Get a refurbished Roku 3 for $69.99 shipped

I've shared a lot of Roku deals in recent months, usually for lower-end and/or discontinued models. Make no mistake, they're great, but it's always nice to go top-of-the-line when you can.

Today, for example, while supplies last, 1Sale (formerly 1SaleADay) has the refurbished Roku 3 streaming media player for $69.99 shipped. That's $30 less than you'd pay for a new one, and the lowest price I've seen for Roku's top-of-the-line box.

I'm not going to spend much time covering Roku basics, as I think most readers already know what the … Read more

'House of Cards' returns to Netflix February 14

"House of Cards," the Netflix original series, returns for a second season on February 14.

The series, which premiered on February 1 of this year, has earned Netflix critical and popular acclaim, including the first prime time Emmys awarded to an online-only show.

As with most Netflix originals, all 13 episodes will be available on the day of its release for members to watch instantly in all territories where Netflix is available.

Netflix's binge-inducing release model is something the company has stood by, stating that it fulfills what customers want. Critics, however, have said the model has … Read more

Startup Clinkle taps Netflix's brain trust again

Payments startup Clinkle might not have launched its service yet, but it's already finding some value in former Netflix employees.

The company on Wednesday announced that it has hired two former Netflixers -- Andrew Rendich and Allison Hopkins. Rendich joined Clinkle from, where he was senior vice president of supply chain and logistics. Prior to that, he spent 13 years at Netflix, where he served as chief service and operations officer and was tapped to take over the ill-fated Qwikster DVD-by-mail offshoot. After that fell through and it was clear Netflix was trying to focus more on … Read more

With its original shows so far, Amazon is no alpha

How many times have you heard someone fess up to binge-watching hours of "House of Cards" or "Orange Is the New Black" from Netflix? Probably a lot.

Been hearing the same enthused admissions about poor self-control over Amazon's originals? Probably not, according to an early read on the social media reaction to the online retailer's first series.

Fizziology, a social-media research firm focused on entertainment, looked at the response on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and blogs to both "Alpha House," which premiered November 15, and "House of Cards," which premiered in … Read more

How Amazon Studios went from grassroots idealist to Hollywood threat

The small army of comedians that swarmed Portland, Ore., last April for the Bridgetown Comedy Festival were sleeping off their hangovers from the previous night's festivities, or still drunkenly stumbling through the hallways of the Hotel Fifty.

Except for two of them.

Ben Roy and Adam Cayton-Holland -- members of the three-man Denver comedy gang, the Grawlix -- woke up early in their shared hotel room and grabbed their laptops to watch their sitcom pilot, "Those Who Can't," debut on Their act had never had such a large stage, and the two men followed … Read more

Netflix's TV look gets a face-lift two years in the making

Netflix has already recast itself as the Internet's leading television network. Wednesday, it overhauled how its service looks and behaves on actual TVs.

Chris Jaffe, vice president of product innovation from Netflix, said the process was a two-year effort that makes users think there is more, better content available to them. It also has subscribers watching more.

A new user interface was created specifically for the big screen; it's heavier on images and draws in more informative descriptions and personalized details about why Netflix is suggesting a particular title. For the first time, the new TV experience is … Read more

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Entertainment apps compared

Updated November 22, 2013.

The original Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 launched before Netflix streaming was even available.

When the service debuted on living room devices in 2008, however, Microsoft's console was one of the first to get the dedicated Netflix app -- available only to Xbox Live Gold members. Sony followed a year later with an all-new Netflix interface -- and the requirement to use a special "streaming disc."

You've come a long way, baby. Today umpteen living room devices stream Netflix and many, many other online video and audio services, and we call 'em … Read more

Netflix, YouTube gobble up half of Internet traffic

Netflix is still the Goliath, and YouTube is only getting bigger.

In general, video and audio streaming continues to eat up the greatest traffic of any category on virtually every network reviewed by Sandvine, which runs fixed and mobile data networks worldwide and reports on what is taking place on them.

In North America, Netflix and YouTube are the main traffic culprits, according to its twice yearly Global Internet Phenomena Report. Combined, they account for 50.31 percent of the downstream traffic during the peak part of the day.

By comparison, Amazon Instant Video and Hulu garnered just 1.61 … Read more

Internet Explorer transforms into anime heroine

CNET Update is super kawaii:

In this episode of Update:

- Meet Microsoft's new anime Internet Explorer personification, Inori Aizawa. After downloading IE11 on Windows 7, you can also check out her themed site and wallpaper.

- Read up on a few lesser-known Marvel heroes before their shows air on Netflix in 2015.

- See which entertainment apps will be on the PlayStation 4 when it launches next week. Microsoft has yet to say which apps will be on the Xbox One, which hits stores a week after PS4.


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The 404 1,380: Where all your late fees are waived (podcast)

Leaked from today's 404 episode:

- Blockbuster throws in the towel.

- Blockbuster laughed at Netflix partnership offer.

- Man attempts to sell an entire London record shop on eBay.

- After much silence, Google fesses up to its connection to those barges in SF.

- Somehow, online porn just got even easier to watch.… Read more