Tech News

Retailers Ban Confederate Flag, Use Messenger Without Facebook, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 25-06-2015

Confederate flags disappear, Messenger drops Facebook, DriveClub arrives, Eternify trolls Spotify, Reddit turns 10, and Super Mario meets Game of Thrones.


Amazon & eBay Ban Confederate Flag

Online retailers including Amazon and eBay are banning all sales of Confederate flags. In doing so, they join bricks-and-mortar stores such as Walmart and Sears, which banned sales of the Confederate flag after the mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, which left nine people dead.

Dylann Roof, the suspect in the massacre that took place at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on Wednesday, June 17th, previously draped himself in the Confederate flag. This racially motivated attack led to a debate about the meaning of the Confederate flag, and whether it should be revered or reviled.

Most retailers now want nothing to do with the Confederate flag, but it has been reported that sales skyrocketed in the days leading up to the ban. Meanwhile, there are plenty of controversial products still available to buy 10 Things eBay Won't Let You Sell (You Weirdo) If you’ve never ever sold or bought anything from eBay, please raise your hand (or leave a comment). In the 17 years eBay has been around, almost everyone has had some dealings with it, if... Read More on Amazon and eBay, including Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler.

Facebook Messenger Without Facebook

You can now sign up to use Facebook Messenger without a Facebook account. Instead, users in the United States, Canada, Peru, and Venezuela can now sign up to use Facebook Messenger Don't Want to Use Facebook Messenger? 10 Slick Alternatives to Try Facebook Messenger isn't perfect. Why keep using it? Here are the best alternatives to Facebook Messenger. Read More with nothing other than a name, photo, and phone number. It’s assumed other countries will get the option in the future. Doing this syncs your phone contacts, rather than your Facebook contacts.

This is Facebook further splitting Messenger off from its main social network. Why? Because as popular as Facebook may be, Mark Zuckerberg and co. are fully aware that many more people have a mobile phone number than a Facebook account. Add WhatsApp How to Use WhatsApp Web on PC: The Ultimate Guide WhatsApp Web is the easy way to use WhatsApp messenger. Here's everything you need to know on how to use WhatsApp Web on your PC. Read More , also owned by Facebook, into the mix, and the company has multiple ways of pulling you into its ecosystem.


DriveClub Lands on PlayStation Plus

DriveClub is finally coming to PlayStation Plus, with DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition launching today (June 25th). This is the free version of the PS4 racing game from Evolution Studios, which was due to be released in October 2014. So, it’s just eight months late.

The full DriveClub game arrived at retail on time, but it had such severe connectivity problems that the PS Plus version was put on hold. Now, Sony is confident the issues have been ironed out enough to warrant releasing the game.

DriveClub PlayStation Plus Edition will be available to download from today, but online functions will be added incrementally in order to ensure there are no more mess-ups. Having played the full version, prepare to be disappointed, as DriveClub is far inferior to Project CARS.

Help Reward Musicians With Eternify

Even before Taylor Swift took on Apple Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Apple Music Taylor Swift recently persuaded Apple to pay artists for songs streamed during free trials of Apple Music. But she's wrong. Again. Read More (and won), the popular singer with countless ex-boyfriends took on Spotify. Her complaint was that the Swedish company doesn’t pay artists enough money. Taylor Swift was wrong Why Taylor Swift Is Wrong About Spotify In the past week Taylor Swift has pulled her music from Spotify, inspired countless song-pun laden headlines and reignited the debate about streaming music services. Read More , obviously, but her suggestion led to the creation of Eternify, which lets ordinary punters generate extra income for their favorite musicians.


Eternify lets you play 30 seconds of the same song by your favorite artist on repeat. Ad infinitum. Each time the snippet is played, your favorite artist will receive an estimated $0.005. Therefore, persist for 200 plays (or 100 minutes) and you’ve generated $1. This may not seem like much, but if every fan did it, the total would soon rack up. Especially for smaller artists.

Reddit Celebrates 10th Birthday

Reddit has celebrated its 10th birthday, marking its first decade of existence with a rundown of interesting statistics. Over that 10 years, Reddit has generated 1,715,454,785 comments and 16,063,942,290 upvotes, and now has more than 36 million users.

The site has always been a source of controversy. This was originally due to its “anything goes” nature, but has recently been because of a crackdown on hateful communities Free Speech vs. Harassment: Why Did Reddit Ban Five Subreddits? Reddit officially announced the decision to ban five subreddits, due to ongoing harassment problems. Read More . However, Reddit has persisted throughout, gaining more users every month. As Reddit signed off its blog post, “Here’s to the next 10 years”.

