Microsoft and Amazon are working on integrating their respective digital assistants, Alexa and Cortana to communicate with each other, and perhaps allow users to get their assistance on a range of different devices.

As Cortana has been baked directly into Office products, and now with Alexa getting equal access to work on calendars and email, will allow Alexa users to access some of the more unique functions of Cortana.

And Cortana users will be able to call up Alexa to get access to the ones that Cortana is lacking, as Alexa has got an edge in controlling smart home devices, or shopping on Amazon.

The cross-platform integration is harping on the possibility that someday these artificial intelligence agents will be smart enough to route requests to the best suitable virtual assistant for a particular task without a specific “Alexa” or “Cortana” command.

While Apple and Google, both have their rivalry built around digital assistants that have been seen as walled gardens blocking off each other, been tied to their respective platform.

But this partnership move by Microsoft and Amazon may signal a new vista in making them work together in the future.

According to Microsoft, Cortana and Alexa assistants will be updated with the new functionality later in the year. And Windows 10 users will have access to Alexa via Cortana on their PC, which will be followed by Android and iOS in the future.

Alexa courting Cortana: What's in it for users on both platforms?

Google's Tango augmented reality platform, which to date, is known to be functional in very few devices, is now ARCore - the power of Tango coming to more Android phones. ARCore requires no additional hardware, just like Apple's ARKit and will bring full AR capabilities to millions of Android devices.

While the developer preview is limited to Pixel and Galaxy S8 phones running Nougat and above, Google had assured that ARCore will be available to millions of devices.

The ARKCore SDK works with Java/OpenGL, Unity and Unreal; while focusing on three core areas: motion tracking, environmental understanding, and light estimation.

Google is still working on its larger-scale Visual Positioning Service, which will enable “world scale AR experiences” for indoor mapping, among other things. And just like Tango, it will scan your surroundings to figure out the best surfaces for placement, study the light to approximate shadows, and adjust position as you move.

ARCore is a huge step forward for AR on Android, and it’s sure to bring an influx of AR-ready apps to take advantage of the new platform.

Albeit, the immersive VR headset may rank higher than mobile AR, but the possibilities of mobile augmented reality: shopping, traveling, and performing other functions in the real world, outweighs them all.

ARCore brings Google on par with Apple, even as iOS developers have ARKit, so too, ARCore is available for developers who have a Pixel or Galaxy S8 for a start.

Google rebrands Tango; ARCore to power Android devices

YouTube, the Google-owned streaming platform has clearly moved ahead of the pack with a slew new social features, including video sharing in its mobile app, and chat with friends from within a new tab. While it introduced a major redesign with a simpler look and feel, along with features like “dark mode” for nighttime surfing, for the desktop version.

Now, the company has extended the redesign and some new features to its mobile app, as it unveiled a new logo and icon.

As the earlier update included rebuilding the open source JavaScript library Polymer, it will allow Google to more quickly bring new features going forward.

The new YouTube logo is perhaps the biggest revamp since it's creation, as former changes had been minor tweaks with the original concept still at large.According to Google, the new logo – a cleaned up version of the YouTube text and icon – was designed to be more flexible across devices of different screen sizes.

The new logo and icon will be rolling out across desktop and mobile, before eventual arrival on other apps and services.

The most noticeable changes, however remains the appearance of YouTube, both overall interface and UX appeal. Albeit, the “dark mode” for night viewing won't be coming to the mobile app anytime soon, but the app will introduce various playback controls, including one that uses gestures.

The YouTube app will include the ability to speed up and slow down the playback of a video, similar to desktop experience; with new player that can change appearance to match the video format.

And to cap it all, YouTube will suggest videos while you’re watching in full-screen mode, which feature will be rolling out today.

YouTube makeover goes extreme with new Logo and icon

My People is a feature expected in Windows 10 Fall Creators, and has been acclaimed as a single point of contact for friends, tailored as a hub for your three best friends placed right in the taskbar.

The Windows 10 My people is a fulcrum of Web Mail and social feed, whereby a user can send email to anyone, or chat with millions of other users via Skype.

Albeit, the My People experience for now focuses on just three of your friends; as a concept it connects every aspect of reaching all of your friends, but not fully implemented in the beta release.

