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  • October 4, 2017

    Facebook Messenger Lite Announced

    Facebook announced a new messenger today called Messenger Lite. The standalone version of Facebook Messenger is only available for Android. Messenger Lite is a stripped down version of the already popular Facebook Messenger that offers the core features we all love features like messaging, sending and receiving photos and links, and receiving stickers. Messenger Lite uses the same bolt logo as Messenger, but with colors reversed. The bolt is blue with a white chat bubble background. Messenger Lite is under 10MB to make for a fast install and quick to start up. Messenger Lite was designed for markets with slower than average internet speeds and basic Android smartphones. Facebook stated “Furthering our goal to empower people all over the world to stay connected, today we’re launching a new app called Messenger Lite” going on to say “More than 1 billion people around the world use Messenger every month from a range of mobile devices on networks of various speeds and reliability. With Messenger Lite, more people can stay in contact, regardless of network conditions or storage limitations on their Android devices. Messenger Lite was built to give people a great Messenger experience, no matter what technology they use or have access to.” Messenger Lite is starting to roll out to people in Kenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela. Messenger Lite will roll out in other countries in the coming months. I can see this being a big app in the US with people struggling with capped data plans this could be a way for users to cut back on data usage on their smartphone plans. This would make a great at as well for users with small data plans that use prepay. I am curious to see if they will have an iPhone version of this app by the...
  • Facebook is working on an Amazon Echo Show competitor that will allow video chat between billions of users on their massive social networking platform. Just like every other giant Internet company, Facebook is fixing it’s lusting eye on the hardware business and it’s easy to see why.Apple has proven that if you own the user experience you can sell billions of dollars worth of services to consumers. Mark Zuckerberg is also known to be keenly interested in the home automation market and has recently built his own smart home operating system that features the voice of Morgan Freeman (I kid you not). Facebook has a long way to go in this department. Amazon already has a huge lead in the smart home category. They have formed relationships with many of the large players in this space and they already have hundreds of accessories and products that work with Echo. While Facebook is trying to edge in on Amazon’s new found territory, Amazon is also hard at work trying to jump into the social space with their new Spark platform. Spark allows you to take pictures of you using products, share them with your friends, and write reviews for the items. I can see this replacing their current review system but as a stand alone social network it has little to no chance (just ask Google Plus). Facebook also has to overcome the fact that many hardware devices fail to gain any kind of traction in the brutal consumer market. Microsoft has built hundreds of failed hardware devices. For every success like the Xbox, there are dozens of massive misses like the Zune. For every Surface Tablet, there is a “Microsoft Actimates VHS Teletubby Learning System”. Both Facebook and Amazon have tried to create smartphones that resulted in swift and almost immediate discontinuation. Even with its giant dedicated...
  • October 12, 2016

    Apple Google Facebook The Messenger War

    It’s amazing to me at times in tech the tech world what’s old is now new again just in a different way. For example in the 70’s and 80’s everything was terminals and dial up modems connecting to a mainframe computer hosted at data center. Then in the 90’s Microsoft changed the industry by making servers and workstations affordable on local networks with the Windows client and server architecture. Then the industry changed again in 2007 with the release of the iPhone, broadband adoption and the cloud. What I am trying to get at is the recent push for messaging. Back in early 2000’s messaging was all the rage as AOL, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ fought to be the instant messenger that everyone used on daily basis. Slowly over time as social media and SMS messaging got adopted instant messaging started becoming less since if you were not at your computer it really was not an instant message. Users started making phone calls, sending SMS text messages and receiving email on their phones. At that point instant messaging started to die out. Then with the release of the iPhone and Android the cultures shifted again. Talking on the phone has become less and less the messaging war has returned. Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Snapchat and Apple are the big players trying to win the messaging war with users this time around. Google has Hangouts, Allo, and Duo all doing different things in different places to try and draw you into their messaging echo system. Google with the popularity of Gmail, Google Apps for Education and Business (now called G Suite) gets users to use Hangouts as part of Gmail.  YouTube uses Google Hangouts as part of its live offerings for content creators all designed to push users into Google messaging experience....
  • July 31, 2016

