Tech News

Samsung Buying BlackBerry Denials, Google Reveals Project Ara Prototype [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 15-01-2015

Samsung wants BlackBerry, Google reveals Project Ara, Facebook restricts violence, Lightroom Mobile on Android, MySpace isn’t dead, and why you should never rely on your smartphone alarm.


All Your BlackBerry Belong To Samsung

Samsung and BlackBerry have both denied reports that the former is interested in buying the latter. According to Reuters, which cites both a person in the know and documents detailing the plans, Samsung offered to pay $7.5 billion to buy BlackBerry.

However, BlackBerry issued a statement strongly denying the rumors, stating it has “not engaged in discussions with Samsung with respect to any possible offer to purchase BlackBerry“. Samsung then followed suit, unequivocally stating, “Media reports of the acquisition are groundless“.

Shares in BlackBerry Living with a BlackBerry: Lame Duck or Genuine Android Alternative? The new BlackBerry Z10 is certainly impressive – but how does using it compare with using a new Android or Windows Phone handset? I decided to find out. Read More rose around 30 percent after the initial report, rapidly dropping back again after both companies had publicly denied any deal was in the offing. It should be noted that both statements give the companies considerable wiggle room, so we wouldn’t be surprised if there was at least a hint of truth in it all.

Google Reveals Modular Smartphone Plans

Google has revealed the latest details of Project Ara, its plan to make the modular smartphone Project Ara Arrives, Apple Hates Snow Leopard, Nintendo Kills Multiplayer [Tech News Digest] Project Ara is happening, Apple ends support for Snow Leopard, Nintendo ends support for online multiplayer on Wii and DS, Sony to close most stores, Facebook retires email service, and retro games invading Adam Sandler. Read More a reality. We now know the roadmap Google has in mind for releasing Project Ara, how owners will be able to customize their phones using the Ara Marketplace and Ara Configurator apps, and how the current Spiral 2 prototype is shaping up.

Project Ara will be piloted in the second half of this year in Puerto Rico. Food truck-style vehicles will allow potential customers to try out the Project Ara handsets before they commit to buying one. Between 20 and 30 modules will be available during the pilot program.


The Ara Configurator will help customers build their initial phone, while the Ara Manager will help customers decide which modules to swap out when the time comes to upgrade individual components.

This is all very much an update on a rapidly evolving product 4 Surprising Ways Google Will Soon Impact Your Life We won't be seeing interstellar spaceships and time travel machines any time soon, but here are a few Google projects that are going to change the way you live within the next few years. Read More , so expect much to change before Project Ara is released to the general public anywhere other than Puerto Rico.

Facebook Restricts Violent Video Clips

Facebook is finally acting to restrict violent or graphic content after ignoring pleas to do so for many years. According to BBC News, videos which may “shock, offend and upset” will now have warnings placed over the top of them and won’t be set to autoplay.

Steps are also being taken to prevent graphic videos and photos from showing up in the News Feeds of anyone under the age of 18 Parents, This Is How You Can Protect Your Kids On Facebook [Weekly Facebook Tips] Do you have any idea what your kids do on Facebook? Are you certain they are safe? Find out now. Read More . However, with anyone over the age of 13 invited to join Facebook, this will only work if teenagers are honest about their date of birth. Which most aren’t.


Adobe Lightroom Mobile Lands On Android

Adobe has released Lightroom Mobile for Android, bringing the photo editing suite to Android smartphones running either Jelly Bean, KitKat, or Lollipop. Unfortunately, Lightroom Mobile for Android isn’t yet optimized for use on tablets, but Adobe promises it’s working on it.

Lightroom Mobile is a streamlined companion app to the main Lightroom desktop offering. It allows photographers to make basic edits on the go, syncing those changes with other devices. While there is a 30-day free trial available, using Lightroom Edit, Enhance, Sync, & Share Your Photos With Adobe Lightroom For iPad Photographers who use Adobe Lightroom on their desktops can now edit and sync photos on the go with Adobe Lightroom mobile. It gives photographers another option for time-consuming post processing tasks. Read More in the longterm requires a Creative Cloud membership.

