Your IP Address Doesn’t Prove Piracy, Google+ Is 5 Years Old… [Tech News Digest]

You need more than an IP address to prove piracy, Google+ makes it to fifth birthday, Windows 10 Anniversary Update will launch in August, Facebook redesigns the Like button, and a short film exploring smartphone usage.

An IP Address Is Simply Not Enough

An IP address is not enough to prove you downloaded a copyrighted movie, at least according to one judge. We know because Oregon District Court Magistrate Stacie Beckerman recently dismissed a case where an IP address was the only evidence against the accused.

According to TorrentFreak, Thomas Gonzales was accused of illegally downloading a copy of The Cobbler, one of the many terrible films Adam Sandler has made recently. Gonzales runs an adult care home, and so while he pays the broadband bill, he is far from the only person with access to that IP address.

Judge Beckerman therefore stated:

“The only facts Plaintiff pleads in support of its allegation that Gonzales is the infringer, is that he is the subscriber of the IP address used to download or distribute the movie, and that he was sent notices of infringing activity to which he did not respond. That is not enough.”

Unfortunately, this is just one judge in one case, and there is no guarantee (or even expectation) that this will set a precedent for all other similar cases to follow. However, it is at least a sign that judges are waking up to the realities of piracy, and not blindly siding with the copyright-holders without the evidence to back up their claims.

Still, someone in Gonzales’ care home is guilty of having bad taste in movies. And anyone watching The Cobbler surely deserves a short spell in prison.

Google+ Has Stuck Around for 5 Years

Google+ is now five-years-old, having celebrated its birthday yesterday (June 28). Google’s failed social network was launched on June 28, 2011, has been through several iterations, and limped on to this anniversary.

Google had extremely high hopes for Google+ when it began, with dreams of knocking Facebook off its lofty perch, but those dreams have since disappeared under a cloud of disappointment. The turning point for Google+ was the moment it was made mandatory for commenting on YouTube.

As it stands, Google+ is a ghost town only populated by the small (but loyal) band of users who fell for its original charms. As far as Google goes, it’s all but done, with the search giant scaling it back and chopping it up over the course of several makeovers.

So, Google+ still exists, but it remains to be seen how much longer it survives. After all, Google is known for killing services it no longer wants to maintain.

Windows 10 Anniversary Suffers Delay

The Windows 10 Anniversary Update will be arriving on August 2. Which is a few days later than expected. Microsoft published a blog post yesterday saying, “Microsoft announces Windows 10 Anniversary Update available Aug. 2,” before quickly deleting it. It has now published the blog post for real, confirming what the tech press has known for 24 hours.

Windows 10 was originally released on July 29, 2015, so given its name the Anniversary Update was expected around the same date this year. The Anniversary Update was announced at Build 2016 in March, and will bring with it a host of new features and fixes to the always-improving Windows 10.

The Anniversary Update will be free to anyone who upgrades to Windows 10 before July 29, but will cost $119 after that date has passed. So, if you have been stalling on the Windows 10 upgrade for the past 12 months, now is the time to act. Otherwise you risk missing out on the free upgrade, and will instead be forced to pay for the privilege.

Facebook Redesigns the Like Button


Facebook has redesigned its iconic Like button, and it thinks the change will increase the number of times you click on it. Until now, the Like button you see on websites other than Facebook has featured Facebook’s F logo. But that will now change to the familiar Thumbs-Up icon.

Facebook is making this change after “qualitative and quantitative tests” revealed a 6 percent increase in engagement when the Thumbs-Up is used in place of the F. This is because people closely associate the Thumbs-Up icon with liking something.

Facebook is also updating its icons so that they’re flatter, have color consistency, and are more mobile-friendly.

A Short Film Exploring Smartphone Usage

And finally, this short film explores our over-reliance on smartphones from a very odd perspective. Called Man In Phone, it shows a man who gets trapped inside his phone to witness the numerous ways in which his smartphone affected his life. Until his girlfriend ends his misery.

Having previously argued that your smartphone can ruin your life, I’m very aware of the need to put it down once in a while. Real-life is happening all around you, and if you’re too busy staring at your phone to notice, you’re doomed to miss the best bits. Take heed! [H/T The Awesomer]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

In terms of piracy, should the burden of proof be on the copyright holder? When was the last time you used Google+? Are you looking forward to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? Do you care how the Like button looks? Have you ever chosen your smartphone over someone in the same room?

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.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Tobias Vemmenby via Flickr

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