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Netflix has laid down the gauntlet to its recently launched gaming library, saying that it wants it to be the best gaming service around. Last year Netflix rolled out a free extra to subscribers – smartphone games that can be played via the Netflix app. Among the games included in this service are apps for hit series such as Stranger Things, and while the Netflix gaming library is relatively small right now it sounds like the streaming giant has big plans for it.

As highlighted recently on Twitter by CNBC media and tech reporter Alex Sherman: “Interesting comment from Netflix’s Reed Hastings: Gaming isn’t just a hobby for them. In fact, he says, don’t bother asking about what Netflix is going to do next until it’s offering the best gaming service available. Obviously a high priority for the company now.”

Netflix has a long way to go before it can contemplate competing with the biggest players in the gaming arena, such as Microsoft – whose Game Pass subscription service, which offers members access to hundreds of games for a monthly price, was recently bolstered by the jaw-dropping acquisition of Call of Duty makers Activision Blizzard.

But to help on this front Netflix is building its own games studio, with chief product officer Greg Peters earlier this month saying Netflix had hired “some incredible talent” to help on this front and even a behind-the-scenes acquisition taking place.

And with this new focus on gaming, Netflix is building something that its big rival – Prime Video – simply can’t match.

Amazon does have its own game streaming service, Luna, which is only available in select countries – and isn’t included with a Prime Video subscription. While Amazon Prime membership, which includes access to Prime Video, does offer access to Prime Gaming – which gives subscribers free games to play each month. But these are free PC downloads, so won’t appeal to as wide an audience as what Netflix is cooking up.

The Netflix gaming pledge came after the streaming giant revealed last week that competition from rival services was affecting its growth.

And this is shown in the forecasts for this year – with Netflix expecting to add 2.5million subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, compared to 3.98million in Q1 2021.

The 2.5million new subscribers Netflix expects to gain in Q1 2022 is around half (5.9million) of what analysts had forecast.

In a letter to shareholders Netflix said: “Even in a world of uncertainty and increasing competition, we’re optimistic about our long-term growth prospects as streaming supplants linear entertainment around the world”.

In the face of this slowdown in user growth, Netflix’s gaming arm may be the perfect antidote to differentiate itself from rivals like Prime Video and Disney Plus and draw new members in.

At the end of 2021 Netflix hit 221.8 million users. It still is the world’s most popular streaming service, with Prime Video in second place.



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EU piracy clampdown free Netflix Sky TV Prime

EU launches new piracy clampdown measures for free Netflix Sky TV Amazon Prime Video streams (Image: GETTY)

Lawmakers in Brussels this week have turned the screw on internet pirates, putting increasing pressure on those that use free and illegal Netflix, Sky TV and Prime Video streams. It was just a few days ago that Express.co.uk reported that the EU is looking at ways to ban people from looking at websites which promote online piracy at the very first point of access. And now, hot on the heels of that news, it’s been revealed the European Parliament (EP) has taken a vote that will severely dent internet pirates operations.

This week MEPs voted through to approve the Digital Services Act (DSA), which includes various measures to help combat online piracy and bring EU legislation in keeping with the current, modern digital age, TorrentFreak reported.

The DSA includes measures on how takedown notices are dealt with by online services, along with upload filters – which would automatically ban content users try to upload which is deemed illegal.

There was pushback from both sides when the DSA first draft was revealed, with those in favour of more stringent copyright measures feeling it did not go far enough, and others feeling it was too drastic.

Squid Game: Jung-jae Lee stars in trailer for Netflix series

When the vote came to approve the DSA an amendment was tabled which would have effectively banned the use of these controversial upload filters.

However, despite the late bid to stop these measures MEPs voted against banning upload filters – with 434 against and 242 in favour.

The news came as a disappointment to Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer, who is on the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties.

Breyer tweeted: “Internet corporations use unreliable upload filters against supposedly illegal content – with much collateral damage. The majority won‘t even limit automated censorship to content that is manifestly illegal irrespective of its context.”

IS IT ILLEGAL TO STREAM MOVIES, TV SHOWS OR SPORTS FOR FREE?

Streaming movies, TV shows or sports that you should be paying for to watch is illegal.

