Facebook Lets You Rest In Peace, Testing Windows 10 For Phones [Tech News Digest]
Facebook deals with death, Windows 10 for Phones, Phorm’s tactile tablet, Saturday Night Live on iOS, Spotify’s Sweet Spot, and possibly the worst retail training video of all time.
Facebook Introduces Legacy Contacts
What happens to your Facebook when you die…? I wonder how many deceased profiles there are… … Goto sleep brain
— 2t0ne (@2t0neDJ) February 13, 2015
Facebook is changing the way it deals with the user accounts of those that have died. Until now, Facebook memorialized the account held by the deceased , making it viewable but not editable in any way. Now, users have two distinct options from which to choose.
You can choose to a) have your account permanently deleted after you die, or b) nominate a “legacy contact” who will be able to manage your account after you have shuffled off this mortal coil . Your Facebook heir will only have access to certain information and settings.
This option is rolling out in the U.S. initially, with other countries added at a later date. It’s also entirely optional, so those people who prefer not to dwell on their own mortality can ignore this new feature entirely.
Microsoft Previews Windows 10 for Phones
Windows Phone users can now preview Windows 10 for Phones, as long as they own one of the supported devices. If you own a Lumia 630, Lumia 635, Lumia 636, Lumia 638, Lumia 730, or Lumia 830 running Windows Phone 8.1, and are signed up to the Windows Insider program, Microsoft is inviting you to preview its new operating system.
Those taking part in the Windows 10 for Phones preview will be running the latest build of Windows 10 , although there are still a lot of features missing. These features will be added to future builds of Windows 10 for Phones, and more handsets will be added in the run-up to release day.
Phorm Launches Liquid Keyboard Case
A company called Tactus Technology has unveiled the Phorm iPad mini case which adds a physical keyboard to the touchscreen on command. This is a response to the challenge of adding tactile feedback to smartphones and tablets , and it’s an extremely clever piece of technology.
The Phorm totally encases your iPad mini, adding a touch-sensitive polymer screen over the top of the original screen. Moving a slider across on the back of the case sends clear oil through channels, causing the keyboard buttons to rise out of the screen. Sliding it back causes them to disappear again.
Tactus is offering the Phorm iPad mini case for $99 for the next 30 days, with a retail price of $149. Versions for the iPad Air and iPhone 6 Plus are planned for future release.
Saturday Night Live App Lands On iOS
On Sunday (Feb. 15), Saturday Night Live will be celebrating 40 years of being on the air. Which is quite an achievement. 40 seasons and 779 episodes means thousands of sketches, many of which aren’t available online. However, the new SNL app for iOS somewhat manages to fill that void.
The SNL app contains over 5,500 sketches at launch, all of which are searchable by the characters and cast members involved. The five most-recent episodes are also available, which all together adds up to 300 hours of video content.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the app is free and supported by display ads. A version for Android is in the works and coming soon.
Spotify Finds The Musical Sweet Spot
— Morgan Mahnke (@morganmahnke) February 13, 2015
Spotify has released a new tool for building playlists just in time for Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14). Sweet Spot builds a playlist based on you and your significant other’s favorite artists. Like a musical version of Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon .
Ironically, the closer you and partner’s taste in music is, the less exciting your playlist will be. But you can always chop and change your selections until you get it just right. Or even just type in two of your own personal favorites to see what happens.
I managed to reach 16 degrees of separation between Metallica and Bombay Bicycle Club, which are genuinely two of my favorite artists. If you can beat that then I’d love to hear about it in the comments section below.
That Bizarre GameStop Training Video
And finally, a bizarre GameStop training video that was first uploaded to YouTube a few years ago has resurfaced, and age hasn’t made it any more palatable. In fact, it’s so bizarre and, frankly, offensive to both men and women, that it’s hard to believe it’s real. But apparently it is.
The video offers GameStop employees, the vast majority of which are male, advice on how to deal with women who visit the store. This implies the average GameStop employee doesn’t know how to talk to women, and that women need video games explained to them in a patronizing manner.
Let’s hope things have moved on a little at GameStop since this was made.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Who are you going to choose as your Facebook legacy contact? Will you be testing Windows 10 for Phones? How many musical degrees of separation are there between you and your partner?
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: Geraint Rowland via Flickr