    Not Around For Consultation

    Not Around For Consultation Today we open the show by talking about The Technology Geek’s new cat that he came home to the other day. We get into the Electronic Media Collective Podcast Network and everything going on with the website. We talk about the elections and influence of Wikileaks. We talk about the Snowden movie and the trailer. We dive in the tech headlines and discuss other topics and more…… Join me today as we discuss… Clinton Campaign Breached By Hackers SwiftKey Bug Leaked Email Addresses, Phone Numbers To Strangers Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos Becomes World’s Third Richest Person Amazon Reaches New High Of 268,900 Employees — Skyrocketing 47% In Just One Year WhatsApp Isn’t Fully Deleting Its ‘Deleted’ Chats Facebook Offering Refunds For Kids’ In-App Purchases Microsoft To Lay Off Another 2,850 People In the Next 12 Months Samsung Beat Apple In Smartphone Shipments, Profit Surges To 2-Year High WikiLeaks Releases Hacked Voicemails From DNC Officials Google Launches Docs and Sheets Add-ons For Android Oracle To Buy Cloud-Software Provider NetSuite For $9.3 Billion Tumblr To Introduce Ads Across All Blogs Amazon Debuts a Dedicated Shop For Kickstarter Products Comcast Excited To Have Lost 4,000 TV Subscribers This Spring Peter Jackson and JJ Abrams ‘Back’ Sean Parker’s Screening Room Google Play Rolls Out Family Sharing LastPass Accounts Can Be ‘Completely Compromised’ When Users Visit Sites
  • You can now instruct Facebook to encrypt every email it sends to you so by using PGP (Pretty Good Privacy). All you have to do is import your public PGP key into your Facebook settings and you’re good to go. Facebook uses the well-established PGP scheme to encrypt messages and tools like Mailvelope for Gmail users now make it a bit more straightforward to generate and manage keys in order to read and write encrypted emails. Facebook users may not be familiar with PGP or be able to handle the complexity of using PGP, so it’s unlikely that many regular users will actually sign up for it. TechCrunch made a good point about Facebook and PGP “The problem here, of course, is that most people have no idea how public/private key email encryption works and how to even get started with it. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks, a number of organizations, including Google, promised to completely hide the complexities of end-to-end email encryption from regular users. Very few of these products have materialized so far, however — not for lack of trying, but because this is actually a very complex problem, both from a technical and user experience perspective.” Facebook PGP is now available globally. If you want to see if it’s available for your account, head to your Facebook settings, look for the contact info section and you should see the option to add a PGP public key.
  • A computer security researcher has stumbled upon another huge file of stolen user names and passwords that was posted on the ‘net for other hackers to enjoy. According to web security firm Trustwave, hackers have stolen login usernames and passwords across various sites in the past month with the help of Pony malware, a bit different than a typical breach. Although these are accounts for online services such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google, this is not the result of any weakness in those companies networks. Individual users had the malware installed on their machines and had their passwords stolen. Pony steals passwords that are stored on the infected users’ computers as well as by capturing them when they are used to log into web services. The malware was configured so that the majority of the credential information was sent to a server in the Netherlands. The server does not show from which countries the information came from however confirmed attacks targeted users worldwide including in the U.S., Germany, Singapore, Thailand and others. Facebook accounted for about 57% of the compromised accounts, followed by Yahoo 10%, Google 9%, Twitter 3% and LinkedIn 1.5%.
  • A handful of tech startups are using social data to determine the risk of lending to people who have a difficult time accessing credit. Two such companies are Lenddo and Kreditech, determines if you’re friends on Facebook with someone who was late paying back a loan to them. If so, that’s bad news for you. It’s even worse news if the delinquent friend is someone you frequently interact with. In addition to data from Facebook, eBay or Amazon accounts other information gathered is the manner in which a customer fills out the online application. For example, your chances of getting a loan improve if you spend time reading information about the loan on websites. If you fill out the application typing in all-caps (or with no caps), you’re knocked down a couple pegs. Your location is a consideration of creditworthiness based upon whether your computer is located where you said you live or work. Borrowers grant access to their PayPal, eBay and other online payment accounts, disclosing real-time sales and delivery information. The company says it can determine a business’ creditworthiness and put money into its account in just seven minutes. Some in the financial industry are skeptical about social data and online behavior being used as a kind of credit score. There are several people who have friends on Facebook that talk to them over chat and never talk to them again or never meet them in person there social friends not people they spend time with on a regular basis. There not people they take advice from there people there trying to catch up with from college, high school and other places so why should that effect there credit score.
  • March 13, 2013

    Netflix Gets Social With Facebook

    Starting today, Netflix streaming members in the U.S. can link their Netflix account to Facebook. The new Netflix/Facebook integration lets Netflix members see what their friends have watched by adding new “Friends’ Favorites” and “Watched by your friends” rows to Netflix. Members also automatically share what they watch only within Netflix and can optionally share what they’ve watched to Facebook. All U.S. Netflix members will have access to the social features by the end of this week. The way was paved for today’s launch in January of this year, when President Obama signed the new Video Privacy Protection Act into law, after it successfully made its way through Congress late in 2012. The timing couldn’t be better for Netflix, however, since it has just launched its own original programming with the debut of “House of Cards”, and will deliver four more original shows by summer 2013
  • January 24, 2013

    Facebook Suicide Prevention

    Facebook, which has already done work on suicide prevention, is upping its efforts on seeing what more it can do to prevent future suicides.  In the wake of tech activist Aaron Swartz taking his life earlier this month, there has been a lot of discussion about how to get suicidal people help before it’s too late. In December of 2011 Facebook announced a New Partnership between Facebook and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.  At the time, it set up a program referring at-risk users who were reported by family or friends to counselors. Facebook is now teaming up with the SAVE group.  The goal is to use the social media sites user data along with knowing how suicidal people act on social media in the weeks and days leading up to their deaths to try and pinpointing early warning signs and prevent suicide before it happens. About 100 people in the U.S. commit suicide every day, and it is the second-leading cause of death among people in the 25 to 34 age range. This age group is also one of Facebook’s largest demographics.  We all can agree that we hope Facebook succeeds and saves as many lives as they can with the social networking site.  This is great move for Facebook considering they have been getting hit with a lot of negative press over privacy issues and there stagnate stock price.