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Yahoo kills things, Facebook dumbs down, PayPal calls you, Google Maps goes diving, video games get inducted, and The Drone invents a new horror genre.

Yahoo Kills Maps and Pipes

yahoo-maps

Yahoo is killing off both Yahoo Maps and Yahoo Pipes, as well as Mail and Contacts for older devices, and a range of homepages specific to certain countries. This is the latest move in Marissa Mayer’s effort to streamline Yahoo into a smaller, more efficient company made up of core products people actually use.

The Yahoo Maps website will disappear at the end of June. However, Maps will still exist as a secondary service in support of Search and Flickr. Yahoo Pipes How To Edit Existing RSS Feeds With Yahoo! Pipes How To Edit Existing RSS Feeds With Yahoo! Pipes Read More is disappearing altogether on September 30th, being switched to read-only mode from August 30th to “help developers migrate their data”.

Country-specific services vanishing include Yahoo Music in France and Canada, Yahoo Movies in Spain, Yahoo TV in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, and Canada, and Yahoo Autos in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy. In addition, Yahoo Mail will no longer work on iOS 4 or older, and Yahoo Contacts will no longer work on Mac OS X 10.7 Lion or older.

According to Yahoo, this is all “progress,” but the changes are bound to upset some users. Feel free to air your grievances in the comments below.

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Facebook Lite for the Developing World

facebook-lite-app

Facebook has launched a stripped down version of its Android app aimed at people in the developing world. Facebook Lite cuts a considerable amount of the crap few people ever use, and instead focuses on the core elements that most of us use on a daily basis 10 Reasons Why People Still Use Facebook [We Ask You Results] 10 Reasons Why People Still Use Facebook [We Ask You Results] The main reason people still use Facebook is because everyone else uses it. Go figure. Read More .

This means the “News Feed, status updates, photos, notifications and more” are all included, but extraneous elements such as videos, games, and events are all stripped out. Which makes Facebook Lite less than 1MB in size, ensuring it’s “fast to install and quick to load”.

Facebook Lite is aimed at users with patchy network coverage and/or limited data quotas. Initially available in countries across Asia, Facebook Lite is due to be rolled out to parts of Latin America, Africa, and Europe in the coming weeks.

PayPal Can Now Call You at Home

PayPal’s new terms and conditions means that users in the United States may receive automated marketing calls, emails, and text messages from the company and its affiliates. The relevant passage states, “You consent to receive autodialed or pre-recorded calls and text messages from PayPal at any telephone number that you have provided us or that we have otherwise obtained.”

This has caused consternation amongst users, who are being advised to “close your account before July 1, 2015 … [to] not be bound by the amended terms.” PayPal is insisting users will have the chance to opt out of these unsolicited communications, but automatically opting everybody in in the first place is the main source of complaint. Here’s hoping PayPal listens to it users, or they may go looking for alternatives Making Online Payments - 5 PayPal Alternatives to Consider Making Online Payments - 5 PayPal Alternatives to Consider Is PayPal the best and most secure method of making online payments? We look at 5 PayPal alternatives that you should consider. Read More .

Google Maps Goes Underwater

June 8th is World Oceans Day, designed to honor the world’s oceans and protect them for future generations. To commemorate this year’s event, Google Maps has explored the oceans that cover 71 percent of the Earth’s surface. The result is new Street View imagery 5 Amazing Google Street View Mashups You Need To Try 5 Amazing Google Street View Mashups You Need To Try If you’ve ever used Google Maps (which I assume you have), you will know all about Street View. But did you also know there are many cool, funny and useful Street View mashups that let... Read More captured at more than 40 locations around the world, including Bali, the Bahamas, and the Great Barrier Reef.

Users can explore these locations, many of which are hard for the average tourist to reach. However, these images also form a digital record of the oceans as they exist right now, which means scientists can use the data to track any changes over time. So, this is both entertaining and useful. Thanks, Google.

The World Video Game Hall of Fame

Six classic games have been inducted into the World Video Game Hall of Fame. The first titles to be given the honor are Pong, Pac-Man, Tetris, Super Mario Bros., Doom, and World of Warcraft. Some people have expressed surprise at the inclusion of Doom and World of Warcraft, but they have both, in their own way, contributed greatly to the video games industry 10 Video Games That Changed The World 10 Video Games That Changed The World These are the games that changed everything, that signalled the next step in the evolution of video games, and that needed to exist for the video games industry as we know it today to exist... Read More .

