Tech News

Microsoft Develops New Web Browser, Hackers Target Your Fingerprints [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 30-12-2014

Also, new Twitter ads upset William Shatner, 10 million people try Amazon Prime, Apple offers extended refunds, and old people play QWOP.


Microsoft Developing Spartan Web Browser

Microsoft is developing a new Web browser to be released alongside Windows 10 Windows 10 In Pictures - A Guided Tour Of The Technical Preview The Windows 10 Technical Preview is now available to everyone. Some bugs aside, it does look promising. We'll guide you through the new Windows one screenshot at a time. Read More . However, contrary to previous reports, this isn’t merely a new version of Internet Explorer but a whole new browser entirely. At least according to sources talking to ZDNet.

Spartan, as Microsoft’s new Web browser is currently codenamed, will reportedly look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox, be lightweight, and support extensions. IE11 will also ship with Windows 10, but be seen as a legacy system only there to offer users backwards-compatibility.

We should know more on Jan 21 when Microsoft reveals more new Windows 10 features Microsoft Are Crowd Sourcing Ideas - Top Requests For Windows 10 Microsoft have been taking requests from users on what they want to see in Windows 10 and we've compiled some of the top suggestions they've received. Read More .

Your Fingerprints Are No Longer Secure

The Chaos Computer Club claims to have replicated the fingerprints of a German politician. Jan Krissler insists he used nothing more than commercial software and photos of Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen taken at a recent press conference.

Identifying people through fingerprints left on a polished surface is now standard procedure, but this new method suggests no physical connection is even necessary. It’s unlikely anyone would go to this trouble to log into your iPhone Does the iPhone 5S Fingerprint Scanner Increase The Chance of Theft? The iPhone's new fingerprint sensor seems like a great way to use biometrics to keep the device secure and personal, but could the feature be used against the owner to circumvent existing protections? Read More , but fingerprints are clearly no longer secure for other, potentially more important, biometric identity checks Why Usernames & Passwords Are A Thing Of The Past, And How To Cope With This With every other hacked database and credit card scandal that occurs, it becomes more evident that we can't rely on passwords for much longer. But if not passwords, what else is there? Read More .


New Twitter Ads Target Following List

Twitter has started adding brands to users’ Following lists, much to the annoyance of William Shatner and others. While you’re never actually forced to follow these brands, their accounts show up in your Following list as if you’re following them.

This is particularly noticeable on accounts which only follow one person, as their Following count appears to double overnight. Blocking said brand Spring Clean Your Twitter With A Game Of 'Block, Mute, Unfollow' [Weird & Wonderful Web] It's time to play a game. It isn't one you'll be familiar with, because we've just invented it to give you an entertaining excuse for spring cleaning your Twitter. Read More WILL remove them from your Following list, but that brand will simply be replaced by another which is also paying for the privilege.

10 Million Try Amazon Prime Over Xmas

Amazon claims 10 million customers worldwide tried Amazon Prime over the holidays. This suggests the price hike to $99-per-year Zuckerberg Vs. Obama, Bill Gates Speaks, Amazon Prime Price, Pi Day [Tech News Digest] Zuckerberg has words with Obama, Gates expresses his opinions, Amazon Prime goes up in price, Microsoft ditches Xbox contracts, Facebook gives Pages a makeover, and 3/14 is Pi Day. Read More hasn’t harmed the initiative, although some (or even many) of these people may not use Amazon Prime Is Amazon Prime Worth Your Money? We Help You Decide! Amazon Prime is a big deal. But is it worth the money you pay for it? We answer your questions and concerns. Read More beyond the free trial.

There are a host of other statistics included in Amazon’s holiday press release, including how it shipped to 185 countries, how the last Prime Now order was placed at 10:24pm and arrived at 11:06pm, and how 60 percent of customers shopped using a mobile device.


Apple Offers 14-Day Refunds In Europe

Apple is now offering 14-day refunds for iTunes, App Store, and iBooks purchases in Europe. Users who buy digital content from Apple only to change their mind within a fortnight can get a refund with no questions asked.

The updated terms and conditions state, “If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code.

The change is thought to be linked to a new EU directive giving consumers additional rights. Google has yet to update its terms and conditions to include the 14-day refund window, but will need to do so in order to comply with European Union laws.

Watch Old People Play QWOP

And finally, it seems everybody sucks at QWOP, no matter what their age or experience. We know so thanks to this Elders React video showing some older people trying to play QWOP and failing miserably. Just as everyone else does the first time they play the game.


If you haven’t yet played QWOP then I urge you all to do so. Just make sure you remove all small objects from the vicinity, as they’ll likely be thrown across the room as soon as frustration sets in 8 'Rage Quit' Videos Guaranteed To Make You Laugh [MUO Gaming] I'm a gamer, and like all gamers I have particular tastes. I have adored some video games through the decades, and would count playing them as highly memorable experiences. I have also played some games... Read More . And I guarantee it will set in sooner rather than later.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Do you support Microsoft’s attempt to move on from Internet Explorer? Are you worried about hackers’ ability to replicate your fingerprints? Are you as annoyed as William Shatner about Twitter’s new ads?