Microsoft officially unveiled My People feature as part of Windows 10 Insider Build 16184, and with the novelty in how friends can respond: “Shoulder taps” pop up emoji right from the taskbar, allowing you wave a hello.

It focuses the existing People, Mail, and Skype apps into a unified experience, while allowing only three contacts for now, at some point presumably users will be able to choose many more contacts.

If you wish to give the new feature a spin, you’ll need to download an Insider build, or just wait for the Fall Creators Update around September.

To kick off the experience after downloading, simply click on the People icon on your taskbar, down in the lower right-hand corner. And when you click the My People icon for the first time, Windows will begin the setup process, listing out your five most popular contacts.

However, you're allowed to add contacts through the separate People app within Windows 10, or create an entirely new contacts from scratch.

Microsoft pitches My People as a hub for friends on Windows 10

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If you've ever had to put up with unnecessary bandwidth consumption with auto-playback sounds, then you have something to rejoice about, as Google is currently testing a new feature in Chrome browser that will allow you to mute a website.

While Google introduced an indicator to flag culpable sites some years ago, now the Chrome team is testing mute option in the latest experimental "Canary build".

The mute feature would only be available in Chrome browser, that is if it sees the light of the day through testing, which effectively makes it a sound block, and perhaps make the feature a possible contender for other browsers.

It invariably adds desktop UI that uses the sound content setting to mute and unmute Websites.

If you want to give it a try, simply click on the security status on the left of the website address, and then the option to mute the site can be found in the list of details and permissions.

As the mute is hidden behind a flag, it probably lasts until the settings has been updated which makes it a temporary block.

Google testing mute for auto-load Videos within Chrome browser

App Engine, a web framework for developing and hosting web applications in Google-managed data centers, which is perhaps the longest-running public cloud computing platform, has finally got firewall implemented.

While firewall is a security system that monitors and controls the incoming and outgoing network traffic based on predetermined rules, which typically establishes a barrier between trusted, secure internal network and outside network, such as the Internet.

Before now, developers have had to hard-code alternative security system into their applications, as they couldn't restrict access to their applications on the service to only a small set of IP addresses.

Firewall is a key security feature for application developers and administrators, as it enable them to allow or deny incoming requests based on source IP addresses.

With Google App Engine firewall, you simply provide a set of rules, ordered by priority and specific IP address, or a set of IP addresses to block or allow, and the rest is automated by Google.

App Engine firewall returns an HTTP 403 Forbidden response without ever hitting the app, when it receives a request that's configured to be denied. This prevents new instances from spinning up, and if you’re getting heavy traffic, the denied request won’t add to your load — or bandwidth cost.

Albeit, App Engine firewall is still in beta, and so should be avoided in actual production environments.

For developers, App Engine firewall rules can be setup in the Google Cloud Console as well as with the App Engine Admin API or gcloud command-line tool. If you've got questions, concerns or if something isn't working as you’d expect, you can log a public issue on Google App Engine forum, or get in touch on the App Engine slack channel (#app-engine).

Google Cloud: App Engine gets Firewall Protection

Microsoft claims that it's now at the point of the development cycle for the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update where the focus is on stabilization for release to the world.

And the “forked” builds improvements are the first of the new features slated for the Fall Creators Update, which is actually part of the “Skip Ahead” track.

Insiders who joined Skip Ahead, will continue to receive release builds from the RS_PRERELEASE branch, though it won’t be released at the same pace as builds from RS3_RELEASE. But when the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update is released, Skip Ahead will be discontinued and all Insiders in the Fast ring will be moved back to the RS_PRERELEASE branch for RS4.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update with its Insiders (Build 16273) brings a new mixed-reality mode, and the chance to try out Windows 10 S; even an all new first OpenType Variable Font Bahnschrift.

Microsoft pitched mixed-reality hardware at its Build developer conferences, and now the Insider Build 16273 brings the new feature: mixed-reality support for View 3D.

While you can edit scenes within the Paint 3D app itself, you can also export them to View 3D for viewing. The Paint 3D comes as a rather fun 3D content-creation tool for designing your own 3D dioramas in Windows 10.

Additionally, you can add the Emoji bot to Windows’ My People experience for Insiders, and message it with the word “test” and it will send you emoji that will pop up on your screen.

