Today in Tech News Digest, Bitcoin exchange MtGox goes offline, Google lobbies hard over Glass driving legislation, the dual-screen YotaPhone 2 debuts, you can buy BBM for $19 billion, Twitch streaming finally comes to Xbox One, Gmail adds an ‘Unsubscribe’ button, and Paramount stops the Top Gun tweets.
Bitcoin Exchange MtGox Goes Offline
Bitcoin exchange MtGox has gone offline, and there is a that it will never be coming back. The exchange stopped people withdrawing their Bitcoins earlier this month after “unusual activity” was spotted, a “transaction malleability” being blamed.
The stopping of withdrawals led to the price of Bitcoin plummeting at MtGox, and it’s feared this has made the exchange insolvent. If so, then the people who had money stored in its digital vaults may end up losing everything. A Reddit thread tracking the losses makes for disheartening reading.
Other Bitcoin exchanges have been quick to distance themselves from the Tokyo-based MtGox, with a joint statement saying, “As with any new industry, there are certain bad actors that need to be weeded out, and that is what we are seeing today.”
Authorities in both Japan and the U.S. are now looking into the MtGox issue. The problem is, of course, that the whole point of Bitcoin is its lack of government control. This is good for those who want freedom from outside interference by financial third parties, but it leaves them vulnerable when this kind of meltdown occurs.
Google Lobbies Hard Over Glass Legislation
— Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) February 25, 2014
Google is lobbying hard to prevent Google Glass being regulated. Reuters reports that a number of U.S. states are considering introducing legislation preventing people from wearing the headsets while driving.
Lobbyists working for Google are now actively campaigning against restrictions in Illinois, Delaware, and Missouri. The search giant’s main argument appears to be that any such regulation would be “premature” given how niche Google Glass is at the moment. Because Glass Explorers can’t drive, obviously.
New Dual-Screen YotaPhone 2 Debuts
Yota Devices has unveiled the second-generation YotaPhone, a dual-screen handset with screens on the front and rear. The new YotaPhone, which features a 5-inch HD OLED display on the front and a touchscreen EPD (Electronic Paper Display) on the rear is set to be released by the end of 2014.
BlackBerry Would Take $19 Billion For BBM
Note: I would also take $19B for stuff I have that no one uses: “I would take $19 billion for BBM: BlackBerry CEO” http://t.co/HfyCzGmzwq
— Mathew Ingram (@mathewi) February 25, 2014
If you have a spare $19 billion stuffed down the back of a cushion then you could be the proud owner of BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). We know this because BlackBerry CEO John Chen said so, telling CNBC that he would “definitely sell” at that price and “recommend to the board to take it.”
This is an obvious reference to the Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp, but seeing as the whole of BlackBerry is valued at a lot less than $19 billion we don’t foresee Mark Zuckerberg coming a-knockin’.
Twitch Streaming Coming To Xbox One
Twitch streaming is finally coming to the Xbox One, more than three months after Microsoft launched its latest games console. The PS4 has had the feature since launch, but it’s taken the forthcoming release of Titanfall to push Microsoft to offer it on the Xbox One.
Twitch will launch on Xbox One on March 11, the same day the aforementioned Titanfall — one of your most-wanted games of 2014 — is released. For those not in the know, Twitch allows gamers to stream themselves playing games, and it’s becoming an increasingly popular pastime.
Gmail Helps You Unsubscribe From Junk
REJOICE! Gmail adds unsubscribe link for those mailing lists you signed up for but forgot about ten minutes later. http://t.co/8ywijxf9Tk
— PCMag (@PCMag) February 25, 2014
Google has made a small change to Gmail that should help everybody swamped by unsolicited newsletters. An ‘Unsubscribe’ button now appears in the header information of all such emails, making it a lot less of a chore to remove yourself from mailing lists.
After ridding yourself of some unwanted newsletters, why not actively subscribe to the MakeUseOf newsletter, which is well worth receiving to your inbox every day. Honest. Trust me.
Paramount Kills Top Gun Tweets
Tweeting Top Gun, frame by agonising frame. Paramount trying to stop it. Hilarious beyond words. http://t.co/iKsv2IRTy4
— Mark Cook (@thetafferboy) February 25, 2014
And finally, in what may be the most ridiculous copyright claim ever brought, Paramount Pictures has killed a Twitter feed tweeting the movie Top Gun frame by frame.
The @555uhz account was tweeting a couple of frames from Top Gun every hour, complete with subtitles. But that, according to Paramount, was worthy of a DMCA takedown notice, which Twitter now appears to have complied with by suspending the account.
We don’t need to make a sarcastic comment at this point because this story is ludicrous enough already.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks
Image Credit: Antana via Flickr