A new bot called Chatible may just become your new best friend, or at the very least, help you find him or her.To get started on the app, you sign in with Facebook, and you are then immediately connected at random to another denizen of the internet.Messages will show up in your Facebook inbox, and there s no set agenda for what you talk about.So really, everything is fair game which can, of course, present its own set of problems .It looks like the app has become quite popular quite quickly, as an update a few hours ago from the Chatible team notes that the bot will be down for the next few hours for maintenance … due to the massive volume of traffic.Chatible as a result has been forced to upgrade their servers — a pretty great problem to have.
I still fondly remember old-school messaging platforms like IRC and ICQ from when I was a kid, some 20 years ago.The app was featured on Product Hunt recently, so if you try it out now, you ll likely find folks who discovered it on that site.Best of all, it wasn t at all awkward like I thought it would be, given how wary we ve become about sharing information online and being stalked or scammed unless we re talking to people we know personally.I shot the breeze with a grad student pursuing a degree in robotics and swapped pasta recipes and travel tips in another conversation – there wasn t any A/S/L weirdness to deal with and I had a perfectly pleasant time.Granted, your mileage with it may vary and there s no guarantee that you won t come across jerks – but it was nice to just not have to worry about revealing my online profile to someone and simply enjoying a chat like I would at a bar in a new city.But if you d like to rediscover the lost of art of chatting online with strangers, it s as good a tool as any – only it s ready to go as soon as you fire up Messenger.
NEW YORK -- Clients can text their lawyers to double-check hearing times.They're finding that texting, online chatting and messaging help them get and give information faster and run their businesses more efficiently.Attorney Rick Davis spends less time talking on the phone because many clients now text with brief questions.He can dash off a reply rather than engage in the small talk that business phone etiquette often calls for, and says composing a text is faster than writing a wordier email.Some companies are incorporating texting or chatting into their operations -- texting ads or announcements, or allowing customers to order using texts.Josh Brown, who owns Far North Kennel, a breeder of German Shepherd puppies in Anchorage, Alaska, estimates that he and his wife Theresa get 10 times more texts than emails.
If you're experiencing déjà vu, it's because Facebook Messenger did support SMS several years ago, but the feature was removed because no one was using it.Hopefully Facebook nailed SMS integration this time so users will find it actually useful."A lot of Android texting apps didn't keep up with the evolution of messaging, so we felt like we truly had to make Messenger the best SMS client for Android," says Facebook Messenger lead David Marcus.Hangouts allows users to combine their SMS and Hangouts chats into one unified thread.This is similar to Apple's iMessage app which shows SMS in green and iMessages in blue.On top of support for SMS, Facebook Messenger also features chatbots that can help you perform tasks like ordering food or getting a ride.
Unlike in Hangouts or iMessage, SMS threads are separate from Facebook messages, and they re color coded differently too so you can identify them at a glance.SMS conversations appear as purple while Facebook Messenger chats show up as blue.To do so, you will need to head over to Settings in the Messenger app the person icon , select "SMS" and then choose "Default SMS app."The feature will be available globally but it appears to be rolling out gradually so you might not see the SMS option just yet.SMS in Messenger supports rich content like stickers, GIFs, emojis and location sharing in addition to text and images.Between Messenger and WhatsApp, Facebook already has a massive text messaging user base, and by enabling SMS integration the company is looking to be your one stop solution to all of your texting needs.
The platform makes kicking off a group chat with your friends, fans and followers as easy as composing a tweet, hitting send and tapping away until your fingers go numb.Until recently, the platform was only available on iOS, but that s changing today with a brand new browser-based interface.Our new web app enables our users and their followers to chat from the comfort of a full-size keyboard.When a celebrity launches a chat on Huckle, they immediately get fans rushing to chat with them, and it s all right there in an easy-to-navigate format, said Stone.The current way of doing group chats on Twitter, using retweets and hashtags, is too confusing, he says, and adds, It s just like a big group text.The platform is rapidly gaining new users — I guess it can t harm that Jewel recently embraced Huckle for talking to her fans, and that Drew Scott of Property Brothers fame has thrown himself at his fan s mercy using the platform, too.
With five hours to go, he was trailing.An employee logged seven hours of downhill skiing into his account, spurring vigorous debate in the game s online chat room about how much time the man spent actually skiing, as opposed to sitting on a chairlift or standing in line.The employee succumbed to co-worker pressure and reduced his skiing time to four hours, Mr. Tinney says.At the University of Michigan, various departments compete in challenges to log the most minutes of physical activity, wellness coordinator Colleen Greene says.The tracker-on-your-dog technique is common enough that Chicago-based Stridekick, which operates wellness programs at about 200 companies, tested trackers on its own employees pooches.The findings: Dogs typically do between 13,000 and 30,000 steps in a day, co-founder Anthony Knierim says.
