The Digest: Apple names top apps… and 4 other things people are talking about today

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Apple names its top apps of 2014; Uber makes the cut | Mashable

“Apple compiled its annual list of what it considers to be the year’s most standout apps, with categories ranging from ‘best apps’ to ‘best games’. Some notable inclusions are Yahoo News Digest, Facebook’s Paper and the SwiftKey Keyboard app. With iOS 8, which debuted in September, Apple allowed iPhone users to pick alternative keyboard options from third-party developers; SwiftKey was quickly heralded as one of the best.”

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YouTube offering its stars bonuses | The Wall Street Journal

“Google’s YouTube unit is racing to lock up its top stars as rival online video services court them aggressively. Facebook and video startup Vessel, among others, have tried to lure YouTube creators to their services in recent months, according to people familiar with the discussions. In response, Google is offering some of its top video makers bonuses to sign multiyear deals in which they agree to post content exclusively on YouTube for a time before putting it on a rival service.”

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Hackers demanded monetary compensation from Sony before cyber attack | Variety

“An email sent to Sony Pictures chiefs Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal has emerged in which monetary compensation was demanded days before the studio was crippled in a cyber attack. ‘We’ve got great damage by Sony Pictures,’ writes ‘GodsApstls’ in the message that was sent Novembr 21, with the subject line: Notice to Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc. ‘The compensation for it, monetary compensation we want,’ it continues. ‘Pay the damage, or Sony Pictures will be bombarded as a whole. You know us very well. We never wait long. You’d better behave wisely.’ The group does not disclose just how much money it was demanding in the email.”

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Why women are leaving the tech industry in droves | The LA Times

“Women make up a tiny fraction, roughly 15%, of people working in technical roles in the tech industry. And amazingly, that percentage is dropping, not rising. Multiple studies have found that the proportion of women in the tech workforce peaked in about 1989 and has been steadily dropping ever since.”

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broadband-speed

UK broadband services still patchy, Ofcom reveals | BBC News

“Ofcom, the UK’s telecoms regulator, says fixed broadband connections are now “almost universally available” throughout the UK. Average download speeds are 23 megabits per second (Mbps), it said in a report on the UK’s telecoms infrastructure. But it admitted that 3% of premises do not have basic broadband of 2Mbps.”

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Stuart O’Connor