Sling TV is now the biggest internet-based live TV service

Sling TV is a television streaming service that’s owned by Dish Network. It recently reported a total of 2.21 million subscribers, which means that it is now the world’s largest internet-based service for live TV, according to TechCrunch. The Dish Network-owned service beats out competitors from companies like AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which boasts 1 million subscribers, or Playstation’s Vue streaming service.

Sling TV calls itself a la carte TV because its subscribers can choose what they want to pay for. The streaming service has everything from ESPN and NFL Network to FX and AMC shows and movies. It’s likely the service’s variety that has made it successful.

Sling TV is also one of the oldest TV streaming services out there. It appeared in 2015, beating the competition to the punch. It managed to garner a customer base early on and has only grown that base and expanded its offerings since its launch.

While sling is extremely successful and likely will be in the future, it will most likely have a more difficult time in the future to expand its customer base. There are simply more streaming services out there now. HBO NOW, Starz, Showtime, and CBS All Access are just a few of the streaming services currently available and more are likely to pop up as time goes on. These other streaming services are booming, too, and many will soon offer live TV much like Sling TV does.

With that said, Sling TV shows no signs of slowing down. It’s reported 2.21 million subscribers came at the end of 2017. That’s up considerably from the company’s reported subscriber numbers of 1.5 million the previous year.

Dish’s business has taken a bit of a hit due to the switch from traditional paid TV to live streaming TV. For Q4 of 2017, the company reported $3.48 billion in revenue, which is down from $3.75 billion for the same quarter of 2016. For the year, Dish reported a total revenue of $14.39 billion. That’s down from $15.21 billion in 2016.

First Cities to Receive 5G Service Announced

February 20th, AT&T wireless revealed which cities would be the first to receive it’s all new 5G service. Although the company plans on unleashing its 5G power on a dozen cities through-out the rest of 2018, Atlanta, Georgia; Dallas, Texas and Waco, Texas will be the first ones to get their hands on the all new service.

The new service will of course offer a higher speed than previous models, but the biggest upgrade for many people will be the considerable decrease in latency that with will be seen with 5G: ping times that are impossible with 4G and 3G services.

Several of AT&Ts competitors have been working on their own infrastructure for a future upgrade in services, but AT&T will be the first mobile carrier to roll out new services. Further cities to receive the 5G upgrade will be announced at later dates.

AT&T have beaten their competitors to market with technology based on 3GPP standards and transmit over the mmWave spectrum. After completing their goal of virtualizing 55% of their network in 2017, the company plans to crank that number up to 75% by the end of 2020.

In their press release, AT&T said that to accommodate the required deadlines they will be opening a new lab in Austin, Texas. The location will be used to conduct tests to keep them ahead of competitors in the 5G market.

Verizon is working just as endlessly to provide higher mobile speeds to its customers as well. If you are a Verizon customer, you don’t have to be so eager to switch to AT&T. Verizon plans to launch their 5g technology to five markets in 2018 and expand to other markets sometime in the future.

Verizon chose to demonstrate their 5G technology by putting two professional NBA players in a virtual reality headset. The 5G signal has such low latency that the players were able to make free throws completely blind to the real world. Inside the Verizon 5G headset a video streaming in real time provided all the vision they needed to sink the shots: this demonstrates what is capable with faster speeds and the lower ping of 5G.

Flixster Video Being Shut Down

As of February 20, 2018, the social movie website Flixster no longer exists, having been shut down by the owners.

This should not come as a shock to any frequent users of the site, as this decision has been public knowledge ever since 2016 when Fandango bought out the company from its founders. Members have been receiving emails over the last several months to remind them that the website will no longer be in operation at this time. Going there now only offers a redirect to download the app for iOS and Android, as well as a link to the main Fandango website.

Flixster first began operation in 2007, being bought out by Fandango at the same time they acquired Rotten Tomatoes and the video streaming service M-Go (later renamed to FandangoNow). Flixster Video, Flixster’s own video streaming service where users could buy and watch movies, was not part of this deal, and consequently sent out a message to its customers informing them they would no longer be accepting digital movie code redemption.

The company does stress, however, that this does not make a person’s movie library worthless now. Rather, the announcement on their website informs customers that they can still redeem codes on the Vudu service, encouraging them to link their Flixster Video account to Vudu so that their movie library will carry over to the new platform. Additionally, though Flixster itself is now gone, Flixster Video’s account linking program will remain open for the time being.