It violates the copyright holders rights and can end up costing you far more in the long-run – with cases of rights holders in the past getting in touch with people that illegally streamed their content and demanding hefty damages.

Besides the legal dangers, watching illegal free streams online poses other risks. Free movie and TV show sites can be filled with dangerous malware that you may download onto your device without even realising it.

Malware can lead to the performance of your device being seriously slowed down, while malicious software can also lead to your sensitive personal or financial data being stolen.

Besides illegal streaming websites, IPTV devices are another popular piracy tool. IPTV stands for internet protocol television, and as the name suggests this is a TV service delivered over the internet.

There are legal IPTV services out there (such as Sky’s contract-free NOW service) but there are also plenty of illicit IPTV offerings.

And the latter illegal services pose some surprise dangers, such as graphic content like violent horror movies or pornography being displayed alongside movies or TV shows that children would want to watch.

So if you have youngsters in your house using an illegal IPTV service can open kids up to content you wouldn’t want them viewing.

European Parliament

The European Parliament voted on the latest anti-piracy measures (Image: GETTY)

Squid Game

If everyone watched content illegally, shows such as smash hit Squid Game wouldn’t be possible (Image: NETFLIX)

In recent years copyright holders have been ramping up anti-piracy efforts, with major Hollywood studios such as Netflix and Disney teaming up to form the Motion Picture Association (MPA), who – along with its anti-piracy partner the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE) – have led the charge to block hundreds of piracy websites used by millions of people.

While you may be tempted by websites that offer free streams of paid-for content, watching any such streams, or downloading pirated torrents, is illegal and no different to stealing a Blu-Ray from your local high street entertainment store.

Besides being against the law, not paying for content legitimately means money doesn’t end up going to the content creators themselves and doesn’t help fund their work. Without this, you wouldn’t have shows such as last year’s smash hit Squid Game being possible.

News of the recent vote on piracy measures comes days after it was revealed the EU was working on a new programme that would ban internet users from visiting websites that promote piracy at the very first point of access.

The way this works revolves around the Domain Name System (DNS), which is an essential part of the way the internet operates – and has been for decades.

A crucial component of this are DNS resolvers, which let people easily access and locate any website on the net. This system used to be dubbed the internet’s phone book. These days the DNS resolver market is largely dominated by US firms such as Google, Cloudflare and Norton.

But to combat this the EU has been looking at launching its own DNS resolver under the DNS4EU project. The EU-operated DNS resolvers are meant to protect users privacy, keep them secure from malware and phishing attempts, as well as comply with privacy regulations such as GDPR and stop user data from being monetised.

But the European Commission (EC) – who are the EU’s legislative branch – could also make sure the EU’s DNS resolvers automatically block users from accessing any websites deemed “illegal” – which could encompass sites that facilitate piracy.

So that would mean websites that offer free Netflix, Prime Video, Sky TV streams and more, plus torrent download portals.

Online piracy

There are no two ways about it, online piracy is illegal (Image: GETTY)

Speaking about URL filters, the documentation for the DNS4EU project says: “Filtering of URLs leading to illegal content based on legal requirements applicable in the EU or in national jurisdictions (e.g. based on court orders), in full compliance with EU rules.”

Responding to the news, Breyer said infringing content should be removed instead of blocked due to the risk of overblocking.

Breyer said: “Illegal content should be removed where it is hosted.”

The MEP also added: “A government-run DSA scheme comes with the risk of online censorship.

“Access blocking leaves content online and therefore can easily be circumvented and often results in overblocking and collateral suppression of legal speech hosted on the same website, by the same provider or via the same network.”



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Disney has revealed latest subscriber numbers for its three biggest subscription services – Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ – with this trio now used by a whopping 179 million users. Considering Disney+ is a relatively new kid on the block, launching just over two years ago, this is a seriously impressive feat – and means the number of people that use one of Disney’s streaming hubs is closing in on Netflix and Prime Video. Last April, Jeff Bezos revealed Prime Video had topped 200 million subscribers, while in October it was announced Netflix had hit 214 million users.

