Mark Zuckerberg’s not that paranoid

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In this episode of MashTalk, Pete, Christina and Lance discuss Mark Zuckerberg's paranoia (1:00) — he might not be THAT paranoid — before diving into how Siri works on macOS Sierra (9:05) and how it compares to Cortana (10:00). We then shift into some other thoughts on macOS Sierra (18:05), including Apple's increased focus on iCloud and services.

We then segue (heh) into Lance's review of the new Segway (28:15). Is it too little too late? Hoverboards are over so does this thing stand a chance? Speaking of having a chance, is Periscope having a renaissance? (36:48) After CSPAN cameras were prohibited from covering the sit-in/protest over gun control, Democrats broadcast the happenings on Periscope. We talk about the broader implications for live video. Read more...

More about Periscope, Segway, Macos Sierra, Mark Zuckerberg, and Mashtalk

Microsoft and Facebook to build a high-speed underwater cable connecting the U.S. to Europe

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Facebook and Microsoft on Thursday announced that they are teaming up to build a subsea cable across the Atlantic Ocean.

In a blog post, Microsoft says that the goal of the cable is to “help meet the growing customer demand for high speed, reliable connections for cloud and online services” for Microsoft, Facebook and others.

Construction on the new “MAREA” cable will start in August and is expected to be completed in October 2017. The cable system will be 6,600 km (4,100 miles) in length. Microsoft and Facebook say this is “the highest-capacity subsea cable to ever cross the Atlantic.”

Image: Microsoft Read more...

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Apple TV app curates Facebook videos just for you

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A lot of videos are published on Facebook. But finding videos to watch is a lot more difficult.

Which is why it's notable that the best solution I’ve seen for finding great videos on Facebook comes by way of Rheo, a new app for Apple TV.

Rheo is the brainchild of Copper Studios, a startup founded by Alan Cannistraro. Before going out on his own, Cannistraro spent 12 years at Apple, where he built the very first iPhone app and was involved with the original Apple TV at its earliest stages. He joined Facebook in 2012 and led the team that built its AutoPlay video feature. Read more...

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Facebook poaches Google’s ATAP lead to head its new hardware division

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Regina Dugan – who ran Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects division – has joined Facebook.

Dugan will be heading up Building 8, a new Facebook group that CEO Mark Zuckerberg says will be “focused on building new hardware products to advance our mission of connecting the world.”

Zuckerberg wrote:

At Google, Dugan led ATAP – which started out as a division of Motorola. When Motorola was sold to Lenovo in 2014, ATAP moved back to Google proper. Even after the Alphabet shakeup last year, ATAP remained part of Google.

Dugan’s mission at ATAP was to “do some epic shit” (her words) and she oversaw stuff like Project Tango as well as smart fabrics and modular phones. Last year, ATAP launched Project Fi, Google’s first efforts at becoming a wireless carrier. Read more...

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Facebook Messenger bots are here and they want to kill apps

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As predicted, developers can now build bots inside Facebook Messenger.

The announcement was one of the highlights of Facebook’s jam-packed F8 schedule and it further proves what many have been predicting for a long time, bots are the future.

Right now, the bots that are available are more limited – and the discovery process isn’t perfect – but it’s clear now, more than ever, that bots make a lot of sense.

Beyond that, Messenger’s bot strategy speaks to a few realities of modern computing and communication.

Don’t make me talk to you on the phone

Like many millenials, I don’t spend a lot of time on the phone. I talk to sources and companies for my job, but most of my personal communication takes place through text (or if I’m feeling especially outgoing, Snapchat). Read more...

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Facebook hopes to kill the username and password

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At its F8 developer conference, Facebook announced Account Kit, a new way for app developers to let users sign up for services with an email or phone number, no username or password required.

An extension of the existing Facebook login system, Account Kit is designed for developers who want an easy way for users to create accounts without having to sign in using Facebook.

Account Kit lets developers drop in code that will speed up the account-creation process. Instead, a user can use an email address or phone number. Users will receive a confirmation message via SMS or email to get setup. Read more...

More about Passwords, F8, Facebook, Logins, and Tech

You can now build bots for Facebook Messenger

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At its F8 developer conference, Facebook unveiled a new Messenger platform that allows developers to build bots inside Facebook Messenger.

Bots are hot; they could even be the future.

At its a heart, a bot is nothing more an an app that runs automated tasks based on input. So “run backup” could have a bot that backs up your data to Dropbox or whatever.

The modern era of chat bots work with chat apps – including Messenger – and use real language to determine what task to complete.

In the demo early in his keynote, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed how bots inside Messenger could deliver news to users using CNN. Read more...

More about F8, Facebook, Bots, and Tech

Soon you’ll be able to buy concert tickets on Facebook

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Soon, you’ll be able to buy those highly sought-after Beyoncé tickets through Ticketmaster, directly on Facebook.

The feature – which is supposed to launch at the end of April – was first reported by BuzzFeed News.

In addition to buying tickets from Facebook – presumably on event or artist pages – users will also able to get tickets from Facebook Messenger’s assistant, M.

The news comes just ahead of Facebook’s F8 developer conference, where Messenger bots are expected to be a big part of the social giants announcements.

More about Ticketmaster, Facebook, Messenger, and Tech

As Apple vs. FBI looms, WhatsApp and others look to increase encryption

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As the battle between Apple and the FBI heats up over encryption, it's increasingly clear this isn't just about one iPhone.

A New York Times article on Saturday reported that the Department of Justice is worried about the encryption on apps such as WhatsApp.

According to The Times, the encryption built into WhatsApp has stymied Justice Department attempts at wiretapping. Even with a judge's wiretap order, WhatsApp's encryption prevents law enforcement from reading or intercepting messages sent on its platform. Read more...

More about Encryption, Whatsapp, Facebook, Tech, and Apps Software

‘Disappointed’ Mark Zuckerberg responds to India’s partial Facebook ban

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has responded to the news that India's telecom regulator has banned the company's Free Basics program.

Free Basics, which began as part of Facebook's Internet.org project, allowed subscribers to Reliance — the biggest telecom in India — free access to Internet services.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Zuckerberg wrote that "while we're disappointed with today's decision, I want to personally communicate that we are committed to keep working to break down barriers to connectivity in India and around the world."

More about Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, India, Net Neutrality, and Tech
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