Streaming TV services are now used by 5 percent of US households with Wi-Fi

We’re seeing a lot more households that choose to stream their favorite shows instead of watching them on cable.

According to newly released analytics from the media pros at Comscore, that number has spiked by 58 percent in the past year. The total number — 4.9 million — is a whole 5 percent of US households that choose to stream over Wi-Fi-based services, without the bells and whistles of traditional paid TV.

Comscore specifically looked at “pure play” systems: streamers that don’t offer their own original shows the same way that other services, like Netflix , Hulu, and Amazon Prime do. Right now, these pure players include Sling, along with DirectTV Now, Playstation Vue, YouTube TV, and others. A full 10 percent of streaming time nationwide came from these services this past April, according to Comscore — a 53 percent spike from the previous year.

But it’s not just the young and tech-savvy generation that’s buying in. According to the analysts, there are more older viewers signing up than ever before — only 21 percent of households using these services have a head that’s under 35. That’s an eight point drop from last year, Comscore says.

If a household has one of these services, Comscore added, they’ll spend nearly half their time streaming programming from it. This past April, each of these households streamed 128 hours of content, on average, which was equal parts from these pure-play services, and on-demand services like Netflix.

Overall, these cord cutters spent twice as much time with their eyes glued to a screen when compared to their peers watching on typical cable TV.

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6 million users had installed third-party Twitter clients

Twitter tried to downplay the impact deactivating its legacy APIs would have on its community and the third-party Twitter clients preferred by many power users by saying that “less than 1%” of Twitter developers were using these old APIs. Twitter is correct in its characterization of the size of this developer base, but it’s overlooking millions of third-party app users in the process. According to data from Sensor Tower, six million App Store and Google Play users installed the top five third-party Twitter clients between January 2014 and July 2018.

Over the past year, these top third-party apps were downloaded 500,000 times.

This data is largely free of reinstalls, the firm also said.

The top third-party Twitter apps users installed over the past three-and-a-half years have included: Twitterrific, Echofon, TweetCaster, Tweetbot and Ubersocial.

Of course, some portion of those users may have since switched to Twitter’s native app for iOS or Android, or they may run both a third-party app and Twitter’s own app in parallel.

Even if only some of these six million users remain, they represent a small, vocal and — in some cases, prominent — user base. It’s one that is very upset right now, too. And for a company that just posted a loss of one million users during its last earnings, it seems odd that Twitter would not figure out a way to accommodate this crowd, or even bring them on board its new API platform to make money from them.

Twitter, apparently, was weighing data and facts, not user sentiment and public perception, when it made this decision. But some things have more value than numbers on a spreadsheet. They are part of a company’s history and culture. Of course, Twitter has every right to blow all that up and move on, but that doesn’t make it the right decision.

To be fair, Twitter is not lying when it says this is a small group. The third-party user base is tiny compared with Twitter’s native app user base. During the same time that six million people were downloading third-party apps, the official Twitter app was installed a whopping 560 million times across iOS and Android. That puts the third-party apps’ share of installs at about 1.1 percent of the total.

That user base may have been shrinking over the years, too. During the past year, while the top third-party apps were installed half a million times, Twitter’s app was installed 117 million times. This made third-party apps’ share only about 0.4 percent of downloads, giving the official app a 99 percent market share.

But third-party app developers and the apps’ users are power users. Zealots, even. Evangelists.

Twitter itself credited them with pioneering “product features we all know and love,” like the mute option, pull-to-refresh and more. That means the apps’ continued existence brings more value to Twitter’s service than numbers alone can show.

Image credit: iMore

They are part of Twitter’s history. You can even credit one of the apps for Twitter’s logo! Initially, Twitter only had a typeset version of its name. Then Twitterrific came along and introduced a bird for its logo. Twitter soon followed.

Twitterrific was also the first to use the word “tweet,” which is now standard Twitter lingo. (The company used “twitter-ing.” Can you imagine?)

These third-party apps also play a role in retaining users who struggle with the new user experience Twitter has adopted — its algorithmic timeline. Instead, the apps offer a chronological view of tweets, as some continue to prefer.

Twitter’s decision to cripple these developers’ apps is shameful.

