Menu

Tech

Billionaire Elon Musk now has 100 million followers on Twitter

Elon Musk turns 51 today and on his birthday his Twitter followers touched the 100 million mark. The billionaire achieved the milestone at the time when he is evaluating the Twitter deal and planning to buy the microblogging platform in the months to come.

Musk offered to buy Twitter just a few months ago but the deal hasn’t been closed yet. The Tesla CEO recently said he has put the deal on hold until Twitter shares details on spam bots on the platform. In one of its latest findings, Twitter said that the platform included 5 per cent of bots in the last quarter. Musk, however, said that there are atleast 20 per cent bots on the platform.

Musk is expected to buy Twitter by the end of this year if everything works out. He recently met Twitter employees through a video call and talked about the deal, lay offs, and remote work. During the call, he hinted that there will be layoffs at Twitter in the future.

The billionaire recently asked all Tesla employees to return to office or quit. He also said that every employee needs to work atleast 40 hours per week. In one of the emails sent to employees, the billionaire said “anyone who wishes to do remote work must be in the office for a minimum (and I mean minimum) of 40 hours per week or depart Tesla.” Musk clarified that the office “must be a main Tesla office, not a remote branch office unrelated to the job duties, for example being responsible for Fremont factory human relations, but having your office be in another state.”

India Today

Instagram tests new tools for age verification

Instagram said on Thursday it is testing new options for users to verify their age on the platform, starting with people in the United States.

The photo-sharing service owned by Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) said it is testing two new ways to verify a person’s age, in addition to allowing them to upload their identity proof online.

“When we know if someone is a teen (13-17 years), we provide them with age-appropriate experiences like defaulting them into private accounts, preventing unwanted contact from adults they don’t know and limiting the options advertisers have to reach them with ads,” Erica Finkle, director of data governance at Meta, said in a blog post.

Instagram said it has partnered with Yoti, a company that specializes in online age verification to ensure users’ privacy.

Users can upload a video selfie to verify their age, after which Yoti’s technology estimates their age based on facial features. Both Meta and Yoti will delete the image once the age has been verified, Instagram said.

Another option is for people to select three mutual followers to confirm the user’s age, and the person vouching must be at least 18 years old.

The move comes after Instagram paused the launch of Instagram Kids last year, after receiving criticism and opposition for the project.

Instagram Kids was touted as requiring parental permission to join, and was supposed to provide ad-free, age-appropriate content, but U.S. lawmakers and advocacy groups urged the company to drop its launch plans, citing safety concerns.

Reuters

Users report issues with “Twitter”

Twitter users across the world have been reporting issues accessing the social media platform.

People have been left unable to login to their accounts, meaning they also can’t post or view tweets.

Source: Daily Mail

WhatsApp to update time limit to delete messages for everyone

WhatsApp is working on several features to enhance user experience. As per reports, the Meta-owned messaging app is updating the time limit to delete messages for everyone. The update will be released for some beta users, reported WABetaInfo, the website that tracks the latest WhatsApp updates.

Earlier, the limit to delete messages for everyone was one hour, eight minutes and 16 seconds. The new limit is 2 days and 12 hours. The website also shared a screenshot of the feature.

WABetaInfo wrote, “The previous limit was 1 hour, 8 minutes, and 16 seconds. We just tried to delete a message sent yesterday and it worked! We can also confirm that the new time limit is really 2 days and 12 hours, the same one that was planned during the development of the feature.”

The feature will be rolled out to some more beta users in the coming weeks.Notably, the messaging app is also working on the ability to allow a group admin to delete any message in groups. The feature will be available in the future update of the app. However, the exact date of this feature is still not known.

Recently, WhatsApp released a feature to allow users to mute or message specific people on a call. The app also introduced an indicator at the bottom of the group call. It informs all participants that someone joined the group call.

Source: Time Now News

WhatsApp Quick Replies Feature For Desktop

Of late, WhatsApp has been introducing a lot of new features from time to time to improve the experience of users. One of the features is to send replies from the notification panel that appears at the top on Android and iOS devices. It is possible to view the messages, emojis, and stickers sent by others from the notification panel itself.

After making it simple to view the content of a message without opening the app, the Meta-owned instant messaging platform has taken the same move to help desktop users reply to a message without opening the app.

