Google goes to war with Microsoft, Skype Teams is basically Slack, Yelp launches its first bug bounty, Instagram kills its popular Photo Map feature, and a more accurate Pokemon GO trailer.
Google Defends Chrome From Microsoft
Chrome may be the most popular web browser in the world right now, but it’s also known to kill batteries. We were reporting on this phenomenon as long ago as July 2014. Two years later, in June 2016, Microsoft came out to condemn Google for Chrome’s battery-killing capabilities.
Microsoft only attacked Chrome in order to promote its own Edge browser, of course, but the company did offer compelling evidence for Chrome being a battery hog. Now, three months later, Google has finally hit back, providing video proof that Chrome has improved massively over the past year.
Google claims Chrome 53 can play video for two hours longer than Chrome 46 was capable of doing. Which is an impressive achievement. Interestingly, Google avoided direct comparisons between Chrome, Edge, Opera, and Firefox. This suggests it’s not entirely confident that Chrome would win that particular battle.
Microsoft Is Building Slack Lite
Microsoft is currently developing a team messaging app called Skype Teams. And according to screenshots posted by MSPoweruser, Skype Teams looks and feels very similar to Slack. Microsoft was recently rumored to be looking to buy Slack for $8 billion.
Skype Teams will reportedly be a Slack competitor incorporated under the Skype brand. Users will be able to hold conversations in groups similar to Slack’s channels, and talk to each other on a one-to-one basis via Direct Messages. Unlike Slack, Skype Teams will feature threaded conversations.
I love Slack, but I also love competition to bring out the best in a product. Skype For Teams sounds ace ?https://t.co/qdsWzDsmeT
— Topher Winward (@Winwardo) September 7, 2016
Using Skype as the basis for this new app means private and group video chats would play a part in proceedings. And teams will also be able to hold video meetings without needing to switch to an external service.
Microsoft is said to be testing Skype Team internally right now, with plans to launch it on the web, Windows, Android, and iOS in the not-too-distant future. Unsurprisingly, Office 365 subscribers will be given access to Skype Teams before the rest of us proles.
Yelp Launches a Bug Bounty
Yelp, which lets users reviews businesses online, has launched its own bug bounty program. The company is following in the footsteps of other companies by offering “nice” hackers the chance to earn up to $15,000 for discovering and reporting flaws across its websites, apps, blogs, support center, and/or API.
So the Yelp bug bounty program is interesting. If more companies did this we would probably see more good-guy-hackers. And more attacks. Lol
— Jonas B (@jonasblasas) September 7, 2016
Yelp is guaranteeing at least $100 for every bug found, but only critical flaws would earn anything close to the $15,000 maximum. Still, in the first 24 hours, two white-hat hackers have earned $100 apiece, showing the immediate power of a bug bounty program.
Anyone interested in earning a fast buck should check out the webpage on which Yelp spells out its bug bounty program policy. The most interesting part, titled Please Be Nice To Us, asks hackers to “bring out your big guns, but hold off on actually breaking anything. Please avoid DDoS’ing us or breaking our systems and services while you are testing.”
Instagram Kills Photo Map
Instagram is in the process of killing Photo Map. This feature enabled you to see a map showing the locations users had tagged their photos in. But Instagram has already removed the Photo Map from some users, with everyone set to follow suit in the near future.
Urg @instagram, I love the photo map feature! It's a way to document all my travels. Why the change ? :(
— Ella Tran (@ellatran_) September 7, 2016
You may still be able to see your own Photo Map by tapping the map pin above your pictures on your profile. However, even this is likely to disappear in the future. Thankfully, you will still be able to tag locations featured in photos, suggesting Instagram is keeping some location-based features alive.
Instagram issued a statement to Mashable, saying, “Photo Map was not widely used, so we’ve decided to remove the feature and focus on other priorities”. Unfortunately, as with all of these kinds of niche features, users don’t tend to notice them until they’ve gone, and then they start missing them.
An Accurate Pokemon GO Trailer
And finally, while interest in Pokemon GO is starting to wane at this point, there are still millions of people out there playing the augmented reality game on a daily basis. The vast majority stay safe and out of trouble, but there are always a minority who get so wrapped up in something they ignore forget all common sense.
This trailer is for them, as it shows the potential downsides to playing Pokemon GO. One person falls off a cliff, another gets a wooden spear through his chest, and yet another gets held up at gunpoint. This is, therefore, a more accurate trailer for this game for people who ignore the dangers of playing Pokemon GO.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Have you noticed Google Chrome consuming less battery life recently? Would you consider switching from Slack to Skype Teams? Have you ever reported a bug and been financially rewarded for doing so? Will you miss Instagram’s Photo Map feature? Have you moved on from playing Pokemon GO yet?
Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome. Tech News Digest pares the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: Stephen Shankland via Flickr