this is the end times, the last cached, the last 404 page, for Internet Explorer.
Microsoft finally discontinued its much-maligned web browser on June 15, when it announced it would stop supporting the software on Windows 10 devices. Fragments of the Internet Explorer shell will still exist in Microsoft’s Edge browser to support any ancient website built for IE. If someone was using Internet Explorer on a desktop running Windows 7 or 8, it would still work, but Microsoft has not supported the software for years.
Not many people will mourn the demise of the browser. It was the unpopular U2 album of the era, stuffed into every Windows computer sold in the early days, whether you wanted it or not. Internet Explorer is a hacker’s gold mine, riddled with countless security holes. It doesn’t help that Microsoft has been slow to update browsers to deal with such threats.
Some updates are better than none, though. Now, even if Internet Explorer dies, it may still be a problem for those who still stick with it. Like the lingering security concerns in the zombie remnants of Adobe Flash Player, the specter of Internet Explorer may not be completely gone.
Here are some other news from the consumer tech space.
Ford recalls some electric vehicles
This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recalled the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle, citing a battery problem that could cause the vehicle to stall. The problem comes from overheating the battery, which can short out certain functions and prevent the car from starting or just kill the engine on the go. Ford is already having trouble producing electric vehicles due to supply chain shortages, and now NHTSA says the recall could affect 48,924 vehicles.
Meta is loaded with TikTok
This week, The Verge reported on a leaked memo from Meta that suggested Facebook plans to change its algorithm to mimic TikTok. That means doubling down on Facebook’s TikTik video clone, Reels, and prioritizing the “discovery engine” that shows you content, no matter where it comes from. That’s a sharp departure from Facebook’s 2018 shift, when it said its algorithms would prioritize posts from friends over retweets to encourage “more meaningful social interactions.” Now that TikTok has become a shiny and sticky social media behemoth, all those positive thoughts seem to have disappeared for Facebook. Now, it wants to share as much as possible. (For those who need it, we’ve prepared instructions on how to delete your Facebook account.)
In another app battleground, Instagram is also testing a new full-screen TikTok-like video feed that will highlight Reels posts instead of regular posts. Meanwhile, TikTok is now tinkering with a LinkedIn-style feature that tells users which followers have viewed their posts.
WhatsApp is everywhere
If you wish to switch from an Android phone to an iPhone, now you can import all your WhatsApp messages too. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the feature in a Facebook post on Tuesday. You’ll need to use the Move to iOS app, which technically only works with factory reset iPhones, but at least it works for now. Users can transfer contacts, messages and media between phones. Since last October, you’ve been able to switch from iPhone to Android, thus completing the cycle. The feature is in beta mode right now, but should be more widely available next week.
streaming Gadget Lab
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by the sheer amount of content you can watch on a streaming service? Wherever you go, there’s a new show on a different service, and the whole internet is suddenly talking about it. But a lot of times, you find yourself streaming content that doesn’t do any good.
This week on WIRED Gadget Lab Podcaster, Senior Editor Angela Watercutter and Senior Writer Kate Knibbs join the show to discuss the complexities of streaming and what the future might look like. Kate and Angela also contributed to this week’s story pack “Why We Hate Streaming”.