Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the lights on at MakeUseOf. Read more.
Google gives Chrome a safety boost, Twitter launches #YearOnTwitter, Facebook shuts down its creative arm, Netflix adds originality to its lineup, and floppy disks are still a thing!
Google Turns on Safe Browsing Mode
Chrome, when I want to delete my browsing history, it's safe to assume I mean "from the beginning of time." Why do you even ask?
— Megan King (@MegKing319) July 23, 2015
Google has made it safer for Android users to browse the Web, as long as they use Chrome to do so. This is because the latest update to Chrome for Android enables Safe Browsing mode by default. Which should prevent Chrome for Android users accessing known phishing sites and encountering malware.
Safe Browsing has always been a feature on the desktop version of Chrome, and has been available as an opt-in feature for mobile users since 2013. However, Google has resisted enabling it by default until now because of the amount of data involved. The company has now found a way of sufficiently compressing the data so that Safe Browsing can be enabled by default.
Anyone with Chrome for Android version 46 or version 47 should be protected by default. To make sure this is the case click on Settings, and then Privacy, and ensure the Safe Browsing option is ticked. You can also visit Google’s Safe Browsing test page to ensure everything is working as it should be.
Twitter Looks Back Over 2015
— Twitter (@Twitter) December 7, 2015
Whether or not you personally use Twitter, it’s surely impossible to deny the part Twitter plays in the modern world. News stories often break first on Twitter, with a single tweet from someone on the scene being the initial indication of a breaking news story. Hashtags then come into play, and the story spreads around the world.
With this in mind, Twitter’s look back over the major events of 2015, as detailed on the social network, makes for fascinating reading. Important hashtags seen this year include #ParisAttacks (to spread word of the terrorist attack in France), #MarriageEquality (celebrating the legalization of gay marriage), and #IStandWithAhmed (defending Ahmed Mohammed, whose homemade clock was mistaken for a bomb).
There are plenty of other moments and movements which either started or spread on Twitter worth exploring. In fact, there are so many that Twitter has set up a dedicated website (2015.twitter.com) detailing the trends, influential people, and popular tweets seen over the course of 2015. You should check it out, and then start using Twitter if you haven’t already done so!
Facebook Kills Its Creative Labs Arm
Q: Why is #Facebook like a refrigerator? A: Every few minutes you keep opening and closing it to see if there's anything good in it!
— Scott Buchanan (@dothello_com) December 8, 2015
Facebook has unexpectedly shut down its Creative Labs division, along with the apps it had previously created. Creative Labs was responsible for the Slingshot, Riff, and Rooms (read our first look at Rooms) apps, which were all created in-house by developers and designers working together.
The social network told CNET, “Since their launches, we’ve incorporated elements of Slingshot, Riff and Rooms into the Facebook for iOS and Android apps. We haven’t updated these apps in some time and we’ve decided to officially end support by removing them from the App Store and Google Play.”
This suggests Facebook is concentrating its resources on improving its main app rather than creating a host of single-purpose apps. It could also stem from that fact that both Slingshot and Rooms were accused of being rip-offs of existing apps: Snapchat and Room, respectively.
Netflix Doubles Down on Original Shows
Netflix is doubling down on original content, lining up 31 scripted series for 2016, compared to 16 it produced in 2015. The streaming service is also planning at least 12 documentaries, 10 stand-up specials, and 10 feature films. Which, when combined, adds up to a phenomenal amount of content only available through Netflix.
Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos made the announcement at the UBS Media Conference in New York yesterday (Dec. 7), saying, “This is high quality stuff. This is programming people want to watch.” And Netflix knows exactly what people want to watch, as it’s able to track exactly what people watch and search for.
Producing original content is an expensive business, but it also makes a lot of sense for Netflix. For one, it ensures the service has a constant stream of new content available to its users wherever they are in the world. It also gives people an extra incentive to actually subscribe to Netflix over the competition.
Floppy Disks Are Still a Thing
And finally, we discover that floppy disks are still a thing. Once ubiquitous on all computers, floppy disks are no longer being produced, which means the stock that’s out there is dwindling fast. Tom Persky, owner of FloppyDisks.com, is taking full advantage of the situation.
As he admits in the video, “I just forgot to get out of the floppy disk business.” However, doing so is actually proving to be quite lucrative, as Persky collects old floppy disks, wipes them, formats them, relabels them, and then sells them on. Genius. [H/T Silicon Republic]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you use Google Chrome on Android? Do you use Twitter on a regular basis? Are you sad to see the end of Facebook’s Creative Labs? Which Netflix Originals do you watch? When was the last time you used a floppy disk?
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: Isaac Bowen via Flickr