Facebook Changes Your News Feed, Apple Protects Your Privacy, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Twitpic lives another day, Amazon buys .Buy, BlackBerry reveals Porsche Design, Aubrey Plaza is Grumpy Cat, and the best iPhone unboxing of all time.
Facebook Messes With The News Feed
I think half my Facebook are on my news feed ranting about Scotland turning down independence????????
— Emma Ritchie (@emmaritchiexx) September 19, 2014
Facebook is once again messing with the News Feed. Yours, and everyone else’s. The two changes will affect what shows up in your News Feed, as well as when it shows up, and for how long it remains visible.
Timely news posts and trending topics will now appear sooner and higher up your News Feed . This change is designed to help Facebook become the place to be when a big news story breaks and everyone rushes to comment on it. The speed with which people engage with status updates will also now be taken into account, so a post which quickly gets multiple Likes, comments, and shares will be pushed up the News Feed queue but will be removed when interest starts to wane.
This feels like an aggressive move against Twitter, which currently manages breaking news stories much more efficiently than Facebook. However, I would personally rather see Facebook delivering all status updates to my News Feed in chronological order. And by default too. Am I alone in this?
Apple has published a new statement on its policy towards privacy. Written by CEO Tim Cook, the statement claims that in order to earn and maintain the trust of its customers, Apple “[respects] your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.” So far, so boring.
However, the privacy statement goes on to make references to other tech companies which Apple feels don’t take your privacy all that seriously. “A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.” Google? Facebook? Are you listening?!
The barbs continue: “We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you.” Could the targets of this statement be any clearer?
Apple hasn’t had the best privacy record of late, with iCloud being the source of the celebrity nudes scandal , and the suggestion that the company holds backdoor keys to your data . But this is a solid defense of its policies, and by Tim Cook himself. Which can be cited in the event of any future faux pas.
Twitpic Acquired, Not Shutting Down
We’re happy to announce we’ve been acquired and Twitpic will live on! We will post more details as we can disclose them
— TwitPic (@TwitPic) September 18, 2014
Twitpic has been acquired at the last minute, preventing its shutdown planned for Sept. 25. We reported two weeks ago how Twitter’s rabid protection of its trademark had forced Twitpic to close , but an as-yet-undisclosed party has now acquired the company. Twitpic tweeted news of its acquisition after the Internet Archive publicly condemned the company for blocking access to its data. The acquisition explains all.
Amazon Buys .Buy Domain For $4.6 Million
— DomainNameWire.com (@DomainNameWire) September 18, 2014
Amazon has bought the top level .buy domain name for $4.6 million. According to Domain Name Wire, Amazon beat Google in the bidding for the .buy domain, and Google also lost out on the .tech and .vip domain names, which sold for $6.8 million and $3 million, respectively.
BlackBerry Unveils Garish Porsche Design
When companies collaborate on products it can often bear fruit for both parties. Or, in the case of BlackBerry and Porsche, neither party. The P’9983 is the latest Porsche Design BlackBerry, and while it will do a perfectly admirable job as a smartphone, it looks terrible. With an angular and textured design, the BlackBerry P’9983 looks like something from the 1990s. Which is a shame, as this thing will not be cheap, with its predecessors costing in excess of $2,000. Which begs the question, who exactly is this being marketed at?
Aubrey Plaza Cast As Grumpy Cat
Grumpy Cat Apple pic.twitter.com/C7ntHWMgmu
— Things with Faces (@ThingsFaces) September 15, 2014
While it sounds unbelievable, there is a Grumpy Cat movie on the way this holiday season, with Lifetime presenting Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever. And now we know who will be playing Grumpy Cat, with The Hollywood Reporter claiming Aubrey Plaza has been cast in the lead role. The Parks And Recreation star will only provide the voice, with Grumpy Cat herself appearing on screen. Which is a relief.
Oops, I Dropped My iPhone 6
And finally, if you were the first person to buy an iPhone 6 at your local Apple Store, the last thing you would want to do is drop it onto the floor while being interviewed live on television. Which is exactly what happened to this unfortunate iDiot in Perth, Australia. Sill, it survived the fall, so this may just be the first iPhone unboxing and drop test combination in the world.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Do you support these changes to the Facebook News Feed? Do you believe Apple is protecting your privacy? Is the BlackBerry Porsche Design the fugliest thing 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.
Image Credit: Robert Couse-Baker via Flickr