Tech News

Obama Plans Faster Internet For All, Facebook Pushes AMBER Alerts [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 14-01-2015

President Obama wants faster Internet, Facebook adds AMBER Alerts, Microsoft ends Scroogled, Grand Theft Auto V on PC gets delayed again, Ship Your Enemies Glitter, and why you should consider disconnecting from Facebook & Twitter.


Obama Wants Speedier Broadband

U.S. President Barack Obama wants all Americans to have access to affordable, high-speed Internet. In order to achieve this goal, he plans to take executive action to increase competition and end the broadband inequality that currently exists across the United States.

The White House will be filing a letter with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) demanding an end to the restrictions that prevent municipalities in 19 states from creating their own broadband networks. There will also be grants made available to encourage rural carriers to supply broadband, and a Broadband Opportunity Council will be formed to push the whole thing through.

President Obama will be officially announcing this plan to improve the quality of Broadband Are You Getting The Broadband Speed You're Paying For? How fast is your Internet connection, really? Your Internet service provider quotes you speeds, but how do you know if you’re actually getting the speed you’re paying for? You can find out using one of... Read More in the U.S. at his State of the Union address next week. We expect the usual names and faces to oppose the plans while accusing Obama of being a socialist for even floating such ideas.

Facebook Introduces AMBER Alerts

Facebook is adding AMBER Alerts to people’s News Feeds in an effort to use the social network for good. Thanks to a partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, AMBER Alerts How To Become a Hero & Help Find Abducted Children using Mobile Amber Alerts Want to learn how you can become a hero some day? Try using the new mobile Amber Alerts that are available for mobile phones across the world. Read More will show up on the News Feeds of people in areas where a child is thought to have been abducted.

AMBER Alerts include photographs and details about a missing child, with the hope being that people will notify the authorities with any information they may have on that child’s welfare or whereabouts.


Facebook already posts AMBER Alerts as news posts, but this is the first time they will be inserted into users’ News Feeds. At least 725 children are reported to have been recovered as a direct result of AMBER Alerts since the initiative launched in 1996. Thus proving it works and proving that anyone complaining about this move by Facebook is a heartless b**tard.

Microsoft Ends Scroogled Campaign

It appears Microsoft has ended its lengthy and controversial Scroogled campaign. For the best part of two years, Microsoft has been using the Scroogled moniker as a cheap and easy way of laying into Google. But the Scroogled website now redirects to Why Microsoft.

Scroogled was a particularly bitter campaign Microsoft, You’re Embarrassing Yourself. Please Stop. [Opinion] Microsoft: we need to talk. Yes, it’s about those Scroogle ads. No, I don’t think they’re funny, and no: I don’t think Google is worried about them. Read More which saw Microsoft attacking Google in order to promote its own products and services. The new Why Microsoft is a much softer approach, with Microsoft talking up its strengths rather than its competitors’ weaknesses.

GTA V On PC Delayed Until March

Grand Theft Auto V on PC has been delayed yet again, with Rockstar putting the release date back until March 24. The PC version was originally expected to launch in Fall 2014, which was then revised to January 2015. The new release date means the PC version of GTA V The Games, TV Shows, Movies, & Technology That Influenced GTA V As with every medium, video games are heavily influenced by other things, and there are plenty of examples of this in GTA V. Read More will launch a full 18 months after the original game landed on PS3 and Xbox 360.


Rockstar announced the change by saying, “Our apologies for the slight shift in the date but the game requires a few extra weeks of testing and polish to make it as good as can be. Moving a release date is never a decision we take lightly and is a choice we make only when we know it is in the best interests of the game and our fans. Thanks everyone for your understanding and we assure you these few extra weeks will be worth it when the game does arrive in March.

As long as the game does actually arrive in March as promised and doesn’t suffer from any more delays. PC gamers Switching From Console to PC Gaming: 8 Big Differences Explained Thinking about switching from console to PC? Here are some of the biggest differences between gaming on PC and console. Read More eager to play the open-world game should probably keep all their fingers and toes crossed just in case. And in the meantime check that their machine fulfills the minimum specs requirement.

