A lack of its own new PCs to use the service on isn't stopping Sony from bringing its Video Unlimited platform to the web. As the beleaguered electronics outfit notes on the PlayStation Blog of all places, it's playing catch-up king once again and no longer requiring users to download and launch a separate app to peruse their content library on desktop. Now all you need to do is hit the "watch now" button from the Sony Entertainment Network store's website to check out anything you've rented or purchased. So long as the service is available in your region to begin with, you can use web streaming. The move away from a proprietary application also means that the service is finally available on Macs as well -- you know, in case you aren't into that whole iTunes fad.

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Linux users, you've been very, very, very, very, very, very patient. And now, your patience is being rewarded with Netflix support on your OS of choice. For the longest time Netflix relied on Microsoft's would-be Flash competitor Silverlight. But, of course, support for the plug in was practically non-existent on the open-source OS. Now, with Silverlight fading, and Netflix embracing the power of HTML5, your wish of watching flicks in your favorite distro (be it Ubuntu, Mint or Arch) may finally come true. Paul Adolf from Netflix posted a message to Ubuntu developers, telling them that, "Netflix will play with Chrome stable in 14.02 if NSS version 3.16.2 or greater is installed."

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Microsoft To Acquire Maker Of Popular Minecraft Game For 2.5 Billion

Microsoft announced this week that it's buying hugely popular game franchise Minecraft for $2.5 billion. For that money, Microsoft gets rights to the game and ownership of its Stockholm, Sweden-based development studio, Mojang. It doesn't retain the company's founders or Minecraft's infamously outspoken creator, Markus "Notch" Persson.

Does that sound like a lot, $2.5 billion? Well, it is in human dollars, but not so much when you're Microsoft and you've got $85 billion in "cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments." Regardless of the fact that this week's deal only cost Microsoft around 3 percent of that, here's the real kicker (in the form of a statement from Microsoft): "Microsoft expects the acquisition to be break-even in FY15 on a GAAP basis." Woof, that's a doozy of a sentence right there.

Here's the translation: Microsoft expects the purchase of Minecraft/Mojang to make it a lot of money. And that is why Microsoft bought Minecraft.

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FRANCE-LOGO-YOUTUBE

Google has gone on record as saying it loves original YouTube content like Epic Rap Battles of History, and now it looks as though the outfit is doubling down on such. How so? Well it seems that its fully-stocked studio spaces for partners are just the beginning. YouTube is investing millions into its partner channels, according to Recode. And it's part of a more concerted push into different types of content, replete with varying lengths and formats, too. That includes partnering with Hollywood producers, according to Recode's sources, which naturally gives Google something to sell. The wording on head of YouTube Originals Alex Carloss' blog post makes it sound like the firm's existing pool of talent will be commissioned to do new shows -- albeit with a heavier infusion of cash than they're used to. It sounds like it could be a solid deal for everyone involved: affording content creators more money for their work and pushing YouTube's hopes of becoming a more TV-like experience another step closer to reality.

[Image credit: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP/Getty Images]

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If only there was a way to combine your two greatest passions: high-quality audio and soft, fluffy fabrics? Well as it turns out, Libratone is kind of a specialist in that field, and for its next wool-covered creation, the company is revisiting soundbars with the "Diva," announced today. Following on from its "Lounge" speaker of several years past, the Diva trades the square form factor for a curvier, oblong shape. And while it's supposed find a home under your big-screen TV, the idea is the Diva can be your primary sound system, rather than just an accessory. Nestled beneath its woolen coat are two 1-inch, 25W tweeters taking care of the higher end; two, 3-inch 50W mid-range speakers; and one, 5-inch 75W subwoofer dealing with bass tones. In addition to the on-board digital amplifier, that sub is also supported by two passive radiators that are meant to facilitate a richer low-end sound without increasing energy consumption or weight.

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This week began with Netflix launching streaming video service in France, and since then it's added Germany, Austria and Switzerland to the list. Belgium and Luxembourg are the final two on the list this fall, putting them among the 40 or so countries where Netflix now offers its services. CEO Reed Hastings (pictured above at the launch event in Berlin) called out the " incredible viewer enthusiasm" for the service's original series, including the ones coming to Europe for the first time like Orange is the New Black and Bojack Horseman. Upcoming Netflix series will remain exclusive to the service as well -- some of the existing ones like House of Cards are tied up in exclusivity deals with other broadcasters for now. Netflix is also the only place to (legally) watch a few other shows like From Dusk Till Dawn, Fargo and Penny Dreadful. No matter what country you're in, if you're looking for the something to watch we have a few suggestions on how to find it. If you just want the exclusives though, a recent tweak to the website means you can just search for "Netflix" and they will appear.

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Want a curved display from Samsung but don't quite have the scratch to bring one of its gigantic models home? Maybe try the 27-inch S27D590C monitor on for size when it releases at some ambiguous point in the future. The firm seems to be targeting gamers specifically with the monitor, saying that the curve creates a wider field of view (178 degrees horizontally and vertically, if you're curious) and gives the screen a "3D-like" effect when you're playing shooters and racing games, among other genres. There's even a one-button game mode that makes a few adjustments to compensate for motion blur, color and contrast too. Unlike Dell's not-flat display, however, this one's limited to a paltry 1,920 x 1,080 lines of resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio. This'll probably be fine for us commoners, sure, but it might not be enough for the PC Master Race.