Microsoft finalizing the Fall Creators Update, with a mixed-reality teaser

Today marks 10 years after the #hashtag first appeared on Twitter; which if you grew up in the age of social media, the term needn't any explanation. But for the non social folks out there: a hashtag is mainly used on social media - denoted by the hash character "#" in front of a word or non-spaced phrase, either in the main text of a message or at the end.

While it seems that the history of the hashtag began with Twitter, it actually started much earlier – more like in the 12th century.

Find the Infographic below: The History of The #HASHTAG!


While Facebook has gone full swing into immersive technology enhanced media support, now the social tech company has added in-app support for capturing 360-degree photos, which users can also use as Cover Photos.

Facebook has also made it possible to use 360-degree images from any other source as Cover Photos.

The 360-degree photos is coming to the app on iOS and Android, which is perhaps the first update ever for Cover Photos, and includes the ability to zoom. It can serve as normal picture upload on Facebook, which users can share in albums alongside other standard images, or add to groups, and also post to their Timeline.

To take 360 images in Facebook, simply open the Facebook app and click the ‘360 Photo’ option from the top of the News Feed, press the blue button and follow to the end until you’ve taken a complete panoramic view. Then select your preferred ‘starting view’ within the photo.

The feature uses the Facebook camera with computer vision and machine learning to automatically blend the photos when you rotate your phone to capture it in panorama-style.

Facebook adds in-app support for capturing 360-degree photos

Google unveiled the developer preview of Android O at its I/O Conference, with some of Android O’s new features and enhancements made known to the developers. Now, the company according to its ritual naming pattern embarked to host an Eclipse-themed Android event in New York City.

In a simulcast of NASA's eclipse livestream, Google provided fans with eclipse glasses to view the rare-phenomenon as Android "O" finally got unveiled as "Android Oreo (8.0).

Some new features expected with the new OS include measures to help users manage the number of notifications with "split notifications", so they can block some alert types while all are categorized.

Also, there are new emoji package, a faster startup time, and security enhancements including the new "Google Play Protect" system.

The Android Open Source Project (AOSP) will be getting the 8.0 code which have started rolling out to Google Pixel and Pixel XL; also Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Nexus Player, and Pixel C, and some device enrolled in the Android Beta Program will also be upgraded.

Android 8.0 will bring Project Treble (a modularization of the OS) to new devices, which would make development and rolling out of new Android updates easy.

The new OS was released on Monday at 19:50 BST, so the task of making the new software available on existing devices is now left to the hand of phone manufacturers.

Google teases Fans with Eclipse-themed Android 8.0 Oreo

Microsoft Artificial Intelligence and Research Lab based test which is at par with professional human transcribers with ability to listen to text several times, had earlier scored 5.9% error rate, and now, the conversational speech recognition system reached a record 5.1% error rate, which is perhaps the lowest so far.

The study transcribed recordings from the Switchboard corpus, that have been used by researchers to test speech recognition systems since the early 1990s, with a total collection of about 2,400 telephone conversations.

While the researchers at Microsoft AI and Research with also the same goal, achieved the same level of accuracy as the human transcribers who listened to what they were transcribing several times, access its conversational context and work with other transcribers.

The speech recognition system is used in services like Microsoft Cognitive Services, Cortana (the AI assistant), and Presentation Translator.

The Microsoft speech recognizer uses entire conversations, which let it adapt its transcriptions to context and predict what words or phrases were likely to come next, the way humans do when talking to each other.

Microsoft's conversational speech recognition system reached a record 5.1% error rate

Google has implemented video previews to search results on mobile, allowing searchers on it's Android app and in Chrome for Android, to have an idea of what's in a clip before going ahead to watch it.

The snippet playback is automatic and plays only on a Wi-Fi connection, so users will not be alarmed with data charges, and the feature can be turned off from the settings menu in the Google app or in Chrome.

Before now, Google had traditionally shown a static image thumbnail of videos in search results.

While the overriding idea is to allow users decide if a video is worth watching before actual resolve to go full stream, even as more and more of users content now take the form of short clips.

Also the video previews will help mobile searchers to find what they’re looking for even faster.

The roll out started on Friday, and within the week, will be reaching all users on the Google app for Android and Chrome on Android, with video results show up in the video carousel, just like text snippets for text results.

