Twitter Tests Annoying Users, Hackers Target YouTube Videos, And More… [Tech News Digest]
Also, Windows 9 edges closer, Bill Gates gets wet, P.T. is a scarefest, making GIFS on YouTube, and GoPro cat is epic.
Twitter Begins Annoying Everybody
Why does my twitter timeline randomly show me what people have favourited and who they follow? I don’t give a shit
— rosie (@rosieminney) August 17, 2014
Twitter is currently annoying its users by experimenting with features inserting extraneous and unwanted crap into timelines. Selected Twitter users are seeing tweets favorited by other people show up in their timelines, and getting notifications when people they follow start following someone new.
This is likely just a test aimed at increasing engagement levels. Twitter must believe that inserting favorited tweets and followed accounts into the mix will prompt people to favorite those tweets and follow those people themselves. Unfortunately, this is only managing to annoy people seeing their timelines filled with nonsense.
Twitter is already confusing for new users , and this only adds to that disastrous learning curve . We can only hope the negative reactions to this test will prompt Twitter to prematurely stop the experiment, but that all depends on whether it has proven successful in other ways. Annoying users has never stopped Facebook , so why would it stop Twitter?
Hackers Targeting YouTube Videos
The simple act of watching cute cat videos on YouTube, such as the one embedded above, may be enough to get you hacked by a law enforcement agency. So say researchers at the Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs, who also named Microsoft’s login page as a targeted destination.
The accusation, as published on The Intercept, is that private companies such as Hacking Team and FinFisher sell devices called “network injection appliances” to law enforcement agencies around the world. These are deployed inside ISPs to inject malicious code into an individual’s Internet browsing. Once enabled, the agency responsible can keep tabs on that individual’s browsing habits.
Encrypting all targeted traffic is one way to close this vulnerability, which is exactly what Google and Microsoft are fighting hard to do. I don’t know about you but this won’t stop me from watching cute cat videos, encrypted or otherwise.
Windows 9 Preview Released Next Month
— Kent Pribbernow (@elitistsnob) August 15, 2014
According to sources at Microsoft, Windows 9 will be released in preview form at the end of September. This “technology preview” will reportedly be public and available to all, and the final product is expected to be released sometime around March 2015. With Windows 8 failing in almost every way possible, Windows 9 surely cannot come soon enough.
Bill Gates Wins ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Bill Gates has won the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, and possibly the whole of the Internet, by going above and beyond expectations when accepting Mark Zuckerberg’s nomination. However, it’s important to note than Gates and his tech brethren represent a tiny part of the Ice Bucket Challenge.
TIME reports that 1.2 million unique videos related to it have been posted on YouTube. Ignore the naysayers who think this is a pointless exercise; it’s raising money and awareness while also entertaining the Internet masses, so where is the negative?
You Need To Play The Silent Hills Teaser
If you haven’t yet downloaded P.T. for the PS4 then you should do so immediately. Unless you scare easily. P.T. is actually a Playable Teaser for Silent Hills, the new Silent Hill game being directed by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro. And it’s one of the scariest experiences currently available on the next-gen Sony console . Fight the nightmares.
How To Turn YouTube Videos Into GIFs
— Austin Kleon (@austinkleon) August 17, 2014
There is now a really simple way to turn any YouTube video into a GIF. Thanks to the guys at Gliphic, you simply add “gif” to the beginning of any YouTube URL, so it becomes ‘www.gifyoutube.com/blahblah‘. You can then set the start time and clip length, and you’ve created a GIF.
Anyone who hates GIFs may want to get off the Internet for the next few days.
Seeing Life Through The Eyes Of A Cat
And finally, cat lovers the world over would surely love to see what their feline friends get up to when they’re not around. And now they can thanks to GoPro cameras . This video shows life through the eyes of a cat as it mooches around in the garden, gets petted, and is eventually rewarded with treats. And now I want to be a cat.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Is Twitter ruining the user experience with these new features? Does the threat of being hacked via YouTube scare you? How much are you looking forward to the release of Windows 9?
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: Konrad Förstner via Flickr