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Lets say you're already burned out on Destiny and are looking for something a bit, well, different than what the Xbox One currently has on offer. That might just mean that D4 (short for Dark Dreams Don't Die), the latest game from the creator of cult-hit Deadly Premonition, could be the relief you didn't even know you were looking for. It's one of the scant few Kinect-enabled games releasing soon, too. The episodic title was first teased during Microsoft's E3 event last year and has gone largely unheard from since. That's recently changed, as Xbox Wire has an interview with its developer Hidetaka Suehiro, better known as Swery65, ahead of the first installment hitting the Xbox Marketplace today.

Update: D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die is now available for $15 right here.

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Retro gaming projects on Kickstarter are pretty common, but here's one that's a bit different: a game cartridge that, when plugged into the original Nintendo Entertainment System, plays an 8-bit game, and when plugged into a Mac or PC (via USB) plays a modern version of the same game. Perhaps the coolest aspect is that the two versions will interact with each other; an ability or weapon unlocked in one is available to futz with in its cousin. That is, if the project's Kickstarter is funded, of course. As Mystic Searches' project lead Joe Granato IV tells it, the concept comes from a design document he drew up, quite literally, as a seven year-old back in the '80s.

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Chris Rock Performs At Day 3 Of The Comedy Festival

Stand-up comedians don't get to just walk onto the set of Saturday Night Live or The Daily Show and start telling jokes. Nope, like just about every other creative field, they start small and work their way up -- often for free at first. Yes, even the likes of Tracy Morgan and Sarah Silverman. The Just For Laughs (JFL) comedy festival in Montreal has filmed the countless names that've graced its stage since 1987 and has teamed with YouTube juggernaut Maker Studios to start releasing unseen footage from the fest's archives, according to Variety. Right now its channel only has a handful of clips (including Dave Chappelle, Chris Rock [above] and Bill Hicks), but JFL promises three-time-per-week updates are en route. All told, there'll be some 500 hours of performances and when that well runs dry, the outfit plans to add footage from more recent shows. For now, at least, you'll have something funny to sprinkle between Woodstock clips.

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Anita Sarkeesian

A bomb threat was made regarding a speaker and award recipient at the Game Developer's Choice Awards (part of the annual Game Developer's Conference) in San Francisco this past March. Anita Sarkeesian (pictured above), host of Tropes vs. Women in Video Games, a YouTube series that naturally examines the way women are depicted in video games, was the intended target. As Kotaku reports, an anonymous email was sent to around 25 of GDC's organizers stating the following:

"A bomb will be detonated at the Game Developer's Choice award ceremony tonight unless Anita Sarkeesian's Ambassador Award is revoked. We estimate the bomb will kill at least a dozen people and injure dozens more. It would be in your best interest to accept our simple request. This is not a joke. You have been warned."

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Watching Netflix or Plex streams on your Chromecast is great, but what about when the game is on? Sling has enabled its apps on iPhone, iPad and Android phones (Android tablets coming soon) to help with just that situation. Just tap the Cast button in the apps, and you can send video to Google's $35 dongle. Similar to Sling's integration with Apple TV and Roku, once the video is playing, you can use the app as a remote control, or close it and do something else while the video keeps playing. The only bad news? Chromecast support requires one of the company's newer boxes: 350, SlingTV/500 or M1. Still, both devices already make sense for frequent travelers, and now they're better together. The SlingTV is also getting a tweak, as the Android phone and iPhone apps can now control its living room UI directly, without the included remote.

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Beats Music on Apple TV

Your iPad or iPhone isn't the only device getting a big iOS upgrade today. Apple is now rolling out an Apple TV update that brings not just iOS 8-savvy features like iCloud Photo and Family Sharing, but a flatter-looking interface on third-generation devices -- yes, that previous super-glossy look has gone the way of the dodo. If you're using that newer hardware in the US, you'll also see a Beats Music app that lets you stream on-demand tunes during a living room party. The refresh isn't going to get you any closer to that long-rumored TV set, especially if you're still stuck on a second-gen Apple TV box, but it's welcome all the same.

[Image credit: AppleInsider]

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Judd Apatow

Now that Netflix has a solid (if imperfect) track record with original shows, it appears that the big-name talent is lining up for its chance at creating an internet-only hit. Case in point: the streaming service has reached a deal with Legendary Television to release Love, an "excruciatingly honest" romantic comedy penned by 40 Year-Old Virgin producer Judd Apatow, Inglourious Basterds' Paul Rust and Girls' Lesley Arfin. You won't see the end result until 2016, but Netflix is already confident that you'll like it. The company has already committed to two seasons (22 episodes total) sight unseen -- if you're a fan of Apatow's frequently blunt approach to on-screen relationships, you're going to get your fill.

[Image credit: Evan Agostini/Invision/AP]

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Logitech's got a new Harmony remote and it's an even bigger push into home automation over the current Harmony Smart Control home theater remote lineup. Shipping this month, the new Harmony Home Control devices start at $99 for the Home Hub (which turns your smartphone or tablet into a home automation controller). Then there's the Home Control for $149, which adds a simple, button-only remote. At the top of the line is the $349 Harmony Ultimate Home, which swaps out the simple remote for a 2.4 inch touch screen model (seen above). Available in either black or white, Harmony Home can control both your home theater and other devices from partners via IR, Bluetooth or WiFi. There's a lengthy list of support, too: August, Honeywell, Kwikset, Lutron, Nest, PEQ, Philips, Schlage, SmartThings, Sylvania, Yale and Zuli.

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