Twitter Users Condemn Company’s Decision to Ditch Chronological Tweets

Twitter is one of the most popular forms of online communication due to the 140 character limit which allows users to discuss topics in a very quick manner. Additionally, the retweet system means it’s easy to share stories, and other entertaining content. Twitter relies on a chronological order so the end-user can scroll through each tweet and catch up with anything they’ve missed. In direct contrast to Facebook, Twitter offers a more streamlined user-interface and it’s always been my preferred method of social media interaction. However, the company has been making some bizarre decisions of late including replacing the favourite button with a like/heart icon. I’m still baffled why they went to the trouble of implementing this, and it really hasn’t altered the overall experience.

Furthermore, Buzzfeed reports that Twitter is now going to list tweets in a non-chronological order and arrange them based on the reckons it predicts you want to read. As a result, popular accounts will have their tweets heavily promoted which is bound to make the UI extremely cluttered. This has caused widespread outrage from Twitter users who voiced their viewpoint via the hashtag #RIPTwitter. Many have compared the revised Twitter to Facebook and initial reports suggest the changes could be brought in as early as next week! Here we can see a brief snapshot of the reception so far:

https://twitter.com/somaticvibe/status/695856191398768640?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

https://twitter.com/z0mgItsHutch/status/695852789168107520?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

In a short space of time, #RIPTwitter has already become the hottest trending topic in the US, and I’m guessing it won’t take long before it’s the number one throughout the world. Clearly, Twitter’s management is obsessed with promoting Tweets from celebrities and trying to move beyond the service’s basic premise. This really is a shame because Twitter has the potential to bring like-minded people together. Unless there’s some kind of change in management, I cannot see this ending well. Maybe, the widespread outrage will make them reconsider the situation, but I’m not hopeful.

Steam Sets New Concurrent Online User Record

Valve’s Steam platform has set many records over the years and this holiday sale managed to create a new one for them yesterday in the form of a new concurrent online user record. The previous record in this regard was set back in October where they managed to have 10.7 million users online at the same time. Current stats from Steam now show that they had an impressive 12.3 million concurrent users logged in at the same time yesterday.

The new record is undoubtedly aided by the ongoing holiday sale coming to an end. There haven’t been any daily deal or flash deals this year, so it is fair to assume that a lot of people have been holding off until the end with their purchases. The profile badge surely also had something to do with it and people were logging in to get the last few cards, either to sell or trade them, or complete the next level of their Winter Holiday 2015 badge.

The 12,332,504 concurrent users that were logged in at the same time is an impressive milestone and something that probably also was aided by the general increase of Chinese users. They now have about as many active users as the UK, but a total overall of 600 million user accounts. The US is still leading with about 25 million users at any given time where the UK and China come in around 5.5 and 6 million each. However, the average UK player owns five times the games according to SteamSpy statistics

It is also easy to see which games help steam on a daily basis with Dota 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive ranking the top two spots daily with around 950,000 and 650,000 users playing the games respectively at the same time.

Have you been splurging on this years Steam Winter Sale or have you been holding back for one reason or another? Let us know what you got as well as what you had hoped to get but didn’t because the proper deal was missing.

SnapChat Daily Video Views Reach 6 Billion

Social media websites from Facebook to Snapchat have attempted to move beyond basic text communication and encourage video sharing. Currently, Facebook users watch on an average 8 billion videos per day, which almost defies belief. However, according to an interview with The Financial Times, Snapchat isn’t far behind and recently attained 6 billion video views in a single day. These astonishing statistics are put into perspective when you consider 6 billion views amount to each person throughout the world.

Arguably, many users are addicted to various social media platforms and watch an unhealthy amount of content. This skews the viewing figures to make each social media website appear to have a larger user-base. Despite this, their audience is still absolutely enormous and appears to be growing at a significant rate.

Snapchat is an interesting example as it seems better suited to video sharing than the competition. Its premise originally revolved around photo sharing and not status updates like Facebook and Twitter. As a result, video sharing is the next logical step and a more personal way of communication. The data shows Snapchat’s video service is expanding at a rapid rate and this isn’t a surprise.

