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Facebook makes everybody emotional, ads appear on the Windows 10 lock screen, Apple wants to make the iPhone impossible to hack, Siri is coming to Mac, and bullying robots looks like fun.
Facebook Adds New Reactions
Facebook has rolled out its new Reactions, six emojis designed to give users more options beyond the classic Like button. These Reactions were first tested in Spain and Ireland last year, and our own Harry Guinness was fortunate enough to be in that first group. Now, every Facebook user around the world (1.6 billion people) should be seeing them.
The Like button is still there, and leading the way. However, it has been joined by buttons to express Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry. The last two are negative emotions, which runs contrary to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s stated reason for not offering a Dislike button. Still, in his Facebook post announcing Reactions, Zuckerberg claims Love is the most popular choice anyway.
These Reactions are a positive first step in offering users more ways to interact with content being posted and shared on Facebook. Previously, people would too often resort to Liking something just as a way of acknowledging they had read the update. But that didn’t really work when someone was talking of a bereavement or redundancy. Now, just add a Dislike option, and we will all be happy.
Microsoft Adds Ads to Windows 10
If you’re using Windows 10 then you may have noticed an ad appearing on your lock screen over the past couple of days. Well, buckle in, as this is set to be the first of many, with Microsoft keen to take advantage of all those people who upgraded to Windows 10 for free. Free always comes with a price, don’t you know.
This first ad is for Rise of the Tomb Raider, a video game added to the Windows Store last month. Which is, by all accounts a good game, but still not worthy of such an intrusive ad. This is essentially Microsoft trying to persuade people Windows Store is worth visiting regularly, but this might not be the best way of achieving that goal. Thankfully, How-To Geek has already explained how to disable these ads.
This shouldn’t have come as a surprise, as Microsoft was openly discussing using the Windows 10 lock screen for ads even before it launched its latest operating system. However, there are sure to be millions of people who, not expecting Microsoft to pull such a stunt, will be left wondering if they have been hit by adware. Which, in a way, they have. Just Microsoft’s own brand of adware.
Apple Is Developing an Unhackable iPhone
As the battle between Apple and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) over the unlocking of a terror suspect’s iPhone rages on, the Cupertino company is rumored to be taking steps to avoid such unpleasantness in the future. How? By making future iPhones impossible to hack, no matter how much a government organization may kick and scream.
This is according to The New York Times, which claims “people close to the company” believe it’s developing new security measures designed to make breaking into a locked iPhone a physical impossibility. There are no details about what these actual security measures could be, but as Apple has always used the security of its products as a selling point, it’s logical to assume it’s deadly serious about this.
Siri Is (Reportedly) Coming to Mac
Apple is preparing to bring Siri to Mac, with 9to5Mac reporting that the virtual assistant will arrive this fall as part of OS X 10.12. Apple has been testing integrating Siri into OS X since 2012, but hasn’t yet taken the plunge and added it to its desktop operating system. However, that all looks set to change later this year. Siri on Mac could make its debut at WWDC in June.
Siri is set to reside in the Mac’s Menu Bar, with an icon enabling Mac users to call on Siri for assistance as and when needed. If this is true then Siri will be the biggest feature of OS X 10.12, which otherwise looks set to comprise of nothing more than minor UI tweaks and bug fixes. Perhaps Apple should ask Siri for some new ideas, as it seems to be running out of them.
Boston Dynamics Engineers Are Bullies
And finally, Boston Dynamics has started bullying its humanoid robots, just because. As you can see in the video embedded above, the Alphabet-owned robotics company has updated Atlas, a robot capable of lifting heavy boxes without getting a bad back, unlike us puny humans.
Atlas is also very good at staying on its feet, as proved by its traipse across a snowy vista. And when it does fall over, it gets right back up again. It’s Atlas’ tenacity in the face of cruel bullying that is most striking though. Try that on a human colleague and the outcome would be very different.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you Like the new Facebook emotions? Would you prefer a Dislike button? How do you feel about ads being added to the Windows 10 lock screen? Is Apple going too far in its quest for user privacy? Would you use Siri on your Mac? Should we stop bullying robots in case they rise up against us?
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.