Numlock News: October 11, 2023 • Taylor Swift, Anime, Times Square
By Walt Hickey
We’re now just two weeks away from my book release! I hope you enjoyed yesterday’s sneak preview, we’ve got a bunch of excerpts, and cool stuff dropping over the next couple weeks, but the earlier you order it the better it is for the release.
If you or a loved one have ever binged anime for hours on end on the Crunchyroll service you may be entitled to financial compensation. Crunchyroll is a streaming service that is to linked to anime exposure. Exposure to anime in the form of shonen, seinen, josei, shojo, kodomomuke, mecha, isekai or the yaoi genres may have put you at risk, as Crunchyroll has just settled a class action lawsuit for $30,000 following an allegation they released personal information of subscribers, and claimants may be able to receive up to $30. Please don't wait, call Phoenix Wright today for a free legal consultation and financial information packet.
Eight European public broadcasters — ZDF in Germany, NPO in The Netherlands, VRT in Belgium, SVT in Sweden, DR in Denmark, YLE in Finland, NRK in Norway and RÚV in Iceland — have banded together to form a pact to shore up against global streaming services like Netflix, which will enable the broadcasters to pool resources and share output when it comes to expensive and prestigious high-end dramas and scripted series. The hope is to make the European market more competitive globally as they face upped competition from global streamers that have already begun to realize that subbing and dubbing are excellent ways to scale content globally. Realistically, what does this mean? Get ready for some more of my favorite genre of television, A Detective From A Chilly Place Investigates Some Crimes In A Quaint But Nevertheless Intriguing Small Town, oh man, we’re gonna get so many quaint chilly northern European murders, people, I am so thrilled. I bet a few of them even have priests consulting the detectives on stuff. Priests!
Times Square is back, say the people who oversee Times Square, after 179 business closures that resulted from Covid-19 sent the touristy district into a tail spin. Yes, since the pandemic began to subside the neighborhood has notched its 180th business opening, which does beat the number of closures, but they don’t disclose how many of those stores just sell vapes or imply they sell pot so who knows if they’re replacing the blue-chip places that went under. Retail rents in Times Square are back up to $1,342 per square foot, up 40 percent from the same period last year and up from a nadir of $959 per square foot. It’s getting buy-in from real estate interests again, as the Times Square region was responsible for a quarter of the $1.9 billion in hotel transactions this year in Manhattan.
Television seasons that used to be 22 to 25 episodes in length have become an absolute rarity, with the percentage of original streaming service shows from 2020 to 2023 that put up over 21 episodes a season down to 2.7 percent. The majority of shows on streaming services — 51.1 percent of them — have fewer than eight episodes per season, and another 30.3 percent of them had 9 or 10 episodes in a given season. This reflects the streaming wisdom that fewer episodes per show meant studios could make more shows, which is one reason that television looks the way it does with peak TV. Moving forward, as Hollywood tightens its belt and the effects of the studios’ negotiations with labor enter into force, fewer shows with more episodes per season are thought to be the next era of TV.
It’s important for companies to regularly probe their employees with tests designed to see if they’d fall for external phishing emails, as this kind of manipulation is step one for many cybersecurity threats. However, some employees are mad, because the companies that execute these tests don’t really need to be such jerks about it. Phishing testing emails that as bait use the announcement of a raise or that claim the user has successfully obtained Taylor Swift tickets — the latter of which has been sent 17,600 times by the security company KnowBe4, and which bamboozled recipients 533 times — can hurt morale even as they reveal issues with security. Other controversial phishing probe emails created by the security company include ones that claim a user was found on the infidelity website Ashley Madison, which tend to only be used in companies where users are held to very high security standards. After phishing trainings and these kinds of simulations, KnowBe4 found that the likelihood an employee clicks on a suspicious link in an email drops from 33.2 percent to 5.4 percent.
Hydrogen is seen as a really useful fuel in the energy transition, particularly for uses in fertilizer creation, methanol, hydrocracking, shipping, steel and chemical feedstock. Where it’s not particularly useful is in uses like power system balancing, for instance, a situation where solar power is used to create hydrogen fuel from water and then that hydrogen fuel is immediately mixed into fossil gas to power a turbine and produce electricity. That’s inefficient, briefly using hydrogen fuel as an intermediary when it’s way better to just send the solar energy on to the grid. But that’s exactly what a Florida Power & Light plant is doing, mainly because it will allow the literal Sunshine State to keep building turbines that rely on fossil fuels. The electrolysis process of turning solar electricity into hydrogen is just 70 to 75 percent efficient, burning hydrogen to spin a generator is at best 64 percent efficient, so the whole process will lose 50 percent to 80 percent of energy value. By comparison, just putting it in a battery has 80 percent to 85 percent efficiency.
Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour is projected to open to $150 million to $200 million globally, of which $100 million to $125 million will come from North America alone. AMC Theaters, which is the unlikely distributor on the concert film, is still putting its estimate at $150 million globally, but by all accounts this thing is going to absolutely be the highest-ever launch for a concert film and will probably be among the biggest releases of the year. Also, Swifties will join cinephiles and fans of the forthcoming Killers of the Flower Moon in telling cinemas that yes, we love long movies (the runtime of Eras is 2 hours 48 minutes) and are willing to see them in theaters.
Thanks to the paid subscribers to Numlock News who make this possible. Subscribers guarantee this stays ad-free, and get a special Sunday edition. Consider becoming a full subscriber today.