It shows a lack of respect for Twitter’s history, its power user base, its culture of innovation and its very own nature as a platform, not a destination.



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YC-backed Mutiny helps B2B business personalize their website for each visitor

Mutiny, which is part of the current batch of startups at accelerator Y Combinator, helps business-to-business, software-as-a-service companies present a message that’s customized to each visitor on their website.

Co-founder and CEO Jaleh Rezaei said this concept is alive and well in the analog world: When she was at VMware, sales reps were given materials to help them tailor their pitch for each prospective customer. Then, when she was one of the early employees at HR services startup Gusto, she tried to do something similar online, only to find that existing software wasn’t quite up to the task.

There are landing page optimization tools, but Rezaei asked, “Who wants to create a thousand versions of your website?” And there are A/B testing tools, but Rezaei argued that they’re really designed to test “generic content” and use “very little audience intelligence.” And as for creating your own personalization tools, many companies will find that it requires “way too much engineering effort.”

That’s where Mutiny comes in. It integrates with existing data sources to allow businesses to divide their customers into segments. Then they can use Mutiny’s graphical interface to create personalized elements of the webpage for each segment.

For example, when you visit the homepage of Mutiny customer Amplitude, things like the customer testimonials and the call to action will change depending on the size of the company. Or when Brex customers click through from an email marketing campaign, they’ll see a credit card offer tailored to their name and company.

Brex -- personalized with Mutiny

These kinds of changes might not seem all that significant, but Rezaei said that when someone visits a B2B website, they’re probably interested in the product or service already. If they’re not converting, it’s probably because “they didn’t find what they wanted right away.” Mutiny can help surface the right content or the right message for the right customer.

The startup will also compare the personalized results to the generic webpage to help determine what does and doesn’t improve the bottom line. Rezaei said some of Mutiny’s early customers (who include Gusto, Infusionsoft and Brex) have seen conversion rates improve by 20 to 180 percent.

“That’s not to say that every test performs better, but the nice thing here is that you immediately see how something is performing,” she added.

Eventually, Rezaei is hoping to expand Mutiny’s technology so that it can personalize every aspect of the B2B purchase experience, including email and ad retargeting.

“Our passion as a founding team is growth,” she said. “Progress occurs not when you just build something, but when that product makes it into the hands of the person for whom it was intended to help.”

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Save $30 on the Amazon Fire TV Cube through Aug. 25

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“Alexa, find us a movie to watch.”
Image: Amazon

Are you still paying for cable? Ugh. It’s time to get your home entertainment system up to date. Amazon’s Fire TV Cube, which is currently on sale, could be just the thing you need.

The newest member of the Fire TV is on sale for $89.99, $30 off its listed $119.99 price, through Aug. 25.

At its core, the Cube is a streaming player in line with the other Fire TV streamers. If you have a 4K TV, it can also output content in glorious 4K, as long as the service has 4K content available. Where the Cube stands out is thanks to voice controls.

Hook up the Cube to a compatible TV, cable or satellite box, sound bar, and/or A/V receiver. Once set up, you’ll be able to issue voice commands to operate each device as you’d like. This includes turning the TV on and off, changing the channel, and adjusting the volume. You also get all the traditional features you’d find with Echo devices, like news and weather updates and music.

With features like that, Amazon clearly wants to be the center of your home theater set-up. And considering the flexibility it provides, it’s hard to argue against the appeal of the Amazon Fire TV Cube

Image: Amazon

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No one asked for this 3D re-imagining of Homer Simpson but here it is

Kiss your nightmare-less nights goodbye.

Artist Miguel Vasquez has created an image which will haunt you forever. It’s a 3D rendering of what he believes Homer Simpson would look like if he were a real human being. I need you to look at each of these images so that I won’t be the only witness to this horror. 

I don’t know if it’s the bulging eyes, the forehead veins, or the cartoonish proportions of his head that upsets me the most, or if it’s just the whole thing altogether?

This isn’t the first re-imagining of an iconic cartoon character that Vasquez has done. He has also created real life versions of Spongebob Squarepants, Courage the Cowardly Dog, the boys from Ed, Edd n Eddy, among many others.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I will be watching videos of Emperor Tamarin monkeys to cleanse my brain.


