HTC copies Apple, Browser Popcorn runs out of time, Giphy helps you create GIFs, the best way of destroying drones, and celebrating Back to the Future Day.
HTC Pays Tribute to Apple
There’s a popular saying that suggests, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. Which, if true, means HTC adores Apple and everything it produces. Why? Because the new HTC One A9 is an almost carbon copy of the iPhone 6. Just with Android rather than iOS running things. Which, to be fair, isn’t a bad combination.
Unfortunately, we’re not sure Apple’s lawyers will see things the same way. Because Apple is known for being litigious when it comes to protecting its patents and designs. Samsung has been the main target of these lawsuits so far, but HTC may have inadvertently put itself in the firing line with the HTC One A9.
In terms of a smartphone, the HTC One A9 is a solid option, with a 5-inch screen, a Smapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a 2,150mAh battery, and a 13-megapixel camera. Add Android 6.0 into the mix and it’s a nice little package. However, the styling is pure Apple, and most people would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the HTC One A9 and an iPhone 6.
Which all means this might be the perfect handset for people who love the look and feel of the iPhone but who hate iOS. It might also be the perfect handset for lawyers, who will be rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of another lengthy legal battle between two tech giants.
Browser Popcorn Is No More
Due to legal issues, I am distancing myself from the development of BrowserPopcorn. If anyone wants to continue, email me.
— Milan Kragujevic (@MilanKragujevic) October 20, 2015
Browser Popcorn, a version of Popcorn Time designed to be used in Web browsers, has been shut down just a few days after launching. Popcorn Time is an app which lets you stream movies through a very simple, Netflix-style UI. Browser Popcorn brought that same idea to the Web, removing the need to download anything.
This innate usability made it an obvious target for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which instantly issued a cease-and-desist letter at the creator of Browser Popcorn. Who, as it turns out, is a 15-year-old developer named Milan Kragujevic. He made the sensible decision to distance himself from Browser Popcorn once the authorities came knocking, saying:
“It was a nice ride, but it’s time to move on. I will be distancing myself from further development of Browser Popcorn. This was never intended to be a battle for piracy, more of an experiment with the streaming technology. If you’re looking for someone who is familiar with streaming technology, you might want to hire me. If you’re looking for a great alternative to piracy, check out iTunes or Netflix.”
Kragujevic has left instructions for running a local version of Browser Popcorn on your computer. However, it’s important to remember that these ARE copyrighted movies you do not have permission to watch, which means streaming them is illegal in most countries around the world. You have been warned!
Giphy Launches GIF Maker
GIFs have become an integral part of the Internet in recent years, being used to express an emotion or sum up a feeling in a very visual manner. And as GIFs have become more popular, sites collecting and curating them have sprung up. One of which is Giphy.com.
For Giphy to succeed it needs people to create GIFs. The more the merrier. Obviously. But creating a GIF isn’t the easiest thing to do. Which explains why Giphy has released GIF Maker, a tool to help even the simplest of folks to create GIFs.
Drop in a video URL, select a start time and a duration, type in a witty caption, and let GIF Maker do the heavy lifting. The results may not be perfect, but this sure beats spending hours crafting a GIF which no one else is likely to appreciate anyway.
DroneDefender Shoots Down Drones
This time last year we asked our readers, “A Drone Hovers Over Your Property: What Would You Do?” To which most replied, ““Shoot it out of the Goddamn sky!“, or words to that effect. I don’t understand it myself, but then I’m British and most of our readers are American. So, it may be a cultural difference between the two nations.
Regardless, it means our readers may be interested in the DroneDefender, a “portable, accurate, rapid-to-use counter-weapon to stop suspicious or hostile drones in flight, providing critical security protection at home and abroad”. The DroneDefender uses targeted radio waves to force drones out of the sky, which is surely a more sensible solution than guns pumping out bullets.
A Modern Back to the Future Trailer
And finally, today is Back to the Future Day, as if you didn’t already know. I mean, it’s everywhere, and rightly so, as the future finally becomes the present. Sadly, most of the gadgets from Back to the Future II haven’t made it into reality, but we’ll carry on dreaming regardless.
Still, this video is the perfect way to celebrate Back to the Future Day, as it shows what the trailer for the fist film would have looked like had it been released in 2015. Movie trailers are a very different beast these days than they were in the 1980s, selling the film in a much more emotive manner.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you think the HTC One A9 looks like the iPhone 6? Are you sorry to see Browser Popcorn taken offline? Will you be using Giphy’s GIF Maker to make GIFs? Have you ever been harassed by a drone? How are you celebrating Back to the Future Day?
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.