Do watch videos on social media platforms, or find them distracting?

WinRAR at Risk of Huge New Zero Day Vulnerability

WinRAR has a base of some 500 million users worldwide, those same users might want to take a look at a new Zero Day Vulnerability which has been detected within the newest version of the software. According to Mohammad Reza Espargham, who is a security researcher at Vulnerability – Lab, the stable version of WinRAR 5.21 for Windows computers is vulnerable to a “remote code execution (RCE) flaw”. Let’s digest this flaw by breaking it down and having a closer look.

The vulnerability works by being implemented by an attacker with the aim of inserting a malicious HTML code inside the “Text to display in SFX window” section when the user is creating a new SFX file. Below is a video which conveys a test that proves the existence of this flaw, albeit in a controlled environment.

The annoying flaw with SFX files is they will start auto functioning the moment a user clicks on them, therefore, consumers cannot identify or verify if the compressed .exe file is a genuine WinRAR module or a malicious one. As of writing, there is yet to be a patch released for this flaw and Windows users are advised to refrain from clicking on any files from unknown sources. If you wish to protect yourself further, then by all means use an alternative archiving product or use strict authentication methods to secure your system.

The knock on effect of any exploit can be harmful to users, especially when a product has a consumer base which is substantial in size.

Thank you thehackernews for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of tecnoandroid

Instagram is Now More Popular Than Twitter

Instagram is now officially more popular than Twitter and exceeded 400 million monthly users for the first time. This compares to Twitter’s current community of 304 million monthly active users during the last quarter. Unbelievably, the data shows Instagram’s user base increased exponentially by 100 million in just nine months. There has been a dramatic growth in Japan and Brazil which could explain the figures released today. Instagram released a statement regarding this momentous occasion which reads:

“Instagrammers continue to capture incredible photos and videos from all corners of the earth (and even the solar system). We’ve seen inspiring moments like the first surface image of Pluto and Champions League celebrations, as well as striking locales like the white pools of Turkey and a Namibian desert ghost town. These are just a few of the more than 80 million photos per day shared on Instagram.”

“Also, a few notable names have joined Instagram in the last 100 million. The most followed accounts include David Beckham from the UK, Caitlyn Jenner from the US, Indonesia’s Raffi and Nagita, German soccer player Toni Kroos and South Korea’s T.O.P.”

“When Instagram launched nearly five years ago, 400 million seemed like a distant dream. Now, we continue to strive to improve Instagram — helping you experience the world through images and connect with others through shared passions.”

Now that the company is becoming such an influential social media platform, it’s trying to entice sponsors to pay for adverts and make the service more profitable. Film trailers are already quite common on Instagram and I expect other media forms to take advantage of such a massive user base. Personally, I find Twitter much more useful, but it’s interesting to see how various social media services change over time.

Do you use Instagram?

Image courtesy of MarketingLand.

Thank you Sky News for providing us with this information.

Facebook Reaches Over a Billion Users in One Day

Facebook has reached another unbelievable milestone and recorded over one billion users within a single day. The announcement was made via Mark Zuckerbeg’s official Facebook account and the data indicates 1 in 7 people throughout the world used Facebook on Monday. It’s impossible to quantify how momentous this achievement is and it’s clear that social media has become an integral part of daily life.

In theory, the statistics could be incorrect as it’s possible for individuals to access multiple accounts. Therefore, did 1 in 7 real people actually use Facebook in one day? Honestly, I can believe it and know of many people who are addicted to Facebook. Instead of waking up in the morning and cleaning their teeth, they check Facebook and reply to any notifications.

To celebrate this event, many advocates of Facebook have been sharing inspirational stories about meeting long-lost relatives, and how Facebook changed their lives. Over the years, some critics expected Facebook’s popularity to curtail as people became disinterested with the monotony of posting life-events online. However, the opposite has occurred, and many social media services including Facebook and Twitter are as influential as ever. In the future, it’s perfectly feasible for Facebook to reach 10 billion people accessing the site in a day as the current numbers could be greatly reduced by the older generation not using computers.

