Tech News

Microsoft Kills Windows Media Center, Periscope Beats Pay-Per-View, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 04-05-2015

Microsoft kills fan favorite, Periscope fights for streaming, WikiLeaks wants to know your secrets, Instagram loves emoji, Samsung gives Apple the Edge, and Jar Jar Binks ruins Star Wars… again.


Windows Media Center Is No More

Microsoft is killing Windows Media Center, with no Media Center functionality in Windows 10 Will Windows 10 Make Productive People Even More Productive? It's official, the new Windows will be a perfect 10. Why Windows 10? Because Windows 7 8 (ate) 9. And here is what you will find inside the Technical Preview. Read More . This means anyone still passionate about Windows Media Center should avoid upgrading from their current operating system. Windows 7, Windows 8, and even the aged XP Windows XP Lasted Longer Than World Wars I & II Combined Think Microsoft is letting Windows XP die too soon? You're not alone. Many think this is a cash grab. What if I told you Windows XP is the longest supported version of Windows ever? Read More still offer Media Center functionality.

At Build 2015, a Microsoft executive told ZDNet that there will be no Windows Media Center update available for Windows 10. The latest Windows 10 build seems to confirm this, as it warns anyone running Media Center on their computer that they should, “Uninstall this app now because it isn’t compatible with Windows 10.”

Windows Media Center The Best PVR: Windows Media Center! Despite the perceived image of Microsoft as a lumbering beast with bloated software that ships full of bugs, they have actually produced some fine software over the years. Today I’d like to highlight Windows Media... Read More debuted in 2002, offering support for TV tuners and media playback using a remote control. The team responsible was broken up in 2009, and Microsoft only begrudgingly offered a Media Center add-on for Windows 8. And now, the company is moving on, as we suspect most users already have done.

Periscope Wins the Big Fight

This past weekend saw two boxers facing off in what was billed as “the fight of the century.” However, Mayweather vs. Pacquiao was only one of the fights taking place, the other being Periscope vs. Pay-Per-View. And Periscope clearly won the latter on points.

Periscope is the livestreaming app owned and operated by Twitter Facebook Flies Internet Drones, Stream Live with Periscope, & More... [Tech News Digest] Facebook drones on, Periscope usurps Meerkat, Microsoft Windows Apps, Clean Reader eBooks, distracted teenage drivers, and when Dragon Ball Z attacks. Read More . It, alongside Meerkat, lets anyone stream live video through their smartphone. Which makes piracy a major problem for the platform. And, if you hadn’t already guessed by now, the pay-per-view boxing match was a major target.


The live streams showing the fight were shut down throughout the match, but as soon as one disappeared, countless others appeared in its place. Combatting piracy of this variety is extremely tough, so it remains to be seen what, if any, preventative measures Twitter puts in place in the aftermath of Mayweather vs. Pacquiao.

WikiLeaks Brings Back Secret Submissions

WikiLeaks is once again accepting anonymous leaks, relaunching its submission system in beta. According to WikiLeaks, this system, which runs on the Tor network Really Private Browsing: An Unofficial User’s Guide to Tor Tor provides truly anonymous and untraceable browsing and messaging, as well as access to the so called “Deep Web”. Tor can’t plausibly be broken by any organization on the planet. Read More , lets leakers upload information without revealing their identity to anyone listening in, even WikiLeaks itself.

This is a huge step for WikiLeaks, as it has been over four years since its anonymous submission system went down as a result of in-fighting within the organization. The page offers a reminder of WikiLeaks mission, revealing how it “publishes documents of political or historical importance that are censored or otherwise suppressed.”

Instagram Is Awash With Emoji

Emoji is becoming a language in its own right, at least on Instagram. According to the Instagram Engineering blog, as of March 2015, “nearly half of comments and captions on Instagram contain emoji characters.” This is an astonishing figure, and part of a trend that shows no sign of dissipating.


