Do Not Track Microsoft, do not press The Button, Apple Watch guided tours, Bendgate returns, PlayStation Home moves out, and robots in love with Rubik’s Cubes.
Microsoft Changes Tack with Do Not Track
Microsoft just announced that they're discontinuing Internet Explorer. This will affect millions and millions of updates.
— Bat Boy (@brianbowman73) March 31, 2015
Microsoft has announced that its Web browsers will no longer default to Do Not Track. This is a setting common amongst browsers, allowing individual users to opt out of being tracked for advertising purposes. At least when websites choose to honor the request.
This change applies to both Internet Explorer and the new Spartan browser set to launch alongside Windows 10. Microsoft has been forced to change tack by the latest draft on privacy from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).
As quoted by Microsoft, the draft reads: “Key to that notion of expression is that the signal sent MUST reflect the user’s preference, not the choice of some vendor, institution, site, or network-imposed mechanism outside the user’s control; this applies equally to both the general preference and exceptions. The basic principle is that a tracking preference expression is only transmitted when it reflects a deliberate choice by the user. In the absence of user choice, there is no tracking preference expressed.”
In layman’s terms this means when Microsoft enacts Do Not Track by default, websites could refuse to honor it based solely on the belief it doesn’t represent user choice. So rather than default to Do Not Track, Microsoft will inform users how to enable the request, and why they should consider doing so. Which seems sensible.
Reddit Bemuses with The Button
As usual, the Internet was absolutely awash with April Fools’ Day jokes on April 1, including our own special (bulls***) edition of Tech News Digest. But one particular April Fool looks set to run on and on for a long time after we have bid April a fond farewell.
It’s called simply The Button, and it’s Reddit’s attempt at, well, no one really knows what. The Button was introduced via a blog post which intentionally kept details to a bare minimum. All anyone knows is that pushing the button resets its timer to 60 seconds, and that every registered user can only push it once.
What happens if no one pushes the button before the timer counts down to zero? What happens when there are no users left to push the button? Speculation is rife, but the most likely explanation is that this is one epic troll from the funsters running Reddit. Answers on a postcard, please.
Take a Guided Tour of the Apple Watch
In an effort to increase interest in the Apple Watch, Apple is offering Guided Tours of the new product with a series of videos recently posted to its website. Interested parties are first shown “Welcome to Apple Watch,” as embedded above, before being offered the chance to watch further videos titled, “Messages,” “Faces,” and “Digital Touch.”
All of these Guided Tours videos feature demonstrations of the way Apple Watch works, thus showing potential buyers why they absolutely need this gadget to complete their collection. The Apple Watch is available to pre-order online from Midnight PDT on April 10, and is sure to sell in huge quantities regardless of actual quality.
The Galaxy S6 Edge Bends Like the iPhone
It turns out that the iPhone 6 Plus isn’t the only smartphone that will bend when considerable pressure is applied to it. As demonstrated by SquareTrade, the new Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge suffers the same fate, bending under 110 pounds of pressure, and breaking completely under 149 pounds of pressure. As a comparison, the iPhone 6 Plus bends at 110 and fails at 179.
Bendgate is, therefore, alive and well, but it’s now Apple’s biggest competitor that has questions to answer over the strength of its latest product. Fortunately for Samsung, it’s nowhere near as much fun ridiculing them as it is ridiculing Apple. So, carry on, there’s nothing to see here, these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.
PlayStation Home is Home No More
Imagine if Sony shutting down PlayStation Home was an April Fools joke and they updated it for the PS4. That would be…actually kinda cool.
— Danny O'Dwyer (@dannyodwyer) April 1, 2015
The virtual world that was PlayStation Home is no more, with Sony shutting its doors for good. PlayStation Home was Second Life for PS3 gamers, who could walk around its virtual streets, visit its virtual shopping malls, and even watch movie trailers in its virtual theaters.
PlayStation Home was launched in 2008 in beta, and underwent several transformations in the years that followed. Unfortunately, Home never quite lived up to expectations, leading Sony to end the experiment as its fans started to switch to the PlayStation 4. It may have ultimately failed, but Home was an intriguing idea that lasted longer than most intriguing ideas.
Recounting Robot Love with Rubik’s Cubes
And finally, anyone who has ever tried and failed to solve a Rubik’s Cube will be blown away by this short stop-motion animation. It tells the tale of a robot leaving his planet to find love, but the real story is how it required someone to solve 1,296 Rubik’s Cubes 961 times apiece. Thus making me feel utterly useless. [H/T Gizmodo]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Is Microsoft doing the right thing by changing the Do Not Track default? Will you be pressing The Button? Does Samsung deserve to be ridiculed over the S6 Edge bending? Will you miss PlayStation Home?
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: Sven Lohmeyer via Flickr