Richard Adhikari

About the Author Richard Adhikari


Social Networking

Facebook Gets More In-Your-Face

Facebook this week announced new features for News Feeds videos, along with an app for TV. News Feed videos now have sound turned on by default in mobile devices. This can be disabled in the Settings menu. A larger format to present vertical videos now is standard on iOS and Android devices. The feature became available as a preview last year. A Watch and Scroll feature lets users minimize the video they’re watching and drag it to any corner of the screen.

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Cloud Computing

AWS Unveils Chime Conferencing Service

AWS on Tuesday introduced Amazon Chime, a cloud-based unified communications offering that lets users engage in high-quality audio and HD video meetings across Windows and Mac desktops, and iOS and Android mobile devices. Companies just have to download the app; they don’t need to make upfront investments in hardware or software. Users can switch seamlessly between desktop and mobile apps.

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Personal Computers

Samsung’s Chromebook Pro Earns Respect

Some early reviewers of the Samsung Chromebook Pro characterized it as a “MacBook killer,” but others were more restrained in their enthusiasm. Jointly developed with Google and first demoed at CES 2017, the Chromebook Pro is slated for release next month. Samsung’s Chromebooks basically are lightweight productivity tools that rely heavily on access to cloud-based resources.

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Wall Street

Twitter Investors Bail Following Bleak Q4

Twitter’s share price plunged 12.3 percent, closing Thursday at $16.41 after the company released its Q4 2016 financial report. It fell further on Friday, trading at $15.54 mid-day. On the bright side, daily active usage grew for the third consecutive quarter and strong growth is expected to continue, the company said. Active monthly users in Q4 totaled 319 million, up 4 percent year over year.

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Products

Quip Adds Serious Muscle

Salesforce has announced new integrations for Quip, the collaboration startup it acquired last summer for $582 million. Quip, which operates independently, also added new capabilities to its product’s existing feature set, which includes smart notifications, chat built into every document and spreadsheet, and a smart inbox. Quip lets users direct-message group members.

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Vendors

Does Avaya Have a Post-Chapter 11 Prayer?

Is Avaya on the road to financial recovery? What will happen to business partners and customers if it is not? The company last month filed for Chapter 11 protection for itself and some of its United States subsidiaries — a move that makes it “the first major established technology company that’s dying as a direct result of the cloud,” according to Ian Campbell, CEO of Nucleus Research.

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Wall Street

Snap Seizes the Moment

Snap last week filed for a $3 billion IPO. The company’s private market valuation is $17.8 billion, but investors reportedly have valued it at between $20 billion and $25 billion. “Twenty-five billion dollars is just nuts, but that’s the market we’re in,” remarked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group. “This could provide an opportunity for the big gambler investors,” he suggested.

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Customer Service

Calling Facebook Customer Service? Beware of Fraudsters

Googling for a Facebook customer support phone number may connect users with fraudsters. A fraudulent number reportedly appeared not only as top result in a Google search, but also as a featured snippet — that is, highlighted in a box at the top of the search results. An investigator who called the number, posing as a Facebook customer who had been locked out of his account.

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Mobile

Samsung’s Note7 Post Mortem Turns Up 2 Problems

Samsung is set to release the results of its Galaxy Note7 investigation on Monday, explaining the underlying causes of the problems that led to the phone’s demise. The three independent quality control and supply chain analysis firms Samsung engaged to conduct the investigation concluded that the Note7 was affected by two separate issues. One was a battery issue; the other was the rush to market.

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Social Networking

Google Gives Google+ Some Nips and Tucks

Google has announced three new updates to Google+ in an effort to revive interest in the faltering product. The added features will be rolled out next week, when the old Google+ layout will vanish. Lower quality comments will be hidden, although Google didn’t explain how or by whom comments will be judged. Google has tweaked the Google+ UI to display more posts and less white space.

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Gaming

Nintendo Banks on Switch Hit

Nintendo on Thursday announced the Nintendo Switch handheld gaming console, its long-awaited successor to the poorly received Wii 2. The $300 Switch will hit the streets March 3. Purchasers will get the console, two Joy-Con controllers, a Joy-Con Grip, a set of Joy-Con wrist straps, a Nintendo Switch dock, an HDMI cable and an AC adapter. The Switch can be used as an independent handheld player.

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E-Commerce

Amazon Growth Spurt to Create 100K New Jobs

Amazon on Thursday announced it will create more than 100,000 new jobs across the United States over the next 18 months, ranging from entry-level opportunities to positions for engineers and software developers. All will be full-time jobs with full benefits. Many of the jobs will be in new fulfillment centers currently under construction in Texas, California, Florida, New Jersey and other states.

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Social Networking

New Facebook Project Aims to Strengthen Journalism

Facebook on Tuesday unveiled the Journalism Project, which is designed to establish stronger ties with the journalism industry. Through the project, Facebook aims to bolster the quality of journalism on the network. Among other things, the project aims to tackle the fake news issue that flared during the U.S. presidential election and its aftermath. The project will foster collaboration with news organizations.

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Social Networking

New Facebook Project Aims to Strengthen Journalism

Facebook on Tuesday unveiled the Journalism Project, which is designed to establish stronger ties with the journalism industry. Through the project, Facebook aims to bolster the quality of journalism on the network. Among other things, the project aims to tackle the fake news issue that flared during the U.S. presidential election and its aftermath. The project will foster collaboration with news organizations.

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