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 Prince’s rendition of Creep to the power of #Love on Instagram– it’s all here.
R&B legend Prince, whose hostility towards the Internet is quite public, has finally allowed his storied Coachella 2008 rendition of Radiohead’s Creep to hit the Web. As for the actual video, it’s a soulful, moving eight-minute take on the legendary alternative rock song. From his heartfelt singing of the lyrics to his masterful guitar work, it’s a shame that the Artist has been keeping this one under wraps from the public for so long. However, few musicians have been more adamant about controlling music rights online than Prince, so it’s not too surprising.
Google is teaming up with the New England Patriots to give fans a virtual spot on the playing field. Bank of America and Visa announced that they’re giving away 10,000 Google Cardboard virtual reality headsets at Gillette Stadium in Massachusetts, ahead of the Patriots-Eagles game. Fans are taken, virtually, from the training facility to the gridiron, where they get a look at what goes on during training day, giving them a chance to “Travel Inside the Game.” The headsets were first made available during the Patriots’ FanZone pregame activities.
It’s been a while coming, but Verizon this week finally flips the switch on Wi-Fi calling, kicking off on Tuesday with the Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge handsets. The feature enables a handset to automatically switch to an available Wi-Fi connection when it detects that the cell signal is too weak to maintain a decent connection, or if no signal is available. Verizon says other devices won’t have to wait too long to join the party, and promised a wider rollout for Android smartphones as well as iOS handsets “early next year.”
International music streaming powerhouse Spotify has released a personal year-end list for each user, which it calls Your Year In Music. The company’s private, user-specific numbers come as a follow-up to last week’s announcement, in which the company made public the top streamed artists on the site, both by country and worldwide. Users can log into the company’s Year In Music website to get their numbers, scrolling through the various categories to get a picture of themselves as Spotify’s numbers paint them.
In a relatively short space of time, Wikipedia has gone from being a novel idea to the de facto font of online knowledge. It’s readily available, constantly updated and staggeringly far-reaching — but can it be trusted? The United States is currently in the grip of a presidential primary, meaning people are looking for impartial information on the parties and politicians involved. Wikipedia will be the go-to source for a great swathe of this knowledge. But who’s writing these entries, and for what purpose? It turns out, both ends of the political spectrum are making their voices heard — a process that can distort the truth.
Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week
The period is dead. Punctuation is over. Run-on sentences and incomplete thoughts are the new standard. Do I sound insincere? Maybe it’s because proper grammar is now being associated with insincerity, at least when it comes to texting. As it turns out, science has now confirmed that your passive-aggressive habit of ending one-word texts with periods to quietly express your anger isn’t as passive as you think. The Journal of Computers in Human Behavior found texts that end with a period are rated as less sincere than those that do not.
Just when it seems like all social media can offer is bad news and cat photos, Instagram unveils its top hashtag for 2015, and it isn’t either of those. For the third year in a row, the most used hashtag of the year, according to the Instagram blog, was #Love. It makes sense that “love” would be one of the most popular hashtags, especially when Kendall Jenner’s photo of her heart-shaped hair attracted over 3.2 million likes. The #Love is in more than 800 million posts, many of which include other equally warm and fuzzy hashtags.
Condoms are one of the most effective tools we have to combat the spread of HIV and AIDS, and now, thanks to the work of Texas A&M professor, the world might soon get a new condom that sexually active people actually want to use. The brand new condom proposal ditches latex for a hydrogel polymer, which doubles up on sexual safety by actively going after the contaminant virus. It is enmeshed with an antioxidant ingredient that has anti-HIV properties, and can even enhance the sexual experience.
Minecraft is available on almost every conceivable platform, from the PS4 to Windows Phone to Linux, with Nintendo consoles being the major exception. Thankfully, Nintendo has worked with Mojang to bring the sandbox experience to the Wii U by Christmas. It will start selling the game on December 17 for $30, with all of the features available in the other console versions.
An Instagram hashtag first started by a drone enthusiast to mark awesome images taken from his eye in the sky has since started trending, creating an impromptu exhibition in aerial photography on the app. Unbeknownst to Dirk Dallas, the man behind #fromwhereidrone, the hashtag was steadily gaining traction on Instagram. Dallas now curates and features the best photos tagged using the hashtag on his “From Where I Drone” Instagram page, which itself has over 20,000 followers.
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