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: Jorgen Kesseler via Flickr


Related topics: Apple, Fingerprints, Microsoft, Microsoft Edge, Twitter.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. joe
    January 4, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    IE has been needing too be scrapped for along time. Frustatingly some enterprises force their employees too use IE. Firefox could use a tap on the reset button as well since its becoming slower with every release and has way too much too be efficient anymore.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      I guess you prefer Chrome now then? I must admit that's my first choice. The idea of a lightweight, bare bones IE does interest me though.

  2. molly_dog
    January 2, 2015 at 3:47 pm

    Wonderful! Another MSoft browser I'll never use!

    As far as Amazon Prime, I've been a member for 3 years. Even with the membership price hike it's still a good deal provided you purchase regularly from the site. Free 2-day shipping is awesome as are all the free videos. IMHO, it's a no-brainer if you purchase from Amazon regularly

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Would you not even give it a go?

      It's certainly good value for money for people in the U.S. I'm not so convinced it's good in my native UK, where shipping is already damn fast, and there are some extras we don't yet get.

  3. Swerve
    January 2, 2015 at 6:39 am

    Can't wait for Spartan and shall never play QWOP, I guess. It's so frustrating.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:53 pm

      Oh, you have to try it. Please. Do it. It's awesome in a smash-your-computer-screen-with-a-hammer kind of way.

  4. Steve
    January 2, 2015 at 4:24 am

    I tried to use Firefox but finally gave up. I would open the browser, do whatever and close the browser. When I tried to open it again it would complain it was still running and to close it. I had to use Task Manager to close it before I could run it again. I finally just settled on Chrome. Love it!

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:54 pm

      That happens on my parents' computer too, but they won't switch to Chrome because it's always better the devil you know. Apparently.

  5. Larry Bradley
    January 1, 2015 at 11:58 pm

    Microsoft falls further and further down the copycat slope and is nowhere near regaining a position near the top of the innovation mountain. Every great enterprise has its achilles heel. Could "entrenched thinking" be Microsoft's?

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:55 pm

      I think things are changing. Satya Nadella seems to have his head screwed on. IE needs to go, and what choice have they got than copying Chrome and FF to a certain extent?

  6. Paul Moriarty
    January 1, 2015 at 4:53 am

    I switched to Chrome years ago ... My college has Chrome, Firefox, IE ... I tell my classes to use Chrome only ...
    Firefox annoyed me to no end to "upgrade add-ons" to the point I couldn't get anything done.
    I last used IE version 4 ... how long ago was that current?
    I am quite happy with Chrome & Gmail.
    I have also sold off my two HP laptops with Windows and now exclusively use a MacbookAir and Macbook Pro. I got tired of buying anti-virus software and upgrading it every day.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      You should take the plunge and buy a Chromebook. They're a lot cheaper than Macs and also don't need antivirus protection.

  7. Ben
    January 1, 2015 at 2:11 am

    Respectively, yes, yes, and no (as I hardly ever use twitter, any more).

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:56 pm

      Respectively, me too, kinda, and not really, even though I do use Twitter quite a lot.

  8. YellowApple
    January 1, 2015 at 12:14 am

    Great. Now not only will Windows default to the same shitty Trident-based browser, but said browser will look just like two better browsers and be named differently, thus confusing literally every old person in the world more than even Windows 8 did.

    Nice going, Microsuck ;)

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      Damned if you do, damned if you don't. Poor ol' Microsoft ;)

  9. Jimmy.
    December 31, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    Will be good to have a new browser.
    That is a serious worry about hackers being able
    to replicate fingerprints.
    It never ceases to amaze me, the things that people
    tolerate from Facebook and Twitter.
    In a future enlightened age people will realise just how
    they are being manipulated by social networks - and who the
    main beneficaries are from these sites.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks for responding to the questions at the end of the article.

      I agree, it'll be great to see a new browser from MS.
      Who do you think is benefiting from social networks? Other than the billionaire owners of said networks?

  10. james Bruce
    December 30, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I'm almost certain the new Apple policy is being misreported by everyone, because I've been getting refunds on iTunes for a long time, days after buying it when finding out the app was actually crap. You just fill in the form, say the app sucks or is broken somehow, and get your money back.

    • EagleMaster
      December 31, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      Mr Bruce - I notice you failed to read what was put out by Apple. "Apple Offers 14-Day Refunds In Europe". You live here in the US not in Europe.

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 1:00 pm

      @James Huh, that is strange. The number of sites reporting this as new convinced me it actually was.

      @EagleMaster That may be news to James, who is actually British.

  11. james Bruce
    December 30, 2014 at 9:25 pm

    A "new" browser which uses the exact same rendering and JavaScript engine as IE, thereby inheriting all the stupid quirks that web developers love IE for.

    Don't be fooled, this is a cut and dry rebranding. Internet explorer is dead; long live internet explorer!

    • Dave Parrack
      January 8, 2015 at 1:01 pm

      Do you really believe that? If MS really were to rebrand IE but deliver the same old shitty browser then they would get their ass handed to them by journos galore. I for one really hope they're building this from the ground up.