Ship Your Enemies Glitter


You can now send an envelope full of glitter to someone you hate thanks to a website called Ship Your Enemies Glitter. For $9.99, these guys will stuff an enveloper full of glitter and post it to your target of choice. Who will then open the envelope and get covered in the stuff.


Glitter is annoying, especially when it spills everywhere from a package you never expected to receive. But it’s in no way evil or illegal, which makes it a lot more acceptable than sending a box of poop through the mail. Not that I would ever do such a thing, obviously.

Disconnect With Facebook & Twitter

And finally, this short film from Doug Hindson should get you thinking about how being connected in the virtual realm Are You Addicted To Your Smartphone? At one time, landlines and payphones were all we had--and we survived just fine, thank you very much. But now, it’s almost laughable if you don’t own an iPhone or Android, and for some of... Read More is very different from being connected in real-life.

Titled Dis\Connect, the film offers several layers of meaning, with each and every individual viewer likely to take something different from it. Hopefully something positive.

[H/T Sploid]


Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Is President Obama right to call for faster broadband across the United States? Are you annoyed about GTA V on PC being delayed until March? Do you feel social networks disconnect us from the real world?

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: Southbank Centre via Flickr

Related topics: Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter.

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  1. PatL
    January 17, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Dave stopped being a messenger delivering the news when he included this snide comment

    "We expect the usual names and faces to oppose the plans while accusing Obama of being a socialist for even floating such ideas."

    A socialist, probably, but Obama definitely wants to be a dictator. Control the internet, control health care, control Congress, and he admires the Chinese because they don't have the constitution.
    Most democratic governments did not become dictatorships overnight, but law by law.

  2. dragonmouth
    January 16, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    "No one should should forget that Freedom of the Press is nothing more than your right to communicate on a more general basis which would probably cover Freedom of Speech too."
    You have that backwards. The Freedom of Speech covers Freedom of the Press, not the other way around. However, we never truly had either. Both are controlled by the government for their own purposes.

  3. Howard Pearce
    January 14, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    Obama is promising the usual for public support of his real goal to regulate the internet just like any other state controlled public utility that he can collect taxes on.

    Instead of promising to make the trains run on time like Mussolini Obama will be promising greater, cheaper, faster, and any-other-good-attribute that politicians like to promise to impose their view of how things should work on others.

    No one should should forget that Freedom of the Press is nothing more than your right to communicate on a more general basis which would probably cover Freedom of Speech too.

    Anytime you hear someone promising to regulate your communication for your benefit, one of those colored flags should pop up ..... I believe they are painted red.

  4. Zack McCauley
    January 14, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    OH BOY! ANOTHER DELAY FOR GTA V???!?!?!?!? You mean after the months of promised heists and fixes....that still aren't here yet...? OH BUT LOOK THERE IS FIRST PERSON MODE...for new consoles and PC...BUT LOOK IT'S SHINY...true..but heists..WHAT HEISTS???

  5. Prosthetic Lips
    January 14, 2015 at 3:14 pm

    Nice picture of an old Acorn Model B! Took me a while to figure out what old computer it was, with the red function keys.

  6. dragonmouth
    January 14, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    "Obama Wants Speedier Broadband"
    More politically motivated and politically beholden federal bureaucracy.

    "Facebook Introduces AMBER Alerts"
    It's about time! FB should have done it long time ago, before bringing us many other of its "enhancements."

    "The new Why Microsoft is a much softer approach, with Microsoft talking up its strengths rather than its competitors’ weaknesses."
    Same S**t, Different Day.

  7. bnjohanson
    January 14, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Hey Dave:

    You, well as a couple of others on this Site, have made it perfectly clear that not only are you another one of those insufferable, naive, wall-licking, goofball Liberals over there, but you once again find it impossible to contain yourself over your man-crush on Obama.

