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ford's autolivery is the future of delivery

Meanwhile, Facebook is testing out an AI feature that uses pattern recognition to detect posts from users who may be in distress or suicidal. While users already have the ability to report a friend's status if they believe they're in trouble, the AI will flag status' for review by the Community Operations team. Additionally, there are new Messenger tools that help users connect to suicide prevention organizations in chat, and a report feature for potentially concerning livestreams. We give the thumbs up to any feature that helps users who are struggling.As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.

skype for linux gets ‘beta’ status alongside new features

A few months ago, Microsoft launched its Skype for Linux Alpha software, giving Linux users a chance to utilize the popular VoIP application. Things appear to be moving smoothly, as Microsoft has announced the launch of Skype for Linux Beta 5.0, marking the software’s transition from alpha to beta status. With this transition, says Microsoft, comes some new features for Linux users.Microsoft announced the new beta version on Wednesday, saying it has been working on giving Linux users the same kind of features presently found in the mobile and desktop applications. Once users update to the new beta version, which can be downloaded now, they’ll get access to some new features, as well as general usability improvements.The Skype for Linux Beta users are able to make calls to both mobile and l

instagram will soon let users book appointments with companies

Instagram is preparing to launch an odd feature that, perhaps, will expand the app’s number of users and the way they use the service. Though traditionally used for photography and then later expanded to include video and Snapchat-like features, Instagram is now planning to give users the ability to book appointments with businesses that support the platform. The feature is a couple months away.The new feature, which was revealed by Instagram head of business James Quarles, will enable users to make these appointments by visiting the company’s own Instagram page. From there, they’ll be able to tap a button to schedule an appointment directly with the company, eliminating the need to use the company’s own dedicated app…if it has one.This could, for example, be used by restaurants to enable

twitch introduces pulse - a social twist for game streamers

Twitch is a huge platform with over 150 million users (as of 2015), but users don’t have many ways to interact with their followers and other users. There is Twitch Chat, but this tool is for more personal interaction, as opposed to covering social networking needs. This is why Twitch is introducing Pulse.See also:10 best video streaming apps and video streaming services for AndroidDecember 4, 2016Introducing Pulse. A place where streamers can post and engage with all of their followers and the greater Twitch community right from the Twitch front page.In a nutshell, Pulse is much like Facebook’s Timeline, but with streamers in mind. It makes it simple to share clips, highlights, schedules, images and more. In addition, any post that goes on a streamer’s channel feed will also appear on Pul

google assistant starts rolling out to android m and n devices

Users will need to be running Android M or N on a phone with Google Play services and at least 1.5GB of RAM and a ... screen to get Assistant's new features. The rollout will also be staggered so that English language users in the US will see it show up first, followed by another wave of rollouts to Canadians and Australians. German users will also get the service in their native tongue, but other languages aren't expected until "the coming year." While the LG G6 gets to claim the title of first non-Google device to ship with Assistant, we can expect other manufacturers with recently released devices to start touting the new bonus feature soon.

signal launches encrypted video calling for everyone

Open Whisper Systems has announced that its previously launched encrypted video calling feature in Signal has been taken out of beta and is now available for all users to enjoy. The feature first arrived as a beta that users had to opt-in to use; now it is available to anyone using the most recent version of the iOS or Android app, making it easy to make end-to-end encrypted video calls.Signal, for those unfamiliar, is a messaging platform that offers encrypted communications between users, something that has grown in popularity in light of Snowden’s leaks and ones that have followed, most recently being the Vault7 dump. The video calling feature enables two users to engage in video calls that are likewise encrypted, and Open Whisper Systems says the call quality is better now that the fea

alexa comes to the amazon ios app – macstories

Today Amazon announced that its digital assistant, Alexa, is being integrated with its iOS shopping app.Using the app's current microphone button, which is available to the right of the search bar, users can make nearly any type of Alexa request. This request can consist of things you might ask of an Amazon Echo, such as playing music, turning on smart lights, checking the weather, and so on.Both first-party and third-party skills will work from within the Amazon app. The one limitation so far, noted by Khari Johnson of VentureBeat, is that the Door Lock API is not currently available, so smart locks can't be controlled through the app. Johnson also shares that while Alexa will be available to some users in the Amazon app today, it will be rolling out to all users over the next week.Today'

