Believe it or not, we don’t cover every piece of tech news here at SnapMunk. In an effort to keep you apprised of all things relevant in the world of technology and startups, here are some noteworthy tech news items that didn’t get a full column this week but certainly deserve a glance.
The Internet was in an uproar this week when a teen boy claimed to have found a lost Mayan city, and then backed his claim up using satellite images from Google Earth. The teen claimed to have found the city by matching the locations of stars to existing Mayan cities, and then extrapolating possible additional locations. Experts, as it is often their wont, are dismissing the claim, saying the discovery is a fake. I would say, “You be the judge,” but you can’t unless you happen to live in the jungles of Mexico.
The US Senate Commerce Committee sent a letter to Mark Zuckerberg asking him to answer questions regarding Facebook’s trending news section. This letter was sent after a former Facebook news curator alleged that the company routinely suppressed subjects that would be of interest to conservatives. I’m sure that if Donald Trump becomes president, he will force Facebook to do what he wants.
Amazon recently launched Video Direct, a service which will allow creators to upload videos and then receive royalties for said videos. Viewers can rent and buy content or watch it for free with advertisements. An ad free version will be available to Amazon Prime subscribers. It will be fascinating to see whether Amazon can truly distinguish itself in any way from YouTube, or whether this service will be a flop…like their cell phone was.
In a rather odd move, Google experimented with giving some users black hyperlinks instead of the traditional blue. A Google spokesperson said, “We’re always running many small scale experiments with the design of the results page.” The reaction has not been positive, with just about everyone pleading with Google to restore the standard blue links.
These are some hard core nerds. At a Renaissance festival in Russia, one of the actors noticed a drone buzzing overhead. So he did what any normal person would do in those circumstances: he whipped out a spear and threw it at the drone, knocking it out of the sky. Don’t mess with these people. They take their cosplay/reenacting/nerdery very seriously.
Apparently people feel that the current emojis available on computers and smartphones are sexist, because they only show women doing things like dancing and cutting hair and smiling. So Google has stepped in, designing a series of emojis showing women doing things like wearing scrubs and singing at a rock concert. Is this really an issue? Are women really upset due to insufficient emoji representation? I suppose I could be way out of touch with society, but this just feels profoundly stupid.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
Stephen Altrogge is a freelance writer based in Tallahassee, Florida. He writes about tech, marketing, faith, and lots of other things. He’s married to Jen and has three young girls. Every day he consumes more coffee than the entire population of Colombia. He knows more about Star Wars than any respectable man should, and he runs more than any sane man would. He once attempted to eat a 2 pound hamburger in under an hour. He failed.
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