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Netflix goes for data-saving gains on mobile as it adopts AV1 codec

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Subscribers of popular streaming video-on-demand service Netflix who prefer to watch the diverse content available on the platform through their mobile devices are in for a treat.

The US-based streaming service has announced that it has started the process of encoding video content on its platform using the AV1 codec.

“AV1 is a high performance, royalty-free video codec that provides 20% improved compression efficiency over our VP9+ encodes,” the company notes in a blog post.

VP9 and AV1 are both video compression standards that ensure that we get quality video streams on our devices.

Given the limited bandwidth most of us enjoy, such encoding standards are critical as they compress video to up to half the size of older standards thereby making our devices and the networks they are connected to do less heavy-lifting and, thereby, leading to some savings and efficiency on the part of the user/subscriber.

VP9, developed by Google, is the codec of choice on YouTube and, as indicated in the statement above, has been the go-to on Netflix among other online services, as well.

AV1 is widely seen as VP9’s successor and Netflix’s adoption, seemingly inspired by the high compression it touts in its press release, should result in significant gains on the part of its subscribers.

Unfortunately, since this is just a start, AV1 encoding is not available on all content on Netflix. Just select content, available for viewing when one is using their cellular network connection (no Wi-Fi), can be streamed in the said format on Android devices.

“While our goal is to roll out AV1 on all of our platforms, we see a good fit for AV1’s compression efficiency in the mobile space where cellular networks can be unreliable, and our members have limited data plans.”

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“Selected titles are now available to stream in AV1 for customers who wish to reduce their cellular data usage by enabling the “Save Data” feature,” the statement adds.

The decision is probably informed not only by the work Netflix needs to do on its part in order to be able to deliver streams via the AV1 encoder but also because of the limited hardware support the encoder enjoys.

Global official support for AV1 on the Android platform started with the release of Android 10.

The ‘Save Data’ feature can be enabled in More > App Settings > Cellular Data Usage > Save Data on all (Android only) smartphones and tablets where the Netflix app is installed.

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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Haraka Haraka app to link customers with service providers

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on

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A new App dubbed “Haraka Haraka” has today been unveiled in Kenya to help customers find the right service providers in their current location within a specified range of choice.

The platform was invented by three former Meru University of Science and technology students and with the app, they seek to make it easier for people to find services such as a plumber, retailers, shops and house agents that have been difficult to get physically.

The team, Mr Kelvin Muinde, Mr Pius Momanyi Nyachio and Mrs Naum Mutie said there are currently about 3,500 users who are potential clients and service providers on the platform who include carpenters, hairdressers, plumbers and mechanics, and more.

“We are taking away the burden of searching for experienced and reliable professional businesses in a hassle-free model to deliver critical services to individuals who are in need of their specific location,” said Pius Momanyi Nyachio who is the Marketing Manager.

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Mr Kelvin Muinde, who is the head of the project said the idea to start Haraka Haraka was initiated out of his observance of people having difficulty in finding a reliable service in an area that they are not well conversant with.

“The biggest challenge customers face is finding the right service providers at any area, mostly if you are not familiar, most people end up getting poor services that cost them time and resources,” he said.

To find any service or to register as a service provider, individuals are requested to first download the Haraka Haraka App on Google and register where later one can choose a range between 100m to 30km to find the service they are in need of.

The app also comes with an option of reviewing and rating a service provider which acts as an advantage to next service seekers enabling easy referrals to new clients.

‘’The registration to the app is free for both users and professionals,’’ said Mr Kelvin Muinde. The company’s aim is to hit 10,000 users by the end of this year. Ideally, they plan to have a maximum of 30,000 professionals on the platform.


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Balala wants investigation into alleged harassment at Ol Jogi launched – KBC

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Tourism Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala

Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala has directed the Kenya Wildlife Service to commence investigations into the alleged harassment of a victim by private game ranchers at Ol Jogi Conservancy in Laikipia County.

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It is reported that the victim known as Mordecai Ogada in the company of his children was harassed on Saturday while driving on a public road in the conservancy.

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In a statement, Balala has asked for speedy investigations and findings to be concluded by Wednesday this week.

The CS added that no discriminations will be allowed to any Kenyan at any conservancy in the country.

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“The government of Kenya and my ministry will not condone any undue harassment or intimidation of Kenyans who are going about their normal businesses and enjoying their God given heritage by anyone,” said CS Balala.

He urged Kenyans to report any such incidents with facts for action to be taken.

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