You Could Pay For Things With Your Facebook Messenger App Soon

Facebook let you send money to friends through the Facebook Messenger app at the moment, but you could end up being able to spend money in the messenger app as well with some news that the messenger could soon have in-store purchases.

The new feature would be included in a variety of updates and new features that could soon be making their way to the Messenger app. As a result details are scarce, but from what we can gather Facebook’s app would let you pay for goods in person, meaning it would offer the same mobile payments that Android, Apple and Samsung currently offer.

Alongside the payment feature, there is a reference to “secret conversations”, ending unfortunately at just a reference. Initial speculation states this could be a way to hide conversations within the app or even a higher form of encryption that rival apps like WhatsApp offer. The latter would make sense given the current global focus on information security and privacy.

With code further referencing syncing calendars and selective streaming of news feed statuses  to groups of friends, the ability to organise and control who sees what could see the app become a go-to for organising your day-to-day life. With no official word yet we have to take these with a pinch of salt, but the payment sending ability was hinted at in a similar fashion months before Facebook officially announced it.

Would you store your payment details on Facebook? How about organising your everyday life with Facebook’s calendars?

AMD Teases Possible External GPU Standard

Gaming is a lot of fun and small computer systems are a joy because they are easier to carry around, but what if you want the graphics performance to be optional? For that to be an option we need some proper external graphics card support and it looks like AMD is working on just that, again.

We have seen multiple external graphics card solution over time such as Alienware’s Graphics Amplifier or MSI’s Gaming Dock that solve the problem with lack of graphics power in portable systems without increasing the size and weight of the ultrabook or laptop itself, but they’ve been limited to specific devices and that can be an issue that holds the adoption rate back.

AMD’s Robert Hallock teased us with something new via Facebook that indicates that AMD could be working on just such a solution. This isn’t the first time that AMD’s graphics department wants to do something like that, although they still were called ATI at the time. Some might remember the ATI XGP (eXternal Graphics Platform) from 7-years ago that already attempted this, but it never gained the large traction due to its natural limitations.

Ultrathin notebooks are awesome for their portability, but nobody in their right mind would use them as a gaming notebook. Those are some heavy items that while still portable, weigh as much as a stationary mITX system. This is where external graphics solutions come into play and we’re able to get the same graphics performance from a small portable system when needed while keeping it light enough to take everywhere for normal usage.

“External GPUs are the answer. External GPUs with standardized connectors, cables, drivers, plug’n’play, OS support, etc.”

AMD is a big believer in open and free standards and the way everything is worded points in the same direction rather than a single locked down product with an AMD branding. Standardization could make a huge difference here as long as the manufacturers adopt it and bring it to the market. Oh and just to clarify, none of the shown examples of external graphics solutions here is the new deal. Robert himself teased with a Razer Core graphics enclosure equipped with an AMD Radeon Nano card.

The teaser ends with the words “More info very soon”, maybe GDC? Only time will tell, but we’ll stay on the ball and keep you informed.

AMD Hints Possible Price Drops for Current-Gen Consoles

We have already seen some price drops on the current generation gaming consoles, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but it hasn’t been anything that major up until now. Consoles have a scheduled lifetime before the next generation of 5 to 7 years, so they’ll still be around for a while. We do however see optimizations along the way as it also happened in the past, the PS2 and PS3 both got upgrades along the way.

AMD has now hinted that there at least are opportunities in the current generation’s lifetime to develop new technology that will allow for a price drop without any impact on performance. This is most likely based on optimization of the production line and process along with the initial development costs starting to get back home and not have as big an impact as when a product is freshly launched. This news came out during a round-table talk where AMD’s CEO Lisa Su attended.

“The consoles work on a five to seven year strategy, that’s the lifetime for these consoles,” said Lisa Su. “Without talking about any particular party’s console; there will be opportunities to cost-reduce.

While Lisa Su didn’t mention any timeframe on this, it is pretty safe to assume that it won’t be far in the future. We are also approaching the mid-life of the current generation consoles that were launched roughly three years ago now and that was about the time where we saw upgrades in the previous generation Xbox and PlayStation consoles.

While some might argue that PC gaming is superior to Consoles, and it probably is, consoles have their merit and there is no doubt why they keep such a high popularity. A price drop on said consoles could further boost the sales by convincing more people to get it. A cheaper price is something we all like and I’m sure that they’ll quickly make up for the lost profit in that regards with the higher sales numbers and thereby more sales of games and peripherals too.