MySpace May Be Set For A Comeback

MySpace could be on the verge of a comeback, at least if recent user numbers are anything to go on. In November 2014, 50.6 million unique users in the U.S. alone visited MySpace; an increase of 575 percent on November 2013. Those users also racked up 300 million video views.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Tim Vanderhook, CEO of Specific Media, the company which now owns MySpace, puts this down to a combination of “a vibrant audience of 17 to 25-year-olds,” and older users returning to access photos stored on the site. So, not so much a comeback as a reawakening of sorts.


Australians Wake Up An Hour Early

And finally, Australians living in Queensland were rudely awoken an hour earlier than usual when their smartphones were mistakenly changed to daylight savings time. This led to some bleary-eyed commuters actually turning up for work an hour before they were due to begin for the day.

Both Virgin Mobile and Optus sent out the automatic update to their customers’ phones 7 Household Items Our Smartphones Replaced That Maybe They Shouldn't Have Our smartphones have replaced a lot of commons items, but is that really for the best? Read More , despite Queensland having opted out of switching back and forth between daylight savings time as long ago as 1972. Both networks blamed a network glitch, and apologized for the trouble it caused.

Your Views On Today’s Tech News

How would you feel if Samsung bought BlackBerry? Would you be interested in buying a modular smartphone? Is Facebook doing enough to restrict violent content?

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.


Image Credit: Rafael Castillo via Flickr

Related topics: BlackBerry, Facebook, Google, MySpace, Project Ara.

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  1. joaquin.yugo
    January 21, 2015 at 4:10 am

    Hopefully Ara wont follow a path where the Glass is goin...

  2. John Williams
    January 16, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Blackberry was encrypting everything way before anyone else. That's why the CIA, the Pentagon & etc used to use them. The way the internet is heading is to encrypt everything - just in case. This is what Samsung will aquire if they buy. It might also let them sell more fruit based electronics to Americans who won't buy "Jap" (made in S. Korea) and only buy American Apples. (made in China)

    Goodness Google Me! A repairable telephone that one can buy spare parts for and not have to chuck the whole thing in landfill when the screen cracks. It is customisable too and can be refreshed and updated rather than (again) chucking it in landfill.

    Would that cars were made this way, you buy the engine, frame and wheels for life and bolt on snazzy new high fashion bodywork when you need a change. Perhaps your new unique designer body could be 3D printed ..... and therefore a one-off work of art.

  3. Chris
    January 16, 2015 at 3:55 pm

    I'm out atleast $300 from a Google tv and apps that are no longer supported. With still a year left in the extended warranty I bought I with it. So Im covered if damaged but not for a company that can't figure how to update a system to keep them updated. Google stick to stealing people's privacy that's what you do best, it's sad that a company can create profit from unknowing people.

  4. Shelley
    January 16, 2015 at 10:35 am

    Blackberry was a good product, industry leader once upon a time, but it was also a fad, just like the HulaHoop. Now better businesses with better products put Blackberry where it belongs. If Samsung takes over Blackberry, the market will get a better product.

  5. Lukas
    January 16, 2015 at 5:55 am

    Modular Smart Phone
    I can't wait for my friends to start playing with it. lose some parts, or I do, or put in on my pocket and totally dismantle it, or drop one in toilet.

  6. Govertz
    January 15, 2015 at 11:55 pm

    Finally Facebook is censoring violent content.
    I've wondered why violence can pass. But too many inches of skin, they ban at once.

  7. Mike_M
    January 15, 2015 at 11:53 pm

    I don't yet understand the modular smart phone...
    At first glance it looks to me to be copying the GoPro-type marketing model. Sell someone an overhyped camera with little to no features and once you're done adding all the features you have an expensive yet cheaply made normal camera at the same price as a professional model.

  8. Evan
    January 15, 2015 at 8:49 pm

    Daylight savings time still causing confusion - incluing for people who no longer use it.