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Google now lets you block people on Gmail, Groupon is struggling, Netflix thinks TV as we know it will disappear, Samsung hopes you’ll pay more for a designer television, and the single hardest Mario level ever created.
Gmail Adds a Block Button
Social networks have long offered a way to block annoying users, but there’s nothing quite like that for email…until now. Gmail announced yesterday the addition of two new buttons, one of which lets you “block” any email address from reaching you.
Email from “Blocked” users end up in the spam folder, so you don’t have to see it. This could be useful for avoiding spam, or for stemming the flow of online harassment.
Now, you might wonder “who would even want this?” I did, but a quick search on Twitter set me straight.
Why can't gmail have a block button!?!
— Ashley (@raelentless_) September 20, 2015
… they sent another email and I’m like, where’s the block button in GMail …
— BYOB: Bring Your Own Butch (@evilgaywitch) August 5, 2015
@gmail I just need a "BLOCK" button, okay
— Jenny from the Blockchain (@hells_no) April 13, 2015
… why does Gmail not have a 'block address' button?
Seriously, how is this a thing?
— Tim Kai (@djtimkai) March 31, 2015
I could go on, but the point is that this functionality was clearly wanted.
Perhaps even more interestingly, Google is adding their one-click unsubscribe button to their Android client, meaning you’ll be able to stop receiving newsletters in just one tap.
Groupon Apparently Still a Thing, Announces Layoffs
Groupon plans to cut over 1K jobs. As a severance they're offering a year long membership to an inconveniently located yoga studio.
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) September 22, 2015
Remember when Google offered $6 billion to buy Groupon, and Groupon turned it down? I bet investors do.
The local deals marketplace made headlines again yesterday when it announced it was laying off 1,100 people – 10 per cent of its workforce. To which many the average web user, who last used the service in 2010 only to be told by a local business owner that they misread the fine print and actually this is going to cost $40 more than you thought, had just one reaction:
Sort of amazing Groupon was still a thing http://t.co/BAtGJdX7o1
— rycrozier (@rycrozier) September 23, 2015
Groupon also announced it was closing it’s offerings in Morocco, Panama, The Philippines, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Thailand and Uruguay. Their Indian branch was sold off earlier this year.
Netflix CEO: All TV Will Be Online in 10-20 Years
Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, argues that more change is coming. His prediction: in 10 to 20 years all TV will be Internet TV. He spoke to CNBC about this, and how they use data to work out which shows work best.
“We are just a learning machine,” said Hastings. “Every time we put out a new show, we are analyzing it, figuring out what worked and what didn’t so we get better next time.”
Samsung Hopes You’ll Pay More For a Designers Television
Would you pay extra for a designer television? Samsung hopes you will.
Their Serif TV, a collaboration with French designers Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, is their first attempt. Here’s how it looks:
The Verge’s James Vincent put it well:
“Whether or not you think the Serif would look good in your home is a matter of personal taste, but it’s certainly good to have a TV that is an aesthetic choice, rather than simply a functional one”. -James Vincent, The Verge
Most TV’s aren’t designed to look good – they’re functional. Yet they’re usually placed in prominent places in our homes. I bet we see more devices like this pop up in years to come.
Pricing isn’t confirmed, but a Daily Mail report suggests models will cost £499 ($772), £699 ($1,081), and £1,199 ($1,855).
And Finally, This Super Mario Maker Level Will Make You Weep
Super Mario Maker is prompting all sorts of creativity, and it should come as no surprise that some of these levels are difficult. This one, though, is straight-up masochism.
This level is a never ending string of impossible-to-pull of maneuvers. Yoshi needs to be abandoned multiple times – poor guy – and at some point Mario is basically juggling shells so he can jump off them. The creator had trouble beating it.
“It took me 5 hours to make this level, it took me 9 hours to beat this level”. -PangaeaPanga
You can try the level yourself, if you have Super Mario Maker. Or, if you don’t have a Wii U yet, there are other ways to make your own Mario games.
Your Thoughts On Today’s Tech News
Who will you block on Gmail? For me, it’s going to be online marketers who can’t take a hint. When’s the last time you used Groupon? Has Netflix replaced TV for you yet? Speaking of, would you spend more on a designer television? What hard levels did you design on Super Mario Maker?