Facebook Messenger Introduces Dropbox and Video Chat Heads

Facebook Messenger is a system built to help communicate through the popular social network, but the latest features look to bring it closer to email with Facebook Messenger introducing dropbox features and even adding a chat head imagine to your video calls.

The dropbox features allow you to add in dropbox files just like you would add an emoji, the end result being the ability to go through files and directories on your dropbox system and send them just like you would any other file. Any photos or videos sent linked through the messenger will appear as if  you had sent them normally while other files will either be sent to download via the Dropbox app or as a hyperlink to download the file through the web.

Ever had a video call on Facebook messenger? Your entire screen filled with someone’s face, stopping you from contacting or responding to other messages. The new chat head feature will display your callers video in a little circle that you can place and drag around your screen, letting you get on with your browsing while you chat away. The feature could even support video chat amongst different applications and with both features set for release within the next few days, just watch out for the latest download.

Cloud-Compatible Pen-and-Paper Notebook Can be Reused After Microwaving

Have you ever had to compromise between traditional pen-and-paper work and digital organisation? Do you find yourself having to scan documents in order to store them alongside computer records, or just have an ever-increasing stack of notepads? Thankfully, a new cloud-compatible pen-and-paper notebook is aiming to bridge the gap between traditional paperwork and digital storage.

The Rocketbook Wave looks like a normal notebook, with the only unusual addition being a series of symbols at the bottom of each page. Once you’ve filled in a page – writing, drawing, or doodling – using a Pilot FriXion pen, you can use the Rocketbook phone app (available for Android and iOS) to scan and upload the page through the built-in camera to your desired cloud storage service, which includes Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, Google Docs, and e-mail.

The symbols at the base of each page can be assigned to different services, so all you need to do is put a cross over the symbol that represents the service you’d like to use; for example, if you’ve assigned the diamond symbol to upload to your Evernote account, then a cross over the diamond will upload your document direct to Evernote.

The Rocketbook app uses your smartphone’s camera to detect, crop, and enhance every image that is scanned before it is uploaded, so there is no need to post-processing of scanned images.

But what happens once you’ve filled your Rocketbook Wave? Well, thanks to the thermochromic ink used by Pilot FriXion pens, the whole book can be erased by exposure to microwaves. Simply pop your Rocketbook Wave in the microwave until the logo on the front turns white, and the book is fresh for use again.

The Rocketbook Wave Kickstarter has already demolished its $20,000 goal, raising $144,436 in pledges with 52 days remaining.

OneDrive Can Finally Sync Shared Folders

The long-awaited option to synch shared folders on OneDrive is finally here. Microsoft finally started to roll out an update that allows users to sync content in shared folders and have it pushed to other users as soon as the files get synced.

Up until now, Google Drive and Dropbox took the lead in sharing folders and making it easier to collaborate with other people on the same projects. I personally preferred Dropbox so far due to the fact that it synced files and delivered the updated files to colleagues almost instantly (depending on the internet speed, of course). However, as Microsoft wants to integrate OneDrive in its upcoming Office 2016 suite, changes needed to be made.

Besides, synching folders in OneDrive was one of the top upvoted features in Microsoft’s feedback forum, so it was bound to be implemented sooner or later. You may not have the feature yet, but Microsoft is said to have started gradually rolling out the update to users. Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10 and Mac OS X will get the aforementioned update, and yes, it seems that Windows 8.1 will be skipped. OneDrive Director of Product Management, Angus Logan, tells that Microsoft is focusing on Windows 10 and this might be a way to ‘force’ users to update to the latest Microsoft OS.

It seems that Microsoft is moving one step closer to helping businesses collaborate and make it easier to share and sync files, but is it enough to get you to switch to OneDrive? We like to know what software you are using to share folders. Is it Dropbox, Google Drive, or will you switch to OneDrive in the end? Let us know!

Thank you PCWorld for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of macitynet.it

Vodafone Makes Deal with Dropbox for Smartphone Data Backups

Vodafone has secured a significant deal with cloud storage provider Dropbox that will provide its customers with 25GB free space and integration with Vodafone’s new Backup+ service.

Backup+ allows Android and iPhone users to restore content to their devices, but can also be used for device migration, making the switch between Android and iOS smartphones much easier. The service also allows customers to share data with other people.

New Vodafone customers who set up a Dropbox account through Backup+ will receive a free gift of 25GB storage for a year. Other offers, yet to be unveiled, will be made available to all Backup+ users.

Though the Backup+ app will be made available to customers on the Vodafone network by the end of March, it will take a few months to roll out to most Vodafone areas.

Source: Engadget

PayPal Pulls MEGA Support

PayPal has ceased supporting customer payments for MEGA as of Friday. A post on MEGA’s blog suggests that PayPal has refused to handle the cloud storage service’s transactions due to its presence in a NetNames report accusing it of being an illegitimate business, and subsequent pressure by Visa and Mastercard.

The blog reads:

MEGA is aware of a report published by NetNames (partially funded from the MPAA supported Digital Citizens Alliance) that incorrectly claims MEGA’s business to not be a legitimate cloud storage service. MEGA is aware that Senator Leahy (Vermont, Chair Senate Judiciary Committee) then pressured Visa and MasterCard to cease providing payment services to the companies named in that report.

Visa and MasterCard then pressured PayPal to cease providing payment services to MEGA.

Though PayPal later acknowledged that it considers MEGA to be a legitimate operation, it decided to maintain its embargo, citing the “unknowability of what is on the platform,” effectively penalising MEGA for using effective end-to-end encryption.

While PayPal continues to withhold its service, MEGA says it will not punish its customers over it:

Until new payment systems are implemented, MEGA will temporarily not enforce its storage limits or suspend any accounts for non-payment and has extended existing subscriptions by 2 months free of charge.

MEGA has 15 million customers across 200 countries using its cloud storage service. It was launched by web entrepreneur Kim Dotcom as a secure alternative to the likes of Dropbox, after the service gave the NSA access to user data through the PRISM initiative.

Source: MEGA

Dropbox Users Can Get 100GB Free OneDrive Storage

In an attempt to pull Dropbox users over to OneDrive, Microsoft is offering anyone with a Dropbox account 100GB of free storage (for one year). If you visit the OneDrive site and register your Dropbox account, you’ll immediately get your big storage increase – a massive amount compared to the measly 2GB you get for free with Dropbox.

It is only for a year though, so who knows what would happen to the stuff you have stored over the standard 25GB when that year is up. With that in mind though, it’s pretty clear Microsoft isn’t being totally a good samaritan, such a deal will undoubtedly lure in more OneDrive users who will then feel inclined to pay the subscription fees once their free year is up.

Still, if you need 125GB right now, there’s no better place for you. Be sure to have a fast upload speed if you’re thinking of using it all at once though.

Source: The Next Web

Sharing Dropbox Files in Gmail Now Easier Thanks to Chrome Extension

Big user of Dropbox?  Well thanks to a new Chrome extension, it is now easier to share Dropbox files in Gmail. The extension is only in beta stages, but works similarly to adding files from Google Drive.  Simply select the file with the Dropbox menu will attach it, and add a link to the body.  Just like adding a file from Google Drive, this allows for sharing of larger files than Gmail’s attachment limit.


Source: Engadget

Top Tech Investor Warn US Could be “F—ed” by its Strict Immigration Policy

Paul Graham, co-founder of seed accelerator Y Combinator and investor in Dropbox, gauges that 95% of the world’s best engineers live outside the US, and that America’s strict immigration policy means the country will never be able to enjoy the fruits of their labour. According to Graham, unless there is a major reform of immigration laws to allow talent to enter the country, the US could be “f—ed”.

Graham shared his concerns on his personal blog:

“The more of the world’s great programmers are here, the more the rest will want to come here.

And if we don’t, the US could be seriously f—ed. I realize that’s strong language, but the people dithering about this don’t seem to realize the power of the forces at work here. Technology gives the best programmers huge leverage. The world market in programmers seems to be becoming dramatically more liquid. And since good people like good colleagues, that means the best programmers could collect in just a few hubs. Maybe mostly in one hub.

What if most of the great programmers collected in one hub, and it wasn’t here? That scenario may seem unlikely now, but it won’t be if things change as much in the next 50 years as they did in the last 50.

We have the potential to ensure that the US remains a technology superpower just by letting in a few thousand great programmers a year.”

Source: Business Insider

E-Mail Startup Acompli Acquired by Microsoft

Startup e-mail app Acompli has been snapped up Microsoft. The moves surprised no one, since news of the deal accidentally leaked last week when a blog draft with the url http://blogs.microsoft.com/blog/2014/11/25/microsoft-acquires-acompli/, written by Microsoft Vice President Rajesh Jha, turned up on RSS feeds.

Acompli’s free e-mail app, for iOS and Android devices, has garnered many positive reviews since its release earlier this year. It supports Gmail and Microsoft Exchange integration – which likely brought the app to the attention of its new owner – as well as Dropbox, iCloud, and OneDrive.

