Netflix may stop iTunes billing, boosting margins at Apple’s expense
- The video streaming giant has confirmed that it’s “testing the iTunes payment method” in 33 countries through September 30, specifically preventing new or lapsed customers in those countries from purchasing in-app subscriptions, and directing them to its own web page instead.
- For years, Netflix customers have had two subscription options: Netflix’s own site, or directly through in-app purchases.
- In addition to demanding 30 percent of app subscription revenues, Apple initially mandated that developers could not charge more for in-app purchases than developer-direct purchases.
- The fact that Netflix would presume to disrupt Apple’s billing relationship with Netflix customers suggests that it believes the new service will be adversarial rather than complementary, and is doing what’s in its best interest while it still can.
- According to its billing FAQs, Netflix cut off Google Play subscription billing for new or rejoining customers in May. The company now directs Google Play users to sign up for new accounts through its own site.
After the Bitcoin boom: hard lessons for cryptocurrency investors
- But this bust could have a more lasting impact on the technology's adoption because of the sheer number of ordinary people who invested in digital tokens over the last year and who are likely to associate cryptocurrencies with financial ruin for a very long time.
- Many who have lost money in recent months had gotten into the markets before the big run-up last year and their holdings are still worth more than their initial investments.
- While he is essentially back to the $US4,000 he put in, he has soured on the revolutionary promises that virtual currency fanatics made for the technology last year and has resumed investing his money in real estate.
- Despite this pessimism, the social networks where cryptocurrency fanatics gather to trade information are full of people talking about their intention to hold on to their coins in the hope that they will recover once the technology has time to catch up with the hype.
Mother to meet son she hasn't seen in 68 years
- The last time she saw him, Sang Chol was four years old, and together with her husband and their daughter, they were headed south, fleeing the fighting during the early days of the Korean War. In the mass of hundreds of thousands of others trying to escape, Lee and her daughter lost sight of her husband and Sang Chol.
- Lee was staying at her in-laws' home in Kapsan county when the war broke out on June 25, 1950, after months of rising tensions between the US-occupied South and Soviet-backed North Korea.
- Seeking privacy, Lee crossed a small stream with her infant daughter, leaving her husband to look after the then four-year-old Sang Chol.
- As Lee and her husband's family continued south, she clung onto hope that he and Sang Chol would catch up with them.
Korean reunions: Tears as mother and son meet for first time in 68 years
- Lee had been waiting 68 years for this moment, after the two became separated during the Korean War and became trapped either side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which now splits the two Koreas.
- They were the 89 lucky families selected from the more than 57,000 who had applied for the reunions, agreed to under the Panmunjom Declaration signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an historic summit earlier this year.
- Lee was one of dozens of South Koreans who gathered Sunday at the Hanwha resort hotel, in Sokcho, south of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) which separates the two Koreas, where medical checks were carried out and participants were warned about nuances of visiting North Korea.
- In a statement Monday, President Moon urged both Koreas to work towards more reunions in future, noting his own family history as the child of North Korean refugees.
Korean families: Buses cross DMZ into North Korea for rare reunions
- The reunions are the first since 2015, agreed to under the Panmunjom Declaration signed by South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during an historic summit earlier this year.
- Officially ending the war was a key element of the Panmunjom Declaration, and both North and South have said they are continuing to work towards that goal, even as negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington appear to have stalled.
- As well as the family reunions, Saturday saw the fulfillment of another commitment made by Moon and Kim, as a joint Korean team marched in the opening ceremony of the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
- That move came after a unified Korean team took part in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea earlier this year, negotiations over which helped kick start a breakthrough in North-South relations and lead to the current detente on the Peninsula.
I tried to climb the 'plank walk' in China known as 'the most dangerous hike in the world,' but just getting there was the hardest part
- Or else, walking across a few thin planks bolted into a mountainside, their faces buzzing with adrenaline.
- When I found out that the site of those photos is in China, I decided that I had to visit on an upcoming trip to the country.
- Located about an hour from Xi'an, one of China's most popular cities for tourists, Mount Hua or Huashan (shan means mountain in Mandarin) is considered to be one of the world's most dangerous places to hike.
- The mountain is considered to be one of China's five sacred mountains and is one of the most popular tourist attractions and pilgrimage sites for Chinese people.
- The mountain actually has five main peaks — a North, South, East, West, and Center.
- The infamous plank walk is located on the mountain's highest peak, South, which has a height of 7,070 feet.
'Nothing has blown up': investors buoyed by solid earnings season
- Investors are feeling confident that a better than expected earnings season will extend into its third and busiest week as anticipated weakness in companies exposed to soft consumer spending has so far failed to translate into poor profit results.
- Mr Villante said he expects more companies will try to push through price rises in this financial year, blaming cost pressures from the weaker Aussie.
- These issues are also front and centre for shareholders in mining companies, particularly as prices for commodities such as copper, oil and gold have tumbled in recent weeks, under pressure from a rising dollar and worries around slowing Chinese growth.
- With prices for their products falling, rising costs is a "key theme" for the miners, Mr Dive said, adding he "would be surprised" if BHP, South32 and gold producer Newcrest Mining did not reveal those same pressures observable in Rio Tinto's results.
China’s top battery maker will make cheaper next generation low cobalt batteries
- China’s largest lithium battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd (CATL) plans to begin producing in 2019 next-generation nickel-rich batteries, which are cheaper to make and have longer life-spans.
- Cobalt stabilizes and extends the life of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries.
- Cobalt prices more than doubled in 2017 and peaked at a record high of $95,250 a tonne in March, 2018.
- South Korea’s LG Chem and SK Innovation have said they are working on producing the same type of battery.
- The CATL NCM 811 battery has 80 percent nickel, 10 percent cobalt and 10 percent manganese.
- CATL currently makes NCM 523 batteries with 50 percent nickel, 20 percent cobalt and 30 percent manganese.
Beauden Barrett calls for rugby rule rethink
- On the eve of the year's first Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney, Barrett told AFR Weekend that aerial contests were a vital part of the game but a series of contradictory decisions had left players and referees unsure of where they stand.
- Barrett, the World Rugby Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017, said Wallaby fullback Israel Folau's controversial yellow card against Ireland was harsh.
- In June Barrett was forced off with concussion in the second test of New Zealand's series against France after being taken out while contesting a high ball.
- Barrett and brothers Scott and Jordie became the first trio of brothers to start a rugby international during the series against France, when several regular All Blacks were unavailable.
Lionel Messi's brother has been convicted of illegally possessing a gun that ended up in 'a blood-stained boat'
- An automatic 380 caliber pistol with six intact cartridges were found inside a "blood-stained boat" which Matias crashed in the Parana River, the second-longest river in South America after the Amazon.
- Messi reportedly suffered injuries to his lip, skull, and had a fractured jaw, and was assisted at the time of the accident by a mooring keeper who said he hit a sandbar near a fishing club, 35 kilometers south of Rosario in Argentina.
- "I always maintained that the weapon was not mine, but the boat [was], so the weapon was found inside the boat and I have to take responsibility," he said.
- Messi will be spared jail as his two and a half year sentence is suspended, but during that time he must "refrain from abuse of drugs and alcohol" and "undergo psychological treatment," La Capital reported.