Weekly Wrap

We've got a plethora of articles this week discussing everything from Google's shock restructure, to Benedict Cumberbatch's social media plea. 

Why Google — and Larry Page — created their own Alphabet


With the launch of its new holding company, Alphabet, Google is trying its hardest not to be Microsoft. And Chief Executive Officer Larry Page is signaling that he does not want to be Bill Gates.

The software startup that Gates founded morphed into a tech giant and gradually took over nearly every computer desktop in the world. Its core products — Windows, still the dominant desktop operating system, and productivity software like Office, which made computers invaluable to office workers — minted money. With this cash flow, Microsoft funded a research arm that attracted the smartest engineers and scientists looking to do blue-sky projects.


Facebook cancels internship after student reveals privacy-busting Messenger 'bug'


Aran Khanna, the Harvard student who disclosed Facebook Messenger's location-spaffing qualities, had his internship offer withdrawn by Zuckerberg and Co because he – not they – had failed to appropriately consider users' privacy expectations.

Khanna, a computer science student at Harvard, wrote a Chrome extension which exploited Facebook Messenger's inadvertent ability to reveal users' location data back in May. 


Say goodbye to Twitter's 140-character limit for Direct Messages


You know the situation. You want to send your mate a Direct Message on Twitter, but you've got a lot to say for yourself and you run out of...

...characters. So you have to do it in two or three chunks - well not any more. The social network's removing the 140-character limit on private messages to let users "express themselves" more freely.


Twitter reveals British data requests more than doubled in last six months


The number of requests for Twitter user data made by British authorities has more than doubled in the last six months, , figures reveal.

Police and government agencies asked for information about users 299 times from 1 January to 30 June. This was up from 116 in the previous six months and more than the total for the whole of the previous two years.


Vine could soon let you add music to videos in app


It feels like a long-overlooked feature, but Vine could be about to give users a way to layer a music track over their six-second looping videos.

As you can see in the clip (marked “Test”) from Twitter’s UK Director Bruce Daisley below, there’s certainly a track playing and it’s not jumping between cuts, so it’s not insanely loud music playing in the room either.

Benedict Cumberbatch filming plea is essential in a Periscope and Meerkat era


In an era where live streaming is becoming mainstream via Periscope and Meerkat, Adam Rendle, senior associate in the trade marks, copyright and media group at law firm Taylor Wessing, argues that Benedict Cumberbatch could be the person to drive important debate around intellectual property rights.


YouTube Live Broadcast announced, ready to beat Periscope and Meerkat


Google has just introduced YouTube Live Broadcast. It's a new special feature on the recently announced Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5 from Samsung. So it's another live streaming platform but making it different from the other available programs out there is the fact that anyone can simply watch a live broadcast on YouTube without having to download a special app. The videos are beamed from a mobile device straight privately or publicly to people by only accessing a YouTube page.