Your Next Android May Be a BlackBerry, Net Neutrality Rules, & More… [Tech News Digest]
BlackBerry loves Android, net neutrality rules, Twitter invents email, Voat for Reddit, the Steam Summer Sale, and why friends beat selfie sticks.
BlackBerry Is Eyeing up Android
My Blackberry is designed to survive being thrown at the wall. Because they knew that you would want to do that.
— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) June 8, 2015
BlackBerry could be about to release its first Android phone. Multiple sources talking to Reuters suggest the Canadian company is set to launch a BlackBerry handset powered by Android this fall. If true, this would represent a serious change of strategy from the ailing firm.
The suggestion is that the sliding phone with a “dual curved display” revealed at Mobile World Congress will run on Android. And that this would be the first attempt at focusing on software and device management rather than trying to control every part of the user experience .
BlackBerry simply said, “We don’t comment on rumors and speculation, but we remain committed to the BlackBerry 10 operating system, which provides security and productivity benefits that are unmatched.”
This statement strongly suggests this is either a one-off or an experiment. But if it’s a successful experiment then BlackBerry would be bonkers not to follow the market. BlackBerry now boasts a market share of less than one percent, which means it might have to do something extreme in order to survive. Yes, even adopt Android .
Net Neutrality Rules Are Now in Force
Net neutrality lives! This is thanks to the new FCC (Federal Communications Commission) rules having come into effect from today (Friday June 12th). These rules, as passed earlier this year , should help ensure net neutrality thrives in the United States. At least that’s the plan.
The broadband industry sued the FCC to overturn these rules, and its first order of business was trying to temporarily halt proceedings until litigation is resolved. However, according to The Washington Post, the U.S. Court of Appeals denied any requests to temporarily prevent the rules coming into effect, and U.S. citizens should now be protected from any artificial interference with their Internet connections.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said, “This is a huge victory for Internet consumers and innovators! Starting Friday, there will be a referee on the field to keep the Internet fast, fair and open. Blocking, throttling, pay-for-priority fast lanes and other efforts to come between consumers and the Internet are now things of the past. The rules also give broadband providers the certainty and economic incentive to build fast and competitive broadband networks.”
Twitter Breaks 140-Character Limit
The Twitter DM change was big news for about 140 seconds
— im not here, see note in profile ? (@Anthony) June 11, 2015
Twitter is removing the 140-character limit for direct messages (DMs). Instead, from July, private messages sent via Twitter can be up to 10,000 characters in length. Which is a rather extreme change by any standards you care to mention. Public posts, more commonly known as tweets, will still be limited to 140 characters.
The character limit for private messages never really made much sense, and this change is well overdue. Developers are being warned in advance in order to reduce the chances of apps using the Twitter API from breaking. The rest of us should prepare for the return of long, rambling conversations with boring friends.
Redditors Are Fleeing to Voat
There has been something of an exodus from Reddit, with some of the more vocal and trollish users leaving for pastures new. This came after Reddit culled a number of subreddits that no longer fitted with the site’s new rules against harassment, which some people see as an attack on free speech.
Voat seems to be the destination of choice for most of these former Redditors, with the influx of new users crashing the website. The people behind Voat, which is essentially nothing more than a Reddit clone anyway, are now asking for Bitcoin to pay for more servers. And they’ll probably get it too.
Steam Monster Summer Sale Starts
The Steam Summer Sale has begun, and there are already some huge bargains for eager gamers to snap up. The sale, which is a much-anticipated annual event, runs until June 22nd. Meaning those Steam refunds arrived just in time.
In total, more than 400 products will be included in the sale, with “Daily Deals” changing every 12 hours. Gamers can typically save between 25 percent and 75 percent off of the standard selling prices. Succeeding at the Monster Game unlocks extra deals and discounts.
Friends Are Superior to Selfie Sticks
And finally, selfie sticks really should be consigned to the dustbin marked, “Ridiculous ideas no one should ever have taken seriously.” And this CollegeHumor video is the latest reason why. It suggests something called a “friend” is superior to a selfie stick, and we tend to agree.
It turns out these friend things can do so much more than help you shoot selfies too. They can offer emotional support and drive you places when you need a ride. And despite all of this they’re (mostly) free. Choose a friend today, and throw that dumb selfie stick away .
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Would you buy a BlackBerry running Android? Are you pleased to see net neutrality persist? Will you be sending longer messages via Twitter? Will Reddit survive the mass exodus? What bargains have you picked up on Steam?
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 Credits: Lindsey Turner via Flickr
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