Tech News

Killing Net Neutrality, Google Play PayPal, Hunting For Code, VR For Chickens [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 16-05-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, the FCC is killing net neutrality, Google works on a “right to be forgotten” tool, PayPal comes to Google Play, Microsoft launches Code Hunt, Outlook gets new features, Nescafe jars gain 3D-printed alarm clock lids, and virtual reality headsets for chickens.


The FCC Votes To End Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has delivered its verdict on the future of net neutrality What Is Net Neutrality & Why Should I Care? A significant number see Net Neutrality as essential to the survival of the Internet. In this article, we're going to look at why Net Neutrality matters, and why we should fight to protect it. Read More , voting to keep pushing a proposal that allows ISPs to set up “fast lanes” on the Internet. These “fast lanes” would deliver content to consumers quicker if the third-party responsible pays for the privilege.

It should be noted that this isn’t set in stone, and the FCC could change its strategy Net Neutrality Niggles, Amazon Patents, Google Glass Golfers, Live-Action Akira [Tech News Digest] FCC backtracks on net neutrality, Amazon wins a photography patent, Netflix raises its prices, piracy in the UK, Google Glass golfers, Adobe finds its Voice, and a live-action Akira movie trailer. Read More if overwhelming public pressure forces it to do so. Unfortunately, the ISPs are pulling in the opposite direction, leaving the FCC in the middle trying to determine what’s best for the future of the Internet.

We haven’t got room here to discuss the latest FCC proposals in depth, but Ars Technica, GigaOM, and The Next Web all have useful primers on the evolving situation. The debate between both sides is set to run until July 15, which is when we’re likely to know more about how this will all be resolved.

If you’re as passionate as the people in the video are about keeping the Internet free and fair for all then now is the time to act. The FCC is seeking comments on its plans, so get in touch with them via DearFCC [Broken URL Removed]. You can also get in touch with your representative to make them aware of your views. Whichever side of the fence you stand on.

Google’s Right To Be Forgotten Arsenal

There has been an immediate response to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that citizens deserve the “right to be forgotten on the Web. BBC News reports that several citizens have already requested the removal of links, and The New York Times claims Google is busy developing a tool to make the process easier.


The “right to be forgotten” was discussed briefly on Technophilia 113: Mario Of War. There appears to be a fundamental difference of opinion between Americans and Europeans, with the former arguing for freedom of speech and the latter arguing for the right to privacy. Feel free to have your say in the comments section below.

PayPal Added To Google Play Pay Options

You can now use PayPal to buy digital content from Google Play. Initially, Android users in 12 countries — including the U.S., Germany, and Canada — are being offered the option, with more countries expected to be added to the roster in the coming months.

Microsoft Research Launches Code Hunt

Microsoft Research [PDF link] has launched a new game designed to demystify the tricky art of coding. Code Hunt is a browser-based game that requires the player to write or fix code in order to progress. This isn’t meant for absolute beginners, but looks perfect for those wanting to improve their basic programming skills Bored With Programming Books? Try 3 Fun Ways To Level Up Your Coding Skills If you've ever tried to learn to code from a book, you know how boring it can be. Why not try some engaging options to make learning more quirky and fun. Read More .

New Features Come To Outlook

Microsoft has added several new features Gets Advanced Rules, Undo Feature, In-line Reply, And More Rolling out now to all users are four new features intended to make your email life a lot easier: advanced rules for sorting, an undo feature, in-line replies, and improved chat function. Read More to its email service All of the new features — advanced rules for sorting mail, an undo option, in-line replying, and improvements to the built-in chat — are designed to “make your email life a lot easier.Easier than Gmail 11 Chrome Extensions That Will Super-Power Your Gmail Experience Google makes the Chrome browser and Google makes Gmail. Naturally, you have some great Chrome extensions to make your Gmail experience better. Read More ? You be the judge.


Nescafe’s 3D-Printed Alarm Clock Lid

Nescafe has designed a new 3D-printed lid for its jars of instant coffee. The limited edition lids double as alarm clocks, with soothing light patterns and gentle sounds used to wake coffee drinkers Buy This: The Greatest Gear For Making Awesome Coffee If your coffee tastes like crap, you're doing it wrong. Great coffee doesn't have to be expensive. Read More from their slumber.

The alarm clock is turned off when you open the jar in order to consumer your first coffee of the morning. Naturally.

This is just a rebranding exercise with 200 jars having been sent out to celebrities. However, if Nescafe made this lid as standard then I may just be tempted to ditch my freshly-brewed cuppa and return to the pungent aroma of instant coffee. Possibly.

Second Livestock: VR For Chickens

And finally, Iowa State University assistant professor Austin Stewart has (half jokingly) floated the idea of virtual reality headsets for chickens. Calling the service Second Livestock, Stewart is proposing The Matrix for egg-laying hens.


This is more of a social experiment than anything, with Stewart telling Ames Tribune, “The goal of the project is to raise that question of how do we know what’s best, or what is humane treatment and also to look at how we treat ourselves. We’re living in these little boxes, just like chickens.

Amazingly, this isn’t a new idea, with the video embedded above showing, in 2009, the exact same concept being proposed by a contestant on the BBC show Genius. Dave Gorman and Stewart Lee discuss strapping VR headsets to chickens before Lee gives it the thumbs up.

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

Image Credit: Pavel P. via Flickr

Related topics: Google, Google Play, Microsoft, Microsoft Outlook, PayPal.

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  1. Howard Pearce
    May 16, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    " leaving the FCC in the middle trying to determine what’s best for the future of the Internet."

    And all those supporting control of the internet and other media by the state have only themselves to blame for allowing/promoting a coercive monopoly (the state) to determine and control the market.

    • Dave P
      May 19, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      You think market forces are the be-all and end-all? Time and again that has shown to be a short-sighted viewpoint.

    • Howard Pearce
      May 19, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      I don't .... but unlike you , I do believe in freedom of association for others rather than concentrate on my personal greedy desires of how I want others to behave :D

  2. dragonmouth
    May 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    Of course the politicians and pedophiles want to be "forgotten." Both groups want to be free to perform their dastardly deeds without public's oversight.

    • Dave P
      May 19, 2014 at 1:36 pm

      The question is should these misdemeanours and crimes be retained on Google as a permanent record?

    • dragonmouth
      May 19, 2014 at 10:33 pm

      If somebody is a politician, we do not know what other anti-social habits (s)he might have.

      Do you have any reasons why these crimes and misdemeanours should NOT be retained forever?

  3. Tom W
    May 16, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Just because people are requesting to be removed from Google, it doesn' t mean that all of those requests will be fulfilled.

    If the Nescafe alarm clock lid is 3D printed, they could probably just post the schematic and allow people who own home 3D printers to build them.

    • Dave P
      May 19, 2014 at 1:35 pm

      Oh, that's true, but it'll be interesting to see what system Google puts in place to determine which requests should be honored.

      What about the innards? It's no good having a 3D-printed lid without the components that turn it into an alarm clock.

    • Tom W
      May 19, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      I think it's a safe bet that most people with a 3D printer can get their hands on a real-time clock and miscellaneous other components required for an alarm clock circuit. Only potentially tricky part would be the activate-on-twist, but that's probably just a matter of a contact on the jar and one on the lid.