Do you use Facebook on a daily basis?

Users Rage Over Payday 2 Support-Stop on Last-Gen Consoles

When Overkill announced that Payday 2: Crimewave Edition was coming to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 back in February as well as continued support for the game until 2017, a lot of people got excited for the chance to play the heist game on the current generation consoles.

In the announcement was something most people read past in the excitement for the new versions and all the new content promised – both paid and free – and that was the announcement that the company would cease the update development for the last generation consoles, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.

Q: Will you continue to support PAYDAY 2 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3?
A: In connection with this, we have decided to retire the PAYDAY 2 update development on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. We wish we could provide more updates. For a long time, we’ve been looking at how we could add more updates from a technical standpoint. Sadly, we now understand that it’s impossible to continue doing so.

As said, many people didn’t notice that part and they’re now taking their rage out on twitter and similar social media platforms. But really, no one is to blame here, it just reached a natural stopping point where that 10-year old hardware can’t handle things anymore.

The developers are equally sad that they can’t continue the work, but there just isn’t anything they can do about it.

“We wish we could provide more updates. For a long time, we’ve been looking at how we could add more updates from a technical standpoint. Sadly, we now understand that it’s impossible to continue doing so,” the statement reads. “For those of you who play Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 and have been looking forward to new updates, you’ll be pissed when you hear this. We hate this too, because there’s nothing we can do about it.”

505 Games offered a discount on the new PS4 and Xbox One version for pre-orders up until launch, but there weren’t any loyalty bonuses for the old generation console users nor could that take their savegames with them to the new console. As such there weren’t many players that took advantage of it.

This is just one of many instances we’ll see where this will become an issue for those who refuse to upgrade their hardware for one reason or another and we can expect more and more developers to drop support for the older generations in the future.

Thank You VG247 for providing us with this information

Twitter Prepares to Launch Human-Curated News Service

Twitter is a massive social network, implying that its primary use to help people connect and chat to one another but over the past few years it has become clear that a lot of users don’t actually interact with other people on the platform. Sounds crazy right! There is actually a reason behind this.

Most twitter users use the platform as a source of information. They never actually post anything or DM anyone, but follow other people and use trending topics / hashtags to find out what is going on in the world.

These passive users are arguably less valuable to Twitter than active users because tweets, retweets, favorites and other actions help Twitter generate advertising revenue. However, that may be about to change.

Twitter has revealed details of a new initiative called Project Lightning, which aims to provide a better way of curating and aggregating tweets and content for users in one place, so that they can follow live events.

The twitter app on iPhone and Android will soon gain another button in the center of the home row that will take users to another section of the app that will show events taking place that people are tweeting about. This could be things such as the world cup or the Oscars or ongoing events such as the Nepal earthquake.

It sounds like the developers at twitter are making the best out of their users and I can see me using the new feature rather a lot.

Thank you to Telegraph for providing us with this information.

What Comes in the Project Fi Welcome Box

Google has done some neat packaging over time for their gadgets and accessories, not cutting back on the presentation. Project Fi is no different and Google sends out a very large box when you sign up for the new carrier to help make sure you have a good first experience with the invite-only service.

Android Central managed to get their hands on the new kit and posted the below:

The welcome box, which is about the size of a Nexus 9, matches the look of Nexus device boxes with white cardboard and bright primary colors inside. And when you open it up, you’re greeted with a great stash of accessories for you Nexus 6. Check ’em out.

The box is divided into three sections with plastic containers holding a set of headphones, a mobile battery pack and a white case for your Nexus 6. Each one is neatly wrapped in plastic with a cheeky saying on the front, and will definitely have you feeling giddy if you’re a Google fan.

