You Can Now Pay to Watch YouTube, The Dangers of Tesla Autopilot… [Tech News Digest]
YouTube Red adds subscription fees, testing Tesla Autopilot, Android stops draining your battery, polling your friends on Twitter, Mythbusters stops busting myths, and Back to the Future in 90 seconds.
Are You Prepared to Pay for YouTube?
YouTube is launching a new paid subscription service called YouTube Red. Anyone willing to pay the asking price of $9.99-per-month gets to removes the ads from all videos, download videos for offline viewing, and watch original content created by some of the most famous YouTube stars . As an extra sweetener, subscribers will also get access to Google Play Music, Google’s audio-only streaming service.
Arguably the most important element of YouTube Red is the original programming that will be available exclusively to subscribers. Shows include Scare PewDiePie, which sees PewDiePie experience scary situations inspired by video games; Sing It!, a scripted satire of talent shows such as American Idol and The X Factor; and Lazer Team, a feature-length action-comedy from Rooster Teeth.
It’s important to note that YouTube Red won’t affect the average YouTube user, especially those who have no interest in people such as PewDiePie and don’t mind occasionally watching ads to fund their habit . YouTube is not forcing anyone to pay for YouTube Red, and the standard, ad-supported YouTube will continue alongside the premium offering. In other words, carry on, there’s nothing to see here.
YouTube Red launches in the United States on October 28th, with users being offered a free one-month trial of the service.
Drivers Testing Tesla Autopilot
When Tesla launched its Autopilot effort last week , rolling it out to 60,000 cars around the world, we warned other drivers and pedestrians to be “a little wary of the Tesla driving past them”. And now we have Tesla drivers proving us right by testing Tesla Autopilot to its limits.
At least two videos have surfaced showing Tesla Autopilot putting drivers in danger. In one, the Tesla tries to steer into oncoming traffic. In the other, the Tesla seems to decide it likes the look of that bush by the side of the road. So, either some Tesla cars have developed suicidal tendencies or the Autopilot is living up to its beta billing.
To be fair to Tesla, both of these drivers had Autopilot engaged when it’s inadvisable to do so, as it’s designed to be used on highways where every car is heading in the same direction. However, that isn’t going to provide much comfort for the victims if and when a Tesla being driven in Autopilot actually hits someone or something.
Marshmallow Saves on Battery Life
Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) looks set to preserve your battery for longer periods of time, especially when your phone is inactive. Currently, most Android owners will struggle to get more than a few days out of their handset, even if they barely touch it for the duration. However, Google is actively trying to improve the situation.
The most important weapon being used in this fight is Doze, a power-saving mode which kicks in when the phone is not in use. We now know that this is mandatory for any manufacturer wanting to include Google’s core apps on their handsets. Which will prevent lazy/cheap manufacturers from ignoring the feature.
What’s more, according to Android Police, manufacturers are now required to track and report power usage on individual handsets, which should help weed out the apps and services responsible.
Twitter Introduces Polls
— Twitter (@Twitter) October 21, 2015
Twitter has launched Twitter Polls, which is exactly what you would expect it to be. Once it has rolled out to Android, iOS, and Twitter.com, you will be able to create a simple two-choice poll in the same way you would compose a tweet . It will remain live for 24 hours, with anyone able to vote. Thankfully, no one can see how you voted, allowing you to vote on contentious issues.
Mythbusters Ends After 14 Seasons
Mythbusters is coming to an end, with hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman currently filming their 14th and final season. The pair confirmed the news that the long-running show was ending in interviews with Entertainment Weekly. Savage said:
“Three or four years ago we started wondering more if we were going to be renewed. We’ve been filming the last season this year and we get to send it off. We get to pay homage to this thing that’s changed our lives.”
Mythbusters debuted on Discovery in 2003, but with more than 250 episodes under their belts, the pair have decided to go out on a high. The final season, set to start airing in January 2016, will put “an emphasis on looking back,” with the pair determined to “go out with a bang”.
Back to the Future in 90 Seconds
And finally, with October 21st now having passed, the present has caught up to the future. Which means the future no longer exists in Back to the Future, as it’s all Doc and Marty’s present and past. Confused? So am I, and I wrote it. That sentence, not the Back to the Future trilogy.
I suspect everybody is well and truly sick of Back to the Future by now, so let’s close the subject out with a video distilling the whole series down to just 90 seconds. Congratulations, you have just saved yourself five hours of sitting through movies that have actually stood the test of time. No pun intended. [H/T io9]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Would you ever consider paying to watch YouTube? Should Tesla pull Autopilot until it works better? Are you looking forward to Android Marshmallow? Can you see yourself using Twitter Polls? Are you sad to see Mythbusters coming to an end? Are you over Back to the Future yet?
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.