China builds a Mars simulator to emulate life on the Red Planet; Microsoft refused to sell facial recognition technology to law enforcement agencies; Blackberry Messenger has finally met its end
Our first story comes to us from Google Trends. In an effort to boost tourism to the Gansu province of China, officials have teamed up with a media company to create a simulation of life on Mars. About 40 kilometres from the town of Jinchang, the complex spans an area about one fifth the size of a football field, although officials are saying they plan to expand it to the size of 67 square kilometres by 2030. As China is ramping up its space exploration efforts, government officials hope this attraction will inspire young minds in the country to take an interest in the field.
Next up on the docket, we have a story trending on Reddit. In a speech last week, Microsoft President Brad Smith revealed that the company has been refusing to sell its facial recognition software to law enforcement agencies. Specifically singling out a California law enforcement agency, Smith said this agency wanted to be able to scan a drivers face every single time they pulled over, and Microsoft saw this to be unethical.
And lastly, we have a story trending on Google. Blackberry messenger has finally met its end. For Blackberry lovers, this may come as sad news. But for those that got off that train a long time ago, this news may be a surprise as you likely thought BBM had been dead for some time. But on Thursday, Emtek, who took over the free version of BBM, announced that they would be bringing an end to the service. Emtek announced it will officially cease service on May 31st.