The Problem With Android, iTunes Is Illegal… [Tech News Digest]
Android is everywhere, anarchy in the UK, Windows 10 updates, Bing doesn’t do drugs, paying for Pornhub Premium, and Game of Thrones gets a retro gaming makeover.
Android Fragments Further
The biggest problem with Android is, and always has been, the level of fragmentation within its ecosystem. And it’s only getting worse as time goes on. As demonstrated by the latest Android fragmentation report published by OpenSignal.
The report isn’t perfect, as it’s based on people downloading OpenSignal’s app mapping wireless coverage, but it’s the most exhaustive overview we currently have. And the numbers make for scary reading.
There are now 24,093 distinct Android devices, up from 18,796 last year. There are 1,294 different brands selling Android devices, with Samsung being the clear leader thanks to a 37.8 percent market share. That’s a long way ahead of Sony, in second place with a 4.8 percent market share. And then there are the different versions of Android still being used, which range from Android 2.2 (Froyo) to Android 5.1 (Lollipop).
There is, of course, another side to all this; namely, that fragmentation is a source of strength rather than weakness. This is because Android can be offered on a range of devices from different manufacturers at both premium and budget prices. Which is good for consumers.
Still, the visual representation of Android fragmentation isn’t a pretty sight, and it would be preferable to have most people at least using the same version of Android .
iTunes Is Illegal In the UK
Using iTunes is now illegal in the UK, with the current copyright laws turning almost everyone into a criminal. Copying copyrighted content for personal use was actually illegal in the UK until 2014, when the government legalized an activity already undertaken by most people.
Unfortunately, several organizations looking after the welfare of musicians — including the Musicians’ Union and UK Music — weren’t happy with the change in the law, and applied for a judicial review. They got it, and the changes to the law have now been overturned.
This means that copying the music from a CD you have bought onto an MP3 player is now illegal. Which is a feature built into iTunes, Windows Media Player, and countless other pieces of software. All of which are now, by the letter of the law, assisting people in criminal behavior.
A government spokesperson told TorrentFreak, “It is now unlawful to make private copies of copyright works you own, without permission from the copyright holder – this includes format shifting from one medium to another.” So perhaps we should bombard music labels with such requests until they join us in the 21st century.
Windows 10 Updated Already
Microsoft has already delivered the first cumulative update for Windows 10, just over a week after it launched the latest (and possibly last ) version of its operating system. Most people won’t even have noticed, as updates are automatically applied to Windows 10.
As to what’s included, Microsoft is being vague on the details, stating, “This update includes improvements to enhance the functionality of Windows 10. Windows 10 updates are cumulative. Therefore, this package contains all previously-released fixes … If you have installed previous updates, only the new fixes that are contained in this package will be downloaded and installed to your computer.”
Windows 10 users should get used to these updates, as they’re likely to come thick and fast for the next few weeks, if not months. With so many people having taken advantage of the free upgrades from Windows 7 and Windows 8 , the company needs to ensure Windows 10 is as safe and secure as possible. Yep, it’s iron-out-the-bugs time.
Bing Tackles Fake Pharmacies
Microsoft is tackling the rise of fake pharmacies, with Bing warning users when they click on “a pharmaceutical site that has been cited by the FDA as a fake online pharmacy engaged in illegal activity.” Users will not be prevented from clicking on the links, but they will be advised against doing so.
Bing will be using the list of sites maintained by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), warning users against the risks of buying from these illegitimate sources of medicine. Bing already follows a similar procedure when someone clicks on a webpage suspected of containing malware .
Pornhub Goes Premium
Pornhub, the largest pornography portal on the Internet, is offering a premium subscription service aimed at connoisseurs of porn . Pornhub Premium, which is priced at $9.99, removes the adverts, offers faster playback, and higher-quality videos. Pornhub Premium subscribers will also be the first to be offered virtual reality sex options “at the beginning of 2016.”
Game of Thrones Goes Retro
And finally, if you watch Game of Thrones while perched on the edge of your seat, you can now relive the biggest and best moments of Season 5 . This video may be only two minutes long, but the addition of sound effects from a slew of retro video games makes it worth watching.
This is a reminder of both how good Game of Thrones is, and how much more satisfying game soundtracks were back in the day. Who needs actors delivering pitch-perfect lines when you’ve got awesome 8-bit music , and dialog that makes Justin Bieber sound like Shakespeare. [H/T CNET]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Is fragmentation really Android’s biggest failing? Are UK copyright laws as ridiculous as they sound? Have you upgraded to Windows 10 yet? Have you ever fallen victim to a fake pharmacy? What games do you recognize from the Game of Thrones video?
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: Marcin Wichary via Flickr