twitter app adding new features to tackle trolls, including ability to mute keyw

As part of an ongoing effort to tackle abuse and offensive users, Twitter is adding some new muting features to its apps.Similar to what has been offered by third-party Twitter clients for sometime, users will be able to hide tweets from specific users or tweets that contain certain keywords from ever appearing in their timeline …The Twitter app added muting features for notifications at the end of last year. It will shortly roll out the same capabilities to the home timeline.The Twitter app will also include options to hide users that don’t have a profile photo, cutting down abuse from so-called ‘egg accounts’ which typically retain anonymity by using the default Twitter profile pictures. There will also be settings to mute accounts that use unverified contact information.The Twitter keyw

twitter app adding new features to tackle trolls, including ability to mute keyw

As part of an ongoing effort to tackle abuse and offensive users, Twitter is adding some new muting features to its apps.Similar to what has been offered by third-party Twitter clients for sometime, users will be able to hide tweets from specific users or tweets that contain certain keywords from ever appearing in their timeline …The Twitter app added muting features for notifications at the end of last year. It will shortly roll out the same capabilities to the home timeline.The Twitter app will also include options to hide users that don’t have a profile photo, cutting down abuse from so-called ‘egg accounts’ which typically retain anonymity by using the default Twitter profile pictures. There will also be settings to mute accounts that use unverified contact information.The Twitter keyw

whatsapp is bringing back its text ‘status’ feature

Since its very beginning, WhatsApp featured a text-based ‘Status’ feature that allowed users to choose a status that their friends and other contacts could see. This feature persisted when messaging functionality was added to the app, but was stripped away late last month in favor of a Snapchat-like ‘reinvention’ of the feature — one that involved sharing videos and photos. Users, predictably, revolted.WhatsApp, like certain other companies, made a miscalculation in ‘reinventing’ the feature, moving to capitalize on the popularity of Snapchat without, perhaps, realizing that if its users want Snapchat-like features, they’d simply use that app. WhatsApp users expect something different from the messaging app, and that something different includes the old text-based ‘Status’ feature.This ima

gmail adding support for native add-ons for app and web

As of now, third-party add-ons for Gmail can only be installed through a browser extension. It looks like this will soon change, thanks to the just announced Gmail Add-ons. The new feature will initially be aimed at business users who will be able to integrate a few different add-ons with the popular email client.Once you install an add-on, it will work on desktops as well as on the Android and iOS Gmail apps. Google said that Add-ons will be available later this year via the G Suite Marketplace, but did not specify a more exact time frame. The company did mention that a few companies are already working on Gmail add-ons including Intuit, Salesforce, and ProsperWorks.See also:Gmail users can now receive 50 MB email attachments1 week agoIt is great to see that Gmail will soon support native

5 bn mobile phone users in 2017: study

The number of mobile phone users globally will surpass five billion by the middle of this year, according to a study released Monday by GSMA, the association of mobile operators.

spotify hi-fi music tier tipped with lossless audio

The days of low-quality audio streaming may be behind us, at least as far as Spotify is concerned. Screenshots from the service have appeared online detailing a not-yet-available “Spotify Hi-Fi” service that gives users access to lossless CD-quality audio for an additional $5 or $10 per month. Users aren’t yet able to sign up for the service and the pricing seems inconsistent at this time.While the service isn’t yet available, the appearance of the upgrade option indicates big things in Spotify’s near future, namely a change that will help the service compete with other lossless alternatives while leveraging higher-quality mobile listening options. The cost, according to the screenshots that have surfaced, are in addition to the regular monthly fee.Reports of the new service are appearing

