The Nepal earthquake has caused an immeasurable amount of tragedy this weekend, but some internet services are offering tools that might provide comfort if you have friends or family in the area. Facebook has rolled out its recently introduced Safety Check feature to tell you if contacts in the area are okay — survivors only have to report in to ease your mind. Google, meanwhile, has revived its longstanding Person Finder to assist you in both locating loved ones and sharing news with others. You’ll want to get in direct contact or reach out an embassy if you’re still concerned about affected locals, but these internet tools could spare you from a lot of uncertainty.
[Image credit: Prakash Mathema/AFP/Getty Images]
Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon: These juggernauts are at the forefront of the tech industry. And with that success comes an ever-expanding workforce, and the need for a place to put them. To keep pace with growth, these companies have been making the requisite real-estate deals in order to build physical spaces to match their forward-thinking business approach. Fortunately, their designs are also more environmentally conscious than ever before. With the eyes of the world upon them, they’ve taken the well-being of the Earth, as well as their employees, into account, building innovative work spaces in an attempt to harmonize with the world around them. Below, we take a look at some of the steps these giants of industry have made over the years as they’ve moved from garage operations to vast campuses.
The Department of Homeland Security is setting up shop in Silicon Valley, with secretary of state Jeh Johnson pushing for easier access to our private data. Naturally, both Google and Facebook have started to openly resist this call to create backdoors for state surveillance. At the RSA security conference, Google’s Keith Enright told MIT Technology Review that any attempt to breach his company’s encryption would harm civil liberties.
The search engine’s privacy chief went on to say that if operatives use backdoors to access your data, they’re that much more likely not to bother getting a warrant. Instead, Google has pledged to “drive as much transparency for law enforcement access as possible.”
His words were echoed by Facebook’s Erin Egan, who said that “the trust of the people that use our services is paramount,” and that anything that goes against that “we’re not going to be okay with.” It’s a sentiment shared by Mark Zuckerberg, who has previously gone on the record to criticize the NSA’s PRISM program.
Oh, and here’s something that’s always worth mentioning when an official says that they need backdoor access to encrypted data. When asked, FBI Director James Comey couldn’t cite a single example of how encryption had obstructed an ongoing investigation. So, there’s no actual proof that such access is required, and it’s already been shown that said privilege is routinely abused.
[Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images]
Facebook tells that they are now testing Hello, a new app created by its Messenger team. It connects with Facebook in order to see who’s calling, block unwanted calls, and search for people and places.
When you receive a call, Hello will show you information of the person who is calling you, as long as they have already shared it with you on Facebook.
In addition, you can call people and businesses on Facebook using the app.
In order to block unwanted calls, go to settings where you can block specific numbers and whether you want to automatically block calls from “commonly blocked numbers.” These blocked calls go straight to voicemail and can be accessed from your recent calls list.
Although Hello is still being tested, you can download it from this Play Store link. Lastly, here’s Facebook’s video on the app, if you’re interested.
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Facebook’s bet on mobile continues to pay off in absolute spades. The first quarterly earnings report of the year from Zuckerberg and crew lay testament to that, showing that a whopping 73 percent of its $3.32 billion in ad revenue now comes from mobile alone (Total revenue for the quarter was $3.54 billion). Its number of mobile users is also on the rise — out of Facebook’s 1.44 billion monthly active users ,1.25 billion are on mobile, which is up 24 percent from this time last year. Perhaps more impressive is that the number of daily users — ie. its most engaged audience — has gone up as well; 936 million people visit Facebook everyday, and 798 million of them do it from their phones.
Facebook’s other properties saw growth as well: Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp now have around 300 million, 600 million and 800 million users respectively. Zuckerberg said on the earnings call that people are sharing content with greater frequency, adding that there around 45 billion messages are sent everyday on Messenger. He also said that VOIP is an avenue for growth, especially as WhatsApp has recently brought voice calls to its iOS app. Zuckerberg added that Messenger, which also lets you make voice calls, apparently accounts for 10 percent of global VOIP.
