- Tech News

Microsoft Develops New Web Browser, Hackers Target Your Fingerprints [tech News Digest]

Also, new Twitter ads upset William Shatner, 10 million people try Amazon Prime, Apple offers extended refunds, and old people play QWOP.

Microsoft Developing Spartan Web Browser

Microsoft is developing a new Web browser to be released alongside Windows 10. However, contrary to previous reports, this isn’t merely a new version of Internet Explorer but a whole new browser entirely. At least according to sources talking to ZDNet.

Spartan, as Microsoft’s new Web browser is currently codenamed, will reportedly look and feel more like Chrome and Firefox, be lightweight, and support extensions. IE11 will also ship with Windows 10, but be seen as a legacy system only there to offer users backwards-compatibility.

We should know more on Jan 21 when Microsoft reveals more new Windows 10 features.

Your Fingerprints Are No Longer Secure

The Chaos Computer Club claims to have replicated the fingerprints of a German politician. Jan Krissler insists he used nothing more than commercial software and photos of Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen taken at a recent press conference.

Identifying people through fingerprints left on a polished surface is now standard procedure, but this new method suggests no physical connection is even necessary. It’s unlikely anyone would go to this trouble to log into your iPhone, but fingerprints are clearly no longer secure for other, potentially more important, biometric identity checks.

New Twitter Ads Target Following List

Twitter has started adding brands to users’ Following lists, much to the annoyance of William Shatner and others. While you’re never actually forced to follow these brands, their accounts show up in your Following list as if you’re following them.

This is particularly noticeable on accounts which only follow one person, as their Following count appears to double overnight. Blocking said brand WILL remove them from your Following list, but that brand will simply be replaced by another which is also paying for the privilege.

10 Million Try Amazon Prime Over Xmas

Amazon claims 10 million customers worldwide tried Amazon Prime over the holidays. This suggests the price hike to $99-per-year hasn’t harmed the initiative, although some (or even many) of these people may not use Amazon Prime beyond the free trial.

There are a host of other statistics included in Amazon’s holiday press release, including how it shipped to 185 countries, how the last Prime Now order was placed at 10:24pm and arrived at 11:06pm, and how 60 percent of customers shopped using a mobile device.

Apple Offers 14-Day Refunds In Europe

Apple is now offering 14-day refunds for iTunes, App Store, and iBooks purchases in Europe. Users who buy digital content from Apple only to change their mind within a fortnight can get a refund with no questions asked.

The updated terms and conditions state, “If you choose to cancel your order, you may do so within 14 days from when you received your receipt without giving any reason, except iTunes Gifts which cannot be refunded once you have redeemed the code.

The change is thought to be linked to a new EU directive giving consumers additional rights. Google has yet to update its terms and conditions to include the 14-day refund window, but will need to do so in order to comply with European Union laws.

Watch Old People Play QWOP

And finally, it seems everybody sucks at QWOP, no matter what their age or experience. We know so thanks to this Elders React video showing some older people trying to play QWOP and failing miserably. Just as everyone else does the first time they play the game.

If you haven’t yet played QWOP then I urge you all to do so. Just make sure you remove all small objects from the vicinity, as they’ll likely be thrown across the room as soon as frustration sets in. And I guarantee it will set in sooner rather than later.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

Do you support Microsoft’s attempt to move on from Internet Explorer? Are you worried about hackers’ ability to replicate your fingerprints? Are you as annoyed as William Shatner about Twitter’s new ads?

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: Jorgen Kesseler via Flickr

About Dave Parrack

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