It’s not Facebook, it’s you, BlackBerry
Darling of the instant messaging world, WhatsApp, recently announced it will stop supporting older mobile operating systems like Nokia’s Symbian and early versions of Android, along with more recent ones like BlackBerry 10, and the rest of the BlackBerry ecosystem at the end of 2016. Ouch. Now Facebook’s announced it’s following suit. As Facebook owns WhatsApp it’ll likely give the same reason: namely that globally BB accounts for about 0.5% of handsets, which just isn’t worth the trouble anymore. Double ouch.
Who blocks the blockers? The French, that’s who
Look, ads suck, but for many newspapers, magazines and other publications they’re the thing that keeps them in print or online. Which is why the growing popularity and use of ad-blocking software, apps and plug-ins is such a terrifying prospect for publishers the world over. A number of French news outlets, including Le Monde, Le Parisien, and L’Équipe are this week presenting those who use software like AdBlock with an ultimatum — allow their ads or don’t see their content. Forbes and Wired have been doing the same for ages, and we fully expect it to become the norm with all online sites. Hey, it beats a paywall.
Source: The Verge
Four sets of twins, one subway car, hilarity
A quick poll of the Stuff office reveals that yes, if any of us had identical twins we’d cause all sorts of mischief. Perhaps, once we tired of two-person pranks we’d up the ante by roping in another pair of identicals. Or two pairs. Or three pairs. Because with three pairs we could stage an elaborate prank on the New York subway involving the dangers of time travel. Except, it turns out that one’s all ready been done. Thanks Improv Everywhere, way to ruin our twin fantasies by actualising them.
Source: Improv Everywhere
Watch a star explode, and we don’t mean Alec Baldwin
Back in 2011 the Kepler space telescope caught not one, but two, exploding stars. What took so long for us to figure it out? Well, astrophysicists had to plough through the data Kepler generates to find it, and Kepler captures images every half hour for 500 galaxies and 50 trillion stars, so finding gems like these is a bit like finding a that heart-shaped tiger’s eye at the scratch patch — not impossible, but you’re going to have to be patient. If you’re wondering why any of this matters, aside from explosions being inherently cool, life probably exists because of stars going supernova and exploding.