Europe Bans Hate Speech, The Bible Gets an Emoji Makeover… [Tech News Digest]
Europe hates hate speech, The Bible gets rewritten with emoji, Zenbo helps out around the house, Google gives Chromecasts away for free, and watch a cheetah run really fast.
Europe Bans Illegal Hate Speech
Hate speech harms the object immediately,
but it harms the perpetrator irreparably,
– Giuseppe Salinghetti
— Verble Gherulous (@VerbleGherulous) May 21, 2016
The European Commission is trying to stop the rise of hate speech online, authoring a new Code of Conduct designed to curtail abhorrent viewpoints from spreading. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Microsoft have all signed up to the Code of Conduct, making a public commitment to prevent their platforms from being used for illegal hate speech.
The companies named above have promised to continue “their efforts to tackle illegal hate speech online,” review reports of “illegal hate speech in less than 24 hours,” “help flag content that promotes incitement to violence and hateful conduct,” and continue “identifying and promoting independent counter-narratives, new ideas and initiatives”.
The difficulty is deciding what constitutes hate speech , and then deciding if expressing that hate speech should be illegal. Most people would agree that direct threats of violence against either an individual or a group should be taken seriously. However, expressing an opinion about either an individual or a group, no matter how abhorrent that opinion may be , is a different matter.
While this could help make the Internet a nicer place to be, it could also backfire spectacularly. While the European Commission is clear this is not an attack on the right to free speech, any attempts at governing what people say takes us down that route. After all, what’s considered a harmless opinion today could be reconsidered as hate speech tomorrow.
Bible Emoji Adds Emoji to The Bible
Apple made a "Bible Emoji". They literally took the bible and put it into "words millennials can understand", including "u" and "2". NO. ??
— Queen of Cats (@catsncarbs) May 31, 2016
Someone, somewhere thought it would be a good idea to add emoji to The Bible. And so, Bible Emoji was born unto the world. Subtitled, “Scripture 4 Millenials,” Bible Emoji is billed as the “first ever Bible translation w/ emojis,” and “a great and fun way to share the gospel”.
This is a serious undertaking too, with Bible Emoji containing 3,282 pages, and “all 66 books chronicling the stories of Abraham, Noah and Jesus”. Which is why it took the author, who is keen to remain anonymous, six months to complete the translation from the King James Version.
The author told The Guardian, “I thought if we fast forwarded 100 years in the future, an emoji bible would exist. So I thought it’d be fun to try to make it. I wanted to make it similar to how you might text or tweet a bible verse, by shrinking the total character count.”
Bible Emoji is priced at $2.99 on the Apple App Store, but for those who don’t like paying for things there is an accompanying Twitter account too. We expect this to cause controversy in some quarters, but is translating The Bible from English to emoji really any worse than translating it from Hebrew to English?
ASUS Launches the Zenbo Robot
Taiwanese electronics manufacturer ASUS has announced a new product called Zenbo. This isn’t a new laptop or smartphone, but a new robot designed to live in your home. ASUS is officially referring to Zenbo as “Your smart little companion,” and this cross between BB-8 from Star Wars and Marvin from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy certainly has a few tricks up his sleeve.
The ASUS Zenbo will move independently around your house, remind you of important information, answer questions, play music, control smart home devices , and interact with your children. And that’s just for starters. Whether you find that awesome or creepy will probably dictate whether you buy a Zenbo for around $600 when it’s released at an unspecified time in the future.
YouTube Red = Free Chromecasts
Google is giving away Chromecasts to YouTube Red subscribers as a thank you for supporting the service. For the uninitiated, YouTube Red is a $10-a-month ad-free version of YouTube with added content, including Scare PewDiePie, which we watched to save you the bother .
Multiple YouTube Red subscribers have reported receiving emails from Google, with the Chromecast billed as “just a little treat for being one of the first people to join the party”. It’s unclear whether signing up now will qualify you, but if you do so, and it works, please let us know.
Strapping a GoPro to a Cheetah
And finally, what happens when you strap a GoPro to a cheetah? No, this isn’t the opening of a crap joke, it’s a legitimate question, and one which is answered by the video embedded above.
We all know cheetahs are the fastest land animals, reaching speeds of up to 120 km/h. But being told that is very different than being shown, which is where the GoPro comes in to play.
Keepers at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden strapped a GoPro to one of their resident cheetahs, and the footage will leave you breathless. It shows an animal sprinting faster than most of us travel in our cars, and all while keeping its head fixed firmly on its prey. [H/T Gizmodo]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Should we be legislating against hate speech? Is Bible Emoji a bit of fun or actually quite offensive? Would you ever consider buying an ASUS Zenbo? Is a free Chromecast enough to make you sign up for YouTube Red? What animal would you like to see a GoPro attached to next?
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.
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