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Also, 12 days of Microsoft deals, Digital Einstein goes live, Uncharted 4 gameplay footage, 3D-printing a lightsaber, and breaking Track & Field records.

Mark Zuckerberg Defends Free Facebook

Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has defended the social network he cooked up in his dorm room at Harvard. In particular, he has defended its status as a free service paid for by advertising, which has been in the firing line of late thanks to newcomers such as Ello Meet Ello: The Hip New Social Network You Need To Know About Meet Ello: The Hip New Social Network You Need To Know About It has been said that when a social network makes a small change, it cause a schism, sending users fleeing elsewhere. They're heading to ello.co. Read More .

When the Fappening occurred Titillating Tweets: The 18 Funniest Reactions To The Celebrity Nudes Leak [Weird & Wonderful Web] Titillating Tweets: The 18 Funniest Reactions To The Celebrity Nudes Leak [Weird & Wonderful Web] Opinions on this saga have varied. We are not here to preach, so, presented without judgment on their suitability, here are some of the funniest tweets that appeared on Twitter in the aftermath. Read More — with celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence having private nude photos leaked on the Internet via iCloud How A "Minor" Data Breach Made Headline News & Ruined Reputations How A "Minor" Data Breach Made Headline News & Ruined Reputations Read More — Apple CEO Tim Cook defended his company by stating, “A few years ago, users of internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Despite Facebook not being mentioned by name, the association Cook is making is rather obvious. And this is led Zuckerberg to defend Facebook while attacking Apple in a recent interview with Wired.

Zuckerberg countered, “A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers. I think it’s the most ridiculous concept. What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!

It’s difficult to disagree with Zuckerberg on this occasion, as Apple is well-known for marking its products up Apple Could & Should Cut Its Prices [We Ask You Results] Apple Could & Should Cut Its Prices [We Ask You Results] Opinions ranged from, "Yes, definitely," to, "No, of course not," with a, "Who bloody cares??" included for good measure. Read More with premium pricing. And while few of us actively enjoy handing data over to Facebook, Google, and others in order to enjoy using their services for free, most of us would balk at actually paying for the privilege of doing so.

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Do you agree with Tim Cook or Mark Zuckerberg? Let us know in the comments below.

See Cortana In Action On Windows 10

Cortana is starting to be rolled into Windows 10, with WinBeta getting an exclusive first look at how the digital assistant will look on the desktop.

Cortana clearly isn’t quite ready for her big close-up, with most of the functionality not yet working and Cortana exhibiting a distinct lack of personality Cortana Talks Back: Laugh, Cry & Love With Windows Phone's Digital Assistant Cortana Talks Back: Laugh, Cry & Love With Windows Phone's Digital Assistant Bored with no one to talk to? Why not strike up a conversation with your Windows Phone? These cues will make Cortana talk. Read More at this moment in time. Still, it’s another sign that Windows 10 is shaping up Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More to be one of the better versions of Microsoft’s love-it-or-hate-it operating system.

Microsoft’s 12 Days Of Deals Begins Today

With the holidays upon us, Microsoft is feeling rather generous. So, in order to get rid of unwanted stock reward its customers, the company is holding a 12 Days Of Deals promotion.

Microsoft’s 12 Days Of Deals starts today (December 8), with the product kicking the whole thing off being the 7-inch Toshiba Encore Mini Tablet with a 16GB SD card available for just $79. A new deal will be revealed at 8am (ET) every day between now and December 19.

Read Albert Einstein’s Documents Online

The Digital Einstein Papers, a website containing The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein, has gone live online. This opens access to 5,000 documents containing just a fraction of the eminent scientist’s work to anyone who wants to view them. And with many more documents due to be added to the site in the coming years, this is one domain you’d do well to bookmark for future reference.

The Epic Uncharted 4 Gameplay Trailer

The PlayStation 4 Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Ladies and gentlemen, the next generation of video game consoles is here, with the Sony PlayStation 4! Read More is finally due to get its killer app in the form of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. The video above shows 15 minutes of gameplay footage, and, if nothing else, Uncharted 4 sure looks pretty. It may have been delayed — from November 2013 to sometime in 2015 — but developer Naughty Dog has clearly put that extra development time to good use.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End was just one of the games announced at the PlayStation Experience The PlayStation Experience: The Best Announcements The PlayStation Experience: The Best Announcements Sony announced some awesome titles at PlayStation Experience 2014. If you missed it, here's the highlights. Read More this past weekend.

How To 3D-Print New Star Wars Lightsaber

You’ve watched the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: A Force Awakens The Force Awakens: 25 Alternative Names For Star Wars VII [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Force Awakens: 25 Alternative Names For Star Wars VII [Weird & Wonderful Web] Star Wars is back, with The Force Awakens due to be released on Dec. 18, 2015. Unhappy with the title, the Internet suggested its own alternatives... Read More , and you’ve watched the best parodies of the new Star Wars movie The Farce Awakens: 11 Parodies Of The New Star Wars VII Trailer [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Farce Awakens: 11 Parodies Of The New Star Wars VII Trailer [Weird & Wonderful Web] Star Wars is back in a big, bad way, which gave Internet auteurs ample opportunity to create their own versions of the trailer for The Force Awakens. Read More , so what’s next on the agenda? Why, 3D-printing your own copy of the new three-pronged lightsaber via Instructables, of course. It may only be plastic, but it’s surely better than nothing.