Oculus Rift Price Bomb Dropped by CEO

The most anticipated gaming hardware of possibly the decade has been flaunted in front of consumers since early development. What hasn’t been so widely shared is the price; which is seemly odd considering how close the release is.

Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe dropped the biggest hint, stating that a Rift headset and a computer powerful enough to drive it would cost in the region of $1,500 (£1,000). “We are looking at an ‘all-in’ price, if you have to go out and actually need to buy a new computer and you’re going to buy the Rift … at most you should be in that $1,500 range,” Iribe stated at the Re/code conference.

We know what the specifications are, so what about prices. If we use OverclockersUK for current prices and work out the remaining cost for the headset.

  • NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
  • Intel i5-4590 equivalent or greater
  • 8GB+ RAM
  • Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
  • 2x USB 3.0 ports
  • Windows 7 SP1 or newer

A quick price tot up, using the cheapest non-stated products such as the motherboard, comes in at around $900 (£600). This leaves a pretty healthy $600 (£400) for the rift itself. This may come as a shock considering the most recent price estimate in September 2014 was between $200 to $400; does this new price include possible inflation or possibly the hiring out to an external company for product? I guess we will find out in a few months.

I can’t wait for the Oculus Rift now, I recently tried the newest Crescent Bay unit and I was very impressed. What are your thoughts on the pricing? Let us know in the comments.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information.

Searching The Internet? Try These Useful Hints and Tips

Every day we use the internet to search for things. Be it for a website or news article or even a new set of clothes, yet few people know of these little tips and tricks that can help speed up your search online.

Specifics

This one is more of a pet peeve than anything else, but it does help speed up searches. When searching an online retailer people will often search terms like “red sleeveless hoodie“, but when it comes to something like “how do I change my screen brightness?” they will search for that exact sentence. The human language is complex, and to make matter’s worse, English is terrible (grammatically speaking). This means that computers struggle with understanding sentences or even a basic question, where key terms it understands. Simply removing a few words “change screen brightness” is enough to improve your search, and it means less typing for you

“Quote me”

Quote marks normally indicate speech in the English language, but to computers it means something completely different. “joystick USB” would in a search engine bring up all the pages that hold those ‘key terms’, joystick and USB. But that includes pages which include both terms or even just one, if I put the joystick in quotation marks like this, ““joystick” USB”, the search engine focuses on those speech marks. Sometimes this can make a big difference, sometimes only a little one. What this means is that the search results I want back HAVE to include joystick. Go on give it a try with something you’ve been looking for, just put one word in quotes and see if it helps

Don’t be so Negative

We’ve all done it, gone looking for something online and found that no matter what we look for there is something else popping up because it’s got part of what we are searching for in its name. Most recently I’ve been looking at purchasing a joystick and have been regularly keeping an eye on several sites to see if there are any good deals available. But if you go onto online auction sites and type in “joystick USB”, you will find that among the classic joysticks will be modern-day controllers and spare joysticks for them. By simply adding a “-” alongside something you don’t want to appear in your search most search engines will remove those items for you. “joystick USB -controller ” instantly removes anything listed under controller, ranging from XBOX and PS3 to old-fashioned arcade controllers. Be warned though, if the item you’re looking for has the term in it, it will also be removed and not appear. Who said it was all easy?

AND more?

Anyone else getting a flash back of maths and those Venn Diagrams? Don’t include A but it must contain B, where should it be? The reason for that is search engines use the same kind of logic when dealing with your searches, and adding AND is the section where two areas overlap. So meaning that if I searched “”joystick AND USB”” and results would contain both the USB and Joystick results (you can also achieve this with putting both terms in quote marks, but it is up to you how you do it).

So there you have it, several hints to help you speed up and improve your searches be they on Google, Ebay or any site with a search function. Hope these help!

Thank you to Entireweb for the image.

Possible Plextor M6e Black Edition PCI-Express SSD Spotted

Companies are busy updating their sites to be ready for CES and enthusiasts are just as busy scouting those pages for possible hints on future products. So were our friends from TweakTown and they found what could hint a new PCI-Express based SSD from Plextor.

Digging on Plextor’s homepage, they found the hint seen below, an M6e BK in the Half-Height Half-Length category. This could very well be a Black Edition of the Plextor M6e PCIe SSD that we took a look at almost a year ago, just better optimized and tuned for that extra bit of power.

The image seen at the top is one dug up after the initial hint on Plextor’s own page and might not represent the actual product. It does however fit the description very well, just as it wouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Plextor might have an ace or two up their sleeves. I’m sure we’ll know a lot more when CES starts.

Thanks to TweakTown for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of TweakTown