Indeed, users from Finland use emoji in 63 percent of Instagram posts, and users from several other countries aren’t too far behind. Which leads Instagram software engineer Thomas Dimson to proclaim, “It is a rare privilege to observe the rise of a new language.” Is Emoji a legitimate new language Can Emoji Transcend Language Boundaries? Will the connected age help us move beyond language as we know it? Some people think that emoji could revolutionize how we communicate. Let's take a look. Read More though? Let us know in the comments section below.

Samsung Ad Channels Apple Spirit

Samsung is often accused of copying Apple Defective PS4 Debuts, Apple Accuses Samsung, Batkid Wins Internet [Tech News Digest] Sony sells lots of games consoles (including some defective ones), Steve Ballmer reveals the truth about his exit from Microsoft, Apple accuses Samsung of copying, Amazon and Facebook team up, and Batkid goes viral. Read More , with designs so similar the two companies have fought each other in court on numerous occasions. But this time Samsung is being accused of copying another Apple invention: pretentious videos explaining complex design principles.

This video, which features British actor Dominic West describing what goes into making a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge, is pure Apple. West even sounds a lot like Apple chief designer Jony Ive, just with a little more energy and slightly less douche swagger.

Ironically, the S6 Edge features an innovative curved screen, which Samsung definitely did not copy from Apple. It’s just a shame the Korean company then went and ruined it all by ripping Apple off in the advertising department. Is nothing sacred any more?


Star Wars: The Jar Jar Awakens

And finally, Jar Jar Binks is the most reviled character in the entire Star Wars franchise, and his leading role in The Phantom Menace makes that particular film the worst of the six released so far. Luckily, he isn’t in the new movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens… or is he?!

No. He isn’t. Thankfully. But he becomes the entire focus of the trailer for the new film in this parody by YouTuber MurdockMotion. Which makes us more thankful than ever that J.J. Abrams was put in charge of this one rather than George Lucas. Happy Star Wars Day! [H/T Nerd Bastards]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you sad or annoyed to discover Microsoft is killing Windows Media Center for Windows 10? Does the rise of mobile streaming apps spell disaster for pay-per-view? On a scale of 1-10, how much do you hate Jar Jar Binks?

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: via Flickr

Related topics: Instagram, Star Wars, Tor Network, Windows 10.

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  1. DamUJarJar
    May 11, 2015 at 5:20 pm

    Let's just combine the two and blame Jar Jar for the discontinuation of WMC....

  2. AJA=T
    May 11, 2015 at 2:17 pm

    Kodi is just so much more (xbmc new name ) has a Pvr a ton of plugins to do about anything and to watch just about anything. don't see the need for window's media center and haven't for year's yes it has a abit of a learning curve but maybe that's it's problem got to sit down and mess about with it for a few hour's and enjoy the experience of learning something new . instead of being fed same old click and and go no thinking as usual crap .

  3. jimvandamme
    May 5, 2015 at 4:54 pm

    Meesa no like Windows Media center.

  4. Robert B
    May 5, 2015 at 1:45 pm

    I personally never used Windows Media Center or even the Windows Media Player because they were always too restrictive over what file types you could play. My media player of choice is VLC, and as far as a media center type of app I have used either XMBC or Plex. So the news that they are killing off Media Center is a big yawn for me. RIP Microsoft oh I am sorry I meant to say Microsoft Media Center.

  5. solacar
    May 5, 2015 at 6:32 am

    Firstly, let's get this out of the way, I was rooting for the empire whilst Jar Jar was on screen hoping they had a Death Star just for him!
    Now WMC, assuming that it would continue even in its neglected state, I was preparing to ( I can hardly believe I'm going to say this) Pay for Windows 10 pro plus media extras. Now its all over.
    Is there anything that is as simple to set up whilst still being as usable??? Help! Have things got so bad I'll have to get a Humax (& a bluray player).
    Streaming is great but did I mention the P word above, I don't like it! Help!

  6. RedBeardedT
    May 5, 2015 at 2:26 am

    I don't get the hate on Jar Jar Binks, he's one of my favorite characters.

    • random observer
      May 5, 2015 at 4:40 am

      I can't really say that he bothered me any more than the Ewoks.

