Today in Tech News Digest, the “right to be forgotten,” major Xbox One news, Popcorn Time comes to Android, Dogecoin robbery, the new Google Hangouts, and it turns out Beats audio is just the beginning for Apple acquisitions.
People Have “Right To Be Forgotten”
Index on Censorship blasts right to be forgotten ruling : “This is akin to marching into a library and forcing it to pulp books”
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) May 13, 2014
Europeans have won the “right to be forgotten” on the Internet, with the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that individuals can request search engines to take down links to Web pages containing information about them.
This is being seen as either a victory for privacy or an attempt to enshrine censorship in law. In reality it’s both. Privacy advocates have won the right to be forgotten, but for those seeking the information this amounts to censorship on a massive scale.
The right to be forgotten is a concept which suggests that we should all have the right to remove information about ourselves from the Internet. Which we all know is a tricky task thanks to the proliferation of references which are spawned when any of us do or say anything on the Web.
The ECJ ruling was made in response to a Spanish court needing clarification on a previous EU directive. That case involves an individual who had his home repossessed and who now wants the auction notice removed from search engines to save his embarrassment.
Google has been named in this case, but all search engines would likely be forced to comply. There are currently more questions than answers about this ECJ ruling, so it will be months or even years before the full consequences are known.
Xbox One News Roundup
Can I sell my Xbox One Kinect back to MSFT for $100?
— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) May 14, 2014
Microsoft is making changes to the Xbox One in light of its latest games console losing the early skirmishes against Sony’s PlayStation 4. Sony has sold at least 7 million PS4s, while Microsoft has shipped 5 million Xbox Ones to retailers.
On June 9, a new Xbox One bundle will go on sale for $399.99, with the lower price possible thanks to the removal of Kinect. Microsoft has previously said Kinect is an integral part of Xbox One, but is now offering consumers the choice just as Sony has with the PlayStation Camera.
Microsoft is also moving entertainment apps including Netflix and Twitch in front of the Xbox Live Gold paywall, removing the need to pay for the privilege of using services you have already paid for once.
Both of these moves are positive ones, but they suggest Microsoft is admitting past mistakes. Still, at least the Xbox One isn’t the Wii U, which is perhaps the biggest mistake Nintendo has ever made in its long and illustrious history.
Popcorn Time Fork On Android
Time4Popcorn, a popular fork of Popcorn Time, has launched on Android. With Google having pulled the app from Google Play citing “intellectual property violation,” the Android app is only available from Time4Popcorn.eu.
It should be noted that a) Time4Popcorn allows access to pirated TV shows and movies, which is illegal, b) that this isn’t the original Popcorn Time and the two shouldn’t be confused, and c) the code has been flagged as suspicious by some, meaning you download Time4Popcorn entirely at your own risk.
Dogecoin Robbery, Much Sadness
— DogeCoin (@DogeIsDead) May 14, 2014
Dogecoin, one of the many cryptocurrency alternatives to Bitcoin, has suffered a blow thanks to a robbery from the Doge Vault. This online wallet for Dogecoin “was compromised by attackers,” who have made off with at least 121 million Dogecoins (worth about $56,000 at the time of writing). So sad, much annoyed.
Google Launches “The New Hangouts”
I love the term G+ Hangouts cuz its the only way I can “hangout” w/ some friends BUT ITS STILL CALLED A HANGOUT EVEN IF THEYRE STATES AWAY<3
— Carson (@TheCarsonEffect) May 11, 2014
Google has launched the new Hangouts, which introduces a host of improvements to Hangouts in Gmail. The new Hangouts includes more visible clues as to who is online and available to chat, a set of Emoji icons, and an simple search feature. Not perfect then, but a definite improvement nonetheless.
Apple Is Buying Everything
And finally, the still-as-yet-unconfirmed acquisition of Beats Audio by Apple is just the first of many such buyouts, at least according to Funny Or Die. Cupertino has to spend that $150 billion it has in the bank somehow, right?!
Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.
Image Credit: Pierre-Selim via Flickr