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CNET Update: BlackBerry may have some life left after all

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CNET Update: BlackBerry may have some life left after all

2:55 /

The Canadian company nabs a Pentagon contract, Apple and Samsung keep battling, and Facebook may become an infectious disease.

BlackBerry may have some life left, while Apple and Samsung keep battling over patents. I'm Shara Tibkin and for Bridget Carey and this is your CNET Update. BlackBerry may not be doomed after all. The smartphone maker revealed it has won a massive Pentagon order with the Department of Defense giving 80,000 BlackBerrys to employees. That dwarfs the 1,800 Apple and android devices, it also will distribute. BlackBerry has really struggled to compete with the other smartphones on the market. But even with the big order, BlackBerry said it will sell most of its Canadian Real Estate Holdings to raise cash. Apple and Samsung head back to court at the end of March, but Samsung has already faced a couple setbacks. District Court Judge Lucy Koh late Tuesday ruled that one Samsung patent a question in this legal saga isn't valid. She also determined that the Korean company infringe on an Apple patent for auto completing text. The two companies have already faced off in court a couple times, but the upcoming trial covers gadgets still on the market like the Galaxy S3 and iPhone 5. Apple and Samsung are supposed to hold talks ahead of the trial, but a settlement sure doesn't seem very promising. Facebook is about to lose most of its users, or at least, that's what the new Princeton study says. Researchers of the university use disease models to predict that 80 percent of Facebook's users will quit between 2015 and 2017. It's much like Facebook has an infectious disease. The researchers said Facebook has already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase. Snapchat has ruled out a tool to make sure you're a real person. New users who sign out for the photo messaging app has to complete a puzzle before they're allowed to join. It's pretty basic. You're shown 9 photos and have to select which one's have a ghost in them. Snapchat has had some security issues lately, but the puzzle is one way the company is trying to stop hackers who could steal phone numbers. China's having some problems with the internet too. Hundreds of millions of people attempting to visit China's most popular sites on Tuesday, instead, found themselves rerouted. Ironically, the site they ended up accessing was for a company called Dynamic Internet Technology. That company helps people avoid Beijing's web sensors. Some publications believed hackers caused the issue. But sources told Reuters that the incident might have been caused by an engineering mistake for making changes to China's great firewall sensor ship system. The hole gave many Chinese citizens their first glimpse into the outside digital world. Edward Snowden is going to answer some of your questions. The NSA whistleblower on Thursday will participate in an hour long Q&A to address things like president Obama's NSA reforms. Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since he released classified documents about the NSA surveillance programs. I, personally, would like to know what he did, all that time at the Moscow Airport. That's your tech news update, but you can find more details at CNET.com/update. And you could always keep up with the latest stories by following me on Twitter. From our studios in New York, I'm Shara Tibkin.
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