Just Tech

Ethan Livshits, Journalist

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Netflix vs. Cable, which one wins? (9/14/17)

Cable used to be one of the most profitable businesses of all time. Millions of people used to be subscribed to cable services all over the US. From channels like Cartoon Network to movie channels like HBO. Cable has really grown since it first originated around 1948, however, studies show that cable is in heavy decline and is falling off of its golden throne.

According to Business Insider, cable is already going down, and is estimated to go down even further in 2018 by 4%. That may not seem like much, but in reality it is millions of cable subscribers, heavily injuring the industry. So what’s killing these cable companies?

Netflix’s statistics tell a different story. According to statista.com, Netflix has gone up from 20 million to over 100 million subscribers from 2011 to 2017. Not to mention streaming services like Hulu and Amazon Prime, which are also gaining speed. Just by these two statistics it’s pretty clear why cable is losing speed.

Netflix is cheaper as well, running at around $10 a month while cable companies can receive over $100 a month for different channel packages. So why choose Netflix over cable? Netflix has thousands of movies, with new ones added and old ones taken away every month or so. So it seems pretty obvious Netflix is winning so far. But wait – not so fast. What does cable have that Netflix doesn’t? What are the pros for cable?

Cable has hundreds of channels, live 24/7. From personal experience and other accounts however, most people stick to one to five channels, switching between those when one of the channels is playing something they do not like. Unlike other channels, sports isn’t declining, it’s actually growing. Streaming services like Netflix and Hulu don’t have live sports, or previous sports games. Cable is the number one place for sports. What else does cable have that the others don’t? News. Cable has multiple news channels like CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and more. Streaming services do not have news, making cable the place to be for live, breaking news.

Sports and news is really important for many people. If it wasn’t, cable would disappear just as fast as Blockbuster. But so far, cable is here to stay, at least for now. What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comment section down below.

NERD RANT: The release of Destiny 2 – is gaming getting old? (9/12/17)

Just this last Wednesday, a new AAA title by company Bungie, Destiny 2, was released at full retail price of about $60. In my opinion, this title had a pretty soft launch. Veterans from the first game returned to purchase the second at full speed, but is there really enough changes to this new title to warrant a $60 purchase?

In order to fully understand this situation, we must first analysis the first game, Destiny. Published by Activision and mainly developed by Bungie (and some other game studios), it was over hyped to oblivion. This game was supposed to be the best game of all time, with a budget of over 500 million dollars.

That was not the case. Even though the game was profitable, and a major release, the hype train crashed and burned in a fire of death and misery, which caused mostly mixed reviews and a disappointed fan base. The game itself got an average of seven or six from most reviewers.

After the games initial release and the backlash, the developers released a list of downloadable content, or (DLC)s, which cost around $30 a piece. The first two DLCs also received backlash, although adding more content they still didn’t “fix” the game. Finally, the third PAYED DLC fixed MOST of the game. There’s an obvious problem here. The company is sucking money out of players for content that isn’t up to players expectations.

And now, the second game has come out, Destiny 2. Not as hyped as the original, Destiny 2 has received some pretty good reviews. However, one thing stays constant: people are calling it Destiny 1.5. The gameplay is essentially the same: shoot bad guys, get loot, shoot bad guys, get loot, you get the point. The graphics are so similar that I personally cannot tell them apart. The new “subclasses”, one of the primary things the game does different, are almost or exactly the same as previous ones. The “new” story is essentially just elaborating on the previous. The new loot is just more guns with different skins, or the same guns shifted over from the previous game. Enemies are the same, everything’s the same or SLIGHTLY different, barely enough to warrant a full $60 purchase. Is it truly, positively, really, worth it?

In my opinion, no, it is not. Which begs the question. Are games getting repetitive and money grabbing? Take the Call of Duty series, a line of war shooting games. There are around 15 core games in the series, a new one popping out about every year. The next one is going to be a World War Two title, which they have already done. The previous was an “Infinite Warfare” title, and the content has already been done with two of their other games. They are repeating the same formula and making millions over mindless consumers.