Collectively, Disney streaming services are closing in on Netflix’s and Prime’s mammoth audience, but individually the numbers tell a slightly different story. The latest figures for Disney+ on its own reveal the service has 118.1 million users, while Hulu has 43.8 million subscribers. ESPN+, meanwhile, has 17.1million subscribers.

But there are a number of factors why this is the case. Hulu, which boasts Original shows such as Dopesick and The Great, is only available to watch in the US, Puerto Rico, some locations in Japan and at military bases.

If you’re in the UK, you can still enjoy Hulu content in a number of ways – as shows such as The Great are available with services like StarzPlay, while Dopesick – the critically acclaimed series looking at the US opiod crisis – is available on Disney+ in Britain.

Disney+ also includes Star – a range of TV shows and films for adult audiences – in regions such as the UK, Europe and Australia. Content you can find on Star includes shows like 24, Grey’s Anatomy, Scrubs and movies such as Borat, Braveheart, Con Air and Beaches (just get the tissues out for that one).

Disney+ only launched in the US just over two years ago, and first launched in the UK back in March 2020. So compared to streaming services like Netflix and Prime Video, which have been around for about 15 years, Disney+ is a relative baby.

But in the short of amount of time it’s been available, there’s no wonder Disney Plus has become so popular – with Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Star Wars movies included alongside classic shows like The Simpsons and films for more adult audiences like Die Hard or the recently released The Last Duel.

This has all been complimented with a steady stream of exclusive shows for Disney Plus such as Hawkeye, Loki and last year’s smash hit WandaVision. While films such as Shang Chi and Black Widow also became available to stream first on Disney Plus.

Disney Plus is priced at £7.99 per month, but if you pay for a year’s access upfront (£79.90) you’ll save 15 percent on the typical cost.



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Free streams to unlock paid-for shows and movies found on Netflix, Sky TV and Prime Video could soon be blocked automatically by internet service providers. It’s all thanks to new measure prepared by the European Union (EU), which would see traffic to illicit piracy portals blocked before anyone is even able to visit such a site.

As reported by TorrentFreak, Brussels is currently working on a new project known as DNS4EU, which is designed to block web traffic to “illegal” websites, which could include pirate sites. Pirate sites that could be affected including those that allow visitors to stream Netflix, Sky TV and Prime Video content illegally for free, or those that provide access to illegal torrent downloads.

How would it work? Well, according to draft plans, the EU will leverage the Domain Name System (DNS), which has been an integral part of the internet ever since its early days. Crucial to DNS, which some people refer to as the internet phone book and allow your web browser to find the websites that you type into the address bar, are DNS resolvers, which allow web surfers to easily access any website.

This market is dominated by US firms such as Google, Cloudflare and Norton …but the EU is working on a counter point to this.

The EU controlled DNS resolvers are meant to protect users privacy, and could end up being the backbone for the traffic of millions in Europe. The EU operated DNS system will make sure user data is not monetised, comply to crucial privacy regulation such as GDPR, help protect people from malware and phishing scams and – crucially for those that use pirate websites – could see these services blocked at the point of access.

Documentation for the EU’s DNS resolvers say it will encompass: “Filtering of URLs leading to illegal content based on legal requirements applicable in the EU or in national jurisdictions (e.g. based on court orders), in full compliance with EU rules.”

It also explains: “DNS4EU shall offer a high level of resilience, global and EU-specific cybersecurity protection, data protection and privacy according to EU rules, ensure that DNS resolution data are processed in Europe and personal data are not monetised.”

Details are sparse on the DNS4EU project, so it’s unclear when these new DNS systems could get rolled out.

But the proposals have already sparked a backlash from the Pirate Party, with MEP Patrick Breyer who warned about the risk of online censorship.

Breyer said: “A government-run DSA scheme comes with the risk of online censorship. Access blocking leaves content online and therefore can easily be circumvented and often results in overblocking and collateral suppression of legal speech hosted on the same website, by the same provider or via the same network.”

Breyer also argued that infringing content should be removed not blocked – due to a risk of overblocking. The MEP said: “Illegal content should be removed where it is hosted.”



