YouTube Kids is launching, Iggy Azalea abandons Twitter, Apple repairs old MacBooks, a Facebook emergency, Photoshop hits 25, and an iPad magician blows Ellen’s mind.
YouTube Kids Censors Video Site
My kids (4,2) are addicted to Michael Jackson videos, which I Chromecast from YouTube. I could do without the 50 Shades ads.
— Farhad Manjoo (@fmanjoo) February 17, 2015
YouTube is set to launch a dedicated app for children as early as next week. According to USA Today, YouTube Kids, which has reportedly been in the works since March 2014, will land on Android on Feb. 23. No plans for an iOS version have yet been revealed.
YouTube Kids offers a simplified user interface that removes comments and other distracting elements. Channels are displayed as large tiles which can be tapped to open, with content filtered to only include child-friendly videos.
Searches can be conducted by typing or by speaking, but any words deemed inappropriate for children, such as “sex” will result in a “try something else” message being displayed.
Changing the settings of the app, which includes a time limit after which it will turn off, requires a password. Which means technology companies may finally be listening to parents’ wishes.
Iggy Azalea Condemns the Internet
The Internet is the ugliest reflection of man kind there is.
— IGGY AZALEA (@IGGYAZALEA) February 19, 2015
Australian hip-pop (popular hip-hop) star Iggy Azalea has quit Twitter after suffering from bullying on the social networking service. The flashpoint seems to have been paparazzi photographs taken of her on holiday, which were then negatively discussed on Twitter and beyond.
After declaring, “apparently it’s shocking and unheard of to be a woman and have cellulite,” Azalea went on a Twitter rant before declaring she was “taking some time away from social media.” She explained that the “hatred and pettiness” is “too negative and draining.”
She closed with the tweet embedded above, expanding her complaint to include the whole of the Internet. It’s unclear whether she meant “man kind” to refer to everybody or just men. Either way, she clearly isn’t a fan of the nasty trolling which seems to be a consistent element of the online realm these days.
Apple Offers Free MacBook Repairs
I just bought a new MacBook Pro but now I guess I’ll have 2 laptops like I’ve always dreamed-I can’t believe Apple finally caved! #mbp2011
— Darenzia Elizabeth (@Darenzia) February 19, 2015
Apple has finally succumbed to pressure to repair the faulty MacBook Pro laptops it sold between 2011 and 2013. The affected models, which includes both the 15- and 17-inch MacBook Pro from 2011, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display from 2012 and 2013, will be repaired for free.
The issues, which are thought to be caused by lead-free solder causing short circuiting, include “distorted video, no video, or unexpected system restarts.” Apple is also offering refunds to those who already paid for a repair after losing hope on Apple addressing the issue itself. It took a class-action lawsuit for this to happen, but it’s better late (and forced) than never.
Facebook is an Emergency Service
Mark Zuckerberg is the brains behind Internet.org, a charitable effort to bring affordable Internet to the people and places who currently can’t either afford or access it. But his assertion that “connectivity is a human right,” has always been somewhat controversial.
In a Bloomberg interview about Internet.org, which has recently launched in India, Zuckerberg explained his feelings about the importance of the Internet and how Internet.org operates:
“The model that we consider this to be most similar to is 911 in the US. So even if you haven’t paid for a phone plan, you can always dial 911, and if there is a crime or a health emergency or a fire, you get basic help. And we think there should be an equivalent of this for the internet as well — where even if you haven’t paid for a data plan, you can get access to basic health information or education or job tools or basic communication tools, and it will vary, country by country.”
It would be easy to take these comments out of context, but it’s about offering very basic Internet access as a free tier to everybody, which can only be a good thing. The bonus for Zuckerberg is that Facebook qualifies as one of those “basic communication tools,” so this isn’t pure philanthropy. But still.
Adobe Celebrates 25 Years of Photoshop
Adobe has commemorated Photoshop’s 25th anniversary with the video above, a timeline of important milestones [PDF link], and a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). The video was created entirely using Photoshop, with submissions from around the world being included.
Photoshop 1.0 was released on Feb. 19, 1990, and in the intervening 25 years the image editing software has had a big impact on several industries, especially in publishing and fashion. With airbrushing and other beautifying image manipulation techniques showing no signs of disappearing, we suspect Photoshop will be with us for another 25 years, at least.
The iPad Magician Performs on Ellen
And finally, even if traditional magic tricks leave you cold, iPad magic may have the capacity to blow your mind. It certainly seems to have blown the mind of Ellen DeGeneres, who recently had Simon Piero on her show.
Most of these tricks are just sleight of hand mixed with pre-recorded video, but some, such as the final trick involving the printing of a selfie, are a little harder to figure out. Answers on a postcard to MUO headquarters, please.
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Do you think more Internet services should have versions built just for kids? Is Iggy Azalea right about the Internet being “the ugliest reflection of man kind“? Do you love or hate Photoshop and what effect it has had on society?
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: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr