Facebook has a storied history of shelling out bounties to whomever manages to unearth bugs in its systems, and according to The Verge now it’s willing to pay out cash to folks to find who do the same for Oculus VR’s code. Interested? You’ll stand to make a minimum of $500 for your efforts, and just how high that reward goes depends on the complexity and severity of the issue you dig up. This sort of bug hunting has the potential to become an awfully lucrative hobby – after all, Facebook didn’t shell out billions of dollars to invest in the future of communication only to skimp when it comes to patching potentially critical problems. Here’s the thing, though: you probably won’t be ferreting out bugs in the Oculus hardware just yet. Facebook product security engineer Neal Poole told The Verge that most of the issues facing Oculus aren’t found in the face-mounted VR goggles; instead, they lay dormant on Oculus’ website and in the messaging system developers use to keep tabs on each other. Yeah, we know, sort of bummer – just know that Poole didn’t completely close the door on more involved bug hunts down the road.
Via: The Verge
Sure, you’re smart enough to know that “New Study Finds Humans Shouldn’t Spend More Than 5 Consecutive Hours Together” is a headline from well-known satirical publication The Onion. But not everyone is, which could lead to some misdirected — and embarrassing — outrage. That could be a thing of the past, however, as Facebook is currently testing a “Satire” tag that’ll distinguish fake news from the real deal. Ars Technica found that if you click through an Onion article, for example, Facebook would then automatically tag related articles with the aforementioned “satire” text in the headline (see screenshot after the break). A Facebook spokesperson confirmed this with the following statement:
“We are running a small test which shows the text ‘[Satire]‘ in front of links to satirical articles in the related articles unit in News Feed. This is because we received feedback that people wanted a clearer way to distinguish satirical articles from others in these units.”
As Ars Technica notes, this doesn’t seem to apply to all parody sites and is only for related article headlines so far. And, honestly, we’re not sure if a “satire” tag is a great idea — maybe you should be made fun of if you actually think stories like these are true. In the mean time, we’re holding out hope for a “Check Snopes before posting” reminder instead.
[Image credit: Steve Rhodes/Flickr, screenshot from Ars Technica]
Source: Ars Technica
Facebook Messenger for Windows Phone hasn’t always been quite as feature rich as its counterparts on other platforms — it’s just over five months old now, after all — but the social giant is quickly trying to close that gap. Case in point: the latest Messenger update finally packs the ability to send voice messages, something users have apparently been clamoring over for ages now. Since you’ll now have the ability to verbally chatter with your compadres (alas, there’s still no proper voice calling), it’s probably for the best that the update also comes with tweaks to reduce the amount of data the app consumes. Throw in the ability to fire off emoticons at your pals and you’ve got yourself this new build in a nutshell — it’s waiting in the Windows Store for you whenever you’re ready to gab.
Filed under: Mobile
Source: Windows Store
Ever since it ditched Google Talk and integrated everything into Hangouts, Google’s messaging service has become pervasive on mobile and the web. While the search giant routinely adds new features, a bigger update could be on the way, at least according to a new leak from Chrome tinkerer Florian Kiersch. He got his hands on a recent test build of Hangouts, known internally as UltraViolet, that shows Google is testing a new interface that mimics the “chat heads” found in Facebook’s Messenger app on Android. According to Kiersch, floating profile icons are just one of the many UI changes expected to come to Hangouts in the near future, but thanks to the experimental nature of the leaked browser app, it’s the only new feature we’re able to lay eyes on, at least for now.
Via: Android Police
Source: Caschys Blog
Those virtual reality tie-ins that were all the rage at Comic-Con (Pacific Rim, X-Men, Sleepy Hollow) could just be the tip of the iceberg for the Oculus Rift. Judging by the response they garnered the partnership seems like a no-brainer, and The Information reports that Oculus’ new owner Facebook has been meeting with studio execs and individual directors to create special content for the headset. Even though we’ve already seen examples of how to bring recorded video and live events to VR from companies like Next 3D, the focus here seems to be on companion shorts to start. That’s just one way Zuckerberg & Co. can recoup their $2 billion investment, the only question now is what can Hollywood dream up to take advantage of the headset’s immersiveness — and keep from wasting the opportunity as its done so often with tech like 3D and IMAX.
Source: The Information
Facebook Messenger has become the latest high profile application to integrate support for Android Wear. An update to the app now lets users view and respond to messages in addition to being able to “Like” them. Once a message arrives you can swipe to enable a voice reply or a tap to “Like” it. Good luck hiding…… Read more »
If you didn’t already know, Facebook is targeting the celebrity set with a new iPhone-only app called Mentions. However, when it launched in July, it was only available to musicians, actors, athletes and government officials in the US. Today, the company has lifted one restriction, making it available to socially important people in over 40 countries worldwide, including the UK. The bad news is that you’re probably not a big enough deal to use it. Mentions is designed to help VIP’s interact with fans via their verified Facebook page, allowing them to post updates, host live Q&A sessions and identify if they’re trending. Tyrese Gibson supposedly used it to share news of Apple’s Beats acquisition with the world, but really it’s the overworked PAs trying to keep on top of their employers’ social lives who will be secretly rubbing their hands following today’s expansion.
Source: Facebook Mentions (App Store)
Thanks to a recent update, Facebook Messenger is the latest mobile app to play nice with Google’s wrist initiative. Outfitting Android Wear smartwatches with notifications and the ability to respond with voice notes, Android Central reports alerts pop up on the wearable’s screen where you can swipe to respond or tap to “like.” The latest version of the app also allows you to give messages the ol’ thumbs up and mute conversations right from your phone or tablet’s notifications menu — assuming you’re still doing your chatting the old fashioned way.
Via: Android Central
Source: Facebook Messenger (Google Play)
While Twitter and Facebook are enjoying returns from their native advertising platforms, it’s still not easy to tell if a tweet or status update is actually a company trying to sell you something. It’s a practice that the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has become increasingly aware of, so it’s begun consulting opinion on whether it should enforce stricter rules on promotional messages shared by financial firms. Blogs, social networks and photo and video services are all in the FCA’s crosshairs, as it looks to crack down on companies that rely on misleading messages like “Join us now and we promise you’ll make a 758% profit on your first stock investment” to sign up new users.
As expected, some of them have already kicked up a fuss, arguing that character limits make it hard to warn users about adverts. However, the FCA cites accepted methods, like the use of #ad or embedding additional information inside an image, to show how easy it is for them to comply. Interested parties will have until November to show their support (or voice their concerns), with final rules set to be put into force by the end of next year — great news if you’re tired being spammed with offers that always seem too good to be true.
Filed under: Internet
The traditional lull in news during the summer seasons means that throughout August, companies pump out swathes of research that would otherwise get ignored or drowned out. Coincidentally, Deloitte is claiming that the UK population is likely to send around 300 billion electronic instant messages this year, up from 160 billion in 2013. What’s the cause of this sudden near-doubling of iMessage, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger chat? Sexting. At least that’s what Paul Lee, Deloitte’s media and telecoms chief, believes, saying that teenagers sending winky emoticons and Snapchatting pictures of their
genitals pets is the biggest contributor to the rise. According to the firm, the average person sends just seven texts, but nearly 50 IMs in a single day, and that if the trend continues, 2014 will be the first year that text messaging numbers fall compared to its free rivals. Just think, it’ll be September soon, so we can all go back to reading about actual developments in the world of technology.
Source: The Guardian