Google mobile Searchers now see what's in a Video clip before playing

YouTube's former stance as a hub for video streaming is gradually shifting into more of a social feed, now with breaking news section in user's feed, making quite another interesting content playlists.

While YouTube contents evolution started with “celebrity” careers, and comment-focused videos rising in popularity over the normal video, but browsing news in feed is becoming more common on other platforms.

The company have started rolling out a “Breaking News” section in people’s feeds across all platforms, with the contents tailored to users interests and location as tied to their Google Accounts.

It will be interesting to see how YouTube partners with the news publishers who already have lots of content on the platform.

Google, on the other hand, has been courting publishers with its AMP program, even though Breaking news may seem an unusual direction for YouTube, it's other project "Stamp" may eventually be the fulcrum of the news publishers.

YouTube, however has turned to conventional media as the sources for a start, albeit it may adapt to users’ interests as stories evolve to a more custom pattern.

Get ‘breaking news’ on YouTube across all platforms

As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations, Lagos is championing the transformation into a smart city and has been urged to fully embrace Information and Communications Technology (ICT), as the first step in building a smart city is to get widely accessible super-fast internet.

While there's no exact definitions for the fantastically smart city we've all been dreaming about or how it looks, how it'll work and what it'll do has been hugely catalogued.

The recent Lagos International Conference tagged: ‘Towards a Smart City’, ICT-Making Lagos the Technology Frontier of Africa, moderated by the Founder, MTech, Sheri Williams brought to the fore the fact that there is a need to develop infrastructure that will outlive the people, which the maintenance is paramount.

But Does the Governments have enough data?

The city of London, for instance, took public data sharing a step further by bringing together both public and private information, like performance of electric delivery vans, into a collection of more than 700 datasets.

Such information can help the government and businesses better predict things like traffic, or when internet connectivity might be constrained; even novel ideas as where it might be best to install a new electric-vehicle charging station.

Why Internet is the first step

To get widely accessible super-fast internet, something even advance cities like San Francisco are still working on, requires collecting accurate information, which can commence by curating and publishing data in easy, downloadable formats.

And one proven way to collect data is by attaching GPS location trackers and putting them on live updating maps so residents can easily access them for early warning signals, in cases of emergency.

Another instance where GPS location is employed is tracking daily route pattern, which will allowing public officials to work with other city department to change traffic patterns.

Some Smart utilities

Innovation accelerator Labs can be setup to monitor drainage systems as part of an effort to avoid flooding which is currently ravaging the city of Lagos.

Albeit, the biggest challenge in build a smart city is finding the funds to make it happen.

That's where the so-called Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative can be effectively employed, and the PPP-led model of funding requires a framework for it to work.

Smart Cities in Nigeria: Here's what it takes to become a smart city

Google's formal release of the Allo web client has finally happened, as was revealed in a tweet by Nick Fox, Google’s VP of Communications Product earlier in the year. Going forward, Google Allo can be used on the Chrome browser on desktop by scanning a QR code from your Android phone.

While Google's messaging strategy for Android may seem a bit confusing at the comment, with Allo's Google Assistant integration and Gmail-like Smart Reply that lets you reply with a single tap, now finding its way to the Web is commendable.

And the support for Google Assistant is perhaps the first time the digital Assistant is coming to the desktop.

Allo’s messaging app utilizes stickers, with adjustable text sizes, and the Smart Reply “learns" as you use the service, the more ‘you’ use it the better it becomes with the suggestions.

It also has an incognito mode for chats, and allowing you to set it to self-destruct, coupled with private notifications.

Allo web client uses a similar pairing system as WhatsApp to connect with your mobile device, and for now it works only with Android phones; but support for iPhone will follow soon, as confirmed by Google.

To use the Allo Web client, you need to first open Allo on your Android phone and scroll to “Allo for web” in the mobile app’s menu. From there, select “Scan QR code” to launch the web client in Google’s Chrome browser.

Google Allo gets a Web client with support for Android

The Crowd Surf idea is a novelty in which several startups have tried to build whole apps around; it involves turning everyone’s quick video clips from concerts into a complete watchable music video.

