Google Kills Google Plus Links, Check Your Privacy Settings, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Google+ shunted to the sidelines, Google privacy settings, Facebook threats are fine, LEGO Worlds channels Minecraft, BlackBerry prevents Typo, and the FIFA official who doesn’t understand satire.
Google Stops Promoting Google+
Google is starting to distance itself from its social network, removing the Google+ link from the top of many of its properties. The standalone G+ icon has disappeared, with Google+ relegated to the drop-down menu along with all of its other services.
This may not seem like a big deal, but it suggests Google is starting to shunt Google+ to the sidelines. Sure, it’s now on the same level as YouTube and Google Drive, but Google was previously pushing G+ so hard it upset users annoyed at having it forced on them.
This move also comes hot on the heels of Google Photos being split off into its own separate thing , which is the stongest sign yet that Google+ will be broken up into various different components. Is it too soon to add Google+ to the deathwatch? Let us know in the comments below.
Check Your Google Privacy Settings
— Daniel Seiderer (@DanielSeiderer) June 2, 2015
Google has rolled out a new My Account page to help individual users control their privacy settings and understand the options available to them. The simplest way to check everything is as it should be is to take the Privacy Checkup and Security Checkup, step-by-step guides to the most important settings.
Once you’re satisfied with those, you can “manage the information that can be used from Search, Maps, YouTube and other products to enhance your experience on Google,” “Use the Ads Settings tool to control ads based on your interests and the searches you’ve done,” and “Control which apps and sites are connected to your account”.
All of which should help ensure you’re only sharing what you want to share with Google and others trapped within its extensive ecosystem. Alternatively, you could go into full tinfoil hat conspiracy theory mode and try to break away from Google completely .
Court Brands Facebook Threats Fine
Never send death threats to anyone, ever. Change comes through education, not hostility
— ???ari??? (@aristaeussizer) June 2, 2015
The United States Supreme Court has overturned the conviction of a man sent to prison for posting sickening messages on Facebook. Anthony Elonis was previously sentenced to three years in prison for the messages, sent to various people including his estranged wife. But the Supreme Court has decided “Elonis’ conviction cannot stand.”
Elonis used a pseudonym to post the messages on Facebook, which included hateful wishes mentioning rape and murder. However, the Supreme Court decided that free speech is sacrosanct in this case, and that the “defendant’s mental state” should have been taken into account. Which asks more questions than it answers, and suggests the law still hasn’t got a handle on social media.
LEGO Worlds Is a Minecraft Clone
LEGO is trying to grab a piece of the insanely popular Minecraft pie with its own version of the game. Called LEGO Worlds, this Minecraft clone is now available for PC through STEAM Early Access, which allows eager gamers to get their hands on titles before they’re ready for mainstream release.
LEGO Worlds features a “limitless collection of procedurally generated worlds” which players can customize brick by brick. Sound familiar? LEGO Worlds is so similar to Minecraft there could be a legal battle brewing. But then Minecraft owes its very existence to LEGO, so perhaps all’s fair in love and war. And blocks.
BlackBerry Settles Case With Typo
Life was much more easier when Apple and Blackberry were just fruits.. ??
— Joe Bou Eid (@BouEidJoe) June 2, 2015
BlackBerry has settled its case against Typo, the company which was selling snap-on keyboards which look extremely similar to the default keyboard on BlackBerry phones. Typo was essentially offering Apple fans the chance to add a physical keyboard to their iPhones, much to the chagrin of BlackBerry.
The settlement means Typo has “agreed to permanently discontinue selling anywhere in the world keyboards for smartphones and mobile devices with a screen size of less than 7.9 inches.” This means Typo can only now target owners of larger tablets such as the full-sized iPad. Bad luck, Ryan Seacrest.
FIFA Official Cites The Onion
And finally, in light of the FBI investigation into bribery and corruption at FIFA, one high-profile official has defended himself by citing The Onion. Which, for those not in the know, is a long-running satirical news website . Oops.
Jack Warner, a former Vice President of FIFA, used an article from The Onion to back up his claims that the FBI is only looking into the organization because the United States lost out on securing the 2022 World Cup. Which is pretty ridiculous even before The Onion is brought into play.
Warner soon deleted the video, with a replacement edited to remove all references to The Onion uploaded in its place. But, as so many people find out to their cost, the Internet never forgets. [H/T The New York Times]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
What should Google do with Google+? Have you checked your Google privacy settings? Should Facebook threats be a criminal offense? Will you or your children be buying LEGO Worlds? Should Typo be allowed to mimic BlackBerry? Have you ever mistakenly believed a story by The Onion?
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 Credits: Yuri Samoilov via Flickr