Tech Tea, Top Headlines 10/26/2020 + A Note About INF

We’ve been on hiatus at Internet News Flash. The break came in part due to problems around funding / monetization, and also because Covid19 hit most of our writers pretty hard.

To keep the blog going as we sort out our future we have a new frame work for content. Every Monday, I will outline the top handful of tech stories that I feel are part of a larger trend. Twice monthly we will provide analysis on an under reported tech trend. And once monthly we will publish an in depth Oped.

To kick it off here are the top tech stories you need to know about.

Facebook launches cloud gaming on desktop and Android but says it is unable to bring games to iOS due to Apple’s “arbitrary” policies 

As explained by Facebook:

“Today we’re announcing that Facebook Gaming has launched several cloud-streamed games in the Facebook app and on browser – playable instantly, with no downloads required. Cloud game streaming promises to deliver unprecedented access to games across every screen. And while we’re thrilled to play a part in that future, that future is a ways off.” 

Users of Facebook’s website and Android apps can try free-to-play games without leaving the social network. Users can stream any available game from Facebook’s data centers without needing to download the game onto their devices. The idea is similar to services offered by Microsoft and Google, however Facebook will be without the console-quality games offered by those services.

The exclusion of Apple devices is part of a long running squabble between Apple and Facebook. And is set against a backdrop of law suits, and investigations into the behavior of big tech.

QR Codes finally have a reason to exist outside of inventory management

For both safety and cost, many restaurants are dumping traditional handheld menus in favor of QR codes, and digital menus. Something that for the first time ever may be a good consumer facing use of QR codes. And maybe a change that stays.

Writing for Eater Amanda Kludt said

“I think this is going to be one of those pandemic-era pushes that may change how we interact with menus for the long haul. It won’t be for everyone (especially at the high end) but I imagine some restaurants will never go back to paper.”

Twitter Launches New Prompts to Reduce the Spread of Misinformation Around the US Election

In another effort to avoid being accused of interfering with the integrity of the US Presidential Election, Twitter is launching new “preemptive prompts” in user feeds to address potential misinformation. The focused is on debunking statements of fact regarding the voting process.

In a statement from Twitter

“The first prompt will confirm that voting by mail is safe and secure, and the second will remind people that there might be a delay in the announcement of election results. Both will link to Twitter Moments that provide more context and compile the latest credible information on the topic from election experts, journalists and other authoritative news sources.”

While Twitter is just stating facts, and not responding to any misinformation this will probably cause a lot of claims of foul play. Twitter recently added a read before you Tweet disclaimer as a popup and made a lot people angry, for no clear reason.

James Bond Film ‘No Time to Die’ Explored $600 Million Sale to Streaming Service, say sources

Streaming is here, and stream is a big damn deal. According to Variety Apple, Netflix and other streaming services explored the possibility of acquiring the upcoming James Bond film. The film was originally set to debut in April 2019, but the film’s release has been postponed multiple times. Streaming is the future in a Covid19 world, but production is going to be hard.

YouTube revamps its mobile apps with gestures like swiping up for full-screen and expands video chapters by adding lists with chapter preview images

In a blog post today, YouTube clarified recent updates to mobile YouTube,. The video playback page is now “streamlined” with a more accessible closed captions button, this after YouTube did away with community-driven captions. The site has added a switch to toggle autoplay directly from the video controls, and a few other things. The company says some buttons are also being re-arranged to “simplify” the design, the new comments section is still a dumpster fire, and YouTube will likely never change back or acknowledge a mistake.