Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft Office for iPad, NSA phone databases, Twitter’s partnership with Billboard, Facebook’s minor legal victory, Twitter photo tagging and sharing, and grabbing 40 winks with Google Naps.
Microsoft Releases Office for iPad
Microsoft has released Office for iPad, proving several years of rumors to be true. Office for iPad brings Word, PowerPoint, and Excel to Apple tablets for the first time, following on from Office landing on the iPhone in 2013.
Office for iPad is free to download and certain features are available at no extra charge. However, if you want to edit documents rather than just view them you’ll need an Office 365 subscription. This is a bad deal when compared to Apple’s own iWork suite of office apps, which is free on all iOS devices purchased after September 2013.
The good news is that Office Mobile for both iPhone and Android is now completely free, at least for “home use.” Microsoft is assuming that getting people using its ecosystem means they’ll then pay up at some point down the line. But it’s a gamble for a company not particularly known for gambling.
Obama Dismantling NSA Phone Database
U.S. President Barack Obama has officially announced his plan to dismantle the huge database of phone records kept by the NSA (National Security Agency). The current system will remain in place for at least another 90 days before any change is made.
The NSA will no longer maintain the database detailing calls made by ordinary American citizens. Instead, the phone companies will keep the same data for a limited period of time and only give information to the NSA if and when approval is granted by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
This has to be seen as a victory for Edward Snowden, the whistleblower whose leaked documents brought knowledge of this database (and a lot more besides) into mainstream consciousness. And yet the U.S. Government still regards Snowden as a traitor and enemy of the state. Which creates a bizarre mismatch between the reality and the hyperbole.
Twitter Teams Up With Billboard
— Twitter Music (@TwitterMusic) March 27, 2014
Twitter may have recently killed Twitter #Music, but it isn’t giving up on the music biz entirely. The Billboard Twitter Real-Time Chart is the first in what is expected to be a series of partnerships with music companies.
This partnership with Billboard means all the conversations about music which take place on Twitter will be converted into a chart on Billboard.com. So if you want to mess with the algorithm you should start relentlessly tweeting about the worst band ever. Which is Nickelback, obviously.
Facebook Legally Beats Minors
8 year old kids today have Facebook, MacBook pro, iPhone, iPad. When I was their age, I had a coloring book, crayons, chalk, and imagination
— Chill Humor (@ChillHumor) March 26, 2014
Facebook has won a legal victory against claims it unfairly used the names and likenesses of minors in targeted advertising. U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed the proposed class action lawsuit, deciding that the minors gave their consent when they joined the social network thanks to the “statement of rights and responsibilities” agreed to when signing up. In other words everyone is subject to the same rules regardless of age.
Twitter Introduces Photo Tagging
Twitter has introduced photo tagging which lets you tag people in photos you include in tweets. You can also now share up to four photos in any individual tweet, which creates a slideshow your followers can scroll through. Details on preventing people from tagging you in photos are included in our news article about the new Twitter photo features.
Discover Where To Sleep With Google Naps
And finally, Google Maps may be an immensely useful tool helping people plan their journeys, but it isn’t at all helpful if you’re looking for a place to rest your head and take 40 winks. Which is where Google Naps comes in.
Google Naps (as discovered by The Next Web) is primarily a parody, but one which actually provides some use. As its name suggests, Google Naps pinpoints places you can take a nap, such as park benches. So, of limited use for anyone who prefers to sleep in hotels, but amusing nonetheless.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Johan Larsson via Flickr