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Facebook Likes Brands, Siri Superpowers, Twitter Parody Police Raid [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 18-04-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, why you should stop liking brands on Facebook, Siri secures superpowers, Facebook finds Nearby Friends, shocking Lumia 2520 sales, Office Online in Chrome, and a Twitter parody gone wrong.


PSA: Stop Liking Brands On Facebook

If you want to preserve your right to sue a brand for any reason then you should resist the temptation of Liking them on Facebook You Are What You Like on Facebook [Weekly Facebook Tips] Did you ever wonder what your Facebook Likes reveal about you? A team of researchers from the UK figured it out for you. To demonstrate their results, they offer a free one click personality test... Read More . This is due to new clauses in terms of service which potentially protect brands from litigation if a customer has interacted with that brand in any way.

The New York Times cites General Mills as the first company to push this agenda, with the American food company claiming consumers “give up their right to sue … if they download coupons, ‘join’ it in online communities like Facebook, enter a company-sponsored sweepstakes or contest or interact with it in a variety of other ways.

This essentially means that once you interact with General Mills in any way you have given up your right to sue the company down the line. Instead, you’ll be forced to go through arbitration to make your point, which will save General Mills the ignominy of defending itself in court.

Other brands are likely to follow suit, but it’s important to remember that the legality of these new terms won’t be known until someone tests the system. Still, to be on the safe side just avoid clicking that juicy Like button in the first place. Apart from the MakeUseOf Facebook page, of course.

GoogolPlex Gives Siri Superpowers

A group of freshmen from the University of Pennsylvania have managed to do what Apple seems unwilling to do: give Siri superpowers. GoogolPlex takes Siri If You're Not Using Siri By Now, You Should Be Most of the commercials, jokes, and media hype about Apple's iOS voice assistant, Siri, have subsided, but I still run into iPhone users who don't take advantage of this powerful feature. Just the other day... Read More out of the Apple ecosystem and into the wider world, allowing you to issue voice commands to other apps.


GoogolPlex is a hack that can be set up simply by changing the proxy settings on your WiFi. Spotify and the Nest thermostat are amongst apps supported, but those with a penchant for coding can create their own GoogolPlex commands for other apps.

What Apple will have to say about all this is anyone’s guess, but it’s fair to assume Cupertino won’t exactly be happy with GoogolPlex… Lawsuit!!!

Facebook Helps You Locate Nearby Friends

Facebook has launched a new feature designed to help you locate friends in real-time. Nearby Friends lets you share your exact location with friends, and offers constant updates to ensure you don’t miss each other.

Nokia Lumia 2520 Tablet Shocks In Europe

Nokia has halted sales of the Lumia 2520 Windows 8 tablet in parts of Europe after its AC-300 charger was discovered to “pose a hazard of an electric shock.


Around 30,000 users are affected, though there have been no confirmed incidents as yet. Sales have also been halted in the U.S., where the faulty product is known as the Lumia 2520 Travel Charger. Still, at least it isn’t a problem with the iPad, which would have affected a lot more than 30,000 people.

Microsoft Brings Office Online To Chrome


Microsoft is clearly on a quest to gets its products and services on other platforms. Just a few weeks after launching Office for iPad Microsoft Launches Office For iPad & Office Mobile On Phones Now Free Office Mobile for Android sneaked into the headlines while the world was watching the arrival of Microsoft’s Office suite to iPad. So, let's give them each the space they deserve. Read More , Satya Nadella and co. have brought Office Online to the Chrome Web Store. This is direct competition for Google Docs, so feel free to let us know which of the two you prefer.

Twitter Parody Leads To Police Raid

And finally, there are countless parody accounts on Twitter 20+ Hilarious Twitter Parody Accounts Read More , and most of the people being parodied accept them as an unavoidable bit of fun. Most people, but not all. The Mayor of Peoria, Illinois, Jim Ardis, for example, who appears to have embarked on a witchhunt against those responsible for a Twitter account parodying him.


Despite the account having been suspended weeks ago after posting less than 50 tweets, and the fact it was clearly labelled as a parody — meaning it should be protected under the fair use limitation — seven police officers raided the house in which they believe the offender resides.

Unsurprisingly, a new Jim Ardis parody (@notpeoriamayor) has already emerged. As the Streisand effect kicks in.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Mike Vasilev via Flickr

Related topics: Facebook, Google Chrome, Siri, Twitter.

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  1. dragonmouth
    April 18, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    "This essentially means that once you interact with General Mills in any way you have given up your right to sue the company down the line."
    That means that you can never sue General Mills because even an incompetent lawyer can prove that purchasing a product constitutes an "interaction." The only wat you can sue is if you had no "interaction" in any sense of the word. But, then, the same lawyers can argue that there is no basis for your suit since you do not have any knowledge of General Mills products.

    "Facebook Helps You Locate Nearby Friends"
    How about helping to locate my nearby enemies. After all, as Don Corleone was wont to say "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."

    • Justin P
      April 18, 2014 at 11:27 pm

      You can add your enemies as friends, Facebook will never know the difference.

    • Dave P
      April 20, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      Some companies are indeed trying to suggest that even buying a product constitutes an interaction that means you cannot sue. Ridiculous, and surely illegal.

      As Justin said, how you use Nearby Friends is up to you. But you would need to have your enemies on Facebook in the first place.