Movies, Music, Video Games, Social Networks and Lifestyle News And Reviews

Product reviews and news of digital entertainment products and services in movies, music, video games, game streaming, social networks and lifestyle products.

Here’s an interesting psychological factoid: Emotional states can be transferred to other people via text-based messages on social media, such as Facebook. That means that if, for instance, you view a bunch of sad posts, you’re more likely to pen a sad post yourself shortly thereafter even though you don’t realize that the sad posts made you sad. Here’s another even more interesting but more disconcerting factoid: Researchers figured that out by running experiments. On Facebook. Without your knowledge or consent. Here’s a snippet from the “Significance” section of the paper, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of... Read more...
There's a giant microscope hovering over Silicon Valley examining workplace diversity, or the lack thereof, as more and more companies release reports on the topic. The latest to do is Facebook, and as with many other tech firms, the majority of the company's employees are white and male, especially those holding down management positions. According to Facebook's diversity report, 69 percent of the social network's employees are male. When narrowing the focus on specific areas, 85 percent of the company's tech workers and 77 percent of its management team are male. Gender isn't the only area where it's noticeably lopsided. In the U.S. 57 percent of Facebook's employees are white, 34 percent are... Read more...
Can you imagine what it's going to be like playing Candy Crush through an Oculus Rift headset? We only jest and certainly hope Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the gang at Facebook and Oculus VR have some way cooler things in store than that (and we're not talking about the ticket blaster at Chuck E. Cheese). Giving us hope that they do, Oculus is acquiring the Carbon Design team, the same one responsible for designing the excellent Xbox 360 controller. Though the acquisition is new, Oculus has actually been working with Carbon Design for almost a year on various projects. As part of the deal, the team will become a key component of the product engineering group at Oculus and continue to operate... Read more...
Facebook has a billion users, but its sights are set squarely on the next billion--or several billion--in developing nations. Sure, some of that drive represents a desire for profits, but Mark Zuckerberg also appears to genuinely believe that Internet access is a human right. In any case, he wants everyone to have Internet access, and he wants everyone to use Facebook, and the company has streamlined its product to work better in nations where Internet speeds are relatively slow. Facebook sent a team to Africa to test out the mobile Facebook experience, and their findings prompted them to action. “We purchased several different Android handsets to test the latest version of the Facebook... Read more...
Facebook doesn’t go down all that often, but when it does it’s big news. The social network reportedly experienced an outage at approximately 1 a.m. PST that affected users all over the world. Users in countries including Australia, New Zealand, England, South Korea, India, were unable to access Facebook, instead seeing an error message saying "Sorry, something went wrong". The outage lasted about half an hour. Credit: Reuters/Thomas White “Earlier today, we experienced an issue that prevented people from posting to Facebook for a brief period of time,” Facebook’s APAC spokesperson Charlene Chian said.”We resolved the issue quickly, and we are now back to 100%.... Read more...
Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of the gang at Facebook finally launched a photo and video sharing app to compete with Snapchat. Called "Slingshot," Facebook's version is more than just a clone, though it may appear as such at first glance. After all, it allows you to take a photo or video, scribble some artistic flair on top of it, add a caption, and then fling it to a recipient. However, Slingshot is unique from Snapchat -- and every other messaging app -- in that you can't view a "shot" until you send one back. "With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator. When everyone participates, there’s less pressure, more creativity and... Read more...
With only so much top level talent available in the technology industry, it's not uncommon for high ranking employees to change firms. Such is the case for David Marcus, president of eBay's PayPal division, who is joining Facebook to spearhead the company's efforts in mobile messaging. His primary responsibility will be running Messenger, a recently spun off chat application. Facebook views messaging as a core part of its social networking service and a key element in its mission to connect the world. According to Facebook, around 12 billion messages are sent on Facebook per day, while its standalone messaging app is now used by more than 200 million people every month. Image Source: Flickr (Marco... Read more...