While no reasons have been given currently for why Flixster has been shut down, only that it has been, it’s possible to speculate that it is simply a way of consolidating services and being more efficient. With mobile technology always on the rise, it’s likely there was simply not enough traffic or interest in the Flixster website to justify its continued existence. The apps still remain, however, indicating enough people were accessing the service through their phones for Fandango to consider it worth keeping in this capacity.

One Team Collective Enhances Trendy Tech for Football

NFL players accomplish much in the offseason. Rigorous training and preparation for the next inevitable season aside, they also focus their time of side projects. A Player’s Association trading player licenses for equity using a tech accelerator expedites many such projects. ( The accelerator, dubbed One Team Collective has a list of the top five trends influencing the world of technology. Not only do these trends provide good investments for life after football, they also offer the chance to optimize the game itself. The most innovative part of One Team Collective is that every trend is retrofitted for football. It is the footballization of technology.

StatMuse is an AI-based startup functioning as a sports statistics database. One Team Collective has already invested in the application, which provides the ability create custom training schedules. As AI is used for so much, with Alexa and Google pioneering the waters of home-based voice command, it only makes since that AI would emerge in a sports scope. Having a computer with full-knowledge of every stat surrounding a player provides intuitive regimens. Such training in both physical and dietary measures insures optimized training. Athletes can expand their training to place in the best shape possible for their individual levels and talents. The app is still a startup but with AI rising in popularity a wide market is available. Investment in the company could pay off, as teams would start enlisting the AI software to bolster fitness.

Other trends revolve around blockchains, which have garnered popularity since the decentralization of Bitcoin. Blockchains are distributed ledgers containing limitless amounts of data. Using blockchains for football has the effect of revolutionizing the use of performance data. One Team Collective is currently pursuing the implementation of blockchains in WHOOP, which is a portfolio company that lists performance data on a wearable. This type of tech could allow players to track their performance to the smallest degree, marking each infusion of success. It would also allow trainers to be up to date, as all they would need to do is look the stats up on their wearable.

Technology is changing everything, football as well. With One Team Collective players can look to more successful careers on and off the field.

AT&T Touts 5G Network, But Is That A Big Deal?

After eight years of 4G wireless networks, it looks 5G will finally be a reality. On Tuesday, AT&T broadcast the names of the first cities officially receiving a 5G network. The Dallas-based carrier is not the only company testing 5G, Verizon also stated its intention to unveil a 5G network last year. At present both carriers are at the forefront of the update, but the only information available is speculation. According to many sources, 5G will be faster than wired internet connections but that remains to be seen. At the unveil AT&T listed Waco, Dallas, and Atlanta among the twelve initially receiving the new network. So far now it is just a waiting game.

AT&T is very adamant about the quality of the network, stating that its base is a 3GPP standard operating on a millimeter wave. ( Peak speeds theorized to be in gigabits, with minimal dormancy. According to Igal Elbaz, SVP of Architecture and Design, the update will completely alter the network and meet the standards set down for 5G. It is also speculated that AT&T will be the first carrier to provide such service. This will be fantastic, if there is a noticeable difference.

In a world where technological innovation moves faster than a consumer can purchase it, every year sees the introduction of newer models. I-phones are up to double digits now, and Samsung is right behind them with the 8th version of their galaxy series. Every version touted as optimizing various facets. Better video, better streaming, wider screen, higher pixilation on the front camera, higher pixilation on the back camera, and better processors. It all sounds good but the phones as fancy as they are still perform the same tasks older models do. For most consumers there is no noticeable difference between the two. This begs the question do we need it. So do we need a 5G network? Will it really be significantly better than 4G LTE? According to speculation we do. Some even go as far as to say it will replace the need for cables!

For now, there is nothing but hope. Hope that the network will really change things, take technology forward. Reach new heights that better life. After all, this is the purpose of innovation.

SpaceX Fails to Launch Broadband Satellites

On Wednesday morning, SpaceX prepared to launch one of its Falcon 9 launch vehicles at Vandenberg Air Force Base. However, due to strong winds, the launch was canceled and rescheduled for Thursday. The partially-reusable Falcon 9 was loaded down with a bevy of satellites, including the Paz military satellite, owned by the Spanish government, and two prototype satellites intended to be the first part of SpaceX’s upcoming broadband internet network.

