Today in Tech News Digest, Facebook dislikes a lawsuit over Likes, Google announces it’s shutting down Schemer, the Guardian Media Group launches Contributoria, it’s revealed that PlayStation Now requires controllers, it’s rumored that Windows 9 is due out in 2015, Line launches Whoscall for Android, and Chewbacca (actor Peter Mayhew) tweets behind-the-scenes photos from the original Star Wars flicks.
Facebook Hit By ‘Like’ Lawsuit
Facebook has been hit with a class action complaint related to its use of Likes in advertising on the site. According to GigaOM, Anthony Ditirro of Colorado claims Facebook informed his friends he Liked USA Today even though he hadn’t ever stated as much.
The complaint reads, “Although PLAINTIFF has nothing negative to say about USA TODAY newspapers, PLAINTIFF is not an avid reader of USA TODAY, nor does PLAINTIFF endorse the newspaper.” Ditirro claims he never actively Liked USA Today or even visited its website.
Ditirro is seeking $750 (the minimum amount set out with a related California law) for the alleged offence. He’s also keen for other people falsely cited in similar ads to join the lawsuit.
Facebook responded by saying, “The complaint is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously.” This is a line Facebook must be getting used to repeating, with the social network having been hit with a series of lawsuits related to the way it leverages its userbase for advertising efforts.
Google Shuts Down Schemer
Google is shutting down Schemer, a service no one (apart from our own Chris Hoffman) seems to have heard of before now. Schemer was launched in beta in 2011 as a way of collecting and collating ideas of things to do. These could be big or small, dreamy or practical.
Schemer doesn’t appear to have taken off in a big way, which explains why Google is now shutting it down. The Schemer apps are being pulled, with the Schemer website shutting down on February 7. The Next Web has details of how to save your schemes before they get deleted.
The Guardian Launches Contributoria
The Guardian Media Group has launched Contributoria, a publishing platform that sees ordinary people funding written news articles. Writers submit proposals for stories, with backers choosing to support the proposals or not. This is a win-win, with writers getting paid for their work, and stories untouched by mainstream media still making it into print.
PlayStation Now Requires Controllers
PlayStation Now, a streaming video game service Sony announced at CES 2014, requires subscribers to use proprietary controllers. PlayStation marketing VP John Koller told The Verge, “You need to have the DualShock to be able to play.”
PlayStation 4 owners will be able to use the DualShock 4 as they do for regular games, but everyone else will need to use a DualShock 3 to play PS3 games. This will rather limit the appeal of the service for tablet and smartphone owners, who may reject the notion of carrying a sizeable controller around with them at all times.
Windows 9 Coming In 2015?
The latest rumors suggest that Windows 9 will be released in April 2015. What’s more, it will be called Windows 9, and not Threshold as previously suggested. According to Paul Thurrott, Microsoft will announce the next version of Windows at BUILD 2014, which takes place in April of this year. A consumer release will be set for one year later.
There’s a suggestion that Microsoft knows Windows 8 has been a failure and is keen to move on from the debacle. Fixing the changes made in Windows 8 is therefore going to be the focus for the development of Windows 9. Which suggests Windows 7 is the best option for most people for the foreseeable future.
Line Launches Whoscall For Android
Whatsapp rival Line has launched a new product called Whoscall. This app, which is exclusive to Android, acts as a caller ID for incoming calls from commercial phone numbers. With a database of 600 million numbers from around the world and a ‘Blocklist’ feature, Whoscall looks to be an app anyone bothered by nuisance calls could make use of.
Chewbacca Tweets Star Wars Set Photos
"Really? The dark side has cookies?"
"Yes, Luke. So many cookies." pic.twitter.com/KN195oFI6F
— Peter Mayhew (@TheWookieeRoars) January 8, 2014
And finally, Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original trilogy of Star Wars movies, has made the dreams of geeks the world over come true with some timely tweets. Mayhew has tweeted out a series of photos taken on the sets of the films.
The treasure trove of behind-the-scenes shots includes Harrison Ford acting the fool, Mark Hamill smiling, and Warwick Davis sitting on Carrie Fisher’s knee. The full collection is on Mayhew’s Twitter feed, but io9 has a good selection of the new Star Wars photos for casual fans to peruse.