Facebook Just Launched M, an AI Assistant For Facebook Messenger

Facebook launched its digital assistant named M on Thursday for the US-based users of its Messenger app. The digital assistant will pop up in the chat window and suggest helpful actions to the users.

The move is an effort to compete with others such as Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and Samsung, all of which have personalized assistant, and maybe even a precursor for a broader launch.

M uses artificial intelligence and “suggests relevant actions to help manage conversations or help get things done,” Facebook product managers Laurent Landowski and Kemal El Moujahid said in a blog post. “We are bringing the power of M’s AI technology to support and enhance the Messenger experience and make it more useful, personal and seamless.”

M will simplify actions such as sharing money with friends, sending locations etc for the users. Facebook had announced M in 2015 as an experiment. The expansion of Messenger can be seen as a step in the social network’s broader AI goals.

Facebooks founder Mark Zuckerberg has created a personal digital assistant named Jarvis for his home that helps in simple household tasks.

Just recently Samsung launched its own personalized assistant Bixby with its flagship models Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus and it will be interesting to see what consumers choose as their preferred AI assistant in upcoming days.

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You Can Get Jio Prime Plan For Free, Here is How

Reliance Jio’s Prime Membership is needed if you want to use the Rs 303 recharge to get 1 GB 4G Data per day for a month. Yesterday night, Anil Ambani, who currently owns Jio revealed that users can subscribe to Prime Membership before 15th of April as which was 31st March as per the last announcement. If you are thinking of subscribing to Jio Prime, here is a simple workaround that you can use to get it for free.

Keep in mind that you will still have to pay for the Rs 303 monthly plan to get complete cashback.

Reliance is giving a Rs 50 Cashback to every user who pays for Jio Prim using its Jio Money wallet app, and there is a Rs 50 cashback for Rs 303 recharge too.

How To Get Reliance Jio Prime For Free

To get the membership for free, here is what you have to do:

  • Download Jio Money Wallet App from Google Play Store.
  • After installing the app, register on it and then create a four-digit passcode for safety in future.
  • Use the app to register for Jio Prime by paying Rs 99 using your debit or credit card.
  • Once you have registered for prime, do a recharge of Rs 303 (or higher) using the same Jio Money app.

Once you have done both recharges, your Jio Money Wallet will get a cashback of Rs 100 in a day or two. The first Rs 50 cashback will come from registering for Jio Prime, and the second half of Rs 100 will come from the Rs 303 recharge.

While you can’t use Jio Wallet money to buy everything, the money can be used to make other recharges, pay bills, book tickets or do online shopping.

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Facebook Has Completed Cloning Snapchat As Stories Are Now Available To Everyone

It’s not new news that the social networking giant is ripping off Snapchat. Facebook has added Snapchat’s biggest feature to WhatsApp and Instagram in the past and now it looks like the company has finally completed its copying mission with the public rollout of stories on Facebook.

In case you are wondering, Stories on Facebook was on trial in some countries since the January of this year, so many users have tested and used the features that let someone put photos and videos for 24 hours which live on top of the news feed. Responses to stories are not public as they are sent to user inbox, which, again, is just like the Snapchat mentioned above.

It looks like Facebook is actually serious about Stories as the app will have a dedicated button for capturing them and the company has also added a handful of filter effect to better suit the millennials.

The company is also teaming up with some third parties to create themed filters that currently include Minions, Power Rangers, and Wonder Women.

Stories on Instagram have been successful, and some tech folks have even thought that Instagram’s implementation of Stories is better than Snapchat.

Not everyone will use them ( I don’t even have Facebook app installed on my Smartphone), but it is sure that Stories are here to stay.

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Parents Can Now Track (And Control) Kid’s Android Device Usage Thanks To Google

Google has recently launched a new Android App called Family Link. This new app will give parents better control on their child’s Android usage. This app will let the parents manage what their kids download from Google Play Store, how much time they spend on the app and also let them set a bedtime for their kids.

The Family link app basically helps a parent keep a control on their child’s browsing habits. The parent can simply create a Google account for their child and then monitor it via the Family Link app. Parents have the authority to approve or block what their kids download from the Google Play Store. The Family Link app will also remotely locks your kid’s device when it’s time to study or sleep giving the parents control on the Android device.