As John-Paul Dyson, the director of the museum’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games said, “Games become eligible for the World Video Game Hall of Fame by meeting four basic criteria. They’re iconic, have longevity, reach across international boundaries, and exert influence on the design and development of other games, on other forms of entertainment, or on popular culture and society.” In which case, these six definitely qualify.

The Drone Spoofs the Horror Movie Genre

And finally, The Drone is a fictional horror movie as imagined by Jordan Rubin, showing what happens when a drone gains sentience and starts harassing an innocent couple. Alternative titles include, “When Good Drones Go Bad,” and, “When Drones Attack”.

This is a very professional movie trailer. So much so that we weren’t actually sure whether it was real or not on first viewing. And actually, perhaps someone should turn The Drone into a full-length feature. Surely anything is possible in a world where Sharknado is a thing. [H/T Gizmodo]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will you miss Yahoo Maps or Yahoo Pipes? Are you interested in using Facebook Lite? Would you like the option to opt out of PayPal’s automated phone calls? Should Google explore more of the oceans? What titles would you induct into the World Video Game Hall of Fame? Would you watch The Drone if it was a real movie?

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.

Image Credits: Tenz1225, Jason Tester via Flickr

  1. Douglas Wilson
    June 8, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    That was a great trailer. Someone should make that a movie

  2. Andrew Kelley
    June 8, 2015 at 10:12 pm

    The the heads up on PayPal cranking up the spam phone calls was a wonderful tip, thank you. I use PayPal a great deal with my home PC Repair business and really can't do without it. Of course with my phone being tied in with every stinking account that I have to make on-line you can only imagine the number of spam calls I get each day. I have gone so far as to dedicate a small NETBox PC solely to filtering the phone line using PhoneTray Pro. All those 800 numbers and any others I deem as spam are gone (they don't even ring the phone) so I can maintain some small amount of the sanity I have left. Matter of fact I have all of the NYC area codes blocked all ready. ;)

  3. David Strube
    June 5, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on PayPal. I'm giving them 10 days to change this from an opt-out feature to an opt-in feature; then on 6-15, when they haven't listened, I'm closing my PayPal account.

    • David Strube
      June 5, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      Well that's interesting. I did a search through PayPal's updated user agreement, and found no references to "autodial", or even "dial". There are 28 instances of "phone", none of them seeming nefarious, except in the definitions section, "Unique Identifier" can also mean phone (only 4 instances of that), and so can "Information" - 150+ instances of that- & screw searching through all those. So either they're sneaking it in through some obfuscated language, or the bbc's article is out of date (or misinformed). (The Wayback Machine doesn't have an archive of the page, so it's hard to say.)

      • Susan Bontly
        June 8, 2015 at 10:38 pm

        Here's the link to the new agreement - information cited in BBC article & here is in paragraph 1.10 under Our Relationship with You. As far as I can see, there are no op-out instructions in the agreement for the phone calls.

  4. fcd76218
    June 5, 2015 at 12:54 pm

    "the changes are bound to upset some users."
    ANY changes always upset some users. People hate change no matter what they say.

    "Facebook Lite for the Developing World"
    I wonder if this will be eventually made available to the users in the "developed" world; users that don't want all the bells and whistles and gotchas of the full-blown FB?

    "PayPal Can Now Call You at Home"
    Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky!

    "Google Maps Goes Underwater"
    I guess Google is trying to be the firstest with the mostest. They ought concentrate on making the directions that Google Maps provides more accurate.

    I recently wanted to go from a town north of New York City to Philadelphia. Google Maps routed me over some of the most notoriously congested roads in the NY Metro area and Philadelphia with no regards to traffic conditions or construction. A trip that should take 2.5-3 hours, would have taken at least four. After so many years in existence, you'd think Google Maps would have learned what roads are always congested.

    Out of curiosity, I asked Google Maps how to get to Philadelphia by public transportation. Another disaster. Google Maps turned a ride on a commuter train into New York City, a short walk to another railroad station and a train ride to Philadelphia into a commuter train ride part way, two bus rides, a subway ride and another bus ride just to get to the Philadelphia-bound train.

    BTW - Mapquest isn't much better but at least it routes you around traffic and construction.

  5. Angela Randall
    June 5, 2015 at 11:32 am

    No, not PIPES! Aaaargh. Is there even a good alternative?

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