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BlackBerry sold, Google’s birthday and Youtube kills trolls: #StuffToKnow this week


The once ubiquitous smartphone BlackBerry has fallen into the abyss and sold out. Google is celebrating its 15th birthday in hobbit style by giving us a ton of presents in the way of updates. A fish is making some scientist as giddy as a school girl and in weird news, Batman’s sidekick gets his own show (no, it’s not Robin or even Alfred).

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Struggling BlackBerry agrees to be sold for $4.7-billion
So BlackBerry finally succumbed to what we have been predicting for quite some time now — they are being sold to an investment group for a little shy of US$5-billion. Yep, that’s right the company that made the device that the President of the US famously couldn’t live without is now worth less than five Instagrams.

Crazy price for Samsung Galaxy Gear in SA

Well it’s here and on South Africa’s sunny turf now but it’s not cheap (the luxury of having no real competition). The wearable technology was launched under the shadow of Table Mountain earlier this week and given a recommended price of R4 599.

Amazon debuts Kindle Fire HDX 7 — and 8.9-inch tablets

The new premium range of the elite e-readers has been released and they are getting more and more competitive with Apple and other Android options. Their screen even beats the retina display in pixel density, gunning at 323 pixels per inch vs the iPad 3 which has merely 264 ppi. Not bad at all.

VLC update ushers in 4K readiness, improved MKV and audio support

The media player that plays everything can now play even more. The 2.1 update is a big jump for VLC. Most notably, VLC for both Windows and OS X is now 4K-compatible. Quite a few audio and video improvements as well. They even support Windows phones! Can you believe it?

Apple’s Jonathan Ive and Craig Federighi: the complete interview

In a really interesting interview with the two men who (along with their respective teams) brought us the beauty that is the iOS 7. Jony Ive, who leads Industrial Design, and Craig Federighi, who leads Human Interface at Apple, spoke to Bloomberg Business Week.


Google recently made a silent shift to a new search algorithm, “Hummingbird”

You won’t see this update. It’s not an interface change, this is an update to the core of the Google search algorithm that made two Stanford PhD candidates multi billionaires. The new algorithm has been named “Hummingbird”, and it focuses on understanding complex questions.

During a press conference, Google unveiled several updates to search, designed to help users access information quicker, including new interfaces and features for its iOS and Android apps, along with better integration with the Knowledge Graph.

Stay tuned as more is coming today:

YouTube comments will soon tie-in with Google+

Many have pointed to the comments in YouTube when asked to show the decay of human civilization. This will no longer be the case as Google+, which doesn’t allow the trolls beloved guise of anonymity, is to be the new comment system. Along with an algorithm of that puts the best comment to the top, much like Reddit.

Facebook finally lets you edit posts

This is a dangerous area for social networks, since it allows for what is called a bait-and-switch with the comments. You can initially write: “Who thinks Joseph Gordon Levitt is cool” and get hundreds of likes and affirming comments, then later edit the post to say, “Who wants to nominate Justin Bieber for president?” Yeah, people would do that…


Commissioner Gordon is getting his own television series with ‘Gotham’

Ok this sounds good on paper: a show focusing on commissioner Gordon (yes the cop who helps Batman fight the bad guys). But here’s the thing: apparently it won’t feature Batman… like at all? Not sure how that will work.


419-million-year-old armoured fish fossil resolves ‘missing link’ in evolution, scientists say

This may sound boring but it’s actually a rather big deal. Professor John Long of Flinders University says the fossil of this tank of a fish is from about 50-million years before fish left the water and started doing the Normandy invasion thing and going on land.

This fish fills a gap between an extinct class of animals and the entire living fish fauna on the planet, which is 30 000 species.

… It’s a huge discovery that fills a massive gap in our knowledge of the evolution of the first backboned animals.

See told you it’s a big deal… you still don’t care, I know… go on… edit your Facebook posts. I know you want to. See you next week.

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