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Today in Tech News Digest, Google+ may be dead, FCC talks net neutrality, Facebook launches FB Newswire, Lyft expands into new markets, mobile addiction grows, next-gen Minecraft allows save transfers, and the true potential of Oculus Rift is revealed.

The Future Of Google+ Is In Doubt

The future of Google+ is (as good as) officially in doubt. What we know is that Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Social, is leaving Google for as-yet-unknown pastures new. The rest, including what’s going to happen to Google+ now that its creator has left the company, is still up for debate. But it’s not looking good.

Gundotra “built Google+ from nothing,” as acknowledged by Google CEO Larry Page in a memo regarding Vic’s departure. Re/code claims Vice President of Engineering David Besbris will be taking over from Gundotra, but that appointment has yet to be confirmed.

So, what about Google+? Page insists the company will “continue working hard to build great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans.” This is a vague promise that Google+ will continue on in some fashion, but the nature of this unloved beast could be changing.

TechCrunch cites multiple sources in its assertion that Google+ will “no longer be considered a product, but a platform.” In layman’s terms this means that, in the future, Google+ will be less like Facebook and Twitter, and more like the glue that holds the rest of Google’s products and services together. If the rumors prove to be true, naturally.

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FCC Sets Net Neutrality Record Straight

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has acted to end speculation over its proposals for the Open Internet No Net Neutrality, Winamp Lives, Kanye Kills Coinye [Tech News Digest] No Net Neutrality, Winamp Lives, Kanye Kills Coinye [Tech News Digest] Net neutrality suffers loss, Winamp lives for another day, Beats Music launch due, Tumblr Mention alerts, Kanye West kills Coinye, a man dies trying to save his phone, and the Internet names a baby. Read More . Unfortunately, the blog post by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has only managed to make it clearer that the days of net neutrality What Is Net Neutrality & Why Should I Care? What Is Net Neutrality & Why Should I Care? A significant number see Net Neutrality as essential to the survival of the Internet. In this article, we're going to look at why Net Neutrality matters, and why we should fight to protect it. Read More are coming to an end, at least in the United States.

Opinions on the FCC’s stance on the issue differ greatly. CNET maintains nothing is really changing, while GigaOM suggests the FCC is on course to destroy net neutrality. Ars Technica reminds us that the FCC is now proposing rules that it strongly rallied against in 2010. Which is rather worrying.

And this at a time when Europe is ensuring net neutrality persists Net Neutrality, Cuban Twitter, Brendan Eich, Open Source .Net [Tech News Digest] Net Neutrality, Cuban Twitter, Brendan Eich, Open Source .Net [Tech News Digest] Net neutrality in Europe, Cuban Twitter plot revealed, Brendan Eich resigns, open source .Net, new Kinect for Windows, Lingua.ly on Android, and the advanced Bitcoin simulator. Read More , and Brazil is passing an Internet Bill of Rights New Apple Products, Internet Bill Of Rights, OnePlus One, Street View Time Machine [Tech News Digest] New Apple Products, Internet Bill Of Rights, OnePlus One, Street View Time Machine [Tech News Digest] Apple's new products, Brazil's Internet Bill of Rights, OnePlus One turns heads, Xiaomi international expansion, Google Street View time machine, Amazon Prime Pantry, Apple's recycling efforts, and the creepiest light bulb ever. Read More . ‘Merica.

Facebook & Storyful Launch FB Newswire

Facebook has launched FB Newswire, a news service powered by the News Corp.-owned Storyful. FB Newswire will aggregate news content shared on Facebook, with status updates and various media shared with the wider world. Interestingly, FB Newswire has a dedicated Twitter account, though all tweets will link to the relevant posts on Facebook.

Lyft Launches In 24 New Markets

Ride-sharing Hire A Car In Most Major Cities Worldwide With Uber And MyTaxi Hire A Car In Most Major Cities Worldwide With Uber And MyTaxi You'd expect by now that hiring taxis with an app on your fancy GPS-enabled device to tell the drive your location would be an everyday event, right? Wrong. Read More startup Lyft has launched in 24 new markets in one day. Granted, these new markets are all American cities, but it shows how quickly this controversial new business is expanding. Lyft also plans to launch in international markets in the coming months, but rival Uber has beaten the pink moustache-sporting effort to this milestone by adding Beijing to its roster.

Mobile Addiction Is On The Rise

Mobile addiction is on the rise, at least according to Flurry Analytics. Defining a mobile addict as anyone who launches apps more than 60 times per day, Flurry claims the number of mobile addicts 20 Addictive Mobile Games You Must Play [We Ask You Results] 20 Addictive Mobile Games You Must Play [We Ask You Results] These are the insanely addictive titles that have an innate ability to keep you playing, forever. Read More has risen by 123 percent over the last year, climbing from 79 million in March 2013 to 176 million in March 2014.

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has suffered the ignominy of being phubbed How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life How Smartphones Are Ruining Your Life Your smartphone could be ruining your life, or at least have the capacity to do so in the future. Read More by someone they know. It’s a worrying trend that surely ends with us staring at our screens 24/7 like the dozy idiots from Wall-E. Is that really the future we want to see come true?

Next-Gen Minecraft Allows Save Transfers

The next-gen Minecraft releases for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will enable saves to be transferred from existing consoles. This is good news for Minecraft players 5 Minecraft How-To Tips To Start Crafting Like A Pro 5 Minecraft How-To Tips To Start Crafting Like A Pro Minecraft has steadily gained popularity with no signs that the trend will change anytime soon. I’m a big fan of the game and I have plenty of friends who play it or would like to... Read More looking forward to the next-gen releases but aghast at the thought of starting from scratch.

The True Potential Of Oculus Rift

And finally, those who are yet to be convinced of the potential for VR headsets Virtual Reality Is the Future... One Day [We Ask You Results] Virtual Reality Is the Future... One Day [We Ask You Results] Does the MakeUseOf readership feel that VR is going to truly become mainstream in the future? Read on to find out. Read More such as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, should watch this video. It shows how one small push in the back can blur the line between reality and virtual reality. Perhaps this is what convinced Mark Zuckerberg that Oculus was worthy of being acquired by Facebook Facebook Bought Oculus: Is VR Dead Before It Began? Facebook Bought Oculus: Is VR Dead Before It Began? What happens when the little guy that everyone loves to rally behind gets sucked up into an evil corporation and becomes rich? A veritable storm of writhing anger, apparently. Read More .

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

Image Credit: Yuri Samoilov via Flickr

  1. dragonmouth
    April 26, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Google has the attention span of a 6 year old. They do not "play' with their products long enough to find out if they are keepers. How may products have they killed off after getting the users interested in them???

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 11:01 am

      The list is endless. It's an interesting way of working, throwing things out there in beta and letting the users decide if it's worth persevering with. It works, but it leaves a lot of people annoyed and frustrated.

  2. googleminus
    April 25, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    Im so happy Google+ will die.

  3. Mark M.
    April 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    Google's grave yard of products is growing by leaps n' bounds...

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

      This is true. To be fair though, this is what happens when a company innovates; some things work, others do not.

  4. Tom W
    April 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    I'll be so pissed off if Google allows G+ to disappear into obscurity after it ruined Youtube in a failed attempt to gain traction.

    • Dave P
      April 28, 2014 at 10:59 am

      Oh, it's going to be fun watching the fallout from this decision when it finally arrives.

    • Tom W
      April 28, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      *Grabs popcorn*

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