Tech News Digest… Breaking news into bite-sized chunks.
Today, Microsoft edges closer to naming Steve Ballmer’s replacement as CEO, a creepy computer-generated girl named Sweetie tempts predators, video-sharing app Viddy goes Supernova, Apple forces a website tracking the availability of Apple stock to shut down, YouTube comments lose their edge, new MOGA gaming controllers are announced, Facebook redesigns its iconic Like and Share buttons, and Doctor Who’s TARDIS is shown to be theoretically possible.
Microsoft Shortlists Ballmer’s Replacement
In August Steve Ballmer announced he would be stepping down as CEO of Microsoft to enjoy retirement, no doubt by sitting atop the huge mountain of cash he has acquired over the past three decades. Ballmer is going to be a tough act to follow , but Microsoft has to replace him with someone. According to Reuters, the shortlist of candidates has now been narrowed down to just five people.
Among them are Alan Mulally, President and CEO of the Ford Motor Company, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, former Skype CEO Tony Bates, and the lesser known Satya Nadella, who is currently the executive vice president of Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise group. One name not on the shortlist is Tony Stark (AKA Iron Man) who was the clear choice of the MakeUseOf readership.
CG Girl Used To Tempt Predators
It’s a well-known and depressing fact that sexual predators exist online seeking out the company of young and impressionable children. It shouldn’t be enough reason to stop your child from using the Internet, but it is important to put the proper safeguards in place. The other side of the equation is catching those responsible.
Rather than put a real child at risk, a Dutch charity used a computer-generated 10-year-old Filipina girl named Sweetie to lure men into revealing their interest in making contact. During a 10-week sting an incredible 20,000 men contacted the virtual bait, with 1,000 offering her money to remove her clothes.
Viddy Goes Supernova
There is a lot of competition in terms of video apps for smartphones, but Viddy has held its own despite the invasion from the likes of Instagram and Vine. Still, that hasn’t stopped the company from changing its name and releasing two new apps for iOS named Epic and Clique. Epic is all about slow-motion video, while Clique lets you privately share photos in a similar way to Snapchat.
Apple Kills Apple-Tracker.com
Apple products are, despite the expense involved in purchasing them, incredibly popular with consumers, especially in the U.S. This means that stock shortages are rife when a new product first lands on store shelves. A Web developer by the name of Mordy Tikotzky resolved to ease this problem by creating a website tracking stock at Apple Stores in a particular area, but sadly Apple has forced the site to shut by way of a DMCA takedown notice. Most companies would kill for third-party promotion such as this because it would inevitably lead to extra sales, but not Apple, which has always sought to do things in its own peculiar way.
YouTube Comments Get Google+ Integration
The comments section of any website or blog can, at times, spiral into sheer madness, with ignorant idiots using the opportunity to utter things they would never dare say in real-life. But YouTube has always been the worst place on the Internet in terms of comments. In September, YouTube announced that a new commenting system based on Google+ would be coming into effect soon, and, according to TechCrunch, the rollout of that system has now begun. While ignorance and nastiness will still rear their ugly heads on occasion, at least now people will be forced to use their real names when exposing themselves as bigoted bullies. Which is a good start.
MOGA Gets Its Game On
Mobile gaming is big business, and yet playing Android games or iPhone games more involving than Angry Birds or Candy Crush on a touchscreen is usually pretty bad. Which is why there is a slew of Bluetooth controllers out there for the more serious mobile gamer. The latest onto the market are the next generation of MOGA controllers, which actually look quite comfortable to hold. Unfortunately, nothing can save you from looking like an idiot when sat on the bus using one.
Facebook Redesigns Like & Share Buttons
Facebook’s Like and Share buttons are absolutely everywhere at this point, including on MakeUseOf. They offer a simple way for someone to register approval for, or pass along, a particular piece of content. And they’re now getting a makeover, with Facebook having announced a new look for both the Like and Share buttons. Most of us won’t even notice the change, but that didn’t stop the redesign process taking a long time and needing the approval of everyone at the company all the way up to Mark Zuckerberg himself.
Doctor Who Could Totally Exist
Doctor Who fans should prepare to rejoice at the news that the TARDIS, the larger-on-the-inside-than-it-looks-on-the-outside police box that Doctor Who travels through time and space in, could actually exist in the real world. This is according to physicists Ben Tippett and David Tsang, who explain in a paper titled ‘Traversable Achronal Retrograde Domains In Spacetime‘ [PDF link] that spacetime theory suggests that such a craft could be possible. In fact, it could already exist somewhere in our universe. Mind. Blown.
Image Credit: Odi Kosmatos
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