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Take a look back over 2015, avoid The Force Awakens spoilers, bid farewell to Rdio, laugh at Donald Trump’s ignorance, and survive winter by staring at a fiery Darth Vader for five hours.
Google Searches Its 2015 Archives
Google has revealed everything we searched for during 2015, listing the biggest events from the past 12 months in its Year in Search for 2015. According to Google, events that prompted millions of searches include the terrorist attack on Paris, the Rugby World Cup, the Volkswagen emissions scandal, and the death of Cecil the Lion.
As well as exploring the big global trends, Google has charted searches made for a host of other things, all compiled into lists. From these we know that Jurassic World was the most searched-for film, Adele was the most searched-for music artist, and Pepe the Frog was the most searched-for meme. The lists are endless, as well as endlessly fascinating.
How to Avoid Star Wars Spoilers
With The Force Awakens being released this weekend around the world, and with the press having already been treated to advance screenings, the chances of seeing spoilers online is increasing exponentially. However, a Chrome extension called Force Blocker is here to save you from that distressing fate.
As its name suggests, Force Blocker blocks pages likely to include spoilers for the latest Star Wars movie. It does this by employing a “critical mass of related keywords” as well as a “handful of instant-blocking keyphrases” recently added by people who have actually seen The Force Awakens and so know what constitutes spoilers.
To be fair (mostly to us), we featured a Chrome extension designed to block Star Wars spoilers at the end of November, so this is nothing new. However, if you’re really paranoid about reading spoilers for The Force Awakens before you’ve seen the movie, installing Force Blocker as a backup wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Rdio Bids Us All a Fond Farewell
Rdio is on its last legs, having filed for bankruptcy and sold its best assets to Pandora. The music streaming service is no longer accepting new sign-ups, and is officially bidding its users goodbye with an official Farewell page on its website.
Visiting the page while logged in to your Rdio account serves up some statistics from the duration of your membership. These include the first song you played on Rdio, the album you listened to the most, and how much music you listened to in total. In other words it’s just like Spotify’s Year in Music, but for Rdio.
Rdio has also set up an export option for people looking to take their playlists, favorites, and comments to a rival service, whether that be Spotify, Apple Music, or another. Spotify isn’t taking any chances though, releasing its own import tool aimed at former Rdio users seeking a new home for their music.
Trump Doesn’t Understand the Internet
Donald Trump isn’t one to backtrack from the things he says, regardless of how many people tell him he’s wrong or simply deluding himself. And, true to form, he has doubled down on his assertion that someone needs to do something about the Internet. Whether that someone is Bill Gates or not.
The following is an exchange between Trump and Wolf Blitzer during the latest Republican debate, as transcribed by Vox:
TRUMP: “We should be using our brilliant people. Our most brilliant mind to figure a way that ISIS cannot use the internet. And then on second, we should be able to penetrate the internet and find out exactly where ISIS is and everything about ISIS. We can do that if we use our good people.”
BLITZER: “Let me follow up, Mr. Trump. So, are you open to closing parts of the internet?”
TRUMP: “I would certainly be open to closing areas where we are at war with somebody. I sure as hell don’t want to let people that want to kill us and kill our nation use our internet. Yes, sir. I am.”
How exactly does Trump suggest we stop ISIS from using the Internet? Does he think we can cut whole countries off from accessing the Web? Does he think the United States owns the Internet and can police its virtual borders? Perhaps he wants to build a war to stop foreigners accessing America’s series of tubes. We suspect the truth is that not even Trump knows what he himself is talking about.
The Darth Vader Yule Log
And finally, those of us not fortunate enough to own a big house with a roaring log fire in it now have another option to get us through the winter… We can stare at a video of Darth Vader’s corpse being burned for five straight hours. This may sound like nothing more than a funny idea, but it’s actually rather comforting.
Try turning all of the lights in your house off and playing this video on your TV, computer monitor, or laptop screen. If you’re anything like me, you’ll soon find yourself feeling all cozy and warm. Partly because of the flickering flames and cracking noise, and partly because it’s confirmation Darth Vader is definitely dead.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Did you personally search for the things on Google’s list? Have you successfully avoided Star Wars spoilers to this point? As an Rdio user, which service are you choosing next? Should Trump just stop talking already? How far through the Darth Vader yule log video did you get?
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: Piutus via Flickr