Microsoft Patches XP, Vine YouTube, Mute Twitter, Life Simulator [Tech News Digest]

Today in Tech News Digest, Microsoft patches Windows XP, Vine does a YouTube, Twitter experiments with muting, a Google Glass teardown, Amazon smartphone leaks, a real-life Dropbox, and the creator of Minecraft’s new game.

Microsoft Backtracks On XP Support

Microsoft has released an emergency patch fixing the vulnerability recently discovered in all versions of Internet Explorer. As well as the expected patches for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8.1, Microsoft has issued a patch for Windows XP. This despite the company officially ending support for that particular operating system in April.

Microsoft explained its strange decision, saying, “We made this exception based on the proximity to the end of support for Windows XP.” In other words, this hole in Internet Explorer was found so soon after XP support ended the company felt it had to act.

The problem is that this action runs contrary to Microsoft’s efforts to persuade people to upgrade from Windows XP. Microsoft has addressed the issue, saying, “[This] doesn’t mean you should stop thinking about getting off Windows XP and moving to a newer version of Windows and the latest version of Internet Explorer.

However, the 26 percent of Windows users still running XP are even more unlikely to take notice now than they were previously. And there are likely to be many more Windows XP security issues discovered in the coming months.

Vine Does A YouTube

Vine has redesigned its website, expanding it into something approaching a YouTube for short videos. New features include editors’ picks, playlists, channels, and trending tags, with the website now bringing much of the functionality of the app across to

This is in stark contrast to the early days of Vine, when unofficial sites were required to watch Vine videos on the Web. And with users now not even needing to be signed in to browse content on the Web, this could be a gamechanger for Vine.

Twitter Brings Mute To Mobile

Twitter is experimenting with a mute button within its mobile apps. The mute button prevents a user’s tweets from showing up in your timeline, all without them knowing. So it acts as a temporary measure slightly less severe than permanently unfollowing them. The mute feature has been spotted in the wild but hasn’t yet been officially announced.

The Real Cost Of Google Glass?

Google Glass costs a cool $1500 to purchase, but according to, the total BoM (Bill of Materials) is just $79.78. Google has denied this estimate is accurate, calling it “absolutely wrong.” And, of course, Google has spent millions developing the wearable technology, which is reflected in the price for early-adopters. Still, that’s surprisingly cheap.

Amazon Smartphone Leaks In 3D

BGR has published an image of what it claims is the final design of the forthcoming 3D Amazon smartphone. The render was reportedly “created for internal use by graphic designers at Amazon” and reveals a design just like countless other smartphones already on the market. This follows on from the same website leaking details of the as-yet-unannounced handset.

MakeSpace, The Real-Life Dropbox

MakeSpace, which is offering an alternative to traditional storage units, has closed an $8 million round of funding. While some people may find the service useful, the way it is being described as a “Dropbox for physical objects” is causing much amusement.

Sam Biddle of Valleywag put it best by tweeting, “‘dropbox for physical objects’ hahahah holy s**t THAT’S LITERALLY JUST CALLED A F**KING BOX.” Proof, if proof were needed, that we’re heading towards another tech bubble. Oh, joy.

Markus Persson Is ‘Drowning In Problems’


And finally, if you find yourself bored of trudging through life, why not play a game that simulates trudging through life instead? Drowning In Problems is the latest game from Markus ‘Notch’ Persson, creator of the insanely popular Minecraft, and it’s a strange beast.

Drowning In Problems is essentially a life simulator, but unlike other simulation games, there’s no chance of changing your ultimate fate. Just as with real life. Not the most cheery of games then, but an intriguing one nonetheless.

Tech News Digest… Breaking News Into Bite-Sized Chunks.

Image Credit: weegeebored via Flickr

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