BlackBerry Releases New Tablet, YouTube Cards Kill Annotations [Tech News Digest]
The BlackBerry SecuTablet, YouTube scraps annotations, Sotheby’s comes to eBay, EA ditches Tiger, Street Viewing Brazilian islands, and President Obama reads mean tweets.
BlackBerry Unveils its SecuTablet
I’m not smart enough to understand what’s so novel about this $2,380 Android SecuTablet (BB + Samsung + IBM). http://t.co/U14fE0DIQC
— Kontra (@counternotions) March 15, 2015
BlackBerry has unveiled a new tablet being marketed as the SecuTablet. Unfortunately for BlackBerry fans (all five of you), this is actually a secure version of the Samsung Galaxy Tab S (as pictured above), and not a brand new effort from the much-maligned Canadian company.
The SecuTablet is a joint effort between BlackBerry (via Secusmart, which it acquired in 2014), Samsung, and IBM. The hardware is pure Samsung, with IBM providing the “app-wrapping” technology which adds an extra layer of security to specific apps. Secusmart is responsible for the voice and data encryption.
This isn’t a tablet aimed at the general populace. Instead, thanks to the increased security measures, it’s being targeted at corporate executives and government employees. Which explains the $2,400 asking price that makes the iPad Air 2 look positively cheap by comparison.
YouTube Replaces Annotations With Cards
Those annoying annotations which idiotic YouTubers plaster all over their videos could soon be a thing of the past. Those same idiotic YouTubers will still have the opportunity to direct viewers to other videos and external links, but it will all be done by cards in a much more uniform style.
The new cards will appear either below or to one side of a video, and while they actually take up more room, they somehow seem less intrusive. They also initially appear as a small information box, with viewers required to click on them to bring up the full card. The system can be used for playlists, merchandising sales, and a lot more besides.
Unlike the annotations of old, the YouTube cards work across desktop and mobile, meaning there is no getting away from them. YouTubers can start using cards today, meaning they should start replacing annotations on new content sooner rather than later.
Sotheby’s Teams Up With eBay for Auctions
Just spent 3 hours on ebay. I’m serious here, Anyone wanna go out with me? I can’t take much more of this.
— Deaks (@cjohndeakin) March 16, 2015
International auction house Sotheby’s has teamed up with eBay to bring high-end auctions to the Internet. Sotheby’s now has a dedicated space on eBay [Broken URL Removed] packed full of items coming up for auction, with paintings, jewelry, and books all on offer for those with money to spare on unnecessary extravagances.
Sotheby’s already offers online bidding through its own site, but housing its auctions on eBay is a good way to attract new customers who may not have previously bid on anything worth serious cash. The auctions all take place live, with users required to register before taking part. I personally wouldn’t bother unless you have thousands of dollars sitting in your bank account.
EA Sports Ditch Woods for McIlroy
EA Sports, purveyor of a raft of annually-updated sports titles, has ditched Tiger Woods in favor of Rory McIlroy. Woods has lent his name and likeness to EA Sports’ PGA Tour golf games since 1998, but he has now made way for the current number one player in the world.
We already knew EA had ditched Woods after his personal fall from grace, but we didn’t know who would be replacing him. McIlroy makes a lot of sense in terms of his stature in the game, but, as is so often the case with professional sportsmen and women, his personality is rather lacking.
Rory McIlroy PGA Tour is due to be released on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in June 2015.
Brazilian Islands Added to Street View
This is how you can tell Google Street View it out of date. pic.twitter.com/WITYHi2pHN
— Howard Pinsky (@IceflowStudios) March 9, 2015
Google has added the Brazilian island chains of Fernando de Noronha and Atol das Rocas to Street View, giving millions of people the opportunity to explore these protected waters online. Both are UNESCO World Heritage sites, which means tourism is heavily restricted.
The islands comprise beautiful beaches, precipitous cliffs, and shores teeming with marine life. Google has captured imagery both on land and at sea, all of which can be explored via 360-degree panoramas. Even some friendly dolphins got in on the action.
President Obama Reads Mean Tweets
And finally, you can say what you like about U.S. President Barack Obama, but at least he has a sense of humor. The proof, if proof was needed, is Obama reading mean tweets about himself on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The whole, “Thanks, Obama” line has become something of a meme of late, but what it really means is that the right to freedom of speech is alive and well, regardless of what naysayers may suggest. Thanks, Obama. [H/T GeekWire]
Your Views on Today’s Tech News
Would you rather see BlackBerry release its own tablet rather than the SecuTablet? Do you consider YouTube cards an improvement over annotations? Would you consider bidding for a high-ticket item on eBay?
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.