Presently the Family Link app is available only for US users on Android Nougat or higher, and that too by invitation. Additionally,  your child must be under 13 for you to enable the Family Link supervision. If you are located in the US and have a kid under 13, you can request an invite on the Family Link page.

A Google team that launched Uptime for the iOS has now launched Supersonic Fun Voice Messenger. It is basically a chat messenger app for Android and iOS. It highlighting feature being that it allows voice communication via microphone button. The message will disappear after the recipient hears it. Additionally, the voice message can also be transcribed if the recipient does not want to hear it out loud.

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Whatever You Do, Please Don’t Fall For This Genious Gmail Attack

Email phishing is not a new term, it has been around since almost email was in existence and now that common wisdom in people has increased about email attacks, hackers have started exploring other, smarter ways of luring people into their traps.

A twitter user Tom Scott shared a screenshot that reveals another new trick to get users into trouble.

Because Gmail is the most widely used email service and a lot of people access Gmail via their web browsers, the shady email appears like it has an attachment while it is just an embedded image that once clicked, takes users to a sign-in page that looks just like Google’s.

Just like Google’s page, the Sign-in page collects username and password, that once collected, can be used to do a lot of harm to targets.

While tech-savvy users may notice that the phishing page uses data URI with prefix “data:text/html” instead, there is a good chance that normal users will not notice it.

So, keep yourself safe folks and don’t click on attachments unless you were expecting it from the sender. Chrome 56.0.2924 tries to warn users by adding a “Not Secure” in the address line, but you will have to be safe yourself.

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Reliance Jio And Paytm Are Apologising That They Used PM Modi’s Photo in Ads

Narendra Modi

The government informed the Parliament on this Friday that Reliance Jio and Paytm have apologized for inadvertently using the Prime Minister’s pictures in their advertisements.

Notices had been sent to both the companies by the Ministry of Consumer Affairs under the Emblems and Names (Prevention of Improper Use) Act of 1950, which bars use of Prime Minister’s name and picture for commercial purposes.

“Clarifications were sought by the Department of Consumer Affairs from Paytm and Reliance Jio wherein they have apologized for their inadvertent mistake,” Minister of State for Consumer Affairs C R Chaudhary said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

Both the companies had used the Prime Minister’s image in their full page advertisements contravening the ‘prior permission’ mentioned under the Act, he said.

After the Department’s request, the Information and Broadcasting Ministry has issued an advisory to the print medium to check regarding the permission of the respective authority before publishing any ads wherein the emblem and names specified under the Act are mentioned, he added.

The minister also said that there is a committee in place to decide upon a procedure that will allow private firms to use the Prime Minister’s picture in ads.

Reliance Jio had advertised the Reliance Jio 4G service dedicating it to the PM Modi government’s flagship Digital India project. And after the government had announced the demonetization decision on 8 November, Paytm had issued an advertisement welcoming the move as it boosted use of e-wallets.

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This Film Company Made a KickassTorrent Clone To Troll Pirates in Coolest Way Possible

KickassTorrents is dead, and there have been more than just one attempts of bringing the site back on from the dead, but filmmaking company Romaly has made a clone of legendary piracy site to troll pirates in a way that no one has done before.

The Costa Rican film distributor made a fake clone of torrenting site addressed at LegalTorrents.net in hopes of luring some illegal download seekers from traditional (and real) piracy sites. Very much like the original KAT, the site looks aesthetically similar, and it has pages for movies that include screenshots, IMDB ratings and even download ratings.

Just like many torrenting sites, once you click on the download button, the site shows you a short trailer of the movie that is accompanied by a short message warning that describes the negative effects of piracy. It offers something in return for tricking users, on the page, the company provides an email address to pirates where they can claim two tickets for the movie that they were trying to download illegally – and all that completely free of charge.

“With the creation of our own torrent download page we seek to approach all those who try to carry out this type of illegal action and create awareness on the subject through positive reinforcement,” said Romaly marketing head Alonso Solís to TorrentFreak.

It’s good to see a Hollywood company being so cool about piracy and trying something different than just trying to get the torrenting sites down.

And one important thing: you can download the torrent files from the site too, but there are no seeders, so getting the movie illegally from the site is technically impossible.

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Google Wants To Kill Slack, Revamps Hangouts for Enterprise Usage

Credit: Google

Earlier this week Google launched its Hangout Meet Video Conferencing service. This was done in an effort to attract more users towards its Hangout enterprise. Now Google has essentially divided its Hangout service into two parts by launching Hangouts Meet along with text-based messaging service Hangout Chat.

