Tech News

Apple At WWDC 2014: iOS 8 & OS X Yosemite, John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 03-06-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, Apple unveils iOS 8 & OS X Yosemite at WWDC 2014, Samsung unveils its Tizen smartphone, MySpace remembers, Reset the Net gets set, Chromebooks go on the march, new IFTTT channels are exposed, and John Oliver explains Net Neutrality.


Apple At WWDC 2014: iOS 8 & Yosemite

Apple has unveiled iOS 8 and Mac OS X Yosemite at the 2014 Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC 2014). Along with extensive updates for both operating systems, Apple unveiled iCloud Drive, HealthKit, and Swift, all of which are briefly detailed below. There was, however, no new hardware revealed. Boo, hiss, etc.

The new Mac OS X Yosemite sports a new flatter design which takes its cue from iOS. There are a host of small changes across the operating system, which are detailed in Apple’s press release. Mac OS X Yosemite will launch in the fall as a free upgrade, but a beta is available now for developers and braver members of the public.

The new iOS 8 looks very similar to iOS 7, with most of the changes happening under the hood. This is another incremental update, although iMessage and the Notifications Center have been changed significantly. Siri can now be activated by saying, “Hey Siri” into your iPhone, which isn’t anything like OK Google, obviously.

Other key announcements include a new cloud storage service called iCloud Drive, a health and fitness app called HealthKit, a Swype-like iOS keyboard called QuickType, a new programming language called Swift, AirDrop for sharing content between your Mac and iPhone, and Handoff for swapping projects between one device and another.

This keynote has split opinion between Apple fans and the rest of the population. The reason is simple: these new features make the Apple ecosystem stronger, helping those who are already a part of it to remain so, but there is nothing of interest for those on the outside looking in.


There will be more coverage on everything Apple unveiled at WWDC 2014 in the near future, so interested parties should keep their browsers pointed at the News, Mac, and iOS sections of the site. Everybody else can rest easy for another few months and catch up on other news instead…

Samsung Unveils First Tizen Smartphone

Samsung has unveiled the Samsung Z, its first smartphone running on the Tizen operating system. The specs of the Samsung Z are in line with the Galaxy S5, meaning people looking for an alternative to iOS, Android, and Windows Phone have a quality option available to them.

Tizen is based on the Linux operating system and is not compatible with Android. Samsung has big plans for Tizen, but is starting small by initially only releasing the Samsung Z in Russia later this year. More countries will follow later.

MySpace Wants You Back

The guys at MySpace really want you back, and they’re using nostalgic blackmail to pique your interest. According to Mashable, MySpace is emailing lapsed users with old photos of themselves to try and persuade them to come back. Whether this is desperate or merely determined, we cannot see it working. Because MySpace is now the walking dead.


Reset The Net On June 5

June 5 is the day when we need to Reset The Net, at least according to the websites and services supporting this campaign. Reset The Net is a coordinated action protesting against mass surveillance by organizations such as the National Security Agency. More details are available on the Reset The Net website.

Google Chromebooks Enter New Territories

Google is continuing its push for Chromebooks to be a legitimate alternative to Windows and OS X Chromebooks – Useful or Useless? My wife gave me a choice of gadgets for Christmas – a new MP3 player, or a Chromebook? Read More . Nine new countries — Spain, Italy, Belgium, New Zealand, Denmark, Norway, Mexico, Chile, and the Philippines — are being added to the roster, with the expansion bizarrely announced in the form of a poem. No, we don’t understand why either.

New eBay, Fitbit Channels For IFTTT


If This Then That, more commonly known as IFTTT, has added new channels for eBay and Fitbit IFTTT Introduces The eBay & Fitbit Channels Bargain hunters and fitness fanatics, listen up. IFTTT has been thinking about you lately and has been making channels for eBay and Fitbit to enable you to automate those bargain hunting and fitness skills. Read More . There are over 100 IFTTT channels at the time of writing, all of which contain recipes for websites and services. If you’re new to this incredible tool, check out our ultimate guide to IFTTT The Ultimate IFTTT Guide: Use the Web's Most Powerful Tool Like a Pro If This Then That, also known as IFTTT is a free web-based service to get your apps and devices working together. Not sure how to build your applet? Follow along with this guide. Read More .


John Oliver Explains Net Neutrality

And finally, John Oliver may have just saved the United States from Internet armageddon Killing Net Neutrality, Google Play PayPal, Hunting For Code, VR For Chickens [Tech News Digest] FCC is killing net neutrality, Google works on a "right to be forgotten" tool, PayPal comes to Google Play, Microsoft launches Code Hunt, Outlook gets new features, Nescafe jars gain 3D-printed alarm clock lids, and... Read More . Despite being British, he doesn’t want to see the American cable companies destroying the idea of net neutrality What Is Net Neutrality & Why Should I Care? A significant number see Net Neutrality as essential to the survival of the Internet. In this article, we're going to look at why Net Neutrality matters, and why we should fight to protect it. Read More any more than you and I do.

