Microsoft Kills Internet Explorer 8, Google Favors Secure Websites, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Twitch begins silencing videos, Netflix overtakes HBO, Google adds university campuses to Street View, Microsoft reminds us how terrible things were in 1994, and Kanye West asks the question on everyone’s lips.
Microsoft Kills Internet Explorer Support
Microsoft is ending support for all older versions of Internet Explorer. From January 12, 2016, the company will no longer offer technical support or security updates for all but the latest version of Internet Explorer available for its various products.
This means people using Windows Vista will need to install IE 9, and people using either Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 will need to install IE 11. Every version of Internet Explorer up to and including IE 8 will now be dead in the eyes of Microsoft. This despite IE 8 being by far the most popular version of Internet Explorer.
If we have learned anything from the ending of support for Windows XP , users will cling onto older products regardless of Microsoft’s desire to kill them. So we expect plenty of users to carry on using older versions of Internet Explorer beyond this date. More fool them.
Google Ranks Secure Sites Higher In Search
Google giving a rankings boost for HTTPS websites. They can pretty much change the web the way they want it http://t.co/drTnuJhfkJ
— Glen (@ViperChill) August 7, 2014
Google is set to start rewarding secure websites with higher placement in search results. In an effort to persuade more companies to adopt HTTPS , websites which offer encrypted connections will soon be pushed up in the rankings, condemning those who refuse to switch to a less search-friendly future.
This is an agenda most people will support, because making the Web more secure for everyone can only be a good thing. However, this latest measure shows how much power Google wields in pushing through the practices it wants to see adopted. Which is great on this occasion, but could come back to bite us all on the ass later when the agenda is less agreeable.
Twitch Starts Muting Copyrighted Music
Twitch has taken a leaf out of YouTube’s book by starting to mute videos which contain copyrighted audio. Twitch now scans for any unauthorized music featured in a video, and mutes a 30-minute block in which the offending song appears. This could be a sign Twitch is preparing for an acquisition by Google .
Thankfully, this ruling only applies to recorded video, meaning live streams are safe (for now). The decision to mute a section of video rather than take it down completely should also win Twitch some brownie points. However, the effort has received a negative reaction from many Twitch users, including the inimitable Francis, as featured in the NSFW video embedded above.
Netflix Overtakes HBO In One Key Way
— Rich Greenfield (@RichBTIG) August 7, 2014
Netflix has overtaken HBO in terms of subscriber revenue for the last quarter. As revealed by Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Netflix brought in $1.146 billion, while HBO brought in $1.141 billion.
Hastings was quick to clarify how HBO is winning in other ways, admitting, “They still kick our ass in profits and Emmy’s, but we are making progress.” If only all CEOs were as honest and upfront about things as Hastings.
Google Adds 36 Universities To Street View
Anyone else compulsively refreshing the Google Street View of the alley where your parents were murdered, or is that just me?
— The Batman (@BatmanOfNight) August 7, 2014
Google has added 36 university campuses to Street View, all from across North America. The places of learning added to Street View include Brown University, Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and Cornell University. The effort should help prospective students check out their new surroundings before arriving at their college of choice.
Microsoft Revisits 1994, Finds Ugly Website
Microsoft launched its first website in 1994, a year when the Internet was still struggling to find mainstream adoption. And you can now see that debut effort in all its horrific glory by virtue of Microsoft republishing it in order to celebrate its first 20 years online. Doesn’t it make you thankful we’ve moved on somewhat?
Kanye West Drones On About His Daughter
And finally, whatever you may think of Kanye West, this is a man who knows what’s important in life. Which is his one-year-old daughter (good!) and her ability to go for a relaxing swim without being electrocuted by a paparazzi drone (er, what now?!).
In his deposition defending himself against a paparazzo, West mused, “Wouldn’t you like to just teach your daughter how to swim without a drone flying? What happens if a drone falls right next to her? Would it electrocute her? Could it fall and hit her if that paparazzi doesn’t understand how to remote control the drone over their house?”
I don’t know about you but that’s always been my biggest concern about the increasing popularity of drones. Doesn’t it just make you envy the world of celebrity, where swimming pools and paparazzi drones are everyday concerns? No, us neither.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Are you pleased to see Microsoft act to end the use of old versions of Internet Explorer? Is Google right to rank secure sites higher in search results? Has Kanye West completely lost the plot?
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: Rob Campbell via Flickr