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Facebook Powerhouse

Facebook keeps getting bigger by doing what everyone is doing

Facebook keeps getting bigger by doing what everyone is doing

Published on June 8, 2017

Facebook many say began the social media craze. Hardly anyone remembers Friendster or Multiply or that Facebook was really just a simplified version of those two websites. It’s been 13 years and Facebook is bigger than ever before. With almost 2 billion users, Facebook doesn’t seem to have any plans of stopping. It’s gotten bigger by absorbing, replicating, or even combining services of other websites and apps. Here are some of the services Facebook has copied.

Snapchat

When you’re not using a certain app turn it off! Background apps tend to use a lot of energy, especially when there is a large number of them running. So to avoid this always close apps and use ones you really need.

 

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Yahoo! Messenger

Back in the early 2000s Yahoo! Messenger was the instant messaging service. It helped that it used Yahoo!, the email service everyone was using. But in 2008 Facebook introduced their instant messaging service. With this you could message all your Facebook friends easily, which was usually a larger number of people than your Y!M contacts. So once Facebook messenger got bigger, Y!M died out.

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Twitter

Two features that Facebook copied from Twitter were hashtagging and verified accounts. Both were exactly the same as the ones found on Twitter with hashtagging being that clickable word we love and the blue verified check or celebrity or official business accounts. Hashtagging never caught on Facebook itself but, it’s found life in Facebook’s instant posting with Instagram.

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ESPN

If you’ve liked any pages of sports teams you’ll be happy to know Facebook has easily one stopped and added a feature way back that lets you know the details of any game your team is on. It can even tell you the time left or quarter, the schedule of the next game, and the final score. This features was taken from ESPN and other sports websites, but with the benefit of only seeing teams you follow.

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Amazon/Craigslist

Facebook let your spending habits go crazy with its buy and sell features. The first one was the Facebook Group’s Buy and Sell feature which allows you to see prices and message directly the sellers. You can join groups for specific interests and even search for specific things you need to buy. Another feature is ads below videos which tell you which products were used in the ad, letting you easily purchase them.

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Yelp

Thanks to companies, restaurants, stores, using Facebook pages to advertise getting details on a service has now become so much easier with their Facebook including so many features. Like when a store is open, what time they close, how many people have checked in there, where are they located, and even what rating they have. Here users can share their experiences and give 1 – 5 stars depending on how well it went. So all you need to know about a place is as easy as checking its Facebook page.

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Facebook keeps getting bigger, adding more and more convenient services. Things that we wanted to do on various different websites we can now do through Facebook. There seems to be no limit to what Facebook can do. Maybe some day we’ll also see ride sharing or a dating service through Facebook? Who knows? We’ll see.

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Bot Uprising Part 2

Check out these cool brands Messenger bots to make your life easier

Check out these cool brands Messenger bots to make your life easier

Published on May 30, 2017

Sometimes the best way to get your services done and get the answers to your specific needs faster and more efficiently is online. With the growing visibility of various Chatbots that are easily accessible from Facebook Messenger webpage or app, you’ll be making friends with bots in no time!

Smart Communications

With Smart’s bot you can check out all the latest call, text, and data promos. You can even check out your prepaid balance real easy. Finally the bot can even look at your postpaid account to check up on your postpaid bill! Wow this bot is really helpful for managing your account!

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CNN

The top news agency has the chatbot set up to message you the top stories of the day, every day when you subscribe. You can even ask it to send you top stories on topics on specify or Editor’s Picks for some particularly interesting stories and articles!

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TheScore

This sports news group has a chatbot that’ll set you up with all the latest news on your favorite sports teams. It’ll regularly update you on your teams per game and other important events. Just select which teams you want follow and TheScore will do the rest!

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Kayak

This travel buddy is particularly great. Without leaving your newsfeed you can look for flights and hotels with the best prices. All you’ll need to share is the destination and travel date, then voila! Kayak’s got your back.

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The bot uprising doesn’t sound so bad now does it? Try out these convenient bots, just on Messenger or the Facebook web page!

