Weekly News Roundup: Feb. 22-28, 2015

Net Neutrality:

I’m not usually a fan of using blanket statements or absolutes, but I feel pretty comfortable making this one: The biggest thing to happen in interactive news this week was the FCC’s vote on and approval of the Open Internet Order, i.e., net neutrality.

 

The Open Internet Order “[sets] forth clear, sustainable, enforceable rules to preserve and protect the open Internet as a place for innovation and free expression.” In a nutshell, this means that Internet service providers are required to be a neutral gateway for all Internet traffic and that traffic cannot be handled in different ways (read: speeds) or at different costs.


X-Rated Blogger Content:

In other Internet news, Google has decided to stop allowing X-rated content on Blogger sites.

 

Beginning March 23, users “won’t be able to publicly share images and video that are sexually explicit or show graphic nudity on Blogger.” Existing sites that still contain adult content by that date will be automatically set to “private,” making them only viewable to the site owners and those who have been specifically invited.


Google App Ads:

Another announcement made by Google this week: The company is now running ads in its app store, Google Play.

 

In order to expand revenue and compete in the growing app advertising market, Google has opened the Android-based Google Play store to developer advertisements. “Google, for its part, plans to roll out Google Play ads slowly…For now, they’re only available to a select group of advertisers, with plans to expand the platform in the coming months.”


Emoji Diversity:

This week, we finally got a good look at Apple’s long-promised diverse emojis.

 

Apple released 300 new emojis in the latest developer version of iOS 8.3. Due to popular demand—among other things—the new icons include a more diverse selection of emoji people. “The male and female faces, as well as thumbs up/thumbs down icons, will be available in the different colors. Other people emoji, such as princesses and construction workers, will also get more diverse options. Tapping and holding on an emoji person will bring up the new skin-tone variations.”


SXSW Comedy:

In SXSW news, the 2015 SXSW Comedy lineup was announced this week!

 

Running March 14-21, this year’s SXSW Comedy boasts some big names, including: Nick Kroll, Amy Schumer, and Judd Apatow. “Over the last eight years, SXSW Comedy has hosted hundreds of acclaimed performers and united some of the world’s brightest comics with film and media icons.”