Items tagged with Facebook

Facebook has announced the arrival of the Oculus Quest 2 today, priced at just $299. With this new VR product, Facebook wants to make standalone VR more mainstream and accessible. In the process, the company has also killed off the Oculus Rift to make standalone VR a focus. According to Facebook, the Quest 2 “packs a suite of innovations to power the next generation of VR games and experiences.” This all-in-one VR solution rocks a Qualcomm XR2 platform, 6GB of RAM and 1832x1920 pixels per eye. The per eye resolution beats out the Valve Index, so it should look good in comparison. The displays will also run at 90Hz for system applications on day one with app developers getting access... Read more...
Update (8/31/2020): It is now coming out that "misconfiguration at a major external network provider" led to the issues.  The article has been updated to reflect this. As it goes, if something is not supposed to break, it probably will.  This morning, some people had trouble getting to websites across the internet. DownDetector showed a large spike in people reporting issues, and it appears it all came down to a problem with an external network provider. Around 6:30am CST, a rather large spike in issues began to crop up across the web, from Starbucks to Call of Duty multiplayer sessions. Video streaming, log-in services, and whole websites themselves were having problems. For the... Read more...
In what could be a dealbreaker for some VR gamers that own Oculus devices, Facebook announced today that beginning in October, it will remove provisions that allow users to have separate Oculus and Facebook accounts. Instead, first-time Oculus device users will be required to login with a Facebook account. Facebook acquired Oculus back in 2014, and has slowly been making moves over the years to align its VR business with its mainline social networking platform. However, it's likely that people that want absolutely nothing to do with Facebook or its tendency to get its feelers into every aspect of our online life will be happy about this change. If you're already an existing Oculus hardware user... Read more...
Both Apple and Google have been catching flak from various entities over policies the companies have instituted in their respective app stores. Many developers that have apps listed in Apple's App Store or Google Play have voiced concern over the significant commissions that must be paid. Apple takes between 15% and 30%, for example, for most app subscriptions and payments made inside apps. After a strategic move that saw Epic file suit against Apple this past week, Facebook has now come out and taken a firm stance against Apple as well. Facebook announced this week that Apple had declined a request to waive a 30% commission fee for a new app feature it's readying to help small businesses. The... Read more...
Facebook has finally gained clearance from Apple to launch its Facebook Gaming service in the App Store, though only after gimping the service, much to the social network's chagrin. In order to not be in violation of Apple's rules and guidelines for iOS apps hosted in the App Store, Facebook had to remove the ability to play mini games. For the most part, Facebook Gaming is used to watch others play games, similar to Twitch and Mixer (before Microsoft bowed out and abruptly shut Mixer down). But it does also have some mini games people can play, at least on the Android version in Google Play. No dice for iOS users, unfortunately. And Facebook isn't happy about the decision, as it relayed in a... Read more...
The heads of some of the biggest technology companies in the world are in Washington, D.C. today to testify before Congress as lawmakers get ready to decide if more antitrust regulation is needed. Specifically, they include Alphabet/Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Apple CEO Tim Cook, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Out of the four companies they represent, only Facebook has a market cap south of a trillion dollars ($665.12 billion, currently). Collectively, the four tech behemoths have a market cap of around $4.86 trillion. These are some of the largest and most lucrative technology firms on the planet, and with that status comes a fair amount of responsibility. Today's hearing... Read more...
Wherever you go in this world, there are some idiotic laws on the books. For example, in Georgia, it is illegal to carry an ice cream cone in your back pocket if it is Sunday (seriously, look it up). Not to be outdone, there is a truly baffling law in Malaysia that, if strictly enforced, would require anyone who uploads video to the web (including social media sites) to obtain an expensive license. This applies to both professional outlets and just regular citizens, the both of which are supposed to pay 50,000 MYR (~$11,725 in US currency) for a film license, even if just uploading a video to TikTok or Facebook. Whether the law would actually be enforced on individuals is not clear, but strictly... Read more...
