Our weekly roundup of the top news stories in the world of tech for the week beginning February 8th, 2016.
Twitter’s new timeline algorithm divides users
Twitter users got their knickers in a twist at the tail end of last week, following news that the social network was planning to implement a new algorithm that would reorder tweets based on relevance and popularity.
The most obvious departure from Twitter as we know it was the move away from a truly chronological stream of tweets, but members on the team working on the feature have explained that in testing, even when users said they didn’t want such functionality, they demonstrated a need for it.
The new algorithm is now in place, expanding on the “while you were away” experience which Twitter introduced last year, designed to catch you up on the most important posts since you last checked the service. Refreshing your feed reverts it back to the typical reverse-chronological experience we’re all used to, but if you still don’t like the changes, you can opt out for the time being. Find out more here.
Google finally fixed the Pixel C’s biggest issues
The Google Pixel C is the company’s latest attempt at a stock Android tablet and contrary to the Nexus program, this one was designed in-house by the same team responsible for the Pixel Chromebook laptop.
It’s a slick, powerful piece of hardware, but at launch the experience was completely marred by unacceptably buggy software. Thankfully as of last week Google pushed out an update that not only sorted out the tablet’s exceptionally laggy touchscreen experience, but also ironed out the patchy Bluetooth connection it shared with its dedicated hardware keyboard. Thank you Google. Find out more here.
Amazon just launched a free game engine for all
On Tuesday it unveiled Amazon Lumberyard, a AAA game development engine built with tight integration to the company’s own AWS cloud computing infrastructure and game streaming network, Twitch. The real kicker however is that the creation tools, the engine and even the source code are open and free to use or modify, with users only paying for the AWS (Amazon Web Services) that they use. It’s an interesting direction for the company and only time will tell whether Lumberyard has the chops to take on the likes of Unreal and Unity. Find out more here.
The Internet bullied Tim Cook into deleting a blurry photo
In case you missed it, last Sunday saw the final of Super Bowl 50, with the Denver Broncos taking down the Carolina Panthers 24 – 10. However the tech community was more interested in the blurry photo Apple CEO Tim Cook posted to Twitter during the event’s closing celebrations.
The poorly taken snap shows the field, confetti and thousands of punters in the stands skirting Levi’s Stadium, but it’s pretty poor and naturally, when you’re the CEO of the company that produces one of the most popular cameras on the planet, a blurry photo isn’t really something you want to share around.
Twitter users poked fun at the image, playing on the international ‘Shot on and iPhone’ marketing campaign that Apple is currently running, designed to highlight the imaging abilities of the company’s signature smartphone. After continued harassment Cook chose to actually remove the tweet with the offending photo completely, most likely as a means of stemming the flow of notifications from trolls.
Grammycams will livestream the awards from the trophy’s perspective
If the popularity of Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie is anything to go by, people love getting a celebs-eye-view of awards ceremonies and with that in mind it’s no wonder that specially rigged statuettes are going to be handed out at the 58th annual Grammys on February 15th in Los Angeles.
Winners will be handed ‘Grammycams’ on stage which will look like their traditional counterparts, save for an embedded GoPro in the base which will livestream the event. The celebs won’t actually be able to take their Grammycam home and instead will have it swapped out for a propper Grammy award before they leave. Nonetheless it’s an interesting implementation of livestreaming that gives viewers a truly unique perspective on the ceremony. Find out more here.
Read next: Best smartphones for awesome selfies
Tile brings its signature Bluetooth trackers to the UK
If you’ve ever misplaced your keys or your wallet/purse only to find them two days later wedged down the back of the sofa, you might like Tile. The US-based company made headlines following its Kickstarter success, when it raised over $2.6 million back in 2013. Whilst we’re not entirely sure what caused the long hold-up however, the company’s nifty little Bluetooth trackers have finally landed in the UK.
Tiles are self-contained Bluetooth based trackers that have an integrated battery which the company says should last at least a year (after which you can pay for a new replacement with upgraded functionality at a reduced cost). Each one sells for £19.99 from Amazon and Firebox or you can buy a pack of four for £49.99.
The hook is that even if you’re out of your Tile’s 100-foot range, you can recruit every other user with the Tile app to help find your stuff and their device doesn’t even let them know that it’s searching for a lost Tile. Stay tuned for a full review and in the meantime you can find out more here.
Recombu’s own Rory Reid announced as newest Top Gear host
Top Gear presenters new and old have once again been stealing headlines, with shock news that ex-Friends star Matt LeBlanc is set to co-host alongside Chris Evans, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Come Thursday the BBC revealed the full roster of new TG hosts, including Recombu’s very own Rory Reid.
Rory will be joining Eddie Jordan, Chris Harris, Sabine Schmitz and, of course, The Stig to complete, as Evans put it, “the magnificent seven.” He’ll no doubt bring the same passion, charisma and hilarity that can already be found in spades from his work on Recombu Cars. But don’t worry, he’ll still be at the helm of Recombu too. Find out more here.