WhatsApp Drops BlackBerry, Using Emoji Can Land You In Trouble… [Tech News Digest]

BlackBerry loses WhatsApp support, the wrong emoji can get you in trouble, YouTube is listening, Google temporarily attacks 9to5Google, and Conan and PewDiePie team up to take down mammoths.

WhatsApp Stops Supporting BlackBerry

Mobile messaging app WhatsApp is dropping support for BlackBerry completely, along with older versions of Android, Windows Phone, and Nokia. Even BlackBerry 10 is no longer being supported, leaving BlackBerry users completely high and dry. Unless they switch to one of BlackBerry’s Android-powered handsets.

In the blog post announcing the move, the company talks about how the mobile market has changed since it launched in 2009. Back then, just 25 percent of mobile devices used operating systems created by Google, Apple, and Microsoft, whereas it’s now 99.5 percent. Which means that BlackBerry no longer figures in the company’s longterm plans.

The company closed by stating:

“This was a tough decision for us to make, but the right one in order to give people better ways to keep in touch with friends, family, and loved ones using WhatsApp. If you use one of these affected mobile devices, we recommend upgrading to a newer Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone before the end of 2016 to continue using WhatsApp.”

In other words, if you’re still using a BlackBerry, the Nokia S40, the Nokia Symbian S60, Android 2.1 or 2.2, or Windows Phone 7.1, you need to upgrade now or lose access to WhatsApp in the very near future. And to be fair, upgrading isn’t bad advice for anyone using these outdated and unloved operating systems.

Emoji Can Land You in Hot Water

Emoji are generally seen as a fun addition to the means of communicating with each other. However, not all emoji are created equal, and using the wrong emoji at the wrong time can land you in very serious trouble. Legal trouble, with visits from police officers and court cases ensuing.

This is according to the Washington Post, which reports on an extraordinary case of a 12-year-old girl facing criminal charges for using three emoji. These emoji being the gun, knife, and bomb, which her school in Fairfax, Virginia interpreted as a direct threat.

She posted the emoji, alongside “Killing,” and “Meet me in the library Tuesday,” on Instagram. While the threat was eventually deemed “not credible,” the girl in question is still due to appear in juvenile court. This is far from isolated case, either, with other people hauled up in front of judges over the use of certain emoji.

The message is clear… emoji are increasingly being accepted as a legitimate part of conversation, and, as with all languages, grouping certain words (or pictures) together can have unfortunate consequences. So be careful what you say, even when it’s in the form of a picture.

YouTube Listens to the Community

YouTube has been mired in controversy of late thanks to numerous videos being taken down as a result of bogus, or at the very least overzealous, copyright claims. This is why you may have found your favorite video suddenly disappeared from YouTube, as we investigated in our extensive write-up on the situation.

Many have claimed YouTube is asleep at the wheel, ignoring complaints from its community as its automated system took down videos left, right, and center. To assuage these fears, YouTube has created a team focused on “minimizing mistakes and improving the quality of our actions”. Only time will tell how much of a difference this makes.

Google Goes After 9to5Google

Google briefly accused 9to5Google, a popular tech site focused on Google news, of violating its trademarks. Despite the fact that 9to5Google has been around for five years, and offers positive coverage of the company’s products and services, the name was suddenly deemed problematic.

Google wanted 9to5Google to change its name and stop running Google advertising on the site. However, after the tech site appealed to Google, insisting that it is in no way masquerading as the company, its ads were reinstated and the issue has been deemed as resolved. At least for the time being.

Conan Plays Far Cry Primal

And finally, YouTube sensation PewDiePie is slowly but surely moving into the mainstream. Love him or hate him, the most successful YouTuber in the world has his own show called Scare PewDiePie, has guest-starred on South Park, and has now played Far Cry Primal with Conan O’Brien.

Far Cry Primal transports you back to the Stone Age, where cavemen go head-to-head with woolly mammoths. And boy, are those things brutal. Conan may be clueless, but PewDiePie is experienced enough to be able to ride one of the huge beasts around for a while. As you do.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Are you a BlackBerry user gutted at losing WhatsApp? Have you ever used an inappropriate emoji? Do you believe YouTube is listening to the community? Should Google leave 9to5Google well alone? Are you interested in playing Far Cry Primal?

Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Tech News Digest is a daily column paring the technology news of the day down into bite-sized chunks that are easy to read and perfect for sharing.

Image Credit: Microsiervos via Flickr

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