It’s the final week of January and we’re excited to wrap it all up with some of the week’s best tech news and notes. We’ve got plenty to explore, so let’s get right to it.
Last week Microsoft announced it’s new browser named “Project Spartan” and this week we’re getting a closer look at the rendering engine behind it. It will still be a few months before the rest of us peasants can get our own personal look at it, but you can read about some of the first interesting new details.
Swedish audio house Teenage Engineering has designed a line of Pocket Operators which are synths and drum machines that emulate the style of Nintendo handhelds circa 1980-1991. The look is very cool and these can actually be a fairly powerful music making tool.
There have been more than a few people up in arms about Marriott’s recent announcement of a plan to block personal wifi hot spots. Now an FCC commissioner’s comments are indicating that office’s own firm displeasure with the company’s intent.
On a similar but much more important front, the most important FCC vote of our lifetime is less than a month away. On February 26 the agency will vote to save net neutrality or allow Comcast and other ISPs create Internet “slow lanes.” You can make your voice be heard on Battle For The Net.
This week we learned of an extremely critical vulnerability affecting most Linux distributions. The bug, which is being called “ghost,” lets attackers execute malicious code on e-mail servers, host webpages, and carry out other vital functions.
In another blow to Flash, as of this week YouTube now defaults to HTML5 video for all modern browsers. YouTube first introduced support for HTML5 back in 2010, but citing limitations, held back. Among other benefits the hope is that the switch will allow videos to start faster and reduce average bandwidth.
For much of the past year, Google has been encouraging the use of the HTTPS everywhere extension. Naturally the tech giant carries a lot of clout, so many are listening. This article provides more detail on why HTTPS can be important.
Here’s a sign of the times: The iOS App Store distributed $10 billion to developers in 2014, which is about as much as Hollywood earned in the US Box Office. And the numbers don’t stop there. Other figures show that the App Store itself has also created a good deal more jobs than Hollywood.
It’s no wonder the breadth of apps is growing at such rates with helpful and potentially life-changing creations such as Be My Eyes. It’s an app which connects a network of volunteers (perhaps even you) to a blind individual in need of assistance, be it with reading product label or finding their way.
On a bit of an “odd couple” note, AT&T and Snapchat have announced that the two are teaming-up to launch a superhero series. The premise is geared toward an increasing population which uses mobile as a central means of entertainment.
As an alternative to the old “She lives out of town” line, the St. Louis-based startup @MyInvisibleGF offers “believable social proof” that you do in fact have girlfriend (when you do not). Never to miss an opportunity, Conan O’Brien pounced with his own spoof of the service.
As an agency that provides nonprofit tech solutions, we’re always quick to share our affinity for CiviCRM. When it comes to integrating CiviCRM with popular content management systems though, we’ve always preferred its integration with Drupal vs WordPress. That’s why we are pleased to see that CiviCRM for WordPress is getting some love in the latest 4.6 version. CiviCRM is even calling the integration a “watershed moment”.
Speaking of CiviCRM, Spry also participated in CiviDay 2015 which took place via meetups around the world. The event helps people get started with CiviCRM, meet others who use it and learn from their experiences.
On the Homefront
A note that we’re proud to say that Sheila Burkett of Spry Digital has now joined the Board of Directors at the Arts and Education Council and encourage you to support them as well. Great job, Sheila!
So that puts a wrap on January 2015. See you here next week to kick-off a new month that will surely bring plenty of exciting topics to chat about.