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Siri, Google Now, and now Bixby!

How much data do these mobile assistants use?

How much data do these mobile assistants use?

Published on April 12, 2017

Mobile assistants are becoming the biggest thing these days! When Apple first rolled out Siri she was an object of praise and admiration. Imagine having a smart AI to help you with menial tasks.

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The AI has become a mainstay in Apple’s products since iPhone 4S. Google followed suit last year with their own mobile assistant, Google Now. For Android users you can download Google Now at the Google Play Store if its not yet integrated in your phone.

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Now even Samsung wants in on that action, getting Bixby out on their latest phone. It’s an exciting addition for Samsung users, especially considering Android’s customizability. Combining this with a Mobile Assistant gives you a whole new level of flexibility.

Let’s go back to Siri for a moment. Siri is an interesting Assistant thanks especially to its clever voice recognition and interpretation. It’s more than a search engine or scheduling device, it learns from you the more you use it! The question is though, how much data does it use?

Ars Technica noted that Siri used an average of 63KB per task or question. Continued use of around 20 tasks a day will likely consume 1.2MB. That’s not a lot considering how helpful it is!

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Google Now uses a bit less data. A task is known to consume around 33KB. This is great considering it incorporates Google Search into its systems as well. The drawback is that it’s less versatile than Siri, limited mostly in part to the Pixel Phone’s systems.

This brings us to Samsung’s mobile assistant on the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+: Bixby. Bixby can do all the basic voice recognition and interaction, but it adds something the other 2 don’t: screen interaction. Bixby, unlike Siri and Google Now, knows what’s on the screen and incorporates the camera with Bixby Visual. Bixby can your camera to search location, shopping nearby, give you details, and even extract text for you to copy and save.

 

 

No word on how much data it uses, but right now it’s looks worth any amount of data consumption! You can read more about Bixby and the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ here.

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Live Streaming On Mobile Data

How much data does live streaming use?

How much data does live streaming use?

Published on April 7, 2017

When it comes to events that happen in your day-to-day life, sometimes taking videos isn’t enough. Sure you can video a cool event and then upload it to Facebook a few hours later when the wi-fi is faster, but sometimes you want to share the experience instantly.

These days, it’s not enough to just record what’s happening. You need to livestream it too!

Two of the best tools for livestreaming are Periscope and Facebook Live. But how much data does each app use?

Krisha De did a test on it here and found that the Facebook app uses 16.2 MB per minute while Periscope uses 5.7 MB per minute.

Both apps have their advantages. Periscope uses less data and can be connected to other social media apps like Twitter. So if you’re aiming for a faster stream and want to hit different social media sites Periscope is for you!

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Facebook uses more data but lets you reach a wider audience, and has the benefit of sending your friends notifications when you go live! Not to mention you’ll get a feel of everyone’s reactions thanks to Facebook’s reacts. So if you want to gauge reactions and really inform people when you’re streaming, use Facebook!

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For Facebook Page users there’s third option! Facebook has an app called Facebook Page that lets you manage your FB Page from there. So if you’re livestreaming from that app you actually consume less data at 5.3 MB per minute. So if you want your fans to be informed, use Pages. However this is if you have a Facebook page. For those who don’t, it’s best to stick to Facebook!

So now, whenever you witness something cool happening don’t be afraid of  draining your data, because now you know which app to use and when!

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Outside The Box

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Reinvents what a Smartphone can be.

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Reinvents what a Smartphone can be.

Published on March 30, 2017

I was excited for the Unbox Your Phone event for Samsung Galaxy S8, because as a big fan of smartphones and gadgets, I knew Samsung was one of the biggest innovators. Every time they make an announcement there is always a big new reinvention or feature. When the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ were unveiled, I wasn’t disappointed.

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We imagine a smartphone as glass screen surrounded by a white or black border of metal. Samsung’s new Infinity Display goes beyond edge-to-edge. It completely removed the edges and angles, creating a completely immersive experience. S8 comes in 5.8-inch while S8+ comes in 6.2-inch, but it’s more than just a bigger screen, it’s a display that feels like it’s going beyond the curved borders of the phone.