    Mark my words man-child- You will regret posting this crap when it dawns upon you that echoing Obama's laughably foolish talking points when adults in this country know that if he is successful in these baby steps of his, the internet as we know it will devolve in terms of cost, quality, and advancement exactly the same way as every other utility has in this country. It is already a Known that the pathetic Liberal kool-aid drinkers like you will never learn, but on behalf of the rest of us that are of that more advanced stage in evolution that have mastered such things as how to think, SAVE IT DUDE.

    • dragonmouth
      January 14, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Chill, Jill!
      Dave is just a messanger delivering the news. If you don't like the headline and/or the lead story, don't kill the paper boy. It's uncool.

    • Keefe K.
      January 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm

      "Obama" seems to be the gathering beacon for a bunch of people to bash liberals, huh? But that aside, I'm interested in how he plans to not only expand broadband access to more rural parts of the US, but also increase competition as well. Competition is actually an important part of not only just providing faster internet but also ensuring good quality as well! My point comes from a real life experience with the service provider I had before I moved to where I am today. The Nova Scotia government contracted different wireless broadband internet providers to provide internet for rural areas in the province. And while they did do that, you only had one choice of provider to go with. This usually would be acceptable but because there was no competition for these providers, they didn't really do much to improve the quality of their existing infrastructure. This meant that many people had to endure slow speeds and constant signal drops because their infrastructure was actually over-saturated, all because they were servicing more customers than their equipment could handle. So while they succeeded in granting everyone broadband access, they failed to provide good quality of service.

      I know this is not completely the ISP's fault considering the type of technology that was used, but I know some people who still have that kind of internet connection because they have no other choice. Which is why I say competition is important to develop a good quality of network: if you have a choice on what internet service provider you can get then that means companies need to earn your business. If they fail to give you good quality or a good price then you have other options as well. And when these companies know this then they are more likely to improve upon what they already and be more competitive than if they were just given an area to service and left alone. So if Obama's plan is to be successful, broadband companies must not just be given a section to provide internet access to and try to keep other companies out. There needs to be competition in the area that is available to the customers to ensure not only fast internet access but also reliable, inexpensive and a good quality of experience as well.

      This is why I'm rather skeptical on whether his plan will work or not, having seen something similar happen up here in Canada. I applaud his ambition and sincerely hope it does somehow work for the sake of those living with dial-up (or no internet at all), but I'm afraid that his plan may not work the way people are intending it to. And because some people seem to blame poor Obama for everything, I don't see how this will be any different. I however know there are many more factors in this equation that are beyond his control and that the success of this plan relies on broadband companies, communities, state governments, the FCC and a few others that I can't think of that will all determine the outcome.

    • Howard Pearce
      January 14, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Keefe k,

      Rather than try to sell the idea of "competition" to people who view all business activity as greedy and exploitive, I suggest you use the concept "consumer choice". An idea I promise you will have far greater appeal but achieve the same result.

    • DonGateley
      January 14, 2015 at 7:25 pm

      Hey bnjohansen:

      You do realize that your shrill, manic, foam at the mouth spew is exactly what will ultimately cause a total republican/conservative collapse as people fully realize the insanity of the right, right?

      Tone it way, way down if you expect to influence anyone. You are merely showing why the right is a dead end. No one wants to be like you.

  8. Scutterman
    January 14, 2015 at 12:24 pm

    The "Ship Your Enemies Glitter" website is charging $9.99 Australian Dollars. I thought I would clarify, because most people assume USD when they see the dollar sign. Good news is, that makes it even cheaper.

    I don't care how long GTA V is delayed for, so long as it works when it arrives. I'd rather have a working game late than an Assassin's Creed game on time. I do find it funny though. When the last gen versions arrived I predicted that, to maximise sales, the next gen versions would be a year later, and the PC version 6 months after that. Looks like that was pretty much dead on.