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Facebook building a new app which will offer news content to the users

Facebook - News Service

In a bid to rival Twitter, a new report is talking of Facebook’s plans to release a news oriented application for mobile devices. It is said that the social media giant will team up with media houses for procuring content and will send them out to users as they break.

Getting more specific, the report talks of how alerts will be sent out in 100 characters or less so as to not clutter your screen. The news alert will have a link to the full story, which will redirect you to the publication’s official site. Facebook has denied to comment on this as of now, but we might hear more about it over the coming months.

Twitter is pretty active as far as news content is concerned and word spreads around like wildfire on the platform. While it might be hard for Facebook to rival that with a new service, it could never hurt to try. Right?

What do you think?

Source: Business Insider

Sprint offering up to $650 for customers switching to Framily Plan

Sprint Logo

Sprint is now offering a nice incentive for customers who are looking to switch to the company’s Framily Plans. As part of its new Framily Switching Bonus, the carrier is offering $650 to customers who opt to choose Sprint from another carrier. $300 will be offered for trading-in an old device and another $350 will be given as a Visa prepaid card to pay off early termination fees and other charges.

Luckily, customers who are already involved in this plan can add their friends or family members so as to avail benefits of this new promo. Since T-Mobile offers a similar promotion urging customers to make the switch, the CEO of the carrier took a jibe at Sprint for supposedly ripping off their popular idea.

Customers under the Framily Plan will have to pay $55 per month and will get 1GB of data along with unlimited voice and texts. Adding an extra member to the group will take down the per-person cost down by $5 and will keep reducing until each member has to pay $30 per month. So ideally, you would want to have six members for this plan to avail the most benefits. This certainly isn’t a bad idea for people who have large social circles and the new signing up bonus makes the Framily Plan more attractive now.

This new promo will last until the 8th of May, so there’s plenty of time for you to make up your mind.

Source: Sprint

Via: Droid-Life

AT&T to offer free global texting in over 200 countries


AT&T has just announced a great bonus to customers of its Mobile Share and Mobile Share Value plans with the ability to send free text, video or picture messages to over 200 countries around the globe. This will help AT&T users connect with their loved ones or friends abroad through standard messaging, while a majority of the global users rely on third party IM clients for their messaging needs. This new feature will take effect starting from the 28th of February.

In addition to the free texts plan, AT&T has also introduced the new World Connect Value plan for $5 per month which will allow AT&T customers to call over several countries for just  per minute which is incredible value, especially for customers who rely on third party VoIP clients like Skype. The complete set of countries which will come under this offer are listed below:

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Nicaragua, Panama, Saba, St. Barthelemy, St. Eustatius, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Maarten,  St. Martin, St. Pierre and Miquelon, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, and Venezuela.

Source: AT&T

Via: Android Guys

T-Mobile CEO reveals resolutions for 2014

T-Mobile Logo

John Legere T-Mobile

The CEO of T-Mobile is always known to have great social media presence, especially on Twitter. And with the company gearing up to announce something special and consumer friendly at CES next week, CEO John Legere has been getting more attention than usual. And now, the official Twitter account of T-Mobile has posted an image with the company’s resolutions for 2014 as mentioned by the CEO himself.

The image has the 2013 resolutions to the left with all the boxes checked as well as upcoming resolutions which include continuing to “remove customer pain points” and making a splash at the CES 2014 event. In his usual way, the CEO didn’t refrain from taking a jibe at the carrier’s arch enemy AT&T. The efforts made by T-Mobile in the past year to revolutionize the telecommunications industry in the U.S. has been very commendable and it is hoped that the carrier continues its merry run going forward in 2014, as promised.

Source: @JohnLegere – Twitter

Via: Phone Arena

Apple’s new patent to create thinking phones

Apple is fast moving towards a new era of technology as evidenced by some of the patents it has filed in the last few months.  Known for path-breaking concepts and pioneering technology, the company is scaling new heights with each passing day.  Bigger screens and faster processing is passé. The company is now focused on providing consumers the ultimate robotic experience, the best a phone or tablet can achieve. A patent application recently published reveals attempts by the company to create new situation based behavior modification phone and tablet. Titled “Electronic device with automatic mode switching”, the patent explains how Apple plans to create a device that performs certain tasks based on given situation.

app2The device is to feature embedded sensors that sample the external environment to monitor light, temperature, noise and other conditions to adjust its behavior accordingly. The most impressive feature is that the device requires absolutely no input or User intervention.  It could be as intelligent as to turn on fast thumping music when you are exercising and slow, melodious music to relax you after a hard day. To perform according to user’s tastes habits the device would rely on a host of sensors and truth tables that define values for each individual sensor. The combination of truth table values and environment conditions will decide the action the device has to take. The action could be time based, day based, stimuli based or any combination of these.  The technology is aimed at tablet and phone devices that are portable and these could be forerunners of an era of emotionally intelligent robots that will perceive and react the way humans do.