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Binge-watching TV in middle-age may raise the risk of blood clots by a THIRD, study suggests… and experts say you should ‘stand and stretch’ every half-hour

  • People watching TV for four hours a day 35% more likely to develop blood clots
  • Researchers say being idle drives up the risk of clotting condition VTE
  • They urged Britons to take breaks when binge watching to cut risk










Binge-watching TV can significantly raise your risk of suffering blood clots, a major review suggests.

British researchers found the risk was about a third higher in adults who spent four or more hours in front of the TV a day, compared to people who watched for two-and-a-half or less.

They are now urging people to take half-hour breaks between boxsets to ‘stand and stretch’ and cut down on snacks. 

Bristol University experts also urged Netflix addicts to think about using a stationary bike. 

Scientists have known for years that prolonged sitting can raises the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE), which kills thousands of people every year. 

Long periods of inactivity lets blood to pool in the extremities, which can then lead to clots. It is for this same reason airplane travellers are advised to move frequently on long-haul flights. 

But the new study found that even physically active people were still at more risk of blood clots. 

Researchers also warned people who binge on TV tend to eat junk food, which can lead to other conditions such as obesity and high blood pressure — also clot risks.

Dr Setor Kunutsor, a researcher at the university and lead study author, said: ‘If you are going to binge on TV you need to take breaks.  

British researchers found the risk was about a third higher in adults who spent four or more hours in front of the TV a day, compared to people who watched for two-and-a-half or less. Pictured: man watching TV

British researchers found the risk was about a third higher in adults who spent four or more hours in front of the TV a day, compared to people who watched for two-and-a-half or less. Pictured: man watching TV 

‘You can stand and stretch every 30 minutes or use a stationary bike. And avoid combining television with unhealthy snacking.’

Around one in 500 Britons and Americans suffer from blood clots per year, with up to 60 per cent of cases among hospitalised patients partly due to the length of time they spend being idle.

Most clots occur in veins in the leg — which is called deep vein thrombosis — which is usually easily treatable. 

But small parts of blood clots can break off and travel in the bloodstream to organs such as the lungs, known as pulmonary embolism. It can be fatal if not treated early. 

WHAT IS VENOUS THROMBOEMBOLISM?

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition in which a blood clot forms.

It includes pulmonary embolisms (PE), which is a blood clot in the lungs, and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is when blood clots develop in the veins. 

Around one in 500 Britons and Americans suffer from blood clots per year, with up to 60 per cent of cases among hospitalised patients due to the length of time they spend being idle. 

Risk factors for developing the condition include being idle for extended periods of time, such as among hospitalised and bedridden people, being aged 60 or over, a family history of the condition and being overweight.

People with suspected PE or DVT should be referred to hospital and given blood thinning medication while waiting for a scan to confirm the condition.

The review, published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, examined three studies with a total of 131,421 participants from the US and Japan aged 40 or older who had no prior clotting diagnosis and were quizzed on their TV viewing habits.

The volunteers were divided into ‘prolonged viewers’ who watched TV for at least four hours per day and ‘seldom viewers’ who watched less than two-and-a-half hours per day.

Researchers detected 964 venous thromboembolism (VTE) cases after monitoring the participants for between five and 20 years, with ‘prolonged viewers’ being 1.35 times more likely to develop clots than ‘seldom viewers’.

The team found that exercising did not offset the risk of developing clots among TV fanatics.

Dr Kunutsor said: ‘The findings indicate that regardless of physical activity, your BMI, how old you are and your gender, watching many hours of television is a risky activity with regards to developing blood clots.’

The researchers noted that the findings are based on observational studies, so the increased risk among those who watched more television could be down to other factors, such as other lifestyle or health triggers.

But Dr Kunutsor noted prolonged TV viewing involves staying still which is a risk factor for VTE.

He said: ‘This is why people are encouraged to move around after surgery or during a long-haul flight’

‘In addition, when you sit in a cramped position for long periods, blood pools in your extremities rather than circulating and this can cause blood clots. 

‘Finally, binge-watchers tend to eat unhealthy snacks which may lead to obesity and high blood pressure which both raise the likelihood of blood clots.’

Dr Kunutsor added: ‘Our results suggest that we should limit the time we spend in front of the television. Long periods of TV watching should be interspersed with movement to keep the circulation going. 

