Mandela mourned, NSA knows where you are and Amazon’s drones: #StuffToKnow this week

Stufftoknow Dec 06

Stufftoknow Dec 06

Madiba passes and leaves behind a better world than he came in to, but the NSA is tracking your every move, and I do mean you. Amazon meanwhile wants to deliver your books via drones and Yahoo! is climbing back up. The most important investor in America wants Apple to buy its own stock. Oh and by the way, in case you were wondering, you can track Santa to his village in the North pole.


Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid icon and father of modern South Africa, dies

Nelson Mandela has died. He was 95. Noble Peace Prize winner, and former South African president.

As South Africa’s first black president, Mandela — also known as Madiba (his Xhosa clan name) — broke barriers and helped dismantle the country’s racist apartheid regime. Imprisoned for his activism for 27 years, he forgave his captors when released and went on to be South African president from 1994 to 1999, before peacefully transferring power to his successor Mbeki.

From kings to presidents the world is using social media to give their words about the legend.

We have also curated some of the best videos of Madiba if you want to walk down a road of nostalgia.

Few men have ever been able to actually bend the world to their will on the scale this man did, and to have seen it done in our lifetime was a privilege. Rest in peace Madiba.

CNN Nelson Mandela

NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show

The National Security Agency (better known as the NSA) is gathering nearly 5-billion records a day. That by the way means all of us around the world, according to top-secret documents and interviews released by whistleblower Edward Snowden. This enables the agency to track the movements of individuals — and map their relationships — in ways that would have been previously unimaginable.

Think about that for a second: right now in a server in a building in Utah there is a log of where you are right now and where you have been and whom you have come close to.

Yahoo! closes above US$38 for the first time since early 2006

Yahoo! finally has a CEO that knows the modern internet and tech business landscape. Marissa Mayer has brought the company back from near obscurity. The company has been on a near continuous downward spiral after it said no to Microsoft’s offer to buy it for US$45-billion in February of 2008. After that, the stock was more or less in limbo until Mayer’s arrival.

Yahoo stock

Google is tracking Santa again

Google announced that it’s launching the Google Santa Tracker just in time for Christmas. As you would expect, the main idea of the tracker is to let the mini humans follow the big guy dressed in red pajamas’ journey on Christmas Eve using Google Maps (well duh).

The premise begins with Santa chilling on some tropical island when he gets a notification via Hangouts that Christmas is nearly upon us and that he better get a move on.


Amazon promises a future filled with ‘octocopter’ drone deliveries

This is awesome. CEO Jeff Bezos is really a guy who jumps into the future. Though not the first to think of the idea (we have our own beer copter dropping off beer in concerts) Amazon is in a whole new league. Don’t get too excited though — your Xmas present won’t be airborne any time soon, they still have to get FAA approval, but still this is awesome.

As Amazon puts it:

We’re excited to share Prime Air — something the team has been working on in our next generation R&D lab. The goal of this new delivery system is to get packages into customers’ hands in 30 minutes or less using unmanned aerial vehicles. Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take some number of years as we advance technology and wait for the necessary FAA rules and regulations. This is footage from a recent test flight.

Icahn files Apple shareholder proposal

Carl Icahn, who TIME magazine called “the most important investor in America”, wants the company that has a vast surplus of green to share.

Apple has roughly US$100-billion in cash and is not spending it on anything. Icahn believes the technology giant should share more of its wealth with stockholders. In essence he wants Apple to buy back its own shares. A buyback would almost certainly drive up the price of Apple’s stock — and thus increase the value of Icahn’s holdings along with those of all Apple investors. Not really in the best interest of Apple as a company more for Icahn to get even richer, but it’s worth a shot. Personally I think they should invest their cash in new innovations like the iWatch but what do I know.

Car Icahn Time

Image: Platon for TIME


A tribute to Paul Walker

Paul Walker, the actor made famous by the Fast & the Furious movie franchise, passed away in a high-speed car accident this past weekend. The team behind the franchise made a touching tribute to the beloved actor.



Let me know if I missed anything this week in the comments.



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