Fully Charged: Facebook buys WhatsApp, Galaxy Gear 2 won’t use Android and a 3D printer that makes furniture

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Facebook buys WhatsApp for US$16 billion

WhatsApp, one of the world’s most popular messaging apps, has been bought by Facebook for, well, what initially sounds like an insane amount of money. Facebook announced yesterday that it had reached a deal to acquire the service for a cool US$16 billion (£9.6 billion): $4 billion in cash and the remainder in Facebook stock.

Why were Mark Zuckerberg and co. willing to dig so deep into their pockets for WhatsApp? Well, look at the numbers: 450 million people use WhatsApp (many of them as a way to avoid using Facebook Messenger, funnily enough), over 70 percent of them at least once per day. For many, WhatsApp has replaced SMS as a way to keep in touch with friends. And now it's owned by the social network that wants to dominate the way everybody on the planet interacts with their pals.

[Source: Facebook]

Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 “to drop Android”

Samsung won’t be using the Android OS on its second generation of the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, according to reports. USA Today claims that the company will instead turn to Tizen, the HTML5-based OS it has been developing in-house. Tizen could mean better battery life and give app developers an easier platform to work on, as well as allow Samsung to maintain more control over the way in which the Galaxy Gear 2 works.

We expect the second version of the Gear to launch at Samsung’s Unpacked5 event at Mobile World Congress, alongside the Galaxy S5 smartphone.

[Source: USA Today]

READ MORE: Samsung Galaxy Gear review

More after the break...

Nokia Treasure Tags: a nifty way to never forget your keys

Nokia has come up with a neat new method of avoiding leaving your keys at home. Treasure Tags are tiny NFC- and Bluetooth-equipped devices to which you can attach keys or other small valuable items. They pair with your Lumia phone (any Lumia running the Black update is compatible, and Android and iOS apps are promised for the future), which will make a loud sound should you take it a certain distance from the Tag.

Tags will be available in a range of Lumia-matching colours and cost US$30 (about £20).

[Source: TechRadar]

Huge BigRep 3D printer can even make furniture

Make a 3D printer large enough and you can build almost anything – an idea born out by BigRep, a new model that offers 46 cubic feet of build space and can build objects out of not just plastic but wood fibres and Laybrick, a substance that has a sandstone-like finish. That makes it capable of creating pieces of furniture and other sizeable items.

Watch it build an ornate side table in the video above, and then cry because you’ll never be able to afford one: it’s US$39,000 (£23,000).

[Source: Gizmodo]