Tech News

Netflix Expands Everywhere, Oculus Pricing Causes Rift… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 07-01-2016

Netflix is now available in almost every country, the Oculus Rift will cost you $599, Politwoops embarrasses backtracking politicians, Psychonauts 2 is getting made, and Trevor from GTA V is now selling Old Spice.


Netflix Expands Everywhere Except China

Netflix has launched in 130 new countries in one hit, including India, Russia, Turkey, Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia. With Netflix having already expanded outwards from North America into South America, Europe, and Asia, the streaming service is now available in 190 countries around the world. Which means Netflix can claim world domination The Ultimate Netflix Guide: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Netflix This guide offers everything you need to know about using Netflix. Whether you're a new subscriber or an established fan of the best streaming service out there. Read More at this point.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced the move in his keynote at CES 2016, with the service launching simultaneously in all of these countries at once. The only major countries now not served by Netflix are China, Crimea, North Korea, and Syria; this being due to government restrictions on companies from the United States operating in these regions.

Hastings said:

“Today you are witnessing the birth of a new global Internet TV network. With this launch, consumers around the world — from Singapore to St. Petersburg, from San Francisco to Sao Paulo — will be able to enjoy TV shows and movies simultaneously — no more waiting. With the help of the Internet, we are putting power in consumers’ hands to watch whenever, wherever and on whatever device.”

Pricing and content will vary from country to country, but all of the Netflix Originals 13 New Netflix Originals You'll Be Watching in 2016 Netflix has released a lot of original content -- including House of Cards, Orange Is the New Black, Narcos, and Master of None -- but 2016 is slated to be Netflix's most exciting year yet. Read More such as House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black will be available at the very least. Anyone who has access to a VPN will also be able to stream shows only available countries other than their own, so now may be a good time to peruse your VPN options The Best VPN Services We've compiled a list of what we consider to be the best Virtual Private Network (VPN) service providers, grouped by premium, free, and torrent-friendly. Read More .

The Oculus Rift Is Too Damn Expensive

The first consumer version of the Oculus Rift will set you back $599, which is much more expensive than anyone imagined. For context, this is double the price of the original Kickstarter edition Oculus Rift Development Kit Review and Giveaway The Oculus Rift has finally arrived, and is making heads turn (literally) all over the gaming community. No longer are we confined to to peering through a flat window into the gaming worlds we love... Read More offered in 2012, and $250 more than the second-generation Development Kit 2 Oculus Rift Development Kit 2 Review and Giveaway It’s been a year since the first Oculus Rift Development Kit was released, and it’s safe to say the world of gaming will never be the same again Read More .


For those happy to pay the asking price, $599 will buy you the VR headset, a wireless Xbox One controller, the Oculus Remote, and two games (Lucky’s Tale and Eve: Valkyrie). As promised, pre-orders are now being taken Facebook Experiments on Users, Order the Oculus Rift... [Tech News Digest] Facebook tests users' addiction levels, how to pre-order the Oculus Rift, Windows 10 nabs 10 percent of Windows users, Yahoo shutters Yahoo Screen, and play Urine It to Win It! to let off steam. Read More in 20 countries around the world, with shipping set to begin in March.

Politwoops Tracks Dumb Politicians Again

Politwoops is back in business, with Twitter reversing its decision to cut off its access to the Twitter API. Politwoops provides a digital archive of public tweets deleted by politicians, making elected officials more accountable for what they say on the social networking site.

Twitter shut Politwoops down PenGate Shows People Are Dumb, Twitter Protects Politicians... [Tech News Digest] Galaxy Note 5 owners are stupid, Twitter protects politicians' tweets, Netflix streams YouTube movies, Furry Friend generates cat purrs, and elders react to 3D printers. Read More in August 2015, claiming that it violated the privacy of its users. However, the company has changed its mind, accepting the argument that these tweets are a matter of public record. Politwoops is back online in 25 countries, with the U.S. version due to come online again in the next few weeks.


Psychonauts 2 Hits Crowdfunding Goal

Psychonauts 2 will now become a reality, with Double Fine Productions hitting its funding goal of $3.3 million. With five days left to go, the final tally could be much higher, but studio boss Tim Schafer has promised that “every dollar we make goes into making the game better, giving us more time to polish and making the game great”.

The game has been crowdfunded through Fig Why Schools Love Chromebooks, Browse the Web Like It's 1999... [Tech News Digest] Chromebooks cane it in the classroom, recalls the early Web, Google Street View visits Machu Picchu, Psychonauts is getting a sequel, and the movie mashup to end all mashups. Read More , a company Shafer advises. A connection which has caused mild controversy. Psychonauts 2, due to be released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One in Fall 2018, is the sequel to a cult classic game which many people found long after its initial release. Let’s just hope it lives up to the hype.

Trevor From GTA V Sells Old Spice

And finally, Trevor from Grand Theft Auto 5 is now advertising Old Spice. Kinda. In actual fact, Steven Ogg, the actor who played Trevor Philips in Rockstar’s bestselling video game, is the new face of Old Spice. Kinda. He’s actually playing Bob Giovanni, the “legendary” Old Spice pitchman.

OK, so this is some kind of Old Spice Inception nonsense, with Trevor Philips residing in the first layer. However, true GTA fans will struggle to see Giovanni, or Ogg, as anything other than the best character from that game, and possibly the whole series. A connection Old Spice must be banking on. [H/T Reddit]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

How excited are you to see Netflix available in your country? Is the Oculus Rift too expensive? Should politicians be held to higher social media standards? Will you be playing Psychonauts 2? Is Steven Ogg a good choice to sell Old Spice?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credits: Stacie DaPonte via Flickr


Related topics: Netflix, Oculus Rift, Online Advertising, Politics, Television, Twitter.

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  1. Walter Cooper
    January 8, 2016 at 2:03 pm

    A huge and surprising step by Netflix. Not sure the real strategy behind it but it seems great. But the problem remains same that the pricing and libraries for each country are different. people have been using a vpn service to overcome the issue of access to limited titles, so now their subscriptions would benefit them more as they can now use their vpn to unlock maximum available content, provided you have a vpn with the servers in maximum countries.

    Currently, only PureVPN and HMA are the ones with servers in maximum countries, i.e. 100+ countries.

    The pricing issue has got a hack now. According to the research by purevpn, Brazil has the cheapest packages. SO, you can get a netflix account at the cheapest rate by connecting to the brazilian IP.

    Here's the helpful link that might come handy:

    • Dave Parrack
      January 12, 2016 at 12:25 am

      So, subscribe to the Brazilian service and then access the U.S.-only content? That's actually really clever.