There is one light for the future. Many bright independent (indie) games made by small teams of developers like Minecraft, a game many are familiar with, are the most innovative games of all time. Games like Stardew Valley, Super Meat Boy, Binding of Isaac, Undertale, Terraria, and a ton more all are indie games, and some pretty amazing ones too. They are very cheap, usually around 10 to 20 dollars, and are way better too.

So which is it: AAA game title or indie game? That’s up for you to decide. But think before you buy, make sure to certify.

 

Say NO to a CONTROLLED Internet (9/1/17)

Net Neutrality is becoming a huge subject recently. So why does no one know about it? Why is no one protesting for it? Where are the crowds?

So for those of the readers who do not know what Net Neutrality is, let me explain. Net Neutrality itself is a principle that keeps everyone’s right to go wherever they want on the internet. That’s good, right? Everyone wants to go wherever they want, whenever they want on the web.

The FCC (Federal Communications Commision), lead by Ajit Pai, wants to take away Net Neutrality. Taking away Net Neutrality takes away the right for freedom on the World Wide Web. It gives internet providers full reign over anything you do on the web. It turns the web into a cable service. Want to use Google? Pay five bucks a month. Doing some reading on The New York Times? Nope! Cost extra. Don’t have the money? Struggle through painfully slow internet speeds. Horrible right?

These companies would be able to control what you see. This could destroy many internet sites, and give all the power to companies like Verizon and Comcast. Some of these companies, such as Comcast, may say that they’re opposed to Net Neutrality. This is definitely not the case, and is being said to protect their public image. Net Neutrality would only benefit these businesses.

For example, take an internet provider like Comcast. Let’s say a customer doesn’t like their service with Comcast and decides to switch to Cox. If Net Neutrality were removed, Comcast would possibly be able to throttle the poor customer’s connection to Cox’s website. In another situation, let’s say a customer lives somewhere like a rural area in Alaska with very low competition between Internet Service Providers (ISP). Some people only have one choice! With no Net Neutrality it would be even harder to switch ISPs and escape extremely high prices.

Many huge companies are against Net Neutrality as well, such as Apple. Just this Thursday, August 31st, 2017, Apple announced that they were joining the fight for Net Neutrality. An interesting article over at “WIRED” by Klint Finley found here provides a good possible explanation behind the switch. In my opinion, Net Neutrality is going to need all the support it can get from organizations and individuals both. It is important to stay informed on issues such as these and keep up with the latest news. More reading can be done at savetheinternet.com.

Are old phones better than new ones? Are companies screwing us over? (8/25/17)

Everyone is rushing to storefronts to buy the newest iPhone, the newest TV, or the BEST computers. But one question still stays on my mind. Is the newer stuff really that much better than the old products?

Think about it. The newest iPhone has just been announced. Here are the new specs from theinquirer.net:

– 5.8in 2.5D OLED edge-to-edge display

– New design with an ‘all-glass’ construction

– 71x143x7.4mm

– Wireless charging support

– Apple A11 chip

– Rear-facing Touch ID sensor

iOS 11 with improved Siri, P2P payments

– Face-scanning technology

– Vertical dual cameras on rear

– Support for LTE speeds up to 450Mbps

When compared to the specs from the iPhone 7, although there are some differences, most of the features are the same. Not to mention that the iPhone 8 is rumored to be the most expensive iPhone yet, with the more expensive version being the first to cost more than one thousand dollars.

Is another thousand dollars for just a couple of changes really worth it? Many people upgrade to new phones every year, which is around a thousand every year for iPhones. Is a newer Siri or face scanning technology (which already exists on some phones) worth it? That’s the question people have to ask.

This isn’t a post against Apple. This is a post against the mindless buying of the newest, trendiest stuff. It’s just not worth it.

Sent from my iPhone 8 (I wish)

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1 Comment

One Response to “Just Tech”

  1. Natalie on September 12th, 2017 7:54 AM

    I like the last line. ^_^

    [Reply]

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