Month: September 2020

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Instagram Merges With Messenger for Simpler Messaging

Instagram now offers cross-app messaging and calling with Messenger.

The plan to merge the two services was first announced by parent-company Facebook in early 2019, with today’s official announcement coming after a trial period that started in mid-August, 2020.

It means that users of Instagram and Messenger will be able to exchange direct messages, photos, and videos with friends and family without hopping in and out of different apps, or downloading new ones.

The change is currently being rolled out on Instagram and Messenger in a number of countries around the world, with a global expansion coming soon.

The social networking giant also intends to merge the messaging services of another of its acquisitions, WhatsApp, in the near future, and add secure end-to-end encryption between all three.

“People are communicating in private spaces now more than ever,” Facebook wrote in a post announcing the update. “More than a billion people already use Messenger as a place to share, hang out and express themselves with family and friends. That’s why we’re connecting the Messenger and Instagram experience to bring some of the best Messenger features to Instagram — so you have access to the best messaging experience, no matter which app you use.”

No download is needed, though for the time being at least, users have to opt in to use the new system. At some point, we can expect that everyone will be automatically moved to the new experience.

Facebook is offering a bunch of new features to encourage people to make the switch, among them access to so-called “selfie stickers” and a new way to watch videos with friends and family during a call, while a new “vanish mode” lets you set messages to automatically disappear after they’ve been seen.

Explaining why it decided to merge the services, Facebook

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Elon Musk says humans must leave Earth “because sun will engulf our planet”

Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a "multi-planet species". (Getty)
Elon Musk has said that humans have to become a “multi-planet species”. (Getty)

When Elon Musk launched a Tesla into space, it carried a sign saying “Don’t panic” on the dashboard – but the billionaire was in a more doom-laden form this week.

The SpaceX and Tesla pioneer warned, in an interview with The New York Times podcast Sway, that travel to other planets was necessary as Earth would be engulfed by the Sun.

Speaking to host Kara Swisher, Musk said: “I think this is fundamentally important for ensuring the long-term survival of life as we know it, to be a multi-planet species.

“Eventually the Sun is going to expand and engulf Earth. It will expand and incinerate Earth. It is for sure going to happen – but not any time soon.”

Read More: Starlink, everything you need to know about the satellite network

This is something of an understatement, as the Sun’s expansion is not predicted to happen for at least seven billion years.

Musk said that becoming a multi-planet species would allow human civilisation to dodge extinction events that had affected other species.

He said: “The fossil record does show many extinction events over the millennia, from meteors, from super-volcanos, from natural climate variation.”

Watch: Elon Musk says Tesla will offer an affordable driverless car within 3 years

The billionaire also touched on one of his favourite topics when he warned of the threat of artificial intelligence (AI).

He said: “AI does not need to hate us to destroy us. If it decides that it needs to go in a particular direction, no hard feelings it would roll over us, like we would do with an anthill if we were building a road.

Read more: Elon Musk dismisses astronomy concerns over Starlink network

“We need to think of

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Sendinblue raises $160 million to automate repetitive marketing tasks

Sendinblue, a marketing automation startup founded in 2012, today announced that it raised $160 million. A company spokesperson says it will be put toward accelerating Sendinblue’s go-to-market efforts as the company experiences growth during the pandemic.

Lockdowns and shelter-in-place orders aimed at beating back the novel coronavirus have forced marketers to fully embrace digital. According to a report published by The CMO Survey, some 60.8% of respondents indicated they’ve “shifted resources to building customer-facing digital interfaces” and 56.2% transformed their businesses to focus on digital opportunities. Moreover, marketers reported increased openness among customers to new digital offerings introduced during the pandemic and greater perceived value in digital experiences.

Sendinblue, which was cofounded by Polytechnique graduate Armand Thiberge, competes with companies like Mailchimp and offers solutions aimed at expediting common marketing tasks. Initially focused on email, the company pivoted to address increased demand from businesses for online acquisition and loyalty tools. Using its pipelines, clients can start by sending newsletters before diving deeper with templates and chat tools that tie into their websites. Sendinblue says these products were designed to be accessible and used by marketers without technical knowledge, so that they appeal to a range of companies in industries like hospitality, construction, ecommerce, and manufacturing.

Sendinblue

Sendinblue’s platform provides a range of email, SMS, and chat messaging tools as well as integrations with existing customer relationship management systems. Via transactional email and segmentation, customers can set up the design, engagement, and discoverability of messages and send messages in a more targeted way. And with landing pages, signup forms, and retargeting, those customers can create more targeted visitor experiences and grow their email contact list while showing ads to websites visitors as they browse other websites.

But Sendinblue’s differentiator lies in automation. Leveraging AI and machine learning, the company’s email bot —

30
Sep
2020
Posted in internet

Best mesh WiFi systems and why you definitely need one

Whether you’re a gamer, working from home, or just want a better connection, WiFi mesh is sure to improve your network. We’ve read the reviews and scoured the internet to bring you some of the best options out there to give you flawless internet connection throughout your living space.

All products featured here are independently selected by our editors and writers.If you buy something through links on our site, Mashable may earn an affiliate commission.

Is there anything more frustrating than unreliable internet? If you’re someone who works from home, likes to scroll during your Netflix and Chill time, or simply has a lot of housemates all eating up the internet at the same time, then a WiFi mesh system is for you. Read on to discover what that is, why you need it, and which options will work best for your needs.

What is a WiFi mesh system?

Designed to blanket your entire home in uninterrupted connectivity, WiFi mesh is a wireless internet system comprising a main router as well as several nodes strategically placed throughout the household to reduce spotty service. 

The nodes help to cover areas the main router can’t reach, making it the ideal solution for large homes and properties, or areas that struggle with WiFi connectivity, ensuring that even the furthest rooms have flawless connection. Mesh keeps all the nodes within a single wireless network, with the same SSID and password, so you’ll be able to seamlessly walk from room to room without losing your service, rather than WiFi range extenders that need multiple network names and passwords.

Mesh is easily expandable, so you can even extend coverage out to the backyard, garage, and basement at any point. 

How to choose a mesh WiFi (or whole home WiFi) system

30
Sep
2020
Posted in technology

Amazon’s New Hand Payment Technology Could Change In-Store Shopping Forever

New Amazon technology, introduced at two Amazon Go stores this week, lets shoppers pay for purchases by holding their hands over a scanner. The system, called Amazon One, may herald a new way of identifying yourself and paying for things that could change the way people shop, enter concerts, use public transportation, and many other things.

You’ve probably used a fingerprint scanner or facial recognition to unlock your smartphone. You already know that your voice and your retinas can be used to positively identify you and give you access to your various devices, and possibly to secure government or corporate facilities. Amazon’s new Amazon One technology takes biometrics a step further by allowing shoppers to pay for purchases with a simple scan of their palms.

To stave off privacy concerns, the company says it is encrypting biometric data before storing it in the cloud, and that the data will be deleted from the cloud at the customer’s request. An Amazon executive told GeekWire that the company had deliberately chosen users’ palms as a biometric identifier because people can’t be recognized from their palms the way they can from their faces. (Amazon has faced controversy over law enforcement use of its facial scanning technology and has suspended such use for one year.) Another benefit is that the user must choose to hover his or her hand over the scanner, meaning that users can’t be scanned without their knowledge or consent.

Shopping in 15 seconds?

GeekWire’s Todd Bishop tried Amazon One out at Seattle’s Amazon Go stores and found that his shopping experience was incredibly fast. As the company promised, it took less than a minute to set up the scan of his palm at a small kiosk, linking it with his credit card and mobile number. Amazon Go stores have no