Tech News

The Biggest Spammers in the World, Ben Carson Wins Facebook Election… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 18-02-2016

The companies responsible for sending emails, Ben Carson wins the Facebook primary, Skype brings group video calling to Android and iOS, India’s $4 smartphone, and the biggest Super Mario Kart race of all time.


These Companies Send All the Spam


Unroll.Me, which helps you unsubscribe from serial email over-senders Easily Manage Your Email Subscriptions In Gmail Read More , has published its list of Spammy Awards winners for 2016. One category details which companies are most responsible for filling up your inbox. Groupon won, with an average of 388 emails sent per user. Next was LivingSocial (363), followed by Facebook (310), Meetup (199), and J. Crew (175).

Interestingly, none of these feature in the list of most unsubscribed subscriptions, which suggests people actually want to receive emails from those firms. Unlike StumbleUpon, Live Nation, Goodreads, Foursquare, and Shop Your Way Rewards, all of which suffered unsubscribe rates of over 35 percent.

There are lessons for both companies and consumers. Companies need to be keenly aware of just how many emails they’re bombarding users with, as too many will lead to them unsubscribing completely. Consumers need to a) be careful to tick and untick the right boxes when signing up, and b) be sure to unsubscribe from the worst offenders before their inbox fills up How to Deal With Inbox Overload and To-Do Lists in Emails Email is not just communication, it also largely dictates your to-do list. Let's talk about the best tips to link the inbox to our productivity with Andy Mitchell -- the founder of ActiveInbox. Read More .

If Facebook Likes Determined Elections

As most of you will be aware, the presidential primaries are currently taking place in the U.S. These determine who will be running for President 6 Resources to Help You Track the 2016 US Presidential Election The people’s right to vote determines the outcome of an election. Be an informed voter and take this important task seriously with the help of these tools. Read More for the Democrats and the Republicans. The front runners are Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton on one side, and Donald Trump and Ted Cruz on the other side.


However, if Facebook was used to choose the next President, Ben Carson would win hands down. This is according to FiveThirtyEight, which created a ranking of the current candidates based on their number of Facebook Likes. They also created a map showing where each candidate was pulling those Likes from.

Ben Carson has received 26 percent of the Likes on Facebook, beating out Sanders and Trump on 23 percent apiece. Clinton only managed a paltry 8 percent. Rather than popularity, what this really shows is the effectiveness of each candidates social media strategy, and, I suppose, the number of people happy to support each candidate in public. Still, it’s an interesting result.

Skype Group Video Calling on Mobile

As promised last month, Microsoft is rolling out Skype group video calling on Android and iOS. The feature is being rolled out to all Skype users 10 Tips to Make You a More Efficient Skype User Skype can do more than you think. With this article, you'll learn all about its best hidden and advanced features. It's the Skype productivity manual. Read More in the U.S. and Europe from today, and will be available worldwide by the end of March.

Up to 25 people will be able to take part in a Skype group video call, with the person currently talking displayed in the middle of the screen. Anything up to 1080p video is supported. This brings Skype in line with Google Hangouts The Best All-in-One Messaging & Calling App for Android: Google Hangouts What if there was one app that could do it all? Meet Google Hangouts for Android. Read More , which has supported group video calling for some time. Apple has yet to offer such a feature on FaceTime.


India Gets a $4 Smartphone

India is now home to the cheapest smartphone ever released, with the Freedom 251 being priced at Rs. 251 (US$4). This is less than half the price of that smartphone Walmart sold for $10 a pop Pandora Buys Rdio, Google Answers Questions, the $10 Android... [Digest] Pandora picks over the bones of Rdio, Google gains intelligence, Walmart sells a cheap Android handset, the Tears of Joy emoji wins Word of the Year, and how to build a time machine, theoretically speaking. Read More in November 2015.

So, what does $4 buy you in terms of a smartphone? A 4-inch qHD display, a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, a 1450mAh battery, and front- and rear-facing cameras. Oh, and it’s powered by Android 5.1, which is better than my current HTC.

The Indian government is thought to be subsidizing this handset, and it should be noted that while $4 is barely enough to buy a coffee in the U.S., it’s about half a day’s pay for the average worker in India. However, that still means the Freedom 251 is cheap enough to enable a whole slew of new people to get online.

Super Mario Kart With 101 Players

And finally, some guy (Hat-Loving Gamer on YouTube) made a video showing the most epic Super Mario Kart race of all time. Why so epic? Because 101 characters are all jostling for position at the same time. This despite 101 character barely fitting on the track together.


Suffice to say this isn’t real, but we wish it was. Super Mario Kart on the SNES is probably the high point for that series Excited About Mario Kart 8? Relive What Came Before! A lot of game franchises start off slowly and gradually build up a following. But Mario Kart burst into the gaming world and has never stood for anything less than brilliance. Read More , and many of us would happily drop everything to have one more go. And if that go was online against 100 other players? Heaven.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Have you unsubscribed from these email over-senders? Which of the presidential hopefuls have you Liked on Facebook? Can you see yourself using Skype group video calling on mobile? If you’re in India, will you be buying one of these smartphones? Should Nintendo make this giant game of Super Mario Kart a reality?

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.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.


Image Credit: Brownpau via Flickr

Related topics: Facebook, Nintendo, Politics, Skype, Spam.

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  1. Shirazy
    March 9, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I wish I was a spam king too - the car in my driveway would carry a decal saying FERRARI.

  2. C. Curtis
    February 19, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    SPAM - On Facebook, you can change your settings so you never receive email from them. Ditto Twitter. LinkedIn is harder to stop; even if you tell them not to send email, they send some. My point is simply that those email sources are controllable.

    Re Ben Carson -- don't confuse "liking" a page with actually supporting the candidate. I know several people who want to keep tabs on what a candidate is saying or doing. Some do it as an early warning system; others do it for entertainment value. I'll have to look into the map showing where the "likes" are coming from; I wonder how many are from non-US sources.

  3. Mestengo Hidalgo
    February 19, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Damon John has a company, Bronto Software, whose business is contract spamming and when you complain his staff retaliates with a mass spamming campaign from all kinds of obscene spammers.

  4. Anonymous
    February 18, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    "These Companies Send All the Spam"
    These companies may send out the most e-mails but let's not forget that people who get these e-mails should share the blame. I have never received any e-mails from any of the companies on the list, but then I have never, ever clicked on any of their ads or gone on their sites. And yes, I do use an ad blocker. If people didn't click on ads and used an ad blocker, they would not be inundated with spam.

  5. Anonymous
    February 18, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    LinkedIn and Facebook should never be allowed SMTP transit outside of their own networks again.