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The #DeleAlliChallenge has people attempting to make an unusual hand gesture

“Dude, can’t you see I’m trying to go viral?”
Image: Tony Marshall/Getty Images

The #InMyFeelings challenge is going to have to take a seat for just a second.

The next internet craze is upon us: People are trying, and mostly failing, to copy a pose Tottenham Hotspur player Dele Alli did after he scored a goal against Newcastle this week. Whether it was planned or not, this was the first sighting of this now iconic hand gesture.

What Alli does with his hands looks simple enough — but it turns out making an “ok” sign with your thumb and forefinger, turning it upside-down, and then letting it rest around your eye is actually harder than it seems.


A post shared by Dele (@dele) on Aug 11, 2018 at 12:51pm PDT

People all over the internet were mesmerized by the strange pose, and they started trying it out themselves. Thus the #DeleAlliChallenge was born. 

Some people have really mastered it, others not so much.

Thankfully, there are people out there willing to share their wisdom with the rest of us who are struggling.

There are even some experts that are able to do it with both of their hands.

Other people just aren’t in to cracking the code. 

Rumor has it, if you successfully complete the challenge three times in the mirror, Alli will appear behind you and do the Fortnite dance.

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It's Official, a Full Season of Watchmen Is Coming to HBO in 2019

The teaser poster for HBO’s Watchmen.
Photo: HBO

The Watchmen are coming to HBO in 2019.

The network just gave the show a full series order for Watchmen, the series based on the acclaimed DC Comics work from Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons. HBO also shared a teaser image, seen above, and the full cast (some of which we already knew). According to the press release, they are:

Regina King, Jeremy Irons, Don Johnson, Tim Blake Nelson, Louis Gossett Jr., Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Adelaide Clemens, Andrew Howard, Tom Mison, Frances Fisher, Jacob Ming-Trent, Sara Vickers, Dylan Schombing, Lily Rose Smith and Adelynn Spoon.


Up until now, the Damon Lindelof-run show only had a pilot commitment. This announcement now makes it HBO’s first superhero series.

The show won’t be a direct adaptation of the comic, however. Lindelof explained this in detail this summer, but the official logline simplifies it: “Set in an alternate history where ‘superheroes’ are treated as outlaws, Watchmen embraces the nostalgia of the original groundbreaking graphic novel while attempting to break new ground of its own.”

Read much more on the show at the links below. See you in 2019.


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You Can Now Preorder The Nintendo Switch/Mario Tennis Aces/1-2 Switch Bundle at Walmart

Best Gaming DealsThe best deals on games, consoles, and gaming accessories from around the web, updated daily.   

Up to this point, Nintendo Switch console bundle savings haven’t really been a thing. Right now though, Walmart’s taking preorders for the new Nintendo bundle of the Switch, plus Mario Tennis Aces and 1-2 Switch, for $359. You’re basically getting one of the two games for free at that price.

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Tesla sues Ontario over ‘unreasonable’ EV rebate exclusion

AOL, Roberto Baldwin

Tesla has more problems than whatever’s happening with CEO Elon Musk right now. The company has filed a lawsuit against the Ontario government, which axed the province’s Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program soon after taking power at the end of June. Tesla says legislators are excluding its buyers from receiving the rebate as the program winds down.

The program offered electric vehicle buyers rebates of up to $14,000 (around $10,700 US). Ontario’s government said it would honor rebates for those who bought EVs through a dealership, as long as the cars are delivered and registered by September 10th. However, Tesla sells its cars directly to customers, and it says several hundred buyers are missing out on the rebates. Tesla also claimed the decision is hurting sales.

“The unjustified targeting of Tesla Canada and its customers was done without giving Tesla any warning or the chance to provide input or submissions,” Tesla said in the suit. “Tesla Canada received no reasons at all for its exclusion, which was an arbitrary and entirely unreasonable decision and should be quashed.”

The company urged the Ontario Superior Court to ensure its eligible customers get the rebate too. In the US, meanwhile, a federal rebate measure for Tesla buyers is winding down after the company hit the program’s thresholds.

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