Tech News

Your Facebook Friends Are Fakes, The Best Vines of 2015… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 25-01-2016

Your Facebook friends don’t really care, the most popular Vines of 2015, Skype hides your IP address, Tinder acknowledges STDs exist, and the robot that can solve a Rubik’s Cube in one second.


Facebook Friends Aren’t Real Friends

I’m sorry to have to break bad news, but the majority of your Facebook friends aren’t actually your friends at all. They’re fake friends, who really couldn’t care less about you.

This is according to a new study by anthropologist Robin Dunbar, who some of you may recognize as the originator or Dunbar’s number. That number is 150, and it signifies how many stable relationships the average person can sustain in real life. Which means Facebook is flawed How Facebook Is Turning You Into Someone Your Friends Ignore Every company has its secret sauce, and Facebook is no different. The social network utilizes a special sharing algorithm called "EdgeRank" which decides what your friends see whenever you interact with the pages of companies... Read More from the start.

Dunbar’s new study looked at 3,375 Facebook users between the ages of 18 and 65. While these users had an average of 150 Facebook friends, only 4.1 could be counted on during an “emotional crisis,” and only 13.6 ever expressed any kind of sympathy. Which strongly suggests the rest are merely there as padding.

In the study, Dunbar states:

“There is a cognitive constraint on the size of social networks that even the communication advantages of online media are unable to overcome. In practical terms, it may reflect the fact that real (as opposed to casual) relationships require at least occasional face-to-face interaction to maintain them.”

And that’s the rub. You can have hundreds or thousands of friends on Facebook 5 Reasons Why You Should Start Deleting Facebook Friends Once upon a time, Facebook was all about adding; more social used to equal more fun. Not anymore. Now it's all about deleting. Read More , but you will never be able to keep up with them all in the real world. And that means that, even if you once considered them as friends, they will slowly but surely fade into the background.


In other words, Facebook friends aren’t real friends. No matter how much you’d like to think they are.

The Most Popular Vines of 2015

Vine is now three years old, having launched on January 24th, 2013. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Vine has collected the most popular, important, and/or memorable Vines of the last year together in an epic playlist.

The clips being heralded for their genius include Duck Army, What Are Those?!, and the altogether-more-serious clip showing the moment ISIS attacked Paris.


Vine, which lets users post short, snappy video clips, has also been responsible for several big memes over the past year. In order to help these memes grow, Vine has launched Trends on Vine, which will be used to track influential Vines as they evolve.

Microsoft Hides Skype IP Address

Microsoft is hiding Skype IP addresses by default in an effort to prevent DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks What Is a DDoS Attack? [MakeUseOf Explains] The term DDoS whistles past whenever cyber-activism rears up its head en-masse. These kind of attacks make international headlines because of multiple reasons. The issues that jumpstart those DDoS attacks are often controversial or highly... Read More on gamers and streamers. And about time too. Unfortunately, it has taken Microsoft far too long to enact this change, as Skype has been leaking IP address information for several years.

This flaw allowed unscrupulous individuals to find someone’s IP address from their Skype ID, and bombard them with traffic, forcing them offline. Microsoft recently introduced the ability to hide your IP address from others, but the latest version of the Skype desktop client hides them by default. So, download it at your earliest convenience!


Tinder Protects Your Sexual Health

Tinder has added a Health and Safety section to its website to ensure its users are aware of the risks associated with casual sex. This section details basic information of STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and links to Healthvana’s free HIV and STD testing locator.

Dr. Jessica Carbino, lead sociologist at Tinder, said:

“Tinder is proud to empower millions of users to create relationships. An important aspect of any healthy relationship — whether formed on Tinder or otherwise — is ensuring sexual health and safety. We’d be delighted to see other major social networks follow in our footsteps in educating the public.”

Hook-up apps such as Tinder and Grindr Tired of Tinder? The 10 Best Free Alternative Dating Apps If you're tired of Tinder, there are lots of alternative dating apps available. Here are the best free Tinder alternatives. Read More , which pair people up with the minimum of fuss, have been blamed for a rise in STDs amongst young people. And it’s easy to see how enabling the generation which is glued to their phones to hook up with strangers has at least contributed to the problem Why Swiping Right on Tinder Might Get You More Than a Date Swiping right on Tinder could lead to quite unexpected results. Don't get left in the dark: Here's everything you need to know about the pitfalls of swiping right on Tinder. Read More .

