Google Tackles Piracy Problem, Buy An iPhone For Under A Dollar, And More… [Tech News Digest]

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Also, SoundCloud starts selling advertising, Oculix brings Netflix to the Oculus Rift, Secret dinner parties get exposed, the reason Google’s self-driving cars can exceed the speed limit, and why two fish are playing Street Fighter right now.

Google Hits Piracy Milestone

Google has a huge piracy problem, and it’s growing on a daily basis. According to TorrentFreak, Google is now asked to remove 1 million links every day, with copyright holders swamping the tech giant with DMCA takedown notices.

In 2008, Google received one request every six days, and now, in 2014, it receives one request ever 8 milliseconds. The new record is 7.8 million in a single week, and the numbers are only set to increase from here on in.

Not all of these requests are honored, but the numbers are so vast that it must be getting more difficult for Google to determine which takedown requests are valid and which are bogus.

The process clearly isn’t very effective, but if Google is unable to conjure up a better way of dealing with this problem, there is little chance anyone else will be able to do so. Unless you know differently…

Walmart Drops Price Of iPhone 5c

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The iPhone 5c can now be yours for under a dollar. According to CNET, the cheaper last-gen iPhone will be on sale at Walmart for just 97 cents (down from $29), starting today (August 21). The iPhone 5s is also having its price cut, from $99 to $79.

Buying an iPhone 5c for this low price does mean signing up for a two-year contract with AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or US Cellular, so it isn’t without its drawbacks. Still, this is a sure sign Walmart is clearing old stock to make way for the iPhone 6, which is likely to be unveiled next month.

Be sure to read our review of the iPhone 5c from September 2013 to determine whether it is worth buying at this low price.

SoundCloud Is Adding Advertising

Free music platform SoundCloud is set to add advertising to its service. According to The New York Times, SoundCloud has inked a new licensing deal which will incorporate advertising and allow both artists and record labels to start collecting royalties on their content.

At some point in the future, SoundCloud will add a paid subscription offering which will remove the ads. All of which suggests SoundCloud is evolving into a new company, and the changes it’s making are likely to scare off a fair percentage of its current userbase. Because money is more alluring than anything else.

Netflix + Oculus Rift = Oculix

Oculus Rift owners have a new way of browsing the Netflix catalog thanks to Oculix. Like Brangelina before it, Oculix is a beautiful mashup of two brilliant things. Unfortunately, it may never be available to the general public, as it’s just one of a handful of Hack Day projects dreamed up by the Netflix engineers. Still, it shows that the Facebook-owned Oculus is good for more than just gaming.

Secret Dinner Parties Exposed

Secret is primarily an app for people to anonymously share secrets with friends and strangers. Naturally. However, according to Re/Code, some users are reappropriating Secret to hold dinner parties. And the story of how these Secret dinner parties go down is rather intriguing. Scary, but intriguing.

Google’s Driverless Car Exceeds Speed Limit

In the future, when everybody is(n’t) driving a self-driving car, any need to exceed speed limits will be removed. However, all the while some cars will be driving themselves and other will be driven (above the speed limit) by humans, the need to speed will remain in place.

Which is why, as revealed in a Reuters report, Google’s self-driving cars are able to drive 10 mph above the top speed limit. So, there is a place for Top Gear in the future, after all. Phew.

Fish Playing Street Fighter Is A Thing

And finally, two fish are currently locked in a battle to be crowned the aquatic champion of Street Fighter. No, I haven’t forgotten to take my meds, this is actually happening. Unless I forgot to get out of bed this morning.

A guy called Andrew Hill has set up the titanic fisticuffs by mapping the movement of his two fish. Aquarius and Robert the Bruce face off against each other on a daily basis, and the action can be viewed on the FishPlayStreetFighter Twitch stream. I’m hooked. Badoom-tish.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Can you see an end to Google’s growing piracy problem? Do you consider the iPhone 5c good value at 97 cents? Are you pleased or upset to see SoundCloud add advertising?

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.

Image Credit: Cory Doctorow via Flickr

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