In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories you may have missed. Everything from Mark Zuckerburg’s new charity to babies named after Instagram filters — it’s all here.
HBO is still getting a ton of mileage out of the controversial (spoiler alert!) presumed death of Game of Thrones‘ Jon Snow. After being stabbed several times in the season 5 finale, the beloved character is ostensibly expected to be dead, but we don’t know for sure. Thanks to a new season 6 teaser, released today, a surge of uncertainty has swelled again. The teaser feeds the confusion, dedicating over half the video to Snow’s image before a voiceover from ESP phenom Bran Stark says, “They have no idea what’s going to happen.”
Basking in the glow of new parenthood, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and wife Priscilla Chan said they plan to give away 99 percent of their fortune to good causes over their lifetime. Yes, that’s a lot of money – the value of their Facebook shares currently stands at around $45 billion. However, the plan to transfer the shares over time won’t affect Zuckerberg’s status as controlling shareholder of the company. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative has big plans to help with education and other good causes.
We can’t live forever yet, but we may be getting closer to living a bit longer. Thanks to a new anti-aging drug, scientists believe they may have found a way to stop the body from falling victim to the perils of old age, including degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The hope is that the drug would not only allow people to live longer, but would also allow its users to maintain a relatively high level of health, making their extended years feel more like a gift than a burden.
Spotify has released its annual year in music list, naming Drake the most-played artist of the year. The Canadian rapper pulled off the victory with a whopping 1.8 billion streams across 46 million listeners up to this point. That said, Ed Sheeran still reigns supreme as Spotify’s most streamed artist of all time, with over 3 billion streams to his name to this point. The stats come from the mountains of data Spotify collects from its throng of 75 million listeners.
Looking for a unique name for your newborn? A new survey by BabyCenter has found that Instagram filters are a popular source for baby names, according to Time. Anyone who uses the popular photo-sharing app will recognize its filter titles, among them Ludwig, Juno, Amaro, and Valencia. Well, as Millennials are now starting families, it turns out that these are now serving as inspiration for baby names for both boys and girls. Lux is the most popular on the list.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week
Feel like changing the color or tone of your kicks? Want to add some funky design that only you would come up with? ShiftWear aims to make that a reality with its “badass sneakers” that can display custom designs on a whim, using an E Ink display and an app. The New York-based startup is undergoing an Indiegogo campaign to raise $25,000 to finalize its prototype. The idea is to be able to choose different colors or designs and apply them to the E Ink display on the outer portion of the shoes.
Gluten-free dieting is all the rage, and alternatives to gluten products are getting more and more creative. Case in point? This new type of noodle they’re making in Japan. It’s gluten-free, fat-free, contains almost no carbohydrates, and is partially made from tree pulp. The producer of this pioneering new pasta, Omikenshi Co, is actually one of Japan’s leading textile manufacturer, and created the noodles by adapting one of its industrial textile manufacturing processes.
The caution tape around dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, and a host of other similar players in the space is growing brighter, bolder, and more morbid as more and more data emerges regarding their effects. Studies show that the availability of hook-ups in the digital age comes at a price. The United Nations published a new report that claims, “The explosion of smart phone gay dating apps has expanded the options for casual spontaneous sex as never before,” leading to a “hidden epidemic” of HIV among young Asian males.
Android co-founder Andy Rubin is rumored to be interested in building a smartphone that uses the operating system he helped create. Whether he heads up a new company to do this, or provides one with support through his own startup incubator, isn’t known, according to a report by The Information. Staff for the project have apparently been scouted, although there is no confirmation a company has been started either with Rubin at its head, or behind it.
Cult gaming phenomenon Monument Valley is available for free through the iTunes App Store right now, reduced to zero from its usual $4 selling price for the very first time. Why is this a big deal? Because it’s one of the best puzzle games available for any mobile operating system, and the chance to pick it up for absolutely nothing isn’t to be missed. Monument Valley‘s design and music are gorgeous, and it’s a game you can play over and over again. You have to bend your mind to get past the higher levels and help the silent princess.