Today in Tech News Digest, Apple’s cult status is confirmed, Netflix and YouTube are shown to suck, Amazon announces plans to deliver on Sundays, Apple Maps steals users away from Google Maps, a new WoW expansion pack is revealed, WOT reaches 100 million downloads, Twitter turns from beta to alpha, and Blockbuster claims This Is The End.
Apple’s Spaceship HQ Revealed
Apple has, for a long time, faced claims that it’s some sort of cult. Not a real one, of course, but the fandom that the company elicits in its customers is reminiscent of that shown by followers to a particular way of thinking. Apple has played on this fact in the past, and its new futuristic campus in Cupertino, Santa Clara County, California, is only going to add to this mysterious air.
apple culture has been cultish from the start but this new campus is basically just a futuristic megachurch: http://t.co/MaAQ6Vvsm7
— mehan jayasuriya (@mehan_j) November 11, 2013
It has, without question, been designed to look like an alien spaceship has just landed in a field. Wired has a full gallery of artist renderings of the new Apple HQ, created after Cupertino city officials gave the huge structure the go-ahead. I can only assume that were real aliens to land on Earth they would choose Cupertino. “Take me to your leader,” they will demand, to which the receptionist will reply, “I’m afraid Tim Cook is rather busy announcing the iPhone 25 right now.”
Netflix & YouTube Suck… Your Broadband
Netflix and YouTube are actually rather good, but they will, between them, suck away half of your broadband. This is according to networking equipment company Sandvine, which has released statistics showing how the lethal combination of Netflix and YouTube accounts for just over half of America’s downstream traffic during peak hours. Stop watching videos online and get back to work, losers.
Amazon To Deliver On Sundays
Amazon is set to begin Sunday deliveries. Welcome to The Church of Consumerism.
— Dave Pell (@davepell) November 11, 2013
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon is going to start delivering on Sundays in Los Angeles and New York from Nov. 17. More American cities, including Dallas, New Orleans, Houston, and Phoenix will be added next year. This will only be available to Amazon Prime members, and the beleaguered United States Postal Service will be responsible for making this happen.
I can’t say I have ever been that desperate for a consumer product that I’ve wished Sunday deliveries were an option, but I guess Amazon knows there is a demand and is trying to be the supplier that offers it. This is bad news for bricks-and-mortar stores, who have likely gained weekend sales from Amazon thanks to the immediacy of taking the goods home on the day.
Apple Maps Gains On Google Maps
When Apple Maps debuted alongside iOS 6 in September 2012 it was found to be an absolute mess of errors and misinformation. So much so that there was a website dedicated to finding the flaws. And yet, according to ComScore (and reported by the Guardian), 35 million American users are now accessing Apple Maps on their iPhones. This is a lower figure than the 58 million who use Google Maps, but it means Apple has bitten a huge chunk out of Google’s market share; Google Maps peaked at 81 million users in the same month Apple Maps was introduced.
WoW: Warlords of Draenor Announced
Blizzard has announced a new expansion pack for World of Warcraft. Titled Warlords of Draenor, this will be the fifth extension of the WoW universe, and comes at a time when the number of monthly subscribers is falling dramatically. In 2010 12 million people were playing World of Warcraft, but that figure has now dropped to around 7.7 million. No release date has yet been set for Warlords of Draenor.
WOT Reaches 100 Million Downloads
The Web of Trust (WOT) service collects reviews of websites from a community of Internet users. This crowdsourced information is then used to rate individual websites so that anyone with the add-on enabled can see, at a glance, whether or not to click on a link. It’s a solid tool to have at your disposal, though not one that should be used without applying a certain amount of common sense. Still, 100 million people have now downloaded WOT, up from 50 million just 12 months ago.
Twitter Needs Droids
Not content with enlisting help with beta testing of its Android app, Twitter is now asking for help with alpha testing. This may seem like a backwards step from the Android Experiment Program, but those who make the alpha cut will have the chance to truly interact with the company and possibly help determine the future direction of Twitter for Android. There’s no money involved, naturally, just a sense of satisfaction and smugness for those involved.
‘This Is The End’ For Blockbuster
And finally, the last remaining Blockbuster outlets in the U.S. shut up shop over the weekend, bringing the era of in-store video rentals to an end. Rather fittingly the final film to be rented out, in Hawaii at 11pm on Saturday night, was This Is The End, a recent comedy in which we saw Armageddon through the eyes of Hollywood actors. No wonder Netflix and YouTube usage is so high.
— Blockbuster (@blockbuster) November 11, 2013