browser fingerprinting tech works across different browsers for the first time

Browsing the web just got a little less anonymous. The software that lets web sites identify you by certain characteristics of your computer and software was usually thwarted if you switched browsers. But now computer scientists have developed new browser fingerprinting software that identifies users across web browsers with a degree of accuracy that beats the most sophisticated single-browser techniques used today.The new method, created by Yinzhi Cao, a computer science professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, accurately identifies 99.24 percent of users across browsers, compared to 90.84 percent of users identified by AmIUnique, the most advanced single-browser technique.Browser fingerprinting is an online tracking technique commonly used to authenticate users for retail and bank

prisma will soon let anyone create their own photo filters

Prisma, the photo app that enables users to turn images into works of art, is planning to give users one of their top requested features: the ability to create their own filters. This feature is only available online and to superusers at the moment, though it should eventually make its way to everyone. In addition, the app has been updated with a new filter store that, despite the name, provides free access to new filters.According to The Verge, the filter-creating ability is currently available through a Web portal in which superusers can upload an image and have a filter created based on that image’s own unique characteristics. The tool is apparently only accessible to users whom Prisma directly invites to try it out.The filter creation process, at this time, is said to be slow at about

twitter gauging interest in potential subscription tier w/ deeper analytic infor

Twitter is reportedly mulling the possibility of offering a premium version of Tweetdeck. According to a report from Reuters, Twitter recently started surveying users regarding the possibility of collecting subscription fees from users in exchange for additional features and analytics.Mujjo Wallet iPhone 7 CaseTwitter told Reuters that it has only recently started asking users about the idea. The company said that it regularly conducts surveys to gather feedback about their products. In this specific case, the company stated that it is conducting the survey “to assess the interest in a new, more enhanced version of Tweetdeck.”“We regularly conduct user research to gather feedback about people’s Twitter experience and to better inform our product investment decisions, and we’re exploring se

google pulls virtual assistant ad after user outcry

Google Home users got a surprise on Thursday when their virtual assistants cheerily mentioned that the live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” is opening in theaters this weekend.The ad seems to pop up when users ask for a rundown of their day, which kicks off the Home’s “My Day” feature. That feature is supposed to offer users information about the weather, their calendars and relevant news. But at the end of the rundown, the Google Assistant offered the following unsolicited tidbit, according to a video posted to Twitter by Bryson Meunier :“By the way, Disney’s live action ‘Beauty and The Beast’ opens today,” it says. “In this version of the story, Belle is the inventor instead of Maurice. That rings truer, if you ask me. For some more movie fun, ask me something about Belle.”After

playstation 4 firmware 4.50 is causing network issues

Sony recently released PlayStation 4 firmware update version 4.50, bringing a bunch of updates and some new very welcomed features, such as external hard drive support for storing games. Unfortunately, the update also brought with it a major networking issue that is affecting many console owners, resulting in an inability to use a WiFi network. While some users have come up with ‘workarounds’ to get around the issue, Sony still hasn’t released a fix.If you own a PS4, the odds are your console updated itself with the latest firmware on its own shortly after it was released. If you’ve experienced issues connecting to a WiFi network since then, the update is the likely explanation. Some users report trouble getting the console to connect, frequently getting ‘failed’ notices when trying.Other

reddit gives users new profile pages in social media push

Reddit is home to seemingly endless communities spanning all sorts of categories and topics, and so it’s no surprise that many people have become distinguished on the platform for one reason or another. There are novelty accounts that have arose to fame, for example, performing specific actions like writing poems and drawing pictures. Other users are popular in their own niche, and now they can set up their own profile pages.The feature isn’t live for all users yet, unfortunately, but can be found for some of the most popular novelty accounts, such as /u/Sh*tty_Waterclour. The profile pages are being tested at this point, and look similar to something you’d find on Twitter and Facebook, enabling Reddit users in general to follow the user and get updates when they post something, which will

