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The week in Tech: 5 must-know things


Julia Ryan, USA TODAY 2:50 p.m. EST January three, 2014

This week we wrapped up 2013 and regarded ahead to what’s developing in 2014 within the tech world, together with new updates for Netflix and new HD TV units. This is what you want to understand concerning the week in Tech:

1) Netflix tests cheaper subscription as Amazon looms

Netflix had a great 2013, with awards recognition for its original TV shows, including House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. The video site is trying to increase revenue and get a leg up on its competitors (such as Amazon) with a new cheaper subscription plan.

The plan will cost $6.99 a month and will let users watch video on one screen at a time. Netflix’s cheapest offering at the moment is a $7.99 a month plan that lets users watch video on two screens at the same time.

The company is also testing a $9.99 a month plan that would let three users watch video at the same time, using the same account. The company’s most expensive plan, at $11.99 a month, lets four users watch videos simultaneously.

2) Snapchat, Skype have security breach

Snapchat and Skype are off to a rough start for 2014. Both sites were hacked late Tuesday in separate attacks.

Snapchat warned users in a blog post on Dec. 27 that a security group had alerted it to potential security vulnerabilities. On Tuesday night, several news outlets reported that over 4 million Snapchat usernames and passwords were posted online as a downloadable database for hackers. The site appeared to be down the following day.

Skype’s blog and social network accounts were hacked on Wednesday with messages from The Syrian Electronic Army. The company removed the blog post and Tweets and said through its Twitter account that “no user info was compromised.”

3) Change Agents: Robert Brunner’s design arsenal

Dr. Dre might be the face of the Beats headphone line, but the man behind the design of these super-popular headphones is former Apple design chief Robert Brunner.

USA TODAY’s Marco della Cava sat down with the tech designer earlier this week to talk about the legacy of Beats By Dr. Dre and how Brunner’s design firm, Ammunition, is innovating with other products on the market.

The company has an impressive list of products that include a new line of cookware and utensils for Williams-Sonoma, a fitness and sleep wristband for Larklife and point-of-sale device Square Stand.

What’s next for Brunner? He told della Cava that he’s a “car junkie” who would love to re-invent the taxi, or even the car itself.

4) LG plans major OLED push for 2014

LG is going big for the Consumer Electronics Show starting next week. The company will unveil its newest curved and Ultra HD OLED displays at this year’s show.

LG says its curved OLED Ultra HD set is the largest available on the market, coming in at 77 inches. LG will also introduce a 55-inch Gallery OLED TV with a 100-watt speaker system. One of the highlights of LG’s new line of TVs is the impressively large 105-inch curved Ultra HD TV, which comes with a rectangular 21:9 aspect ratio (most TVs have a 16:9 aspect ratio).

You’ll have to wait until next week to see if these huge TV sets have matching big-ticket price tags. Check back with Tech for the latest updates on CES.

5) USA TODAY’s top 10 video games of 2013

The Xbox One and the PlayStation four is also the most up to date new recreation consoles of 2014, however their predecessors dominated 2013 with a variety of video video games.

USA TODAY’s Brett Molina and Mike Snider ranked their high 10 video games of 2013. The checklist incorporated many new installments of smartly-beloved franchises, together with The Legend of Zelda: A Hyperlink Between Worlds; Tremendous Mario 3D World; Murderer’s Creed IV: Black Flag; and Tomb Raider. However their prime online game title of 2013 used to be The Final of Us, a publish-apocalyptic journey with “innovative visuals” and “considered one of this year’s most charming tales.”

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