Apple iPhones crash more than Androids, Microsoft takes a stand against online abuse, Facebook simplifies its Trending section, Ubisoft ditches free-to-play PC games, and why Thor was missing from Captain America: Civil War.
Your iPhone Is Liable to Crashing
One of Apple’s many ingenious catchphrases in recent years is, “It just works”. It’s short, snappy, and it immediately gets a message across to consumers; namely, that Apple products are easy to use and extremely reliable. Unfortunately, the second part of that equation no longer rings true.
That’s because according to a new study by the Blancco Technology Group, your iPhone is more likely to crash than your friend’s Android. In fact, 58 percent of all Apple devices with the company’s mobile diagnostic tools installed on them crashed at least once during the last quarter. This compares to 35 percent of Android devices.
As for who or what is to blame for these crashes, 65 percent were due to apps, 11 percent were due to Wi-Fi issues, and 4 percent were due to data connectivity issues. Social media apps were by far the biggest cause, with Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook particularly prone to causing iPhones to crash.
It’s clear that third-party apps cause iOS to crash a lot more than they cause Android to crash, which Digital Trends supposes is as a result of the restrictions Apple places on developers. So, it turns out that while Apple’s vice-like grip on its ecosystem prevents a lot of crappy apps from being approved, it also makes your iPhone more likely to crash on a regular basis.
Microsoft Hates Hate Speech
Microsoft is making it a lot easier for users of its services to report hate speech. We all know people say some really horrible stuff to strangers online, and in order to make the web a nicer place to play, Microsoft has created a new portal dedicated to the reporting of hate speech. Hate speech covers ageism, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, and plenty more besides.
I don't understand how people who claim to like someone can go online and abuse them anonymously. Hmmmm
— shay (@Shaydeexox) August 18, 2016
The portal covers various Microsoft services, including Xbox Live, Docs.com, OneDrive, Outlook, Skype and Sway. Hate speech is particularly prevalent on Xbox Live, where 12-year-olds will cheerily call you all of the names under the sun while fragging you in the latest Call of Duty game.
In announcing the new portal, Microsoft Chief Online Safety Office Jacqueline Beaucher said:
“We will continue our “notice-and-takedown” approach for removing prohibited content on hosted consumer services, and the new form aims to improve the quality and speed of our reviews. When hate speech is reported to us, we will evaluate each complaint, consider context and other factors, and determine appropriate action with respect to the content and the user’s account.”
Interestingly, given the scope for people to abuse the system, mislabeling hate speech either accidentally or on purpose, Microsoft has created a second website for people to request content be reinstated.
Facebook Ditches Human Editors
Facebook has ditched the human editors previously responsible for curating the Trending news section. In their place will be a team of engineers whose job it is to check that the algorithms are working as well as they should be. In other words, the robots are in charge.
Facebook’s changes to the trending list are working out great pic.twitter.com/h7FEvbdz1Y
— Nick Statt (@nickstatt) August 28, 2016
The Trending section of Facebook was the subject of some controversy when, back in May, former contractors claimed Facebook routinely prevented conservative stories from trending, while at the same time artificially inflated the popularity of other stories. At the time Facebook denied these claims, but three months later it has nonetheless ditched the human element.
From now on, until Facebook changes its mind again, you’ll simply see what subjects are trending and the number of people talking about those subjects. The short descriptions which added context are no more. This should remove any biases, unless of course those same biases have been built into the algorithms in the first place.
Ubisoft Kills Free-to-Play Games
Ubisoft is killing four of its free-to-play PC games, with them all going offline before the end of the year. The games being shuttered are Tom Clancy’s Endwar Online, The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot, Might & Magic: Duel of Champions, and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Phantoms.
The first three will be taken offline by the end of October, with Ghost Recon Phantoms following in December. All four games were launched between 2013 and 2015 as Ubisoft attempted to tap into the lucrative free-to-play market, whereby players pay through the nose for in-app purchases.
Taking the servers for all four games offline means their websites and forums will also disappear, essentially kneecapping their communities. That is if any of the games have sizable communities left. Ubisoft is blaming the shutdowns on a lack of interest and declining userbases.
What Thor Was Doing During Civil War
And finally, you, like us, probably noticed how Thor was absent from Captain America: Civil War. While all of the other Avengers were choosing sides and battling it out, Thor was off doing something else entirely. But what exactly? We now know thanks to this mockumentary from Taika Waititi, the man directing Thor: Ragnarok.
— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) August 28, 2016
Thor essentially moved to Australia and got a roommate. As superheroes are prone to do. He emailed Tony Stark and Steve Rogers from afar, but refused to choose sides. If you hadn’t already guessed, this is actually a bonus feature for the digital release of Captain America: Civil War, and was premiered at Comic-Con International.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What should Apple do to prevent iPhones from crashing more than Androids? Have you ever encountered hate speech online? Has Facebook done the right thing in ditching its human editors? Are you sorry to see Ubisoft killing its free-to-play games? What has been your favorite Marvel movie released so far?
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 is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: B Rosen via Flickr