Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
Also, broadcast yourself on Steam, buy a new old ZX Spectrum, program the White House Christmas tree lights, and watch a documentary about Bob Pritikin.
Twitter Improves Online Abuse Tools
Starting today we’re rolling out an improved way to flag abusive Tweets. See how it works. https://t.co/Yf6cStz0z1
— Twitter Support (@Support) December 2, 2014
Twitter is improving its arsenal of weaponry against bullying, trolling, and online abuse. Until now, the process for reporting abusive behavior has been laborious, with a lengthy questionnaire leading to the manual reviewing of complaints. The changes mean the process will now be shorter, swifter, and dealt with quicker if multiple reports are made against the same tweet or user.
Del Harvey, Twitter’s vice president of trust and safety, told The Verge that these changes are designed to give people “more control over their own Twitter experience, including their interactions with others.” Which is an important element in empowering Twitter users who may find themselves the subject of abuse.
The changes have already gone live for some users, but will be rolled out across Twitter in the coming weeks.
Indiegogo Insures Against Failure
Indiegogo is selling a safeguard against project vetting and fear as a product. Love it.
— Seamus Bellamy (@SeamusBellamy) December 2, 2014
Indiegogo is experimenting with offering insurance against the failure of crowdfunding campaigns run on its platform. According to TechCrunch, backers can pay an optional insurance fee which guarantees them a refund if they do not receive the final product within three months of the estimated delivery date.
For those not familiar with the process, pledging money to any project on a crowdfunding platform is risky. You’re not buying a finished product or investing cash in the hopes of making a profit: you’re essentially giving money away to someone and hoping they deliver on their promise to reward you at a later date. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
Indiegogo is currently only offering insurance on one project — Olive, a smart wearable designed to combat stress — with $15 ensuring peace of mind should the $129 device fail to ship. It isn’t yet clear that this option will be rolled out to all future Indiegogo campaigns. But it’s certainly a good idea.
Valve Adds Broadcasting Option To Steam
— Steam (@steam_games) December 2, 2014
Valve had added a broadcasting option to Steam, meaning you can now watch your friends play games without ever leaving the service. While this is only currently available as a beta, it’s a clear indication that Valve wants a piece of the eSports action currently dominated by Twitch.
The ZX Spectrum Returns On Indiegogo
Computer kids from the 1980s can now relive their youth by funding a new version of the ZX Spectrum. The ZX Spectrum Vega, which is backed by original inventor Sir Clive Sinclair, will ship with 1,000+ games preloaded on it, which makes the $157 asking price a bargain for retro gaming fans everywhere.
Unfortunately, all 1,000 of the ZX Spectrum Vegas sold out on Indiegogo prior to publication. You can still fund the project, but doing so will not now reward you with one of the machines.
Program White House Christmas Trees
You can now program the Christmas tree lights adorning the grounds of the White House. This is all possible thanks to Google’s Made With Code, which allows you to change the colors and patterns that will flash across the trees in President’s Park throughout December.
Made With Code is being primarily targeted at girls, but there is nothing stopping everybody from getting involved. Thankfully, the visual programming language used is simple enough for anyone of any experience level to get involved. Yes, even I, as a 30-something man with zero programming skills.
The Man Who (Claimed He) Named Google
And finally, Bob Pritikin claims he’s the reason Google is named Google. And he wants a check, or at least a thank-you note, from Larry Page and Sergey Brin acknowledging the part he played in the forming of the search and advertising giant.
This is just one of the interesting elements that make up ‘Googol, the Nine Lives of Bob Pritikin‘, a self-released documentary about the self-titled “San Francisco icon.” It’s on YouTube, it’s free, and, whether you believe a word of it or not, it’s actually well worth watching. [H/T Gizmodo]
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Have you ever suffered abuse on Twitter? Is Indiegogo sensible to offer insurance against failed crowdfunding campaigns? Do you believe Bob Pritikin inspired the naming of Google?
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 Credit: Stupid Systemus via Flickr