WhatsApp is likely prepping a new feature called ‘Quick Replies’ for its desktop app users. As per a report by WABetaInfo, this feature will let users respond to messages that they have received in the app sans opening the app. Select users with WhatsApp beta for Windows 2.2227.2.0 will be able to use this feature and it is likely to be rolled out to all users in the future.

The report has shared a screenshot of the same and shows that when users get a new message in the desktop app, they will be able to reply to it seamlessly from the notification panel. For now, the WhatsApp Quick Replies feature is available for the users of Android and iOS versions of the app.

Users have to press and hold a message from the message notification panel to reply to a message. The same is done by tapping the Reply option in the case of android. This feature has been missing in the WhatsApp Desktop app and one of the upcoming updates will roll out this feature.

The screenshot shows that the message notifications will show the name of the sender and a brief summary of the message as it does now. It will also show a new Open button to open the message and make it possible to reply to the message as they usually do. In addition to this, WhatsApp users can tap the three-dot menu beside the Open button to open the quick replies dialog box and respond to the message easily without opening the app.

UAE to develop and launch advanced radar satellite constellation under new AED3 billion space sector fund

Under the auspices of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai UAE, the UAE Space Agency today announced a new AED3 billion national investment and development fund for the space sector, The National Space Fund.

The Fund will support ground breaking new programmes launched to support international and Emirati companies co-operating in leading edge space sector engineering, sciences and research applications. The Fund’s first project to be launched to space will be a constellation of advanced remote sensing satellites using radar technologies to provide unparalleled imaging capabilities.

Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency, said: “A long-term plan and programme for the development of the Emirates’ space sector is in place to create economic opportunities, new jobs and help to fund global partnerships and new leaders in technology, space sciences and engineering here in the UAE. We are planning for a bright future filled with new challenges and openings for our young people – and this fund is precisely targeted at building opportunities for international co-operation in building Emirati enterprises.”

The Fund will actively encourage partnerships between international and local enterprises, providing them with incentives as a part of the UAE Space Agency’s Space Economic Zones Programme.

Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency, said, “The National Space Fund will encourage global partnerships to establish themselves here in the Emirates, providing new and vital technology platforms and development to answer the needs of the UAE Space Programme and other global customers for vital innovation and technologies that answer the needs and possibilities of today’s world.”

The Fund’s first investment will be in the development and launch of a constellation of advanced imaging satellites for the Emirates, using the SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) technology. The constellation is to be named Sirb after the Arabic term for a flock of birds, and will address the critical need for better environmental and land usage monitoring, data collection and analysis to meet today’s global challenges.

The planned satellites will be able to create highly detailed and complex radar ‘images’ of land use, ice cover, surface changes and characterisation, with a wide range of scientific, civil and commercial applications.

Sarah Al Amiri commented, “SAR technology leapfrogs traditional imaging satellites, providing more powerful imaging using X-band radar technologies, allowing us to continue observations day and night, through fog and cloud cover as well as combining observations to create big data pictures simply not possible through conventional imaging. These small-scale satellites are more agile, faster to develop and more powerful – an indicator of the types of new generation systems that technology is now making possible.”

SAR technology combines the power of imaging satellites with cloud and ground penetrating capabilities that will open up applications from urban planning to archaeology and from weather prediction to atmospheric quality analysis and climate change mapping. Critically, the SAR radar-based technology can provide high-resolution images for remote sensing applications regardless of sunlight illumination and weather conditions.

The six-year satellite development programme will see the first satellite launch in three years, a much faster time to launch than was possible using traditional earth observation satellite design principles. The Sirb satellites will be built through a number of partnerships between the Emirati public and private sector together with international players, with submissions being opened for a range of system integration, development and subsystem construction opportunities as part of the constellation development, launch, operation and commercialisation plan.

As well as addressing critical human needs for more wide-ranging data, the Sirb constellation provides a private sector opportunity that bridges the gap between the Emirates Mars Mission and the upcoming Beyond Mars Mission to Venus and the Main Asteroid Belt, due to launch in 2028.

Snap launches Snapchat for Web to bring the app’s core features to desktop

Snap announced today that it’s introducing Snapchat for Web to let users send snaps and chat with friends via video calls, all from their desktops. To start, Snapchat for Web will be available to Snapchat+ subscribers in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. After the initial launch, the company plans to roll out Snapchat for Web to Snapchat+ subscribers in France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, before making it accessible to all users around the world.