  7. Blacksmith
    May 5, 2015 at 1:21 am

    Since when has Apple cornered the market on videos extolling the virtues of a manufacturers wares? I was watching films back in the 70's and 80's doing exactly that. Car manufacturers (amongst others) do so to this day. So much for Apples' 'invention' "pretentious videos explaining complex design principles". Do you know what Dave? Most people couldn't give a monkeys about Apple and their perceived 'problems' with Samsung. They find it very tiresome. We like to read constructive criticism about things, that's how it is, but petty squabbles. Nah.

  8. Michael
    May 4, 2015 at 11:18 pm

    At our home we cut the (TV) cable one year ago and have been using Windows Media Center on Win7 ever since. It's really an exceptional program and works near flawlessly. All our music and family pictures are available through WMC. We record a lot of broadcast television, e.g., American Crime, Wolf Hall, Austin City Limits, news, and so on. This program was ahead of it's time but the time is right for it now. We supplement WMC with Firefox for access to Netflix and others.

  9. ROCKHi
    May 4, 2015 at 10:50 pm

    I upped to 8PRO because I have used WMC for years to record TV. WINTV by Hauppage does a reasonable job, but not as good as WMC so I may skip 10

  10. Stephen
    May 4, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I'll be extremely sad to lose WMC. It isn't the Holy Grail, but it does work, and work well.
    I've got two systems setup with access to 6 HDTV Tuners for OTA recording. The Guide data is only 7 days, but is accurate. I've done time-shifting and DVR since early 2000 and loved ReplyTV's (4xxx series) and eventually moved from the RTV's to the WMC, first on XP and now on Windows 7. Time to look at a MthTV backend, though we have really enjoyed the WMC7 and shelling out to web browser sessions for the rest.
    I agree that even without enhancement, making WMC run on Windows 10 would be a big deal for us.

  11. Xoandre
    May 4, 2015 at 1:25 pm

    It would truly be nice if Microsoft would invest some development time into Windows Media Player - a program that seems to have died off... Sure, it exists in Windows, but it crashes, hangs, and doesn't respond more than half the time.

    A revamped WMP would be a really nice thing to have, since most media players out there (including iTunes) don't come close to the functionality and promise that WMP had way back in the XP era.

    • likefunbuntot
      May 4, 2015 at 1:36 pm

      I really don't like the Music and Video Modern-style Apps and I tend to use third-party apps (mostly Winamp and Media Play Classic) instead, but WMP has playlist-making and disc burning capabilities and a now-standard UI that is identical across every version of Windows. I don't really care if is updated for anything more than bugfixes any longer as long as it remains supported and available on every Windows machine.

      Media Center isn't terribly important to me, but losing it means killing Windows as a turnkey application for home media services. A lot of nerds are going to need to move to MythTV/Linux or Snapstream BeyondTV to get the kind of functionality that was available in Windows essentially free of charge. I understand that Kodi and Plex offer better 10' interfaces in general, but there's WMC is by far the easiest tool for getting TV recording out of Windows and that change is going to be tough to swallow for a lot of people.

    • xdrfh
      May 5, 2015 at 5:30 am



      You mean Media Player or Media Center..?

    • xdrfh
      May 5, 2015 at 5:33 am

      @ mean LikeFun But Not.....?

    • xdrfh
      May 5, 2015 at 5:35 am

      There will be many who keep a Win7 around strictly for Media Center..
      Me too.....

    • Xoandre
      May 5, 2015 at 11:26 pm

      Yes, I mean Windows Media PLAYER, because I have never even used Windows Media Center - just too bulky.

      WMP is buggy and I hate when I am trying to RIP, PLAY, RATE, or CREATE A PLAYLIST and it hangs, lags, crashes and burns.

      I have tried iTunes several times. For about 1 month iTunes worked, but hen a forced update made it unresponsive, crashing, hanging, and even crashing my PC once or twice.

      FYI - Intel i5 with 4GB RAM on a Windows 7 PC/