Oscars Selfies, Free Windows 8.1, Nokia X Hack, Internet Trolls [Tech News Digest]

Today in Tech News Digest, switching phones and taking selfies at the 2014 Academy Awards, Tim Cook is the Incredible Hulk, Windows 8.1 could soon be free, Nokia X already hacked, the FCC broadband app arrives, coding your own Flappy Bird clone, and Internet trolls should be avoided at all costs.

Ellen Takes Oscars Selfie, Switches Phones

Celebrities will do (almost) anything for a huge wedge of cash. Such as use a Samsung smartphone to tweet and take selfies while on stage at the Oscars. But behind the scenes, when the public isn’t watching their every move on TV, it’s back to the trusty ol’ Apple iPhone.

This is the story of Ellen DeGeneres, who appears to have been paid by Samsung to use the Galaxy Note 3 while hosting the 2014 Academy Awards. All of the tweets she wrote while on stage were sent using ‘Twitter for Android’. All of those written backstage were sent using ‘Twitter for iPhone’.

DeGeneres used the opportunity to take selfies throughout the Oscars ceremony, most of which included a celebrity friend or two. The selfie above was the biggest hit, becoming the most-retweeted photo ever taken.

This all suggests DeGeneres only used the Samsung phone when she had to do so in order to get paid. In reality, she’s obviously an Apple fangirl; an Apple fangirl willing to publicly pronounce her love for one company when she clearly favors another.

Tim Cook Gets Angry, Turns Green

Apple CEO Tim Cook believes climate change is real and that sustainability can and should be placed above profits. This is the takeaway from his response to questions asked by a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR).

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According to The Mac Observer, the conservative think-tank is keen for Apple to do only those things that [are] profitable.” Cook responded to these demands by saying, “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI,” continuing, “If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.

Cook was reportedly referring to environmental issues and worker safety in this response, suggesting that, at least while he’s in charge, Apple will think about more than its bottom line. Which, if the company is honest, is already healthy enough.

Windows 8.1 Could Be A Free Upgrade

Microsoft could be preparing to make Windows 8.1 a free upgrade for Windows 7 users. The Verge claims ‘Windows 8.1 with Bing’, which will come with several Microsoft services including its search engine, would be offered to Windows 7 users either free or for a small fee.

We’ll likely know more when Microsoft hosts its Build developer conference in April. Which is, coincidentally, the same month Microsoft is ending support for Windows XP.

Nokia X Hacked For Android Apps

The Nokia X, recently unveiled as a smartphone sporting a forked version of Android but pushing Microsoft apps, has been hacked. Spanish developer Kasha Malaga managed to replace the custom skin of the Nokia X with Android Now and have it accept official Google apps and services.

The Nokia Developer Team appears to have tweeted its support for this move, but the tweet has since been deleted. It’s still not known what plans Microsoft has for the Nokia X once Redmond’s acquisition of the Finnish phone manufacturer is completed in the coming weeks.

The FCC Measures Broadband Speeds


The FCC (Federal Communication Commission) has released an app for both iOS and Android designed to test mobile broadband speeds. The app is designed to help build a picture of network strength across the U.S., with user data collected anonymously. Unless the NSA gets in the way, obviously.

Making Your Own Flappy Bird Clone

You can now make your own Flappy Bird clone using a simple programming tool from Code.org. The building blocks for putting a Flappy Bird clone together are all provided, with kids as young as six invited to design their own version of the popular game. I must admit, though I’m a lot older than six years old, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

Internet Trolls Are Horrible In Real Life Too

And finally, Internet trolls are likely to be just as nasty in real life as they are online. This is according to a study conducted at the University of Manitoba, which found a direct correlation between trolling and “dark tetrad” personality types.

Those with this personality type can be psychopathic, sadistic, narcissistic, and Machiavellian. In other words, Internet trolls are not people you would want to invite to a dinner party. Whether virtual or real.

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

Image Credit: Prayitno via Flickr

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