With Snapchat for Web, you can send messages and snaps, and also chat via video and regular calls. Snapchat for Web also allows users to take advantage of messaging features available on mobile, including chat reactions. Snap says it plans to bring its Lenses feature to video calls in the future.

To access Snapchat for Web, users need to head to web.snapchat.com and log in with their Snapchat username and password. From there, you’ll be prompted to complete two-step verification on your phone by default. Once you open Snapchat for Web, you can continue your conversations from where you left them on mobile. When you’re using Snapchat via a desktop, your Bitmoji will appear in chats with a laptop to indicate to others that you’re accessing the chat via Snapchat for Web. In addition, the web experience includes a privacy screen that hides the Snapchat window if you click away for another task.

Similar to the app experience on mobile, messages that are sent via Snapchat for Web will be deleted automatically after 24 hours. The company also says Snapchat for Web will prevent people from taking screenshots. However, Snap is aware that people can still take a picture on the screen from their phone, noting that the product isn’t perfect.

In a briefing with reporters, a Snap spokesperson said the average caller on Snapchat spends more than 30 minutes a day on calls. Despite still seeing itself as a mobile-first platform, Snap says it decided that it was time to bring Snapchat’s core features to the web after listening to feedback from users.

“With so many in our community spending more time online, whether it is for remote learning or working, streaming or just plain browsing – we saw a huge opportunity to make it easier for our community to stay connected throughout their day, and we cannot wait to bring our favorite fundamental Snapchat capabilities to the web,” the company notes.

Source: TechCrunch

WhatsApp could soon display past participants of group chats after they leave

WhatsApp is constantly adding and testing new features on its beta software updates and some of these change how group chats work. The Meta-owned instant messaging service has been testing everything from groups with 512 members to allowing users to leave WhatsApp groups silently. Now, it is reportedly testing a feature where group chat participants can see all the past participants in the group who left it in the previous 60 days.

WaBetaInfo discovered the feature in the WhatsApp beta for iOS 22.16.0.70 update. This means that even if WhatsApp brings out a wider rollout for the feature allowing users to leave groups silently without alerting other users, all participants will still be able to see who left the group in the last 60 days from when they are checking. 60 days after a user leaves a group, their name will be removed from the list of past participants.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp was testing a feature where users can delete the messages they sent as long as 2 days and 12 hours after they send them. Currently, users can only delete messages “for everyone” about an hour after the message is sent.

Before that, the instant messaging service had begun testing “Voice Status” where users could record a quick audio note and share it on their Status tab, just like how users could send voice notes in WhatsApp chats. WhatsApp status updates are the app’s version of the “stories” feature found on other platforms like Instagram and Snapchat.

Indian Express

WhatsApp’s upcoming chatbot will tell you what’s new when you update

WhatsApp is almost always adding new features to the instant messaging app, and the latest addition will one day make it easier to understand what is new on the service. A new feature currently in development will introduce you to an official WhatsApp account within the app, and it’ll message you when new features land.

As spotted by WABetaInfo, the new feature is in the early stages of development, so you probably won’t see this land on your phone anytime soon. The report includes a screenshot of how the chat will appear from the verified chatbot. A notification when you open the chat says it’ll provide information about new features, tips and tricks for WhatsApp, and information about privacy and safety.

Unlike business accounts on WhatsApp, you won’t be able to reply to any of these messages. This is a read-only account, so it’s much more of a notification system through WhatsApp to inform you about new features and any updates to the service. All the messages will be end-to-end encrypted, but that’s unlikely to be a big deal as these messages that many people will receive. If you need WhatsApp support, you’ll have to contact the company through other means.

When the feature rolls out, you’ll be messaged directly from the company with a similar view to what you see in the screenshot above. If you don’t want this conversation to appear in your feed, you’ll be able to block the chat from messaging you in the future. This chatbot is similar to features within rival messaging apps Telegram and Signal, where each uses an official channel to update you on new releases.

The feature is under development now, so we don’t know when this will start appearing for you in the app. It’ll likely be a little while before this arrives. In the meantime, some users have begun receiving revamped rich link previews in their WhatsApp applications in the last few days.

Android Police

Twitter down for thousands of users – Downdetector

Twitter Inc was down for thousands of users on Tuesday, according to outage tracking website Downdetector.com.

Downdetector, which tracks outages by collating status reports from a number of sources, showed more than 15,000 outage reports.

Reuters