Tech News

Facebook Experiments on Users, Order the Oculus Rift… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 05-01-2016

Facebook tests users’ addiction levels, how to pre-order the Oculus Rift, Windows 10 nabs 10 percent of Windows users, Yahoo shutters Yahoo Screen, and play Urine It to Win It! to let off steam.


Facebook Crashes Own Apps

Facebook has been caught experimenting on its users Facebook Experiments On Users, Having Sex With Your iPad, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, The Internet's Own Boy is worth watching, BlackBerry invites us to check our facts, Photoshop Express lands on Windows Phone, binge-watching is bad, and Apple paints the iPhone as an extra parent. Read More again, with the social network alleged to have purposely crashed its own app to test users’ tolerance levels. This is according to The Information [Paywall] (via The Verge), which reports:

“Facebook has tested the loyalty and patience of Android users by secretly introducing artificial errors that would automatically crash the app for hours at a time, says one person familiar with the one-time experiment. The purpose of the test, which happened several years ago, was to see at what threshold would a person ditch the Facebook app altogether. The company wasn’t able to reach the threshold. ‘People never stopped coming back,’ this person says.”

To be fair to Facebook, this was a one-time experiment conducted several years ago, probably prior to the social network having its wrists slapped for conducting other experiments on its users Don’t Be an Experiment: How to Control Your Facebook News Feed What determines what is and isn't a top Facebook post? How often you interact with a person, topics you're interested in, how many likes or comments the post attracts, and – apparently – psychological experiments. Read More . However, this revelation still erodes our trust in Facebook.

Why would Facebook do something like this? To see what would happen if Google ever removed the Facebook app from Google Play for competitive reasons. Which is very unlikely now given the failure of Google+ How Google+ is Rethinking Social Media You may remember a few years ago when Google+ attempted to compete with Facebook as a social website. Google has not yet met expectations. So, now what? Read More to eat into Facebook’s territory.

Pre-Ordering the Oculus Rift

You will be able to pre-order the first consumer version of the Oculus Rift The Oculus Rift Is Real and You Can Have One in Spring 2016 Oculus VR has finally announced a release window for the consumer Oculus Rift. VR fans and developers are on the edge of their seats. Read More from 8am tomorrow (8am Pacific Time on Wednesday, January 6th). However, we still don’t know how much this new version of the Oculus Rift How the Oculus Rift Works and Why You Need One Why is there so much excitement over the Oculus Rift? Because it's a technological marvel. Here's how it works and why you're going to love it. Read More will cost, or when it will actually ship to buyers.

The company announced the news in a blog post, with Oculus co-founder Palmer Luckey set to reveal more in a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Wednesday evening (6pm Pacific). However, we do know one rather important detail about the Oculus Rift, and it’s likely to completely kill your interest in this product, at least for the time being.


It turns out you’ll need a powerful PC to even run the Oculus Rift, with only new and expensive rigs with high-end graphics cards even capable to powering it. Bloomberg suggests there are only 13 million PCs worldwide that are up to the job, which is a tiny percentage of the total number of computers. I’m out, as I don’t think my Chromebook is up to it.

Windows 10 Hits 10% Market Share

Windows 10 ended 2015 with just under 10 percent of the share of the operating system market. This means Windows XP Windows XP Lasted Longer Than World Wars I & II Combined Think Microsoft is letting Windows XP die too soon? You're not alone. Many think this is a cash grab. What if I told you Windows XP is the longest supported version of Windows ever? Read More is still more popular than Windows 10, despite Microsoft’s best (and slightly underhanded) efforts How to Get Rid of Windows 10 Upgrade Notification in Windows 7 & 8 Windows 10 is coming and Microsoft wants everyone to upgrade. The Windows 7 & 8 popup reminder ensures that even the last person will be aware of this option. Here's how you can remove it. Read More to persuade people to upgrade 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 .

According to Net Applications, Windows 7 leads the way with 55.68 percent, followed by XP on 10.93 percent, Windows 8/8.1 on 10.30 percent, and Windows 10 on 9.96 percent. It’s now just a matter of time before Windows 10 leaps ahead of XP and 8/8.1, but catching Windows 7 is going to be a much tougher ask.

Yahoo Shuts Down Yahoo Screen


Yahoo has shuttered Yahoo Screen, hammering another nail in its own coffin as a media giant. Yahoo Screen has already gone, but no one seemed to notice for a few days. Which shows just how deep into the abyss Yahoo has already slid.

A Yahoo spokesperson told Variety:

“Video content from Yahoo as well as our partners has been transitioned from Yahoo Screen to our Digital Magazine properties so users can discover complementary content in one place”.

Yahoo Screen was Yahoo’s platform for original programming, and it spent millions of dollars acquiring the rights to a sixth season of Community. However, while fans appreciated that move, it has ultimately contributed to Yahoo’s downfall.

Urine It to Win It!

And finally, a new game looks set to prove toilet humor still has a place in society 5 Games On Adult Swim To Entertain & Offend Adult Swim is an American cable television network aimed primarily at adults with infantile senses of humor. This toilet humor with a slightly risqué edge has also found its way into the games Adult Swim... Read More in 2016. Titled Urine It to Win It!, the game requires you to keep peeing into a toilet to win upgrades. And that’s it. Literally. You can watch the video trailer, but it won’t reveal anything new.


This may seem like a dumb idea, but it’s actually rather clever. Not only is it a play on incremental games where nothing much happens 7 Free Games Where You Win By Clicking… Seriously, You Just Click A quiet, gentle new genre is creeping toward your computer and all you have to do is click. And click. Read More except for leveling up, it’s also an analogy for life itself. After all, we all pee. And hopefully into increasingly better toilets as time goes on. [H/T Polygon]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Should Facebook stop experimenting on its users? Will you be pre-ordering the Oculus Rift? Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? Are you sorry to see Yahoo Screen shut down? Is Urine It to Win It! the best game you have ever seen?

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.


Image Credits: Eduardo Woo via Flickr

Explore more about: Facebook, Oculus Rift, Steam, Virtual Reality, Windows 10, Yahoo.

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  1. Anonymous
    January 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    "To be fair to Facebook, this was a one-time experiment conducted several years ago, probably prior to the social network having its wrists slapped for conducting other experiments on its users."
    You are contradicting yourself. First you say "one-time experiment" but then you say "conducting OTHER (emphases added) experiments on its users." Along with security questions, conducting various experiments on users just reinforces Facebook's image as a sleazy, sketchy, untrustworthy company willing to go to any lengths for a buck.

    "catching Windows 7 is going to be a much tougher ask."
    Not if Microsoft decommits support for Win 7, making Win 10 the only supported version. Such a move would force all users to "upgrade" to win 10.