Ever find yourself wondering how many times Facebook will drop the ball when it comes to data privacy? The answer is at least one more time, apparently. In a blog post, Facebook admitted it uncovered a flaw that allowed thousands of third-party app developers to access data that they should not have been able to. You may recall that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg sat before Congress and answered a bevy of questions about data collection practices, privacy practices, and so forth, after the whole Cambridge Analytica scandal. Zuckerberg has gone on record multiple times saying government regulation of these things is not necessarily a bad idea. One of the criticisms he faced when answering... Read more...
All eyes in the streaming space are on Tyler "Ninja" Blevins following Microsoft's surprise announcement that Mixer is transitioning to Facebook Gaming. The decision to effectively shutter Mixer comes less than a year after Microsoft lured Ninja away from Twitch, reportedly paying him around $30 million to stream exclusively on the now-defunct platform. "Ultimately, the success of Partners and streamers on Mixer is dependent on our ability to scale the platform for them as quickly and broadly as possible. It became clear that the time needed to grow our own livestreaming community to scale was out of measure with the vision and experiences that Microsoft and Xbox want to deliver for gamers now,... Read more...
It is surprisingly easy to amass a sprawling catalog of photos on Facebook, you just need to use the social media service for any length of time—all those lunch pictures, vacation photos, and everything else you upload from your phone, tablet, and/or PC quickly add up. Now you can copy them over to Google Photos, if you wish. The ability to quickly and easily copy Facebook pictures over to Google Photos for safe keeping is part of a larger initiative to foster sharing data between different services. "For almost a decade, we’ve enabled people to download their information from Facebook. The photo transfer tool we’re starting to roll out today is based on code developed through... Read more...
Facebook has announced that new features are being added to Messenger, which aim to make it a safer place to connect and chat with friends and family. One of the new controls is a safety feature that will help millions of people avoid potentially harmful interactions and possible scams without compromising privacy. Facebook's strategy to keep people safe on Messenger is focused on giving users the information and controls needed to prevent abuse from happening, and detecting abuse and responding quickly if it occurs. Safety notices have been introduced in Messenger that will pop up in a chat and provide tips to help people spot suspicious activity. The safety notices that do pop up will give... Read more...
Video calls have become all the rage over the last few months and Zoom remains one of the most popular choices for group video chat. However, recent security issues have caused many to look for alternatives. Facebook recently launched “Messenger Rooms”, a video chat service for up to 50 users and it just became widely available to users. Here is how you can set-up a group call on Messenger Rooms. How To Create A Facebook Messenger Room If you are the host of a video chat, you will need a Facebook account. If you are creating the “room” through a mobile app, you will want to double-check that you have the most recent version of the Facebook and Messenger mobile... Read more...
Many Facebook app users are likely familiar with Giphy, as the API for the animated GIF service is integrated with the website. Facebook says that 50% of Giphy's traffic comes from the Facebook family of apps, with half of that traffic from Instagram alone. For those unfamiliar with Giphy, it's described as a leader in visual expression and creativity. Users will know it as the service that allows you to add gifs and short video clips as a comment on a post rather than typing a message. Facebook has now announced that it has purchased Giphy and will make it part of the Instagram team (the purchase price was a cool $400 million according to Axios). Facebook says that by putting Instagram and its... Read more...
Video and text chatting applications are seeing exponential growth during the coronavirus pandemic as people stuck at home try to keep in touch with friends, family, and coworkers. Facebook has announced that its latest take on video chatting, called Messenger Rooms, is now available to everyone in North America, and will be available globally in the next week. CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced availability in a Facebook post, noting that people around the world are relying on video chat to feel connected with the people they care about. Zuckerberg says WhatsApp and Messenger are the most popular video calling services globally. Still, many of the video services out there for large groups are meant... Read more...
The redesigned Facebook desktop UI is rolling out to everyone, and one of the best things about this update is that it brings a dark mode. Anyone who ever gets on Facebook in a darkened room knows the feeling the traditional all-white interface gives. It's almost as if the sun is a few inches from your face. Many Facebook users will want to enable Dark Mode as soon as possible, and here's how you do it. The steps to enable Dark Mode are very simple. Click the upside-down triangle in the top right corner of the new Facebook page. It will open a screen that has your name at the top and stacked links for Give Feedback, Settings & Privacy, Help & Support, and the Dark Mode slider. Click the... Read more...
