Today in Tech News Digest, Netflix battles ISPs, Amazon teases 3D smartphone, Xbox One comes to PC, Tinder mimics Snapchat, GOG launches GOG Galaxy, Yahoo upsets Flickr users, and how to break up with someone using Internet memes.
Netflix Blames ISPs For Network Congestion
Netflix tells me it’ll continue its “test” — that pesky alert blaming congestion on Verizon, maybe other ISPs — despite VZ cease/desist
— Tony Romm (@TonyRomm) June 5, 2014
Netflix has picked a fight with American Internet Service Providers by blaming them directly when network congestion leads to poor quality streaming. Users in the U.S. are seeing a message that reads “The [insert name of ISP] network is crowded right now … Adjusting video for smoother playback.”
It was previously thought Verizon was being singled out with this message, but it has since been confirmed that other networks are being treated in the same way. Verizon isn’t happy with the message, which it describes as a “PR stunt,” and which has resulted in the sending of a cease and desist letter which Netflix looks set to ignore.
Whether Netflix is right to deliver this warning message to its customers or not depends on its methodology for deciding that the fault lies entirely with the ISPs and not with itself. Verizon clearly thinks Netflix is going too far in assigning blame, and we suspect other ISPs will agree. This is clearly an opening salvo in what could become a bloody war.
While this battle rages on be sure to check out our ultimate guide to Netflix.
Amazon 3D Smartphone Arriving June 18
Amazon has been working on a smartphone for many months now, and the online retailer finally looks set to unveil its first handset to the public. Literally. A big launch event is set to take place in Seattle on June 18, and ordinary customers can apply for an invitation to attend alongside developers and journalists.
We first reported on Amazon’s smartphone in April, when BGR leaked photos of the device. The innovative feature Amazon is hoping will differentiate its smartphone from everything else on the market is a 3D user interface made possible by multiple front-facing cameras. Which could be a game-changer or a novelty. We’ll know for sure on June 18.
Xbox One Controllers Now Work On PC
— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) June 6, 2014
PC gamers who prefer using a controller to a mouse-and-keyboard combo can now use the new Xbox One controller to play games. This is thanks to Microsoft releasing PC drivers for the Xbox One controller, with x86 and x64 versions available from Major Nelson. For those not in any great rush, the drivers will be released via Windows Update in the future.
Tinder Adds 24-Hour Moments
Dating app Tinder has taken a leaf out of Snapchat’s book by introducing a new photo feature called Moments. Moments lets you snap a selfie, which is then shown to all of your dating matches for 24 hours. They can judge you based on your photo, and either start to chat or move onto the next potential match with a simple swipe of the finger.
We expect men sporting bare chests and women pulling duckfaces aplenty, as these are just two of the mistakes people make when taking selfies.
Good Old Games Launches GOG Galaxy
Classic video games retailer Good Old Games (GOG) has announced GOG Galaxy, a new PC gaming platform to rival Steam and Origin. As with everything else on GOG the platform will be DRM-free, but it will also be completely optional. GOG Galaxy is still a work-in-progress, with more details being shared in the coming months. Good GOG.
Flickr Users Forced To Go Yahoo
Instead of trying to figure out a Yahoo! account to access my Flickr account, I’m deleting my Flickr account & moving it to Google. HUZZAH.
— Amber Lee (@blamberr) June 6, 2014
Flickr users already upset over some of the changes made to the photo-sharing service in recent years are now being forced to sign in using a Yahoo account. Those who don’t already have a Yahoo account have until June 30 to create one. From that date on Google and Facebook IDs will no longer be accepted, forcing users of all Yahoo services to sign up to a Yahoo account.
Flickr is the latest Yahoo property to require Yahoo logins, but it certainly won’t be the last. And this move could backfire on Yahoo if Flickr users abandon the service in protest. Which even a cursory glance at Twitter suggests is already happening.
Breaking Up Made Easier With Memes
The whole convo between me and my ex. pic.twitter.com/ZtGP1KGgoi
— Bobby Light (@KaneZipperman) May 29, 2014
And finally, whether you love or hate Internet memes you have to admit they can be useful in a crisis. Proof of this can be seen in the tweeted photo embedded above, which details one guy’s use of memes to break up with his (allegedly caught cheating) girlfriend.
Not the classiest move, perhaps, but one that has given him online infamy. Which is surely much more valuable in these strange times in which we live.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Jeffrey via Flickr