Fabulous new technology patented by Apple and if it does see the light of the day, the world will soon turn into a new era of man and machine.


Samsung announced launch of the Galaxy Note 8

Korean based tablet king Samsung has announced the release of its new tablet in the United Kingdom. The tablet, called the Note 8 is to have an 8 inch screen and a stylus for touch interfacing. Note 8 runs on Android which is a surprise considering Samsung’s recent shift from Android to Windows 8 with the release of Microsoft’s new touch based operating system with variants for tablets and laptops. The Note 8 is also a hybrid like Note 2, which was a fusion of a tablet and a mobile phone. Large phone, small tablet. There is no word on the pricing on the product, but given Samsung’s previous market rates, this tablet is not likely to fall into the budget segment.

note2The tablet however does not seem to pack very impressive specs given that the market is flooded with Android and windows devices sporting every number in the specs spectrum. Galaxy Note 8 features a 1.6 GHz quad-core processor, 2 GB RAM, 32 GB build in storage and expandable with a micro SD card. There are two cameras, the rear 5MP and front 1.3 MP cameras. The highlight of the tablet is the display. Note 8 offers an 8 inch display which supports the same multitasking functionality over a larger screen, something that was hard on the Note 2. Screen resolution is 1280X800 pixels with a pixel density of 189ppi. Good display for a screen that size.

The specifications of the tablet are interesting, however there isn’t a lot of buzz surrounding the tablet since there is no dearth of tablets and hybrid PC’s in the market today. Whether this will challenge any of Apple’s or Sony’s new offerings is yet to be seen, but the  specs do show promise, given the brand name and screen size.



Facebook building a cold storage for forgotten material


If rumors are true, which almost always is the case, Facebook is building a 16,000 square foot data center in Prineville, Oregon to provide storage for older, less looked at Facebook content. The company is looking at reducing energy costs by separating popular views from the less viewed material. Popular text that includes statuses, wall content, messages, chats and photographs and videos will be stored in a fast running facility while the remaining content that is hardly viewed by users will be stored in a slow data center in the new storage center in Oregon.

This facility like the others in Prineville is capable of storing Exabyte of data, equivalent of 250 DVDs of storage. In a bid to do its bit for the environment, storage centers that are less frequently accessed will go to sleep mode when no requests come their way and popular content is stored on servers that are always up and running. The energy savings come with not having to cool down these servers. With machines on all day, they heat up required to be cooled to keep them running smoothly. With cold storage, these servers that are rarely accessed will not heat up and energy is saved by avoiding cooling. Only the active servers will require to be cooled.

Facebook is also considering constructing a new center near Sweden, south of the Arctic Circle to save energy and equipment required for cooling that is naturally available with freezing temperatures of the Swedish land.

The company is looking to expand its infrastructure for both cost savings and energy efficiency.


Serial Hackers on the loose


Microsoft has confirmed in what is a disturbing but not unexpected revelation that its systems have been breached into, and that is another victim of the increasing number of hack attacks. The Mac software business units in Microsoft were the targets this time. The company has confirmed that a very small number of PC’s were compromised in that BU. Allaying fears, Microsoft has confirmed to media and users alike that no customer data was compromised.

The number of such incidents has risen since last year and startling reports from antivirus giant McAfee reveal that the number of Trojans devised to steal passwords has risen up to 72 percent in the last quarter of 2012. The largest social network in existence today, Facebook also reported very recently that it was the victim of malicious software, triggering widespread panic across the world about the amount of sensitive data and pictures that have been compromised. Facebook has assured all users that their information uploaded on the site remains secure. Apple has similarly released a statement saying that very few computers were hacked into and no sensitive data was retrieved. The malware that gained access to Apple’s computers was traced back to a website targeting iPhone developers. In addition to technology giants Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal have also confirmed security breaches.

Companies that have not yet been hit are beefing up digital and personnel security to monitor and prevent any unauthorized access to systems. Employees are required to follow strict rules to prevent password theft and other forms of data access. Whether it is the same individual or group that is mounting these attacks remains to be seen, but with successful perimeter breaches, cyber law enforcement is under high pressure to catch these troublemakers.

