Twitter Hope To Increase Users With Their New Homepage

Twitter has been cooking up a new homepage for its social media platform and it is now ready to launch. The social media platform plans to roll out their new homepage today, but what is the ultimate goal here?

From the looks of it, Twitter plans to get more people to join its platform. When you previously navigated to Twitter.com, the page would only display categories, but this is now going to change with the latest homepage. Twitter wants to draw more people in by showing a bit of what’s going on in and how the social media interaction is on the platform.

The new and improved homepage will display actual tweets by targeting and displaying ‘high value tweets’, something that Twitter hopes will get newcomers’ attention. In my opinion, Twitter was a bit of a mystery at first and it didn’t expose what you would expect from the platform. This made me a bit skeptical and I haven’t joined the platform until recently.

So, in a sense, Twitter’s Interim CEO Jack Dorsey has a good idea with the homepage. In addition to that, his ‘question everything’ perspective aims to get more out of user expectations and opinions in order to make the necessary changes and additions to expand Twitter even further. But until then, how do you find the new homepage? Is it something you were looking forward to?

Thank you Buzzfeed for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TheNextWeb

Twitter Removing User Backgrounds

Twitter has been one of the biggest beneficiaries of the social media revolution; the ability to tweet updates to millions of followers has revolutionized the world as we know it. But, have you noticed something slightly different about your profile? No, ok, moving on. Seriously though twitter has seemingly removed wallpapers from users home and notifications timelines as of Monday 20th July 2015.

Twitter confirmed that users will now see a stark all-white background in place of their usual customized backgrounds, when viewing their profile, ntifications, and main timeline. A Twitter spokesman stated that “background images are only available where logged-in users will see them publicly i.e. Tweet pages, list pages, and collections pages.”

Safe to say people did not take this well and voiced their opinions on, yes Twitter, with one person pointing out that this was similar to the actions of Myspace before its decline. This decision is also not entirely new considering the social media giant did start to remove backgrounds from new users as of last year, only difference this time is that they have rolled out this idea to everyone.

It seems rather odd and pointless to artificially create a storm over a feature which could so easily have been kept. Whether consumer’s care enough about this news is another story, considering for example Facebook has also had multiple redesigns ranging from the popular to the awful and still retained a significant number of consumers, only time will tell.

Thank you Mashable UK for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of El Dia

Apple’s iPad Mini Sales are Performing Poorly

Apple’s iPad sales have reportedly declined now for the third consecutive quarter, seeing the iPad mini 3 in particular produce a poor sales effort across the globe. Given the focus on larger smart phone screens and better big-tablet technology, does the iPad mini have a place in the market?

Sales analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicts that iPad sales will remain weak well into Q1 2015 with Apple set to sell 9.8 million units year on year in 2014, seeing a 40% drop in the first quarter alone. The iPad Pro release has reportedly been pushed back until the second quarter of 2015, so until then we will have to watch Apple struggle. Last quarter saw a $5.3 billion sales churn for Apple’s iPad sales as a whole, ranking second only to their iPhone line but showing a continuous decline with every quarter. When is it time to call it quits? That’s up to Apple to decide, but we may see them change direction or technologies in the near future to continue the validity of their smart tablet branch.

The original iPad lead the charge in the tablet extravaganza season, seeing other companies such as ASUS pit their popular Nexus amongst other big-brand offerings. The iPad was originally set in motion by the late Steve Jobs, claiming that their 9.7-inch screen was the “golden dimension”, providing users with a not to big, nor too small alternative offering to a laptop or smart phone. Since this time however, we’ve seen the introduction of products like the iPad mini and Nexus 7, but these smaller siblings beg the question – why not just use a galaxy note or iPhone 6 Plus?

Personally I purchased a refurbished ASUS Galaxy 7 early in 2013. I used it quite heavily as my current HTC desire lacked the processing power, battery life or features that I needed for day-to-day activities. However, when I made the upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy S4 phone in late 2013, the Nexus remained untouched for months.

What are you personal experiences with tablets big and small? Are they another fad that we’ve seen pass just like the ‘Netbook’ craze?

Image courtesy of Chiphell

Windows Operating System Naming Schedule set to Change

It’s been said by Industry analysts that Microsoft are set to change their naming style for their soon-to-be-released next generation offering. Currently codenamed “Threshold”, the new operating system is set to drop the numbering system off the end of the scale – killing the publics current “Windows 9” naming protocol. This was discussed at a recent press conference, marking the possibility of Microsoft killing its long-time tradition.

Although we’ve seen non-numbered Windows editions in the past such as XP, VISTA and ME, it seemed logical to most that a number would succeed Windows 7, 8 and 8.1.