Facebook has introduced a new way for friends or coworkers to get together during the coronavirus pandemic, called Messenger Rooms. Facebook says that Messenger Rooms was designed to allow people to spend "quality time with friends, loved ones, and people who share their interests." Users can create a room from within Messenger or Facebook and then invite anyone to join the video call, even if they don't have a Facebook account. Messenger Rooms "will soon" hold up to 50 people with no time limit. Users can start and share rooms on Facebook through News Feed or Groups and Events. The social network says that it intends to soon add ways to allow users to create Rooms from Instagram Direct, WhatsApp,... Read more...
Facebook is launching a new live gaming app called Facebook Gaming: Watch, Play, and Connect. The app marks Facebook's most significant move into the video game segment coming at a time when people are stuck indoors due to the coronavirus and looking for ways to relax. The app is offered at no cost and is designed for creating and watching live gameplay allowing Facebook to battle directly against Twitch, YouTube, and Mixer. The Facebook Gaming app was supposed to launch in June, but Facebook launched early to take advantage of the hordes of people around the country, and the world, who are stuck at home. The person in charge of the Facebook app is Fidji Simo, who reports directly to Mark Zuckerberg.... Read more...
It should come as no surprise that video conferencing software is seeing a sudden uptick in usage—more people are telecommuting in order to social distance themselves amid the COVID-19 outbreak. Zoom is among the beneficiaries of the current situation, though not without controversy. New research indicates that Zoom's iOS app is sending analytical data to Facebook on the sly. Apps sending information to Facebook is not the least bit uncommon. Many apps and services tie their offerings into Facebook, and it can be convenient for users who do not want to juggle yet another account. But when it comes to sharing analytical data, that sort of thing should be made clear to users, and require... Read more...
The government is urging people to keep their distance from others to help slow and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. The government is currently in talks with Facebook and Google along with a range of other technology companies and health experts to determine how they may be able to use location data gathered from smartphones to glean information about the coronavirus. Public health experts believe that private companies may be able to compile data in an anonymous and aggregated form that could be used to map the spread of the infection. Details of the talks come from a trio of unnamed sources cited by the Washington Post, which claim that the project is in the early stages. While analyzing... Read more...
For a period of time yesterday, Facebook was on the fritz, blocking content that did not run afoul of any rules, including posts on the coronavirus. However, those were not the only ones. As our own Marco Chiappetta noted, some of his boxing friends had posts blocked about Roger Mayweather's death, while others had entertainment related posts flagged and removed. "Count me in. My post on letting seniors in grocery stores early for shopping during the crisis was marked invisible for being against community standards," our own Dave Altavilla noted in response to Marco's Facebook post. Quite frankly, I could have done without the news that the greatest quarterback of all time, Tom Brady, had decided... Read more...
WhatsApp is popular because its end-to-end encryption gives users warm fuzzies over the privacy and security of their chats. However, the chat messaging application might not be quite as secure or private as you thought (or at least that was the case). That's because Google had been indexing links to group chats, which in turn allowed any Joe or Jane to join and see potentially private information. Apparently this had been going on for several years. As a result, there were hundreds of thousands of indexed chat group links on the web, all of which were a simple Google search away. Your WhatsApp groups may not be as secure as you think they are. The "Invite to Group via Link" feature allows groups... Read more...
U.S. lawmakers have been on a mission to kill end-to-end encryption as we known it. And we're not just talking about killing encryption (or at least providing backdoors) on devices like iPhones or the Google Pixel 4, but also online software platforms from Facebook and Google. The bill is entitled "The Eliminating Abuse and Rampant Neglect of Interactive Technologies Act of 2019,” which of course has to work out to some hip catchphrase, which in this case is the "EARN IT Act". Sponsors of the bill include Senators Lindsay Graham (R) and Richard Blumenthal (D). At its heart, the senators claim that the legislation is aimed at stopping child sexual abuse and the exploitation of... Read more...
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