Snap experimented in Crowd Surf at pop singer, Lorde’s performance at San Francisco’s Outside Lands music festival.

The Crowd Surf runs on Snap's in-house AI, the proprietary machine learning technology binds together Snaps submitted to Snapchat "Our Story", and uses geolocation and timestamps to merge the audio together into a semi-seamless video.

It employed machine learning technology to analyze when lots of people are recording the same musical performance at a time, then bind the different notes together with the song playing in the background, giving you the control to choose where to watch from the entire footage.

And for the video to turnout best, a lot of people would be required to be taking steady Snaps, which in theory may mean the technology could be useful in most audio-based events like concerts and speeches.

The company has confirmed plans to make the technology available at more public events in the near future including concerts and notable public speeches.

Snap encourages users to syndicate their post to Snapchat "Our Stories" feature before they share it, so as to be available in the curated Our Stories, search results, and the new Snap Map.

Snap's experiment in Crowd Surf with in-house AI technology

The Unified Payments Interface (UPI) is a system launched by National Payments Corporation of India and regulated by the Reserve Bank of India which facilitates instant fund transfer between two bank accounts on the mobile platform.

While reports has it that WhatsApp plans to utilize UPI to enable payments between its users in India within the next six months.

Albeit, the fact that WhatsApp has chosen to adopt a homegrown product (the UPI-driven system), is strategic as the messaging platform could be far more transformative in India, where Messenger is less popular and credit card penetration lower.

And the UPI-driven platform will allow it to make payments through other personally-identifiable markers, such as: phone numbers, account numbers and IFSC codes, among others.

Truecaller, the Sweden-based messenger which also counts India as its largest market, introduced user-to-user payments last week through a tie-in with ICICI Bank that also utilizes UPI platform.

However, it remains unclear how the payment interface will be integrated into WhatsApp; but there's the likelihood it'd create it own digital wallet and link it to UPI addresses.

WhatsApp is also exploring the potential to give “businesses” more preeminence on its platform, with the feature currently in testing with select companies.

WhatsApp’s Integration of UPI-based Payment System for India

Uber, the ubiquitous transportation company has rolled out a new chat system, that allow its drivers and riders to communicate with chat via the mobile app, which hitherto communication had been based on SMS and direct call.

While Uber employed anonymizing technology to mask riders phone number (and driver’s) when they call or text outside the app in the U.S., it isn’t available in some emerging markets.

As such, the issue of privacy and security had always popped up, coupled with the nuisance of Uber riders having the creepy situation whereby he/she receives a text from an unknown number, asking for their location, while waiting for ride.

The new in-app messaging system will eliminate the need for riders and drivers to share their phone numbers to get in touch.

As all the rider needs is to select a contact, then initiate a chat in the feed section of the Uber app, and send a message to the driver about their location. The “Contact” button opens a Messenger-like screen (also akin to what's obtainable on which allow riders to communicate with their drivers on anything else that helps the driver to locate them easily.

The Uber driver may not need to text back as the the system is capable of reading out the messages, especially expedient when the driver is behind the wheel.

And both the rider and driver will be able to see if their chats are delivered and read, with a confirmation that the other person had actually received the message.

Uber's effort to serve as a complete utility app can be seen in the recent update to the app, which allow riders to slightly alter their pickup location; if perhaps a mistaken wrong address is given, they can still edit pickup location even when the driver is already on the way.

How Uber's new in-app Messaging could be a lifesaver

While Google announced the service at its I/O earlier this year, "Google Play Protect" isn’t anything new, rather it's essentially a unification of key security features that has been available on Android for sometime now.

It encompasses the several key features at the heart of Android security, such as: malware scanning, lost phone tracking and locking, and Safe Browsing.

The Play Protect feature leverages Google’s machine learning algorithm to monitor apps for suspicious behavior, and amply ensures security by removing malicious apps before they can cause any damage.Which feature was formerly known as "Verify Apps" but now being pulled under the same umbrella with the tracking system, Find My Phone.

Albeit, the Verify Apps feature had always been hidden away, but with Play Protect will be featured right at the top of the Updates tab of the My Apps & Games section within the Play Store application.

Initially, the security mechanism only scanned apps as they were been installed, but the service upgraded to a continuous-scanning model in 2014. Thus, ensuring that even an app that appeared legit at installation could be red-flagged if it later tried to download a malicious module.

