United States Cedes Control of the Internet, Gawker Is Shutting Down… Tech News Digest

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The U.S. Government cedes control of the internet, Gawker calls it a day, Twitter tries to get better, Amazon launches a Product Hunt section, and how to play Pac-Man with a dog.

ICANN Takes Control of the Internet

The U.S. Government is ceding control of the internet’s Domain Naming System (DNS), handing complete control over to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). For the past 20 years, ICANN has been under the control of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), but that’s all set to change on October 1st.

ICANN, a non-profit organization which has been responsible for domain names and web addresses since its inception in 1998, will now be administered by a body comprising representatives from a host of countries and companies. ICANN will, however, remain based in Los Angeles.

There were concerns from some quarters that this move will lead to foreign governments interfering in the way the internet works. However, the internet is a global network that encompasses every country in the world, so it was never particularly fair to have the United States in charge anyway.

The change, which has been in the works since 2014, is unlikely to affect end users at all. The U.S. Government rarely interfered in the affairs of ICANN, and when it did — most recently being against the .xxx top-level domain for pornographic websites — ICANN ignored it. So this is more of a behind-the-scenes gesture than anything.

Say Goodbye to Gawker

Gawker.com will soon be no more, with the high-profile gossip site with a penchant for digging up dirt on famous people shutting down next week. The reason being that while Univision was happy to pay Nick Denton $135 million for other Gawker properties — Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku etc, — no one was willing to take on the poisoned chalice that Gawker had become.

So, why had Gawker become such a poisoned chalice? Because it published a video showing Hulk Hogan having sex with a friend’s wife. This led to Hogan suing Gawker, Denton, and others involved in the story, which meant Denton then had to sell the company to pay the damages owed to Hogan.

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The twist is, of course, that billionaire investor Peter Thiel bankrolled Hogan’s lawsuit against Gawker. Why? Because Gawker had previously outed Thiel for being gay, and the Facebook board member has held a grudge ever since. And it’s this freedom of the press angle which is why so many people have mixed feelings about the death of Gawker.

Twitter Helps You Filter Bad Tweets

Twitter is rolling out two features designed to help you improve your experience. The first is a notifications setting which allows you to limit which tweets trigger notifications. The second is a quality filter which lets you filter out bad content. Or at least that’s the theory. You can see the full details on these new features on the Twitter Blog.

It’s clear this is the first of many changes aimed at turning Twitter into a more agreeable service, with the ultimate aim being to get rid of the spam and harassment experienced by some users. And Twitter certainly needs to do something, as it’s failing to attract new users, leading many to believe its days are numbered.

Amazon Teams Up With Product Hunt

Amazon has launched a new section dedicated to selling products previously featured on Product Hunt. Featured on Product Hunt, as the section has been unimaginatively named, follows on from The Kickstarter Collection, which does the exact same thing for Kickstarter.

amazon-product-hunt-page

Only products which got the seal of approval on Product Hunt will make it into the collection. This means products that got upvoted by the Product Hunt community, which is widely regarded of being made up of tech influencers and taste-makers. In other words, people who know a good product when they see it.

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Recreating Pac-Man With a Cute Dog

And finally, Pac-Man is one of those iconic video games everyone has heard of, and most people have played. It stands up to scrutiny too, with the simple gameplay mechanics and rewarding learning curve meaning it has aged well. However, there’s one thing that would make Pac-Man better than ever… a dog. A cute, lovable, manic dog.

The canine in question is no ordinary dog though. He’s actually Twinkie, a Jack Russell Terrier who currently holds the record for popping 100 balloons in the fastest time. That time being just 39.08 seconds. No wonder he aced the challenge of beating a real-life version of Pac-Man, chomping the pills while (mostly) avoiding the ghosts. [H/T The Awesomer]

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

How do you feel about the U.S. no longer controlling of the internet? Will you miss Gawker? Or are you glad it’s shutting down? Will you be using Twitter’s new filters? Have you ever seen something on Product Hunt you have then bought? What other video games could animals recreate?

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.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Jan Persiel via Flickr

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