Facebook is tracking everybody across the Web, millions of MySpace credentials are up for sale, Amazon brings Alexa to your browser, No Man’s Sky suffers a delay, and Pong Project takes shape.
Facebook Targets Ads at Non-Users
Facebook ads based on your web browsing is the new "turning on a light to reveal your spouse pointing a gun at you from the armchair" right?
— Brian Holden (@Brian_Holden) May 26, 2016
Facebook is set to start tracking you across the Web, even if you don’t have a Facebook account. This means you’ll soon be exposed to ads delivered through Facebook’s ad network, whether you like it or not.
The announcement came in a Facebook Newsroom post titled, “Bringing People Better Ads,” in which Facebook states:
“In the past, we’ve only shown ads in these places to people who have Facebook accounts. Today, we’re expanding Audience Network so publishers and developers can show better ads to everyone – including those who don’t use or aren’t connected to Facebook.”
There have been rumors for several years that Facebook tracks non-users, and both France and Belgium have previously ordered the social network to stop doing so. However, Facebook has always denied the accusations, insisting its systems “comply with applicable laws including EU law”.
Whether Facebook has always tracked non-users or not, it definitely will do in the future. Which broadens Facebook’s business considerably, turning it from a social network which pays the bills through advertising to users into a multi-layered business competing with Google on more than one front. Be afraid, be very afraid.
Your MySpace Password Is Up for Sale
MySpace got hacked… at some point in the past. We know because millions of MySpace login credentials are for sale online, even though the company itself never reported a major incident. With 360 million emails and passwords up for sale, this hack appears to date from when MySpace was still a social networking force to be reckoned with.
These MySpace credentials are linked to the recent LinkedIn leak, as the same hacker hawking the LinkedIn credentials is now asking for six Bitcoins (around $3,200) for the MySpace credentials. LeakedSource, which tracks hacked data, claims to have access to the data, and is adamant it originates from an old, unreported (or even unnoticed) attack.
If you ever had a MySpace account then your email address and password could be a part of this leak. However, unless you’re still active on MySpace, you only really need to worry if you use the same combination across multiple services. If so, that password you thought was impenetrable may have now been exposed to the criminal underworld.
Test Amazon’s Alexa On the Web
Me and my Amazon Alexa have a love hate relationship
— noah bloom (@bloomism) May 27, 2016
Unless you own an Amazon Echo, you are unlikely to have experienced the awesome power of Alexa, Amazon’s personal assistant. And like most technical innovations, the inability to test Alexa out may have held you back from purchasing an Echo. It’s a classic catch-22 situation.
However, Amazon has tried to resolve this quandary, creating a Web app which lets you test Alexa our right from within your browser. To do so, simply visit echosim.io, sign into your Amazon account, and ask Alexa whatever questions come to mind.
No Man’s Sky Has Been Delayed
No Man’s Sky, one of the most anticipated games of 2016, has been delayed from June until August. Originally announced in 2013, and winner of multiple awards at E3 2014, No Man’s Sky is finally set to arrive on August 9 in North America (August 10 in Europe, August 12 in the UK).
Developer Hello Games has opted to delay release to allow it to give the game some additional spit and polish, as Sean Murray explained on the PlayStation Blog:
“The game really has come together, and it’s such an incredible relief. As we sit an play it now, and as I watch playtesters every day, I can finally let myself get excited. We’re actually doing this.”
“However, as we approached our final deadlines, we realized that some key moments needed extra polish to bring them up to our standards. I have had to make the tough choice to delay the game for a few weeks to allow us to deliver something special.”
For the uninitiated, No Man’s Sky is a survival adventure game which takes place in a procedurally generated universe. This means there are over 18 quintillion planets to explore, gaining information which is submitted to a universal database called The Atlas.
With the size and scale of No Man’s Sky, I think we can forgive the developers for the delay.
Building a Physical Version of Pong
And finally, Pong is one of a handful of video games that changed the world. It was a simple affair, with players moving paddles up and down to bat a ball back and forth. However it influenced every sports game that came after, and hooked a whole generation of gamers who are likely still playing video games to this day.
Pong was the real-life game of tennis in virtual form. And now Pong has been turned back into a real-life game thanks to Pong Project. As you can see in the video above, Uruguayan Daniel Perdomo and his team have created a physical version of Pong, with working paddles, retro styling, and LED flashes. [H/T Gizmag]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What do you think of Facebook targeting non-users? Do you actually care about MySpace getting hacked? Will you be putting Alexa to the test? Are you annoyed that No Man’s Sky has been delayed? What old-school arcade game would you like to see brought to life?
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.
Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.
Image Credit: Eli Christman via Flickr