Check Point Software Technologies said on Tuesday that it discovered a vulnerability in the Facebook Messenger app and Facebook Online Chat that could potentially allow a hacker to change the conversation thread.The company points out that hackers could manipulate a victim s message history in a fraud campaign to show that the individual reached a falsified agreement.Hackers can also alter important messages in a Facebook chat that could cause legal issues, making the victim look guilty in a potential crime even though he or she is innocent.What s worse, the hacker could implement automation techniques to continually outsmart security measures for long-term chat alterations, said Oded Vanunu, head of products vulnerability research at Check Point.Usually, ransomware campaigns last only several days because the infected links and the C addresses become known, and blocked by security vendors, forcing the attacker to shut down his activity and begin again from scratch, the company wrote in a recent blog post.While the report sounds a bit scary knowing that Facebook users could potentially send malware to friends unintentionally, the good news here is that Facebook immediately fixed the vulnerability after it was contacted by Check Point.
Check Point research finds both Messenger and Facebook Chat can be exploited with simple HTML tweak that would allow hackers to hijack messagesFacebook users came close to being exposed to a dangerous vulnerability in the site s code that could have opened up its chat apps to criminals, security researchers have claimed.In doing so, hackers could have been able to modify a message s content, distribute malware and even insert automation techniques to outsmart security defences, according to security firm Check Point.At riskFacebook Messenger LogoThe company claims that all hackers would have needed to do to exploit the flaw would be to identify the unique ID for the sent message they want to target, which requires only very basic HTML knowledge and a browser debug tool, free on any browser.Check Point says that it informed the Facebook Security team about the vulnerability earlier this month, with the site immediately responding to work with the company and patch the flaw two weeks later.By exploiting this vulnerability, cybercriminals could change a whole chat thread without the victim realising, said Oded Vanunu, head of products vulnerability research at Check Point.We applaud Facebook for such a rapid response, and for working with us to put security first for their users.
Some users switched to using the Facebook mobile site on their phone browser instead, which still had Facebook s built-in chat – but now that mobile site work-around has been marked for death, too.Facebook says the move is to give chat users the best experience possible.A spokesperson said: Since 2014 , we ve worked hard to make Messenger the best way to connect with the people you care about by adding video calling, conversations with businesses, gifs and much more.Whether it provides a better experience remains a point of debate, particularly given that there is no obvious reason why it couldn t remain baked into the primary Facebook app.The overlap between WhatsApp users and Facebook users is likely very high in the West, but outside of the developed world WhatsApp has excellent penetration with users who do not use Facebook.If Facebook can convince every one of its 1.09 billion daily active users to install Messenger, it suddenly has a third potentially powerful platform along with the social network and WhatsApp, further strengthening its insurmountable global reach.
TechCrunch reported Friday that the company is currently working to remove the Messenger function on the mobile version of its website, pushing users instead to use the separate Facebook Messenger app.According to the report, tapping the chat button in the toolbar may result in a message informing you that your conversations are moving to Messenger, and that soon you ll only be able to view your messages from Messenger.It looks as though the push to Messenger will be in stages: When I checked Facebook via the mobile app, I got prompted to install Messenger, but I wasn t warned that I would soon be required to use the Facebook Messenger app.Of course, if any of this sounds familiar to you, it s pretty much the same tack Facebook took when it phased out messaging in its mobile app.For one, it gives the Facebook brand more visibility in the messaging market, and it makes Messenger the star of its own show, so to speak.Facebook has a chance to make some dough off of Messenger as well, as TechCrunch points out, though ads or other monetization efforts.
TechCrunch reported Friday that the company is currently working to remove the Messenger function on the mobile version of its website, pushing users instead to use the separate Facebook Messenger app.According to the report, tapping the chat button in the toolbar may result in a message informing you that your conversations are moving to Messenger, and that soon you ll only be able to view your messages from Messenger.It looks as though the push to Messenger will be in stages: When I checked Facebook via the mobile app, I got prompted to install Messenger, but I wasn t warned that I would soon be required to use the Facebook Messenger app.Of course, if any of this sounds familiar to you, it s pretty much the same tact Facebook took when it phased out messaging in its mobile app.For one, it gives the Facebook brand more visibility in the messaging market, and it makes Messenger the star of its own show, so to speak.Facebook has a chance to make some dough off of Messenger as well, as TechCrunch points out, though ads or other monetization efforts.
The advantages are multiple: it saves you storage space, it can save battery life, and it should prevent you from wasting precious time on Facebook when you shouldn t be on Facebook.DON T MISS: The OnePlus 3 might be incredibly cheap, new leak suggestsFresh dialogue spotted on the mobile Facebook website suggests that Facebook wants to prevent you from using the Messenger section of its app in the browser.According to Android Police, the company might soon force mobile users to download the Android version of Messenger.Assuming that s accurate, then it probably means that all mobile users who like the browser version better than the Facebook app will see similar treatment.Going to the messages tab redirects automatically to the store.Going back means stumbling upon this message: Soon you ll only be able to view your messages from Messenger.
And now Google.In the coming months and years, these companies promise, you ll chat with Internet services in much the same way you now chat with friends and family.DeepText helps us compensate for the lack of labeled data sets, says Facebook director of engineering Hussein Mehanna.What they re saying is they didn t teach the neural network anything about the structure of language, explains Chris Nicholson, founder of deep learning startup Skymind, says of Facebook s work, which was previously discussed in a handful of public research papers.According to Mehanna, DeepText already works with 20 different languages.But this is certainly an area where he and many others believe research will go.
