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Internet Bill Of Rights, ASUS Chromebox, iOS 7.1, Between Two Ferns [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 12-03-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, the Internet needs a bill of rights, Xbox Live suffers a Titanfall outage, the ASUS Chromebox sells well on Amazon, Neil Young’s PonoPlayer is a Kickstarter hit, Apple releases iOS 7.1, and Barack Obama appears on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis.


Berners-Lee Wants Web Bill Of Rights

Tim Berners-Lee, the man who essentially invented the World Wide Web, has called for a bill of rights to protect the open and free tenets of the Internet. Berners-Lee is using the 25th anniversary 10 Videos Exploring The Internet As It Was In The 1990s The history of the Internet stretches back as far as 1969, but it didn't become popular until the 1990s when the whole thing became commercialized, ISPs started offering access, and the World Wide Web emerged... Read More of his proposal to create the Web in order to push this agenda.

The idea for an online bill of rights forms part of a wider initiative called the Web We Want. People from around the world are invited to help draft an “Internet Users Bill Of Rights,” which can then be formally proposed to governments in order to safeguard the future of the Web.

Berners-Lee told The Guardian, “We need a global constitution – a bill of rights.” He then explained, “Unless we have an open, neutral internet we can rely on without worrying about what’s happening at the back door, we can’t have open government, good democracy, good healthcare, connected communities and diversity of culture. It’s not naive to think we can have that, but it is naive to think we can just sit back and get it.

For this to work as Berners-Lee hopes, apathy towards things such as copyright laws, digital rights management, government surveillance, and the loss of privacy needs to end. It’s a tough ask, but when Berners-Lee speaks, we should probably listen.

Xbox Live Outage Hits Titanfall Launch

In a show of truly poor timing, Xbox Live was down for some users for several hours on the same day that Titanfall was released Snowden At SXSW, MtGox Bankruptcy, Titanfall Time, 8-Bit True Detective [Tech News Digest] Edward Snowden at SXSW, MtGox bankruptcy protection, Twitter fixes "rare" bug, Titanfall drops, Microsoft releases Power Cover for Surface 2, UC Browser HD v3.0 arrives, and 8-bit version of True Detective pops up on YouTube. Read More on Xbox One in North America. Titanfall being a huge release for Xbox and a game that can only be played online.


Microsoft is making it clear the issue isn’t related to Titanfall The Titanfall Beta Is Over: How Was It? Xbox One and PC owners the world over have one game on their radar right now: Titanfall. Read More , suggesting it’s nothing more than a coincidence. Apparently. Users still not able to sign-in to Xbox Live are advised to “power cycle” their Xbox Ones. Which literally means turning it off and on again.

ASUS Chromebox Bestseller On Amazon

The ASUS Chromebox is now available to pre-order through various online retailers. According to OMG! Chrome! after just a few days on sale at Amazon it has become the number one bestseller in desktop computers.

This isn’t the first Chromebox — the desktop version of the Chromebook Chromebooks – Useful or Useless? My wife gave me a choice of gadgets for Christmas – a new MP3 player, or a Chromebook? Read More — to have gone on sale, but the combination of a low asking price ($179.99) and the increasing popularity of Chrome OS How To Try Google Chrome OS On Your PC How many times have you been approached by a friend or family member who says that they really have very little use for a big, powerful computer, since all they do with it is check... Read More means this model is gaining a lot of attention.

PonoPlayer Hits Target In Under 24 Hours

Neil Young’s PonoPlayer, which we previously mocked Android Smartwatch SDK, Neil Young's PonoPlayer, Noisy Marvel Comics [Tech News Digest] Google teases Android SDK for smartwatches, Neil Young reveals PonoPlayer, Yahoo's track record with startups revealed, Marvel adds sound to comics, Samsung releases Milk Music, Facebook Messenger comes to Windows Phone. Read More on these very pages, has already hit its funding target on Kickstarter. At the time of writing over 3,000 people have pledged more than $1 million to ensure this audiophile’s iPod-alike becomes a reality.


A fool and his money are easily parted.” — Thomas Tusser, 1573.

Apple Releases iOS 7.1 Update

Apple has released iOS 7.1, an update which both fixes various issues and adds some new features. The update is available for the iPhone 4 and onwards, the iPad 2 and onwards, the iPad mini, and the iPod Touch 5th Generation and onwards.

Between Two Ferns With Barack Obama

And finally, Barack Obama has appeared on Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis. The clip, which sees Obama promoting the controversial Affordable Care Act, is already a huge online hit thanks to being shared on social media.

The impact of this video, made by Funny Or Die 5 Funny Or Die Web Series Worth Watching Funny Or Die is a comedy website focused on videos, which means you can add it to the list of worthy YouTube alternatives. The name of the site comes from the very simple idea that... Read More , is such that thousands of viewers followed the trail and ended up on Making it the number one source of referrals at the moment. Job done, Mr. President.


Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: Kristina Alexanderson via Flickr

Related topics: Kickstarter, Politics, Xbox Live.

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  1. dragonmouth
    March 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

    Berners-Lee is a voice crying out in the wilderness. He might as well wish for universal peace, a cure for the common cold, faster than light propulsion and a balanced budget. While his idea is admirable, it just ain't gonna happen! The Internet Bill of Rights should have gone into practice along with the Internet. Now it is too late. There are too many entrenched special interests making way too much money for them to allow a Bill of Rights for the hoi poloi. Also there way too many 'Net users who just don't care about it.

    • Dave P
      March 16, 2014 at 2:22 pm

      You might be right, but it has to be worth trying, no?

      The reason no bill of rights was included at the birth of the Internet was because no one could have predicted how big it was going to grow and how it would influence the world.

      25 years into something new isn't that long.

    • dragonmouth
      March 16, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      "it has to be worth trying"
      As Yoda would say "There is no try, just do!" :-)

      US has a Bill of Rights which is trampled on with increasing frequency.
      We have other "bills of rights", all of which are not worth the paper or the electrons they are recorded on. The bottom line is that if you don't have the money, you don't have the rights. But what the heck, let's go for it. Another useless regulation to be ignored by the powers that be can't hurt. If we're lucky, it may even help.

      "25 years into something new isn’t that long."
      Depends what the "something new" is. In computer years, it is an eternity. It is about 30% of a human lifetime. In geologic terms, it's not even an eye blink.