Today in Tech News Digest, Popcorn Time returns, XP users bribed, Secret guidelines, VLC lands on Windows 8, PS4 price rises, Google Search & Google Drive news, and 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (video edition).
Popcorn Time Resurrected As Open Source
Popcorn Time, an app which turns the process of watching torrented movies into a more user-friendly experience, was shut down by its anonymous creators before being resurrected as an open source project.
The creators of the app shut Popcorn Time down because of the legal issues involved. The app may be legal, but it empowers those who use torrents to obtain copyrighted material, an act considered illegal in many countries around the world.
Popcorn Time was always designed to be open source, and that means the app returned to life within hours of the shutdown. Whether this new version of Popcorn Time remains up and running for longer than the original remains to be seen, but it’s clear the idea isn’t going to die quietly.
Microsoft Bribes XP Users To Upgrade
With support for Windows XP ending on April 8, Microsoft is ramping up its efforts to get holdouts to move on from the outdated operating system. XP users in the U.S. who buy a new computer are being offered a Microsoft Store deal comprising a $50 gift card, free technical support for 90 days, and a free data transfer.
There could be as many as 500 million computer users still persevering with the 12-year-old XP, meaning it’s in Microsoft’s interests to offer financial rewards for those upgrading at this time. It also helps on the public relations side. A little. Maybe.
Secret Reminds Users About Guidelines
Reminder that Secret is teeny tiny and everyone is debating the merits of an app only plugged-in tech folks are using.
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) March 16, 2014
Secret, the iOS app which sees people spreading inane tittle-tattle without any form of evidence, is now actively reminding its users that community guidelines do exist to prevent any gossip that is “defamatory, offensive, or mean-spirited” from being posted.
This is unlikely to affect many mainstream users, as Secret currently appears to be used almost exclusively by Silicon Valley to air its dirty laundry. Which is only mildly entertaining for the rest of us.
VLC Media Player For Windows 8 Arrives
VLC media player for Windows 8 has finally arrived, albeit in beta form. The experimental port is buggy and unstable, which means mainstream users should install it with caution, but user feedback is essential for this version of the open source media player to improve.
Sony Ups Price Of PS4, But Only In Canada
Ps4 gets all my nopes. Sony raising the price by $50 in Canada. Xbox one it is. Decision final
— Ryan Robinson (@TheRyRob24) March 16, 2014
Sony has taken the bizarre and unusual decision to raise the price of the PlayStation 4, but thankfully (for the rest of us at least) only in Canada, where the PS4 hardware will increase in price from CAD$399.99 to CAD$449.99.
The reason for the price increase, which will affect not only the console itself but also the PS4 controller, the PlayStation Camera for PS4, and some games, is likely to be the weakening of the Canadian dollar. But still. Xbox One it is then, eh?
Google News: Encrypted Search, Drive Price
“Google it!!” The universal word for offering your help to others. :)
— Zakaria (@geekaria) March 17, 2014
Google is encrypting Web searches from China and slashing the price of Google Drive. The encrypted Web searches appear to be a direct response to the Edward Snowden revelations, while the price cuts for additional online storage gives both Dropbox and Microsoft’s OneDrive a bloody nose.
1001 Movies You Must See (Video Edition)
And finally, 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, a film reference book listing the best films to have ever been made, has been turned into a video. Movie buffs everywhere will appreciate this love note to the medium.
The 10-minute supercut includes all 1001 films from Steven Jay Schneider’s ever-popular book (and a few more besides), and took its creator Jonathan Keogh a whole year to put together. Which is reason enough by itself to watch it in its entirety.
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Jim Bauer via Flickr