Netflix Says It Has 10 Percent of All TV Time In the US

In its fourth-quarter 2018 earnings report, Netflix disclosed some of its viewership numbers for hits such as “Bird Box.” “Overall, Netflix said it serves about 100 million hours of video per day, earning an estimated 10 percent of all time spent in front of the TV in the U.S.,” reports CNBC. The company also said “Bird Box” reached 80 million member households in its first four weeks on the streaming service. Unfortunately, it still didn’t show exactly how many people have viewed the content. From the report:

By way of comparison, during the week of Jan. 7, the top TV show was an NFL playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Jan. 13, which drew 33 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The top scripted show, “The Big Bang Theory,” drew over 13 million. But Netflix does not view TV as its only competition. In its earnings note, it also said games such as Fortnite compete for attention. Fortnite reportedly draws 200 million players per week.

The company also highlighted several of its international projects. Netflix said its original from Spain, “Elite,” was watched by over 20 million member households worldwide in the first four weeks. “Bodyguard,” co-produced with BBC One; “Baby,” an original series from Italy, and “Protector,” an original series from Turkey, all reached more than 10 million member households in their first four weeks, the company said. There was still one notable hit that Netflix didn’t disclose numbers for: “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch.” Instead, the company discussed in its earnings letter that the technology used to create the movie, its first interactive choose-your-own-adventure-style flick, will be used for interactive projects in the future.



Identical Twins Test 5 DNA Ancestry Kits, Get Different Results On Each

Source: Slashdot.org

Uh-oh, something is not right with the results of most popular DNA ancestry kits, as a pair of identical twins have found. Charlsie Agro and her twin sister, Carly, bought home kits from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA, and mailed samples of their DNA to each company for analysis. Despite having virtually identical DNA, the twins did not receive matching results from any of the companies. “The fact that they present different results for you and your sister, I find very mystifying,” said Dr. Mark Gerstein, a computational biologist at Yale University. Gerstein’s team analyzed the results, and he asserts that any results the Agro twins received from the same DNA testing company should have been identical. The raw data collected from both sisters’ DNA is nearly exactly the same. “It’s shockingly similar,” he said.



Cassette Album Sales in the US Grew By 23% in 2018

Slashdot.org reports:

Thanks to such acts as Britney Spears, Twenty One Pilots and Guns N’ Roses, along with soundtracks from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise — which boasts the year’s top two sellers — and Netflix’s Stranger Things series, cassette tape album sales in the U.S. grew by 23 percent in 2018. According to Nielsen Music, cassette album sales climbed from 178,000 in 2017 to 219,000 copies in 2018. While that’s a small number compared to the overall album market (141 million copies sold in 2018), that’s a sizable number for a once-dead format. In 2014, for example, cassette album sales numbered just 50,000. But, 20 years before that, back in 1994, when cassettes were still very much a hot-selling format, there were 246 million cassette albums sold that year, of an overall 615 million albums.



Finland’s Ambitious Plan To Teach Anyone the Basics of AI

In the era of AI superpowers, Finland is no match for the US and China. So the Scandinavian country is taking a different tack. From a report:
It has embarked on an ambitious challenge to teach the basics of AI to 1% of its population, or 55,000 people. Once it reaches that goal, it plans to go further, increasing the share of the population with AI know-how. The scheme is all part of a greater effort to establish Finland as a leader in applying and using the technology.

Citizens take an online course that is specifically designed for non-technology experts with no programming experience. The government is now rolling it out nationally. As of mid-December, more than 10,500 people, including at least 4,000 outside of Finland’s borders, had graduated from the course. More than 250 companies have also pledged to train part or all of their workforce.