Windows XP Gets Service Pack 4, Google Tests Delivery Drones, And More… [Tech News Digest]

Also, the iPhone scores a hot date, the Surface Pro 3 comes to more territories, the Coolest Cooler breaks Kickstarter record, a visual representation of the Internet, and Microsoft commissions a bizarre recruitment video.

Windows XP Gets Unofficial SP4 Update

Service Pack 4 (SP4) is being released for Windows XP. Unfortunately, this is far from an official release, and is instead the work of a single developer known as “harkaz.” Harkaz has been working on what he calls Unofficial Service Pack 4 since September 2013, as detailed in a forum thread on RyanVM.net.

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP in April 2014, but with 25 percent of PCs still running the ancient operating system there is clearly still demand for updates. This Unofficial Service Pack 4 is “a cumulative update rollup for Windows XP,” designed to make it easier for people to have a fully updated version of the OS in the event of a re-installation.

At the time of writing, Unofficial Service Pack 4 for Windows XP is at the beta stage, with a release candidate promised soon. A full release will then follow sometime in the future.

It should go without saying that Microsoft will not be supporting this release, and there is a significant risk this could be used to spread malicious software to already vulnerable computer users. Which is why we advise everyone but the most experienced/confident XP users to steer clear for the time being.

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Google X Reveals Project Wing

Google has revealed what it calls Project Wing, a fleet of autonomous drones it hopes will deliver goods in the future. The project, which has already been ongoing for two years, is being developed at Google X, which is also responsible for the self-driving car and other innovations.

If this all sounds familiar it’s because Amazon has already revealed it’s working on the same technology, tentatively titled Amazon Prime Air. Google’s longterm goals are very much in line with Amazon’s, but early testing has focused on delivering essential equipment to people in remote areas in the event of an emergency. Which is at least noble.

Apple Officially Dates iPhone 6

It’s finally official: we will all get to see what Apple has been working on for the past 12 months on September 9, with the company sending journalists invitations to a lavish press event on that day. We knew already, after the date leaked at the beginning of August. But still, it’s nice to get confirmation from the horse’s mouth.

As to what will be revealed on that day, a bigger iPhone is almost guaranteed, but the, “Wish we could say more.” line included on the invite is a (grammatically troubling) puzzle. It could be the iWatch, or perhaps Siri is getting a major update. I guess we’ll know for sure in less than two weeks.

Surface Pro 3 Available In More Countries

Microsoft has launched the Surface Pro 3, previously available only in the U.S., Canada, and Japan, in a further 25 countries. Anyone who pre-ordered the Surface Pro 3 in one of these countries should receive their new device in a matter of days.

The full list of markets the Surface Pro 3 is now available in is as follows: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK and the U.S.

Which is an impressive list, but there’s no guarantee anyone in these countries is going to buy one. Because iPad.

The Coolest Cooler Makes All The Money

The Coolest Cooler has broken the record for the most money raised through a Kickstarter campaign. The product, a cooler with a variety of geeky extras included, has raised $11.6 million, with the campaign ending later today (Aug 29).

More than 55,000 people have pledged money to the Coolest Cooler, lifting it above the Pebble smartwatch ($10.2 million), the Ouya games console ($8.6 million), and the Pono music player ($6.2 million). Let’s just hope the final product lives up to the hype.

Pinging The Whole Internet

The image included in the tweet above shows what happens when you ping “all devices on the Internet.” Or at least the devices that answered when a company called Shodan, which bills itself as the “world’s first search engine for internet-connected devices,” attempted the feat.

There are no real surprises in terms of hot-spots but it is, nonetheless, a beautiful visualization of how we are all connected to each other by this series of tubes we call the Internet.

Microsoft’s Mental Recruitment Video

And finally, we already know Microsoft sucks at naming products, but it turns out the company sucks at making recruitment videos too. This absolute gem, produced by Digital Kitchen in 2008, was “so weird [Microsoft] didn’t know what to do with it.” And nor do we, to be perfectly honest.

Take our advice and just watch it, revel in its weirdness, and then pinch yourself to make sure you’re not experiencing a hallucinogenic dream.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Would you ever consider installing an unofficial Service Pack 4 for Windows XP? Is Google’s Project exciting or scary? Have you ever seen a more insane recruitment video than that Microsoft offering?

Let us know your thoughts on the tech news of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credit: Scott via Flickr

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