Microsoft Patches Freak & Stuxnet, Facebook Stops You Feeling Fat [Tech News Digest]
Microsoft patches problems, Facebook is no longer Feeling Fat, Uber wants women, iPhone Google Calendar, PlayStation lands in China, and playing Snake in a water fountain.
Microsoft Squashes Two Old Bugs
It gets draughty in the Microsoft offices so they keep having to apply patches to the windows.
— Phil Cooper (@philcoopermusic) March 8, 2015
Microsoft has issued patches protecting against the old Stuxnet worm and the newly-discovered-but-even-older FREAK flaw. The fixes were included in the latest batch of security updates released on March 10.
The FREAK flaw was first thought to only affect the default browsers on the Android, iOS, and OS X operating systems, but Windows users are also at risk . A hangover from a decree by the U.S. Government in the 1990s, FREAK opened browsers up to man-in-the-middle attacks.
Stuxnet is a worm that was first discovered in 2010, but while Microsoft patched Windows against it that same year, some issues remained. The new update supersedes the old patch, providing a more stringent defense against Stuxnet. Just like FREAK, the U.S. Government is also alleged to be to blame for Stuxnet . Once again, thanks, Obama.
Facebook Bans Feeling Fat
Facebook has removed the option for people to suggest they’re “feeling fat.” Instead, those people who have overdone it on junk food can now suggest they’re “feeling stuffed.” It’s a subtle change, but one which Facebook obviously felt was important to make.
The social network made the change in response to pressure from a vocal minority of activists. Catherine Weingarten, who started a petition calling for Facebook to remove the option, suggested that anyone using it was “making fun of people who consider themselves to be overweight, which can include many people with eating disorders.”
A Facebook spokesperson said, “We’ve heard from our community that listing ‘feeling fat’ as an option for status updates could reinforce negative body image, particularly for people struggling with eating disorders. So we’re going to remove ‘feeling fat’ from the list of options.” Thus ignoring the fact that “feeling fat” is a well-known phrase uttered by anyone who feels bloated after a big meal.
Uber Wants 1 Million Women Drivers
Uber has vowed to “create 1,000,000 jobs for women as drivers on the Uber platform by 2020.” The promise has been made in partnership with UN Women, which is committed to pushing for complete gender equality by 2030.
While this is a noble goal, we’re not sure how Uber can promise something which is entirely dependent on factors outside of its control. There is also the fact that Uber has something of an image problem when it comes to gender, thanks to accusations of rape by drivers and sexism at the company itself.
New Google Calendar Lands on iPhone
Google has released its new Calendar app on iOS four months after releasing it on Android. The redesigned Google Calendar app follows the Material Design principles Google is slavishly adhering to, which makes it look very fresh and clean on an iPhone.
As well as the visual overhaul, the new Google Calendar app adds a host of new features, including the automatic inclusion of events discussed on email, an autocomplete Assist option, and an illustrative Schedule View which adds images to your itinerary.
PlayStation is Finally Coming to China
My favorite part of having a PS4 is the 12yo boy walks in from school, immediately does his chores, and I don’t have to fuss about them.
— Stephi (@gypsy_momma) March 11, 2015
Sony is set to launch both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita in China on March 20. The games consoles were originally meant to land in China in January, but the Chinese authorities delayed the launch after requesting some undisclosed changes were made to the hardware.
According to Bloomberg, the PS4 will sell for 2,899 yuan ($460), and the PS Vita for 1,299 yuan ($210). Microsoft beat Sony to market in China, with the Xbox One having been available in the country since September 2014. However, Sony is still winning the next-gen console war by some margin.
Playing Snake on London Fountains
And finally, anyone who misses the simple joy derived from playing Snake on their old Nokia mobile phone should head immediately to London . And, in particular, Granary Square in King’s Cross. This is because, as seen in the video above, you can now play Snake in the water fountains.
There are 1,080 jets of water in the Granary Square fountains, each of which is illuminated from beneath. Which means it’s ready-made for a game of Snake using the Granary Squirt app and the on-site Wi-Fi. The problem is it looks even more difficult than the original. [H/T Us vs. Th3m]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Was Facebook right to remove the option of Feeling Fat? Will Uber succeed in employing 1 million female drivers? Will the PS4 and PS Vita sell well in China?
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