Netflix’s password crackdown is working
Despite Netflix’s previous love of password sharing, the company changed its tune over the past few months. Despite being one of the more successful streamers, Netflix’s recent password crackdown in the US – started on 23 May 2023 – has, surprisingly, been a success. That’s not out of love for Netflix; but instead, out of a desire to… uh, watch Stranger Things again? Do people still do that?
The streamer’s password crackdown involves turning users away who don’t live at the address of the main account holder. Instead, these users are greeted with a splash screen, telling them to “Start your own Netflix account today.” And it worked. At least according to data released by the Antenna (via Variety) research firm, which says that Netflix has seen a recent uptick in new sign-ups since the new policy was brought into effect.
This isn’t some small surge in new users, either. Across 26 and 27 May, the streamer saw at least 200,000 new sign-ups, surpassing the daily-sign up rate of even those days in early lockdown in 2020. We can’t be sure what that’ll mean for South Africa and the few countries still awaiting Netflix’s password crackdown. But we can guess, and it’s not looking good for the moochers out there.
A Cheaper Vision Pro
Apple’s got a new piece of AR tech on the way, bringing with it a million sensors, cameras, a dedicated R1 chipset, and more glass than an episode of Breaking Bad. There’s just one problem; it’ll cost around R70,000, confining itself to the wealthy and more privileged few. Whether it’ll actually manage to sell, only time will tell. Though according to the Apple leaker, Mark Gurman (via Bloomberg), the company is “already working on a cheaper model to get the new product category onto the faces of more people.”
If that is the case, though, it won’t be coming any time soon. Gurman says that the company is “currently planning a release of the cheaper model for as early as the end of 2025,” and will reportedly feature several downgrades to make the headset’s price more easily digestible. That would probably mean fewer cameras and a chipset that’s not quite as powerful as the M2 in the current Vision Pro.
That’s not mentioning Apple’s use of less-premium materials and a streamlined manufacturing process for the cheaper model, which should knock more than a fair few bucks off the price. Though, if Gurman’s hunch is correct, Apple won’t be compromising on its external display to keep the Vision Pro’s EyeSight feature alive in our nightmares, along with the hand-tracking system, which is “as core to the Apple Vision as a touchscreen is to an iPhone.”
PC Game Pass and GeForce Now come together
Last night’s Xbox Games Showcase brought us a lot of ‘new’ – the most important of which is the announcement of a Richard Ayoade-filled Fable game and a 45-minute look at Starfield. One of the overlooked sectors of the showcase was the “What’s Next For Gaming” panel, with Sarah Bond, a corporate Vice President for the companying confirming that PC Game Pass players would soon be able to access the service from their GeForce Now devices.
That means your favourite “low spec PC, Macs, Chromebooks, mobile devices, TVs, and more,” will be able to have a go with your Game Pass games, according to Joe Skrebels, Xbox Wire editor-in-chief, in a blog post. He said that the integration would be “rolling this out in the months ahead,” failing to offer any more solid release info.
That same blog post mentions that “Game Pass members will soon be able to stream select PC games from the library through Nvidia GeForce NOW,” with the keyword being “select” meaning that the full catalogue won’t be available. As for which games will be available, however, we have no way of knowing.
Reddit: Going dark
If you were planning on visiting Reddit this week, you’re out of luck. That’s because of the mass protests taking place this week amongst the subreddits, with many planning to ‘go dark’ in response to Reddit’s incoming API changes, causing the shut-down of third-party apps like Apollo and rif is fun for Reddit and plenty of others.
At least 100 subreddits have already gone dark, with thousands more planning to follow in their wake, according to Reddark, a website dedicated to tracking the protests. Specifically, that means the participating subreddits will go ‘private’ – disallowing access to the outside world, and confining its content to those already in the subreddit. Most moderators have pledged themselves to a 48-hour blackout, though some will continue the blackouts indefinitely.
According to this post on r/ModCoord, the protests will end when Reddit rectifies its API changes, creates “parity in access to NSFW content” and improves accessibility for its blind users. The company’s recent AMA with its CEO, Steve Huffman, didn’t help matters either, further angering the user base and causing some of the larger subreddits to go private indefinitely.
Until Reddit or the protesting subreddits budge, it’s going to be a gloomy (and boring) few days for the website.