Your life can be an open book on Facebook if you want it to, but the problem for some less savvy users is that it's an open book even they don't want it to be. After all, it's not just experienced PC users posting to Facebook anymore -- anyone and just about everyone users the social network these days, and to make sure people aren't sharing more about themselves than they're comfortable with, Facebook is making some changes to its privacy settings. From now on, when someone joins Facebook, the default audience for their posts will be set to Friends only. Prior to the change, the default setting was Public, meaning everything posted could be viewed by anyone on the web. Going forward, only accepted... Read more...
Apparently fed up with being rejected by Snapchat, Facebook for the past several months has reportedly been working on a video sharing and chatting application of its own. It's called Slingshot, and like Snapchat, it allows users to send short video messages to recipients with just a few taps. However, it's not yet clear if Facebook will release the app. Citing "people familiar with its plans," Financial Times says Slingshot boasts a simple and responsive user interface, and if launched, it would stand on its own two feet separate from Facebook Messenger -- this would fall in line with Mark Zuckerberg's plan to de-bundle the social playground's mobile services. Image Source: Flickr (Maria Elena)... Read more...
The "Poke Wars" have ended folks, as Facebook has decided that nobody really cares about the Poke app, which was only available on iOS anyway -- it was never released on Android. It's the end of a 10 year run from when Poking was first made available. It would launch to mobile in 2012 and offer users a self-destruct timer similar to Snapchat's app. However, the Poke app never became even remotely as popular as Snapchat, for which Facebook reportedly tried to acquire for $1 billion in an initial bid and then for $3 billion in a follow-up offer, which was also rejected. Perhaps with the retiring of the Poke app, yet another offer could be made, though Facebook recently acquired WhatsApp for $19... Read more...
Facebook wants to be the No. 1 source for breaking news stories, and with over 1 billion members playing on the world's largest social playground, it's certainly feasible. What's lacking are resources journalists (or would-be journalists), but that's changing with the roll out of FB Newswire, which Mark Zuckerberg and the gang say will make it easier for news posters and newsrooms to find, share, and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce. In doing so, Facebook is taking a shot at Twitter, the go-to social networking platform for real-time news updates and breaking stories. These two sites have been keeping a close eye on one another, each one taking a page from the... Read more...
Facebook has long been a major competitor to Google from many different respects, and now, things are set to heat up even more. It's being rumored that at the company's F8 conference to be held later this month, the veil will be taken off of its mobile ad network. This is something that's been rumored for a long time, and given this rumor comes from multiple sources, it'd be more surprising at this point if a mobile ad network wasn't announced. The move will be a common-sense one for Facebook to make. At last check, more than half of its ad revenue comes from mobile, so of course the company would like the opportunity to earn additional revenue on people when they're not on Facebook. I mentioned... Read more...
Some might consider it to be a major breach of privacy, but Facebook sees it as a major feature. With "Nearby Friends", the Facebook mobile app will be able to tell you if any of your contacts are - as you'd expect - nearby. This feature was first rumored just over a year ago, and at the time, many were up-in-arms - oblivious as to how Facebook could consider such a privacy-threatening feature. Well, despite those cries, it's here. The upside: It's opt-in. This is an incredibly important distinction, because part of the last rumor led us to believe that it'd be on by default. Obviously, such a move wouldn't go down too well, and it seems clear that Facebook wouldn't have wanted that kind of backlash.... Read more...
Chances are, you’ve noticed a gradual uptick in the amount of spam in your Facebook Newsfeed. You know the stuff--"like-baiting", spammy links to trick you into clicking on a junk website, and even seeing the content over and over again--and Facebook is trying to get rid of it. “A smaller set of publishers who are frequently and intentionally creating feed spam will see their distribution decrease over the next few months,” wrote Facebook’s Erich Owens and Chris Turitzin in a blog post. “We’re making these changes to ensure that feed spam content does not drown out the content that people really want to see on Facebook from the friends and Pages they care about.”... Read more...
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