Tech News

Windows XP Gets Service Pack 4, Google Tests Delivery Drones, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 29-08-2014

Also, the iPhone scores a hot date, the Surface Pro 3 comes to more territories, the Coolest Cooler breaks Kickstarter record, a visual representation of the Internet, and Microsoft commissions a bizarre recruitment video.


Windows XP Gets Unofficial SP4 Update

Service Pack 4 (SP4) is being released for Windows XP. Unfortunately, this is far from an official release, and is instead the work of a single developer known as “harkaz.” Harkaz has been working on what he calls Unofficial Service Pack 4 since September 2013, as detailed in a forum thread on

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP Microsoft Kills Windows XP, Hollywood Sues Megaupload, Virus Shield Scam [Tech News Digest] RIP Windows XP, Hollywood sues Megaupload, Virus Shield scam, Xbox 360 emulation, multiplayer Goat Simulator, and Mario escapes into the real world. Read More in April 2014, but with 25 percent of PCs still running the ancient operating system Windows XP Lasted Longer Than World Wars I & II Combined Think Microsoft is letting Windows XP die too soon? You're not alone. Many think this is a cash grab. What if I told you Windows XP is the longest supported version of Windows ever? Read More there is clearly still demand for updates. This Unofficial Service Pack 4 is “a cumulative update rollup for Windows XP,” designed to make it easier for people to have a fully updated version of the OS in the event of a re-installation.

At the time of writing, Unofficial Service Pack 4 for Windows XP is at the beta stage, with a release candidate promised soon. A full release will then follow sometime in the future.

It should go without saying that Microsoft will not be supporting this release, and there is a significant risk this could be used to spread malicious software What Is The Difference Between A Worm, A Trojan & A Virus? [MakeUseOf Explains] Some people call any type of malicious software a "computer virus," but that isn't accurate. Viruses, worms, and trojans are different types of malicious software with different behaviors. In particular, they spread themselves in very... Read More to already vulnerable computer users. Which is why we advise everyone but the most experienced/confident XP users to steer clear for the time being.

Google X Reveals Project Wing

Google has revealed what it calls Project Wing, a fleet of autonomous drones it hopes will deliver goods in the future. The project, which has already been ongoing for two years, is being developed at Google X, which is also responsible for the self-driving car Google Self-Driving Cars, HP Android Laptop, Oculus Rift Lag [Tech News Digest] Google cars navigate cities, Microsoft owns Nokia, HP Android laptop, Secret expansion, BuzzFeed wants $1 billion, Joss Whedon's In Your Eyes, and Oculus Rift demonstrates living with lag. Read More and other innovations.


If this all sounds familiar it’s because Amazon has already revealed it’s working on the same technology Amazon Delivery Drones, Facebook Hack, Kindle Fire Vs iPad Air [Tech News Digest] Amazon aerial drones, Facebook friends list hack, Google Nexus handsets vulnerability discovered, Black Friday numbers are released, Steam introduces user reviews, and the Kindle Fire HDX is compared favorably to the iPad Air. Read More , tentatively titled Amazon Prime Air. Google’s longterm goals are very much in line with Amazon’s, but early testing has focused on delivering essential equipment to people in remote areas in the event of an emergency. Which is at least noble.

Apple Officially Dates iPhone 6

It’s finally official: we will all get to see what Apple has been working on for the past 12 months on September 9, with the company sending journalists invitations to a lavish press event on that day. We knew already, after the date leaked Hackers Steal 1 Billion Passwords, Apple Sets iPhone 6 Release Date, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Apple and Samsung call a truce over patents, UberPool matches ridesharing passengers, shuts down, the potato salad Kickstarter comes to an end, and how to make 8-bit art. Read More at the beginning of August. But still, it’s nice to get confirmation from the horse’s mouth.

As to what will be revealed on that day, a bigger iPhone Apple Supersizes iPhone & iPad, Instagram Hyperlapse Turns Heads, And More... [Tech News Digest] HP didn't start the fire, Uber goes on lunch break, the Sounds of Street View are melodious, the sounds of typewriters typing are annoying, and reasons to never take selfies in front of people. Read More is almost guaranteed, but the, “Wish we could say more.” line included on the invite is a (grammatically troubling) puzzle. It could be the iWatch Windows Store Loses Fake Apps, Apple iWatch Incoming, And More... [Tech News Digest] Also, Twitter analyzes your tweets, Kinect for Xbox One, a side order of smartphones, selfish Olympus unveils selfie camera, and real life imitates art when a SWAT team stops a live stream. Read More , or perhaps Siri is getting a major update. I guess we’ll know for sure in less than two weeks.