This naming change is said to symbolise an end of an era and a new stage of development for corporate giant Microsoft. They’ve moved CEO’s from Steve Ballmer to Satya Nadella and are said to be focusing more heavily on equipment sales service, rather than Windows PC software design. Nadella’s strategy for Microsoft moving forwards has claimed to put “cloud computing first”, marking a slight change in direction of focus.

If you haven’t picked it up by now, Microsoft’s new offering is set to be named simply “Windows”.

Image courtesy of The United States Independent

Apple Alter their Health App Privacy Policy

Apple has recently changed it’s privacy guidelines for developers wishing to utilize its own HealthKit framework. Some are taking this change as another sign that Apple’s iWatch release may be coming sooner rather than later. This update addresses how health apps handle user data when developed through HealthKit.

HealthKit is set for release with iOS8, being quoted on the official site as “An entirely new way to use your health and fitness information.” This service will act as a hub for all data tracked by third-party fitness and health applications – with this information then being passed to Apple’s Health App. The Health App analyzes and breaked down the data, presenting it to you in an easy to read format.

Mashable helped us understand what these new guidelines entail:

“…developers can’t “sell an end-user’s health information collected through the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers,” developers can’t “sell an end-user’s health information collected through the HealthKit API to advertising platforms, data brokers or information resellers,” according to the report. What’s more, developers cannot use HealthKit’s API or its information “for any purpose other than providing health and/or fitness services.”

Once again, this privacy policy is being linked to the so-called impending release of the iWatch. HealthKit and the Health app are said to be a big part of the smartwatches functionality, acting as a ‘middle man’ to tie everything together – apps, phones, watches and services. As competitor products such as Fitbit and Jawbone are becoming a much more popular addition any ‘fitness freaks’ arsenal, it’s only logical that Apple want a part of this market share.

Alongside the growth of fitness technology devices themselves, Flurry Insights reported that fitness applications are growing 87% faster than any other app available on the store – alongside a massive 117% growth of apps downloaded as a whole.

Image courtesy of Tech Crunch

Skywalker Middle Name sees British Womans Passport Declined

Laura Elizabeth Skywalker Matthews, from Southend, decided to honor her favorite series of movies in a somewhat-permanent way – legally adding Skywalker as a middle name. Although no issues have been seen from this previously, she’s recently found out the hard way that it may not be for the best.

At 29 years old, Matthews has this name added to her bank accounts and drivers license, but hit a brick wall when applying for an official British passport – an outright rejection.

Matthews claims that this name change was brought around several years as a joke, but now she’s seeing some unfortunate consequences.

A representative of Britain’s Home Office confirmed the issue to the BBC, stating that name-changes are not accepted on passports if they are subject to copyright of trademarks:

“We have a duty to ensure the reputation of the UK passport is not called into question or disrepute”

Maybe we all should think twice before changing our middle name or Voldemort or Princess Peach. What do you think? Is this law unrealistic, or is the government protecting themselves from a real threat?

Cover image courtesy of The Gnomon Workshop

Article image courtesy of Board Game Geek

 

New Version of Valve Steam Controller Comes With Analogue Stick

Valve is going forward with its Steam controller, making changes and releasing new and improved versions. Its latest sneak peek of the new Steam controller version which is currently in development shows that the controller comes with an analogue stick for the very first time, as seen in the pic below.

This new version is said to represent the third major design change shown to the public so far. The original prototype of the Steam controller revealed in September had fewer buttons and two large trackpads, along with a touchscreen. The second one show in January had its touchscreen removed and received two symmetrical sets of ABXY face buttons.

Valve is said to have avoided the analogue stick in previous versions because it wanted to replicate the controller experience using haptic feedback infused trackpads in the form of weighted electro-magnets. Either way, it is not currently certain if this will be the final version of the Steam controller or more changes are to be made before its release.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Eurogamer

Wikipedia Entry Regarding MH17 Crash Reportedly Edited by the Russian Government

Changes spotted by a Twitter bot which monitors Wikipedia edits from Russian government IP addresses indicate that an Internet user revised a Wikipedia entry regarding Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Since the bot monitors government IPs, the only conclusion drawn is that someone within the Russian government wanted to make some modifications to the ‘truth’ out there.

It is said that the anonymous user changed one sentence in a Russian-language page that lists ‘aircraft accidents in civil aviation’. The original sentence stated that “the plane was shot down by terrorists of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic with Buk system missiles, which the terrorists received from the Russian Federation.”

However, the revised entry (modified in less than an hour after the original was posted) stated that “the plane was shot down by Ukrainian soldiers.” The Telegraph received information that a user from the All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company made the changes, but nothing is for certain.

