instead of grabbing links related to the name of the music album, grabbed links related to the word “download” instead – no wonder then that the most popular downloads in the world were all listed).

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I suppose, being in Australia, I should talk about the new industry code of conduct to deal with the piracy problem here. The proposal calls for a three-strikes system, but one that appears to be full of loopholes and watered down actions. For example, those on business plans are exempt, while you can get away with two infringement notices every year without any sort of punitive action (the three-strikes counter resets every 12 month). And even when you do get that third strike, it’s up to Big Content to get a court order to compel the ISP to hand over customer details – whether Big Content wants to go down the “sue the downloader” route again, after already admitting that it was largely a mistake, I don’t really know.

What I do know is that our no good, universally despised and most likely to be voted out of office government has been putting a lot of pressure on ISPs and content owners to come up with an industry solution, with the threat of government intervention if talks fail. This is the same government that failed to consult ISPs and consumer groups, and instead, only talked to content owners before coming up with the idea that everything must be done to ensure US companies can continue to rip off Australian consumers by charging more for less. Why am I not surprised?

Gaming

In all my excitement last week about the, um, total lack of excitement, I actually forgot to talk about the January NPD results. But they weren’t that exciting though, with the PS4 once again back on top after the Xbox One sales event ($50 off) ended, before bringing the discount back half way through the month.

This week did yield something a bit more interesting, with Nielsen releasing the results of a survey that shows just exactly why people choose the console they choose.

PS4 with controller and PS Eye

“Better graphics” is the most common reason why people choose the PS4 over the Xbox One (and Wii U)

“Better graphics” was the number one reason behind PS4 buyers choosing to buy Sony’s latest console, while Xbox One buyers said that the Xbox brand was what attracted them the most.

And just to show how perception really is 90 per cent of reality, both PS4 and Xbox One owners cited “faster processing power” behind their choices (although I guess both could have been referring to their consoles of choice being faster the Wii U) – both Xbox One and Wii U owners also cited “exclusive game content” as a top reason.

Showing that Kinect isn’t the dead horse that many others believe it to be, the number two reason for Xbox One owners choosing Microsoft’s console was the console’s “innovative features”.

For Wii U owners, the “fun factor”, “better for kids” and better value nature of the console were key drivers, something that makes perfect sense.

Also very interesting was the question of which last-gen consoles the respondents owned. 59% of PS4 owners previously owned an Xbox 360, compared to only 43% of Xbox One owners who had owned a PS3 – the difference here perhaps explains the reversal of fortunes between Microsoft and Sony’s consoles in this generation. 86% of Wii U owners owned the Wii, showing Nintendo still has a group of loyal fans.

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All very interesting stuff. It’s just one of those things I guess, sometimes all the interesting stuff happen all at the same time. Sad stuff too. R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy. I’ll leave you with his very last tweet:

“A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP”

Dif-tor heh smusma, Spock.

Weekly News Roundup (15 February 2015)

Sunday, February 15th, 2015

Happy Belated Valentine’s Day. Hope you and your loved one had a nice, sweet and romantic day, full or roses and chocolates and other nice things. If you’re single, then don’t be too sad and just think of all the money you’ve saved!

No time to waste, so let’s get started on this slightly shorter than usual WNR.

Copyright

RapidShare logo

RapidShare to cease operations by the end of March, falling popularity due to tough anti-piracy measures may be to blame

RapidShare is no more, or rather, it will be no more very soon. The cyberlocker firm, once the darling of pirates due to how easy it was to upload, and download pirated content from the site, then turned copyright reformer (complete with manifesto) and vowed to walk the straight and narrow. But perhaps too straight, and too narrow, so much so that traffic to the site dropped so rapidly (a-pun-logies) that I guess it no longer made sense for the site to keep running.

Which is a shame, because the site did provide a valuable service. That the service was abused by pirates, and also that monetization for the site comes largely via these pirated downloads, is just unfortunate. Services like Dropbox perhaps just had a better balance between private file sharing (useless for pirating), and public sharing, and so are able to survive, not just financially, but also legally.

The irony of RapidShare’s detour via the moral high ground is that it was added back to the piracy black list last year – so much for trying to do the right thing!

High Definition

DVD vs Blu-ray vs 4K

The PS4 and Xbox One already support 4K, although Netflix believes new versions with enhanced 4K support could come later this year

The first hardware revision for the PS4 and Xbox One may bring more than just a smaller footprint – Netflix believes (and perhaps knows) that the update, which could come before Christmas 2015, could also add 4K video streaming support.

If history is correct, both consoles will receive a hardware upgrade by the end of the year, probably “slim” versions that may also be accompanied by a price cut. It is during this update that Netflix’s Chief Product Officer Neil Hunt thinks enhanced 4K support will be added.

Both current-gen consoles actually already support 4K, but only 24/30 FPS playback, a limitation of the HDMI 1.4 port used by both consoles. But Hunt believes that the next hardware revision for the consoles will add in HDMI 2.0 support, which then enables 50/60 FPS 4K playback, something that Netflix does not yet use, but could by the end of the year. Other features, like HDR (high dynamic range) support, could also be added via an upgraded HDMI port.

One country that won’t be needing 4K Netflix any time soon would be Cuba. You might think this is a strange segue, but it’s actually not that strange. You see, thanks to President Obama’s initiative to reopen diplomatic ties with Cuba, Netflix has taken the opportunity to become one of the first American companies to officially do business with the island nation. Cubans can now sign up to Netflix and access the complete Netflix library, TV shows and movies that are the products of capitalist excess. Of course, the number of Cubans who have Internet access, a connection that’s fast enough, and also have enough money to pay for the monthly subscription (and an international credit or debit card), might not be a big enough market for Netflix to earn anything. Not to get too political here, but I suspect this is exactly what the Obama administration had hoped would happen, to not only allow Americans to (legally) visit the country, but to also allow Cubans a view and a taste of American life.

Gaming

PS4 Remote Play

There is now a way to use PS4 Remote Play on non Sony devices

Those lucky enough to have a Xperia Z2 or Z3 device, and a PS4, should be well aware of the PS4 Remote Play feature, where you can use your phone or tablet to stream and play PS4 games on the go. But it’s a no go for non Sony Android users, as while there doesn’t appear to be any technical reason why Remote Play shouldn’t work on these device, Sony obviously don’t want it to happen. Until now.

Developers led by a coder known only as ‘TheScriptKitty’ had released a port of the official Remote Play app that makes it work on almost all Android devices. All users need to know is how to sideload the APK (basically upload the APK to the device, run the APK, after enabling installs from “unknown sources”), and it works surprisingly well with a good number of devices. You can even hook up a DualShock 3 or DualShock 4 controller to your phone, as you could with the compatible Xperia smartphones, but you’ll need a rooted Android phone in order to run the app for this.

So you no longer need a Sony phone to get Remote Play, although with that said, there are some seriously good phones as part of the Z2 and Z3 range, so they’re definitely worth considering even if Remote Play is no longer as exclusive as it once was.

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The NPD stats for January just came out while I was finishing off this WNR, so I’ll leave it for next week. Spoiler alert: the PS4 did really well.

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That’s all we have for this week, hope you enjoyed reading. See you next week!