Tech News

Chrome Blocks Flash Ads, Minecraft Makes You Sad… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 31-08-2015

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

The war on Flash is ramping up Die Flash Die: The Ongoing History of Tech Companies Trying to Kill Flash Flash has been in decline for a long time, but when will it die? Read More , 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 Adobe Flash Must Die, Apple Suffers From Staingate, & More... [Tech News Digest] Facebook bashes Flash, Apple scrubs those stains, Walmart launches Black Friday 2, Nintendo suffers a real loss, Spotify maps the world, and R5-D4 ends it all. Read More , 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 The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft If you're late to the party though, don't worry - this extensive beginner's guide has you covered. Read More in recent years. In 2014, Notch sold Mojang to Microsoft Microsoft Buys Minecraft, How To Delete U2 From iTunes, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Windows 9 is incoming, iPhone 6 preorders, Kickstarter expansion, Surge is back, and texting Groot. Read More 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


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 Considering Switching to T-Mobile USA? Here's What You Need to Know About Plans, Service, and Phones T-Mobile USA recently made major changes to the way they are providing service with a new "Un-carrier" initiative. This new perspective for a wireless carrier has made plenty of people wonder whether those changes can... Read More .

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 Watch This Space: 10 Must-See Documentaries About the Universe These are the best space documentaries to help you explore the universe from the comfort of your living room. Read More 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

Related topics: Adobe Flash, Geeky Science, Minecraft, Netflix.

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  1. Anonymous
    September 1, 2015 at 1:37 am

    So....Netflix is reducing some of the crappy movies from their lineup? Major score!

  2. Anonymous
    August 31, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Instead of wailing "Woe is me, woe is me" and relying on his "friends" for entertainment, Notch ought to get back to what made him happy before he made his first $billion. He should get back to programming/hacking. Happiness comes from within, not from without.

    • Mihir Patkar
      August 31, 2015 at 3:53 pm

      And from 4 billion dollars, not 2 billion. Silly Notch.

  3. Anonymous
    August 31, 2015 at 12:10 pm

    I really do sympathise with Notch. He created a game for the love of what he does.

    When the game exploded in popularity, he was faced with millions of players harassing him over features and bugs, even after he passed active development over to another team.

    When he sold the company, his main focus was to protect the existing employees.

    Now he is in the position of having so much money that he alienates most people, and isn't sure of the motives of the rest, and he's scared of using the money in any way that will attract the same level of attention that Minecraft did.

    I guess the one thing that money can't buy is normality, and it seems like that's what he wants most.

    • Anonymous
      August 31, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      "I guess the one thing that money can’t buy is normality, and it seems like that’s what he wants most."
      It takes skill to live with money and most of the nouveau riche never learn that skill. Money is a tool, not an end in itself. Notch should forget about the money by stashing it in a bank or an investment and return back to "normality".

      • Anonymous
        September 1, 2015 at 9:32 am

        That's an interesting suggestion. I'm honestly not sure whether I would be able to do that in his position. I could start a new bank account, go and get a job, and carry on as if the last few years of my life never happened, but I think that there would always be something in the back of my mind holding me back. That little voice that says "you don't need to be here, you know" after yet another phone call with a client that treats me like dirt...

        Of course, the other way to do it would be to pay myself a small wage, and lock the rest of the money up. Then I could work on my own projects and still have a safety net.

        It's all very interesting to think about. If I ever become a billionaire, I'll let you know how it turns out.

        • Anonymous
          September 1, 2015 at 1:19 pm

          I am in no way suggesting that Notch go back to living in his parents basement, subsisting on pizza and Mountain Dew. Just that he tone it down a few notches (pun intended). Sooner or later, all the expensive toys lose their allure, the rich food starts giving you indigestion and the "friends" go home. Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself rattling around your 50 room mansion all by your lonesome self with nothing to do.

          Notch is trying live in a manner he is not accustomed to.