The headphones are white with blue ear tips (there are three pairs) and a green/white/blue volume rocker along the right wire with a nice “Fi” logo on it. The headphones end with a gigantic 3.5mm headphone jack that has a splitter coming off of it so you can plug in a second set of headphones “fora friend” … I don’t really need to share my music all that often, and with how big the headphone jack is I can guarantee I won’t be using the headphones at all. Shame, they’re actually quite cool other than that.

The battery pack carries the Google colors and a Project Fi logo on the front, and has a 6000 mAh capacity. It has dual USB outputs — one at 2.1A and another at 1A. The design of the battery is decidedly more practical than the headphones.

The case is a very standard white Case Mate model that’s a hard shell with a small rubber bumper that goes on it to give it more grip around the phone. Another “Fi” logo adorns the bottom-left corner of the back, and the button covers on the side are fun blue and green colors.

The new service was announced last month to American users and google are now sending out invites to their project. If you want to get involved then you should request an invite here.

Thank you to Android Central for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Google

 

Overkill Gives 2 More Years of Support for Payday 2

Overkill, Payday 2’s developer, announced that it will continue support for the tittle until 2017. The studio apparently has reached a deal with publisher 505 Games that will allow it to deliver content for two more years. The current model for Payday 2 mixes free updates, optional paid DLCs and new campaigns.

“We’ve seen many of your comments already. At Overkill, we are still celebrating,” producer Almir Listo explained in a new blog post. “We are very excited about this. On behalf of the rest of the crew, thank you everyone for your support through the years! We wouldn’t be where we are without you guys! We will honor your support by continue supporting Payday 2 for two more years. Alright! We have a lot in store for the rest of the year and have no time to rest.”

Overkill stated that it is currently getting ready to release the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the title with all DLCs up to date this June. Also, the developer has a detailed roadmap of paid and free content updates laid out and with a database of over 9 million users, it would only make sense for them to continue support for the title and keep its fans happy.

“We could [make Payday 3],” Listo stated. “But it would just bite us back in the end.”We want to build a long-term relationship with the community. Five years ago we barely existed. We’ve always respected them and their devotion to the Payday universe.”

Overkill is said to also be working on a new The Walking Dead title and a mysterious sci-fi project called Storm, which is due in 2016.

Thank you Eurogamer for providing us with this information

Facebook Has Empathy Team to Remind Staff That Users Are People

Users. The internet, specifically social media, lives on users. The internet is users. Check Twitter, scroll down to the comments section, read any ‘flame war’: it’s easy to forget that those users are people; humans with thoughts, feelings, wants and needs. But Facebook is making efforts to see its users as people.

Martha Gould Stewart, Facebook’s Director of Product Design, has revealed that the company has formed its own ‘empathy team’ to remind its staff that everyone who uses the social media site is a human being.

Speaking at The Atlantic’s Navigate technology conference on Wednesday, Stewart explained, “As somebody once said: It’s kind of arrogant to think the only reason people exist is to use what you built. They actually have lives, like, outside the experience they have using your product, and so the first step of designing in a human-centered way is to recognize that they’re humans.” Facebook has stopped referring to “daily average users,” instead calling those with a Facebook profile “daily average people.”

“If you succeed or fail at a particular goal, you may not feel the pain or success that a real person using that product to run their business will feel. So we find when we pair individuals and build a relationship with a small business and the campaign they made fails, [Facebook staff] feel that,” Stewart added. “They want to help that person succeed, which is very different from doing it in the abstract.”

Facebook currently has 1.35 billion monthly active users, that’s a lot of people.

Source: The Verge

Study: Android Fans are More Dateable Among Other Findings

Are iOS and Android users really that different? Well, according to British market research firm YouGov’s latest report – they claim that Apple users are reportedly “smart, funny and confident” but also can be self-described as having a “lack of control, self-willed tendencies and are insecure”.

I know exactly what you’re thinking – “Lack of self control”. ‘Apple drones’ comes immediately to mind – a commonly used name by Android fanatics to label those who like to purchase the latest Apple tech upon release, no matter what the features, pricing or limitations may be.

