You’re in the middle of your midterm studying, prepping that research paper, but that’s no excuse for losing track of the tech world. Why is everyone at Blackberry so bummed out? How is Mozilla Firefox becoming more mobile? And how is “You Don’t Know Jack” making a big comeback? Keep reading and check out what’s trending!
Blackberry’s big loss
Blackberry has long been a tool for the corporate world – but they’re probably not as common on college campuses as the iPhone or iPad, a Samsung Galaxy or a Google Nexus. They’re also becoming less common in the business world as the competition becomes fiercer. In an August 2013 review of top smartphones in Laptop magazine, Blackberry only had one entry in the top ten. So it may not be so surprising that the company reported a huge loss on September 20, 2013. But not only is the company out between $950 and $995 million – they’ve decided they have to cut back jobs. They’re expecting 4,500 layoffs by the end of the year, which will reduce their workforce almost 40 percent. According to Ian Austen, writing in a September 21, 2013 article, “Blackberry to cut 40% of work force after big loss,” for the New York Times, “The cut is so deep some analysts and investors said that the company’s days as a smartphone maker were effectively over.”
Only four years ago, Blackberry held the majority of the smartphone market, taking a 51% market share. Currently, Apple and Samsung are the industry leaders.
Windows 8, Android, and Firefox
If you’re running Windows 8, but can’t stand IE and disdain Chrome, Firefox is finally coming to computers and tablets near you. A sleek version of the browser, which – like IE for Windows 8 – has eliminated the usual browser interface elements for a more immersive experience, has just become available in pre-beta through the Aurora release channel. You can download it now and give it a try to check out the new touch and gesture support. But be aware, this is still a pre-beta: don’t expect a stable version of the browser until January 2014.
Say you’re using Firefox on your Android device. You got an upgrade too! Firefox 25 has just come out in beta, offering some new features like “guest browsing” – which prevents your buddy who borrows your phone from seeing how you’ve been searching forums for the release date of the new season of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. But as soon as they log out, voilá! Your content returns!
Don’t remember You Don’t Know Jack?
You may not have seen it debut as a PC game back in the 90s, but you might have spotted it on Facebook: the irreverent trivia game, “You Don’t Know Jack.” Unlike the old PC version, the social network version has been considered a little clunky. As Dana Wollman of Endgadget reported in “You Don’t Know Jack gets reinvented for iOS with group gaming sessions in mind” on September 19, 2013, “Until now, though, gameplay’s been about as asynchronous as a game of Words With Friends: you took your turn and waited for your friend (wherever they were) to take theirs.” Enter the new Jack: the game is now available as You Don’t Know Jack Party, which allows up to four iOS device users to stream the game to Apple TV using AirPlay, or to an iPad using your iPhones to play. The game is free and comes with one episode – or set of trivia questions – and after that, it’s got in-app purchase options for new content.
Here are some more serious tech advances that even Jack might not know about yet:
- HP has just released two cool new devices: a fanless hybrid tablet/laptop, and a laptop that has a Leap Motion controller – which uses gestures (rather than a mouse or touch pad) for user interaction
- NASA lost track of the mission probe from the comet-tracking Deep Impact mission – which had overextended its mission-life by several years
- Google is talking about fighting cancer and extending the lifespan of the average human with its new offshoot company, Calico
On Twitter and YouTube
Twitter’s taking photos, getting the joke, and talking about cosmic balance:
YouTube’s watching The Fox (and watching people watch it), a very wet wedding proposal, and a toddler who’s sad about the changes in Apple’s iOS 7:
- Have you seen Ylvis’s The Fox? On TheFineBros, Elders React to the video.
- Matthew Gencarella posted his creative wedding proposal.
- More than a million people have watched poor four-year-old Jack’s reaction to Apple’s iOS 7 on his dad’s iPad
What hot trends are you following? Tell us in the comments!