Tech News

Google Develops Android Cars, Instagram Culls Fake Users, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 19-12-2014

Also, Internet Explorer is the only option, a new Minecraft game is in the works, Dying Light tests your survival skills, and Megatron hates selfies.


Android M Could Power Your Car

Android M, the next major version of Android due to be released this time next year, could be directly integrated into cars. This would be a step up from Android Auto, launching in 2015, which requires a smartphone to be used as the user-interface in compatible cars.

According to Reuters, Google is keen to have Android integrated more fully into new cars. The operating system could then be used to power entertainment and navigation features, with Google collecting all the data A Cautionary Tale: When Google Decides To Hold On To Your Personal Data And Won't Let Go We trust Google with our personal data every day: What happens when they won't let us take it when we need it? Here's a cautionary story of a Google Takeout experience. Read More it desires.

Google faces stiff competition from Apple, which already has CarPlay allowing drivers to access iOS while on the move. This all suggests the battle between the two tech giants is moving on from smartphones and tablets, and moving instead into new areas such as wearable technology 6 Upcoming Wearable Devices Compared: What's Hot and What's Not I present to you six of the more interesting and useful wearable tech devices either on the market, or soon to enter it. Read More and automobiles.

Instagram Goes On Instapurge

Instagram has embarked on a cull of fake and spam accounts so severe that users are referring to the incident as the Instapurge or the Instagram Rapture. According to Business Insider, Instagram had already deactivated these accounts, and this latest move is merely removing them from the service for good.

This fact hasn’t prevented users from complaining about the cull, with some truly vitriolic comments being made on the official Instagram account. Which, incidentally, was one of the worst hit by the purge, losing 19 million followers overnight. According to this list, other big losers are Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, and Taylor Swift… in more ways than one.


Windows Browser Choice Ends In EU

Windows users in Europe will no longer be presented with a choice of browsers when installing new copies of the operating system. The European Commission forced Microsoft to include a browser ballot screen for five years from 2009 after complaints that forcing people to use Internet Explorer Surprise: Internet Explorer 11 Has Matured Into A Modern Browser Remember Internet Explorer 6? Well, Internet Explorer isn't horrible anymore. Whether you like IE or not, you can't deny that it has improved dramatically and is now worthy of taking its place alongside other modern... Read More was anti-competitive.

Since then, people installing Windows have been presented with a choice of up to a dozen different Web browsers, including Opera and Firefox. With the five-year obligation now at an end, Microsoft can once again offer Internet Explorer as the only Web browser available. Until they discover Google Chrome The Best Chrome Extensions A list of only the best extensions for Google Chrome, including suggestions from our readers. Read More a few hours later.

Telltale Working On New Minecraft Game


Telltale Games is working on a new game based on Minecraft Is Minecraft Really That Great? [Opinion] Minecraft is quite possibly the most viral and addictive indie game that we've ever come to see. Who knew that a concept as elementary as playing with toy blocks could become such a sensation? I... Read More . As with Telltale’s other big games, Minecraft: Story Mode will be released episodically, and, like Minecraft, will be available on “Xbox consoles, PlayStation consoles, PC, Mac, iOS, and Android-based devices.


Minecraft: Story Mode will explore the lore of the Minecraft universe, with an original story driven by the choices made by each individual player. Which should sound familiar to anyone who has previously played Telltale’s takes on The Walking Dead or Game Of Thrones television series.

Interactive Trailer Tests Your Survival Skills

If you were trying to sell your survival horror game to the masses, how would you go out doing so? Dead Island developer Techland has created an impressive interactive trailer in order to increase interest in Dying Light, due to be released on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on Jan. 27.

You get to play through a portion of the game, choosing which actions to take at various moments. This not only sells the visuals, it demonstrates how many choices you have as you progress through the game dispatching shuffling members of the undead. Which is all rather satisfying.

Megatron Hates Selfies

And finally, while teenagers can’t seem to go more than a few minutes without taking a selfie 5 Things To Avoid When Taking Selfies Selfies shouldn’t be taken lightly, and there are many things you need to avoid. Read More , most people over the age of 30 cannot see what the fuss is all about. And neither, so it turns out, can Megatron. That’s Megatron, the leader of the Decepticons in the Transformers universe.


To be fair to ol’ Megatron, he makes some good points about the scourge of selfies, social networking addiction How Do You Know When You're Overdosing On Social Networks? Just like anything, there are different levels of social media use. Some things are more severe than others. And, of course, something else that plays into it is how frequent these things occur and when... Read More , and the annoying nature of some (but not all) Millennials. Your move, Optimus.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Would you want Google Android to be built right into your car? How many followers did you lose in the Instapurge? Do you hate selfies as much as Megatron hates selfies?