Super Mario Meets Game of Thrones

And finally, the best thing about Game of Thrones is that epic title sequence showing the various locations dotted around Westeros and Essos. Which makes it perfect fodder for parodies involving other epic landscapes. Such as Super Mario World.


This video shows what happens when the people and places of Super Mario World get the Game of Thrones treatment. The visuals are mightily impressive, but it’s the 8-bit rendition of the Game of Thrones theme tune that really sets this apart. [H/T Tech Times]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Should online retailers be banning the sale of Confederate flags? Do you use Facebook Messenger? Will you be downloading DriveClub? Is Eternify a really good idea or a really bad idea? What state will Reddit be in 10 years from now?

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: B Mully via Flickr


Related topics: eBay, Facebook, PlayStation 4, Politics, Reddit, Spotify.

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  1. Anonymous
    June 27, 2015 at 5:43 am

    I agree with the last comment. Colonel Angus. Whether they banned the sales of the Confederate flag. There will be always hate in this world. I've just read online that the social media networks Facebook, Twitter, and instagram and probably more to come. They start banning people who post images of the Confederate flag. I can tell you this! They can ban me all they won't to, but that's not gonna stop me for posting images of it. ( FREEDOM OF FREE SPEECH ) but getting back to the stores that's banning the sales of it like Amazon and eBay. For the people that sales them on there eBay or Amazon accounts. I hope they would close their accounts and just sit back and watch just how many people would stop using eBay and Amazon and eBay and Amazon sales would fall. It's just Ridiculous how they can just ban the sales of the Confederate flag. It's stupid and Ignorance in my book.

  2. Anonymous
    June 26, 2015 at 9:13 am

    "the popular singer with countless ex-boyfriends"
    Why would you mention that? Is it relevant to the story? In a story about a male pop singer, wouldn't it seem odd to mention his countless ex-girlfriends if it's not pertinent to the story?

    • Dave Parrack
      June 26, 2015 at 12:26 pm

      No, it's not relevant to the story, it's just an entertaining way of describing her. She's known for having a lot of ex-boyfriends, as most of her songs are about them. I would absolutely do the same for a male pop star who is known for a particular thing.

      For example: "Robin Thicke, the creepy pop star who recently endured a bitter divorce" or "Justin Timberlake, the one-time boy band member most famous for having once been intimate with Britney Spears."

      I'm just adding a little color to the story, which isn't a particularly serious one after all.

  3. Anonymous
    June 25, 2015 at 3:50 pm

    "Amazon & eBay Ban Confederate Flag"
    A cynical "me too" move by those two retailers. They do not give a damn about the significance of the Confederate flag for those on both sides of the issue. By being perceived as Politically Correct, Amazon & eBay hope to increase their sales to those opposed to the Confederate flag.

    If we are willing to condemn the Confederate flag for what it means to one ethnic group, are we also willing to condemn the Stars and Stripes because of the misery and oppression it represents to the Native Americans?! Or aren't the Native Americans worth the same consideration as the African-Americans???

    • Anonymous
      June 26, 2015 at 12:06 am

      One is a flag of a country that no longer exists, the other represents a current nation. I'm not going to say that getting rid of it is good, but I will address that question. Also, how do you know they are only doing it as a "me too" move and are not sincere? Can these businesses ever be sincere to you? Not trying to start a fight, I just don't understand why you immediately jump to cynicism.

      • Anonymous
        June 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

        " I just don’t understand why you immediately jump to cynicism. "
        For the same reason you immediately give them the benefit of the doubt. Based on their past history, Amazon and eBay have done very little that is altruistic. Their every decision has been geared to increasing revenue.

        • Anonymous
          June 27, 2015 at 1:56 am

          I have to agree with your cynical view. If the Confederate flag was something they truly found offensive, sales would have stopped long ago. They obviously had no problem with it the day before the South Carolina murders.

  4. Anonymous
    June 25, 2015 at 1:33 pm

    There is a big difference from private entities/people banning something like the confederate flag from their property and the state coercing people to do the same.

    Similarly these decisions are best left to each individual state with regard to state/public property.

    An over-reaching federal government is not desirable when it comes FREE SPEECH like flying a flag or wearing a shirt.

  5. Anonymous
    June 25, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    No more selling the Confederate flag? So does that mean there's no more hate now? Did that fix everything?

    • Anonymous
      June 27, 2015 at 1:23 pm

      No, but it makes all the hypocrites feel oh, SO MUCH BETTER! They have done something to fight oppression. /sarcasm

      Meanwhile the hate beat just goes on.