Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tech News Updates

Swiss Drones Deliver Mail, Valve Sells Steam Mods, & More… [Tech News Digest]

By Dave Parrack
Swiss delivery drones, Valve sells mods, Apple bans farting, Jay Z defends Tidal, Silent Hills goes silent, and HTC is the cure to Apple’s iOS operating system.

Switzerland Tests Delivery Drones

Drones will be delivering packages to homes this summer, with the Swiss postal service, Swiss Post, using a company called Matternet to carry out early tests. According to TechCrunch, this is being treated as a proof of concept “to clarify the legal framework, consider local conditions and explore the technical and business capabilities of the drones.”
Matternet will be using its ONE drones to deliver the packages to homes in Switzerland. These drones can carry packages weighing up to 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) about 20 kilometers on a single charge. Which is actually rather limiting, but still workable in certain areas. Matternet has experience piloting drones in real-world situations, having already used the tech to deliver medicine and supplies in Haiti.
Amazon made headlines around the world when, in 2013, it announced it was developing a drone delivery service, but the company has been quiet on the progress of the project ever since. Then, in 2014, Google revealed Project Wing, which comprises a fleet of autonomous drones designed to deliver goods in the future. 
So, one way or another, drones are here to stay… unless they get shot down for flying too close to the homes of paranoid Americans.

Valve Opens Up the Modding Market

Video Is Very NSFW!
Game developer Valve has opened up the modding community, allowing modders to sell their creations to other gamers. Mods (modifications) are changes to games that add something new or different to the original title. But until now they have been available for free, with the modders being awarded free downloads for their efforts.
Now, modders can charge what they want for these modifications, with Valve offering 25 percent of the revenues to the people responsible for them. The other 75 percent will be split between Valve and the studio which originally made the game in question. This monetization of the modding community has gone down about as well as a wet fart in a crowded elevator.
We’ll be covering both sides of this debate in greater depth over the next few days. So, keep your eyes peeled on our Gaming section for full coverage.

Apple Bans Fart Apps From Apple Watch

Apple has effectively banned fart apps from appearing on the Apple Watch, as revealed when the company rejected the creatively named Fart Watch. The rejection note, as obtained by Cult of Mac, states, “We noticed that your Apple Watch app is primarily a fart app. We do not accept fart apps on Apple Watch.”
This seems something of a shame, because, while most of us are obviously too sensible to install a fart app to any device (!!!), they’re surely only a bit of harmless fun. Unless that’s the problem… Apple is intent on banning fun. And joy, And any form of happiness. Unless it’s Apple-branded iHappiness.

Jay Z Defends Tidal in Tweetstorm

Jay Z has defended Tidal, his newly relaunched music streaming service, in a tweetstorm comprising more than a dozen individual tweets. Jay Z relaunched Tidal at the beginning of April, roping in a number of richer-than-God musicians to help him. Unfortunately, things didn’t really go according to plan, as most music fans saw through the BS being spouted on stage.
The tweetstorm revealed that Tidal now has “over 770,000 subs,” that Jay Z believes “big companies .. are spending millions on a smear campaign,” and that “Tidal pays 75% royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers.”
Does Tidal deserve a second chance? Possibly, but that #TIDALforALL video really isn’t doing the company any favors.

Silent Hills Has Probably Been Canceled

Video Is Very NSFW!
It looks as though Silent Hills has been cancelled, with various people associated with the game strongly suggesting this is the case. Silent Hills is the Silent Hill reboot being made by Hideo Kojima and Guillermo del Toro, but its future is now in serious doubt.
It’s being reported that when asked about Silent Hillsdel Toro declared, “It’s not gonna happen and that breaks my greasy heart.” Meanwhile, Norman Reedus, who was set to star in the game, tweeted, “Super bummed about this was really looking forward to it. Hopefully it’ll come back around. Sorry everyone.”
There’s a chance this is a promotional campaign for the game, designed to up the publicity midway through development, but that seems unlikely. What we do know is that P.T., the horrifying playable teaser for the game, is being pulled from the PlayStation Store on April 29, so be sure to download it before it disappears. And then enjoy the nightmares that follow.

HTC Treats iOS Like an Illness

And finally, HTC thinks you may be suffering from a condition it calls, “Bi-Phonal Displeasure Disorder,” which takes the form of either “Samsung Affective Disorder (SAD)” or “Irritable Operating System (IOS)” depending on which phone you currently own.
You could tackle this horrible illness by taking a (completely made-up) drug called Cellami. However, according to the company there is only one real cure… the HTC One M9. Oh, it’s an ad. How disappointing. Still, as far as poking fun at your competitors goes, this is rather amusing. [H/T CNET]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will drones ever actually be used to deliver parcels? Has Valve serious misjudged the mood when it comes to selling mods? Will you be giving Tidal a second chance after reading Jay Z’s passionate tweetstorm?
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: Joe Loong via Flickr source: www.makeuseof.com

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