The Binge Watch List: Amazon original Alpha House season 2 is live

Monty Ashley Writer, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Monty Ashley lives in Seattle, where he watches movies and television, reads books, and plays games. He's trying to learn Latin, for reasons known only to him. He has written for Wizards of the Coast, Television Without Pity, and Previously.TV, and podcasts with The Incomparable.
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As of today (October 24), the second season of Alpha House is available on Amazon Prime Instant Video for watching in big, several-episode gulps. Created by Doonesbury’s Garry Trudeau, Alpha House follows four senators who are roommates in Washington, DC. You might think that senators make enough money that they don’t have to quadruple up on housing, but you sometimes have to make some allowances for a show’s premise. You weren’t complaining when that nice monster family moved in at 1313 Mockingbird Lane, were you?

What’s it about?

Alpha House follows the adventures of four mismatched senators. You know John Goodman, right? He’s great. He plays Senator Gil John Biggs, the slob of the house. Gil John is the senator from North Carolina, who seems to have been elected mostly because he was once the basketball coach at the University of North Carolina. Next, there’s Senator Robert Bettencourt, played by Clark Johnson, who was Detective Meldrick Lewis on Homicide: Life on the Street and that implausibly saintly newspaper editor in the last season of The Wire. Senator Bettencourt is very nearly a normal person, although he spends a lot of time dealing with corruption charges. He sleeps in the same room as Gil John, because there’s no point in having roommates if you can’t work in some Odd Couple riffs.

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10 scary Halloween movies to stream on Netflix...if you dare

Jeffrey M. Anderson , TechHive

Jeffrey has been a working film critic for more than 14 years. He first fell in love with the movies at age six while watching "Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein" and served as staff critic for the San Francisco Examiner from 2000 through 2003.
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Halloween has changed over the years, but some things remain the same: pumpkins, trick-or-treating, costumes, and scary movies. We just love being creeped out, spooked, startled, and downright frightened, perhaps because the body craves sensations that life doesn’t dish out on a regular basis. Or maybe because it’s just fun. Here are 10 solid chillers culled from the dozens of horror films currently streaming on Netflix (and a bonus 10 at the end). Beware. Enter at your own risk. And Happy Halloween...

The Blair Witch Project

ns blairwitchproject
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Amazon triples the number of games and apps available for its Fire TV media streamer

Michael Brown Senior Editor, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Michael manages PCWorld's hardware product reviews and contributes to TechHive's coverage of home-control systems and sound bars.
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Amazon wants investors to forget all about yesterday’s disappointing earnings announcement and its lowered sales guidance for the 2014 holiday season. The company released two bits of more positive news this morning: The number of games and apps available for its $99 Fire TV media-streaming device has tripled since its launch in April, and all 10 episodes of its original series Alpha House (starring John Goodman) are now available on its Amazon Prime Instant Video service.

Amazon declined to reveal how many Fire TVs it has sold (the company doesn’t publish unit sales for any of its products, according to a company spokesperson), but it likely has a ways to go before it catches up with Roku (10 million units sold since 2008) or Apple (the company recently claimed an installed base of 20 million Apple TV devices).

Amazon Fire TV Amazon

Amazon's Fire TV media-streaming box is a strong contender facing entrenched competition.

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More Beats than Spotify: Microsoft to kill free Xbox Music streaming

Ian Paul ian@ianpaul.net, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Ian is an independent writer based in Tel Aviv, Israel. His current focus is on all things tech including mobile devices, desktop and laptop computers, software, social networks, Web apps, tech-related legislation and corporate tech news.
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The free, ad-supported music streaming party is over, at least for Microsoft. The company recently announced that effective December 1, Xbox Music’s free tier will be retired. Anyone who wants to use Xbox Music after that date will have to pony up for Xbox Music Pass, the company’s $10 per month subscription offering.

The impact on you at home: For Xbox Music listeners, it means you won’t be able to stream music for free anymore via the built-in Music app in Windows 8.1. If you purchased music from Microsoft’s Xbox Music storefront those tracks will still be available across your devices, and since they’re DRM-free you can even take them with you to another service or app. Playlists, collections, and radio stations will cease to work without a Music Pass subscription. You can still view your created playlists inside Microsoft’s apps and the web version—you just can’t listen to them without paying for a monthly subscription.

xboxnotice

A notice on the Xbox Music Web app notifying users of the end of the free, ad-supported streaming tier.

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Your online TV watching is now being tracked across devices

Zach Miners U.S. Correspondent, IDG News Service

Zach Miners covers social networking, search, and general technology news for the IDG News Service, and is based in San Francisco.
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Showing all viewers the same commercial six minutes into, say, an episode of “Modern Family” might soon be over. If you’re watching it online.

A new partnership between TV measurement company Nielsen and analytics provider Adobe was announced early Tuesday, presenting detailed data about how people watch TV and other media on the Internet. The team-up adds smarts to existing forms of tracking, by letting broadcasters get a better picture of how Internet users consume media across devices and platforms.

With the service, partnered broadcasters could see, for instance, if viewers began watching a show on Netflix on their laptop, then switched to a Roku set-top box to finish it. And then read an article on ESPN.com.

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Qualcomm pushes 4K video streaming with prototype TV dongle

Jared Newman , PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Jared writes for PCWorld and TechHive from his remote outpost in Cincinnati.
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Michael Brown Senior Editor, PCWorld Follow me on Google+

Michael manages PCWorld's hardware product reviews and contributes to TechHive's coverage of home-control systems and sound bars.
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Qualcomm has a plan to liberate 4K video from high-end smartphones, and it involves a Chromecast-like prototype TV dongle.

The prototype was revealed at a Qualcomm industry event, where it was spotted by analyst Patrick Moorhead. In an e-mail, Moorhead said he expects Qualcomm to offer the design to manufacturers, in hopes of having them build their own 4K streaming devices.

Qualcomm primarily sees the device as a way for users to beam homemade 4K video to their televisions, but it could eventually be used to stream 4K content from online sources such as Netflix. The dongle could also double as a wireless dock for phones and tablets, mirroring the display onto the big screen.

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The Binge-Watch List: Gilmore Girls are three generations of charming

Monty Ashley Writer, TechHive Follow me on Google+

Monty Ashley lives in Seattle, where he watches movies and television, reads books, and plays games. He's trying to learn Latin, for reasons known only to him. He has written for Wizards of the Coast, Television Without Pity, and Previously.TV, and podcasts with The Incomparable.
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It’s not hard to find TV shows to watch these days. But finding good ones to watch amid all the streaming video services fighting for your attention and your eyeballs? That’s more of a challenge. Every other week, we’ll help you separate a would-be House of Cards from the rest of the pack, as we look at which streaming TV shows are worth your time.

The entire seven-season run of Gilmore Girls became available on Netflix earlier this month. And that’s great news, because the ability to watch Gilmore Girls whenever you want to is one of the best reasons to have an Internet in the first place. Another good reason is to talk about shows like Gilmore Girls, which became increasingly convenient over the show’s 2000–2007 lifetime.

What it’s about

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