Today in Tech News Digest, net neutrality in Europe, Cuban Twitter plot revealed, Brendan Eich resigns, open source .Net, new Kinect for Windows, Lingua.ly on Android, and the advanced Bitcoin simulator.
Europe Votes For Net Neutrality
The European Parliament has voted to protect the idea of net neutrality, with a major telecoms reform package clearing its first hurdle. The reforms clearly define what net neutrality is and ensure telcos treat all services equally.
For those unsure of the issue at hand, we previously explained the concept thusly: “Net neutrality is, at its core, a very simple concept. It describes an Internet free of bias or favoritism, so all traffic is equal no matter what content is being delivered and who is paying for it to be delivered.”
As part of the same reforms, which seek to pitch the European Union as a single market for telecoms services, roaming charges for mobile phone users will be scrapped across the continent.
This decision is in stark contrast to the recent stance taken against net neutrality in the U.S., where a Washington court rejected the notion. This legislation now needs to be approved by the Council of the European Union, which is expected to make a decision by October 2014.
U.S. Government Behind ‘Cuban Twitter’
ZunZuneo, described as the “Cuban Twitter,” was actually developed and managed by the U.S. Government. The Associated Press further suggests this was a covert operation “aimed at undermining Cuba’s communist government,” though the Obama Administration denied this latter accusation.
This was an involved plot, with U.S. involvement hidden by way of shell companies and messages being funneled through other countries. ZunZuneo built a healthy userbase of 40,000 people but the project was ended in 2012 due to a lack of money. The Associated Press article details the plot in much greater detail.
Brendan Eich Resigns As CEO Of Mozilla
Brandon Eich’s blog post really buries the lede. (I also don’t understand what he’s saying in the top half.) https://t.co/SApDfNl1Nl
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) April 3, 2014
Brendan Eich has resigned as CEO of the Mozilla Corporation. The co-founder of Mozilla stepped down after severe criticism of his decision to donate money in support of Prop 8, which stated that “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.”
Eich had previously stood firm in face of the criticism, refusing to resign. However, it appears Mozilla acted to end the controversy which was at risk of damaging its reputation. Even OkCupid wasn’t happy, urging its users to stop using Firefox.
There is clearly a debate to be had over whether someone’s personal views affect their ability to be an effective leader. Feel free to air your views on the Brendan Eich resignation in the comments section below.
Microsoft Open Sources .Net Technologies
Microsoft on a open source spree. It is open sourcing the entire Roslyn .NET Compiler Platform. Biggest applause at Build.
— Dan_Rowinski (@Dan_Rowinski) April 3, 2014
Microsoft has open sourced more of its .Net technologies. As reported by ZDNet, the elements being contributed to the new .Net Foundation include “ASP.Net, the Entity Framework, a preview of the .Net Compiler Platform (codenamed “Roslyn”), [and] the VB and C# programming languages.”
The news was revealed on Day 2 of Build 2014, where Microsoft made sure to point out how big a deal .Net is, pointing out that 6 million developers currently use it, with 1.8 billion installs across all devices. And now it’s open source, surprising everyone who thought they knew Microsoft.
New Kinect For Windows Revealed
— ChristopheFiessinger (@cfiessinger) April 3, 2014
Microsoft has revealed Kinect for Windows v2, its next-gen motion control system, as well as a new SDK making it easier for developers to create apps that take advantage of the hardware. The new Kinect for Windows, which is almost identical to Kinect on the Xbox One, just with the addition of a power supply, will be “publicly available this summer.” Which is annoyingly vague.
Lingua.ly Learns Language Of Android
Lingua.ly has come to Android, with an app designed to add basic vocabulary to your fledgling foreign language skills. The app, which supports English, Spanish, French, Hebrew, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Turkish, will also be available on iOS in the near future.
Play The Advanced Bitcoin Simulator
And finally, mining and trading Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies isn’t really for n00bs. And while we have tried to demystify the subject somewhat, those who are still confused may want to play Beep Boop Bitcoin, a fun simulation of what it’s like dealing in cryptocurrency.
It isn’t a serious simulator in any way, but it does offer a humorous reminder that Bitcoin isn’t for the faint of heart. It isn’t quite as good as Goat Simulator though, obviously.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Eric Fischer via Flickr