Netflix’s ‘Long Term View’ lays out predictions for internet vs. traditional TV delivery

Haven't been reading every Netflix quarterly report or listening to each earnings call for the last several years? No problem, you can quickly get caught up on the company's strategy thanks to a "Long Term View" document posted to its investor relations site. Boiling down many of the things executives like Reed Hastings have been saying into a single PDF, it's an easier to digest road map of where Netflix thinks this whole online video thing is going. Among other things, it sees the simplicity of its offering -- no ads, no VOD, no-hassle cancellation, access on any screen at any time mobile or TV -- as a main selling point. How to keep customers happy? Make sure that they think of Netflix as the better option for their entertainment time than other possible choices. Hit the source link to dig into it yourself or check below for a breakdown.

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Source: Netflix (PDF)

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Mobile Miscellany: week of January 7th, 2013

Mobile Miscellany week of January 7th, 2013

If you didn't get enough mobile news during the week, not to worry, because we've opened the firehose for the truly hardcore. This week, both Nokia and Microsoft discussed strategy for the coming year and Verizon's CEO shared his thoughts on the end of subsidies. These stories and more await after the break. So buy the ticket and take the ride as we explore the "best of the rest" for this week of January 7th, 2013.

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Target agrees to price match Amazon ‘year round,’ hopes you’ll stop showrooming

Target agrees to price match Amazon 'year round,' hopes you'll stop showrooming

The CE pricing war just got really real. Gregg Steinhafel, Target's chairman, president and CEO, just announced a move that'll undoubtedly get the attention of Amazon. And while we're at it, the attention of Walmart, Sears, Best Buy, and practically every other major brick-and-mortar retailer that it competes with. Following Best Buy's move -- which saw the retailer price match Amazon during the holiday 2012 shopping season -- Target is taking it one step further by announcing that it'll match Amazon's prices year round. Naturally, the goal here is to put a stop to "showrooming," a term that describes the act of using B&M stores simply to ogle products before buying them for less online.

Details on how it'll all work out, including an official start date, remain under wraps, but we're told that if a customer "buys a qualifying item at Target and then finds an identical item for less in the following week's Target circular or within seven days on either Amazon.com, Walmart.com, BestBuy.com and Toysrus.com, Target will match the price." It's not at all unreasonable to assume that Wally World and the like will end up following suit, but a part of us worries that this may end up having the opposite effect -- if Amazon's pricing begin to float higher in order to meet somewhere in the middle with B&M retailers, consumers will end up with fewer options when it comes to saving.

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Source: Marketwatch, CNBC

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Tropico 4 plunders some Pirate Heaven DLC

Tropico 4 gets Pirate Heaven DLC today Oct 23
Kalypso Media has released Tropico 4 DLC pack called Pirate Heaven, which brings a distinct swashbuckler vibe to the island-dictatorship simulation game. In addition to the Pirate Queen outfit seen above, the DLC adds a new "Smuggler's Hut" building for bringing in resources from beyond internationally guarded waters, a Sailor trait for charactersm and a few other piracy-themed tweaks.

You can see the update in action in the gallery below. Pirate Heaven is available today from Kalypso's own website, or any other places you'd normally grab such things, including Steam. In North America, the pack will run you $4.99 - no actual piracy allowed.

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JoystiqTropico 4 plunders some Pirate Heaven DLC originally appeared on Joystiq on Wed, 24 Oct 2012 23:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Microsoft CEO Ballmer braces us for a ‘fundamental shift’ in strategy with more Microsoft-designed devices

Microsoft CEO Ballmer braces shareholders for a 'fundamental shift,' more of its own devices in the future

Microsoft's Surface tablets could already be considered warning shots across the bow, signalling that a change in strategy was underway. For anyone who was in doubt, however, CEO Steve Ballmer has clearly spelled out in a shareholder letter that Microsoft now sees its own devices as crucial to the company as anything else. There's a "fundamental shift" in how the Redmond-based crew works, he says, and investors should expect that Microsoft will periodically make "specific devices for specific purposes" (like Surface or the Xbox) that show off services in the best light possible. Ballmer adds that plans in the long run focus on new device types and learning interfaces. The message is ostensibly a rosy one for the company's future, but there's also a subtext for hardware makers that have complained about competing against their OS partner: get used to it. Ballmer sees Microsoft-designed hardware like Surface as complementary to what third parties do, and his company isn't about to reverse course anytime soon.

