Opera adds a battery-saving mode, how technology is killing sexy time, Slack lets you call colleagues, you may need to change your Netflix password, and why you should leave your phone at home.
Opera Preserves Your Battery Life
Opera is shaping up to be quite the browser. Having already added a built-in VPN (Virtual Private Network) for Opera 38, Opera has now added a low-power mode that the company promises could save up to 50 percent of your battery life.
The low-power mode is included in the final version of Opera 38, which is making its way onto the stable release channel today (June 8). This new battery-saving mode, which effectively cuts CPU usage, doesn’t kick in until you need it. Which for most people means when your laptop or tablet isn’t plugged in and charging.
Not only will this help when you’re out and about and not in close proximity of a mains adapter, it should also help you eke out better performance from older hardware. You know, the hardware Apple thinks it’s sad to own when there’s a brand new Mac with your name on it.
Binge-Watching Kills the Mood
Is technology responsible for us having less sex now than we were 20 years ago? Possibly so, at least according to David Spiegelhalter, the Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk at Cambridge University.
According to The Telegraph, Spiegelhalter was recently speaking at the Hay Festival, and asked the crowd:
“How many times have you had sex in the last four weeks? You can start seeing the changes in society. People are having less sex. Sexually active couples between 16 and 64 were asked and the median was five times in the last month in 1990, then four times in 2000 and three times in 2010. At this rate by 2030 couples are not going to be having any sex at all. Which is a very worrying trend!”
Spiegelhalter then expanded on why this could be happening, blaming technology in no uncertain terms (albeit with tongue slightly in cheek). He essentially thinks binge-watching could lead to the death of the human race, as birth rates are dropping. He continued:
“You say why? Statisticians say I don’t know. One of the researchers mentioned the word iPad. I think it’s the box set, Netflix. OMG I’ve got to watch the entire second series of Game of Thrones. The point is that this massive connectivity, the constant checking of our phones compared to just a few years ago when TV closed down at 10.30pm or whatever and there was nothing else to do. Even power cuts which helps. Now people are having less sex and it’s true.”
I’m pretty sure the eminent statistician wasn’t being entirely serious, but there is at least an element of truth to what he said. Whether we’re staying up late streaming endless shows on Netflix or going to bed to stare at our phones for hours, our overuse of technology is preventing us doing something else much more fun.
You Can Now Call People on Slack
— Slack (@SlackHQ) June 7, 2016
Slack now lets you call anyone on a team with you. This adds another way of communicating with team members, as if messaging in channels and messaging either individuals or groups directly wasn’t enough. Calling is available on the Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS apps, and on Chrome.
Slack has been beta testing its calls feature for several months, but it should now be available across the board. Free teams can make one-on-one calls, while paid teams can also make group calls. Slack has even added emojis which are displayed over the top of your avatar for a moment.
Netflix Password Resets Are Incoming
You don't know how many friends you have until people start texting to ask why your Netflix password has changed.
— Mark (@MShrayber) June 7, 2016
One of the many ways hackers obtain login credentials is sending out password resets which look legit, but really just harvest your password for said service. The problem is, while phishing emails are commonplace, websites do actually send real password resets out on occasion. As Netflix is doing right now.
Netflix is taking action as a result of the recent LinkedIn hack and MySpace hack. While the credentials were stolen several years ago, they have only recently made it onto the open market. And if use the same password across multiple sites, it’s time to change things up.
The upshot of all this is that you shouldn’t ignore an email informing you Netflix has reset your password, because it may well be legit. Instead, investigate the source, and then log out of your email and log in to Netflix in a separate window. Oh, and stop using the same password across multiple websites!
Less Tech = Better Relationships
And finally, Professor Spiegelhalter (see above) isn’t the only one who has noticed technology getting in the way of love and romance. Condom makers Durex has also spotted the problem, and realized that if we all stop having sex, the company will go out of business. Which isn’t good.
In an effort to explore whether “digital distraction” is ruining couples’ sex lives while they’re on holiday, Durex ran an experiment. It invited a bunch of couples on a dream holiday, and confiscated the smartphones from half of the group. The video above shows what the couples experienced as a result. Suffice to say, some things changed as a result.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you planning to try out the latest version of Opera? Has technology had a negative impact on your love life? Will you be making use of Slack’s new calling feature? Do you use the same password across multiple websites? Would you ever leave your phone at home when you go on holiday?
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.