Weekend Wrap-Up: Google Buys Songza; Facebook Messes With Newsfeeds for Science
It’s Sunday, and you know what that means — time to get caught up with our Weekend Wrap-Up, where we summarize the big tech stories from the past week.
During the week of a holiday, news typically slows down. When that holiday falls on a Friday and sets up a (rather glorious) three-day weekend, news gets even slower. We didn’t have any major happenings occur this time around, but we’ve still found four news items that you ought to know heading into the coming week.
Google Buys Songza
Google may have a streaming music service of its own (in the ridiculously titled “Google Play Music All Access”), but that didn’t stop the company from acquiring another service. The company Google snatched up was Songza, which will remain operational for the time being. Over the next several months, though, Google plans on implementing some of the best Songza features into Google Play Music All Access. Will Songza remain online after that? My bet is no, though stranger things have happened.
Facebook Messes with Newsfeeds for Science
I can’t say I’ve been a fan of Facebook’s approach to the Newsfeed. I’m friends with people I want to keep up with, and I’d rather not have an algorithm deciding what is and isn’t interesting enough. It seems that Facebook hasn’t just been trying to filter content for you, though — news broke this week that, back in 2012, Facebook was actively manipulating what showed up in user Newsfeeds to try and make them either happy or sad. The company tracked what was posted after someone viewed a positive or negative post and compiled that data for a report titled, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks.” Predictably, users are not pleased, and Facebook is busy dealing with the fallout.
Microsoft Has Axed the Surface Mini, Says Report
Remember when we all thought the Surface Pro 3 was going to be a Surface Mini? Good times. The device we wound up seeing was a lot bigger than what we’d expected, and it seems that’s because Microsoft is worried about competing in the small tablet space. A report from this past week states that Microsoft sees too much competition in the 7-inch tablet market, and as a result, has pulled the plug on the Surface Mini. The lack of a Microsoft product won’t hurt those who are looking for a small Windows tablet, however; plenty of companies are selling them.
Apple Reportedly Brings Former TAG Heuer Executive On Board
Either Apple is building an iWatch, or Apple is hiring a bunch of people experienced with watches, fashion and fitness in order to troll us. In all seriousness, Apple has reportedly brought on a watch man — former TAG Heuer executive Patrick Pruniaux — in order to work on that project that we aren’t being told anything about. TAG Heuer is a well-respected luxury watch brand, and if Apple has indeed landed Pruniaux, it’s a hire that points pretty strongly toward the existence of an iWatch. This definitely won’t be the last you hear about Apple’s smart timepiece, so stay tuned.
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