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How Netflix hooks you into ‘Stranger Things’ (The 3:59, Ep. 303)

CNET

“Stranger Things” is almost back. The second season of the cultural phenomenon arrives on Netflix on Friday. We discuss the tricks Netflix plays to get us hooked on that show[1] and others, including choosing that perfect splash photo to tease the show.

Not that we need another photo to get us excited. We also discuss T-Mobile’s third-quarter earnings results[2] and how we all really just want to know what’s going on with its pending rumored merger with Sprint. Lastly, we talk about Boxed, a retailer that managed to add automation while keeping its staff employed.

It runs counter to the idea that robots have to take our jobs[3]. The 3:59 gives you bite-size news and analysis about the top stories of the day, brought to you by the CNET News team in New York and producer Bryan VanGelder. Check out the extended shows[4] on YouTube.

How Netflix hooks you into Stranger Things (The 3:59, Ep.

303)

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Subscribe: iTunes | RSS | Google Play | FeedBurner | SoundCloud |TuneIn | Stitcher[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

References

  1. ^ Netflix plays to get us hooked on that show (www.cnet.com)
  2. ^ T-Mobile’s third-quarter earnings results (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ runs counter to the idea that robots have to take our jobs (www.cnet.com)
  4. ^ extended shows (www.youtube.com)
  5. ^ iTunes (itunes.apple.com)
  6. ^ RSS (feed.cnet.com)
  7. ^ Google Play (goo.gl)
  8. ^ FeedBurner (feeds.feedburner.com)
  9. ^ SoundCloud (soundcloud.com)
  10. ^ TuneIn (tunein.com)
  11. ^ Stitcher (www.stitcher.com)

Mercedes clinches fourth straight F1 constructors’ championship

Why it matters to you

Mercedes is shaping up to be one of the great Formula One dynasties. Mercedes-Benz clinched its fourth straight Formula One constructors’ championship at the 2017 United States Grand Prix[1], held at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas. While rivals Ferrari and Red Bull Racing have put up more of a fight this year, Mercedes remains the dominant team in F1.

Formula One awards championships for both constructors (the teams) and drivers, and the drivers’ championship is still up for grabs as the season heads into its final three races. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton extended his lead by winning in Austin, but his main rival, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel, finished second, giving him enough points to stay in the fight. Hamilton started strong, setting a track record and taking pole position in qualifying.

But Vettel managed to pass the British driver shortly after the start of the race. Vettel’s challenge only lasted six laps, though, at which point Hamilton took the lead and held onto it. Vettel fell further down the field, but managed to claw his way back to second by the end of the race.

Controversy surrounded the third spot on the podium. Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen (who started in 16th place), passed Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen on the last lap to take third place, but the the move was deemed illegal and Verstappen was hit with a five-second penalty. That awarded third place to Raikkonen.

Race stewards claimed Verstappen drove off the track while making his move, a decision Red Bull disputes. The penalty has also attracted criticism from outside the team. F1 legend and Mercedes team advisor Niki Lauda called it “the worst I’ve ever seen” in an interview with Racer[2].

While the outcomes of individual races are always unpredictable, Mercedes was always the team to beat. The German automaker has held a major advantage since current rules requiring hybrid powertrains were introduced in 2014. Mercedes has won the constructors’ championship for the past three years in a row, and has monopolized the drivers’ championship as well.

Hamilton won it in 2014 and 2015, while Nico Rosberg won in 2016, and retired shortly after[3]. Mercedes hasn’t had as tight a stranglehold on the championship this season as it did in the past three. Vettel led the drivers’ championship for much of the season, and Red Bull has won two races.

More consistent performance by Hamilton and teammate Valtteri Bottas[4] allowed Mercedes to pull away from Ferrari and Red Bull in the constructors’ championship early on.

But Vettel could still win the drivers’ championship and break up the Mercedes monotony.

Editor’s Recommendations

References

  1. ^ 2017 United States Grand Prix (www.formula1.com)
  2. ^ Racer (www.racer.com)
  3. ^ and retired shortly after (www.digitaltrends.com)
  4. ^ teammate Valtteri Bottas (www.digitaltrends.com)

Google denies report of revenue sharing with news publishers

Google reportedly has a plan to share revenue with news publishers.

Getty Images

It appeared Sunday that Google may have a lifeline for struggling news publishers, but that might not be the case after all. The Financial Times[1] reported Sunday that the web giant is planning to share a chunk of its revenue with publishers. According to FT, Google’s plan is to mate its treasure trove of personal data with machine learning algorithms to help news publications grow their subscriber base.

But Google called the report “totally wrong,” adding that its subscriptions project is still in its early stages and there is no deal lined up with publishers. “We have not reached any conclusions on the revenue side,” Google spokeswoman Maggie Shiels told CNET. “We haven’t reached any conclusions [regarding] subscriptions and need to speak to publishers.” As readers have increasingly gone online for their news, newspapers have suffered declining subscriber numbers and lower advertising revenue, resulting in a dramatic industry contraction.

Newspaper publishers and the Associated Press have blamed Google and other news-aggregation sites for their woes, leading to threats that they will delist their content and begin charging online readers. The deal FT reported Google as offering to news publishers will reportedly be similar to the arrangement Google has with traditional advertisers through its AdSense business. “We want to have a healthy ecosystem where we’ll benefit both as a society and with our business,” Richard Gingras, Google’s head of news, told the FT. “We are still working it out, we’re not experts in the subscription business, but the rev shares will be very, very generous.”

The move comes as Google moves to offer better search and ad solutions for news sites with paywalls. Bloomberg reported earlier this month that news search results for sites with paid subscriptions will no longer be demoted[2] in Google search. First published Oct.

22, 10:56 a.m. PT.Update, 1:20 p.m. PT: Adds Google comment.

Batteries Not Included[3]: The CNET team reminds us why tech is cool.

CNET Magazine[4]: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition.

References

  1. ^ The Financial Times (www.ft.com)
  2. ^ no longer be demoted (www.cnet.com)
  3. ^ Batteries Not Included (www.cnet.com)
  4. ^ CNET Magazine (www.cnet.com)

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