The aircraft is said to have carried 298 people when it crashed, with no known survivors. US officials have said that the plane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists, having Russian authorities helping them destroy evidence at the crash site. However, separatist leader, Alexsander Borodai, denied that pro-Russian rebels touched the crash site, accusing the Ukrainian government of preventing experts from accessing the site.

The Wikipedia bot monitoring revisions from US Congressional IP has signalled 13 Wikipedia article changes to a variety of topics on Monday as well. It is said that in at least once case, an anonymous user edited an article on Crimea, the region annexed by Russia from Ukraine in March.

Thank you Mashable for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Mashable

eBay Admits User Data Was Hacked Into – Two Months Ago

eBay, one of the most popular websites globally is urging users to change their passwords after it was discovered that their corporate network was attacked and a small number of employee login credentials was stolen. Following the discovery, eBay are stressing that no financial data was accessed and until users passwords have been changed, no activity is permitted on their account.

What is shocking however is the revelation that this attack happen two months ago in the late part of February to early March although they have said that the discovery of the unauthorised access was only made a couple of weeks ago after the compromised employee credentials was discovered. Additionally eBay has spoken out stating that they take customer privacy and security very seriously and they are performing a deep analysis into how the attack was performed and how the data was accessed, with the aim to ensure that this does not happen again.

Starting from now, each and every eBay user will be notified via email that they will need to change their passwords and that any associated PayPal accounts are also safe and secure as this is all stored securely on an encrypted network separate to that of eBay’s user databases.

Whilst users are in the process of changing their passwords, some users will face the error message as seen below whilst the eBay network is put under a very heavy load, however users are reassured that they can try again later and their accounts cannot be used until the passwords are changed.

Whilst this is one of the worst attacks to happen to the business, as with all sites we strongly advise that your passwords are changed on a regular basis and if you use the same password on other sites, you should look into changing these as well to prevent any further issues down the line.

 

Microsoft Has Officially Changed SkyDrive’s Name To OneDrive

Microsoft has announced that it will change its popular cloud service name from SkyDrive to OneDrive. That time has come, and now we can see it from ourselves. Those of you who want to access Microsoft’s Skydrive will be redirected to the OneDrive page.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for you to get all of your favorite stuff in one place – one place that is accessible via all of the devices you use every day, at home and at work. Because let’s face it, until now, cloud storage services have been pretty hard to use, and the vast majority of us still have our stuff spread out everywhere,” said Microsoft’s Chris Jones. “In fact, according to a recent poll, at least 77 percent of people who are familiar with the cloud still have content stored on a device that is not backed up elsewhere. We want to change that.”

The official web page is now onedrive.live.com, something a bit confusing for novice users, but essentially all functionality is similar to the old SkyDrive, however with a new intro interface (if you haven’t already logged in). One logged in, everything will be the same as before so as not to confuse anyone used to the SkyDrive interface. Also , a tutorial and presentation of the OneDrive can be viewed once logged in.

It is said that new users who sign up will receive 7GB of free storage space and an additional 500MB for each additional user they invite to the service. In addition to that, users who opt into auto backing up images from their smartphone receive an additional 3GB of free storage space.

Thank you TweakTown for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of TweakTown

Say Goodbye To SkyDrive And Welcome To OneDrive

Microsoft is apparently attempting to change the name of their popular cloud storage platform, SkyDrive, to a more ‘combined’ name, specifically OneDrive. This comes as a response to the dispute lost back in July when Microsoft lost its trademark right of using “SkyDrive” to UK British Sky Boradcast.

The change is set to occur sometime in the following weeks, however no official launch date has been revealed. Microsoft is reportedly going to move all current SkyDrive and Skydrive Pro accounts, along with their user data, over to the OneDrive database once the platform is finished. We just have to hope nothing goes ‘wrong’ and people start losing data from their accounts. As previous migrations from various companies went in the past, it is also recommended to save any important data on your SkyDrive accounts in other places as well to avoid any ‘unwanted’ incidents.

Besides the trademark change, Microsoft is reportedly going to add some new features to the upcoming platform: “Get ready for an even better place to store and share your favorite things across all your favourite devices,” as it states on the developing OneDrive page. However, getting excited about new features at this point is probably useless, since Microsoft is known for their ‘new’ features being just refreshed versions of old ones.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4NsPPUDjyU[/youtube]

But if indeed new features are coming to OneDrive, it will most probably be photo and video sharing, as Microsoft’s promo video points out. The concept and vision of OneDrive is fairly simple, one place for everything you want to save, either music, video, photos or files, all in ‘One’ place, one ‘Drive’.

