Tech News

Facebook Drains Your Battery, Bing Profits from Windows 10… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 23-10-2015

Facebook fixes its iPhone app, Microsoft Bing turns a profit, Spotify lands on the original Chromecast, Harmonix employees review Rock Band 4, and how Star Wars would sound if we all came from New York.


Update Your Facebook App Now

If your iPhone dies after less than a day or normal use then it’s time to update the Facebook app. Because, by Facebook’s own admission, the social network has been using more than its fair share of your battery. In some cases, a lot more than its fair share.

Some iPhone users have suspected Facebook of sucking their battery life away 7 Ways to Boost Your Cell Phone Battery Life [iPhone, Android, Other Smartphones] By far one of the most disappointing features in just about every smartphone these days is the battery life, which for most of us requires at least one charge per 24-hour period. Are you a... Read More for a while now. But now they have proof, thanks to the new battery menu in iOS 9. This lists apps in order of how much power they’re consuming, and Facebook has been using far more than is necessary.

Facebook engineer Ari Grant posted a mea culpa admitting this was a legitimate problem, and disclosing two of the issues Facebook has so far identified as being partly responsible:

“The first issue we found was a ‘CPU spin’ in our network code. A CPU spin is like a child in a car asking, ‘Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?’ with the question not resulting in any progress to reaching the destination. This repeated processing causes our app to use more battery than intended.”

“The second issue is with how we manage audio sessions. If you leave the Facebook app after watching a video, the audio session sometimes stays open as if the app was playing audio silently. This is similar to when you close a music app and want to keep listening to the music while you do other things, except in this case it was unintentional and nothing kept playing.”

Both of these issues have been fixed in the latest version of the Facebook app, so updating should give your iPhone a battery boost. Another solution is to delete Facebook off of your iPhone altogether, and reclaim your life as well as your battery Frustrated with Facebook? 5 Tips to Reclaim Your Sanity The real-world social implications of Facebook make it difficult to deal with frustrating online situations. Here are five tips to help you keep your Facebook feed drama-free. Read More . Or is that too extreme?

Bing Finally Turns a Profit

Bing has finally turned a profit, adding more than $1 billion to Microsoft’s coffers. We know so because, as reported by ZDNet, Microsoft announced the news during the earnings call for the first fiscal quarter of 2016. And the company is probably jumping for joy behind the scenes at this turnaround.


Microsoft’s search engine has been losing money for many years, mostly as a result of being the ugly sister to the beloved Google Greater Than Google: The Best Bits Of Bing When we think of searching the Internet, we without a doubt think “Google”. And why not? It’s a fantastic search engine and has some great features. But even before the idea of writing this article,... Read More . But now, as a result of a higher volume of searches and higher revenues per search, Bing is in the black for the first time since it launched in 2009.

What’s driving this higher volume of searches? Windows 10. Microsoft admitted that “Nearly 20% of search revenue in the month of September was driven by Windows 10 devices”. Bing and Cortana, which is powered by Bing, are essential elements of Windows… and suddenly the reason Windows 10 is being given away for free Windows 10 Upgrade - Free Doesn't Mean It Won't Cost Anything There's a catch to the free Windows 10 upgrade. Microsoft understands its audience all too well; they are more likely to pay for the freedom of control, rather than for extra features. Read More becomes much clearer.

Stream Spotify on the Original Chromecast

If you own an original Chromecast you can now stream Spotify through it. Spotify support has been available on the new Chromecast for several weeks, but Google has now added it to the original device too.


To stream Spotify via a first-generation Chromecast you need to force it to install the new firmware update. This can be done by simply rebooting the device. The new Chromecast 2.0 Chromecast 2.0: What's New? The aptly named Chromecast 2.0 is Google's first major revision to the device since it was first released all the way back in July 2013. What's new? Read More is an awesome bit of kit, but this makes the original almost as good.

Beware Dodgy Rock Band 4 Reviews

Video games developer Harmonix has admitted that some of its employees have been caught posting positive reviews of Rock Band 4 on Amazon. Which, given the fact that Harmonix made the game, is clearly a conflict of interests.

Reddit discovered the subterfuge, noting how several positive reviews for Rock Band 4 came from people whose names match those of Harmonix employees. Harmonix responded to the minor controversy by issuing a statement to Destructoid:

“Harmonix has clarified its internal policy about posting reviews of our own products on retail sites, and we’ve asked that existing reviews be edited to identify Harmonix employees or be removed entirely. While we believe the reviews posted by a few employees were sincere and without ill intentions, as a studio we don’t believe these are appropriate actions. We appreciate the feedback from the community, and take our relationship with our fans seriously.”

This just adds to the weight of evidence suggesting you cannot always trust Amazon reviews. Between people with a direct interest in the product in question and the legion of scammers selling fake reviews for $5 Microsoft Begs You Not to Switch, Amazon Sues Fake Reviewers... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft adds a begging screen, Amazon sues over a Fiverr, Google Books a fair use judgment, Aurous goes offline, the Nintendo Entertainment System turns 30, and Louis C.K. has a rant. Read More , we’re less inclined to believe what we read now.


Star Wars With a New York Accent

And finally, now that we’re done with Back to the Future, probably for ever, we can all focus on Star Wars: The Force Awakens. What do you mean you’re already bored of it? There are still two months to go before it even arrives in theaters! So you either like Star Wars or you’re wrong.

The final countdown began with the new trailer, released earlier this week. It’s brilliant, obviously, but perhaps it could be even better. Perhaps it needs an infusion of New York accents, with Brooklynites doing the voice-overs. Jimmy Kimmel delivers. [H/T Geeks of Doom]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Have you noticed Facebook killing your iPhone battery? Do you ever use Microsoft Bing? Do you own an original Chromecast? Do you believe customer reviews on Amazon? What accent would make Star Wars ever better than it already is?

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: Microsiervos via Flickr

Related topics: Chromecast, Facebook, Microsoft Bing, Spotify, Star Wars, Windows 10.

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  1. Anonymous
    October 23, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    "the beloved Google. "
    Google is beloved by its users the way coke and heroin are beloved by its users. In both cases the users are so addicted to the products that they cannot give them up without considerable pain.

    • Anonymous
      October 24, 2015 at 6:08 pm

      Are you sure you're not talking about Apple?

    • Dave Parrack
      October 27, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      I meant beloved as in popular, because it's killing Bing right now in terms of market share. But yeah, it's tough to switch away from using something you're so used to using.