Twitter Wants To Be Facebook, Selfies Really Can Kill You… [Tech News Digest]

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Twitter desperately wants to be Facebook, how selfies kill more people than sharks, Microsoft fixes InPrivate Edge browsing, a collection of Windows 3.1 shareware, and how Star Wars: The Force Awakens should have ended.

Twitter Eyes Uncertain Future

Twitter is in trouble. It desperately wants to be Facebook, but just doesn’t have the number of users needed to be the next big social network. However, that’s not going to stop those in charge from trying to make Twitter look and feel more like Facebook, even against users’ wishes.

As promised, Twitter is rolling out its new algorithmic timeline. This places recent tweets Twitter considers to be more important to you at the top of your timeline, like an extended version of the existing While You Were Away feature. The algorithmic timeline is currently optional, and you’ll have to switch it on by selecting, “Show me the best Tweets first” under Settings.

Ironically, Twitter has launched this new feature at the same time as its latest financial report. This shows that Twitter is flat-lining in terms of growth, with the number of monthly active users actually dropping for the first time in its history. Twitter has 305 million users, which compares very unfavorably to Facebook’s 1.6 billion users.

It’s this disconnect between Twitter’s ambitions and the reality of its situation that those in charge need to address. Twitter is not Facebook, and never will be Facebook. It’s too niche, and lacks the broad appeal of Mark Zuckerberg’s creation. However, a good percentage of those 305 million users love Twitter, so they are the people Twitter should be catering for.

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Unfortunately, that isn’t the case, as the new algorithmic timeline is wholly designed to attract new users. In other words, Twitter needs to stop trying to be like Facebook and concentrate on being Twitter instead.

Selfies Kill More People Than Sharks

It turns out that selfies kill more people than sharks do. And by quite a margin. In 2015, just eight people died as a result of shark attacks, while 28 people died as a result of selfies. Only 17 people died climbing Mount Everest, while 28 died while skateboarding.

These statistics all come from Zachary Crockett of Priceonomics. He cataloged selfie-related deaths from the past three years, and found that the most likely candidate to die while taking a selfie is a 21-year-old male from India. The most likely cause of death? Falling from a height, followed closely by drowning.

So, what does all of this tell us? That people are stupid, and they take extraordinary risks just to capture the perfect selfie. And if you think that’s a little harsh, just read some of the stories behind these untimely deaths. Selfies can be harmless fun, but they’re not worth risking your life over.

Microsoft Fixes Edge Privacy

Microsoft has fixed its recent Edge privacy problem. As outlined at the beginning of the month, websites visited while browsing using InPrivate mode were being cached as they would when browsing normally. This meant a hacker could view your history regardless of whether or not you were browsing privately.

However, as reported by Ubergizmo, now that Microsoft is detailing all updates made to Windows 10, we know that the company has, “Fixed issue with Microsoft Edge browser caching visited URLs while using InPrivate browsing”. As long as you have the KB3135173 update installed, InPrivate should be working as advertised.

Try Windows 3.1 Shareware

Hot on the heels of The Malware Museum comes The Windows 3.x Showcase, a collection of old software from the Windows 3.1 days. This, as reported by Ars Technica, is all sitting on The Internet Archive in emulated form ready to try out directly in your Web browser.

There are more than 1,500 downloads and counting available, including Castle of the Winds, Brickbuster, SkiFree, and WinRisk, all of which are likely to give older people who remember these programs hours of fun. And the rest of us? Minutes of fun.

How The Force Awakens Should Have Ended

And finally, I can only imagine that everybody who is going to go see Star Wars: The Force Awakens will have done so by now. Which means we can post this video despite it containing major spoilers. If you haven’t seen it then a) you really should, and b) please don’t click Play.

For the rest of us, this video shows how Star Wars: The Force Awakens should have ended. At least in the minds of the guys behind HISHE. They also poke fun at some of the other major scenes from the film. Because, like it or not, this movie wasn’t perfect. [H/T Sploid]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you use Twitter? If not, why not? Are selfies actually dangerous? Or are people just dumb? Do you use Microsoft Edge? If so, what do you think of it? What software do you remember from the Windows 3.1 days? Were you pleased with everything that happened in The Force Awakens?

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: Alan O’Rourke via Flickr

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