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The most-read Wikipedia entries of 2015, how streaming beat downloads in 2015, the end of Windows 8, Sony tries to trademark the term “Let’s Play”, and how a simple mod makes GTA V more entertaining.

The Most-Popular Wikipedia Entries

Wikipedia remains one of the most important websites on the Internet 7 Most Important Websites We Can't Live Without 7 Most Important Websites We Can't Live Without The World Wide Web (now more commonly known simply as the Web) has been with us for over 20 years now, and in that relatively short space of time it has unequivocally changed the world.... Read More . Sure, it has its issues, which means some entries aren’t as factual as they should be, but overall, Wikipedia can be used as it’s intended: as an online encyclopedia available to the masses. And the usage statistics for 2015 show that’s the case.

Thanks to Andrew West, a Senior Research Scientist at Verisign Labs, who collected and collated the information, we know the most-read Wikipedia entries for 2015. The Top 10 are listed below, but the Wikimedia Blog has listed the Top 25. For those who are fascinated by this sort of thing, West’s page on Wikipedia lists the Top 5000.

  1. Deaths in 2015 (27,885,484)
  2. Chris Kyle (27,765,570)
  3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (23,523,985)
  4. Facebook (22,330,302)
  5. Stephen Hawking (20,060,944)
  6. Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (19,335,481)
  7. List of Bollywood films of 2015 (18,171,094)
  8. Google (18,107,283)
  9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (17,409,029)
  10. United States (16,855,064)

So, what can we determine from this list? 1. People like to know who has died, especially if they’re famous. 2. Star Wars is huge, suggesting Disney has invested its money wisely. 3. Facebook and Google are the most interesting tech companies, with people actively looking for background information on the two corporations.

Beyond that, movies are making a comeback, with Furious 7, Jurassic World, and 50 Shades of Grey all making the Top 25. If the United States elected presidents based on levels of interest, Donald Trump would sweep to victory Clicking Consequences: Why Donald Trump Is Your Fault Clicking Consequences: Why Donald Trump Is Your Fault Every time you click an article about Donald Trump, the media thinks that is what you want to read, and so it spends more time talking about Trump. Stop clicking! Read More . And a distinct lack of current news events made an impression on Wikipedia, with the exception of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. So, celebrities and plastic politicians are more important than world affairs. How depressing.

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Streaming Is the Future of Music

With each year that passes it becomes clearer that streaming is the future Why Adele Is Wrong to Stop You Streaming Her New Album Why Adele Is Wrong to Stop You Streaming Her New Album Adele is refusing to let services such as Spotify and Apple Music stream her new album 25. Which is a boneheaded decision that's bad for her, her fans, and her record label. Read More of, well, everything. But especially music. Last year is no exception, with streaming growing massively during 2015. However, while this shift has inevitably impacted on album sales, streaming hasn’t had such a devastating effect on downloads as naysayers and doom-mongers predicted.

According to Nielsen, as reported by TechCrunch, the number of streams played through music streaming services doubled in 2015. In 2014, 164.5 billion songs were streamed, while in 2015, 317 billion songs were streamed. Album sales dropped around 6 percent in 2015, but in 2014 they dropped 11 percent. Which suggests there is no correlation between the increasing popularity of streaming and the dwindling interest in buying albums.

Streaming may be the future, but it still has some catching up to do to become the preferred method for discovering new music. Radio is still number one in that regard (61%), followed by word-of-mouth (45%), and movie soundtracks (31%), with streaming coming in fourth place with 27%. Nielsen’s full report on the music industry is available here.

Microsoft Kills Off Windows 8

Microsoft is ending support for Windows 8 tomorrow (Jan. 12, 2016). This means Microsoft will longer provide security patches for the operating system, condemning it to the dustbin of history alongside Windows XP Why Windows XP Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon Why Windows XP Won't Be Going Away Anytime Soon People cannot let go of Windows XP. In businesses and homes the world over, it will stick around. We spoke with three Windows XP users from different generations and backgrounds to find out why. Read More and all of the other outdated versions of Windows.