The growth in mobile is particularly noteworthy as the company shifts toward more standalone apps, like today’s release of Facebook Hello. Also don’t expect video ads to go away any time soon; Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO, says that Facebook has about 4 billion video views a day. Quite a bit of this revenue is going to Facebook’s longer term projects such as Internet.org, its plan to spread web access to everyone in the world, along with its investment in AI and virtual reality such as Oculus Rift.
[Image credit: PL Images/Alamy]
Facebook has just announced a new Android application that aims to make your communication experiences much easier. The app is called Hello, and it’s a dialer app that pulls information from Facebook so you can see who’s calling you without even having the phone number saved on your device. You can also block unwanted calls, start a Messenger chat with a friend and open someone’s profile with just one tap. The dialer, which requires a Facebook login to use, will also auto-update contacts as they change on Facebook’s servers, so you’ll always have the most recent contact information available.
At first glance, this seems like any old dialer app that you could find in the Play Store. But with the app tying in so closely with Facebook, we’re sure fans of the social network will find some functionality here.
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Here is the full list of features you’ll get with Hello:
- See who’s calling you, even if you don’t have that phone number saved in your phone.
- Easily block unwanted calls.
- Automatically block calls from numbers that have been blocked by a lot of other people.
- Search your phone contacts and people and places on Facebook, without switching between apps.
- Always have the latest info about your contacts, including their profile pictures and birthdays.
- Open a Facebook profile or Page with just one tap.
- Call and text for free with Messenger.
- Call, add and edit contacts — just like you do on your phone.
You can now download Hello for free in the Google Play Store.
As helpful as it is, caller ID doesn’t really tell you everything about who’s ringing your phone or why. Is it an acquaintance? A best friend’s birthday? Or a robocaller? Facebook might have a better solution. It’s rolling out Hello, the previously leaked Android caller ID app. The software shows all the Facebook information that a caller is willing to share, whether it’s public or between friends — you may know who someone works for even if it’s the first time you’re speaking together. You can also find out how many times a number has been blocked, automatically block the worst offenders and search for people or places. Facebook is only offering Hello in Brazil, Nigeria and the US right now, but it won’t be surprising if the app spreads elsewhere before long.
Facebook has just launched a new app for Android called “Hello” which essentially works as caller ID for your smartphone. This was said to be in the making for quite some time, but it’s good to see that the company has finally launched the app.
The app essentially tells you who’s calling, thanks to the myriad of numbers on their database. This is done by taking the users’ consent, so only those who wish their numbers to be shared with Facebook will have their names pop up when they call somebody.
The app is Android only for the time being with no word on whether iOS users will be able to get their hands on the app anytime soon.
Using Hello, you will be able to block unwanted callers and also learn who is on the other end. This is something that apps like Truecaller have already achieved, so it’s nothing new to the Android users.
But having the large numbers on their database courtesy of Facebook will certainly help in making Hello a popular app among Android users. Make sure you give the app a try from the link below.
Come comment on this article: Facebook officially introduces dialer app, aptly named “Hello”
If you’re like me, your News Feed on Facebook is filled with just as much content from brands as it is updates about your classmate’s vacation. Based on feedback, the folks in Menlo Park are changing the way it handles updates from your pals. Posts made directly by your friends will now display closer to the top of the News Feed — things like status updates, pictures, videos and more. Thankfully, you’ll also see less of the notifications about a friend liking or commenting on another post, too. Facebook is relaxing the rule that prevented you from seeing multiple items in a row from the same person as well, so if you’re after more from people and not companies, you should start seeing an increase in those posts soon. The social network announced an effort to cut down on the number of hoaxes in your feed earlier a couple months ago, so the next round of tweaks can’t be far off.
When its calling feature hit Android gadgets a couple weeks ago, WhatsApp founder Brian Acton said the tool would make its way to iOS soon enough. Well, today’s the day. WhatsApp calling is rolling out to folks wielding Apple devices, allowing you to chat with friends and family around the world. If you’ll recall, the feature uses WiFi rather a data connection, so you won’t have to worry about international rate hikes. While the new version of the app is already available at iTunes, the release notes warn that the calling feature is rolling out slowly, so it may not be available for you immediately.