Tech News

Ice Bucket Challenge Trademark Travesty, iPhone 6 Mobile Wallet, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 01-09-2014

Also, MSN Messenger is done, Pixlr arrives on desktop, Flickr lands millions of copyright-free images, Nintendo unveils new 3DS games consoles, and the worst Iron Man suit ever.


ALS Association Tries To Trademark Meme

The ALS Association has been caught trying to trademark the term, ‘Ice Bucket Challenge‘. The charity which has gained the most from the meme — which entails people from all around the world pouring buckets of ice-cold water over their heads — wasn’t content with the raised levels of donations and awareness, so filed a claim for the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge‘ trademark with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO).

After this filing was reported and widely condemned across the Internet, the ALS Association withdrew the application. The charity told Fortune, “The ALS Association filed for these trademarks in good faith as a measure to protect the Ice Bucket Challenge from misuse after consulting with the families who initiated the challenge this summer. However, we understand the public’s concern and are withdrawing the trademark applications.

While withdrawing its application means common sense has prevailed, the ALS Association should never have attempted to trademark this term in the first place. No one should own this term, and other charities should be able to benefit from its viral nature. The Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t even a new phenomenon that began with ALS, it’s just that this is the one that took off in a big, bad way. Possibly because celebrities took part in droves Water Woes: 20 Of The Best Celebrity Ice Bucket Challenge Videos [Weird & Wonderful Web] With each person who gets doused nominating three more people, the Ice Bucket Challenge has spread quickly. And we have now seen enough videos to make a list of the best so far. Enjoy it. Read More .

Apple’s iPhone 6 To Be Mobile Wallet

Apple is rumored to have partnered with a host of banks, retailers, and credit card companies in an effort to turn the iPhone 6 into a mobile wallet. According to Bloomberg, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are among the companies to have signed up to be a part of the effort.

The digital mobile wallet will be possible thanks to a combination of a new near-field communication (NFC) chip and Touch ID Touch ID Woes: Troubleshooting The iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner There's no doubting that Apple's iPhone 5S introduces one of the best implementations of fingerprint scanning, but it's not been plain sailing for everyone. Read More , the fingerprint scanner introduced with the iPhone 5s. Using these technologies means consumers will be able to (somewhat securely) pay for items using nothing but their iPhone.


The iPhone 6 will be revealed during a glitzy press event on September 9, and we’re currently running a poll to determine how many of you are planning to buy one. More innovative features such as this could potentially affect the results. Or not. Depending on current levels of apathy.

MSN Messenger Given Last Rites

Microsoft’s MSN Messenger is finally due to die after being handed a death sentence in China. Messenger was killed off in most countries in 2013 after Microsoft acquired Skype, but China has been hanging on in there until now.

Chinese users of MSN Messenger will be transferred across to Skype on October 31, with free Skype credits offered as a sweetener. MSN Messenger was launched in 1999, so, like Windows XP before it Windows XP Lasted Longer Than World Wars I & II Combined Think Microsoft is letting Windows XP die too soon? You're not alone. Many think this is a cash grab. What if I told you Windows XP is the longest supported version of Windows ever? Read More , its termination is arguably long overdue.

Autodesk Pixlr Comes To Desktops

Autodesk has released a desktop version of its popular Pixlr photo editor for PC and Mac. Pixlr is already available as a browser-based photo editor, while Pixlr Express is available on iOS and Android.


The initial download is free, with more features unlocked for buying a Pro membership (priced at $1.99-per-month or $14.99-per-year). Pixlr for desktop is available on Windows 7, Windows 8, and Mac OS X 10.9.

12 Million Images Added To Flickr

More than 12 million copyright-free images are being added to Flickr. The photos and drawings are from 600 million pages of library books dating from between 1500 and 1922, which is when current copyright restrictions kick in. The Internet Archive has already uploaded 2.6 million of these digitally scanned images, with millions more to be added in the future.

Nintendo Unveils Two New 3DS Consoles

Nintendo has unveiled two new 3DS games consoles. The new 3DS and new 3DS LL feature better specs and a host of other new features, all of which are outlined in our detailed look at the new Nintendo offerings Nintendo's New 3DS - Here's Why You Should Be Excited More than just the size and style redesign of the 3DS XL, the New models are a half step toward being a new generation, with a faster CPU, more buttons, and an exclusive game announced. Read More .

Mad Metal Suit Protects From Fireworks

And finally, if you have ever wanted to stand in the middle of a fireworks display, you should talk to this guy. This guy being British inventor Colin Furze, who created a metal suit to protect him from being fried by the fireworks exploding all around him.


It’s not, as he is very keen to point out, an Iron Man suit, but if it was, it would be the worst Iron Man suit ever created. But then Tony Stark is quite often drunk, so perhaps this will be the suit he wears in the next Iron Man movie.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

What do you think of the attempt by the ALS Association to trademark the Ice Bucket Challenge? Do you trust Apple with your money? Have you got good memories of using MSN Messenger?

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: Anthony Quintano via Flickr


Related topics: Flickr, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, Nintendo.

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  1. Buffet
    September 1, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Just what the blue blazes was supposed to be wrong with MSN Messenger?

    • dragonmouth
      September 1, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      There is nothing wrong with MSN Messenger other than it has exceeded some arbitrary expiration date set by self-important pundits.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 1:42 pm

      You guys don't think it was looking a little dated by the end?

      I must remember to add "self-important pundit" to my CV...

    • Katharine W
      September 1, 2014 at 8:56 pm

      Nothing's wrong with it, it's just dated, as are all Instant Messenger apps these days. Blame texting or facebook chat or what have you, IM just isn't used by that many people anymore, at least not in dedicated apps.

    • Dave P
      September 4, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      That's actually a fair comment, Katharine. I'm willing to admit there is nothing wrong with MSN Messenger itself, but it's just no longer necessary. Which makes it feel outdated.