It has only been just over three years since Microsoft launched Windows 8, but Windows 8.1 has superseded it, hence the expedited end of support. As Windows 8.1 is a free upgrade for anyone running Windows 8 How To Safely Upgrade To Windows 8.1 How To Safely Upgrade To Windows 8.1 Are horror stories of how Windows 8.1 upgrades went horribly wrong keeping you from upgrading yourself? If you are longing to try Windows 8.1, you can now learn from other people's lessons and upgrade safely! Read More , there really is no excuse not to bite the bullet with this one.

After upgrading to Windows 8.1, you’ll have the option to also upgrade to Windows 10 for free 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 10 Compelling Reasons to Upgrade to Windows 10 Windows 10 is coming on July 29. Is it worth upgrading for free? If you are looking forward to Cortana, state of the art gaming, or better support for hybrid devices - yes, definitely! And... Read More . And with Windows 10 being supported until at least 2020, this seems a solid solution.

Sony Wants to Trademark “Let’s Play”

Sony is trying to trademark the term, “Let’s Play”, which YouTubers 6 Awesome Books by YouTubers Actually Worth Reading 6 Awesome Books by YouTubers Actually Worth Reading It took a considerable amount of searching, but there are at least six books from popular YouTubers that are well worth reading. Read on to find out which books by YouTubers are actually good. Read More use to refer to videos of themselves playing through various video games. According to Geek.com, Sony has filed a trademark for the term, with the aim of stopping competitors using it.

This is a bizarre turn of events, as “Let’s Play” is a term used by everybody and their dog at this point in time. Even if Sony claims to have invented the term, which isn’t immediately clear, it’s now in such common usage that the company has surely lost all claims over it.

Watch Dogs Mod Messes With GTA V [NSFW]

And finally, while Watch Dogs failed to impress a lot of people, a lot of fun could be had hacking 5 Must-See Documentaries About Hacking and Hackers 5 Must-See Documentaries About Hacking and Hackers What is hacking? Why is hacking simultaneously glamorous and nebulous? How much of the hacking community do we actually understand? Do hackers deserve their reputation? These documentaries will answer all of these questions and more. Read More into the various systems present across its sandbox city. The game allowed you to hack into traffic lights, security cameras, and more besides.

Now, someone has brought the Watch Dogs hacking functionality to Grand Theft Auto V. Cue traffic chaos, easy getaways, and explosions aplenty. Game mods such as these 5 of the Best GTA V Mods Available Right Now 5 of the Best GTA V Mods Available Right Now Read More may be the only good reason to play on PC rather than consoles. Cue PC gamers spitting bile at their computer screens.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

How often do you find yourself reading Wikipedia? Have you switched to streaming music yet? Are you still using Windows 8? If so, why haven’t you upgraded to Windows 8.1? How do you feel about Sony trying to trademark “Let’s Play”? What’s the best video game mod you have ever seen?

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.

Image Credits: Johann Dreo via Flickr

  1. Philip Bates
    January 12, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Good to see Age of Ultron as one of the most searched-for Wiki pages. To me, it's one of the most underrated films, and James Spader's performance was utterly brilliant. I'd be especially interested to see the most read IMDB pages of 2015 to give us a good perspective of the best shows and the rising stars.

  2. likefun butnot
    January 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    A problem with ending Windows 8 support is that a small number of systems have orphaned hardware configurations and simply can't be upgraded to 8.1. Those aren't necessarily new computers, but to have a major hardware requirement change in what is normally a free upgrade is a pretty lame development, especially for an operating system that's only three years old.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 12, 2016 at 12:23 am

      Damn, that's a good point. Three years isn't long, but Microsoft considers Windows 8.1 to be a service pack, so the onus is on the user to upgrade to continue receiving support.

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