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk first announced his plan for a satellite-based broadband network in 2015. Since then, he has been hard at work seeking approval from the FCC to form his planned satellite constellation. Known as Starlink, the project is slated to have 12,000 satellites orbiting Earth by 2020. One company estimate puts the cost of Starlink at $10 billion. However, they also posited that Starlink could earn them at least $30 billion.

The first models of the Starlink satellites, Microsat-2a and Microsat-2b, were due to go up with the Falcon 9 on Wednesday. The Falcon 9 involved in this mission is reusing the booster used to launch Taiwain’s Formosat-5 observation satellite into orbit in August. The mission’s Paz satellite, constructed by Airbus and operated by Hisdesat for the Spanish military, will collect and transmit 3D images of Earth when it reaches low-Earth orbit.

Typically, Vandenberg Air Force Base’s weather balloon shop will begin sending up weather balloons six hours before launch. The team is then able to measure wind shear levels up to a height of 120,000 feet. They pass the data along to the upper level winds team, who makes the call on whether launch is go for the day. The launch weather officer at the base’s Western Range Operations Control Center makes the final decision.

Due to the weather delay, SpaceX will have to postpone the takeoff until Thursday. The launch will take place at Vandenberg Air Force Base near Mission Hills, California at 9:17 AM Eastern Standard Time. If conditions are not favorable, the launch may be postponed again for Friday. The mission was previously delayed on Tuesday when the crew had trouble with an abnormal rocket fairing.

Samsung’s New SSD: Will It End Consumer Need for Cloud Storage?

Since March 2016, the largest 2.5-inch Solid State Drive (SSD) anyone could buy was one made by Samsung with a capacity of 15 terabytes. Samsung recently announced that it began the mass production of a new SSD with an over 30 terabytes capacity in a press release.

According to Samsung, the new SSD doubles the capacity and performance of its predecessor from the same company. Samsung was able to achieve this capacity by embedding 32 1GB NAND flash memory packages into the SSD. The combined capacity they offer allows for the storing of up to 5700 full HD movies on the disk, assuming an average movie size of 5 gigabytes.

In addition to the increase in capacity, Samsung claims their new SSD will have twice the performance of the previous generation. The company promises the SSD will have a reading speed of 2,100 MB/s and a writing speed of 1,700 MB/s.

While the press release by Samsung makes it clear the new SSD is marketed for enterprise customers, they didn’t hold back boasting about the impact this new technological advancement will have on all markets. “we are once again shattering the enterprise storage capacity barrier, and in the process, opening up new horizons for ultra-high capacity storage systems worldwide” said Jaesoo Han, the executive vice president of Samsung Electronics’ Memory Sales & Marketing Team.

While this new SSD is definitely good news for the enterprise sector, including providers of cloud storage, it also challenges consumer need for such solutions. The major challenge facing consumer adoption of cloud storage services is the lack of reliable and fast internet connections across different locations without bandwidth limiting. With these hurdles still in place, the potential price drop in cloud storage technological advances in SSD manufacturing will not be enough to reverse consumer’s attitudes towards cloud storage.

Consumer electronics are likely to benefit from the advances in SSD technology more than anyone else. This will meet the increasing demands of smartphones users who continue to seek larger built-in storage capacities. Video game consoles also demand more and more onboard storage to accommodate customer expectations of larger settings and content. The increasing demand for both 4K video and offline viewing capabilities streaming services are met with can also be potentially satisfied with the rapid advancements in storage technology.

In conclusion, the advancements in storage technology might not end the need for cloud storage as backup services. However, it appears their intended role as practical storage is only being further obscured.

Samsung’s Game Changer: Their Newest 30TB SSD

Today, Samsung has revolutionized the computer world.

They have successfully put out their newest soild state drive, one which holds 30 terabytes of information. This is the biggest drive to ever be released in a small, compact 2.5 inch body. Samsung broke their previous record of worlds largest 2.5 inch SSD, which was only 16 terabytes, back in 2016.

