Today in Tech News Digest, Google+ may be dead, FCC talks net neutrality, Facebook launches FB Newswire, Lyft expands into new markets, mobile addiction grows, next-gen Minecraft allows save transfers, and the true potential of Oculus Rift is revealed.
The Future Of Google+ Is In Doubt
The future of Google+ is (as good as) officially in doubt. What we know is that Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President of Social, is leaving Google for as-yet-unknown pastures new. The rest, including what’s going to happen to Google+ now that its creator has left the company, is still up for debate. But it’s not looking good.
Gundotra “built Google+ from nothing,” as acknowledged by Google CEO Larry Page in a memo regarding Vic’s departure. Re/code claims Vice President of Engineering David Besbris will be taking over from Gundotra, but that appointment has yet to be confirmed.
So, what about Google+? Page insists the company will “continue working hard to build great new experiences for the ever increasing number of Google+ fans.” This is a vague promise that Google+ will continue on in some fashion, but the nature of this unloved beast could be changing.
TechCrunch cites multiple sources in its assertion that Google+ will “no longer be considered a product, but a platform.” In layman’s terms this means that, in the future, Google+ will be less like Facebook and Twitter, and more like the glue that holds the rest of Google’s products and services together. If the rumors prove to be true, naturally.
FCC Sets Net Neutrality Record Straight
Do you enjoy paying for toll roads where once there was a freeway? Then you’ll LOVE the new FCC rules on Net Neutrality!
— Chris Kluwe (@ChrisWarcraft) April 24, 2014
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has acted to end speculation over its proposals for the Open Internet. Unfortunately, the blog post by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has only managed to make it clearer that the days of net neutrality are coming to an end, at least in the United States.
Opinions on the FCC’s stance on the issue differ greatly. CNET maintains nothing is really changing, while GigaOM suggests the FCC is on course to destroy net neutrality. Ars Technica reminds us that the FCC is now proposing rules that it strongly rallied against in 2010. Which is rather worrying.
Facebook & Storyful Launch FB Newswire
Facebook has launched FB Newswire, a news service powered by the News Corp.-owned Storyful. FB Newswire will aggregate news content shared on Facebook, with status updates and various media shared with the wider world. Interestingly, FB Newswire has a dedicated Twitter account, though all tweets will link to the relevant posts on Facebook.
Lyft Launches In 24 New Markets
Ride-sharing startup Lyft has launched in 24 new markets in one day. Granted, these new markets are all American cities, but it shows how quickly this controversial new business is expanding. Lyft also plans to launch in international markets in the coming months, but rival Uber has beaten the pink moustache-sporting effort to this milestone by adding Beijing to its roster.
Mobile Addiction Is On The Rise
Mobile addiction is on the rise, at least according to Flurry Analytics. Defining a mobile addict as anyone who launches apps more than 60 times per day, Flurry claims the number of mobile addicts has risen by 123 percent over the last year, climbing from 79 million in March 2013 to 176 million in March 2014.
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has suffered the ignominy of being phubbed by someone they know. It’s a worrying trend that surely ends with us staring at our screens 24/7 like the dozy idiots from Wall-E. Is that really the future we want to see come true?
Next-Gen Minecraft Allows Save Transfers
The next-gen Minecraft releases for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will enable saves to be transferred from existing consoles. This is good news for Minecraft players looking forward to the next-gen releases but aghast at the thought of starting from scratch.
The True Potential Of Oculus Rift
And finally, those who are yet to be convinced of the potential for VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift and Sony’s Project Morpheus, should watch this video. It shows how one small push in the back can blur the line between reality and virtual reality. Perhaps this is what convinced Mark Zuckerberg that Oculus was worthy of being acquired by Facebook.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Yuri Samoilov via Flickr