Netflix ups the content war chest

Netflix raises $2 billion for content development

In the latest move in the streaming wars, Netflix has placed a debt offering to develop more original content. This follows an April offering for the same amount. CNBC

dis-rup-shun: Faced with intense competition, Netflix is showing what it’s made of — doubling down for the long haul, intent to win with better content. The question is, can Netflix be a better studio than the studios and drive more viewers to its monthly service than its competitors who have such assets as live sports (ESPN), blockbuster syndicated series such as Friends (AT&T), and a catalog of treasured content (Disney)? Hats off to the scrappy streamer that, when faced with intense competition, is ready to fight. What is certain is that the big winner in the streaming wars will be the consumer who will enjoy boatloads of original content from competing streaming networks, commercial free, for a low monthly fee.

A look back at 10 years of smartphones

CNET surveys technologies of the last decade, including a look at how smartphones have transformed our lives. Recalling earliest Android devices and apps which included fart and virtual lighter apps that made thousands of dollars of revenue every day, the article lists the industries that have been essentially destroyed by smartphones. Those include MP3 players, point and shoot cameras, voice recorders, GPS devices, and almost, except for Apple’s actions, the wristwatch. Hot companies such as Nokia,  Blackberry, HTC and Motorola were not successful making smartphones that people wanted, and are paying dearly today. Chinese smartphone makers are quickly developing lower cost and high functionality devices that will challenge Apple and Samsung’s dominance.

dis-rup-shun: As in every technology hardware introduction (mainframe, mini-computer, PC, modem, game device, etc.), the category transforms consumer habits, sells millions of units, changes the way people work and live, becomes mature, and reaches commodity status. Can Apple and Samsung continue to innovate at a fast enough pace to stay ahead of Huawai, Xiaomi and Oppo? Expect Apple and Samsung to aggressively lead critical innovations such as heart and health tracking, and to greatly improve their smart home offerings as value adds. Whatever the leaders do, the Chinese players will be very close behind.

Shine brings the smart toilet to U.S. bathrooms

Smart toilets, like those in Japan, are able to clean a person, clean itself, heat the seat, measure heart rates, and play music. Despite their popularity in Japan, they have never caught on in North American homes. The Shine Bathroom Assistant seeks to ease the U.S. market into smart toilets through its $99 Echo looking device that sits next to or on the toilet and cleans the bowl after every flush. It also detects water leaks that are common in toilets. TechCrunch

dis-rup-shun: Transitioning our homes to regularly feature smart appliances and devices will sometimes be painful, asking us to put connected devices all around our homes, running power cords across counter tops, floors and tables. A smart toilet like those in Japan that has everything built in sounds quite nice, but an external gadget that further clutters the bathroom does not. After all, cleaning the toilet is one of the easier home chores. Perhaps Shine can increase our interest in a fully integrated smart toilet, but it won’t be at the top of many people’s holiday shopping list.

Hackers find a way to spoil smart speakers

Malicious third parties have developed a number of skills for Alexa and Google Home that eavesdrop or phish for passwords. The skills, disguised as providers of horoscopes or random numbers, keep listening long after they have gone silent, or provide an error message that requests a password. Ars Technica

dis-rup-shun: Simply put, with each new technology innovation will come abuse and bad intentions. The data security and malware fighting industry has a bright future, and will be an excellent vocation for the brightest of technical minds.

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