Tech News

Your USB Charger Wants To Kill You, Download Android 5.0 Now, and More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 27-06-2014

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

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 Facebook Is Tracking You For Ads, A Bitcoin Mining Monopoly, And More... [Tech News Digest] Facebook is tracking you for advertising purposes, Bitcoin gains its first mining monopoly, Apple recalls iPhone chargers, Pinterest's spam hack attack, Steamboy is a handheld Steam machine, and Amazon adds eBook audio. Read More 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 Google I/O Reveals Android Is Everywhere, Aereo Loses Big Fight, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Microsoft could be planning to give Windows 9 away for free, Europe is halving mobile roaming charges, Rock Simulator 2014 has arrived to blow your mind, and CollegeHumor demonstrates how the Internet has killed... Read More 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 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

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 Google I/O Reveals Android Is Everywhere, Aereo Loses Big Fight, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Microsoft could be planning to give Windows 9 away for free, Europe is halving mobile roaming charges, Rock Simulator 2014 has arrived to blow your mind, and CollegeHumor demonstrates how the Internet has killed... Read More 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 Oculus Rift Development Kit Review and Giveaway The Oculus Rift has finally arrived, and is making heads turn (literally) all over the gaming community. No longer are we confined to to peering through a flat window into the gaming worlds we love... Read More .

Uber Offers Weddings On Demand


Uber, which has been upsetting taxi drivers Dodgy DDoS Attacks On Feedly & Evernote, Epic Uber Protests Across Europe [Tech News Digest] Dodgy DDoS attacks, epic Uber protests, an annoying XSS vulnerability, Amazon vs. Warner Home Video, free SwiftKey for Android, Chromecast support for VLC, and an amazing iPhone music video. Read More around the world with its disruptive ride-sharing service Hire A Car In Most Major Cities Worldwide With Uber And MyTaxi You'd expect by now that hiring taxis with an app on your fancy GPS-enabled device to tell the drive your location would be an everyday event, right? Wrong. Read More , 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 The Short Story Of Flappy Bird [Weird & Wonderful Web] Few mobile games enter into the collective consciousness of the mainstream in the way Flappy Bird has done. It passes into Internet folklore, but these videos will help to preserve its virality. Read More or Yo Amazon Shops New 3D Fire Phone, Say Yo To The Dumbest App Ever, And More... [Tech News Digest] Twitter adds support for animated GIFs, a new glitch is found in Super Mario Bros. 30 years after release, HitchBOT prepares to travel across Canada, and a first-person cat simulator on Kickstarter. Read More , 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

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  1. Guy M
    June 27, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    I read somewhere that Sir John Cleese can no longer do the Ministry of Funny Walks scene, due to limited mobility. So get the game and enjoy.

    • Dave P
      June 27, 2014 at 12:45 pm

      Oh, you're right. He is getting on a bit, after all. It looks like a fun game at least :)