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Mark Zuckerberg secures his baby’s future, Adobe signals the beginning of the end for Flash, Microsoft seeks peace for Christmas, Google launches its Santa Tracker, and Uncanny Valley unsettles gamers.
Zuckerberg Plans for the Future
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have had a baby girl named Max, and have used the opportunity to give away their fortune to good causes. Kinda. The headlines suggest the couple are donating all of their money to charity in order to live the simple life, but that’s nowhere near the truth.
In A Letter to our Daughter, Zuckerberg and Chan have promised to give 99% of their Facebook shares to the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. However, this is an LLC (Limited Liability Company), and not a charitable trust. Which means the money can be spent on anything, including private investments designed to turn a profit.
When I'm a billionaire I'm not giving away a dime. Not worth the bad press.
— Matthew Panzarino (@panzer) December 2, 2015
In addition, those shares (which are currently valued at $45 billion) will be donated over the course of their lives, and not in a huge lump sum. The money will be used to “advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation,” with an initial focus on “personalized learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.”
Committing to giving away billions of dollars is an honorable gesture, and Mark Zuckerberg should be applauded for following in the footsteps of Warren Buffet and Bill Gates. However, this isn’t a billionaire giving his money to charity, it’s a billionaire using his money to tackle social causes he cares about. Which is still noble, but not quite as noble as originally thought.
Adobe Kills Flash, But Only in Name
Adobe has killed Flash! But only in name, unfortunately. Adobe is changing the name of the infamous platform from Adobe Flash Professional CC to Adobe Animate CC. This is primarily a name change, and nothing more, which is disappointing for all of us fighting to kill Flash sooner rather than later.
My quick but loving tribute to Adobe Flash. Rest in peace, buddy. pic.twitter.com/Wr74tyqNyQ
— Alex Berry (@AlexBurby) December 1, 2015
Adobe admits that its users want its “creative applications to evolve to support multiple standards,” namely HTML5. Therefore, when Adobe Animate launches in early 2016, it will enable the creation of HTML5 content. But, and it’s a big but, citing the fact that these “new standards have yet to fully mature,” Adobe is committed to carry on supporting Flash.
Flash is a security nightmare riddled with vulnerabilities. Which is why Adobe has “committed to working with industry partners […] to help ensure the ongoing compatibility and security of Flash content.” Good luck with that. Meanwhile, we’re still advising people to uninstall Flash in order to speed up its inevitable passing.
Microsoft Makes Peace With Apple
Microsoft has unveiled its new TV commercial for the holidays, and it’s all about promoting peace. Which is nice. For Microsoft, making peace means coming together with the Geniuses working at the Apple Store down the road, but there’s obviously a deeper meaning at play here.
It’s easy to mock this ad, as TechCrunch dutifully has, but it’s surely quite timely with the shocking conflicts currently raging around the world. Microsoft vs. Apple is obviously meaningless, but this technological conflict acts as a microcosm of the more important wars being waged right now. Which is actually pretty smart.
Google’s Santa Tracker Goes Live
As we’re now in December, Christmas is almost upon us. Which means that Google is tracking Santa as he prepares to embark on his perilous journey delivering presents around the world. If you celebrate Christmas, and have kids preparing for Santa’s visit, Google’s Santa Tracker is a must.
As part of its annual Santa Tracker promotion, Google has created a website showing Santa and his elves preparing for the big day. Acting like a virtual advent calendar, new features are unlocked every day, including educational games, fun facts, and even some basic coding skills.
Watch the Uncanny Valley Short Film
And finally, Uncanny Valley is a short film showing a dystopian future in which people are addicted to virtual reality. It’s a startlingly well-produced short film made by Argentinean filmmaker Federico Heller, so it’s no surprise to learn it’s likely to be turned into a full-length sci-fi movie.
The name is a reference to the hypothesis that human are repulsed by artificial intelligences which resemble us but not quite perfectly. Which is true because we’re all living in The Matrix and know deep down inside that something is not quite right. [H/T Deadline]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Are you cynical of Mark Zuckerberg’s intentions? Will we ever see the back of Adobe Flash? What do you think of Microsoft’s Christmas ad? Do your kids enjoy Google’s Santa Tracker? Is virtual reality leading us down a dangerous path?
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: Andrew Feinberg via Flickr