Tech News

Facebook Lets You Rest In Peace, Testing Windows 10 For Phones [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 13-02-2015

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

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 The Digital Afterlife – Managing Your Final Affairs As you look towards the final stage of your life, you may realize that there is a certain amount of paperwork must be handled. We've even covered a great deal of this information in one... Read More , 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 How To Access A Deceased Relative's Digital Accounts While the Internet has already provided for ways to remove your deceased loved one's digital accounts , there is occasionally the need to access them. Sometimes it's for will information - other times it has... Read More . 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 Why You Should Consider Switching To Windows Phone [Opinion] I want Windows Phone to succeed. The problem is persuading you Apple fanboys and Google droids to give Windows Phone a chance. Read More 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 Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More , 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 Touch Something That Isn't There - Haptic Technology [MakeUseOf Explains] Haptics is the technology of touch. In the context of a virtual environment, it would mean being able to touch and feel something that literally isn't there, but that's certainly not its only use. From... Read More , 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

Spotify has released a new tool for building playlists just in time for Valentine’s Day Be My Valentine - 10 Love Playlists On Spotify Valentine's Day is upon us once more, as it is every Feb. 14. Some people don't recognize this particular celebration of all things love and romance at all, due to either their religious beliefs, country... Read More (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 Learn About The 'Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon' Game Before Playing It Online Read More .

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 Trading In Your Video Games – Is It Really Worth It? Does trading in a game really make sense for you and your wallet? Or are you leaving money on the table by handing your used games over to a retailer? Read More 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

Related topics: Facebook, Spotify, Windows 10.

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  1. rk
    February 17, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    I am not offended, honestly, but what's with the cross for "resting in peace"? You do have a diverse audience here....

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      I am sorry if anyone, yourself included, was offended. That didn't even cross my mind (pardon the pun). That's just what I associate with death because I live in a mostly Christian country.

    • rk
      February 20, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      @Dave, As I said, I really am not offended, I live in a mostly Christian country too and respect all religious symbols/philosophies/beliefs etc. Just thought that peace is defined by more than just the cross... PS: I like the pun!

  2. Bren
    February 14, 2015 at 3:58 pm

    Win 10...will not be using.

    I already have my 2 people picked out--in case I "buy the farm" ...prematurely. I think having an "overseer" is great. As Social Media grows, I think "Virtual Pre-Planning" will become mainstream. I have 7 "departed" friends on my FB list--I cannot bring myself to "delete" them...and that's OK.

    The training video....
    OMG... could her voice be any MORE Obnoxious ?? I think I lost about 20 IQ points watching....AND had my "intelligence" (what's now left of it) INSULTED as well. That was horrible!!
    (Oh well.... Steven Spielberg's job is still SAFE !!)

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      I think there's a gap in the market here for some sort of online will, with someone taking charge of social networking accounts etc.

      I think, had I been a GameStop employee forced to watch that video, I'd have walked out on my job lol.

  3. dee7kay
    February 13, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    I reached 19 degrees of separation with Isaac Shepard and Ska-P. Both of them are truly some of my favourite artists. But to be honest, it took me some tries to get that far. My very first try was 15 degrees, though.

    • Dave Parrack
      February 20, 2015 at 7:58 pm

      That is very impressive. I'm just gutted someone beat my 16!