Surface Pro 3 Available In More Countries

Microsoft has launched the Surface Pro 3 Surface Pro 3 Reviews, Happy Google Employees, Free Amazon Fire TVs [Tech News Digest] Microsoft Surface Pro 3 reviews, an update on Apple buying Beats, Google keeps its employees happy, free Amazon Fire TVs, the PlayStation 4 in China, Google+ Stories, and an iPhone ringtones dance track. Read More , previously available only in the U.S., Canada, and Japan, in a further 25 countries. Anyone who pre-ordered the Surface Pro 3 in one of these countries should receive their new device in a matter of days.


The full list of markets the Surface Pro 3 is now available in is as follows: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the U.S.

Which is an impressive list, but there’s no guarantee anyone in these countries is going to buy one. Because iPad.

The Coolest Cooler Makes All The Money

The Coolest Cooler has broken the record for the most money raised through a Kickstarter campaign. The product, a cooler with a variety of geeky extras included, has raised $11.6 million, with the campaign ending later today (Aug 29).

More than 55,000 people have pledged money to the Coolest Cooler, lifting it above the Pebble smartwatch Pebble Smartwatch Review & Giveaway Smartwatches are the new hottest trend in today's tech world, and the Pebble e-ink watch helped start the fire. The most successful Kickstarter project to date, the Pebble raised over $10 million during its 1-month... Read More ($10.2 million), the Ouya games console Learn All About Ouya, The $99 Games Console Read More ($8.6 million), and the Pono music player ($6.2 million). Let’s just hope the final product lives up to the hype.


Pinging The Whole Internet

The image included in the tweet above shows what happens when you ping “all devices on the Internet.” Or at least the devices that answered when a company called Shodan, which bills itself as the “world’s first search engine for internet-connected devices,” attempted the feat.

There are no real surprises in terms of hot-spots but it is, nonetheless, a beautiful visualization of how we are all connected to each other Always Be Connected: What You Need to Get Internet Anywhere We live in a world where we are accustomed to being connected at all times. It's almost impossible to go out without wanting to have Internet. Between email, social networks, settling arguments, and chatting with... Read More by this series of tubes we call the Internet.

Microsoft’s Mental Recruitment Video

And finally, we already know Microsoft sucks at naming products, but it turns out the company sucks at making recruitment videos too. This absolute gem, produced by Digital Kitchen in 2008, was “so weird [Microsoft] didn’t know what to do with it.” And nor do we, to be perfectly honest.

Take our advice and just watch it, revel in its weirdness, and then pinch yourself to make sure you’re not experiencing a hallucinogenic dream.


Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Would you ever consider installing an unofficial Service Pack 4 for Windows XP? Is Google’s Project exciting or scary? Have you ever seen a more insane recruitment video than that Microsoft offering?

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: Scott via Flickr

Explore more about: Google, Microsoft, Microsoft Surface, Windows XP.

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  1. old toothless byter
    July 20, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    Guess we know who to blame for the last 8 years of more and more terrible MSoft everything - those two new guys, Greg and Panish!

  2. tony
    August 29, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    You're seriously comparing the Surface 3 to an iPad? Wow, I thought this site was more tech-aware than that.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      No, we're really not aware of technology at all.

      And I personally have no knowledge of it despite successfully summarizing six to seven stories into bite-sized chunks every morning.

      Ask the average consumer what the differences are between an iPad and a Surface Pro 3. They will either think they're both the same, or won't have even heard of the Surface Pro 3. And that is the point I was making. If the iPad didn't exist then the Surface Pro 3 would be doing better than it is.

    • tony
      September 1, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      My purpose for posting the comment is that Make Use Of is a site that does an excellent job (I thought) of explaining all sorts of things to all sorts of different people with different levels of knowledge. It surprises me when I see a story written that would continue to reinforce incorrect assumptions just because the "average consumer" sees them that way. I would expect that from a non-technology site, but not from one like this. It makes me question the validity of the advice the site provides for things I don't know as much about.

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm

      We are not reinforcing anything. Here is what I actually wrote...

      "Which is an impressive list, but there’s no guarantee anyone in these countries is going to buy one. Because iPad."

      All that is saying is that the Surface Pro 3 may continue to struggle because the iPad exists. I'm not comparing the two or making any judgement on whether people are right to buy an iPad over a Surface. I'm merely pointing out that consumers are more likely to buy the iPad; see sales figures.

      I hope that explains it. But if not, just remember that my contributions to MUO should not be taken as a reason to start mistrusting any of the rest of the content.

  3. James B
    August 29, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Apparently the Coolest Cooler kickstarter was a relaunch, having first debuts 6 months ago and completely flopped. I wonder what's different?

    • Dave P
      September 1, 2014 at 2:00 pm

      You're right, and that is weird. I suspect it's all about traction with Kickstarter, so if you get the right press early on everything else falls into place.