Today in Tech News Digest, the U.S. confronts China, GoPro eyes an IPO, Airbnb Experiences, 13 years of Apple Stores, new words in the #Twictionary, Rubik’s Cube Google Doodle, and Nintendo goes gay.
U.S. Confronts China Over Cyber-Espionage
The United States has officially indicted five members of the People’s Liberation Army of China, accusing them of hacking into the computer systems of American companies and stealing trade secrets in order to give Chinese companies a commercial advantage.
The Chinese authorities have responded to the criminal charges by abandoning plans for joint talks between the two countries on matters of Internet security and cyber-espionage. A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry claimed these charges were “purely ungrounded and absurd,” and accused the U.S. Government of repeating “fabricated facts.”
As the U.S. and China have no extradition treaty the suspects named are unlikely to ever step foot inside an American courtroom. Which suggests this is more about sending a message to China and other countries allegedly involved in the state-sponsored hacking of American companies.
The timing of this is rather ironic, as it’s happening after a year of revelations from National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden. The most recent revelation accusing the NSA of spying on Chinese companies by sneaking surveillance equipment into servers and routers.
GoPro Files For IPO
GoPro, which specializes in making rugged cameras worn by extreme sports fans, has filed for an IPO. The company will trade on the NASDAQ as GPRO, and with revenues of $985.7 million in 2013, this could be a hugely successful IPO.
This is a growing company that has gone from employing 49 people in 2010 to employing 718 people in 2014. The company also boasts a “sales network of more than 25,000 stores globally,” and dozens of patents and patents pending.
Airbnb Experiments With Experiences
Airbnb is one of the fastest valued startups, ever. 0-$10b in 6 years. Owns no properties.
— Jeremiah Owyang (@jowyang) May 14, 2014
Airbnb has so far made its name allowing ordinary people to open their homes up to strangers. It’s been a rather successful endeavor too, but the company is looking to expand its business model to include experiences as well as accommodation.
According to TechCrunch, Airbnb is testing a new platform which sees hosts offering activities while their guests are in town. Activities spotted so far include guided tours, nature hikes, food tastings, and vocational classes.
This is a rather obvious route for Airbnb to go down, with everyone involved potentially getting something from it. These extra-curricular activities aren’t being highlighted on the site yet, so it could be some time before they’re officially available.
13 Years Of Apple Retail Stores
The not-so-humble Apple Store has been with us for 13 years, with Steve Jobs opening Apple’s first retail outlet in Tysons Corner, Virginia on May 19, 2001. The video above shows Jobs explaining the thinking behind the layout we all now love/hate.
In order to mark the occasion, mobile shopping app Retale created an infographic showing the rise of the Apple Store. Tim Cook’s company now has 424 stores in 16 countries, of all which are manned by Geniuses. No, really.
Collins Launches #Twictionary
— Collins Dictionary (@collinsdict) May 19, 2014
Serious dictionaries are rapidly realizing the potential in sourcing new words from the Internet. Some of these words should die in a fire, but others cross over into the mainstream and deserve their place in these illustrious tomes.
The Oxford English Dictionary named Selfie its Word Of The Year for 2014, and the Collins English Dictionary is now searching for a word used extensively online to include in its latest print edition.
A website detailing the nine options to choose from asks voters to tweet support for their favorite word. You have until May 28 to decide between adorkable, duckface, Euromaidan, fatberg, felfie, fracktivist, gaybourhood, nomakeupselfie, and vaguebooking. A combination which just caused my spellchecker to have a nervous breakdown.
Carry On Playing Google’s Rubik’s Cube
You may have noticed the virtual Rubik’s Cube dominating the Google homepage yesterday (May 19). Although it’s now disappeared from that valued location, the Google Rubik’s Cube is still available to play through the Google Doodle archive.
Whether you want to carry on playing or not will likely be determined by your Rubik’s Cube skill level. It turns out I’m even less competent at solving a virtual Rubik’s Cube as I am at solving a physical Rubik’s Cube. I’ll stick to other, easier, Google Doodle games.
John Oliver Turns Nintendo Gay
And finally, in light of the controversy surrounding new Nintendo 3DS game Tomodachi Life, John Oliver decided to turn the whole of Nintendo gay. Cue video footage of Mario, Link, Princess Peach, Princess Zelda, Yoshi, Toad, Bowser, and Donkey Kong enjoying same-sex relationships.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Johan Viirok via Flickr