YouGov has also published reports on the differences between these members of the public having a sway toward different brands, celebrities, teams and music – but for now let’s focus on the basics. Their studies further concluded on average, Apple users have more spare spending money and rank within a higher ‘social hierarchy’ than Android users. Apple inclined consumers have been reported as mostly Beyonce fans, compared to Android lovers preferring Olly Murs, alongside reports that iPhone owners are more likely to support the right in political debates, when compared to the more-left inclined Android population.

The ‘average’ iPhone user has been listed as a female in the range of 25-39 years old, nestled within the middle to upper class society and likely working within media publishing and marketing. They’ve also said this user is likely to live in London or some of the UK’s most prosperous coastal areas including central or southern Scotland. She is also said to have more than 1,000 GBP budget spare per month for spending on goods such as technology offerings.

This is a rather heavy contrast to Android users, who are reported as living in poorer areas of the UK and listed as a young man aged 18-24. He may have serious leftist tendencies and is pursuing employment in the IT industry, journalism, publishing, energy or utilities. He’s could be experiencing a career low point and have less than 125 GBP a month budget spare.

They even went as far as to list food preferences, listing Apple inclined people to enjoy some grilled cheese or spicy nachos, whereas Android fans are likely to dine on some roasted pigeon – which comes as a surprise as this food is a much more expensive option.

Take it as you want, this study of UK citizens has been developed across real life data – we’re sure that it will give Android and Apple users alike much more to fuel their constant bickering. Meanwhile, those who simply don’t care enough to argue will enjoy their lower blood pressures.

If you’re keen in seeing some more of the data and have a translation program handy, you can see the information here.

Images courtesy of Chiphell

 

Microsoft’s Schannel Security Update May Have Problems

Software giant Microsoft has issued a warning today based around it’s MS14-066 update which was pushed to consumers late last week. They’ve provided a workaround for those who have already installed the update and are urging all users to avoid or uninstall the update if possible.

This update was designed to fix a critical vulnerability in Schannel, with Microsoft implementing SSL/TLS encryption. This update was previously seen as highly critical by the wider audience with many tech companies and news channels urging users to update immediately. Unfortunately, this update is causing some major issues for some consumers, coming in the form of configurations in which TLS 1.2 is enabled by default and leading negotiations to fail. When the failure occurs, Microsoft and ZDNET has explained:

“TLS 1.2 connections are dropped, processes hang (stop responding), or services become intermittently unresponsive.” There may also be an event ID 36887 in the System event log withe description “A fatal alert was received from the remote endpoint. The TLS protocol defined fatal alert code is 40.” ZDNET

The MS14-066 update also contained some new features including four ciphers for TLS. The workaround as given by Microsoft is to delete the following ciphers from your system:

TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384
TLS_DHE_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256
TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_256_GCM_SHA384
TLS_RSA_WITH_AES_128_GCM_SHA256

Microsoft has provided a step-by-step process on their official website.

What exactly is happening about this update is somewhat of a grey area, with Microsoft and others reportedly claiming that this update did succeed in protecting the previous mentioned loopholes – but it’s seemingly providing users with more issues than wanted or expected.

Image courtesy of Mashable

New Twitter Users to Follow Accounts Without Following Them

The CEO of Twitter revealed today that new users of the social networking site will be able to generate a pre-populated following stream, without following anyone in the first place.

Dick Costello’s announcement came most probably as a result of the fact that over 500 million Twitter accounts sit largely unused, or “logged out”. Many have cited this new initiative as a way to hold more new users back and to make the experience of setting up Twitter less daunting. Users will be given a page of interests they can choose from which will automatically lead to a stream of Tweets from relevant accounts. ‘Interests’ include “Popular Accounts”, “Sports”, “Technology” and “Funny” among others.

Source: TechCrunch

8 Million Concurrent Users on STEAM During Summer Sale

Recently STEAM has reached a new milestone, hitting over 8 million concurrent users during their Summer Sales. With the exact peak being 8.020,813, this was reached during their Summer Sale, Encore Day over the last weekend.

