Microsoft Edge Gets Extensions, Twitter Sticks With 140 Characters… [Tech News Digest]

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Microsoft adds the first extensions to Edge, Twitter sticks with 140 characters, update your Kindle ASAP, follow Pope Francis on Instagram, and how ignorance and stupidity could save humanity.

Microsoft Adds Extensions to Edge

Microsoft has finally brought extensions to its Edge browser, delivering on its promise to do so six months ago. Edge extensions have arrived as part of the latest Windows 10 preview, Build 14291, which is available to Windows Insider testers right now on PCs and phones.

The company originally intended to bring extensions to Edge by the end of 2015, but didn’t quite manage it. However, the first three Edge extensions are now available, those being Microsoft Translator (which automatically translates Web pages), the Reddit Enhancement Suite (which adds new features to Reddit) and Mouse Gestures (which recognizes mouse gestures for various actions).

Extensions are currently only available to testers, who need to download each one individually. However, they should become available to everyone through the Windows Store once Microsoft releases the Redstone 1 update later this year (likely in June). Microsoft is already stating that extensions from “AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, [and] Evernote” will be included in the first batch.

Twitter Keeps Character Limit

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After months of speculation suggesting Twitter was planning to abandon its self-imposed limit of 140 characters, the company has decided to stick with the per-tweet character limit. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated so in an interview with NBC’s Today.

Asked about the whole 140 characters thing, Dorsey said, “It’s staying. It’s a good constraint for us and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.” Which is, in itself, a short statement on the issue which has been the subject of rumors for many months.

Dorsey was actually to blame for part of this speculation, tweeting out a longer message than usual by posting a screenshot of text. The suggestion then being Twitter was exploring the idea and experimenting with implementation. But it seems the idea is now dead.

Twitter chose 140 characters so that a tweet could fit into a single SMS message. But that’s now no longer necessary. However, ditching the character limit now would turn Twitter into something else altogether. Something less unique and more, well, like Facebook. Which would be a travesty.

Update Your Kindle by March 22

If you own an older Kindle then you need to update it by tomorrow (March 22) or risk it becoming a lot less usable. Amazon has issued an emergency update which needs to be applied to every model of Kindle released prior to the 2012 Kindle Paperwhite.

Without the update you will no longer be able to connect your Kindle to the Internet or download new books to it. Ensuring your Kindle is charged up and able to connect to the Internet should mean you’ll get the update. To make sure, click Menu and then Sync and Check for Items.

If you’re reading this article after March 22, you’ll need to update your device manually by plugging it your computer and following the steps outlined on this Amazon help page.

Pope Francis Joins Instagram

Pope Francis has joined Instagram, and racked up 1 million followers in his first 12 hours on the service. That’s a new record, beating the 24 hours it took David Beckham to reach 1 million followers in May 2015.

Pope Francis’ conversion came after he met with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. Systrom was actually present at the Vatican on Saturday to witness the Pope (or at least his people) posting his first photo to Instagram.

Systrom commented on the occasion, saying, “Watching Pope Francis post his first photo to Instagram today was an incredible moment. @franciscus, welcome to the Instagram community! Your messages of humility, compassion and mercy will leave a lasting mark.”

2084 Is the New 1984

And finally, I’m in the camp that thinks it’s highly likely machines will control the world at some point in the future. Whether by 2084 or not. It just feels inevitable, especially as we’re creating scary humanoid robots and artificial intelligences capable of beating the Go world champion.

With that in mind, we need to start thinking of ways to defeat this future enemy, and with weaponry unlikely to get us far, we need to use our brains. Or perhaps not. Perhaps stupidity is the key, as AI may not be able to cope with that inherently human skill of being as dumb as a box of rocks. [H/T The Awesomer]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you looking forward to testing Microsoft Edge extensions? Should Twitter have moved beyond its limit of 140 characters per tweet? Do you need to update your Kindle? Will you be following Pope Francis on Instagram? Will the machines have taken over by 2084?

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.

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