4 questions on every techie’s mind
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What’s iOS7.1 about? Is Facebook bringing ads to WhatsApp? What’s happening to the Bitcoin? Is a cloud computing war starting? WebMagazin gives answers to the questions on every tech geek’s mind right now.

Is it worth upgrading to iOS7.1?

Half a year after the launch of Apple’s iOS7, the new mobile operating system has achieved a successful adoption rate. Following a number of minor updates, Apple has now released the first significant update to its latest mobile operating system. If you haven’t already upgraded to iOS7.1, here’s a few reasons you might want to.

The “eyes-free” Carplay feature allows you to answer calls without touching or looking at the screen. Declining calls has become easier thanks to a new red decline circle that appears when your phone is ringing.

In addition to several minor design changes to the keyboard and music app, iOS7.1 features an improved slide to power off function, as well as a simpler way to clear notifications from the Notification Center.

You can read more about the iOS7.1 features over here.

iOS7.1 Update

Screenshot: iOS7

Is Facebook bringing ads to WhatsApp?

When Facebook bought Instagram, it calmly waited and watched the media debate “Will Facebook bring ads to Instagram?” Then a few months later once all the talk was over, Facebook brought ads to Instagram.

Is that same fate awaiting WhatsApp?

No, if you can believe CEO Jan Koum: “Here’s what will change for you, our users: nothing.” Defending the takeover in response to criticisms from privacy groups, Whatsapp has maintained its anti-advertising policy: „[WhatsApp] needs to keep this pledge to stop consumers seeking alternatives such as Telegram, Line and Wickr.“

WhatsApp collects nowhere near as much data as Facebook does. If WhatsApp were to want to make itself attractive to potential advertisers, would need to start harvesting more information about its users.

Koum had previously quoted Fight Club’s Tyler Durden in a public post on the company website:

„Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.“

Is the Bitcoin dying?

At the start of this year, many techies were kicking themselves in the feet for not having invested in Bitcoins. Since then, prices have plummeted, key players have been arrested for money laundering and 7% of the digital currency is still missing after the $446 million alleged theft from exchange agency Mt. Gox.

Some believe that the very liberties of the Bitcoin (anonymity, independence from the central bank) might well become their fatal flaw. Potential investors are scared of bad image, the insecurity and the resulting instability of digital currency.

But following last year’s demise of the Silk Road and this year’s crash, Bitcoin is still showing wider acceptance as a currency for everyday transactions. Numerous Bitcoin companies are being founded and some computing experts even claim there is hope of tracking down stolen bitcoins. With the New York financial regulator calling for regulated exchanges, it’s clear there is a significant interest in the success of this new currency.

Just like with emails in the ’90s, it will take time before users grow to trust a strange new medium like the Bitcoin.

Can Google’s GCE pose a threat to Amazon’s AWS?

When it comes to cloud computing, 2014 will be the year of price wars. In December last year, Google launched its infrastructure-as-a-service cloud, Google Compute Engine. Before then, there was no other cloud-computing platform big enough to take on Amazon Web Services.

Google Computer Engine

Screenshot: cloud.google.com

Although it is still unheard of to many webmasters, GCE’s 16-core instances, faster persistent disks and competitive pricing makes it the only viable pretender to the AWS cloud computing throne.

Google has already announced a price drop of 10% to compete with Amazon’s steady price reductions. Google Compute Engine might someday join the ranks of Google Buzz, Reader and most recently Currents. But for now, it looks like a cloud war is coming.

Feature image: young businessman writing with the computer keyboard via Shutterstock. Copyright: ollyy


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