Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft unveils Surface Pro 3, DuckDuckGo gets updated, Netflix expands into Europe, Facebook gets personal, Wii & DS owners saved by server, Wikipedia discourages anonymity, and Michael Bay explains the birds and the bees.
Microsoft Unveils New Surface Pro 3
Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Pro 3, the latest version of its iPad-baiting touchscreen tablet. Microsoft is referring to the Surface Pro 3 as “the tablet that can replace your laptop,” but most people who have seen the device in action are reserving judgement for the time being.
Specs-wise the Surface Pro 3 is a vast improvement on its predecessors. It features a 12-inch HD display, a choice of Intel Core processors, between 4GB and 8GB of RAM, storage of between 64GB and 512GB, and 5MP cameras front and rear.
Additionally, the Surface Pro 3 is lighter than its predecessors, has a better Type Cover keyboard with larger trackpad, and comes with a new kickstand capable of holding the tablet at any angle between zero degrees and 150 degrees. Price start at $799.
Interestingly, it appears Microsoft backed out of unveiling a smaller Surface at the last minute, with execs deciding it wouldn’t be different enough from what’s already on the market to grab the public’s attention. This means there is practically zero chance of seeing a mini Microsoft-branded tablet before 2015.
Do you have any interest in the Surface Pro 3? Let us know in the comments section below.
DuckDuckGo Gets Major Update
— Ken Myers (@KenneyMyers) May 20, 2014
After being in beta for a few weeks, the new DuckDuckGo has launched on the Web. New features on the privacy-focused search engine include verticals for images, video, and audio, plus local search and auto-suggest options. Updates for the iOS and Android apps will follow shortly.
Netflix Expands Into Europe
Netflix has announced an expansion into mainland Europe. The media streaming service will launch in Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg before the end of 2014.
Netflix faces challenges in these new territories owing both to existing competition and the need to subtitle or dub content produced in English. This expansion does help explain the Netflix price rises for everyone else though.
Facebook Introduces Creepy ‘Ask’ Button
Are Facebook telling us they’re about to head down the online dating route with relationship ‘Ask’ button? Not like they’re short on data.
— Kerry Meehan (@kerrymeehan) May 19, 2014
Facebook has introduced an ‘Ask’ button in its latest attempt to force us all to give up personal information. The ‘Ask’ button appears alongside key components of a user’s profile they have chosen not to share with the world.
As the information that can be requested includes a person’s “Relationship Status” many people are suggesting this is an extremely creepy addition to the social networking site. Our advice is to refuse to comply with any such requests. Just because someone asks you to reveal something personal doesn’t mean you’re obligated to do so.
Homebrew Server Created For Wii & DS
As happy as I am knowing someone’s creating a special server for the Wii and DS, it saddens me Wifi will officially be shut down real soon.
— Mutt!! (@DustyPinhead) May 19, 2014
As announced in February, Nintendo has ended official support for online multiplayer gaming on the Wii and DS. Thankfully, some hardened Nintendo fans have launched an unofficial server to replace Wi-Fi Connection.
Instructions on setting up access to the new server are available on GitHub, with a warning that it could get overloaded, be restarted, or go down at any moment. Still, a buggy Homebrew solution is better than nothing, and nothing is exactly what Nintendo is offering right now.
Anonymous Wikipedia Editors Discouraged
How can we grow the Wikipedia community? One theory: invite more anonymous editors to register. https://t.co/MquFo2RR20
— Wikipedia (@Wikipedia) May 16, 2014
Wikipedia is ramping up its efforts to turn people from anonymous editors into fully-fledged members of the community. To achieve this it has added a couple of prompts to register as an editor, and is citing the advantages of doing so. With 900,000 edits made anonymously every month this is clearly a problem that needs tackling.
Michael Bay Explains The Birds & The Bees
And finally, there comes a point in every child’s life when their parents sit them down and tell them all about the birds and the bees. As embarrassing as this moment may be, they can consider themselves lucky not to be Michael Bay’s offspring, as his take on the birds and the bees is a little different from the norm. And no, this isn’t the new Transformers movie.