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You’re probably wondering, “okay but what about selfies/picture quality?” Well don’t you worry the device’s 12MP Dual Pixel with F1.7 lens and multi-frame capability means that it doesn’t matter if your subject is moving or in low-light settings, your photos are gonna look beautiful to compliment that Infinity Display.

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For you tech nerds out there you’ll be happy to know the S8 and S8+ pack some serious hardware. The IP68-certified phone is safe from dust and water, allowing you to take this with you without having to worry about small amounts of water or dirt. Not to mention 64GB of storage, from S7’s 32GB, expandable up to 256GB. The battery is also incredibly energy efficient with 3000mAh for the S8 and 3500mAh for the S8+ plus a 1mn mobile processor that boosts multitasking capabilities while saving energy.

Another great introduction is the mobile assistant Bixby. Bixby isn’t your every day mobile assistant. Bixby Voice does all the usual things like voice commands and making schedules, but the highlight feature is Bixby Visual. You can use your camera to search location, shopping nearby, give you details, and even extract text for you to copy and save.

Finally Samsung Galaxy S8 reinvents the smartphone with Samsung DeX. All you need is the DeX dock, a mouse, a keyboard, and a screen and Bixby will transform into a desktop computer! Thanks to Samsung DeX, you can do anything a mobile phone and a laptop can do, all from portable items you can carry around. It’s like having a Nintendo Switch for phones!

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So what’s an “unboxed” phone? It’s a phone whose display is immersive and infinite. It’s a phone with a mobile assistant that can do amazing things with the touch of a button. It’s a phone that isn’t just a phone but a computer in your pocket. It’s the Samsung Galaxy S8. The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are available for pre-order on April 17 to April 29, and I can’t wait to pick up mine!

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Modular Phones

Check out Alcatel's Modular Phones

Check out Alcatel's Modular Phones

Published on March 17, 2017

Way back in 2013 the idea of modular phones got really popular. It was a pretty cool way of looking at things. Instead of buying a new phone when your old one got old and outdated, why not just replace the parts inside? The emphasis of Phonebloks was to lessen electronic waste. And since the parts were interchangeable you could take out things you didn’t need and replace them with parts you wanted more. It was a phone that could be like a PC.

It was a great idea that started with Phonebloks and was picked up by big names like Google and Motorola. While Google later on dropped the modular phone in favor of its more powerful Pixel, Motorola created the Moto-Z, which wasn’t what Phonebloks promised but was close enough.

Modular
Image Source: https://i.gadgets360cdn.com/large/Moto_Z_Mods_1474361946464.jpeg?output-quality=80&output-format=jpg

It featured interchangeable phone backs that could be used for different purposes. One was a battery pack for extended phone life and another was speaker for more powerful music. It wasn’t block parts, but it was something.

The most recent addition to the modular phone innovation is Alcatel’s A5 which is remarkably similar to the Moto-Z, with a big difference. A5 is by a company known for affordable yet quality phones. A5 is rumored to be only $300.

Alcatel’s A5 is simpler and doesn’t feature heavy specs. It’s a more affordable phone with interchangeable features, that are predicted to be just as affordable. Some backs include a speaker with a kickstand for portable sound system usage and a back that has dope LED lights.

So while modular phones aren’t as big as people predicted they’d be, it’s not dead yet. So it’s possible we’ll see more innovations like this in the future.

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Image Source: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-4263438/Alcatel-unveils-A5-smartphone.html

 

In the meantime I might check out those LED light backs!


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iPhone 8 Connector Rumors

Is iPhone 8 gonna be Team Lightning or Team USB-C?

Is iPhone 8 gonna be Team Lightning or Team USB-C?

Published on March 14, 2017

You know what I love almost as much as new phone announcements? New phone rumors, leaks, and theories! A few days ago Apple fans and haters alike were talking about the iPhone 8 and the rumor that it was losing the Lightning cable in favor of USB-C. This was according to an exclusive story from the Wall Street Journal.

