Tech News

BlackBerry Releases New Tablet, YouTube Cards Kill Annotations [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 17-03-2015

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

BlackBerry has unveiled a new tablet being marketed as the SecuTablet. Unfortunately for BlackBerry fans There's Life Yet in Blackberry: What To Expect From The 10.2.1 Update The latest Blackberry update (10.2.1) is trickling out to handsets throughout the world, and it contains hundreds of updates, refinements and enhancements. Read More (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 iPad Air 2 Review And Giveaway Read More look positively cheap by comparison.

YouTube Replaces Annotations With Cards

Those annoying annotations Want To Enhance Your YouTube Videos With Clickable Links? Here's How! Have you ever tried to add a clickable link to your YouTube videos, only to find that there's just no way to do it? Well, actually there are two ways, methods that have remained hidden... Read More 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 15 Entertaining YouTube Celebrities Worth Watching YouTube has changed our idea of what it takes to become a celebrity. You don't really need a skill, with a personality and the ability to entertain and inform an audience the only prerequisites. Read More 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

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 5 Ways To Ensure Your eBay Auction Is Successful Not selling much on eBay? There's a lot you can do to improve the likelihood of a successful auction. Here are some helpful tips that will improve the odds of your items selling. Read More 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

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.

Related topics: BlackBerry, Google Street View, Twitter, YouTube.

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  1. Hildegerd
    March 17, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    I am getting annoyed by the remark of all the five users of Blackberry, the BB10 OS is a wonderful mobile os and it is not nice of tech people to dismiss Blackberry like Dave did in this article.

    Anyway, the Blackberry Passport device is a great smartphone, this productivity beast is the answer to my call for huge screen and physical keys.

    • Susan
      March 17, 2015 at 9:16 pm

      I know Blackberry has had problems and I think they should be afforded the opportunity to prove they can play in the sandbox with the other kids.

    • Hildegerd
      March 19, 2015 at 5:38 pm

      Susan: Exactly, we can not all be users of iOS.

  2. Scutterman
    March 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm

    I would love to start using Cards, but they're not capable of doing what I need them to do. At the end of every video, I have an end-slate, which consists of a generic backdrop along with some 10 second clips that I edit into the video. It's supposed to show off the previous and next videos in the series, and I use annotations to create links to those videos.

    I created a quick video to test the Cards ( ). The black squares are usually where the previous / next video clips would go, and the Cards can be seen under the little "i". This doesn't have the same effect at all. It requires extra interaction from the user before they even see the Card, and even then all they get is a static thumbnail rather than a carefully selected clip that shows off something cool in the previous or next video.

    Contrast that with the last 10 seconds of my latest video ( ), and you can instantly see the difference.

    I commend Youtube for finally starting to innovate and add new features, but Cards right now aren't a feature-complete replacement for Annotations.