How Netflix knows what you'll like
Have you ever wondered how Netflix decides on what films and TV programmes to recommend? Wonder no more, because we've got the details. As Hugh Langley explains: "Since the very end of 2015, Netflix has been using worldwide viewing habits to inform your recommendations. Put simply, Netflix is using global data to identify specific communities based around tastes." For example: "Netflix says it has recognised a taste for British humour outside of the UK, which has allowed the service to start recommending shows like the British version of The Office to some users, instead of the American one."
A great Leap forward?
Gesture control experts Leap Motion reckon they've found a way to make VR more immersive than ever, and it's called Orion. Orion is a new hardware and software platform designed for VR, and uses a sensor to detect the motion of your hands so that you can reach out and touch the digital world. The sensor isn't out yet, but the software is available now for anyone with existing Leap Motion hardware.
Bend me, shape me, any way you want me
Last year, bendy phones were a scandal – but this year they're exciting. The difference is that where Apple's iPhones got bent by accident, the ReFlex phone is flexible by design. It's from the minds of researchers at Queen's University, and its sensors can not only detect when you're bending the handset but how forcefully you're doing so – so you can flick through books in a lifelike way, or use the phone more like a catapult in Angry Birds. The technology's still in its infancy, but as James Peckham says, "if you look at how far the technology has come since the LG G Flex in 2013, it shows how quickly the market is moving".
Kanye's Tidal wave
Shy, retiring musician Kanye West doesn't hit the headlines very often, so it's nice to see him come out of his shell as he's done this week. He's been begging Google and Facebook to give him money, he's made a video game about his mum, and he's ensured that his latest album is going to be pirated massively because it's only available on the Tidal service Kanye has invested in. As we discovered, West's Tidal-exclusive put the Tidal app at the very top of the app store – although releases from Rihanna and Beyonce had an even bigger impact. As Christian de Looper says, the challenge for Tidal is to find more Kanyes.
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