Tech News

Launching The Google Hardware Store, Play Cards Against Humanity Online [tech News Digest]

The new Google Store, Cards Against Humanity, extended iTunes downtime, an updated Chromebook Pixel, Jay Z starts streaming, and the notion of a troll-free Internet.

Google Launches the Google Store


Google is serious enough about hardware at this point that it has launched a dedicated online store packed full of branded devices. All Google hardware will now be available to purchase from the Google Store, having previously been consigned to a small part of Google Play.

In launching Google Store, the company stated, “You can shop Nexus phones and tablets, Chromecast and Chromebooks, learn more about newer technology like Android Wear, Nexus Player and Nest, and stock up on accessories like cases, keyboards and chargers.

The Google Store looks fantastic, with large images and clear overviews of each product. Products which include the new Chromebook Pixel (see below) but not the Nexus 5, which has been jettisoned in favor of the Nexus 6.

Play Cards Against Humanity Online

Those with a penchant for funny-yet-offensive games can now play Cards Against Humanity online for free thanks to designer Dawson Whitfield. He has launched a browser-based version of the game called Cards Against Originality, which requires no installs and works across all devices and platforms that can connect to the Web.

Those in the know could already play a Cards Against Humanity clone called Pretend You’re Xyzzy, but Whitfield’s version is a lot simpler and smoother. It also only includes the official CAD deck and the expansion packs. Which all means you can play Cards Against Humanity without having to lug the physical cards around with you.

Cards Against Originality is entirely unofficial, which means it could get taken down at any moment. In fact, it’s down for me at the time of writing, but that’s probably (fingers crossed) because of the level of interest in the game rather than any legal challenges.

App Store & iTunes Suffer Downtime

Apple suffered an embarrassing (and potentially very costly) day yesterday when both iTunes and the App Store went down for around 11 hours. They’re both now back up and running, with Apple blaming “an internal DNS error.

Downtime as lengthy as this is damaging for any website or business, but with Apple bringing in such humongous profits, this will have cost the company millions of dollars. It also makes Apple’s slogan of, “It just works,” look absolutely ridiculous.

Google Unveils New Chromebook Pixel

Google has unveiled the new Chromebook Pixel, an update which makes the machine a more viable option than the previous model. The cheaper version costs $999 and gets you an Intel Core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD. The $1,299 version gets you an Intel Core i7 with 16GB of RAM and a 64GB SSD.

Aesthetically, the new Chromebook Pixel is virtually identical to the old one. However, with a 12-hour battery life (compared to five hours on the old model), a fast-charging mode, and two USB Type-C ports (one more than the new Apple MacBook), there are other clear improvements.

Whether it’s worth the money still depends on your attitude to Chromebooks in general. And the depth of your pockets.

Jay Z Buys Music Streaming Services

Rapper Jay Z now officially owns Aspiro, the Swedish company responsible for music streaming services Tidal and WiMP. Jay Z paid $56 million for Aspiro after shareholders finally agreed to accept the deal brokered in January. So renegotiating isn’t one of the 99 problems troubling Beyonce’s husband.

It isn’t yet clear what Jay Z hopes to do with Tidal and WiMP, but both services are currently aimed at audiophiles thanks to featuring the lossless FLAC format and curated playlists. They’re also currently only available in six European countries and boast around half a million subscribers.

A Troll-Free Web Would Be Boring

And finally, the Internet is full of negativity and nastiness, of trolls and troublemakers, of sarcasm and swearing. And yet if we had the opportunity to remove all of those elements in order to transform the Web into a non-offensive utopia, how many of us would actually do so?

YouTuber Tom Scott imagines how this would play out, with an imaginary product called the Bubble filtering out anything to which you’re likely to react badly. It’s an interesting idea, and one which has made me appreciate the idiots that live online alongside the rest of us just a little more. [H/T Gizmodo]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will you be playing Cards Against Humanity online? Did the extended iTunes and App Store downtime adversely affect you? Would you enjoy the Internet more or less with the negativity removed?

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.

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