Tech News

Ashley Madison Suicides, Get Cortana for Android… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 25-08-2015

Ashley Madison offers a reward, Cortana lands on Android, Russia rags on Wikipedia, Kadenze offers online courses, Rockstar Editor comes to consoles, and a mad ad for Madden NFL 16.


Ashley Madison Suicides Lead to Bounty

Avid Life Media is offering a bounty for information on the hackers who recently broke into the servers of Ashley Madison. The hackers eventually released a ton of data Hackers Out Ashley Madison Users, Speak Like Stephen Hawking... [Tech News Digest] Cheaters are outed on dark web, how to talk like Hawking, the U.S. keeps control of ICANN, invest in video games through Fig, watch Netflix from afar, and take selfies with zombies. Read More after the company refused to comply with the hackers’ demands to take the site offline.

The CA$500,000 reward for information on the hackers comes at a time when reports are circulating of two people having committed suicide over the data leak. The suggestion being that they killed themselves after their involvement in the site was revealed.

Ashley Madison is a site which exists solely to allow married people to have affairs. But while the activity itself is to be frowned upon, the leaking of the data may have done more damage than anything else Ashley Madison Leak No Big Deal? Think Again Discreet online dating site Ashley Madison (targeted primarily at cheating spouses) has been hacked. However this is a far more serious issue than has been portrayed in the press, with considerable implications for user safety. Read More . And we still don’t know the true extent of the fallout.

Microsoft Releases Cortana for Android


If you’re an Android user you can finally try Cortana for yourself, at least if you’re resident in the United States. This is thanks to Microsoft releasing a beta version of Cortana for Android, and making it available to all through the Google Play Store.

There are some limitations, the most obvious being the inability to use the “Hey Cortana” voice command. This is due to the way Android handsets aren’t always listening, so blame Google rather than Microsoft. However, Cortana can now replace Google Now on the Android home button.

Cortana may be the best of the personal assistants, beating Siri and Google Now in its personality and usefulness. Which means that even in its current beta form it’s worth giving Cortana a chance How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More to impress you with her skills Cortana Talks Back: Laugh, Cry & Love With Windows Phone's Digital Assistant Bored with no one to talk to? Why not strike up a conversation with your Windows Phone? These cues will make Cortana talk. Read More .

Russia Wages War With Wikipedia


Russia has banned the whole of Wikipedia over an entry about charas. According to Wikipedia, Charas is a “hashish form of cannabis which is handmade in India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nepal and Jamaica”. But not Russia. Which makes the reasoning behind the ban somewhat incomprehensible.

The Washington Post has the full story, which appears to have originated with a prosecutor in Chyorny Yar. The prosecutor allegedly demanded the entry on chanas be deleted. Unfortunately, as it’s difficult to block individual Wikipedia entries, the Russian Internet watchdog Roskomnadzor is requiring ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to block the whole site instead.

This comes just weeks after Russia blocked Reddit Android Experiments With Apps, Gamers Face Drug Tests... [Tech News Digest] Google invites Android Experiments, pro gamers tested for drugs, Russia hates Reddit, Sony unsure about Windows 10, Facebook doesn't appreciate marauders, and the dangers of social media. Read More because of a thread discussing magic mushrooms. That thread was eventually deleted, and access was restored. However, we’re not sure Wikipedia will capitulate so easily.

Kadenze Offers Free Creative Classes

Kadenze is offering a host of free online classes for those with a creative bent. While there are a host of MOOCs Learn Almost Anything Online; Find Out Where With SlideRule Do you want to take an online course, but aren't sure where to start looking? Try this search engine for online classes, with over 18,000 courses indexed. What do you want to learn? Read More (Massive Online Open Courses) available to all, most are geared towards tech-heavy subjects such as coding. Kadenze is offering something a little different.


There are, at the time of writing, 24 courses available, ranging from The Modern Genius: Art and Culture in the 19th Century to Introduction to Programming for Musicians and Digital Artists. According to Lifehacker, while all classes are free to enroll in, premium memberships of $7-per-month are required to get graded and earn college credits.

Rockstar Brings GTA V Editor to Consoles

Rockstar Games is bringing Rockstar Editor to console versions of Grand Theft Auto V. Rockstar Editor, which is already available for the PC version IP Addresses Are Not People, Guitar Hero Makes a Comeback, & More... [Tech News Digest] Judge addresses IP arguments, Guitar Hero returns, Candy Crush Saga injuries, Abbey Road Studios tour, GTA V on PC, and Stephen Hawking does Monty Python. Read More of the game, allows players to record and edit video footage in order to make short GTA V films (also known as machinima 7 Free Tools for Creating Your Own Machinima Films Machinima is the art of making movies with video game footage and assets. Want to create your own films without any directorial experience? Here are some free tools to get you started! Read More ) such as the one embedded above.

Rockstar Editor will be available in September as a free update on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The update, which adds new music and sound effects, new fonts, and a host of other small changes, will also be rolled out to people playing the PC version. All of which should help keep people interested in playing the game.

Madden NFL 16: The Movie Is Bonkers

And finally, the new video advert for Madden NFL 16 is bonkers to the point at which we don’t know what to make of it all. Truth be told, it’s less of an ad and more of a short film, with Dave Franco and Christopher Mintz-Plasse joined by a host of footballers.


The plot is, well, it’ll be easier for you to watch it rather than have me trying to explain it. Because it’s insane. And yet strangely awesome. EA Sports obviously wanted to create a viral video ad 10 Of The Best Viral Video Ad Campaigns Read More , and judging by the coverage this is getting online the company has succeeded. [H/T Kotaku]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Should the Ashley Madison hackers have dumped the data? Are you keen to try Cortana for Android? Should Wikipedia comply with the wishes of the Russian Government? Have you ever taken a free online course? Will you be using Rockstar Editor on the console versions of GTA V? Have you seen a madder ad than the one for Madden NFL 16?

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: Teakwood via Flickr

Related topics: Hacking, Microsoft Cortana, Online Courses, Sports, Video Editor, Wikipedia.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 30, 2015 at 4:50 am

    ( From Another Article Here In MUO ).

    Call Me What You Will.

    The Only Thing That Will Never Come Back, Are The People That Committed Suicide.

    Why Taking Your Own Life, Because Of This ?

    Did You Lose Your Only Lifetime Chance Of A Sugar Daddy Or Sugar Mommy ?

    Grow Up, For Christ Sake.

    Stop Crying Me A River.

    Yes, You Made A Huge Mistake, But Learn With It And Move On.

    You Knew All Along You Could Get Caught, But You Never Stopped The Russian Roulette Gambling.

    Sorry, Absolutely No Sympathy Here.


  2. Anonymous
    August 25, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I don't even understand why I'd want Cortana on Windows 10, let alone Android. I have the powershell commands for reinstalling and rebuilding its indexing capabilities memorized at this point, because it can't even manage to handle search of single PCs properly.

    I do think that if Ashley Madison had not existed, someone would have created it. A discreet dating site for people who are already married is too big of niche not to be filled. But a site like that will also always be a target and charging for services and collecting non-anonymous information was definitely the wrong way to go about their setup. If they had better database designs and data interactions, I suspect they wouldn't even have a problem right now. There's no winner in this story but hopefully it'll be a lesson learned for whatever takes its place.

  3. Anonymous
    August 25, 2015 at 12:32 pm

    Wikipedia had done an excellent job on being non-biased and neutral in its presentation of the facts. While I may have disagreements with the presentation/deeper details at times, the summaries in particular have been very good from my opinion.

    I certainly want to give it my full support.