Source: engadget

USA Freedom Act, the NSA Reform Bill, Blocked by US Senate

The USA Freedom Act, designed to restrict NSA powers to collect user data, has been blocked by US Senate Republicans in a vote on Tuesday. The bill, supported by tech business coalition Reform Government Surveillance, did not achieve the 60 votes required to become legislation, losing out by two votes, 58 to 42 for consideration. Only four Republicans voted for the bill to be considered.

The group Reform Government Surveillance – comprised of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Aol, Evernote, Dropbox, Linkedin, and Twitter – strongly supported the bill and implored the US Senate to make it law earlier this week. One of the bill’s more outspoken opponents was Senator Mitch McConnell, who argued that the move would hamper the NSA’s capacity to fight terrorism. Before the vote, he said “This is the worst possible time to be tying our hands behind our backs.”

The Vermont Democrat who drafted the bill, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, accused opponents of fearmongering to defeat the bill, saying, “Fomenting fear stifles serious debate and constructive solutions. This nation deserves more than that.”

Source: New York Times

Microsoft Office for Android Now Features Dropbox Integration

Microsoft has updated Office for Android, providing Dropbox integration.

The new feature was revealed a few weeks ago now, but the update to the application itself brings Dropbox support to fruition. This allows Office for Android users to open, edit, and save documents within their Dropbox account, all within the Office Mobile for Android application. You can download Office Mobile for Android from the Google Play Store.

Source: Android Central.

Facebook, Google, and Apple Support USA Freedom Act

A coalition of nine tech groups – comprised of Facebook, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Aol, Evernote, Dropbox, Linkedin, and Twitter – under the banner Reform Government Surveillance, have petitioned the US Senate to adopt the USA Freedom Act, designed to restrict the NSA’s power to collect user data.

In an open letter to the Senate on their blog, Reform Government Surveillance had this to say about the USA Freedom Act: “The legislation prevents the bulk collection of Internet metadata under various authorities. The bill also allows for transparency about government demands for user information from technology companies and assures that the appropriate oversight and accountability mechanisms are in place.”

A statement from the White House affirms its strong support for the USA Freedom Act. The US Senate could vote on the bill later this week.

Source: TNW

Dropbox Adapts Web Interface For Faster Sharing

Dropbox has adapted its user interface to facilitate easier sharing on its website. When you log in, next to each Dropbox folder is now a Share button, with the option to either invite people – giving them full read/write access – or send a direct link – even if the recipient doesn’t have their own Dropbox account – to your folder of choice.

These sharing facilities were already previously available, but the new interface gives users faster access to them, and is more intuitive than having to navigate dropdown menus. In the increasingly competitive cloud storage market, with Google Drive, Copy, and Microsoft’s OneDrive all jostling for position, any move to attract entry-level users is a positive one.

Source: TechCrunch

Dropbox Wasn’t Hacked but Leaked Credentials Are Real

There hasn’t been any shortage on high-profile hacks lately. First there was the celebrity iCloud situation and just last week the we were hit with the Snapchat photo hack. This time it’s Dropbox that is being targeted. An anonymous user posting on pastebin claims to have over 7 million Dropbox usernames and passwords. He posted the first 400 credentials with the announcement and said he would release more upon receiving Bitcoin donations.

Dropbox has issued a public statement on their blog about the issue, stating that the credentials are in fact were real, but that their security wasn’t breached and they weren’t hacked either. This is rather a compilation of usernames and passwords from other services that were compromised. The users simply had used the same combination for their Dropbox account as well as many other services.

Recent news articles claiming that Dropbox was hacked aren’t true. Your stuff is safe. The usernames and passwords referenced in these articles were stolen from unrelated services, not Dropbox. Attackers then used these stolen credentials to try to log in to sites across the internet, including Dropbox. We have measures in place to detect suspicious login activity and we automatically reset passwords when it happens.

There have been a couple more posts on pastebin since the original post with supposedly more credentials. These however seem to be fake and posted by pranksters instead. Dropbox added in their statements that the majority of the leaked credentials had been discovered prior and the passwords have already been reset.

It didn’t take long after the news was out before I had the first messages in my inbox about it. People asking if it was true, what to do and how to check if they were affected. The usual good advice goes here as so many other places. Don’t use the same password for multiple services, change it regularly from a secure device, enable two-way authentication and keep your security software updated.

Thank you Dropbox for providing us with these information

Image courtesy of Dropbox

Dropbox Gets Speed Boost Thanks to Streaming Sync

A new edition of the Dropbox desktop client was introduced on Friday, bringing with it an upgrade version of its file-sync technology that allows the streaming of larger files, so that video and audio can be sent and of course retrieved much faster than before.

Streaming technology is hardly new, but being able to open your video or audio file whilst the rest of it downloads is a big bonus for Dropbox as it means you could theoretically use it like Netflix to stream your movies to other devices whilst downloading them. This is great for connecting multimedia applications and certainly has advantages for those eager to watch the movie or listen to the album your sending them.

