Twitter web gets cleaner look

TechCrunch reports that Twitter is testing a new look for its website.

Alone, those changes add up to a cleaner, more modern look for the site, but there are a few other significant changes, too. That includes the new prominent placement of the Twitter logo, which also occupies a prime seat in the middle of the navigation bar in the current design, but which is just slightly visible via different shading (it’s essentially darker grey on dark grey). There’s also a new compose window at the top of the main Twitter feed, which harkens back to earlier versions of the UI, and supplements the compose button in the top right corner of the navigation bar, which remains in place.

It looks more like small tweaks of the current look.

Waze joins Instagram on Windows Phone

Instagram and Waze on the same day? Today is definitely a good day for Windows Phone users.

Waze Arrives on Windows Phone!

It’s official! After much anticipation, Waze is now available for download on Windows Phone! We are extremely excited to be available on the platform, and look forward to helping many new Wazers outsmart traffic.

Windows Phone finally gets Instagram

It’s here. Windows Phone users rejoice.

Introducing Instagram for Windows Phone

Today, we’re excited to bring you Instagram for Windows Phone.

New Nexus Wireless Charger reviewed

As an owner of the LG WCP-300 wireless charger myself, which I use with my Nexus 4, I must say that I love wireless charging. It’s a feature that is very underrated.

The Nexus Wireless Charger (2013)

The charger itself is stylish enough to keep out when you’re not actually charging something, though the glossy face (with the Nexus logo subtly peeking through) does attract fingerprints like nobody’s business. And as an added bonus, it works through the official Nexus cases as well.

I do disagree with the final sentence of the review, though. As the review itself mentioned, and many people have noticed, the original Nexus wireless orb charger was horrible, so the “Nexus” brand itself doesn’t mean that a product is good.

And it’s way better than the much-maligned Nexus 4 Wireless Charger. You can get Qi-compatible chargers for cheaper, we suppose. But this one says Nexus. So you know it’s good.

Winamp presses stop

Growing up, Winamp was synonymous with digital music, though it eventually fell behind the pack. If you’re feeling nostalgic, Ars has an excellent article on Winamp that I highly recommend.

After 15 Years Of Whipping The Llama’s Ass, Winamp Shuts Down

Winamp is shutting down. The website and all of Winamp’s web services will shut down on December 20 and the desktop player will no longer be available for download.

Wikipedia battles PR company offering paid editing services on site

I totally advocate entrepreneurial efforts, but I don’t think that trying to undermine the integrity of Wikipedia is the right way to do it.

Wikipedia Sends Cease-And-Desist Letter to 300-Strong Sockpuppet Army

Wikipedia has been battling the sockpuppet army since 2012, when one editor discovered five editor accounts being used for fluffy, PR-type writing that is not supposed to appear on Wikipedia. More than 250 accounts, allegedly controlled by Wiki-PR, have since been deleted.

Wiki-PR charges between $500 and $1,000 to have articles written and then $50 a month for ongoing “page management” services.

Cupid Media Dating Website hack exposes 42 million plaintext passwords

With reports of security breaches becoming increasingly common, it’s pretty insane (and downright irresponsible) to store user passwords in plaintext.

On related security news, GitHub has also been resetting passwords for many user accounts as there has been a significant account hijack attack launched on the site.

Hack of Cupid Media dating website exposes 42 million plaintext passwords

The compromise of 42 million passwords makes the episode one of the bigger passcode breaches on record. Adding to the magnitude is the revelation the data was in plaintext, instead of a cryptographically hashed format that requires an investment of time, skill, and computing power to crack.

Gaming company fined for turning gaming machines into Bitcoin drones

With Bitcoin’s value fluctuating wildly, not to mention hitting some incredible highs, it’s not surprising that some engineers will decide that illegitimately mined Bitcoins are the way to go.

Gaming Company Fined $1M for Turning Customers Into Secret Bitcoin Army

E-Sports Entertainment Association (ESEA) — which lets serious CounterStrike players face each other down in anti-cheat modes — infected about 14,000 of its customers with the code, which ended up mining about 30 bitcoins over two weeks last spring.

Pencil by FiftyThree is a beautiful stylus

I already own a Wacom Bamboo and Adonit Jot and I’ve been drooling over the Adonit Jot Evernote edition stylus recently, but this is the stylus I want for Christmas.

Putting Pencil to Paper: FiftyThree debuts the best iPad stylus yet

Today, the company has finally thrown its hat in the ring with Pencil, a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) stylus for tablets. FiftyThree’s first hardware device ships today in two models: walnut hardwood, for $59.95, and aluminum “graphite,” for $49.95. The walnut model has built-in magnets, like the Applydea Maglus, so you can stick it to an Apple Smart Cover, or to your fridge. Each Pencil also has an “eraser” on its top, so when you flip it over, Paper automatically activates its eraser tool. The device comes with an extra tip and eraser, and also ships with Paper’s full range of digital brushes, like the watercolor brush, which usually retail for $1.99 each (or $6.99 as a pack) inside the app.

Apple invests heavily in solar power

Environmentalists will love the fact that Apple is moving in this direction. While large companies like Facebook and Google are looking into it as well, not forgetting that Facebook is building a data center in Iowa that will be fully powered by wind energy, it’s good to see Apple take such an initiative.

Special report: Apple’s ground-breaking bet on its clean energy infrastructure, with exclusive photos

In an unprecedented move — and one that hasn’t yet been repeated by other companies — Apple spent millions of dollars building two massive solar panel farms and a large fuel cell farm near its data center. These projects and are now fully operational and similar facilities (owned by utilities) have cost in a range of $150 million to $200 million to build. Apple’s are the largest privately-owned clean energy facilities in the U.S. and more importantly, they represent an entirely new way for an internet company to source and think about power.

One of the quirky parks of this setup is how Apple is going to keep the grass trimmed nicely.

Apple manages the grass under the panels in a variety of ways, but one of those is a little more unusual. Apple works with a company that ropes in sheep that eat the grass on a portion of the solar farm; when the sheep finish grazing on one spot, they’re moved to the next.

It’s a more sustainable option than running gas-powered mowers across the farm, and also has the added benefit that sheep can get into smaller spaces and up close to the panels. Some companies use goats to eat grass on plots of land, but goats could chew on the farm’s wiring and solar panel parts.