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: Camilla Nilsson via Flickr


Related topics: Google, Instagram, Internet Explorer, Minecraft.

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  1. devildog13
    December 22, 2014 at 4:21 pm

    God help us! Google at the helm? I would travel only by bike/motorcycle.
    It's bad enough Google now has Skybox or is it Skynet? Do no evil - what a joke. The sheer arrogance the company owns. Their profit outweighs the GNP of many small countries. You really think the government will rein them in? Google owns the government. We now live in some surreal world where Robocop meets Orwell's 1984 -googlespeak: privacy=naked

  2. KustenWatch
    December 20, 2014 at 6:23 pm

    Yo!, Megatron you win!

    Optimus,(a little sad)

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 11:46 am

      Screw Optimus. He's too arrogant for my liking, at least in the Michael Bay flicks.

  3. John Williams
    December 20, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    We can see the future car OS split very easily. iOS will be in the cars of those with more money (or credit cards) than sense, while Ford of Europe, Nissan, Toyota and etc will go with Android.
    Sadly, even having a computer in the car will not improve the arrogant, "get out of my way peasant" mentality of the big SUV owners, nor will it improve their driving. Have you noticed that on most 40k pound cars the indicators never work ...

    Every PC or laptop I build new or repair out of a malware crisis gets all and every link to IE hidden. The recovered PC owner gets shown the new Firefox and Chrome buttons on their screen. Some customers get a custom icon that just says "Internet" and don't even notice it isn't IE anymore. For people who live in the browser full time I tell them to buy a Chromebook.

    With Google facing calls to take down data in "the right to be forgotten" business, perhaps its time for the social networks to start "forgetting" stuff after a certain time frame. Your old junk could be pushed into a private cloud archive and the drunken frolics of your youth could disappear like old newspapers used to do. Let's face it, half the "useful" crap on Facebook would be hard to distinguish from spam anyway.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 11:52 am

      We'll have to wait for self-driving cars to arrive before we get rid of idiot drivers. Unless Google and its computers act like teenagers driving their first cars.

      I have switched to Chromebook, so IE is no longer part of my life. Something for which I'm entirely grateful.

      Facebook would never agree to that. But then if you're really committed you can go back and remove old posts from social networking sites. You didn't previously have that privilege on Google and other search engines.

  4. molly_dog
    December 20, 2014 at 3:56 pm

    I'd be interested to know how often, after finalizing Windows setup, that the first search with IE is for the download of another browser to be set to be set as the default.

    Call me a Decepticon. I'm 53 & though I've taken a selfie or two, I'm not so narcissistic that I feel the need to do so on more than the rarest of occasions-like if my face should suddenly explode.

    The whole "selfie" trend wouldn't be so disturbing if people had sense enough not to incriminate themselves by providing irrefutable evidence of their guilt by snapping pictures or, even better, making a video of themselves while committing a crime. That's the supreme arrogance of the practice.

    There again, maybe I'm just old & bitchy.

  5. dragonmouth
    December 19, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    "Android M Could Power Your Car"
    Reminds me of few years ago when the US Navy decided to have Windows NT controll their ships. I think Android is less crash-prone than NT but it is just as hackable.

    "Instagram Goes On Instapurge"
    Is Facebook next???

    "Microsoft can once again offer Internet Explorer as the only Web browser available. Until they discover Google Chrome a few hours later."
    WOW! What a great choice! From the embrace of one corporate blood sucker into the embrace of another one.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 11:56 am

      It'll only get worse once we have self-driving cars. If someone hacks into that it could cause mayhem.

      Pfft, I doubt it. They should, but removing spam accounts doesn't appear to be a priority for them.

      You have a point there. It's strange how things have shifted. Microsoft was once the anti-competitive giant, but now a decade later and it has been replaced by Google. Who will replace Google once the authorities start forcing Google to limit their business.

    • Chris
      December 28, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Facebook has been purging fake accounts for a long time now. I know a lot of people who used to use Facebook groups for role playing and they didn't like using their main accounts. Facebook would often have their fake profiles deleted within a couple days of creation if they weren't made to be convincing enough.

  6. Scutterman
    December 19, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Regarding the last story, it really shows viral videos in action. Total channel views before that video: ~1,400. Total views after: ~2 Million. And that's just the last two days.

    • Dave Parrack
      December 21, 2014 at 11:57 am

      That is insane. As someone who posts YouTube videos I'm guessing this is the kind of virality you dream of achieving?