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This Chrome extension will allow nerds to navigate the web free of Star Wars spoilers

Charmaine Blake

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Image: LUCASFILM

If you’re desperately trying to avoid spoilers for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this app is for you. 

Force Block is a Google Chrome extension that warns you if you’re about to visit pages that may have Star Wars spoilers. The warnings take the form of cute slogans that reference previous Star Wars movies, such as “That’s no moon, it’s a spoiler” and “The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of spoilers.” 

The extension is available for download on the Chrome Web Store. It was created to detect spoilers for The Force Awakens, but will detect spoilers for The Last Jedi starting Dec. 13. 

The extension is the handiwork of digital production company Priceless Misc

“Just updated last night once we found where Luke was located,” announced Matthew Tyndall, partner and head of production at Priceless Misc, to reassure worried commenters Tuesday. “Thanks R2!”

Image: force block

The extension is super sensitive, meaning you’ll almost certainly get a lot of false positives when you use it — the extension tried to block me from Priceless Misc’s homepage, informing me that “Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for spoilers, kid.” 

But the developers are aware of this — in fact, it’s intentional. In a blog post, they wrote “What’s worse for the users, having to click through a few false warnings, or have a plugin that let an important spoiler slip through the cracks? Assuring the loser would have the lowest likelihood of being spoiled was paramount.” 

But don’t worry about being blocked from your favorite websites forever: As with an ad blocker, you can “whitelist” a page to make it immune to Force Block’s scrutiny. 

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/12/13/chrome-extension-blocks-star-wars-spoilers/

New Movie Tech

Roku on track for $1 billion in revenue in 2019

Charmaine Blake

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“Roku plans to be a billion-dollar company in 2019, the company said on Thursday as part of its announcement of strong earnings. The company beat analyst estimates and reported strong growth in active users and streaming hours with earnings of $0.05 per share, compared with the $0.03 analysts had estimated, and revenues of $276 million, compared with the expected $262 million.

Roku also reported 40 percent year-over-year active user growth, with 27.1 million active users by year-end, and a 69 percent year-over-year increase in streaming hours, which reached 7.3 billion.

The company said it plans this year to invest in international expansion, its ad-supported service The Roku Channel, advertising and its Roku TV platform.

While cord cutting is driving some of Roku’s growth, only around half of Roku’s customers fit this description, CEO Anthony Wood pointed out. The other half are more like “cord shavers” — those who are still pay TV subscribers, but are shifting more of their TV viewing to streaming services.

Roku’s ability to also attract pay TV customers combined with the fact that one in four smart TVs sold in the U.S. now runs its software is helping the company’s market share grow.

Roku estimates that one in five U.S. TV households now uses the Roku platform for at least a portion of their TV viewing. In the year ahead, Roku aims to better capitalize on its traction by increasing the monetization per user and scaling the number of households using Roku………………………………………………………….”

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/22/roku-on-track-for-1-billion-in-revenue-in-2019/

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Netflix has the best movie selection, study shows

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“If you can only afford one streaming service, maybe this study will help you decide.

Based on the Rotten Tomato scores of all movies available on each of the big streaming services, it looks like Netflix has the best selection of movies, according to a study from Streaming Observer.

Compared to Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO Now, Netflix has the most movies that are “certified fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, which means they have a steady score of 75% or higher and have been reviewed by a significant amount of critics and Rotten Tomatoes users. Of Netflix’s 3,839 movies, more than 15% are certified fresh.

Hulu has the closest number of movies at 2,336 but only 9.6% are certified fresh. HBO Now with 815 movies is sitting at 4.7% certified fresh. Amazon Prime has the most options at 17,461 but quantity does not equal quality for the online retail giant because only 1.3% of its movies are certified fresh.

All this basically comes down to the fact that Netflix has more higher quality movies than anyone else — 596, to be exact, which is roughly 360 more than both Hulu and Amazon Prime.

The data used by Streaming Observer is from Jan. 20, so it’s always possible that this could change. Movies are coming and going from streaming services all the time, and when new streaming services like Disney’s anticipated service come along, it’ll be quite a disruption for these sites.

Plus, this is all subjective and doesn’t take television shows into account. It’s really all about what you’re interested in watching. Not everyone wants to watch the best movies all the time. Sometimes you just want to watch King of the Hill, and you can only get that on Hulu.”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/netflix-best-movies/

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Hulu drops price after Netflix raises rates

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Hulu isn’t done taunting Netflix just yet.

Image: Chesnot/Getty Images

Just as Netflix’s prices go up, Hulu’s are going down.

“Hulu has announced today that its reducing the price of its ad-supported subscription plan to $5.99 per month. The current price for Hulu’s lowest-tiered plan is $7.99 per month.. The company’s “no ads” plan will remain priced at $11.99 per month.

This move comes just a week after the streaming service’s biggest competitor, Netflix, unveiled its largest price increase ever. The price of Netflix’s most popular plan is now $13 per month.

However, the move to undercut Netflix’s prices isn’t the first time Hulu’s taken a swipe at its competitor this month. Last week, amid Netflix’s big promotion for the upcoming release of its anticipated Fyre Festival documentary, Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened, Hulu dropped a surprise. It released its own Fyre Festival documentary, Fyre Fraud, before Netflix’s film.

In its pricing announcement, Hulu also unveiled a price increase for its Hulu + Live TV plan. That plan will be going from $39.99 to $44.99 per month.

Hulu Live TV brings channels like……………………………………………………………………”

Read more: https://mashable.com/article/hulu-price-drop-599/

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