The Robot Solves Rubik’s Cubes

And finally, us puny humans really don’t stand a chance once the machines take over What Happens When Robots Can Do All the Jobs? Robots are getting smarter fast -- what happens when they can do every job better and cheaper than human beings? Read More . And the worst thing is, we’re the ones building the robots that will eventually take over the planet. As if the advanced humanoid robots 5 Advanced Humanoid Robots You Have to See to Believe Here, we count down some of the most impressive humanoid robots ever created. The future of robotics is coming, and it's weirder than ever. Read More aren’t enough of a threat, we now have robots capable of solving a Rubik’s Cube in around one second.


This is all achieved via a combination of Linux, an Arduino, stepper motors, 3D-printed parts, and webcams. The result is a Rubik’s Cube solved faster than you brain can process. I have never even solved a Rubik’s Cube, but even the world record for a human is 4.904 seconds, which is positively pedestrian in comparison to this thing. [H/T Reddit]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Do you agree that most of your Facebook friends aren’t real friends? Which Vine channels do you follow? Are you pleased to see Skype starting to hide IP addresses by default? Should Tinder do more to educate its users about STDs? Have you ever actually solved a Rubik’s Cube?

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: Michael Coghlan via Flickr

Related topics: Facebook, IP Address, Online Dating, Robotics, Skype, Tinder, Vine.

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  2. Anonymous
    January 29, 2016 at 1:59 am

    "In practical terms, it may reflect the fact that real (as opposed to casual) relationships require at least occasional face-to-face interaction to maintain them."
    This statement does not follow, and is nonsense. My closest friends are all people I've never met face-to-face. I've known most of them for 7+ years. Sympathy and money lended by several of them got me through the years that were toughest for me, financially and otherwise.
    We don't use Facebook to chat, share things, or keep in contact: we have a Skype group. But what Dunbar said is that it is a "fact" that "real" relationships "require" "face-to-face interaction", not that Facebook might not be the best place to form and maintain real relationships, so I object to his statement.

  3. Steve Rathbun
    January 26, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I dont know what vine is and really dont care. I've never had any use for Facebook. Personally,I think those losers who are addicted to those "social" networks(or nutworks,as I call them)need to get a life!

  4. Suleiman
    January 25, 2016 at 8:04 pm

    Finally Dave is back posting cool stuff lol

    My Facebook friends are my REAL friends. This is why:

    People on my Facebook are those I met and interacted in real life. Once I used to have about 800 friends. After I decided to keep only the people i know well, I ended up having just over 20 friends, yup you read it right and that is more than enough for me.

    What is getting me going still on Facebook these days are not just my friends' postings only but the cool amazing pages out there like Make Use Of. Those pages have wealth of informations. If you see today almost all TV channels, Universities and major businesses have pages that are updated several time a day.

    This writing reminded of the first days of Facebook and Twitter days when people used to post anything they want. Today most of us "got it" how facebook and twitter works well for us. We don't post frequently as we used to do on Facebook. The name of the game today is to hit that share button and to have a long discussion on certain topic on Pages. I see a Page as a response delayed chartrooms, kind of offline chartrooms but people still react to your "chats" and you will know about it through notifications. It is good because you don't burn time just chatting endlessly.

    So yeah, my Facebook friends are my real friends and I am not still on Facebook because of them only. Thanks for this cool article Dave, your posting are always fun to read :)

    • Anonymous
      January 26, 2016 at 7:14 pm

      A real friend will stand by you when you get into serious trouble. By "serious" I don't mean when you fail a subject in school or even get fired from a job.
      A real friend will lend you a large amount of money without asking any questions.
      A real friend will let you move in with him/her for an undetermined period of time just because you can't afford a place of your own.
      Anybody who won't do that for you is just a passing acquaintance.

      Most Facebook "friends" wouldn't give a damn if you disappeared off the face of the Earth. They would just friend 100 more people.