Well, it happened. Google searches for “popcorn” now routinely rank the Popcorn Time bittorrent streamer ahead of the succulent snack of superheated chemical corn consumed at movie houses since time immemorial. And in a head-to-head fight, “Popcorn Time” beats “popcorn” nearly two to one. Congratulations internet, you’ve killed Americana.
Torrenting movies and TV shows is nothing new, of course. But Popcorn Time adds a media player on top of a sequential downloader making it a "Netflix for pirates" that's incredibly easy to use regardless of platform — be it Windows, OS X, Linux, or Android. There’s even a nifty PC and Mac installer that bypasses Apple’s security features to install an iOS app without requiring a Jailbreak. The team behind the installer claims more than 1 million iOS installs, already. "It’s fucking breaking records," said a representative to VentureBeat, calling it "the most downloaded mobile app outside the Google and Apple stores."
The dramatic rise of Popcorn Time has not gone unnoticed by Netflix. It was specifically mentioned in Netflix's January letter to investors. "Piracy continues to be one of our biggest competitors," said the letter. "This graph of Popcorn Time’s sharp rise relative to Netflix and HBO in the Netherlands, for example, is sobering."
A whine that pairs perfectly with popcorn, coincidentally.
Five stories to start your day
J.K. Rowling has today announced a new stage play that will "tell a new story" starring the beloved boy wizard from her books. The play, titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, is a collaboration between Rowling, fellow writer Jack Thorne, and director John Tiffany. Rowling goes on to say that it will not be a prequel and that, once fans have seen the play itself, they'll understand why it's not a new novel and that the theater was "the only proper medium for the story."
"Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more," he wrote in the memo. "This mission is ambitious and at the core of what our customers deeply care about. We have unique capability in harmonizing the needs of both individuals and organizations. This is in our DNA."
"We have removed apps from the App Store that use the Confederate flag in offensive or mean-spirited ways, which is in violation of our guidelines. We are not removing apps that display the Confederate flag for educational or historical uses."
But this afternoon was a little different. My lane was full of the buses and bicycle rickshaws I normally share it with, but I didn’t see a single taxi — no silver cars racing to overtake me or making abrupt stops to pick up passengers. And it was great.
Flowers are appearing across buildings, businesses, and balconies in the Norwegian capital of Oslo, as part of a scheme designed to make life easier for the beleaguered honey bee. Oslo is in the process of developing a "bee highway" for the pollinating insects, offering them a safe route through the city complete with food sources, resting spots, and places to live.