Facebook Is Tracking You For Ads, A Bitcoin Mining Monopoly, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Facebook is tracking you for advertising purposes, Bitcoin gains its first mining monopoly, Apple recalls iPhone chargers, Pinterest suffers spam hack attack, Steamboy is a handheld Steam machine, Amazon adds audio to eBooks, and Ai Weiwei starts a new selfie trend.
Facebook Starts Tracking You For Ads
— Ben Stegner (@stegnersaurus) June 16, 2014
Facebook is tracking the websites you visit and the apps you use, all in order to serve you ads more relevant to your interests. This practice is already commonplace across the Internet, but it signifies a reversal of policy for Facebook, which, according to Forbes, previously stated it wouldn’t use Like buttons to target and deliver ads.
As expected, Facebook is selling this as a positive, talking up how it’s now giving you more control over the ads you see. While opting out is an option, the process, as detailed by Gizmodo, is complicated enough to mean most mainstream users won’t bother even trying.
With the default set to ‘On‘ and most people intent on doing nothing, Facebook wins. Dislike.
Bitcoin Mining Monopoly Madness
The emergence of a Bitcoin mining monopoly has raised fears within the cryptocurrency community that the very essence of Bitcoin is at risk. The so-called monopoly is a leading mining pool called GHash, which has been found to be responsible for 51 percent of all Bitcoin mining on several separate occasions. The longest period of 51 percent hashing lasted a full 12 hours.
According to Ars Technica, this is important because any one entity having majority control of the mining of new Bitcoin holds too much power in a currency conceived as being decentralized. In practical terms, this or any other monopoly could “spend the same coins twice, reject competing miners’ transactions, or extort higher fees from people with large holdings.”
While there is no evidence GHash has done any of the above, the mere fact it could do is a legitimate concern for anyone interested in Bitcoin. Or it’s scaremongering, depending on who you ask.
Apple Recalls iPhone Chargers
Hell is the family driving around all day with one iPhone charger. Lowest battery percent gets it, no arguments. I SAID NO ARGUMENTS
— Valette Keller (@Valette) June 16, 2014
Apple has recalled millions of iPhone chargers across Europe as they “pose a safety risk” through overheating. The USB power adapters shipped with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S between October 2009 to September 2012, as well as being sold separately. Customers who own the Model A1300 adapters can get an exchange at any Apple Retail Store or Apple Authorized Service Provider. Because they’re geniuses and you’re not.
Pinterest Suffers Spam Hack Attack
Friends don’t let friends use Pinterest, and spam their Twitter followers. pic.twitter.com/dQ4F6V2OdG
— Grace Low (@GraceofWrath) June 12, 2014
Pinterest has been hacked, with affected user accounts spewing out a stream of spam related to diets and weight loss . Thanks to people linking their Pinterest and Twitter accounts the same spam was also found in tweets. Pinterest has responded by placing “impacted accounts in safe mode” and reaching out to their owners. Hopefully with information on how to spot spam.
SteamBoy Is A Handheld Steam Machine
While Steam Machines haven’t yet taken off in a big way, there is considerable interest in a portable Steam Machine called SteamBoy. This handheld PC gaming system was unveiled at E3 2014 by an independent group unaffiliated with Valve. The Escapist has all the details, with the SteamBoy due to be released in 2015. Which is just too long to wait.
Amazon Adds Audible To Kindle Books
Amazon has added Whispersync for Voice to its Kindle apps, and integrated Audible into the iOS and Android apps. This means you can switch from reading an eBook to listening to an audiobook without having to switch apps. There are 45,000 audiobooks available through Amazon, and they’re available to buy for as little as US$0.99 cents each. Lazy people rejoice!
Ai Weiwei Starts New Selfie Trend
— Cai Yuan (@caiyuanuk) June 15, 2014
And finally, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has inadvertently started a new selfie trend. The trend means posing with one leg pointed out in front of you, which some have labelled the “leg-gun.” Whether or not Weiwei intended the pose to be used to end gun violence, that is what the Internet has decided he meant. And the Internet obviously knows best.
Have Your Say On The Tech News Today!
How do you feel about Facebook tracking you for ads? Is a Bitcoin mining monopoly a threat to cryptocurrencies? Are you affected by the iPhone charger recall? Did the Pinterest spam affect you in any way? Would you buy a SteamBoy? Are you a fan of audiobooks? Will you be posting an Ai Weiwei-style selfie?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. All comments will be read and the best will earn a reply.
Image Credit: Denis Dervisevic via Flickr