USB-C

Image Source: https://fscl01.fonpit.de/userfiles/4376948/image/AndroidPIT-usb-c-lighning-comparison-3-w782.JPG

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I’m sorry to disappoint USB-C fans but according to Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo, what’s more likely is that they’re going to be changing is the USB port on the other end of the cable. That makes sense since Macbooks have started adding USB-C to their connection options.

USB C Macbook

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/USB_Type-C_macbook.png

The good news is the iPhone 8 might have the rumored faster charging, thanks to USB-C’s stronger connection.Personally I’m a big fan of the lightning cable because it’s small and doesn’t take up too much space in the phone. Not to mention that it’s not a victim of the Side A, Side B problem most charger ports face due to it working no matter how many times you flip it.

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Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/df/Lightning_connector.jpg

The iPhone 8 is expected to come in 2 versions. The first is expected to be the similar to the iPhone 7. The second is rumored to be a brand new redesign with an OLED screen.

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GOOGLE BRINGS BACK ARCADE CLASSICS

Our favorite search app has (not-so) hidden treats for the nostalgic gamer!

Google brings back arcade classics

Published on February 20, 2017

Our favorite search app has (not-so) hidden treats for the nostalgic gamer!

Whether you’re at work, doing errands, or even when you’re bored at home and there’s nothing good on TV, we all turn to our phones for a way to kill time. Luckily, Google has come up with a simple way for us to do so: putting games in Google search.

Google is giving us a huge throwback party with games that we all know and love. Some of these videogames have become icons to the gaming world and paved the way for developers today. And now, Google has given us an easy (and portable) way to play them, without busting out our dusty old Ataris!

To access any of these games, just open your Chrome app, go to Google and key in the title of the game you want to play.

Since it’s Google, you definitely need data to run these games. If you’re wondering how much it would consume, I played these games for a good 5 mins and it only consumed 4MB of my data. Perfect for when you’re stuck in line or waiting for your next appointment, and itching to do something!

Here are some of my favorites:

 
 
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Atari Breakout

A huge hit during the 1970s, Breakout was developed by the founders of Apple, Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak. The game starts with eight layers of multi-colored bricks, and the goal is to clear every single row with just a paddle and a ball within three turns. If you miss, you lose a life. Seems simple right? Well, each color of the brick will determine the difficulty of the game.

Once you’re hitting the red row, the paddle will shrink to half its size. Not only that, your speed will slowly increase once you start hitting more bricks and after you’ve reached the orange and red layer. It’s a simple yet challenging game!!

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Tic-Tac-Toe

Widely known for its pen and paper version, Tic-Tac-Toe is a two-player game that involves making patterns with Xs and Os. The objective is simple: be the first player to make a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line with just three marks. If the game finishes with no patterns, then the game is a draw.

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Pac-Man

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Pac-Man

Before Namco created Tekken, their first well-known video game was (and still is) Pac-Man. A pop culture icon in the 1980s, the game increased merchandise sales, and was turned into an animated television series. In the game, you control the emoji-looking Pac-Man and your task is to clear out the maze of dots. The real challenge of our hero is to avoid being touched by his four enemies: Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde. They will roam the maze to try and stop you from completing the game. To your advantage, there are four bigger dots that Pac-Man can consume, which will give him the ability to eat his enemies for a short while. It’s a fun and simple game that everyone can enjoy!

 
 
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Solitaire

Remember our old PC days? Solitaire a simple one-player card game, wherein the goal is to arrange all of the cards by suit (clover, spade, heart, and diamond). It’s a fun way to test one’s patience and strategy-making! While it does involve cards, the game is for all ages so even younger kids can play it!

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To access any of these games, just open your Chrome app, go to Google (Google Images for Atari Breakout) and key in the title of the game you want to play.

Since it’s Google, you definitely need data to run these games. If you’re wondering how much it would consume, I played these games for a good 5 mins and it only consumed 4MB of my data. Perfect for when you’re stuck in line or waiting for your next appointment, and itching to do something!

Enjoy!


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Marty the Smarty