Also, the MPAA popularizes a resource for sharing movies, YouTube spoils content creators, Google Cardboard clones are now available, Uber offers weddings on demand, and Monty Python does a silly walk all over your smartphone.
Warning Over Faulty USB Chargers
USB charger hates its job. pic.twitter.com/mnBHQNF3qF
— Faces in Things (@FacesPics) June 23, 2014
If you use a third-party USB charger you should seriously consider binning it in favor of an official alternative. This advice is being offered as a result of the tragic death of Sheryl Aldeguer, a 28-year-old woman from Sydney, Australia, who was allegedly electrocuted by a faulty USB charger.
Aldeguer was found with burns to her ears and chest, likely caused as a result of wearing headphones and holding her laptop while it was charging. Authorities in Sydney have since removed similar accessories being sold in mobile phone stores across the city.
The New South Wales Department of Fair Trading warned, “Consumers in possession of unapproved and non-compliant USB style chargers, typically used to charge phones and tablets, should bend the pins on the chargers and dispose of them immediately.”
This comes just a fortnight after Apple recalled USB power adapters shipped with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, and iPhone 4S for over three years as they pose a safety risk through overheating. Our advice (at the very least) is not to use a device while it’s charging, regardless of the USB charger.
Android L Developer Preview Drops
Google unveiled Android ‘L’ (AKA Android 5.0) at Google I/O 2014 earlier this week, and it’s already available to download for owners of the Nexus 5 and Nexus 7. Unfortunately, this is just the Android L Developer Preview rather than the finished product. However, as the video shows, many elements are already in place, including the much vaunted ‘Material Design’ which makes iOS look shoddy by comparison.
The MPAA Feels The Streisand Effect
The ‘Streisand effect’ is when an attempt to hide a piece of information unintentionally causes it to go viral.
— Selfie Fails (@HilariousSelfie) April 13, 2014
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has received a rather large egg to the face by giving publicity to a subreddit dedicated to sharing pirated movies. Full Length Films was as good as dead until the MPAA issued a takedown request with Google. TorrentFreak duly reported on the takedown request, and Full Length Films is now gaining thousands of users. Ah, the Streisand effect, how we adore you.
YouTube Unveils Content Creators Goodies
*logs into youtube, sees changes* Nah. *logs out*
— Ali (@vdubali) June 27, 2014
YouTube has unveiled a host of new features aimed at making the lives of its content creators easier. Innovations include the YouTube Creator Studio for Android, sound effects added to the free Audio Library, fan funding, user-submitted subtitles, and support for 60 fps (frames per second) video. All awesome, all either available now or on the way soon.
Google Cardboard Clones Available To Buy
Among the amazing range of products and services unveiled at Google I/O was Google Cardboard, a cardboard VR headset that brings virtual reality to your existing Android smartphone. The instructions for making your own Google Cardboard are available online, but the lazier among you can now buy the Google Cardboard VR Toolkit from Dodocase for $19.95 plus shipping. Which is still a whole lot cheaper than an Oculus Rift.
Uber Offers Weddings On Demand
Uber, which has been upsetting taxi drivers around the world with its disruptive ride-sharing service, is now offering weddings on demand. In what is being seen as nothing more than an ill-conceived marketing stunt, Uber will marry you off during Pride weekend in San Francisco, whatever your sexual orientation. Thus cheapening the institution of marriage.
Monty Python Walks Onto App Stores
And finally, for those not lucky enough to grab tickets for the Monty Python reunion shows happening in London in July, the comedy troupe has released a new app on iOS and Android. The Ministry Of Silly Walks takes the form of a game, with the player in control of John Cleese as he tries to get from A to B in one piece.
The Ministry Of Silly Walks is frankly ridiculous, but then that’s the point. And it’s certainly more fun than either Flappy Bird or Yo, the latter being one of the most pointless apps ever conceived. If you can think of a more pointless app then let us know.
Your Views On Today’s Tech News
Will you be taking this warning about third-party USB chargers seriously? Will you be downloading the Android L Developer Preview? How badly do you want your own Google Cardboard? Would you ever get married using Uber?
Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Alternatively, let us know of any technology news stories we may have missed.
Image Credit: Robert S. Donovan via Flickr