Oliver brilliantly manages to explain what net neutrality is, what the changes could mean for ordinary consumers, and what we should all be doing to stop it. And he cuts through the BS in magnificent style. Watch the video, then tell the FCC what you think of net neutrality.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Terry Johnston via Flickr

Related topics: IFTTT, MySpace, Net Neutrality, Swift.

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  1. Micheal
    June 4, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    Well the real motive behind this dumping Net Neutrality is something else ... ISPs spent $19 million in lobbying campaigns to influence FCC.. NCTA and CITA the lobbying arm also spending money to run his campaigns.. The Net Neutrality discussion is open until the next month ..

  2. Tom W
    June 4, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    It isn't my Government, but Net Neutrality affects every country. Your assumption that the Government granted the monopolies is also incorrect. For one thing, the current state of affairs developed naturally. As far as I know there wasn't ever any major competition. It isn't even the Government that is tasked with preventing these monopolies, it's the FCC. The only thing the Government could possibly be guilty of is allowing a cable lobbiest to gain control of the FCC.

    Finally, net neutrality isn't about giving the Government control of data, it's about ensuring no-one has control of the data. All data is treated equal.

  3. Howard Pearce
    June 3, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    How easily people forget their so-called liberal beliefs when it doesn't advantage them anymore ... as in Net Neutrality.

    Would you like the state/government dictating what and how you communicate in the name of neutrality, or fairness, or national security or WHATEVER ! ?
    Most people would consider this a violation of freedom of speech/press/communication for the state to dictate to people what to say/print/communicate, period!

    For some reason this logic doesn't seem to translate to the net and to ISP's when their communication rights are involved - supposedly because they don't use their rights to the fullest extent like a newspapers might do . But anyone who thinks that failure to exercise all one's rights means that those rights are not applicable or are forfeit-able is sadly mistaken.

    ANY attempt by the state to regulate/mandate/control ANYONE'S communication is an extremely illiberal idea if not a downright fascist idea ...... including the idea of Net Neutrality where the state will have the legal authority to dictate to ISP's how and what they communicate (supposedly in the name of neutrality).

    • Tom W
      June 3, 2014 at 1:56 pm

      What about the monopolies that the cable companies control? They are certainly not to the benefit if anyone except themselves, and they are harming the ability of VOD services to communicate.

    • Howard Pearce
      June 3, 2014 at 2:15 pm

      Those monopolies are granted by the biggest monopoly in your county .... your state/government that you are maybe thinking of giving control of the NET to. ( If they are the type of monopoly I suspect ..... consumer chosen monopolies are extremely rare)

      Blaming business for taking advantage of these offers by the state or blaming business for "tricking" the state into giving these monopolies out seems a naive view IMHO; people need to question the state's clear and DETERMINING role in handing these monopolies out to begin with. The state's monopoly power and control over people far exceeds what any business could hope to have.

      For some reason, the state/government always seems to get a pass on these actions.
      If I have misinterpreted the situation, I guess you can ignore this reply. :)

    • Dave P
      June 3, 2014 at 2:56 pm

      Your political bias clearly stands against government intervention, hoping capitalism and market forces will keep things in order. But as Oliver makes clear in the video, the cable companies hold a monopoly, which is surely when the government should act to ensure consumers aren't being screwed over unfairly.

      Net Neutrality is the current status quo, with every website and service guaranteed a level playing field. The cable companies want to be able to charge for priority access, which will only serve to harm competition and startups.

      You are perfectly entitled to think government intervention equals bad news, but I believe that to be an oversimplification of the problem. Net Neutrality is a good thing for consumers, so why would you want to see the back of it?

    • Howard Pearce
      June 3, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      Actually I merely support a market based upon the liberal concept of freedom of association. Whether that market is capitalistic or socialistic or purple/green, I couldn't care.
      You also didn't seem to read my prior post as to how these cable companies got their monopolies to begin with.

      The idea that we should support ideas and legislation just because something is good for one group of people (the consumer, in this case) seems clearly biased against those who are not in that group. Apparently their rights don't count.

      If you have decided that the concept of freedom of association is far too liberal for you, Dave, then please tell us about your support for coerced associations and how that benefits us. Interventions by the state for purposes of war or social justice or whatever remain interventions ( without some right to do that intervention in which case it is probably not an intervention).

    • Tom W
      June 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm

      It isn’t my Government, but Net Neutrality affects every country. Your assumption that the Government granted the monopolies is also incorrect. For one thing, the current state of affairs developed naturally. As far as I know there wasn’t ever any major competition. It isn’t even the Government that is tasked with preventing these monopolies, it’s the FCC. The only thing the Government could possibly be guilty of is allowing a cable lobbyist to gain control of the FCC.

      Finally, net neutrality isn’t about giving the Government control of data, it’s about ensuring no-one has control of the data. All data is treated equal.