Chrome Blocks Flash Ads, Minecraft Makes You Sad… [Tech News Digest]
Chrome battles Flash, Notch hates being rich, Netflix becomes less Epix, T-Mobile limits your data, and Star Stuff explores the early life of Carl Sagan.
Chrome Pauses Unimportant Flash Content
Flash is boned. More or less. And that's because Google's Chrome web browser is about to start automatically pausing any Flash-based advert…
— Dean Wentzel (@2_ones) August 31, 2015
The war on Flash is ramping up , with Google now making its Chrome browser pause unimportant Flash content by default. By unimportant, Google means anything that isn’t “central to the webpage”. This means the Flash video you actively want to watch should continue to play, while the ads and other content remain paused.
This feature was originally introduced in March but not turned on by default. In June, users in the beta channel had the feature enabled. And now Google is going all in, pausing Flash content for all Chrome users from tomorrow (September 1).
Chrome users who want all Flash content to play at all times still have the option to turn this feature off. Click Settings, Show Advanced Settings, then Content Settings. There are three options under Plugins, and you can choose the option which is best for you.
Regardless, this is another kick in the teeth for Adobe Flash , which is slowly but surely being shown the exit door and asked to leave without kicking up a fuss.
Minecraft Billionaire Is Sad & Lonely
Many of us dream of being rich. Of one day hitting the financial jackpot and having enough money to do anything and everything we want to do with our lives. However, it turns out that having more money than some small countries doesn’t guarantee happiness. Just ask Marcus ‘Notch’ Persson.
Notch is the man who founded Mojang and created Minecraft, that silly little game that has captured the world’s imagination in recent years. In 2014, Notch sold Mojang to Microsoft for $2.5 billion, and is now a billionaire living in Beverly Hills. And he’s unhappy with his lot in life.
Persson posted a series of tweets over the weekend strongly suggesting money doesn’t buy you happiness. In fact, he has “never felt more isolated,” and spends most of his time waiting for his friends to make time to meet him. Because back in the real world people still have to work to keep a roof over their heads.
Do you have any sympathy for Notch? I must admit I’m personally struggling to sympathize with a billionaire who can spend the rest of his life sitting on a beach sipping cocktails.
Netflix Loses Epix Movies to Hulu
Netflix has decided not to renew its contract with cable network Epix, which means lots of popular movies will soon disappear from the service. A five-year deal, which is due to end on September 30, previously gave Netflix subscribers access to films such as The Wolf of Wall Street, World War Z, Star Trek: Into Darkness, and Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Netflix explained why the Epix deal is no more, saying, “Our focus has shifted to provide great movies and TV series for our members that are exclusive to Netflix. Epix’ focus is to make sure that their movies will be widely available for consumers through a variety of platforms.”
In other words, Netflix would rather spend money making its own content than licensing content also available elsewhere. Cue a handful of new Adam Sandler flicks. Meanwhile, Epix has done a deal with Hulu.
T-Mobile Punishes Unlimited Data Dicks
Idk why I'm single. I have so much to offer. I'm nice, a good listener, I have Netflix, an unlimited data plan, a wifi hotspot.
— Ryan Seth Ashford (@the_amazin_ryan) August 31, 2015
T-Mobile is cracking down on the small minority of users who are abusing the mobile network’s unlimited data plans. According to a blog post by CEO John Legere, “a fraction of a percent” of users are using workarounds to replace broadband with a T-Mobile data plan .
T-Mobile’s most expensive package offers unlimited LTE (Long-Term Evolution) data, which is a huge pull for consumers who need to freedom to be online all day, every day. However, “unlimited means unlimited” was only ever meant to apply to mobile data, with tethering throttled at 7GB.
Anyone caught using workarounds to beat this throttling will be permanently banned from T-Mobile’s top tier, and relegated to using the company’s entry-level package with strict limits on data use. You have been warned!
Carl Sagan Is Short on Star Stuff
And finally, Carl Sagan must be responsible for turning millions of people onto science. Cosmos, surely his magnum opus, is one of the best documentary series about space ever made, and continues to enthrall audiences even today. But how did Sagan’s love affair with science begin?
This short film called Star Stuff is inspired by the life of Carl Sagan. It shows how a seemingly simple question (and its logical answer) can set a curious child off on a voyage of discovery that ends up dominating their whole life. Watch it, and ponder the answers to your own questions. [H/T Reddit]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you pleased to see Chrome cutting Flash ads? Do you have any sympathy for the miserable billionaire? Does the loss of Epix make you less inclined to use Netflix? Should unlimited data plans mean anything goes? Are you a fan of Carl Sagan?
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: Yuko Honda via Flickr