Amazon Kills Flash, Spotify Starts Stalking You… [Tech News Digest]
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
Adobe Flash just might be the most hated successful software of our era. Now Amazon sticks it to `em http://t.co/3BmMgzBM4Z
— Charles Cooper (@coopeydoop) August 20, 2015
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 Amazon.com 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, ” 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”.
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”.
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 , 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 .
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 .
Make Better GIFs With Giphy Cam
Giphy 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 .
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 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]
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