‘Generally speaking, if you sit a lot in your daily life – for example your work involves sitting for hours at a computer – be sure to get up and move around from time to time.’

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Seventh-century workshop ‘that built priceless Sutton Hoo treasures’ is uncovered by archaeologists in Suffolk just three miles away from where Anglo-Saxon burial ship was unearthed in 1939

  • The site, just three miles from Sutton Hoo, has been hiding lost treasures including a helmet which may have belonged to East Anglia’s King Raedwald
  • The workshop is thought to be the place where the treasures were created  
  • Other artefacts include spindle whorls and loomweights used in spinning and weaving, and dress items such as a copper alloy brooch and buckle
  • The 1939 discovery of the historic site is brought to life in the Netflix hit The Dig  










An Anglo-Saxon settlement believed to be where the priceless treasures found in the Sutton Hoo burial ship were originally made has been uncovered by archaeologists.

The community of craftsmen, which dates back at least 1,400 years, was discovered in Rendlesham, Suffolk.

The site is just three miles from Sutton Hoo, described as the UK’s greatest archaeological discovery and portrayed in the hit Netflix film The Dig.

Melted metal fragments and slag found at the Rendlesham site indicate workers were involved in iron smithing and producing items out of copper alloy. 

Artefacts made from copper alloy and iron were found in the 88ft burial ship – including an ornate helmet believed to have provided protection in battle while also used as a crown.

The site is three miles from Sutton Hoo, described as the UK’s greatest archaeological discovery and portrayed in the hit Netflix film The Dig

An ornate helmet believed to have provided protection in battle was uncovered at the site

Archaeologist previously uncovered more treasures from the site in Cambridge

Artefacts made from copper alloy and iron were found in the 88ft burial ship

The items may have belonged to East Anglia’s King Raedwald, who is widely thought to be the ruler buried in the ship in the 7th century AD. 

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said those buried at Sutton Hoo would have ‘probably lived at Rendlesham’, adding: ‘There is also evidence of craft working at Rendlesham, so it is possible they may have produced some of the objects discovered in the Sutton Hoo burial grounds.’

The unearthing of the ship in 1939 changed the narrative of British history as it showed the Anglo-Saxons were far more advanced than previously thought. 

The Dig, released last year, starred Ralph Fiennes as archaeologist Basil Brown, who found the ship after being hired by landowner Edith Pretty, played by Carey Mulligan, to excavate burial mounds.

Other artefacts found at Rendlesham include spindle whorls and loomweights used in spinning and weaving, and dress items such as a copper alloy brooch and buckle.

There were also pottery vessels for cooking and storage, and bones from butchered cattle, sheep and pigs. The remains of what may have been a palace for King Raedwald and other Anglo-Saxon rulers was found nearby during excavations betwwen 2008 and 2014. 

Much of the excavation was carried out by 150 volunteers – among them pupils of Rendlesham primary school and youngsters from the Suffolk Family Carers charity

The Dig, released last year, starred Ralph Fiennes as archaeologist Basil Brown, who found the ship after being hired by landowner Edith Pretty, played by Carey Mulligan, to excavate burial mounds

The Dig, released last year, starred Ralph Fiennes as archaeologist Basil Brown, who found the ship after being hired by landowner Edith Pretty, played by Carey Mulligan, to excavate burial mounds

The latest dig took place this year as the first phase of a four-year project backed by a £517,000 National Lottery Heritage Fund grant. Its exact location is being kept a secret to deter treasure hunters and metal detectorists.

Much of the excavation was carried out by 150 volunteers – among them pupils of Rendlesham primary school and youngsters from the Suffolk Family Carers charity – under the guidance of Suffolk council’s archaeological service and Cotswold Archaeology Ltd.

Professor Chris Scull, the project’s principal academic adviser, said the area was the ‘power centre of the East Anglian kingdom’, adding: ‘Our excavation has unravelled some of the complexities of this internationally significant site and given us insights into the lives of the people whose farming and craft skills supported the early rulers of the East Anglian kingdom.’

Work has begun on analysing the finds, with provisional results expected in spring next year.

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