Tech News

Apple iPad Crashes Down Planes, Google Buys Up Patents, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 29-04-2015

Grounded by malfunctioning iPads, Google purchases patents, Dropbox adds comments, Star Wars games land on Steam, stream Seinfeld on Hulu, and the Apple Watch gets blended.


Buggy iPads Down AA Flights

Dozens of American Airlines flights were grounded after the iPads used by the pilots crashed without warning. American Airlines use iPads 11 Unique Uses For The iPad That You've Probably Never Thought Of Before The iPad is awesome. It’s great for games, it’s excellent for productivity, it can be used for sketching, taking notes, reading books and articles or as entertainment for children. All of these are pretty straightforward... Read More as electronic flight bags, with pilots switching from using the weighty paper-based alternative in 2013.

According to Quartz, this was intended to prevent pilots from getting injured carrying heavy flight bags. Dumping the 35-pound bags also saves on fuel costs. Unfortunately, the switch to iPad has invited other problems, and of a potentially more serious nature too.

The iPads are used to share flight plans with the pilots, and pass other information onto the flight crew. However, what AA described as “an issue with a software application” meant the iPads stopped functioning correctly Update Or Restore Your Jailbroken iPhone Or iPad To Stock The Right Way You've had your fun flouting Apple's restrictions, and now you want vanilla iOS back in all its glory. Luckily the process is even easier than jailbreaking. Read More , leading to the flights being grounded until the problem was fixed.

As anyone who uses technology on a regular basis knows, this basically means turning it off and on again. Which somehow took American Airlines several hours to accomplish.

All Your Patents Are Belong To Google


Google wants your patents. All of them. Or at least those it feels have some value. In order to find these patents and buy them from their current owners, Google has created a new Patent Purchase Promotion. Which is essentially a marketplace designed to remove any friction from the process.

The marketplace will open on May 8 and stay open until May 22. Individuals and businesses are invited to put their patents up for sale during that window, and Google will then determine which patents it wants to purchase. Google hopes to have all sales tied up by the end of August.

The big idea here is for Google to buy up valuable patents before they fall into the hands of patent trolls Patent Trolls, Android 4.4.1, Satoshi Nakamoto, Real Robocop [Tech News Digest] U.S. takes on patent trolls, Android 4.4.1 arrives, opinions of Bitcoin, the real Satoshi Nakamoto, get your Gmail data, Twitter comes to dumbphones via USSD, Cal for Android, and the real-life Robocop. Read More out to make a fast buck. As noted by TechCrunch, the added bonus for Google is that it gets to see what patents are currently available, and pick and choose those which it thinks will pay off financially over the longterm.

Dropbox Adds Comments To Shared Files


Dropbox is adding a commenting option to all shared files. Formerly only available to business users, all Dropbox users 5 Tools For The Dropbox Power User The popularity of Dropbox makes it difficult to start using any other kind of cloud storage. Here are 5 add-on tools for you if Dropbox is an essential part of your web workflow. Read More on the Web can now add comments, and the feature will soon be coming to mobile too.

This all means you can have conversations with people around Dropbox files, whether they’re your own or ones that have been shared with you. Mentioning someone by name or email address adds them to the conversation, and you can choose to receive email notifications when a new comment is added.

Star Wars Games Touch Down on Steam

Steam has added a host of new Star Wars titles to its store, with Star Wars: TIE Fighter Special Edition, Star Wars: X-Wing Alliance, Star Wars: X-Wing Special Edition, and Star Wars: X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter all being available to download either individually or as part of a bundle.

This is all just in time for Star Wars Day on May 4th, and in advance of the new Star Wars: Battlefront game due to arrive in November. Which itself is a precursor to the new film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. If you don’t like Star Wars then you should consider moving somewhere off the grid for the rest of 2015.


Hulu Streams Every Seinfeld Episode

Hulu has reportedly bought the rights to stream every episode of Seinfeld on its service. The deal for rights to show all 180 episode is, depending on which source you believe, worth between $130 million (Deadline) and $180 million (Variety). Which works out to between $700,000- and $1 million-per-episode.

With Netflix having secured the rights to stream Friends in its entirety, this pitches two of the best comedies of the 1990s against each other. I personally love both, but because I’m in the UK I’ll have to stick with my DVD box-sets instead. Because Netflix hates the UK, and Hulu isn’t even aware of its existence.

Will It Blend? – Apple Watch Edition

And finally, we have the answer to the question currently being asked by absolutely everybody in the world. Yes, the Apple Watch iTime For An iWatch: Funny Reactions To The New Apple Watch [Weird & Wonderful Web] The Apple Watch. It's a watch, a smartwatch, a watch that is smart. Sort of. And it's ripe for mocking. Read More WILL blend. We know, because someone, namely Tom Dickson, has blended one and captured the glorious footage for us all to see.

Dickson is the founder of Blendtec, and has been blending all manner of weird and wonderful objects for almost a decade now. And as if you hadn’t already guessed by now, it turns out everything will blend, as long as you’re using a Blendtec. [H/T MacRumors]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Should airlines be relying on iPads so much that a software glitch grounds flights? Should Google be allowed to own so many patents? Does Dropbox actually need to allow comments on shared files?

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: Aero Icarus via Flickr

Related topics: Apple Watch, Dropbox, Google, Hulu, iPad, Star Wars, Steam.

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  1. A H
    May 14, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Honestly, I clicked thinking the headline said something about crashing airplanes. But, seeing the leading graphic, I broke down the grammar and tenses and yea, I believe that's a grammatically correct sentence whose only problem are the imbeciles reading it. (Myself included)

  2. Albert Galowitch
    May 1, 2015 at 9:36 am

    It was a third-party application which updated airport runway information. Very misleading article, please get facts correct or verify reports. Your credibility suffers.

    • Dave Parrack
      May 1, 2015 at 10:48 am

      It isn't misleading at all. We based our report on the reports coming in at the time. The headline was a play on words, but we mentioned that a third-party application caused the iPads to stop functioning, leading to the planes being stuck on the runway.

  3. Phil
    April 29, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    "crashes down planes" does not equal "... leading flights to being grounded"

    • Dave Parrack
      April 29, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      The iPads crashed... downing the planes. It was a play on words.

    • Mike
      April 30, 2015 at 6:32 pm

      It's not a clever play on words. It's a misleading title used for generating as many clicks as possible.

    • Dave Parrack
      May 1, 2015 at 10:46 am

      No, it really isn't. A third-party application caused the pilots' iPads to crash, thus downing the planes. Hence, "Apple iPad Crashes Down Planes".