Tech Digest daily roundup: Stranger Things stems Netflix subscriber losses

Stranger Things (above) has helped prevent greater Netflix subscriber losses

After enjoying a long reign as the king of streaming, Netflix faces a tough fight to keep its crown. It lost almost 1m subscribers between April and July, as the number of people quitting the service accelerated. But that was not as many as the streaming giant had feared. Asked what may have stopped subscriptions sliding further, the firm’s chief executive, Reed Hastings, said: “If there was a single thing, we might say ‘Stranger Things.'” The new season of the hit drama has been a phenomenal success and may have helped stem the exodus of Netflix customers. BBC 

Microsoft is bringing Excel directly into Teams meetings. Excel Live is a new way for Teams meeting participants to edit Excel spreadsheets together in real time. It’s part of a trio of new features coming to Teams that continue Microsoft’s focus on hybrid work. Teams is also getting video clips that can be shared in chats and collaborative annotations that allow colleagues to doodle on top of content during Teams meetings. Excel Live is part of Microsoft’s Live Share functionality in Microsoft Teams that the company detailed earlier this year. The Verge 

Canalys posted a troubling report on the smartphone market for Q2 2022. Shipments between April and June fell 9% YoY after weaker demand, following “economic headwinds and regional uncertainty”. Samsung remained the top maker in Q2 while Apple retook second place from Xiaomi after strong iPhone 13 sales, while Chinese makers struggled at home. According to Runar Bjørhovde, Research Analyst at Canalys, companies faced sluggish demand, which led to rethinking quarterly strategies. The soaring inflation and inventory pileup resulted in makers “reassessing their portfolio” for the remainder of 2022. GSM Arena 

AR glasses are coming, and while MetaApple and Snap all continue to develop their new digitally-enabled devices, Google too is also looking to advance its AR efforts with public testing of its AR glasses getting underway soon. As explained by Google: “Starting next month, we plan to test AR prototypes in the real world. This will allow us to better understand how these devices can help people in their everyday lives. And as we develop experiences like AR navigation, it will help us take factors such as weather and busy intersections into account – which can be difficult, sometimes impossible, to fully recreate indoors.” Social Media Today

Cyber spies suspected of working for Russia’s foreign intelligence service (SVR) are targeting NATO countries in a recent hacking campaign, according to a new industry report. The hackers are using online storage services such as Google Drive and Dropbox to avoid being detected, said cyber security company Palo Alto. The hacking attempts have included phishing emails containing an agenda for an upcoming meeting with an ambassador as a lure, and were sent to several Western and NATO diplomatic missions between May and June of this year. Sky News 

Chris Price
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