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Netflix

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 Amazon.com. 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

How to rent movies now that Blockbuster is dead

Talk about the end of an era. On Wednesday, Blockbuster Video -- the chain that almost single-handedly drove mom-and-pop video stores out of business -- announced plans to close its remaining retail stores, effectively driving the final nail in the movie-rental coffin.

Well, the traditional movie rental, anyway. There are still plenty of ways to borrow a flick, in physical and digital formats alike. Let's take a look at some post-Blockbuster options.… Read more

Netflix cloaks itself in Marvel superheroes

Marvel fans will be able to get their superhero fix in 2015 when Netflix unveils four different live-action series based on comic book characters.

In a deal announced Thursday between Marvel owner Disney and Netflix, the lineup will debut with a show focused on Daredevil, the red-clad adventurer whose alter ego is blind attorney Matt Murdock. Another series will focus on Jessica Jones, a superhero who's gone through a few different identities in the Marvel universe.

A third series will cover the exploits of Iron Fist, a hero known for his martial arts skills, followed by a fourth series … Read more

Connect with an expert on Google Helpouts

CNET Update always offers expert advice:

In this episode of Update:

- Learn about Google's new service called Helpouts, which uses Hangouts video chats to connect to people with expertize in different subjects.

- Get the latest on BlackBerry's struggles, as the company fails to find a buyer to go private and appoints a new CEO. Perhaps there's still hope in the new BlackBerry Z30 smartphone, hitting Verizon later this month.

- Watch Netflix go after Oscar glory by picking up a documentary called "The Square," while Amazon plays catchup and launches its first TV series next week. … Read more