With many more file storage companies now on the market, new features are being added constantly by Dropbox and their rivals to stay competitive, the obvious winner here are consumers who keep getting more value for their money.

Thank you Gigaom for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Gigaom.

Three New ZTE Dual-Core Handsets Announced

ZTE has announced three new devices, Blade Q Mini, Blade Q and Blade Q Maxi in the Blade series for European market. The Blade Q Mini has a 4-inch capacitive touch screen display with a 480 x 800 pixels resolution, Blade Q has a 4.5-inch capacitive touch screen display with a 480 x 854 pixels resolution display and the Blade Q Maxi has a 5-inch capacitive touch screen display with a 480 x 854 pixels resolution.

The trio phones are powered by a 1.3 GHz dual-core MediaTek MT6572 processor with Mali 400 GPU and run on Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. They pack 1GB of RAM, 5-megapixel rear camera with LED flash and come with 21 MB/s 3G HSPA+ connectivity. AO Wen, General Manager of ZTE Handset European Operation Office had this to say about these new Blade Q series phones:

At ZTE we believe that smartphone technology should be accessible for everyone. The popularity of the Blade series across Europe proves that there is real consumer appetite for high performance smartphones at a great price. The features available across the Blade handsets redefine ‘value for money’ in the smartphone market, and we’re confident that the ZTE Blade Q range will continue to grow ZTE’s position in Europe.

In terms of software, the handsets come pre-loaded with Evernote, Dropbox and Office Suite. There has not been any word of availability or pricing at the moment, but time will reveal everything.

Thank you Fonearena for providing us with this information.
Image courtesy of Fonearena.

Dropbox Opens Your Private Documents, But Should You Really Care?

Dropbox is a powerful and popular tool, many people use it to openly share documents, files and more with other people, or even just other computers in their own little network. Yet while you normally find most files are ok to share relatively freely with certain people you can also tell Dropbox to share them with no one, when you do this, Dropbox will still open them up and take a look.

On one hand they’re just doing what they do with ALL files, giving them a quick scan so that they can generate a preview of the file for your convenience. Yet when you specify “no one should see this” shouldn’t that include Dropbox?

This file access habit was discovered by security expert Winn Schwartau, writing for the WNC InfoSec Blog. He was playing with a service called HoneyDocs, a service which tags documents and tell your privately if someone opens them, a sort of file alarm if you will. He upload the files to Dropbox to see if there was any file access he didn’t know about, but it wasn’t long before Honeydocs reported to him that all files with the .doc extension had been opened.

“Dropbox allows people to open and preview files from their browser. This blog post relates to back end processes that automatically create these document previews, making it easier for people to view docs within their Dropbox,” said a Dropbox spokesperson when speaking with BusinessInsider.in

Of course, this is just a bot reading the files, but I’m sure some people will still be uncomfortable uploading a file that is for their eyes only, to then have it scanned anyway. Personally I wouldn’t upload anything to the cloud that I wasn’t willing to share on some level, if you want something secure, keep it local and protected. So should you really care? For most of us, no not really, but I’m sure there are some of you out there that may think twice before uploading files to the cloud.

Thank you BusinessInsider for providing us with this information.

Dropbox Partnered With The New Yahoo Mail For Sending Larger Sized Attachments

Until now, Yahoo mail had a limited attachment space of up to 25MB, but this time they’ve teamed up with DropBox to allow their email users to send attachments without any limits.
The Dropbox integration is now available globally and available in Yahoo! mail for English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer has been axing many of Yahoo’s products as they’ve been unsuccessful and don’t appear to have any future in the market. Yahoo! maybe trying to increase its email service consumer base by having an integrated Dropbox feature. In any case, this will be useful as a lot of end users who don’t use Dropbox feature ‘directly’.

The new attachment service allows Yahoo mail users to send and receive larger attachments via the company’s service. When you try to upload a file with a size of over 25MB, the file will be automatically uploaded on Dropbox and can be shared using their Dropbox link. You will require to sign up with Dropbox, should you have to use this service.

David McDowell, Yahoo! Mail’s Senior Director of Product Management said “Starting today, Dropbox is available within Yahoo! Mail. This integration allows you to share and store files more easily, whether they are vacation photos or important documents like tax returns and research papers. And, because files can be stored in your Dropbox account online, it’s easy to find the files you want even when you are away from your desktop. Dropbox is available within Yahoo! Mail for the Web in English, French, Spanish, German and Italian. For those of you new to Dropbox, you can quickly create an account from within Yahoo! Mail.”

Source: YMail! Blog