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Weekly Rewind: Goodbye to Bowie, Braille Kindles, smart guns, and more

In the tech world, a lot happens in a week. So much news goes on, in fact, that it’s almost impossible for mere mortals with real lives to keep track of everything. That’s why we’ve compiled a quick and dirty list of the top 10 tech stories from the second week of January. Everything from tributes to David Bowie and Alan Rickman to smart gun technology and a Kindle for the blind — it’s all here.

Goodbye, David Bowie, you beautiful, chameleonic rock god

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David Bowie, one of the most unique and influential figures in the history of modern music, died at age 69 from cancer. The artist released his new album, Blackstar, just two days before his death, and though it had been reported he would no longer tour, it was not publicly stated the halt was due to health issues. Bowie battled the cancer that would take his life in relative silence for a reported 18 months. We pay tribute to the rock legend and his many musical and stylistic transformations throughout the years.

Read the full story here.

Lyft introduces a new service for senior citizens who don’t have smartphones

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The on-demand industry has long hung its hat on the notion of accessibility — anyone anywhere at any time can take advantage of these services … provided they have a smartphone. And while an ever-increasing proportion of Americans fall under this umbrella, one vital demographic remains on the fringe: our senior citizens. But now, Lyft is finding a way around this wrinkle in their plans, partnering with National Medtrans Network in New York City to provide older individuals with rides to and from non-emergency medical appointments.

Read the full story here.

A Kindle for the blind? U.S. researchers working on an affordable Braille tablet

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“Imagine having a Kindle that isn’t a visual Kindle but instead has a tactile surface that can be read by a person who’s blind using Braille,” ponders Sile O’Modhrain, a performing arts professor who is visually impaired. It’s a fascinating proposition, and one O’Modhrain and researchers at the University of Michigan are working to solve.

Read the full story here.

From Hans Gruber to Severus Snape: 10 times Alan Rickman ruled the silver screen

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Alan Rickman was more than just a perfect Severus Snape. The revered British actor, who sadly passed away at the age of 69, was a versatile performer who could employ his talents to play a wide variety of roles. Cast often as the villain, Rickman absolutely shined in despicable roles, but he was equally as eloquent in creating passionate, quirky, and sometimes hilarious on-screen characters. In honor of his tragic passing, we’ve compiled a chronological list of some of our favorite roles he embodied, and a little bit about what he did to make each character special.

Read the full story here.

Apple’s iPhone 6S outperforms every Android phone in a major benchmark test

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Benchmark and performance enthusiasts look forward to AnTuTu’s Global Top 10 Best Performance Smartphones each year, but it’s a little different this time around. Past reports only included Android phones, but thanks to AnTuTu 6.0, which was released last year as a cross-platform app, the iPhone can now be included in the test. Sadly for Android fans, the iPhone 6S won by a landslide in the performance test.

Read the full story here.

Next page: 5 more tech stories you might have missed this week

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