Tech News

Microsoft Patches XP, Vine YouTube, Mute Twitter, Life Simulator [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 02-05-2014

Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft patches Windows XP, Vine does a YouTube, Twitter experiments with muting, a Google Glass teardown, Amazon smartphone leaks, a real-life Dropbox, and the creator of Minecraft’s new game.

Microsoft Backtracks On XP Support

Microsoft has released an emergency patch fixing the vulnerability recently discovered in all versions of Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Flaw, Netflix Cable, Cortana Children, E.T. Found In Desert [Tech News Digest] Internet Explorer flaw, government-built social networks, Netflix as a cable channel, ComiXology in-app purchases, Cortana hates children, a Codecademy makeover, and E.T. found in the desert. Read More . As well as the expected patches for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has issued a patch for Windows XP. This despite the company officially ending support Microsoft Kills Windows XP, Hollywood Sues Megaupload, Virus Shield Scam [Tech News Digest] RIP Windows XP, Hollywood sues Megaupload, Virus Shield scam, Xbox 360 emulation, multiplayer Goat Simulator, and Mario escapes into the real world. Read More for that particular operating system in April.

Microsoft explained its strange decision, saying, “We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP.” In other words, this hole in Internet Explorer was found so soon after XP support ended the company felt it had to act.

The problem is that this action runs contrary to Microsoft’s efforts to persuade people to upgrade from Windows XP. Microsoft has addressed the issue, saying, “[This] doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about getting off Windows XP and moving to a newer version of Windows and the latest version of Internet Explorer.

However, the 26 percent of Windows users still running XP are even more unlikely to take notice now than they were previously. And there are likely to be many more Windows XP security issues Windows XP Security Risks: They're Real And Heading Your Way In 2014 Given the extensive coverage, you could easily think Windows XP end of support was just a hype. Sadly not. Without security updates, the aging operating system becomes a Trojan horse in your home or business. Read More discovered in the coming months.

Vine Does A YouTube

Vine has redesigned its website, expanding it into something approaching a YouTube for short videos. New features include editors’ picks, playlists, channels, and trending tags, with the website now bringing much of the functionality of the app across to

This is in stark contrast to the early days of Vine, when unofficial sites were required to watch Vine videos on the Web 5 Unofficial Ways To Watch Twitter Vine Videos Video sharing is not a new phenomenon, with YouTube having been with us since 2005, amazingly. There are also a host of alternatives to YouTube, but the Google-owned service must be considered the daddy of... Read More . And with users now not even needing to be signed in to browse content on the Web, this could be a gamechanger for Vine.

Twitter Brings Mute To Mobile

Twitter is experimenting with a mute button within its mobile apps. The mute button prevents a user’s tweets from showing up in your timeline, all without them knowing. So it acts as a temporary measure slightly less severe than permanently unfollowing them. The mute feature has been spotted in the wild but hasn’t yet been officially announced.

The Real Cost Of Google Glass?

Google Glass Google Glass Review and Giveaway We were lucky enough to get a pair of Google Glass to review, and we're giving it away! Read More costs a cool $1500 to purchase, but according to, the total BoM (Bill of Materials) is just $79.78. Google has denied this estimate is accurate, calling it “absolutely wrong.” And, of course, Google has spent millions developing the wearable technology, which is reflected in the price for early-adopters. Still, that’s surprisingly cheap.

Amazon Smartphone Leaks In 3D

BGR has published an image of what it claims is the final design of the forthcoming 3D Amazon smartphone. The render was reportedly “created for internal use by graphic designers at Amazon” and reveals a design just like countless other smartphones already on the market. This follows on from the same website leaking details of the as-yet-unannounced handset Amazon's 3D Smartphone, Project Ara Release, Cortana Easter Eggs [Tech News Digest] Amazon's 3D smartphone, Google's modular Project Ara, preventing smartphone thefts, texting while driving, making your own 2048 game, and Clippy compromises Cortana on Windows Phone 8.1. Read More .

MakeSpace, The Real-Life Dropbox

MakeSpace, which is offering an alternative to traditional storage units, has closed an $8 million round of funding. While some people may find the service useful, the way it is being described as a “Dropbox for physical objects” is causing much amusement.

Sam Biddle of Valleywag put it best by tweeting, “‘dropbox for physical objects’ hahahah holy s**t THAT’S LITERALLY JUST CALLED A F**KING BOX.” Proof, if proof were needed, that we’re heading towards another tech bubble. Oh, joy.

Markus Persson Is ‘Drowning In Problems’


And finally, if you find yourself bored of trudging through life, why not play a game that simulates trudging through life instead? Drowning In Problems is the latest game from Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, creator of the insanely popular Minecraft, and it’s a strange beast.

Drowning In Problems is essentially a life simulator, but unlike other simulation games 8 of the Weirdest Simulation Games You Can Play Now People are weird; like really, really weird. Some of those weirdos go on to be game developers, and that beautiful marriage of madness and digital potential creates the most random simulation games you’ll ever find.... Read More , there’s no chance of changing your ultimate fate. Just as with real life. Not the most cheery of games then, but an intriguing one nonetheless.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: weegeebored via Flickr

Explore more about: Google Glass, Twitter, Windows XP, YouTube.

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  1. Jon S
    May 2, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Hello, "dragonmouth".
    Methinks you're on to something there, mate.
    Good catch, & good on you.

    Have a GREAT day, Neighbor!

  2. Tom W
    May 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I thought the exact same thing when I heard that IE6 / XP was getting a patch for the zero-day exploit. Also, I imagine that the corporations who paid millions of dollars to continue support won't be pleased about this.

    • Dave P
      May 5, 2014 at 1:06 pm

      Geez, you're right. If I was a corporation paying out for something Microsoft ended up giving away for free I'd be pissed off enough to sue, probably.

    • Tom W
      May 7, 2014 at 10:25 am

      I don't think anyone will be able to sue. Microsoft is smart enough to create legal terms that state that, at their discretion, they can provide support to people who haven't paid.

  3. dragonmouth
    May 2, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    "Microsoft Backtracks On XP Support"
    If the percentage was 2.6% instead of 26%, I'm sure Microsoft would throw those users under the bus, then drive the bus over them several times. As it is they hope that if they make nicey-nice with XP users, they may convince them to stick with Windows and upgrade. I think MS will continue to release "emergency" XP patches for a while longer, at least until the percentage of XP users falls into the single digits. Try as they may, even MS cannot afford to ignore tens of millions of users, large number of whom represent corporate accounts. M$ does not want those users to move on to a non-M$ O/S.

    • Dave P
      May 5, 2014 at 1:05 pm

      That's a very good point. It does make you wonder why Microsoft didn't just extend support for another year though. In the end it just looks like they've lied about ending support.

    • dragonmouth
      May 5, 2014 at 1:22 pm

      "In the end it just looks like they’ve lied about ending support."
      If memory serves, Microsoft tried to kill XP in 2009 but because of the outcry from corporate and private users, they decided to extend XP's life and support (or should that be life support?) for another 5 years, bringing as to the fateful date April 8, 2014.