Tech News

Popcorn Time for Music Arrives, Facebook Filters Bad Memories… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 14-10-2015

Try Popcorn Time for Music, filter Facebook’s On This Day, teasing the new OnePlus X, fighting back against revenge porn, Donald Trump wins something, and watch Star Trek: Renegades for free.


Aurous Arrives, Gets Sued Immediately

A new app already dubbed Popcorn Time for Music has been launched, and then immediately sued by the major record labels. Aurous looks and feels like Spotify, and provides access to countless songs and albums completely for free. Which should set alarm bells ringing for anyone who likes to stay on the right side of the law.

Aurous accomplishes this by pulling music in from more than 120 sources, including YouTube and SoundCloud. All of which is overlaid with a simple user interface which makes the whole thing feel legit. However, the music industry claims Aurous also utilizes “websites offering vast collections of pirated copies of popular recorded music,” which has led to Universal, Sony, and Warner to file a lawsuit.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) issued a statement saying, “This service is a flagrant example of a business model powered by copyright theft on a massive scale. Like Grokster, Limewire or Grooveshark, it is neither licensed nor legal. We will not allow such a service to willfully trample the rights of music creators.”

Aurous isn’t actually hosting any music itself, which should, in theory, protect it from legal attack. But other services have tried to use that defense in the past, and failed miserably The Day the Music Died: A Grooveshark Retrospective Grooveshark is dead. But how did this infamous streaming piracy service stay alive so long? And what does its closure mean for users? Let's take an in-depth look. Read More . Will Aurous be the first one to survive the legal onslaught intact? Let us know your thoughts in the comments at the end of the article.

Facebook Adds On This Day Filters

Facebook’s On This Day feature offers an entertaining way of looking back to the past, showing you what you were doing on any given day in any given year. Which is lovely, if everything from your past still makes you smile. Which probably isn’t the case for 99 percent of people.


What if you spent that day with someone you’re no longer in a relationship with? Or with someone who has since passed away? Then, On This Day becomes a source of sadness and regret instead. And Facebook has been accused of committing “inadvertent algorithmic cruelty” with this feature.

Facebook has finally listened to these concerns, and is introducing filters to help individual users remove people and dates from being included. You can add as many people and dates as you want to, and they’ll never show up in On This Day in future.

A spokesperson told The Verge, “We know that people share a range of meaningful moments on Facebook. As a result, everyone has various kinds of memories that can be surfaced — good, bad, and everything in between. So for the millions of people who use ‘On This Day,’ we’ve added these filters to give them more control over the memories they see.” And about time too.

The OnePlus X Is On Its Way


OnePlus Top Six Best Features Of The OnePlus One -- And One Drawback I've been living with the OnePlus One for a few weeks now, and it's amazing, but it's not perfect. Let's run through some of the best features -- and one downside. Read More is preparing to launch its latest handset, with the OnePlus X due to be unveiled on October 29th. The official teaser gives very little away; there’s a giant X, the news that the phone will be launched in London, and the #PowerfullyBeautiful hashtag.

However, we know more about the OnePlus X from filings with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). These filings suggest a 5.5-inch display, an iPhone 4-style design with metal edges, and the standard rear camera and micro-USB port. Roll on, Oct. 29!

Pornhub Fights Revenge Porn

Revenge porn What Is Revenge Porn, And Are You At Risk From It? Read More , which sees former sexual partners posting private clips of someone online, is a vile act. Which is why many U.S. states have made it illegal. However, making something illegal only helps victims seek justice 20 Years In Prison For Revenge Porn; Here's What That Is And Why It's A Crime Revenge porn is very real, it destroys lives, and finally the law is starting to recognize it as a crime. Read More , but does nothing to prevent it from happening in the first place.

For that, the victims need the help of online porn sites. And Pornhub is stepping up to the plate, introducing a new form (NSFW) to help identify and remove revenge porn from the site. Using an online form should cut down on red tape and make the whole process faster. An essential element of preventing something from going viral.


Donald Trump Has the Best Website

Donald Trump looks set to win the race to become the Republican nominee for the 2016 presidential election. And it’s all your fault Clicking Consequences: Why Donald Trump Is Your Fault Every time you click an article about Donald Trump, the media thinks that is what you want to read, and so it spends more time talking about Trump. Stop clicking! Read More . However, according to CNET, Trump has already won something: namely the award for having the best-performing website from all of the various presidential candidates. Both Republicans and Democrats.

Based on figures from Soasta and its Consumer Performance Index, Trump’s website is the best one, with a CPI score of 88. Bernie Sanders scores 87, Ted Cruz scores 80.2, and Marco Rubio scores 80.1. The CPI score, for those interested, “balances visitor satisfaction with a website based on bounce rate across a range of load times to provide an online engagement score.”

Watch Star Trek: Renegades for Free

And finally, fans of space exploration Watch This Space: 10 Must-See Documentaries About the Universe These are the best space documentaries to help you explore the universe from the comfort of your living room. Read More and science fiction can now watch Star Trek: Renegades for free on YouTube. Think of Renegades as a TV movie or a pilot episode of an as-yet-non-existent show. Because that’s how this got made, with a little help from Kickstarter.

This is Star Trek with a twist, with some familiar faces cropping up to lend it some gravitas. The plot sees a crew of renegades investigating attacks on mining colonies by a strange race of aliens. Could Renegades form the basis for a whole new series of Star Trek? Watch it and let us know. [H/T Awkward Geeks]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

How long do you think Aurous will survive? Will you be filtering Facebook’s On This Day feature? Are you interested in the new OnePlus X? Should Pornhub do more to tackle revenge porn? Have you ever visited Donald Trump’s website? What do you think of Star Trek: Renegades?

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: Philippe Put via Flickr

Related topics: Facebook, Politics, Pornography, Star Trek.

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  1. Anonymous
    October 14, 2015 at 3:25 pm

    1. Star Trek Renegades is a really bad movie. There are better options for fan-made Trek. Star Trek Phase II has an awfully impressive cast has had a surprising number of TOS actors appear.

    2. I'm friends with some people who work in adult entertainment and I've actually had the experience of helping people get more "personal" videos removed. And it's a pain because the sites try to get a response from the uploader and won't take action on removing anything quickly once the videos are up. There's no one to call or any way to expedite removal, so for the duration of time that the content is under review, things stay online and so do the number of views and the chance that someone will download them and copy them elsewhere. And it's even more hysterically awful if a video got copied to a site located in Russia or something.

    One interesting thing from looking in to this is that I've found is that A LOT of adult tube sites just overlay and link back to the same three or four content networks. Also, most of the best known free streaming sites are actually owned by the same people.

    The least amount of time getting a video removed, among sites that were actually willing to remove content, at least, was 10 days. The longest took 22.