The Hangout Meet app is officially available on both App Store and Play Store. But the Hangout Chat app can only be accessed early by G Suite customers through search giant’s Early Adopter Program.

The Hangout Meet is a group video chatting service primarily launched to battle the issues faced by people during video meetings. “That’s why we’ve built Hangouts Meet to have a light, fast interface, and smart participant management,” the search giant said in its official blog post.

With the Hangout Meet the users can start a group chat by just sharing a link instead of having to go through the tedious process of making an account, installing a plugin, or downloading something else.

While the G Suite Basic and Business users can start video meetings with a maximum of 25 people, the G Suite Enterprise users can organize these meetings with a maximum 30 people. The app is tightly integrated with other G Suite apps, so the information required about any meeting can be pulled directly from the Calendar as well. “For our G Suite Enterprise customers, each meeting comes with a dedicated dial-in phone number, so team members on the road can feel connected and productive in meetings despite Wi-Fi or data issues,” Google said.

The Hangout Chat is a new service by the company aimed at being a direct competition to other services like Slack and Microsoft’s Team. It comes with threaded conversations and dedicated virtual rooms for easier conversations within a group.

“Chat’s deep integration with G Suite means shared content from Drive and Docs or photos and videos can be viewed directly in conversations. And powerful, filterable search in Chat makes it easy to find all your content dating back to the start of the project,” Google said in its post.

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WhatsApp is testing a way to actually make money

A report by Reuter states that Whatsapp has begun testing ways for businesses to directly message their consumers. So Whatsapp may soon be ready to make real money.

Whatsapp used to charge a $0.99 annual fees, but after being acquired by Facebook, Whatsapp abandoned the annual fee. Whatsapp had then said that it will let the users interact with businesses and organization with the aim of making money. So this step by Whatsapp wasn’t that unexpected.

The Reuters report said, that some Y Combinator startups have begun testing the feature,

“The trial is still in the early stages, said Umer Ilyas, co-founder of Cowlar Inc, one of the startups involved. The system is highly anticipated in remote places where WhatsApp is especially popular, he said.

Cowlar makes collars for dairy cows, collecting data on their activity and recommending changes to improve milk yield. The company, which is testing the collars in the United States, wants to use WhatsApp to send automatic alerts from the collars directly to farmers if say, a cow is not behaving normally, Ilyas said.”

Another report by Mashable also supports the Reuters report. It suggests that a variant of Whatsapp, called Whatsapp for Business is being tested in India.

This step is quite similar to what Facebook did with its Messenger. The change had led to a huge increase in business related bots in Facebook. Whatsapp is more popular communication tool than Messenger in many areas, so taking a similar approach with Whatsapp makes sense.

Now it has to be seen when this features for Whatsapp will be officially announced.

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Google Just Added A Ton of New Features to Allo, Even Though Not Many People Care

Although Google Allo is not a very popular chat application yet, Google hasn’t given up on this venture. The company just updated the app with some new features, hoping that it will be able to lure some more users into using the messaging app.

Among the many new introductions in the Allo app one is animated emoticons. To send an animated emoji, the user will have to press and hold the send button then drag up to “to see it come to life,” as said by Google. Currently, ten emojis support the animation feature in the app.

Another update to the Allo messaging service is a dedicated icon to call upon the Google Assistant. Earlier users had to type Google within
the text field to summon the assistant. Now there will be a dedicated icon which the user will simply tap to call upon the assistant. This feature will likely attract more customers to the Allo app, as it will be easier and faster to use now. “We’re adding a shortcut to make it quicker and simpler to bring the Google Assistant into chats with friends,” the search giant said in its blog post.

Another feature makes it easier to search for GIF inside the Allo app. To look for suitable GIF images, the user will click the smiley icon in the chat bar and swipe towards left side till they reach to the extreme right. Then they will find the option to Pull for GIFs. From there they can start searching for the GIFs by typing in the text field. This makes it easier to look for GIF while you are in conversation with someone right inside the Allo app. Google has also added ‘Lucky’ to the Allo app with sends random GIFs to your friends.

The update is available for Android and will roll out for iOS soon Google said. We will have to wait and see how many new users this update will be able to attract to Allo.

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