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Today in Tech News Digest, Paper fights Paper in a story akin to David and Goliath, Windows 8.1 Update 1 leaks online, Google officially bans porn apps from Chromecast, Flappy Bird flies around the world, Apple releases its latest commercial, and Esurance is trolled on Twitter.

Paper Vs. Paper

Facebook’s new Paper app Facebook To Launch A Curated Visual News Reader Called Paper Facebook To Launch A Curated Visual News Reader Called Paper On February 3rd, get ready to download your next toy for iOS, as Facebook prepares to launch a news reader app called Paper, the day before their 10th birthday. Read More is now available for download to iOS devices in the U.S. And it’s receiving some very positive reactions, with TechCrunch suggesting it “could be a Facebook replacement,” and The Verge labeling it “the best Facebook app ever.” There’s just one problem; there’s another Paper, and the company behind it aren’t happy that the name has been used so brazenly by Facebook.

The other Paper, the one that doesn’t belong to Facebook, is a sketch app for iPad Why The Drawing & Sketching App Paper Won Apple's iPad App For 2012 Why The Drawing & Sketching App Paper Won Apple's iPad App For 2012 The sketch and drawing app, Paper, recently won Apple's 2012 iPad App of the Year Award, and it is very easy to see why. Even if you're not an artist but are a true fan... Read More developed by a start-up called FiftyThree. As noted by Nick Bilton at Bits, FiftyThree has released a public statement asking Facebook to stop using the name, but to no avail. Facebook has so far declined to comment in public.

This is shaping up to be a battle between the behemoth that is Facebook and the little guy that is FiftyThree. In the meantime the publicity isn’t harming either party.

Windows 8.1 Update 1 Leaks Online

Windows 8.1 Update 1 has leaked online, appearing on several file-sharing sites despite not being due for release until March. The version released is only an early build but it still reveals some obvious changes, including a title bar for all ‘Metro’ apps, and more customization options for the Start Screen. Will these changes be enough to persuade people to upgrade from Windows XP Windows XP Lives, iPhone Catches Fire, Selfie Secures Sitcom [Tech News Digest] Windows XP Lives, iPhone Catches Fire, Selfie Secures Sitcom [Tech News Digest] Windows XP refuses to die, Yahoo's new search options, iPhone catches fire and burns a teenager, indie developers fight back against King's 'Candy' trademark, and ABC TV pilot based solely on selfies. Read More ?

Chromecast SDK Released, Minus Porn

Google has released the Cast SDK (Software Development Kit) to all developers looking to make apps for Chromecast. Unfortunately for all fans of pornography, “content that contains nudity, graphic sex acts, or sexually explicit material” is officially banned in the Terms of Service.

Chromecast was released six months ago, but until now only selected apps were allowed on the service. The release of the SDK means third-party apps will start appearing soon. This strongly suggests Google is serious about growing the impact of Chromecast, and an expansion into international markets is sure to follow.

The Flappy Bird Phenomenon

You may have heard of Flappy Bird by now, as this frustratingly difficult mobile game has dominated the charts for both iOS apps and Android apps recently. It’s not a great game, with simple gameplay mechanics and poor visuals, but it’s succeeding thanks to its insane difficulty level, which means people keep playing and failing, playing and failing, repeat ad nauseum.

Flappy Bird was created by Vietnamese game developer Nguyen Ha Dong, who TechCrunch reports as suggesting the popularity of the game is “luck.VentureBeat has charted the worldwide popularity of Flappy Bird, and while the U.S. accounts for most downloads, its popularity is spreading to other countries fast. This game is clearly not going anywhere, but if you want to retain your sanity I advise you steer clear of Flappy Bird.

Apple Celebrates 1.24.14

Apple recently celebrated the 30th birthday of its Macintosh computer Apple Celebrates, Google 4 Samsung, NSA Children, Xbox Fire [Tech News Digest] Apple Celebrates, Google 4 Samsung, NSA Children, Xbox Fire [Tech News Digest] Apple Mac's 30 years, Google and Samsung's patent partnership, NSA wooing children, rare NES game sold for $100k, Pinterest animated GIFs, Google adds context to websites, and man runs into inferno for Xbox. Read More , with January 24, 2014 marking the third decade of this phenomenal piece of hardware. As reported by Ina Fried at Re/code, Apple kept one of its celebrations quiet, with a short film marking the occasion being shot in 10 countries on five continents.

The film, embedded above, shows people around the world using Apple products, and was filmed entirely using iPhones and edited using Macs. Whether you love Apple or hate Apple, you have to admit they know how to make compelling commercials An Apple (Ad) A Day: Top Ten Commercials You’re Likely To Remember An Apple (Ad) A Day: Top Ten Commercials You’re Likely To Remember Apple is a company that you either love or hate; there's very little middle ground. This is because you either buy into the company and its culture or reject it outright. Seeing as I don't... Read More . Interestingly, Apple chose to post the video to YouTube rather than pay millions for an advertising spot during Super Bowl XLVIII. Talking of which…

Esurance Trolled By Twitter

And finally, Esurance has learned just how dangerous it is to use social networking for advertising. The company is offering to give $1.5 million away to someone, anyone, using the #EsuranceSave30 hashtag on Twitter. Millions of people have duly used the hashtag, but not all have been complimentary about the company.

As noted by CNET, obscenities, racism, and general nastiness have been uttered alongside the hashtag, and all of these tweets may be eligible to win the money. There are also people setting up fake Twitter accounts to try and fool people into thinking they have won. Will companies never learn that the Internet is a beast not easily tamed How Not To Twitter: 7 Hashtag Fails To Learn From How Not To Twitter: 7 Hashtag Fails To Learn From This is a list of seven rather embarrassing hashtag fails that demonstrate how this simple shorthand can go horribly wrong. Thankfully, there are lessons to be learned here. Read More ?

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Dan Taylr

  1. dragonmouth
    February 5, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    Is Facebook going to use its $billions to steeamroller FiftyThree into changing the name of their app? Or will FiftyThree prevail?

    IMNSHO, Zuckerberg and FB will show their true colors and crush FiftyThree. Why should the great Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook allow puny companies such as FiftyThree to block their way to glory?! In the spirit of the Great Robber Barons they will squash this pipsqueak of a company like an annoying bug.

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