Break World Records In Track & Field

And finally, while we all had our own special technique for beating friends at Track & Field, I suspect few of us ever thought of using a “personal massager” to break world records. But it turns out that the Hitachi Wand is quicker at getting you across the finishing line than any combination of fast finger action.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Do you side with Mark Zuckerberg or Tim Cook on Free vs. Expensive? Are you looking forward to Windows 10? Will you be visiting Digital Einstein to educate yourself?

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 Credit: Lord Jim via Flickr

  1. usadoug
    December 23, 2014 at 3:37 am

    Weeks go by without my using Facebook, it could go away and I wouldn't miss it. Even if I used it several time day as long it cant be tracked backed to me personally I wouldn't have problem with Facebook tracking my activity and packaging it to sell to third party The adsthey are so unobtrusive, so from the point the ads I see they, so called "privacy Issues" are life's small shit not to sweat. Ello exhibits what I find most annoy on the web, they have product to sell but they don't state the price up front. They may entice people away from Facebook but I doubt it. Many of my friends use it more as a way to kill time playing games and such. From what I can tell very few of them post something daily. My guess for those with many family members a fee of a dollar a member per month would be a deal breaker.

  2. Kati.Pea
    December 14, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Protecting user data? Excuse me while I choke to death. The day after I decided to trust Facebook and put in my real email addy was the day my email was hacked and along with it my bank account. No question re: the connection to Facebook. It is clearly what caused this to happen. I'm now committed to using my gmail addy.

  3. Jock Bliss
    December 9, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    In a sense, both Apple and Facebook are essentially babbling about nothing of consequence. The issue regarding privacy has almopst nothing to do with whether you are a free or paid service or whether you are considered a product or a customer. That kind of discussion is windyfoggery, to take the focus off the heart of the matter -- neither type of service offers any essential control by the users of the services . Both serve their own interests at the expense of the user. The rest is just baloney sandwich!

    • Dave Parrack
      December 12, 2014 at 9:46 pm

      That's certainly one way of looking at it. You think they're both as bad as one another when it comes to protecting user data then?

  4. charles simkins
    December 9, 2014 at 5:14 am

    As I have a computer, not an old one, that will run Windows 8, but crashes on Windows 8.1, and crashed on the beta of Windows 10. So it had to be reset at the factory, the BIOS was screwed up or something by Windows 8.1. Would I ever try Windows 10? Not on your life MS. I won't mention the manufacturer as maybe it is their fault, but what made Windows 8.1 so much different than Windows 8? At some point there has to be some real testing of software against existing systems; and I have been using PCs for 30 years and this is the really first time I have had something like this happen.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 12, 2014 at 9:47 pm

      Has this put you off Windows forever? Are you eyeing up Linux or OS X as possible alternatives?

  5. Zhong
    December 9, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Does anyone know when's the perfect time to buy gaming pc components at their lowest price?

    • Dave Parrack
      December 12, 2014 at 9:48 pm

      I personally don't. Perhaps someone else can chime in and help. Unless you're a spambot, in which case, go away.

  6. Martin B
    December 8, 2014 at 11:17 pm

    Zuckerberg's defense of his company is certainly a legitimate one, whether he means what he says or not.
    However, at least for now, spending money is much more a conscious decision than giving away your information passively, so I personally prefer the Microsoft model (as far as that topic goes).

    • Dave Parrack
      December 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      The Microsoft model or the Apple model? They differ in some ways.

  7. WinDork
    December 8, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    Not that I am a fan of Facebook or Apple, but Zucker@#$! doesn't have enough fur on his grapes yet to be able to challenge Tim Cook.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 12, 2014 at 9:49 pm

      Fight, fight, fight! I suspect you're correct though. Cook would take him down.

  8. Julia Hengstler
    December 8, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Re. the free versus paid, I think the issue is that when we pay, we are clear that we are entering into a transaction with a company. We try to determine what we are getting and whether it is worth the value attached to it. With "free" online services, the costs are implicit--hidden even. It is not clearly understood that we are trading our personal data & behavioural profiling that is then used for marketing--sometimes by third parties. It is this value that we trade for access to the service. So "free" is really a misnomer; as Chris Hoofnagle, a professor of law at Berkeley points out (https://www.law.berkeley.edu/php-programs/faculty/facultyProfile.php?facID=6494) it is actually a barter. Hoofnagle also points out that because these types of service are classified as free as per the FTC in the US, consumers get little protection. If these services, were however, classified as barter, it would be a whole new ballgame. Hoofnagle & his co-author Whittington make the case that when the FTC reviews the "free" classification in 2017, these services should NOT be in the group. See their paper, "Unpacking Privacy's Price" http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2059154. It's pretty dense reading, but it presents the case that the FTC should be treating our interactions with 'free' services like Facebook as a barter.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 12, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      That's an interesting way of looking at it. I think it's taken a while for the mainstream public to catch on to the fact that nothing is genuinely free. Even MakeUseOf, which makes money from advertising, isn't free.

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