Netflix Will Start Paying Comcast For Additional Bandwith On Its Network

netflix-logoThe ugly side of non-net neutrality deals is emerging. In response to recent speeds that Netflix has been receiving from its middleman, Cogent, which handled its bandwidth needs between different ISPs, the video streaming company is instead going straight to the broadband providers. In other words, this could possibly mean preferential treatment, but it isn’t exactly disclosed. This is exactly the sort of thing the Federal Communications Commission wanted to avoid by laying basic internet ground rules (i.e. all internet data is equal), which the Federal court recently shot out of the sky.

The end result is faster streaming for Netflix customers, but no one knows exactly what else it might entail. Meanwhile, Comcast and Netflix are released a joint statement about the deal:

Comcast Corporation and Netflix, Inc. today announced a mutually beneficial interconnection agreement that will provide Comcast’s U.S. broadband customers with a high-quality Netflix video experience for years to come. Working collaboratively over many months, the companies have established a more direct connection between Netflix and Comcast, similar to other networks, that’s already delivering an even better user experience to consumers, while also allowing for future growth in Netflix traffic. Netflix receives no preferential network treatment under the multi-year agreement, terms of which are not being disclosed.

Here’s to hoping this isn’t a trend.

Via: Re/Code

Microsoft Details Windows Phone 8.1 Update And New Partners To Join The Platform

download (2)The current set of Windows Phone manufacturers include Nokia, Samsung, HTC, and Huawei, but today, as part of a growing commitment to keep Windows Phone as one of the top three mobile operating systems, Microsoft announced new partnerships with Foxconn, Gionee, JSR, Karbonn, Lava (Xolo), Lenovo, and Longcheer — with two former partners returning to produce new phones: LG and ZTE.

Next, Microsoft stated that most of the juicy details for Windows Phone 8.1 won’t be officially spoken of until April, but some new elements of the update include support for Snapdragon 200 and 400 chipsets (meaning manufacturers can enter the low-wend market with Windows Phone), on screen button navigation (meaning that the traditional design traits can be altered, and a company could have a phone built to use Windows Phone or Android, or both), and support for dual-SIM technology.

Besides all of that, the details on WP coming from Barcelona (the Mobile World Congress is occurring) are somewhat small. But no matter, because Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore, the company’s VP and manager of Windows Phone, promises more in the future.

We’ll see.

Samsung Gives The World Gear 2: New Smartwatches Running Tizen OS

Group_Gear-2-Gear-2-NeoTwo things to get out of the gate: one, Samsung is dropping the Galaxy branding for its new smartwatches, and two, they run the Tizen operating system that Samsung has been building. Samsung hasn’t even detailed how the new watches might or might not be compatible with the Android devices they produce, but they have fixed some of the glaring errors made with the original — which was only released five months ago. Right. A welcome bit of news, however: a revised app library, with BMW, CNN, Garmin, Line, and Path being some of the first.

The Gear 2 and Gear 2 Neo smartwatches both utilize the 1.63-inch touchscreen, a 1GHz dual-core processor (a bump up from 800MHz), 4GB internal storage, 512MB of RAM, infrared, S Voice, a heart rate sensor, IP67 certification for resistance to water and dust, a 2MP AF camera with 720p video capture (on the higher model, not the Neo) and a 300mAh battery. The camera has been moved from the strap, to the face of the watch, as well.

It’s interesting to note that the battery is smaller, but through power management improvements, Samsung states that the battery life has been increased to 2-3 days, instead of the day seen in the first model.

Color preferences are still here however: the Gear 2 will come in Charcoal Black, Gold Brown and Wild Orange, while Neo comes in a certain Mocha Grey. Pricing hasn’t been announced, but considering there’s a premium and lower-cost model, Samsung very well diversify the price range. Both watches launch worldwide in April.

Meanwhile: Apple And Samsung Will Go At It In Another Patent War, Come March


Yes, the patent wars: they seem to be never-ending among some of the largest (and then some) tech companies in the world. However, none of them are as entertaining or as unique (or repetitive, I might add) as those between Apple and Samsung.

This time, Samsung is defending patents that pertain to more recent devices, like the GS3, which sold in high quantities than the devices that Apple targeted before. Thus, the risk and the amount in damages that could possibly be paid would be much higher — higher than the amount slightly short of a billion dollars that Samsung paid back in 2011-12.

The new trial will begin at a court in San Jose come March. Needless to say, we’ll talk about it, because it will be interesting.

ViaWall Street Journal

A Designer From Tron & Bugatti Fame Has Birthed The Beautiful Lotus C-01 Motorcycle

lotus-c-01-motorcycleLook at it. It’s beautiful. Called the Lotus C-01, which will be produced by British sports and supercar maker Lotus, this motorcycle borrows traits from its designer, who worked on the cycle designs in Tron: Legacy as well as design elements from Bugatti. Combine all of that creativity, talent, and engineering into a motorcycle (of which only a 100 are being made) and you have a beautiful machine.

Powering the Lotus C-10 is a 1,195cc engine putting out 200 horsepower, and paired with a six-gear transmission. While those are the only stats released at the moment, considering that it weighs under 400 pounds, it’s going to literally fly like crazy.

Via: Lotus

Google Redesigns YouTube (Again), By Bringing A Card UI Reminiscent Of iOS

ytblogimage2Planned in future releases to be rolled out slowly to YouTube users over the next few days, Google will always have a “Playlists” button on the left side of the screen, dedicated not only to a user’s personal playlists, but along with those of channels you’ve liked.

With this change of how playlists work, YouTube will also feature a responsive card design that is meant to look right on any screen size, while also merging the experience of mobile and desktop versions of the world’s most popular video website.

And of course, these changes will occur, whether or not you like minimalist card navigational design, or not.

ViaOfficial YouTube blog

LG G Flex Review: All Those Curves Don’t Make Up For Cutting Corners

LG G Flex ReviewedOne day, somewhere and someone in LG’s creative unit decided that a curved smartphone would be a great idea. Of course, not having any pre-existing smartphones with that sort of a design proved to be a challenge, which is why LG had three separate companies design the G Flex: a smartphone that not only has a curvature in its body shape, but with its screen, as well.

Enter LG Chemistry, where they developed a curved battery, followed by LG Display, who creating the durable-yet-curved 6-inch screen, and finally, LG Mobile, who took all of the time and effort put forth by the prior two companies, then sandwiched that in a variety of sensors, silicon, and software. That’s the G Flex, in a nutshell: it’s a love child who can be deemed significant due to the some of its parts.

Lots of parts, which by the way, come from another LG smartphone: the G2, which I reviewed back in October

But is the G Flex a good phone, period? Let’s find out.