Tech Facts March 2014

By 28th April 2014 January 20th, 2015 Technology & Business Intelligence

Forbes

Forbes’ latest ranking of billionaire’s reclaimed Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates as the world’s richest person, with a net worth of $76 Billion. Bill Gates returns to the top of the list after Carlos Slim held the position for four consecutive years. The list, that this year includes Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton, has listed Gates as the world’s richest man for 15 of the past 20 years.

Flappy Bird

Dong Nguyen, creator of the popular mobile game Flappy Bird, revealed to Rolling Stone that he’s considering bringing the game back, a month after taking it down from the App Store and Google Play.

Facebook

In a blog post Mark Zuckerberg criticized and called the recent US government surveillance activities a threat to the Internet. “I’ve been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behaviour of the US government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government.” Zuckerberg said that he called President Obama to discuss the matter, using the opportunity to express his “frustration over the damage the government is creating for all of our future.”

GitHub

Describing it as a bizarre and abusive work environment, designer and developer Julie Ann Horvath publicly quit GitHub, a popular programming platform, over claims of gender harassment. Ms. Horvath is a well-known developer and self-proclaimed queen of GitHub. Ms. Horvath declared that the environment permitted an “aggressive” culture where men flaunt their disrespect for women, and that “it felt unsafe and to be honest, really embarrassing.” In a blog post, GitHub CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath wrote that Github “have begun a full investigation” and also that “I would like to personally apologize to Julie. It’s certain that there were things we could have done differently.”

Google

Google announced Android Wear, a version of their operating system designed specifically for wearable devices, starting with Smart Watches, where fitness is a key component. The company says it is already working with current Android partners like Asus, HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung on wearables.

 

Google started to use secure HTTPS connections for all Gmail transmissions, encrypting all messages, in an attempt to stop the NSA to spy on email activity. Nicolas Lidzborski, Gmail’s Security Engineer declared that “there are tons of security measures running behind the scenes to keep your email safe, secure, and there whenever you need it.”

Microsoft

The Syrian Electronic Army revealed documents showing that Microsoft charges the FBI’s Digital Intercept Technology Unit (DITU) $50 to $200 for each transaction of a request to legally collect and view customer information. Microsoft declared that “Under US law, companies can seek reimbursement for costs associated with complying with valid legal orders for customer data. We attempt to recover some of the costs associated with any such orders.”

Twitter

Near the election, Turkey blocked the access to Twitter after corruption allegations of the Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were tweeted. The government has frequently sought to block social media when it’s been used to criticise politicians. “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter, I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic.”, said Mr. Erdoğan who last year referred to social media as “the worst menace to society.”
Twitter’s official policy account @policy has tweeted information on how to continue to use the platform using SMS:

Since the block was introduced, the Turkish population were able to avoid the Twitter ban by simply using Google’s public DNS. But after a couple of days, the Turkish government blocked the access to that DNS as well.

Oculus VR

Facebook acquired Oculus VR, maker of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset for $2 Billion. In a blog post, Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed the reasons for the deal: “Oculus’s mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences.” “Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won’t be changing and we hope to accelerate.” “We’re going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face — just by putting on goggles in your home.” “By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures.”