Tech News

Twitter Wishes You Happy Birthday, Reddit Admits It Screwed Up, & More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 07-07-2015

Twitter brings balloons, Reddit retaliates, the Story Mode of Minecraft, a free anti-NSA font, PewDiePie’s millions, and the Fresh Prince discovers GTA V.

Twitter Wants to Knows Your Birthday

Twitter really wants to know when your birthday is. Why? Because it wants to help you celebrate the annual anniversary of your birth with your followers, of course. Your reward for divulging this information to Twitter and the wider world is virtual balloons filling your profile come cake day Find Free Birthday Gifts for Family and Friends Read More . Which is nice. However, as you may have already guessed, there’s another side to all this.

As revealed on the support pages, your birthday will be “used to customize your Twitter experience Tailor Your Twitter Experience With These 3 Tools What could prove to be valuable to you on Twitter gets buried under the constant online chatter. However, there are tools that eliminate the noise and put you in control of your Twitter experience. Read More . For example, we will use your birthday to show you more relevant content, including ads.” Which isn’t so nice. There’s also the fact that birthdays can be used as identifying information, which should discourage you from revealing it to all and sundry on social networking sites.

Still, balloons are nice, so if their appearance is enough to counter concerns, go ahead and reveal your birthday to Twitter. Because balloons. BALLOONS!!! #HBD #Balloons #Dumb

Ellen Pao Tries to Placate Reddit Mob

The Reddit revolt Windows 10 to Roll Out Slowly, Reddit Is Revolting, & More... [Tech News Digest] The great Windows 10 roll-out, the Reddit revolt, the Plex forum hack, the Prince streaming silliness, the Bing Pong palaver, and the Apple fanboy fiddle. Read More may have ended for the time being, with subreddits opening their doors once again, but the bad blood between management and users persists. Interim CEO Ellen Pao, who recently lost her gender discrimination lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins, has reached out to the community by issuing an apology in which she admits the company “screwed up”.

Pao concedes that, “We haven’t communicated well, and we have surprised moderators and the community with big changes. We have apologized and made promises to you, the moderators and the community, over many years, but time and again, we haven’t delivered on them. When you’ve had feedback or requests, we haven’t always been responsive”. She then spells out some of the ways Reddit plans to improve going forward.

Whether this mea culpa is enough to prevent the community decamping to Voat and other similar sites remains to be seen. It is at least a positive start, although Pao’s policies are likely to be scrutinized even more closely from now on. Reddit hasn’t quite done a Digg, but it remains on the verge of doing so.

Telltale Reveals Minecraft: Story Mode

Telltale Games has revealed Minecraft: Story Mode [Broken URL Removed], its new episodic game series based on the insanely popular game by Mojang The (Latecomer) Beginner's Guide To Minecraft If you're late to the party though, don't worry - this extensive beginner's guide has you covered. Read More . The company has initially only revealed the barest of details, including a brief outline of the plot, the voice cast, and the platforms on which the game will be released.

The first season of Minecraft: Story Mode will follow Jesse on “a journey to find The Order of the Stone,” “four adventurers who slayed an Ender Dragon”. The cast includes Patton Oswalt, Brian Posehn, Corey Feldman, and Paul Reubens. The game will be released separately from the main Minecraft title on PC, Mac, PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, iOS, and Android.

The NSA Hates This Free Font


Thanks mostly to Edward Snowden Hero or Villain? NSA Moderates Its Stance on Snowden Whistleblower Edward Snowden and the NSA's John DeLong appeared on the schedule for a symposium. While there was no debate, it seems the NSA no longer paints Snowden as a traitor. What's changed? Read More , the security whistleblower now resident in Russia, we all know the extent to which the National Security Agency (NSA) is spying on us all The NSA Can Spy On Almost Everybody, Google Buys Songza, And More... [Tech News Digest] Online book sales have overtaken retail book sales, the UK is investigating the Facebook experiment, IFTTT makes Yo useful, Oculus Rift experiment gives third-person perspective, and Google tests our general knowledge with Smarty Pins. Read More . It’s believed that using certain words in electronic communication triggers perfunctory surveillance Your Interest in Privacy Will Ensure You're Targeted by the NSA Yes, that's right. If you care about privacy, you may be added to a list. Read More , which is disconcerting to say the least.

However, Project Seen is a free font offering one possible solution. It automagically redacts keywords and phrases recognized as triggers for the NSA. So, by running an email through Seen before sending it, you gain the opportunity to remove any references to the interception of communications by the NSA. Nice.

PewDiePie Made $7.5 Million in 2014

YouTube star PewDiePie, AKA Felix Kjellberg, is reported to have earned 63 million SEK (US$7.5 million) in 2014. This is according to financial documents obtained by Swedish newspaper Expressen and translated by NeoGAF. Kjellberg previously earned $850,000 in 2012, and $3.5 million in 2013.

If accurate, then this suggests we’re all doing the wrong jobs. But then PewDiePie has built an audience of 37 million subscribers and brings in millions of dollars in ad revenues for YouTube each year. So, this is reward for a job well done. Even if that job consists of making funny noises while playing video games.

The Fresh Prince of Rockford Hills

And finally, we get to see how The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air would have looked had it been set in Los Santos rather than Los Angeles. Los Santos being the fictional region in which the events of Grand Theft Auto V take place.

Merfish has delivered a shot-for-shot remake of the opening credits to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, with Franklin Clinton replacing Will Smith. However, with this being GTA V, there’s more cartoon violence than there was in the original. [H/T Consequence of Sound]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will you be revealing your birthday to Twitter? Will Reddit survive the current tsunami of controversy? Will you be buying Minecraft: Story Mode? Do you understand the appeal of PewDiePie?

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: Son of Groucho via Flickr

Related topics: Fonts, Minecraft, Online Video, Reddit, Surveillance, Twitter, YouTube.

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  1. Anonymous
    July 7, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    Well, many people only disapprove of some spying. They definitely want to spy on you when it comes to your income or when it comes to your associations and whether they are what they label as "personal" or what they label ans "economic" associations?

    And none of this is the state's damn business .... unless you approve of spying !