Light Start – Microsoft trolls, SpaceX recycles, BlackBerry battles, and teaching fish to spit

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There’s going to be a WWDC afterparty – thrown by Microsoft. Wait, what?

Microsoft AfterpartyWe’re used to companies trying to steal each other’s thunder, something that has been going on since Zeus figured out that he was a prototypical otherkin, but Microsoft’s newest venture is… unusually brazen. The company will be hosting an afterparty. For Apple’s WWDC conference. To be fair, Microsoft and a company called Xamarin are getting together to talk specifically about iOS apps, of which Microsoft has a few, as well as let users play with “…the latest robotics, including Sphero and Robugtix; fly Parrot drones or just sit back and relax in one of our massage chairs.” And perhaps get some iOS developers to use Xamarin’s suite of development tools to make some cross-platform apps, maybe? Yeah, that sounds about right.

Source: Microsoft

SpaceX will be sending a pre-owned rocket into space later this year

SpaceX hangarGetting a rocket into space is tough, getting one back in one piece is tougher still. Still, SpaceX have started racking up quite the collection, as evidenced by the image above which was posted to Twitter by Elon Musk. Musk also mentioned when the first of these rockets would be taking their second trips into space. The time frame is set for September/October this year, even though there’s no concrete plan on what the reused rocket will be delivering (if anything at all) when it makes its return into space. A SpaceX rocket visiting space for the second time will be very cool, either way, and we’ll have eyes-on when it happens.

Source: Elon Musk (Twitter)

BlackBerry’s switch to software is looking likelier than ever, according to reports

Priv AngleBlackBerry might be battling more with its consumer smartphone sales than the company is willing to admit. A report claims that BlackBerry is having a hard time driving sales of their Android-based Priv handset, something that could lead to the company making that long-rumoured shift to a software-only model sooner rather than later. Sales for the Priv, in the States at least, are reportedly low, with a large number of the handset being returned because longtime BlackBerry fans don’t know how to deal with Android. It’s not the company’s curtain call just yet, they still have some new, cheaper handsets on the way but if they don’t manage to see some positive hardware demand, BlackBerry as we know it might change. For good.

Source: via Ars Technica

Scientists have discovered that they can train fish to recognise human faces. And then spit at those faces

What, you thought it was easy to teach a fish to push a button? Nope, if you’re doing fish-science, like testing their facial recognition abilities, you should probably use archerfish, who have a talent for accurate spitting. And, apparently, pretty good vision. Researchers at the University of Oxford and University of Queensland taught archerfish to recognise (and spit at) digital human faces. A correct response saw the fish rewarded, though how you initially convey the concept of action and reward to a fish is something beyond us. Cats and dogs are easy by comparison. The fish have an 81% success rate with colour images of faces and an 86% success rate with black and white images. The test was to determine the fish’s visual cognitive abilities. Now, if we could just teach them to spit at burglars…

Source: University of Oxford

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