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Today in Tech News Digest, we compile a smattering of Beats Music reviews, Yahoo Search is made secure, the Department of Defense chooses BlackBerry, the saga of Banned Bluebook is revealed, Twitter expands its targeted ads, and Windows Phone is found to be beating the iPhone… in a handful of countries.

Beats Music Reviews

Beats Music has launched, with the maker of the overly expensive headphones and speakers now adding a music streaming service BeatsMusic Launches Curated Mood-Based Streaming Music BeatsMusic Launches Curated Mood-Based Streaming Music The BeatsMusic music streaming app is launching on January 21st. BeatsMusic is a curated mood and genre-based player, so it's hoping to provide you with higher quality music for your dollars. Read More to its repertoire. Unlike its rivals Spotify and Rdio, Beats Music doesn’t have a free, ad-supported option. So, is the new kid on the block worth the asking price?

Time suggests Beats Music is “a serious contener,” that is ultimately “well-curated, with some rough edges.

CNET suggests that, “despite some bugs and small shortcomings, Beats Music has an appealing interface and some features … that help differentiate it from its competitors.

ReadWrite compares Beats Music to “a human DJ— leading you from familiar places to unfamiliar ones all while keeping you in the proverbial groove,” but warns that it needs to “make its business model work and keep its curation pools brimming over with batches of fresh new music” in order to succeed.

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The Wall Street Journal calls Beats Music “a lively app” which employs a “fun approach to music discovery.” This meant the reviewer could “easily find new music I actually wanted to listen to.

Most reviews are extremely positive about this latest music streaming service. And as Beats Music is available to everyone with an Android, iOS or Windows Phone device free on a 7-day trial basis, we can all make our own minds up.

Yahoo Search Secured

Yahoo has plugged a major security hole by forcing all Yahoo searches through a secure server. This makes it more difficult for third parties to collect data on specific searches; third parties such as the NSA (National Security Agency).

This is Yahoo catching up with Google, which instituted the same change in September 2013. However, unlike Google, it appears Yahoo has failed to make the necessary changes to how referrer data is passed on, which means website owners watching analytics will likely see a huge drop off in the number of referrals from Yahoo.

The DoD Still Loves BlackBerry

The popularity of BlackBerry handsets has tanked in recent years, but it still has one fan. The DoD (Department of Defense) has recently committed to BlackBerry by ordering 80,000 BlackBerry handsets for its employees.

While this may be a drop in the ocean compared to the losses suffered by BlackBerry, it’s a ringing endorsement from the DoD. The main reason behind the decision to stick with BlackBerry appears to be how it handles security What Is Blackberry Technology? [Technology Explained] What Is Blackberry Technology? [Technology Explained] Read More , with iOS and Android clearly not passing muster.

The Saga Of Banned Bluebook

A Chrome extension called Banned Bluebook, which rose from the ashes of a website called CourseTable, has led to a battle of wills between the Yale administration and several Yale students.

The saga is rather long and involved, hence the word saga being applied, but luckily The Washington Post has a lengthy write-up all about the events. The subject was also discussed during Technophilia 97, the latest episode of the official MakeUseOf podcast.

Twitter Tailors Targeted Ads

twitter-targeted-ads-privacy

Twitter is expanding its targeted ads effort, allowing advertisers to target Twitter ads individual users Twitter Expands Targeted Ads With Tailored Audiences - Opt Out Required Twitter Expands Targeted Ads With Tailored Audiences - Opt Out Required Twitter's tailored audiences allows advertisers to filter the massive audience available on Twitter. Now, Twitter is expanding the program to allow advertisers to target users based on email addresses and user IDs. Read More based on their user IDs and email addresses. Those who don’t want to be exposed to targeted ads can opt out by unticking the ‘Promoted Content’ box in the Twitter privacy settings. Because forcing users to opt out rather than opt in appears to be the new norm.

Where Windows Phone Is Winning The War

And finally, you may think Windows Phone is a dismal failure that’s faring badly when compared to Android and iPhone, but you’d be wrong. At least if you base your assessment of how Windows Phone is doing on a specific set of two dozen countries.

As reported by Forbes, Windows Phone is outselling the iPhone in 24 countries around the world, including Colombia, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, Pakistan, and South Africa. So, mock Windows Phone all you want, but there are plenty of territories where it’s doing better than Apple’s “premium” product.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

  1. Matthew H
    January 27, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Its a pity the Blackberry 10 platform hasn't taken off. It's actually way better (and much more polished) than its competitors. I swear by my Q10!

  2. PWGC
    January 25, 2014 at 9:15 am

    iphone does well in the US and other English speaking countries (and Japan). Elsewhere, it isn't such a big deal. Android dominates elsewhere, but WP is on the rise. Across Europe, WP is selling about 10% of the new phones (even in the UK), iPhone about 20%, Android about 70%. Because Apple has huge mindshare in its domestic market, if you live in the US it looks a bigger deal than it really is globally.

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