Facebook launches new job board, features 1.7 million job openings

Facebook has become a threat to Linkedln’s presence in social jobs recruiting after the social network giant launched a new Facebook jobs boards that features 1.7 million jobs opening from five different recruiting entities.

Facebook started last year a Social Jobs Partnership with few public agencies to post jobs opening already available on their pages to a central location for jobseekers to have a comprehensive access to these vacancies.

Recruiting organization BranchOut, DirectEmployers Association, Jobvite,, and Work4Labs collectively posted roughly 1.7 million job opening on Facebook job boards.

“Today’s launch of the Social Jobs Application highlights what we’ve known all along — that both recruiters and job seekers benefit when jobs are posted where candidates spend their time, and research overwhelmingly tells us that this is on Facebook,” said Work4Lavs CEO Stephane Le Viet in a press release.

Le Viet believes social media will eventually become the main player in recruitment, giving them more reasons to commit for overall improvement of the Social jobs application on Facebook.

“Undoubtedly, there will be an acceleration of the shift to social media as the primary channel to find a job with the extraordinary push of this consortium. We are fully committed to making the Social Jobs Application on Facebook the best possible resource for connecting candidates and companies,” Le Viet added.

Facebook has not been racking up big money from its new jobs board but their recent move looms a big threat to Linkedln’s presence in the recruitment arena.

According to market analysts, Facebook’s 1 billion users worldwide would be a major factor in its rise to this segment of business. Work4Labs, the San Francisco-based software company that develops Facebook recruitment applications, stated that it posted 2.2 million jobs on the board over the last 18 months mainly because of 50 percent potential employee are also Facebook users.

App Spotlight: Citizenside

Ever think to yourself while leafing through a magazine “hey I’ve taken photos like that before, why can’t I be getting paid for this?” That’s actually a very good question. More and more news programs are using pictures taken by the public. Even governments are looking for your help, the Vancouver riots as a prime example. Now, there are many apps out there that share your pictures and stories, but some of them are more special than others. This is one of them and it is named Citizenside.

Screenshot by Josh Gough

More after the break

App Spotlight: ChannelCaster: Social News

Sometimes it’s hard to sift through all the boring news to finally get to the topics you care about. Even if you specify what it is you’re looking for, the likelihood of not getting additional useless topics added to the few you actually wanted to read is low. That is why many app developers have been attempting to create services that help users streamline the way they get their info. An app that is helping them do just that, and in the process giving them the option of helping others, is ChannelCaster: Social News.

Screenshot by Josh Gough

More after the break

App Spotlight: Zinio

People enjoy staying current with what matters to them. For some that means watching the news at night or reading the paper However, some prefer a different media;:the magazine. NMany different apps have come out to cater to those wanting to be in the know, and for those who read magazines one of those apps is Zinio.

Screenshot by Josh Gough

Zinio is essentially a magazine stand in an app. It does everything an average magazine shop would do selling the consumer magazines and subscriptions. What sets it apart is the price paid, the time saved, and the mobility it affords the user. It also offers a piece of mind, considering the user does not have to carry it about with them and worry about it getting ruined by errant storm or some other unfortunate occurrence. There are many different magazines available under several different headings from automotive to home design. There is something for everyone, no matter their interests.

Screenshot by Josh Gough

This is a great app for all those readers who prefer their news and hobbies to come in magazine format. It is convenient, and something worth looking into for those on the go who can’t seem to make it to their magazine stand of choice on time.

App Spotlight: Stitcher News & Sports Radio

This day and age people expect things to be mobile in order to fit in with their hectic lives. Should they have to deprive themselves of the things they enjoy just because they’re busy? No, of course not. If the radio is one of those things that just can’t be given up, an app that may help solve this problem is Stitcher.

Screenshot by Josh Gough

Stitcher is an app that allows the user to listen to their favorite radio shows no matter what, no matter where. Through Stitcher they can listen to thousands of on demand shows and podcasts. If they happen upon a few shows that they enjoy, Stitcher will allow them to mold them into a personalized station in “My Stations.” It can also keep the user abreast of any headline news that has come out in the “Front Page” section of the app. To help spread the experience, the listener can share with their friends what program they may be listening to through Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Screenshot by Josh Gough

Stitcher does a decent job at what it claims to provide. People can listen to their favorite radio stations on demand. They’re not the only app out there that offers this service, but despite this fact give them a try. It doesn’t offer the same experience as listening to the news on the radio in real-time, but it is a close runner-up.