Yahoo collapses, Firefox drops Java and Instagram kills Snapchat: #StuffToKnow

Stuff to Know Dec 13

While the pope is the person of the year, Yahoo Mail is the undoubted failure of the week. Firefox meanwhile has decided to block Java. YouTube also re-winded through the year’s most epic videos. And, proving that Christmas can come early, Beyonce just dropped a full album with a ton of collaborators out of nowhere. Oh and you can help save the world while riding a bike.


Yahoo’s prolonged email outage enrages those who still use it

Yahoo Mail has been down for up to three days for some people, in the webmail service’s worst failure yet and, being on the coat tails of an unwanted redesign (that was the second in a year), is pushing users to Gmail.

Pope Francis, the people’s pope is TIME’s Person of the Year

Personally I was hoping Edward Snowden would get the prestigious title, but no one can deny the latest pontiff is deserving of the title. Not many Popes have, in so little time, won the hearts of so many — even atheists like him.

Firefox 26 says no to Java plugins

If we’re honest it’s been a long time coming. Java plugins have been plagued with malware exploits for quite a while now. Chrome also blocks them if they are not the latest version of Java and since they update near daily sometimes that could be taken as a near default status as well.

With Instagram Direct, Facebook’s pursuit of Snapchat is over

Well there goes US$3-billion. I doubt the offer Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel snuffed only a month ago will still be available after Instagram just took out its edge. At least former Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang knows how he feels after he famously said no to a Microsoft deal, wanting more, only to have the entire deal collapse and the company’s value plummet.

Google on YouTube comments changes: ‘Out of the gate we weren’t doing so well’

At the Le Web conference in Paris, Bradley Horowitz said:

“To be clear, out of the gate we weren’t doing so well, and a lot of that had to do with ranking, and a bit of an arms race around spam and abuse”. Though he went on to defend the change:

“It means I can go to a video like Gangnam Style that has millions of comments that were useless to me a month ago as I tried to paginate through them, but now we’re able to rank those comments in social proximity to me,” he said. “They float to the top, and I’m able to interact with those.”

Gmail blows up email marketing by caching all images on Google server

This is great news for users, not so great for dubious marketers. The new system means the option to “display images” will no longer be shown — the reason it’s there is due to the fact that when you download the images required for the email it sends back info to the marketing company about you, right down to what folder the email is stored, which many users obviously do not like.

#Rewind2013: Watch YouTube’s awesome mashup of the year’s best videos

Well technically speaking this is a remake. YouTube has come through in fine form with this video which takes a creative spin on all the top videos of the year.


Amazon’s drones are illegal in the United States

Remember those cool innovative drones that Jeff Bezos wanted to use to deliver your Amazon purchases? Well they are so illegal in America that Amazon’s promotional video wasn’t even allowed to be made there.

This bike not only stops you from making pollution, it eats it

With the pollution in China getting so bad that schools had to be closed, these kind of ideas are becoming more and more of a necessity in our modern world. Though the point that comes to mind is that the cities with the most pollution are the ones where citizens prefer petroleum-powered transport.


Beyonce releases surprise album on iTunes with 14 songs, 17 videos

No marketing, no fanfare, she just drops the whole album in iTunes. Not many artists can pull that off and watch, it will still sell millions. Although the guests on the album will probably help including her husband Jay Z, Drake, Frank Ocean, Pharrell Williams, Timbaland, Michelle Williams, Kelly Rowland and Justin Timberlake.

Oh and did I mention each song has ready-made videos. Here is: Beyoncé “Drunk In Love” featuring Jay Z :30 Preview


Watch Woolworths get it right with touching Nelson Mandela flashmob tribute

This is just beautiful. The video has done the rounds on Facebook especially and for good reason. The Soweto Gospel choir and Woolworths truly came through here.

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



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