Tech News

Apple Ditches the Headphone Jack, Mark Zuckerberg Tapes Over Webcam… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 22-06-2016

Apple plans to kill the headphone jack, Mark Zuckerberg covers his webcam with tape, Twitter lets verified users Engage, Apple will fund your next eBook spending spree, and Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment is Doomed.


The iPhone 7 Has No Headphone Jack

The rumors that have been swirling for months are refusing to go away, which suggests that Apple really is preparing to ditch the headphone jack VTech Gets Hacked, Apple Hates Headphone Jacks... [Tech News Digest] Hackers expose VTech users, Apple considers removing the headphone jack, Christmas lights can slow down your Wi-Fi, Snapchat gets into bed with (RED), and remembering The Star Wars Holiday Special. Read More . Yes, that simple, unassuming, inoffensive jack the vast majority of us rely on to listen to anything through headphones is likely to be missing from the new iPhone 7, due to be launched later this year.

The latest nail in the coffin comes courtesy of the Wall Street Journal, which suggests that the “biggest planned change in this year’s phones is the removal of the headphone plug, which will make the phone thinner and improve its water resistance.” Its sources claim the “Lightning connector will serve double-duty as a port for charging the phone and for connecting headphones”.

This is clearly bonkers, and a change which no one should support. Removing the headphone jack will adversely affect millions of people, who will be forced to buy new Lightning-compatible or wireless headphones Buying Wireless Headphones? 6 Things You Need to Know Planning on buying wireless headphones? Here's what you need to know about price, form, technical specs, and more. Read More . Or, at the very least, a dongle to make your headphones compatible. And for what? So that Apple can shave 1mm off the thickness of the new iPhone.

This is a cynical move designed to further seperate the Apple faithful from the rest of the population. After all, if you buy Lightning headphones to use with your iPhone you may as well buy an iPad, an iPod, and a Mac while you’re at it. Apple fanboy numero uno John Gruber loves the idea, but everyone else is rightly condemning this foolish and underhanded change.

Is Mark Zuckerberg Paranoid?


Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg covers his MacBook’s webcam and microphone with tape. Eagle-eyed Zuck fans spotted the tape in a photo posted to celebrate Instagram reaching 500 million monthly users. So, why is Zuckerberg covering his webcam and mic in this way? And is he sensible to do so or just a bit paranoid?

The “Why?” is easy. Like many other people, Zuckerberg is worried about hackers prying into his private life by gaining access to his webcam and microphone. The latter is especially ironic given recent accusations that Facebook listens into people’s conversations Facebook Might Be Listening, Google Helps You Find Your Phone... [Tech News Digest] Facebook gets accused of listening to users' conversations, Google tracks lost smartphones, Microsoft's spam filters fail to work, Periscope enlists juries to take down trolls, and making Windows error messages sound sweet. Read More . As to whether Zuckerberg is sensible or paranoid to take this precaution is trickier.

Hackers certainly can gain access to your webcam How Easy Is It For Someone To Hack Your Webcam? Read More , and use it to capture images of you without your prior knowledge. Putting a piece of tape over it when not in use will prevent that. They could potentially do the same with your microphone, but tape is less likely to solve that problem.

Most people should tape over their webcams Why You Should Disable or Cover Your Webcam Right Now If you aren't careful, hackers can easily gain access to your webcam and spy on you without your knowledge. So you have two options: disable the camera or cover it up. Read More when they’re not using them, even if the chances of someone hacking in are remote. Because, why take that chance? However, this is Mark Zuckerberg, the head of Facebook, and he needs to be even more cautious than most of us plebs.


Twitter Launches New Engage App

Twitter has launched a new app designed to help celebrities, influencers, and other users will a high number of followers to grow their audience. Unlike the standard Twitter app, Engage adds tools letting you focus on the conversations that matter and gauge how certain tweets are being received.

By allowing you to sort tweets by verified and non-verified accounts, Engage lets you cut a swathe through the barrage of tweets Tailor Your Twitter Experience With These 3 Tools What could prove to be valuable to you on Twitter gets buried under the constant online chatter. However, there are tools that eliminate the noise and put you in control of your Twitter experience. Read More aimed in your direction, and focus on those likely to broaden your audience. The live stats under each tweet also let you instantly see what kinds of content interests your followers.

This new Twitter app is clearly aimed at public figures with healthy followings, but Engage is actually available to anyone on iOS in the U.S.

Apple Might Owe You Some Money


Apple is well known for raking in lots of cash by selling its products at a premium Why Apple Will Never Release a Cheap iPhone Apple’s decision to limit their product line to solely premium devices is a deliberate decision – but what does this mean for consumers? And how can you get a cheap iPhone? Read More , but it’s not so well known for giving that cash back, at least not willingly. Unfortunately for Apple, the Department of Justice is forcing Apple to give free cash to people, and you could be one of those people.

If you purchased an eBook for your Kindle from Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin, or Simon & Schuster between April 1, 2010 and May 21, 2012, you should have some credit sitting in your Amazon account. All paid for by Apple as the result of a settlement over claims of price-fixing between the company and the five publishers named above.

The amounts being paid out are varying wildly, and will depend on what books you bought. You should have already received an email notifying you of the credit, but if not you can always check Amazon’s page detailing the settlement.

Doom Gets an Awesome Seinfeld Map

And finally, you can now have a good look around Jerry Seinfeld’s apartment from Seinfeld by playing Doom. Developer Doug Keener spent a reported 100 hours creating this mod, which lets you enter Seinfeld’s apartment, have a good look around, and then shoot Jerry, Elaine, George, and Kramer in the face.


The sets of Seinfeld, like the sets of so many other sitcoms, became iconic, and Jerry’s apartment is the king of them all. So much so that I was enjoying looking around the apartment much more before the main characters were turned into bloody pulps decorating the walls. You can download Keener’s Seinfeld mod for Doom here. [H/T The Next Web]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

How do you feel about Apple ditching the headphone jack? Do you cover your webcam with tape? Would you use Twitter’s new Engage app? Have you received an Amazon credit from Apple? What’s your favorite ever Doom map?

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 Credit: Eric Skiff via Flickr

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  1. Anonymous
    June 23, 2016 at 7:03 am

    It is surprising news that iPhone 7 has no headphone jack. Then it is mandatory to buy wireless headphone for iPhone 7.

  2. Anonymous
    June 23, 2016 at 12:00 am

    "Apple really is preparing to ditch the headphone jack"
    And of course Fruitco will be the only one making Lightning headphones. Another brick in the wall that encloses the Apple prison.

    "Is Mark Zuckerberg Paranoid?"
    He just doesn't want Facebook spying on him.

  3. Jelabarre59
    June 22, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Well, it's a good thing I don't buy iFad products then. And if Lenovo/Motorola is getting rid of them, I probably won't buy theirs either. Add "headphone jack" to the list of requirements a tablet/'smart'phone need to have, right after SD/MMC or MicroSD.

    As for taping over the webcam: if the PC makers weren't such cheapa$$ twerps, ALL webcams would come with sliding covers; the very first webcam I used 20 **years** ago had a sliding cover. But then again there would be dim-witted home users calling tech support because they wouldn't be able to figure out that the security cover was over the lens. People that stupid shouldn't be allowed on the internet (or near computers in general).

    "Twitter".... Wouldn't that be a shade stronger than "Twit"?

  4. George
    June 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    re: headphone jack. Lenovo just did this with the Moto Z so it's obviously something the hardware devs are looking into.