Tech News

WhatsApp Encrypts Everything, Twitter Streams NFL Games… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 06-04-2016

WhatsApp goes all-in on encryption, Twitter beats competition to stream NFL games, PlayStation 4 owners can now play games on their PC or Mac, Etsy launches its own website builder, and the best texting-while-driving ad you’ve ever seen.


WhatsApp Offers End-to-End Encryption

WhatsApp has enabled end-to-end encryption of every form of communication sent through its service. By default. This means that every message, photo, video, and voice call will be encrypted from the beginning of its journey to the end of its journey. Consequently, no one but the sender and recipient(s) will be able to access it.

End-to-end encryption WhatsApp Encryption: It's Now the Most Secure Instant Messenger (Or is it?) Since being acquired by Facebook, WhatsApp has been forced to clean up its approach to security and privacy, which resulted in the news last year that it has introduced new encryption measures. Read More has been enabled by default in the latest version of WhatsApp, so users only need to update the app to be covered, regardless of what device they’re using. This means that more than 1 billion people worldwide now have access to an encrypted messaging service, which will frustrate the authorities, anger hackers, and please everybody else.

As explained by WhatsApp co-founders Brian Acton and Jan Koum in a WhatsApp Blog post:

“The idea is simple: when you send a message, the only person who can read it is the person or group chat that you send that message to. No one can see inside that message. Not cybercriminals. Not hackers. Not oppressive regimes. Not even us.”

The “Not even us” part is crucial, as it shields WhatsApp from any attempts by the authorities to force the company to reveal private communications. If WhatsApp cannot see what’s being sent using its service it cannot possibly comply with a court order from the likes of the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation). Take note, Apple Apple Refuses to Help the FBI, Popcorn Time Returns... [Tech News Digest] Apple stands up for personal privacy, the original Popcorn Time gets resurrected, Kanye West learns the price of piracy, Sega gives games away on Steam, and play Pong on your Apple Watch. Read More .


Twitter Wins Rights to Stream NFL Games

In a move no one saw coming, Twitter has won the rights to stream NFL games. That’s Twitter, the social networking and micro-blogging site, streaming football games. Which is as peculiar as it sounds.

This deal, which saw Twitter beating the likes of Facebook, Yahoo, and Amazon, means Twitter will stream 10 Thursday night games through the 2016 NFL season. These will be available for free to all users regardless of location. There will also be highlights and pre-game broadcasts from the teams and players involved.

Twitter reportedly paid just $10 million for all of this content, which is a fraction of the price the U.S. television networks pay for the same games. Sources suggest other companies offered more, but claim the NFL chose Twitter because of its capacity to reach a broader audience Hashtags - The Key To Reaching a Wider Audience On Twitter Hashtags have made their way across social networks, but there is nowhere they shine more than on the social network where they first started - Twitter. The feature, first introduced by a Twitter user, has... Read More .

This has to be considered as an experiment for both parties, and it isn’t yet clear how Twitter will actually cope with delivering live content to so many users. Its website and app aren’t exactly built for the job, especially as many people will actually want to tweet while watching the game. And if they can’t then that kills the whole point of this partnership.


PS4 Update Introduces Remote Play

Sony is set to upgrade your PlayStation 4 Sony PlayStation 4 Review And Giveaway Ladies and gentlemen, the next generation of video game consoles is here, with the Sony PlayStation 4! Read More today, with firmware update 3.50. This update adds several new features, including the ability to appear offline, extended notifications, an event creator, a party option, and remote play on PC and Mac.

This last feature is the most interesting/exciting, as it allows PS4 owners A Gift Guide for the Ultimate PlayStation 4 Fan Buying a gift for a PlayStation 4 gamer this holiday season? Here's a great list of gifts that they'll love. Read More with the necessary hardware to play PS4 games on their PC or Mac. Assuming you have a PC running Windows 8.1 or later, or a Mac running OS X 10.10, you can download the Remote Play application and free up the television.

Etsy Launches Custom Website Builder


Online marketplace Etsy has launched its own website builder designed to make it easier for sellers to create their own custom websites. Pattern, as the website builder The Best Website Builders to Create a Clean Online Portfolio Which free website builder is best for your portfolio? Here are the best website builders you can pick from! Read More is called, was created after Etsy discovered that “more than a third of Etsy sellers are interested in opening a commerce site of their own”. The problem is they found the process too difficult.


To make the process easier, Pattern is “fully integrated with a seller’s Etsy shop and leverages all the work they have already put into it”. It also “seamlessly imports all shop listings and content, syncs orders and inventory between sites, provides analytics integrated with Etsy shop stats, and uses the same tools for checkout and shipping Etsy sellers already use”.

Pattern by Etsy is available to try for free for 30 days, but will then cost users $15-per-month.

How to Stop Teens Texting While Driving

And finally, if you check your phone while driving you need your head examining. After all, thousands of people die every year as a result of responding to a notification while behind the wheel. And teenagers are especially vulnerable to this modern-day curse. However, the New Zealand Transport Agency might have the answer… humor.

As teenagers generally tune out serious messages, the NZTA hit them with a funny ad instead. Passengers are advised to stop drivers picking up their phones by reaching out their hands instead. Which, in some cases, leads to some very uncomfortable moments, especially when Lionel Richie is crooning in the background. [H/T CNET]


Your Views on Today’s Tech News

How do you feel about WhatsApp encrypting everything by default? Will you be watching NFL games on Twitter? Will you be making use of the PS4 Remote Play application? Will you be trialing Etsy’s website builder? Do you check your phone while driving? If so, what’s wrong with you?!

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.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Microsiervos via Flickr

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  1. Anonymous
    April 6, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    "Passengers are advised to stop drivers picking up their phones by reaching out their hands instead."
    Let me get this straight. NZTA advocates stopping teenagers from being being distracted by texting, by struggling over the control of the phone while they are driving?! HMMMM, should be very effective. NOT!