Welcome to BitStream, a new(ish) news roundup about all the awesome bits of information that may have slipped your radar. Here's what you missed this weekend.
Technology's Super Bowl soothsayers
So, the Super Bowl was yesterday (Did you hear?) and though the ads were flowing and amazing catches and stupid play calls were happening on the regular, those weren't even the most amazing things that happened last night. No, those minor miracles belong to Madden NFL 2015 and Cortana.
Earlier in the week, Microsoft's Cortana, calling on its data-crunching muse known as Bing Predicts, foretold that the Patriots would squeeze by with the W with the score of 24 to 23. Cortana nailed the winner all right, and even the fact that the game would be quite the nailbiter.
But even Cortana couldn't match Madden 2015's creepy/borderline suspicious game prediction, calling the team, the player with the winning touchdown, and the exact score. Our friends at Kotaku pointed out NFL '15's amazing feat of educated guessing. Conspiracy theorist alert: did EA somehow tell the Seahawks to run that game-ending slant option?
The plot thickens. [Kotaku]
Another blog bites the dust
Following in the extinction footsteps of its AOL blog partner Joystiq, the company's Apple blog, TUAW, will also be closes down shop. The website's finally day will be tomorrow, Feb.3, and rumors say that these two blogs will be folded into AOL's most reputable gadget site, Engadget.
TUAW is a specialized blog in an area that sees lots of competition from sites like iMore and 9to5Mac. Hopefully, all these wonderful writers find a happy home as AOL is clearly ditching its blog-centric media approach for something else entirely. What that "something" is it's hard to tell.
The new Outlook app is great...if you're a hacker
Security researchers are throwing a wrench in the "omg this app is great" hype machine, saying Microsoft's new Outlook app, basically a rebrand of the already popular Acompli app, fails to follow basic security measures for most companies, according to ZDNet. The biggest issue is Microsoft servers acting as some kind of "man-in-the-middle" during email exchanges, says Tom's Hardware, and the app's tendency to store unauthorized information in the cloud.
The current solution? Don't let the app access your work's servers, or, you know, don't use it at all until it's fixed. [ZDNet]
- A new design leak for the upcoming S6 shows the upcoming flagship's possible contours...and it looks like a phone. [SamMobile]
- A user agent profile leaks that LG's G4 may come with a 3K screen. Possibly bullshit, but LG is known for adopting pixel-dense displays. [GSM Arena]
- Remember Ouya, the little game console that couldn't? Well, a possible investment by Alibaba could see the console getting a second life in Asia. [The Wall Street Journal]
- The Galaxy Note 4 is still waiting for the Google's Lollipop update, but the real culprit for the delay could be Samsung's Gear VR. [Talk Android]
- Amazon's Echo gets major updates now being able control iTunes, Spotify, and Pandora with just your voice. Thank you, Alexa. [Engadget]
- Toshiba accepts defeat concerning its television business in the U.S. With such a small presence at CES, this move wasn't completely unexpected. [The Wall Street Journal]
- At IFA, Microsoft showed new phones, sure. But there was this AWESOME glowing charging plate, and now it's finally available. [Phonedog]
Your Apps, Updated
- iTunes 12.1 patch, the biggest update since iTunes 12, brings much-needed notification settings to iTunes, making it feel at home in Yosemite. [PC Mag]
- WhatsApp will (most likely) be pushing out a huge update to some users on Monday by allowing in-app voice calling, killing the traditional dialer even more. [Phone Arena]