Microsoft Overhauls Outlook, AdultFriendFinder Got Hacked, & More… [Tech News Digest]
Microsoft modifies Outlook, AdultFriendFinder data leaks, Internet Health Test, Need for Speed, Intellivision on Kickstarter, and the dangers of selfie sticks.
Microsoft Offers New Outlook on Email
Outlook.com is being overhauled, with Microsoft introducing a new user interface and several new features to its email service. This is all due to Outlook becoming part of Office 365 , but users need not worry, as Microsoft promises that “Outlook.com will remain a free, ad-supported service.”
The biggest changes are: Users will now have a choice of themes, with 13 initially available to choose from; add-ins from third parties such as Uber and PayPal will appear when reading or composing emails; Clutter will help manage your inbox by default, sorting messages you’re likely to ignore into a separate folder; Search is being vastly improved, with suggestions and refiners aiming to help you find what you’re looking for.
Also being added are: automatic link previews, inline images, pop-out read and compose, pins and flags, seamless Skype integration, and simplified sharing from OneDrive . The new Outlook.com will be available to a small group of customers now, with others able to opt-in to receive the update in the near future. Microsoft has also launched Outlook UserVoice, a forum for offering feedback, requesting new features, and voting on others’ ideas.
AdultFriendFinder Suffers Data Breach
Online dating site AdultFriendFinder has been hacked, leading to the personal data of millions of its users being leaked on the dark side of the Deep Web . An investigation by Channel 4 News found that the personal details of 3.9 million AdultFriendFinder users has been revealed.
This includes names, email addresses, dates of birth, ZIP codes, and IP addresses. In some cases people’s sexuality and the sort of encounter they’re seeking is also visible, which could lead to attempts to blackmail individuals “seeking extramarital affairs.”
Channel 4 News actually spoke to someone already being affected by this data leak, with Shaun Harper noticing an increase in spam since the breach occurred. His personal information was included in the leak despite him having deleted his account.
FriendFinder Networks, the parent company of AdultFriendFinder, told BBC News it had “only just been made aware of this potential issue and understands and fully appreciates the seriousness of the issue. We have already begun working closely with law enforcement and have launched a comprehensive investigation … we pledge to take the appropriate steps needed to protect our customers if they are affected.”
Run an Internet Health Test
With the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) reclassifying ISPs (Internet Service Providers) as common carriers, net neutrality has been preserved. This is a victory for the Internet , and for all of those who use it and want to be able to continue using it without having their speed throttled or degraded.
However, the biggest ISPs are already fighting back against this ruling, and there’s still a danger they’ll continue to do everything they can to throttle particular users or services. Battle For The Net doesn’t want this to happen, and has launched the Internet Health Test to enable ordinary users to check up on their ISP.
The Internet Health Test checks the consistency of your Internet speeds, with low levels of consistency suggesting your ISP is manipulating your connection. The test only takes a couple of minutes, and the data “goes into the public domain, and is hosted by M-Lab … a global network measurement platform dedicated to open and reproducible Internet science.”
Need for Speed Is Back
Need for Speed is coming back, with EA rebooting the long-running franchise later this year. This is set to take Need for Speed back to its roots, so the game is set to be called simply, Need for Speed. The first teaser trailer is embedded above, but EA is sure to be saving the best stuff until E3 2015.
The game will feature “deep customization, authentic urban car culture, a nocturnal open world, and an immersive narrative to pull players deep into the game.” Currently being developed by Ghost Games, previously responsible for Need for Speed: Rivals, the new Need for Speed will be launching this fall on PlayStation 4 , Xbox One , and PC.
Intellivision Games on Kickstarter
A group of people are currently trying to preserve old Intellivision games for future generations. The group, made up of retro gaming fans and people either currently or formerly associated with the console, hopes to do this via a Kickstarter campaign seeking to raise $100,000.
The aim is to release modern versions of the classic Intellivision games, with titles including Astrosmash, Shark! Shark!, and Night Stalker being re-imagined for a new generation of gamers. A pledge of $15 is enough to secure all three games if and when the target is hit and the team behind the campaign deliver on its promises.
The Dangers of Selfie Sticks
And finally, just a couple of days after Delta Airlines used memes to promote itself , Pizza Hut has done the same with selfie sticks. And who can blame them, as selfie sticks are a menace in need of being banned from music festivals and elsewhere.
In an incredibly accurate PSA (Public Service Announcement), Pizza Hut targets the “narc-artists” and “egotastic specimens of visual self-obsession” who use selfie sticks. They’re in danger, and we need to help them before they hurt themselves and others.
The ultimate message is, “Please Selfie Responsibly”. And we couldn’t have put it better ourselves. [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you like the look of the new Microsoft Outlook? What should websites be doing to better protect people’s personal data? How healthy is your Internet connection? Do you remember the Intellivision?
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.