Net neutrality is still causing confusion, Siri saves lives, Amazon is soulless, Microsoft works on news-reading app, Darth Vader is a PS4 fan, and a father makes the best baby rocker of all time.
Senator Confuses Net Neutrality
There remains a significant portion of the population either unwilling or unable to understand the issue the net neutrality. Unfortunately, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein is one of these poor saps. However, that may be because she has been fed misinformation by the Internet service providers (ISPs) who hate net neutrality with a passion.
According to The Daily Dot, Feinstein sent a letter regarding net neutrality to the Federal Communications Commission in May. She was concerned that the new Title II rules, brought into force after a long and fruitful campaign to protect the Internet, would help terrorists spread hate.
Specifically, she was concerned with the fact that Boston Bomber “Dzhokar Tsarnaev had studied bomb-making materials on the internet”. Various ISPs led her to believe that net neutrality would somehow prevent them from blocking such content in the future. Which is, of course, blatantly false.
Net neutrality doesn’t govern content, just the way it is delivered to customers. So, if an individual piece of content is considered illegal and therefore blocked from being viewed, net neutrality plays absolutely no part in the equation.
Siri Is a Lifesaver
While you may consider Siri nothing more than an amusing distraction, it turns out she’s capable of saving your life. In fact, Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant built into iOS, has already saved at least one person’s life.
Sam Ray, a teenager from Tennessee, was fixing his truck when it fell on him. He was working alone, and had no way of freeing himself. However, he had his iPhone in his back pocket and managed to activate Siri, who then called the emergency services for him.
The dispatcher heard Ray’s cries for help, triangulated the signal from his cellphone signal, and sent help. Ray was pulled from beneath the truck, airlifted to hospital, and is now recovering from his injuries.
As a result of Siri saving his life, Ray is a committed Apple fanboy. As he told his local newspaper The Tennessean, “I guess I’m stuck with an iPhone for the rest of my life. I owe them that.”
The New York Times Vs. Amazon
— John Green (@johngreen) August 15, 2015
The New York Times recently published a scathing report as to the culture within corporate giant Amazon. The newspaper claims life is tough for employees of the online retailer, as they’re pushed to breaking point by long hours, Machiavellian tactics, and unreasonably high standards. There are also “annual cullings of the staff,” and disregard for those suffering personal tragedies.
Unsurprisingly, Amazon has refuted the claims made in the report. Company CEO Jeff Bezos also sent out a memo to all staff which has since been leaked to the press. In it, he states, “The article doesn’t describe the Amazon I know or the caring Amazonians I work with every day,” rejecting the idea that “any company adopting the approach portrayed [in the Times story] could survive, much less thrive, in today’s highly competitive tech hiring market”.
Microsoft Develops Newsreading App
Microsoft Edge is not bad, but reading any "news" article on that front page will rot your brain.
— Alistair Doulin (@Doolwind) August 12, 2015
Microsoft is reportedly developing an app which reads the news to you. According to Neowin, which discovered the aptly named NewsCast on Microsoft Azure, the app will read out short snippets of news pulled in from around the Web, in a voice similar (but distinct to) Cortana.
NewsCast is being made by the Bing team, which has been internally testing it on iOS. The idea is that commuters or otherwise busy people can listen to the news headlines of the day, sorting the wheat from the chaff by saving summaries they’re interested in. Which sounds like a solid idea.
Alternatively you could let us do the hard work for you by keeping your browsers pointed at Tech News Digest.
Sony Brings Darth Vader to PS4
If you thought the merchandising around the release of Minions was insane, prepare yourself for the onslaught of branded products set to be launched as Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits movie theaters. The fact that the new film is being released the week before Christmas only increases the odds of overkill.
One of the first big Star Wars-branded products has been unveiled, and it’s a PlayStation 4 with Darth Vader seeping out of every pore. His face is etched on the side of the console, and the controller features buttons matching the color of his lightsaber. The console will be available in two bundles from November 17th.
Baby Rides Speeder Bike Rocker
And finally, while most fathers dote on their children, few go to such extreme lengths to express their love as Tez Gelmir. After all, Gelmir carefully constructed a rocker for his one-year-old daughter that looks exactly like a speeder bike from Star Wars VI: The Return of the Jedi.
In order to keep things as authentic as possible, Gelmir based his speeder bike rocker on the design specs of the props used in the film. He has since posted the instructions on his Instructables page for others to follow. Because, to be perfectly frank, this is more fun for Star Wars-loving fathers than their children. [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you still confused by net neutrality? Has Siri just proved her worth by saving a life? Do you believe The New York Times’ story about Amazon? Would you utilize Microsoft’s news-reading app? How badly do you want a Darth Vader PlayStation 4?
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 Credits: Backbone Campaign via Flickr