google offers new 'always free' cloud tier to attract users

Google is letting its customers get a taste of its cloud for free, without a time-limited trial. The company quietly launched a new “Always Free” tier on Thursday that lets people use small amounts of its public cloud services without charge, beyond the company’s limited-time trial.The tier includes—among other things—1 f1-micro compute instance, 5 GB per month of Regional Storage and 60 minutes per month of access to the Cloud Speech API. Using the free tier requires users to provide a credit card that Google can automatically bill for any use over the limits.In addition, the cloud provider expanded its free trial so that users get $300 in credits that they can use for up to 12 months. Google will halt users’ workloads if they eat up all of the credits before the end of 12 months.The free

microsoft, stop sabotaging windows 10

Windows 10 is a good operating system, the first one since Windows 7. But Microsoft seems determined to penalize users who adopt it.
The latest beta version of the forthcoming Creators Update due this spring is getting attention because it places even more ads in Windows. Windows 10 is already annoying users with ads on the lock screen and in the Start screen, but Microsoft has decided to annoy users even more by bringing ads to File Explorer. This stupidity will create a backlash if not reversed.
Silicon Valley has an obsession about forcing advertising down users’ throats. The “intelligent” voice assistant Google Home got in trouble last week for advertising a Disney movie to its users. And you know that Amazon Alexa’s real purpose is to promote products, once it gets you hooked on its m

browser fingerprinting tech works across different browsers for the first time

Browsing the Web just got a little less anonymous. The software that lets websites identify you by certain characteristics of your computer and software was usually thwarted if you switched browsers. But now computer scientists have developed new browser fingerprinting software that identifies users across Web browsers with a degree of accuracy that beats the most sophisticated single-browser techniques used today.The new method, created by Yinzhi Cao, a computer science professor at Lehigh University, in Pennsylvania, accurately identifies 99.24 percent of users across browsers, compared to 90.84 percent of users identified by AmIUnique, the most advanced single-browser technique.Browser fingerprinting is an online tracking technique commonly used to authenticate users for retail and bank

sling tv cloud dvr feature launches on amazon devices

Sling TV has announced the availability of its new Cloud DVR feature for subscribers accessing the service via an Amazon Fire, Amazon Fire Stick, or a Fire tablet. The service is an add-on subscription that tacks an extra five dollars onto a subscriber’s monthly rate. The DVR feature provides 50 hours of content storage and conflict-free recording.The lack of a DVR feature has been one of the biggest points of criticism surrounding Sling TV, something amplified by competitors’ DVR features (YouTube TV and PlayStation Vue, namely). That changes today, at least for some users, as Sling rolls out a ‘First Look’ at the new cloud storage option. Users will only get access if they sign up for the feature.Once content is recorded on the DVR, subscribers can watch it across all of their supported

psa: some unable to access apple music today due to family membership bug

Some Apple Music users report being locked out of the service today from what appears to be a bug affecting those subscribed to a Family Membership.Best iPhone, iPad, & Apple TV game controllersA growing number 9to5Mac readers and users online report issues that appear to be caused by a bug with Apple’s Family Sharing feature, meaning users of Apple Music Family Memberships are unable to access the service. The problem doesn’t appear to be affecting those not using family plans for the service. The issue appears to be only affecting members on family plans other than the Family Sharing organizer and is presenting those users with prompts to sign-up for a plan when attempting to access Apple Music. Apple has yet to update its System Status page where it tracks outages for its various servic

google brings your keep notes directly into docs

In a separate blog post, Keep product manager Mario Anima laid out the new features, which easily let users drag and drop note snippets from Keep directly into their open Google Doc. Like the contextual Explore tab, the Keep tab is found in the Tools menu and allows users to search their notes in a side panel. Search results show up as cards that can be dropped into the main edit window and preserve their formatting. It also works in reverse: users can now add Keep notes directly in the sidebar of their open Google Doc, or just by highlighting text and right-clicking to select "Save to Keep notepad." The new notes will be linked to the original doc.According to Google, the new Docs-Keep integration should roll out to everyone on G Suite over the next few days.

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