Weekend takeaway: 10 tech stories you need to read right now

3 Apr 2015

Ten nuggets of knowledge to take away for the weekend, including Netflix plans the return of House of Cards for a fourth season, BBC releases Dr Who as a bitTorrent and Coolest Projects 2015.

1. House of Cards will be returning for a fourth season

House of Cards is Netflix’s first and, perhaps, biggest self-produced hit, and the video-streaming service isn’t putting its prized stud out to pasture just yet.

Netflix has renewed the political drama for a fourth season, with production scheduled to begin this summer for a 2016 release.

The most recent series premiered on 27 February and, like the previous two seasons, all 13 episodes were released simultaneously.

In its first season, House of Cards – which depicts the career of Kevin Spacey’s Machiavellian politician Frank Underwood – received nine nominations in the 2013 Emmy Awards, becoming the first original online-only web television series to receive major nods. Last year, the series received a further 13 nominations.

2. Silicon Valley leaders vow no tech jobs for states that create anti-LGBT laws

Some 54 of Silicon Valley’s most senior leaders have signed a joint statement to legislators voicing their protest at the growing trend of new laws in various states of the US that discriminate against LGBT people.

3. SnapChat bans third-party apps, releases first transparency report

Popular ephemeral social network Snapchat has cracked down on third-party services that tap into its data. The company is all grown up, too, having released its first transparency report.

4. Dyson invested €343m to develop latest digital motor

Dyson has invested more than €343m to develop the new 110,000rpm patented digital V6 motor that powers its newest cordless vacuums, the company revealed.

5. Coolest Projects 2015 will be the best one yet – co-founder Noel King

Speaking at the launch of this year’s CoderDojo Coolest Projects Awards for 2015, Noel King said the awards have given hundreds of kids a platform to succeed that wouldn’t have been available otherwise.

6. BBC releases Dr Who collection as a legal BitTorrent

The BBC is releasing a box set of Dr Who episodes via BitTorrent, the peer-to-peer file-sharing technology used almost exclusively for pirating media.

7. Twitter reshuffles European management – Stephen McIntyre becomes VP of online and reseller sales

The managing director of Twitter’s Irish operations Stephen McIntyre has been appointed vice-president of online and reseller sales for EMEA as part of a reorganisation of Twitter’s European management team.

8. EU prepares to fire up war machine against Google in anti-trust case

The EU’s competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager is setting the stage for an anti-trust trial against Google. She is seeking permission from companies that have filed complaints to publish confidential information.

9. Riff rolling – Facebook’s new app aims to revolutionise viral video creation

Facebook has revealed a stunning new app called Riff that lets users crowdsource video creation. The app will compete with Twitter’s Vine and Snapchat’s Stories apps.

10. ESA plans to test planetary asteroid defence system in 2020

With so many dangers existing in the wider solar system from asteroids, the European Space Agency (ESA) is attempting to ensure our future survival with a planetary defence system due for testing in 2020.

Easter Eggs image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years