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What Just Happened: Netflix-Samsung deal, Instagram for iPad, and more – News Landed

Greetings! You’re reading the What Just Happened newsletter by News Landed. This is your host, Praveen Nagaraj. Today’s cover story is brought to you Elle, one of our newest technology writers. Remember, if you have any suggestions, let us know by emailing us at newsletter@newslanded.com. Subscribe to our newsletter, What Just Happened, to receive our bi-weekly breakdown straight to your inbox.

Why is Netflix providing Samsung devices with exclusive content?

This week, Netflix and Samsung announced a bold partnership allowing further integration of their products and services. One of the main features announced concerns Samsung’s voice assistant – Bixby. The new collaboration means you can open specific Netflix titles without laying a finger on the Netflix app, just by asking Bixby. The deal also means that Netflix will become more embedded in Samsung’s “Samsung Daily” UI and its finder search.

The most controversial part of the deal involves Samsung’s new phone, the Galaxy S20 Ultra – a veritable camera monstrosity – and locked down content. Samsung will be giving Netflix filmmakers Galaxy S20s to shoot behind-the-scenes content, which will then only be available on Samsung phones. To summarize, this deal does not make sense.

The partnership is clearly an advertisement for the S20’s cameras, and whether it’s seen on a Samsung device or not, it’ll still be impressive to know a phone shot the content. Adding to this, 70% of Netflix streams are on televisions, and mobile devices make up a laughably small percentage of the remainder. Samsung’s 18.8% global smartphone market share (Q4 ’19) further reduces the number of people eligible to view this content. Why lock down an advertisement for a small percentage of users?

What do you feel about the controversial deal between Samsung and Netflix? Let us know by emailing newsletter@newslaneded.com, and we will feature our favorite response in the next newsletter! Read the full story on News Landed.

Here is the rest of the highlights from the past week. You can click on the title to view the full News Landed story. Subscribe to our newsletter, What Just Happened, to receive our bi-weekly breakdown straight to your inbox.


+ NASA accepting astronaut applications – these are the requirements

Want to be an astronaut? After its most recent class graduated, NASA is looking for applicants that want to be a part of the agency’s next batch of astronauts. Most of us won’t qualify, but it’s fun reading the requirements anyway.

+ NASA awards $3 million to four projects that may become official missions

Also from NASA, the space agency just announced that four new projects in its Discovery Program will be receiving $3 million each. The funds will help develop these projects into potential missions one day, similar to the InSight Mars Lander. Speaking of funds, NASA has also requested Congress for a $25 billion budget, up 12% from last year.

+ Tesla is recalling 15,000 Model X SUVs over power steering issue

This is the second recall related to the power steering bolts on Tesla vehicles. Last year, Tesla recalled 123,000 Model S vehicles worldwide. The issue only exists in Model X SUVs built before October 2016 and is related to corrosion in the bolts. There have been no reported accidents regarding this issue, so if you have an older vehicle, no need to rush to a Tesla service center.

+ The Nikola Badger EV/Hydrogen pickup truck

You probably haven’t heard of the Arizona-based startup, but the Nikola Motor Company is famous for working on projects based on hydrogen fuel cells. They recently announced a new EV+Hydrogen hybrid pickup truck that is capable of a 600-mile range. There is still the problem of lack of hydrogen stations. Also, it’s not going to be cheap.

Nikola Badger

+ Targetted antiviral therapy might be a solution to the outbreak

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) have formulated a new antiviral therapy that could possibly treat all viral infections. The therapy is based on a protein called Argonaute 4 (AGO4), which is known to help our cells resist viral invasion.

Humans are the main reason why bats carry most of the deadliest viruses

A lot of the world’s scariest viruses (Nipah, Hendra, Ebola, Marburg, and SARS) are somehow linked to or carried by bats. However, humans are the main reason why bats are the perfect carriers for these viruses.

Statistics (Last Updated: 5:30 AM PST, Feb 18)

Confirmed Infected: 73,336
Total Deaths: 1,874 (5 deaths outside Mainland China)
Total Recovered: 13,078

+ Instagram CEO explains why there is no iPad support for Instagram

Instagram CEO Mosseri says, “We’d like to build an iPad app, but we only have so many people and lots to do, and it hasn’t bubbled up as the next best thing to do yet.” It seems unusual that Instagram prioritizes bringing DMs to the web version of its app, but the Facebook-owned company doesn’t have the resources to build an iPad app. 

Image: Alex Ugalek/Shutterstock

+ Facebook acquires visual positioning service (VPS) startup

Facebook recently bought a new startup called Scape Technologies. The London-based startup that uses computer vision to determine your precise location beyond the reach of GPS technologies. The technology (VPS) converts images into 3D maps, thereby creating a full 3D visualization of the surroundings nearby. Facebook bought a 75% stake for $40 million of the company.

+ 10 million-year-old giant turtle fossils discovered

Scientists have discovered fossils of a giant turtle that ruled the swamps of South America 10 million years ago. Named Stupendemys geographicus, it is the biggest turtle to ever exist on Earth, with a shell that was 10 feet long and weighed about 2,500 pounds.

An artist’s illustration of the giant turtle Stupendemys geographicus.

+ Mysterious jellyfish can sting you without physical contact

Jellyfish belonging to the genus Cassiopea or popularly known as “upside-down jellyfish” can produce painful strings even without contact. A recent study in lead by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History has solved the mystery of this phenomenon. It is seen these jellyfish release mucus balls called “cassiosomes” that allow them to sting without physical contact.

+ Ancient Egyptians played a game similar to chess called “Senet”

Ancient Egyptian legends say that Nut and Geb wanted to link together in a marital relationship, but Ra (god of the Sun) rejected this association. The two grandchildren of Ra disagreed with his opinion and united, but this union did not last long, as Ra cursed Nut – depriving her of childbearing,

Nut shall not give birth any day of the year.


However, Nut ended up asking Thoth (god of wisdom) to play a game against Khonsu (god of the Moon) called “Senet,” to win 5 additional days outside the regular year, so she can bear her five children. Senet is very similar to modern chess.

Image: A Senet board from the collections of Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose, California.

+ Ancient temple found near Jerusalem denied the king’s rule

Solomon’s temple at the southern part of today’s Israel was known as the one temple for worship dating, from 10th century B.C. up till its last in 586 B.C. It has been found that another temple from the Iron Age (near Jerusalem) has overthrown the idea of the old temple.

Remember, if you have any unique views on the Netflix-Samsung deal, let us know by emailing newsletter@newslaneded.com. I’ll be picking the most unique take and featuring it in the next What Just Happened newsletter. Subscribe to our newsletter, What Just Happened, to receive our bi-weekly breakdown straight to your inbox.

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