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Microsoft CEO Ballmer braces us for a 'fundamental shift' in strategy with more Microsoft-designed devices originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 09 Oct 2012 19:28:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Anno 2070 Domination Mode mapped out by developers



Anno 2070
's new multiplayer mode, Domination, allows two teams of five to fight for control of various points. Watch how it's done in the video above. Also, check out the size of that mic!

JoystiqAnno 2070 Domination Mode mapped out by developers originally appeared on Joystiq on Tue, 02 Oct 2012 23:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The extremes of technology customer service: how common sense and empathy create unmatched loyalty

The extremes of technology customer service how common sense and empathy create unmatched loyalty

Allow me to explain how two discussions started off in very similar ways, and ended... shall we say, differently. This is me, attempting to muster any sort of pleasantness in my voice at some ungodly hour of the morning on a Google Voice connection from Dubai back to the US:

"Hey! I'm having to cut a trip short due to an emergency back home. I actually purchased a trip protection plan when I checked out online -- would it be possible to provide a refund for this flight now that I need to cancel it?"

From here, I was told that this was too vague. That I would need medical proof of an injury or illness, and that if it were a pre-existing condition -- something like reoccurring cancer -- that simply wouldn't do. Oh, and if it's a home emergency, you'll need proof from your home insurance company that your abode is "uninhabitable."

"So... I'm basically hosed here? This trip protection plan doesn't really protect very much, does it?"

"... Do you want to file the claim?"

"No. That's okay. Thanks for your time."

It doesn't have to be this way.

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The extremes of technology customer service: how common sense and empathy create unmatched loyalty originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 24 Sep 2012 12:20:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Dreams, curiosity and a passion for what’s next: picking the brain of Innovation Lab’s Mads Thimmer

Dreams, curiosity and a passion for what's next picking the brain of Innovation Lab's Mads Thimmer

Innovation. According to one Mads Thimmer, it's a word that held a great deal of mystery some 10-plus years ago, but today, "it's thrown around as a cliché." When you really get down to it, though, the art of innovating is a hugely delicate and complex one, fraught with frustration and a curious passion for never settling on the here and now. In covering the world of consumer technology, I've come to form my own understanding of what innovation is, what it isn't and how companies are embracing (or outright shunning) the idea. After an evening with the cofounder of Innovation Lab, however, I was rightfully ready to toss my own preconceived notions aside.

Continue reading Dreams, curiosity and a passion for what's next: picking the brain of Innovation Lab's Mads Thimmer

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Dreams, curiosity and a passion for what's next: picking the brain of Innovation Lab's Mads Thimmer originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 17 Sep 2012 12:23:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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RIM chief: we looked ‘seriously’ at Android, didn’t want to join the herd

Thorsten Heins of RIM in formal photo

RIM's current CEO Thorsten Heins has been very candid about his company's plans and past, but he has usually given the impression that the company wouldn't even consider deviating from its one true vision of a BlackBerry OS future. Although BlackBerry 10 is very much the center of RIM's universe today, Heins has revealed to The Telegraph that his firm's eyes did stray briefly -- at one point, it "seriously" investigated Android as a platform. The company ended up backing away after deciding a "me-too" strategy didn't fit the productivity-obsessed BlackBerry crowd, the executive says. RIM decided, like Nokia, that it couldn't differentiate enough in Google's ecosystem. There's still some time to go before we learn whether or not the gamble on the in-house OS pays off. If Heins' comments still leave you dreaming of what might have been, though, don't worry: at least a few companies are providing their own visions in a slightly more tangible form.

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RIM chief: we looked 'seriously' at Android, didn't want to join the herd originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 03 Aug 2012 12:07:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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