Image Source: Kārlis DambrānsFacebook Messenger, a chat service that has more than 900 million users, is going to get end-to-end encryption later this year, a new report.However, it s not the kind of end-to-end encryption available on iMessage or WhatsApp, where all chats are fully encrypted by default.Announced a few weeks ago at Google I/O, Allo is a chat that s constantly being read by Google s AI.If users want AI overseeing their interactions, then chats will be encrypted only during transit, but not end-to-end.According to The Guardian, engineers at both Google and Facebook predict that users will accept the trade-off, and favor a smarter messaging chat than a more private one.Not everyone agrees, though, I just object to the opt-in default for what could be millions of users as they discuss politics, their love life, health concerns, and other topics meant to be private, Open Crypto Audit Project co-director and researcher Kenneth White said.
The popular virtual assistant is one of the major selling points of the Amazon Echo and its growing smart home ecosystem, but now, you can enjoy Alexa a la carte as well.It s all thanks to a new web app you can access at echosim.io, and it lets you talk to Alexa directly from your Chrome, Firefox, or browser of choice.As Amazon tells it, the web app began with a hackathon project from Sam Machin.The web app features 3D JavaScript animations and Alexa Voice Service AVS integration, allowing users to interact with Alexa and observe her skills and capabilities.And you still give the virtual assistant commands in the same way you would if you had an Echo, although you ll have to click and hold a button in the web app to have Alexa listen to you whereas with an Echo, she s always listening, sometimes too frequently .Amazon is encouraging both developers and tech enthusiasts alike to take the new web app for a spin, noting, Its simplicity makes it easy for anyone to understand what an Echo is and what it does without having to explain Alexa s unique UX.
How a weird system crash has plagued expensive lap-slabs for monthsWhen your computer goes bump in the night ... Photo source: ShutterstockHands-on In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Microsoft highlighted its increasingly popular Surface line as the growth leader in its More Personal Computing line of business.Despite its popularity, the future of Surface — particularly the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book — may depend on Microsoft s ability to address a reliability issue now known colloquially by an alarming number of users as Sleep of Death.Even more damning, the same search on Microsoft s own support forums yields over 75,000 results; for users who don t know the bug s nickname, a simpler search like Surface sleep crash nets even more: 250,000.When you come back, it s shut down, and needs to be powered back up, leaving you to sift through auto-saved versions of files, hoping to avoid data corruption.This has happened to me about twice per month, leaving me to follow online instructions from Microsoft read from my iPhone, naturally on what to do when your Surface won t turn on or wake from sleep.No one seems to know what exactly what causes the Sleep of Death bug or how to work around it.
How a weird system crash has plagued expensive lap-slabs for monthsWhen your computer goes bump in the night ... Photo source: ShutterstockHands-on In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Microsoft highlighted its increasingly popular Surface line as the growth leader in its More Personal Computing line of business.Despite its popularity, the future of Surface — particularly the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book — may depend on Microsoft s ability to address a reliability issue now known colloquially by an alarming number of users as Sleep of Death.Even more damning, the same search on Microsoft s own support forums yields over 75,000 results; for users who don t know the bug s nickname, a simpler search like Surface sleep crash nets even more: 250,000.When you come back, it s shut down, and needs to be powered back up, leaving you to sift through auto-saved versions of files, hoping to avoid data corruption.This has happened to me about twice per month, leaving me to follow online instructions from Microsoft read from my iPhone, naturally on what to do when your Surface won t turn on or wake from sleep.No one seems to know what exactly what causes the Sleep of Death bug or how to work around it.
Microsoft is adding to the browser-based software s co-authoring capabilities, allowing users to chat as they work together on Office contentOffice document co-authoring and embedded comments aren t enough.Sometimes, successful collaboration requires an off-the-cuff remark or impulsive question to move projects along.In late 2014, Microsoft enabled Skype group chats in Office Online Word and PowerPoint documents stored on OneDrive for users who linked their Skype and Microsoft accounts.Use Comments on the Review tab on the ribbon when you want to attach a comment to a specific selection within the document, such as when you need to ask if a word or phrase should be changed.The customizable watch face will display the number of emails awaiting a user s attention along with upcoming events.Users will be able to share OneDrive for Business content as links within the body of an email or join Skype Meetings directly in Outlook s event details screen.
The number of people saying what s up with WhatsApp has officially made the messaging app the most popular Android chatting app in the world.And with WhatsApp s eagerly anticipated video-calling feature soon to be unveiled, the gap between WhatsApp and just about everyone else may continue to grow.The app is particularly favored in Brazil, India, Mexico, and Russia.And part of its appeal lies in its ability to transcend geographic borders — throughout Europe, South America, Asia, and Africa, people can t seem to get enough of WhatsApp and its global network of chatters and texters.In Indonesia, the app is installed on 87.5 percent of Android phones, and is indeed the chosen method of smartphone communication.This varies dramatically from the rate of installation in other countries — in the U.S., for example, only 0.42 percent of Android users have installed the BlackBerry app.
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