According to The Verge, the drive is manufactured with 32 sticks of NAND flash packages, each able to hold 1TB. Along with this new breakthrough in storage technology, Samsung claims that their new SSD is able to clock in read/write times of 40,000 IOPS and 50,000 IOPS, respectively. That is nearly four times the write speed of every other SSD in the market.

The controller inside of the SSD is fascinating in and of itself. The controller merges 9 different controllers into one singular controller, making it as efficient as having 9 other SSD cards inside your machine. This is what makes the insane read/write times of the PM1643 possible.

The PM1643 also uses a new technology in SSD cards to help utilize storage. Through Silicon Valley (TSV) technology is used to bind the 20 8GB DDR4 chips together. This technology allows the PM1643 to have 40 gigabytes of DDR4-RAM. This is the first time that TSV-DRAM technology has even been used inside of an SSD card.

As for the future? Samsung executive Jaesoo Han says that Samsung will “..continue to move aggressively in meeting the shifting demand of SSDs over 10 terabytes and at the same time, accelerating adoption of our trail-blazing storage solutions in a new age of enterprise systems”. They are also releasing 15.36 TB, 7.68 TB, 3.84 TB, 1.92 TB, 960 GB and 800 GB versions of this revolutionary new SSD. A release date has not been given for the new PM1643, but mass production for the card started back in January, so we can only hope that this trail-blazing new SSD card hits the shelves soon across the world.

Did Facebook Help Fund Trump’s Campaign

Facebook is a popular social media platform that is heavily used by people of all ages around the country and around the world. Even-though the social media platform is losing more and more younger users, its still attracting more mature users that are voting age. A lot of those voting age citizens are heavy users of Facebook and they were paying a lot of attention to Trump’s advertising and campaign messages on Facebook during the 2016 campaign. Facebook insiders state that they knew that Trump was gaining a greater growing voter base and contributions on Facebook than his Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton.

Trump’s Primary Source Of Funding
Those that wondered who was funding Trump’s campaign should look no further than Facebook. Trumps’ campaign managers were able to use vital statistics and advertising tools on Facebook to build a profile that would attract more people with their targeted ads. In essence the campaign was able to build a picture of the type of person that would vote for Trump. They targeted those specific Trump ad campaigns at guaranteed Trump supporters. Insiders state that Hillary Clinton ads sent out complicated messages that did not speak directly to the voter. However, Trump sent out very simple messages that spoke to the voter. Trumps simple messages received millions of likes and shares.

The Big Guns
Trump’s campaign managers called in the big guns to further target the right audience on Facebook. For example, they called in Cambridge Analytica. The data analytic company specialized in the shady side of analytics that heavily involved psychology, psycho metrics and profiling. Certainly, a lot of the messages that were prepared and released to the public preyed on the fear and anxiety that voters held on a lot of topics that were discussed in the campaigns by Clinton and Trump. Trump campaign managers discovered a way to use the Facebook platform that would work for their campaign and attract millions of contributions and Trump supporters, while Hillary Clinton’s campaign message lagged in contrast.

From Ocean Water To Drinking Water

Scientists have developed a new and sustainable method for removing salt and metal ions from water. This means that the about two billion people worldwide without adequate access to drinking water could in the near future be supplied by the saltwater filtered using this new process. As reports: the discovery was made during a joint study by the University of Texas at Austin and Monash University. This is a giant breakthrough seeing as there are approximately billions of people living without access to clean drinking water. With saltwater being in abundance in most places around the world scientists have long searched for a way to purify saltwater for drinking. Though there have been several methods developed to purify seawater and saltwater from other sources; not until now has there been a process developed that can do this efficiently and without using too much energy, and thus being too costly.

The researchers involved in the project include Dr Huacheng Zhang, Professor Huanting Wang, and Associate Professor Zhe Liu from the University of Monash, and Dr Anita Hill, and Professor Benny Freeman from The University of Texas at Austin.

The process is carried out with a material called metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs. This amazing material “has the largest internal surface area of any known substance,” and acts as a sponge. These spongy crystals can then be used to filter salt out of seawater by engineering the material for the specific application.

As of right now most of the worlds seawater is filtered through a process called reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis is a process in which a material similar to MOFs is used to remove membranes that are harmful for consumption. The MOFs however would be able to do this at a much more efficient rate. The applications for such a discovery would be potentially lifesaving for billions of people around the globe. This research is totally revolutionary when it comes to water desalination and water purification.