Tech News

Microsoft Edge Gets Extensions, Twitter Sticks With 140 Characters… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 21-03-2016

Microsoft adds the first extensions to Edge, Twitter sticks with 140 characters, update your Kindle ASAP, follow Pope Francis on Instagram, and how ignorance and stupidity could save humanity.


Microsoft Adds Extensions to Edge

Microsoft has finally brought extensions to its Edge browser, delivering on its promise to do so six months ago. Edge extensions have arrived Everything You Need to Know About Microsoft Edge Browser Extensions The one feature Microsoft Edge has been missing is extensions. Windows Insiders can now test the first official extensions and manually port extensions from Google Chrome. We show you everything you need to know. Read More as part of the latest Windows 10 preview, Build 14291, which is available to Windows Insider testers Be the First to Test New Windows 10 Builds as Windows Insider Windows Insiders are the first to test new Windows 10 builds. They are also the first to suffer from bugs. Here we show you how to join or leave the program and how to share... Read More right now on PCs and phones.

The company originally intended to bring extensions to Edge by the end of 2015, but didn’t quite manage it. However, the first three Edge extensions are now available, those being Microsoft Translator (which automatically translates Web pages), the Reddit Enhancement Suite (which adds new features to Reddit) and Mouse Gestures (which recognizes mouse gestures for various actions).

Extensions are currently only available to testers, who need to download each one individually. However, they should become available to everyone through the Windows Store once Microsoft releases the Redstone 1 update later this year (likely in June Windows 10 Update Delayed to 2017, Skype Translates Arabic... [Tech News Digest] Microsoft delays Windows 10 update to 2017, Skype adds Arabic to Translator, Google opens Project Fi up to everyone, The Internet Archive brings the Apple II back to life, and teens react (badly) to Windows... Read More ). Microsoft is already stating that extensions from “AdBlock, Adblock Plus, Amazon, LastPass, [and] Evernote” will be included in the first batch.

Twitter Keeps Character Limit

After months of speculation suggesting Twitter was planning to abandon its self-imposed limit of 140 characters, the company has decided to stick with the per-tweet character limit. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey stated so in an interview with NBC’s Today.


Asked about the whole 140 characters thing, Dorsey said, “It’s staying. It’s a good constraint for us and it allows for of-the-moment brevity.” Which is, in itself, a short statement on the issue which has been the subject of rumors for many months.

Dorsey was actually to blame for part of this speculation, tweeting out a longer message than usual by posting a screenshot of text. The suggestion then being Twitter was exploring the idea and experimenting with implementation Internet Explorer Is Dying, Twitter Wants Longer Tweets... [Tech News Digest] Internet Explorer gets Edged out, Twitter reaches its limit, Lumosity pays the price for allegedly deceiving people, play Rick and Morty on mobile, and avoid playing Pac-Man Powered by Moff. Read More . But it seems the idea is now dead.

Twitter chose 140 characters so that a tweet could fit into a single SMS message How Twitter Was Born [Geek History Lessons] Originally created in 2006 as a short messaging system for small groups, Twitter has since evolved into a powerful communication tool that has dramatically changed how information is shared and spread online. Twitter functions as... Read More . But that’s now no longer necessary. However, ditching the character limit now would turn Twitter into something else altogether. Something less unique and more, well, like Facebook. Which would be a travesty.

Update Your Kindle by March 22


If you own an older Kindle then you need to update it by tomorrow (March 22) or risk it becoming a lot less usable. Amazon has issued an emergency update which needs to be applied to every model of Kindle released prior to the 2012 Kindle Paperwhite.

Without the update you will no longer be able to connect your Kindle to the Internet or download new books to it. Ensuring your Kindle is charged up and able to connect to the Internet should mean you’ll get the update. To make sure, click Menu and then Sync and Check for Items.

If you’re reading this article after March 22, you’ll need to update your device manually by plugging it your computer and following the steps outlined on this Amazon help page.

Pope Francis Joins Instagram


Pope Francis has joined Instagram, and racked up 1 million followers in his first 12 hours on the service. That’s a new record, beating the 24 hours it took David Beckham to reach 1 million followers in May 2015.

Pope Francis’ conversion came after he met with Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom. Systrom was actually present at the Vatican on Saturday to witness the Pope (or at least his people) posting his first photo to Instagram.

Systrom commented on the occasion, saying, “Watching Pope Francis post his first photo to Instagram today was an incredible moment. @franciscus, welcome to the Instagram community! Your messages of humility, compassion and mercy will leave a lasting mark.”

2084 Is the New 1984

And finally, I’m in the camp that thinks it’s highly likely machines will control the world at some point in the future. Whether by 2084 or not. It just feels inevitable, especially as we’re creating scary humanoid robots 7 Real Humanoid Robots That Will Give You Nightmares Robots are starting to move, look, and speak like people. Unfortunately, as with any cutting edge venture, sometimes you fly a little too close to the sun. Read More and artificial intelligences capable of beating the Go world champion Poor Americans Given Free Broadband, Google AI Beats Human at Go... [Tech News Digest] The poorest Americans could get a broadband subsidy, Google's AI has beaten a human at Go, Destinations by Google plans your vacations, Flickr shafts free users, and watch the Game of Thrones Season 6 trailer. Read More .


With that in mind, we need to start thinking of ways to defeat this future enemy, and with weaponry unlikely to get us far, we need to use our brains. Or perhaps not. Perhaps stupidity is the key, as AI may not be able to cope with that inherently human skill of being as dumb as a box of rocks. [H/T The Awesomer]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you looking forward to testing Microsoft Edge extensions? Should Twitter have moved beyond its limit of 140 characters per tweet? Do you need to update your Kindle? Will you be following Pope Francis on Instagram? Will the machines have taken over by 2084?

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.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Related topics: Amazon Kindle, Artificial Intelligence, Instagram, Microsoft Edge, Twitter.

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  1. dan
    March 24, 2016 at 6:00 am

    Is there any way you can have a link to each story you bundle together so I can bookmark the one I want?

  2. Nick
    March 21, 2016 at 11:32 pm

    Very difficult to say anything remotely intelligent with just 140 characters. So I wonder at the millions of people that spending their time busily tweeting believing that anyone is remotely interested only to have their words disappear into the black hole of cyberspace.

  3. DieSse
    March 21, 2016 at 10:58 pm

    " only reacted as it was programmed to do."

    Oh - you mean just like a human brain is set up to do then.

  4. Luke Bradley
    March 21, 2016 at 10:29 pm

    Uh, hellooooo? "Artificial Intelligence" is a contrived term. In other words, ain't no such thing. Does not exist now, and never will. As for the robot that beat the Go world champion, there was nothing "intelligent" about it. At no time during the competition did the robot "think," it only reacted as it was programmed to do. Hopefully, you were speaking mostly tongue-in-cheek; otherwise, I might lean a little more in favor of a machine being more "intelligent" than *some* people.

  5. Anonymous
    March 21, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Can I suggest you put the Update Kindle story as a main news item, not just buried in the digest.
    It might help a few more people that haven't heard of this issue.