Tech News

Amazon Kills Flash, Spotify Starts Stalking You… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 21-08-2015

Amazon fires Flash, Spotify wants your data, test drive a new phone, HBO Now on Amazon Fire TV, Giphy Cam makes GIFs easier, and strangers play a real-life FPS on Chatroulette.


Amazon Bans Flash Ads on its Site

Amazon has hammered another nail in the coffin of Adobe Flash. And we bless the company for having done so. This hammering is as a result of a change of company policy, with Amazon no longer accepting Flash ads on either or the Amazon Advertising Platform.

This change, which will go into effect on Sept. 1, is a reaction to the various measures being taken to remove Flash from the Web. Apple and YouTube dumped Flash a long time ago, and more recently both Google and Mozilla have taken steps to eradicate the multimedia platform from its Web browsers, Chrome and Firefox, respectively.

Adobe Flash is seen as being riddled with vulnerabilities, many of which have been taken advantage of by hackers and cybercriminals. The latest effort, which seems to be gaining momentum, comes as a result of two new vulnerabilities discovered in July. These led us to claim, “Adobe Flash Must Die, Adobe Flash Must Die, Apple Suffers From Staingate, & More... [Tech News Digest] Facebook bashes Flash, Apple scrubs those stains, Walmart launches Black Friday 2, Nintendo suffers a real loss, Spotify maps the world, and R5-D4 ends it all. Read More ” which now looks more likely than ever before.

Amazon is insisting this is the right move to make at this juncture, stating, “This change ensures customers continue to have a positive, consistent experience across Amazon and its affiliates, and that ads displayed across the site function properly for optimal performance”.


Spotify Changes its Privacy Policy

Spotify wants to know more about you. A lot more. And in some creepy, stalkerish ways. That is at least the assumption to be made from Spotify’s latest privacy policy, which all users are being asked to agree to if they want to continue using the music streaming service Discover New Music with Spotify's Automagic Playlists Spotify has recently released several new ways of generating unique playlists that will help you discover awesome new music. We're here to guide you through these automagic playlist makers. Read More .

Wired has a good rundown of the changes, which include: The ability to “collect information stored on your mobile device, such as contacts, photos, or media files,” “collect information about your location based on, for example, your phone’s GPS location or other forms of locating mobile devices,” and “information related to your interactions with the Service on the Third Party Application [Facebook], as well as information about your publicly available activity on the Third Party Application”.

Sadly, but not surprisingly, there is no option to opt out of these changes, with Spotify insisting, “If you don’t agree with the terms of this Privacy Policy, then please don’t use the Service”. Because a lack of privacy seems to be the default with tech companies these days.

This change in policy, and the barrage of negative press that has resulted, couldn’t have come at a worse time for Spotify. Apple Music is now available to all Getting Started With Apple Music — What You Need to Know After the purchase of Beats last year, Apple has finally unleashed its streaming music service upon the world. Read More , and offers a real alternative for those who have stuck with Spotify to this point.


From an iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy

Samsung really wants you to buy one of its phones. Especially if you currently use an iPhone. Hence, a new promotion called The Ultimate Test Drive. As unfortunate as it may be for fans of Top Gear, there are no cars involved. Instead, you’re testing one of the new Samsung Galaxy handsets Samsung Unveils New Phones, Chromebooks Mean Business... [Tech News Digest] Samsung announces new handsets, Dell unveils new Chromebook, Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi, Donald Trump owns domain names, Fallout Shelter is available on Android, and eagles hate drones too. Read More .

As reported by Apple Insider, The Ultimate Test Drive lets iPhone users test drive a Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge+, or Galaxy Note 5 for 30 days for just $1. Guinea pigs get to choose their carriers, and the deal includes an activated sim and data plan. The only catch comes if you fail to return the handset within the 30 days, at which point you’ll be charged the full retail price.

HBO Now Lands on Amazon Fire TV

HBO Now is now available to watch on Amazon Fire TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick. This means that anyone who a) owns an Amazon Fire TV or Amazon Fire TV Stick, and b) who subscribes to HBO Now for $15-per month can watch the latter through the former.

HBO has added support for Fire TV devices just a couple of weeks after bringing Google Cast into the fold. Android TV support is on its way, leaving Roku as the only major platform without support. HBO Now originally launched as an exclusive on Apple devices Apple Watch Finally Arrives, HBO Now Exclusive to iDevices [Tech News Digest] Apple Watch arrives, HBO Now exclusive, Google releases Android 5.1, Facebook kills Friendfeed, Gigaom is no more, and Samsung builds a Dream Doghouse. Read More .


Make Better GIFs With Giphy Cam

Giphy Find The Best GIFs On The Web With Giphy, A Dedicated Search Engine For Animated Images GIFs are commonplace across the Web, but it's sometimes hard to find the right one for the right situation. Thankfully a new dedicated search engine just for GIFs has arrived. Its name is Giphy and... Read More has launched Giphy Cam [Broken URL Removed], a new iPhone app designed to help you make GIFs more quickly and more easily than ever before. As an added bonus, Giphy Cam also helps you make GIFs more awesome than ever before, with a range of options for those who like creating this particular artform GIFs, The Language Of The Web: Their History, Culture, and Future Everything you ever wanted to know about the history of GIFs, how they've evolved, and their cultural impact and significance. Read More .

Giphy Cam keeps things very simple, with filters, backgrounds, borders, and animations you can add to whatever footage you record. Options include a pair of goggly eyes, a creepy Donnie Darko rabbit head, and all manner of other strange additions to your stock footage.

Watch Strangers Play a Skype FPS

And finally, while first-person shooters Important First Person Shooters That Evolved The Genre [MUO Gaming] First and third person shooters are the most popular genre in the video game world right now. Call of Duty and Halo have the charts on lock down, and games like Battlefield and Crysis are... Read More are the most popular genre of video games right now, they all lack a certain realism. After all, you’re neither a soldier in the special forces or a space marine. Unless you are, in which case, thanks for your service.

Still, Realm Pictures decided to counter this level of unreality, creating a real-life first-person shooter random strangers could play through Chatroulette and Omegle. And it involves zombies, naturally. Some people even survive until the end. [H/T Reddit]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Should Amazon stop using Flash? Are you upset about Spotify’s new privacy policy? Would you ever switch from your iPhone to a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge? Will you be watching HBO Now on an Amazon Fire TV? Are GIFs good or evil?

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: Kiewic via Flickr

Related topics: Adobe Flash, First Person Shooter, GIF, Online Privacy, Skype, Spotify.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 21, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Do people really enjoy watching other people play video games? Yeah, I liked watching my brother and sister play, but that's when I was in the room with them interacting. Strangers and/or over the internet like this? I don't get it.

    • Anonymous
      August 23, 2015 at 12:04 am

      I guess they do... Twitch is really popular.