Last December was when STEAM broke the 7 million milestone with November 2012 marking their 6 million figure.

As a whole, STEAM has previously reported a rise to 75 million active users in January 2014 which was an increase from 65 million in October 2013. To put this growth into perspective, the 65 million user mark was reached by a 30% increase in only 12 months!

STEAM has firmly planted itself globally as an industry heavyweight, often being branded by it’s fans with with memes based around it’s sales, Gabe Newell, Half-Life 3 predictions and empty wallets. For those feeling the personal pain of an after-STEAM-Sale hangover, we’ll leave you with this video to ease your pain with a slight chuckle. Unfortunately for those who own and operate ‘conventional’ PC game stores, STEAMs growth can only be seen as a thorn in your side.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr2GdRBDOmU[/youtube]

Image courtesy of Polygon

Users Can Now Make ‘Loop Back’ Requests For Loved Ones Who Have Passed Away

On Facebook’s 10-year anniversary, the social media giant celebrated the occasion by introducing the ‘Look Back’ feature which basically consisted of a video generated with bits and glimpses from each user’s ‘life’ on Facebook.

The most shared, most liked, first moments and active discussions, everything compiled in an amazing video which brought happy memories and probably nostalgia to users who had spared the time to view it.

However, Facebook’s videos are more capable than just show you a few bits of your life. It can also show you brief reminders of who you are and the kind of life you’ve lived, and they can do this even after you’re not amongst us anymore.

Facebook has introduced the ability for family members to request a ‘Loop Back’ for loved ones who have passed away by requesting a video here. Along with the feature request, Facebook has also stated that the company is changing the way it will manage accounts belonging to the deceased.

Previous accounts belonging to people who have passed away were switched to friends-only upon death. However, pages will now remain ‘as-is’ so that people can continue to view the page the way the owner intended while they were alive. Nevertheless, this will still remain something to think about when managing your account’s privacy settings.

Thank you Android Police for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of Android Police

Google’s Drive, Docs and Sites Experiencing Issues, Should We Be Surprised?

Google has experienced a lot of problems with its services lately, from Gmail to Calendar, which affected a great deal of people. It appears that their flaws have not yet been fixed, since we can see that the Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Sites services still experience problems even now.

The corporate giant has posted the first investigation notes for the Drive, Docs and Sheets, adding its Sites services roughly 50 minutes later to the list. The situation is still under investigation, however the services have “already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users in the near future. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change.”

There is still no official information about the cause of the issue, however most people have not been affected by this disruption. Those affected however consist mostly of students who opted to use Google’s Docs and Sheets services in order to prepare their assignments. Some might even miss their deadline on uploading their projects and assignments due to the developing issue.

A recommended action for future online workspace usage is to always make a backup copy of all online documents and files to your personal computer in order to avoid such situations.

Thank you Android Central for providing us with this information

4.6 Million Snapchat Phone Numbers And Usernames Leaked Due To Privacy Breach

According to Snapchat company’s CEO, over 400 million “snaps” are sent everyday using the app. While the service was certainly making its way up the ranks, it has all come to a grinding halt thanks to a massive security breach.

The phone numbers and usernames of over 4.6 million Snapchat users have been leaked online. North American users are most effected by this leak, however it also contains private data from users across the globe. What really makes matters worse for Snapchat is that only a few days ago they were told by Gibson Security about potential security holes in their system. Snapchat chose to ignore the concerns, assuring users that their information is safe. Gibson then went on to explain how in just 7 minutes, over 10,000 phone numbers could be leaked using the app’s private APIs.

Snapchat was recently offered $4 billion from Facebook to be bought, which they turned down. Google has also made similar offers, which too were turned down. Needless to say nobody is going to be making any offers for the foreseeable future. I think they should have taken one of the offers made. Now however, they have a long way ahead to rebuild and fix the flaws and also regain users’ trust in handling their private information.

Thank you Chip Loco for providing us with this information