“One place for all of your photos and videos. One place for all of your documents. One place that is seamlessly connected across all the devices you use. You want OneDrive for everything in your life.” as the OneDrive blog states.

Thank you PC World for providing us with this information
Image and video courtesy of PC World

Removable CPU Confirmed In The New Mac Pro

When it comes to Apple computers, they have been criticized for the lack of flexibility towards user upgrades. Basically, if you buy an iMac, Mac Pro or Macbook, what you get is what you get suck with unless you buy another one. That’s why most users tend to spend more and go for the high-end specs when buying Apple gear. But it seems times are changing, and Apple devices tend to change with them.

The new Mac Pro is reported to have been built with more modding features in mind, and according to Other World Computing who performed a quick teardown of the new Mac Pro, it has been confirmed that the CPU in the computer is removable, meaning that users will be able to upgrade the CPU whenever they want in the event that it starts to get a little old or worn out.

This is thanks to the fact that the processor is socketed to the motherboard, as opposed to being directly soldered, which seems to be the case in most of Apple’s Mac computers, both laptop and desktop. Apple’s Mac Pros have typically been a little bit more customizable than the iMac, where users can swap out RAM and graphic cards for something better or newer. The CPU swapping feature might not seem to be as flexible as what you can do in custom-built Windows-based PCs, but at least it is a step forward.

Thank you Ubergizmo for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Ubergizmo

Sony Xperia Z1 mini To Change Its Name From “Z1s” to “Amami”

The elusive mini version of the Xperia Z1, earlier rumored to be the Xperia Z1s, has cleared FCC under a new codename and now it’s known as the Sony “Amami”. Appearing under model name Sony D5503, the “Amami” is a smaller version of the Xperia Z1, but it’s said to be smaller mostly in size and not in performance. The handset is expected to ship with the same powerful Snapdragon 800 system chip and 20-megapixel camera as the original Xperia Z1.

Sony has already announced a mini Xperia Z1 but it’s only aimed at the Japanese market and comes under the Sony Xperia Z1f name. The device in cause that just passed FCC certification however is expected to be heading to Europe.

The build numbers 14.2.A.0.144 and 14.2.A.0.78 suggest the Sony Amami will come pre-loaded with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and not the latest 4.4 KitKat version. We still would not count those references as hard proof as Sony could change things and to be noted also is that a FCC filing does no promise for an actual product launch, it’s just a step in a regulatory process.

Whether or not we will see the device named “Amami” or Z1s, we hope to see more at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and Sony’s January 6th presentation.

Thank you Phonearena for providing us with this information

Facebook Rolls Out New Like And Share buttons

It appears that Facebook’s “Like” and “Share” buttons are changing according to Facebook Developer Blog, and the thumbs up symbol we’ve long associated with it is no more.

Both buttons are seen daily around 22 billion times across 7.5 million websites, making the buttons a very important feature for Facebook. We see changes in design everywhere, some for the better and some not that great. But the change in design for the “Like” and “Share” buttons is more important than people think. It also has a pretty serious impact web content and the way that businesses promote their products.

Facebook’s Ray C. He had this to say on the blog:

“Today, we’re introducing a new design for both Like and Share to help people share more great content across the web. We’re already seeing a favorable increase in Likes and Shares with the new design and will be rolling these buttons out to everyone in the coming weeks. If you are currently using the old Like button, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the new design as part of our roll out.”

Thank you Endgadget for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Facebook

Petition Launched To Prevent PC Version Of GTA V Appears On Change.org

It seems not everyone wants Grand Theft Auto V to come to the PC, despite the fact the game is already selling via pre-order in the millions and is expected to make billions in profit for Rockstar, as well as providing one of this gaming generations biggest games.

The petition was set up on Change.org as someone tried to talk Rockstar out of the consideration of a PC release of the game “So PC gamers learn their lesson and stop stealing games.” Now while I believe that is a noble idea, it is also completely ridiculous as ANY steam user will tell you, we don’t all pirate our games!

Trevor Phillips and a small bunch of signatures (88 at time of writing) Vs The World then it seems, but what are you thoughts on this, do you think Rockstar should send a message to the pirates by slamming all PC gamers with a ban on the potential GTA V release? I know I don’t.

It is a shame that there is no PC release date, or announcement for this game and I’m not really surprised by that fact, since Rockstar had a lot of issues with piracy and GTA IV a few years ago. Lets hope they change their mind soon and that the PC release date is coming in the near future. Especially given that hundreds of thousands of supports signed the petition to bring the game to PC, not cancel it it, take that Trevor Phillips!

Grand Theft Auto V is released next week, on September 17th.

Thank you Gamesreview for providing us with this information.