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Week in review: Netflix gets panned

The Internet's star movie rental service gets some of its first bad reviews after announcing a price hike for customers who want to rent DVDs and streaming video. Meanwhile, Spotify wins over U.S. users.

Michelle Meyers
Michelle Meyers wrote and edited CNET News stories from 2005 to 2020 and is now a contributor to CNET.
Michelle Meyers
3 min read

Netflix, the Web's star movie rental service, got some of its first bad reviews this week after announcing a 60 percent price hike for its DVD-and-streaming plans.

Long an Internet darling for its innovative subscription model, user ease, and profitability, Netflix is being grilled by consumers this week following news that, come September, it will no longer offer users the ability to access both streaming video and by-mail DVDs for $9.99 a month. Instead, Netflix is splitting each distribution mode into separate subscription plans, each costing $7.99 per month. To receive both, subscribers must pay $15.98.

Customers flipped, taking to the Web to express their anger. A CNET poll, as of late Friday morning, showed that 55 percent of the more than 24,714 respondents indicated they would cancel their Netflix subscription if managers don't change their mind about the price increase.

But a reversal of the price hike doesn't look very likely. "These are our prices," Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey said when asked whether Netflix might change its mind or reduce the amount of the price increase.
•  Netflix managers prepared for backlash to price hike
•  For Netflix, there's a way out of pricing mess
•  Five ways Netflix needs to improve
•  Nine Netflix alternatives
•  Angry Netflix subscribers--so, who has a better deal?

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Thumbs-up all around for Spotify's service

With Spotify now live in the United States, five CNET editors give the music streaming service a whirl. We've got our gripes, but overall, we're fans.
•  Spotify hits U.S., finally
•  Hands-on with Spotify
•  Spotify promo downs Klout

DOJ: We can force you to decrypt that laptop

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking court order that would require defendant in Colorado mortgage scam case to disclose her passphrase or decrypt the files.
•  Police: Internet providers must keep user logs
•  Encryption defense attorney fights DOJ demands (Q&A)
•  U.S. military wants to 'protect' key civilian networks

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Watch this: Meet the smartest kids at the Google Science Fair

Google+ officially tops 10 million users

Google's new foray into social networking is officially a hit. The company has announced that it had officially surpassed 10 million users.
•  Google+ faces thorny online identity issues
•  Google hastens Google+ corporate account launch
•  Google+ has its minuses
•  Zuckerberg closes off Google+ account

Job posting hints at mid-August iPhone 5 release

The burning question of when Apple will release a follow to the iPhone 4 may be answered with a U.K. job posting looking to staff up Apple's retail stores for an "exciting project" in mid-August.
•  Study: Wait to buy Apple gear
•  Apple's A6 chip in pilot production

U.S. senator seeks Murdoch investigation

Sen. Jay Rockefeller wants investigation into allegations that victims of September 11 attacks were targeted by Murdoch paper with phone hacking.
•  Reports: U.K. paper paid police to 'ping' phones

EA acquires PopCap Games for digital push

Electronic Arts will pay $650 million for the maker of popular games like Plants vs. Zombies and Bejeweled. PopCap will also get $100 million in stock, as well as multi-year earnouts.

Oracle asks to depose Larry Page over Android suit

Software maker says Google's CEO has unique knowledge that could help its case. Google accuses Oracle of harassment and says deposition would be "superfluous."
•  Google beats analyst sales and earnings estimates
•  Apple regaining momentum with developers, study says
•  Android Market app gets overhaul, bookstore

Harley-Davidson's bizarre side (photos)

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Microsoft sees smartphone prices cut in half by 2012

Windows Phone division president Andy Lees tells Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference attendees that smartphone costs before long-term contract discounts could hit $100 next year.
•  Microsoft will open 75 new stores within 3 years
•  Windows tablets on parade, but the crowd has iPads
•  Ballmer pushes partners to retrain for the cloud

Scoop: Sprint to confirm LightSquared network deal

The network-sharing deal is one element of Sprint's major 4G push, CNET has learned. Sprint's network will be used as the infrastructure backbone to LightSquared's upcoming 4G LTE network.
•  Verizon Wireless's 4G LTE network to reach 100 markets
•  AT&T to unveil first two 4G LTE products

Also of note
•  Report: Amazon readying a tablet PC
•  Study: No link between brain tumors, cell phones
•  How committed are ISPs to graduated response?
•  Nortel patent sale gets court approval