The new Play Protect will essentially be delivered to all Android devices by the Play Services update. Find out if you already have the new security system by checking the Play Store “My apps & games” page.

Google Play Protect: Find My Device and Verify Apps security systems unified?

Facebook has been hard at work to re-position the consumption of media contents on the platform, thus prioritizing it with easing content creations, and now the company have a new home for the original programming, available on mobile, desktop, and Facebook's TV app.

The new "Watch" tab for original video content is a continuation of the company's push to make video consumption mainstream on the social network.

It's an exclusive platform for videos created by Facebook users; as such Watch is a dedicated place where anyone can go to watch videos, instead of waiting in News Feed to discover new videos.

With personalized preferences, users will be able to get shows tailored to their taste, both live and recorded, and also based on what friends are watching.

The watchlist include such categories as "Most Talked About," "What's Making People Laugh" and "What Friends Are Watching."

Facebook took a leave from its "Live" offerings, where users' comments and reactions to a video often serve as part of the experience as the video itself, and so with the friends comments you can connect with other viewers while watching, or participate in a dedicated Group for the show.

The feature is now live to a limited group of people in the U.S., with plans to bring the experience to more people around the world. With also a limited group of creators for Shows in the U.S. and plan to roll out to all soon.

Facebook gets a dedicated tab for original broadcast and Video contents

Stamp is a new platform that allow publishers to create visual media content similar to Snapchat’s Discover portal, developed by Google which is still in the early stages of testing, according to an insider. While the tech giant is already wooing some mainstream media houses, like: the Washington Post and Time Inc., to become part of the project.

The race to dominate News system is one that has attracted even the most unlikely candidate, Wikipedia, with growing interest to develop publishing tools for media companies, hoping to fill the void for accurate news, and other contents.

And the proliferation of such tools, spearheaded by Google and Facebook with "Instant Articles" is making news delivery faster and easier to access than through the browser, while creating a unique experience for users.

Albeit, Snapchat's "Discover" offers a distinct appeal, with its integration of text and photos on video clips, and allowing users to skip story or advertisement with the touch of a finger.

Stamp may obviously be different given its creators insatiable appetite for ads, and apparently will see more ads with articles popping up in a magazine-like design.

Google’s effort to work with publishers is dated back to its Accelerated Mobile Pages, or AMP, project, which allows for faster loading of online news stories, especially conceived for mobile devices.

But, Stamp is overtly Snapchat-like technology and could be more appealing to publishers, as its likely to be tied to Google search and accessible via a publisher’s own media properties.

Google, however has declined comments with the statement: "We don't have anything to announce at the moment but look forward to sharing more soon."

Google set to disrupt the News Discovery platforms with Stamp

YouTube had been testing a video sharing feature in its mobile app with select users for sometime, and now, the company has started rolling out the feature to all users. It allow users to send videos to friends and chat with them from within a new tab in the YouTube app.

While the messaging feature rolled out to users in Canada earlier in the year, with later expansion to parts of Latin America, the company now felt the feature is ready for the global audience.

And with feedback gained from the initial tests, YouTube had made some significant changes to original interface, including the chat tab that appears to users, and also the video stick to the top of the chat tab.

The novelty remains the ability to allow replying and chatting while users are watching a video, which gives the feature more of a social media touch.

Albeit, the overriding idea is to improve on some of the social activity that takes place with videos – sharing of the links and chats about the video – back into YouTube instead of third-party messaging apps.

It also allow users to find friends from their phone’s address book, but currently, no way to block such requests.

And YouTube allow users to reply to video they receive with another video, or even a heart, and sharing with up to 30 people is supported for now.

But no emoji responses and co-viewing as available in YouTube Uptime app, the company however assured on more improvements overtime. The feature is about now rolling out for both iOS and Android users worldwide.

YouTube goes social with Messaging and in-app Video sharing

Skype biggest redesign in its history brought more expressive group chat and messenger-oriented features, also a Snapchat Stories-like feature called Highlights, and a longer plan to upgrade group conversations with more capabilities.

And the company's seemingly insatiable desire to overhaul the service continues as it teams up with PayPal in hopes to be your go-to app for sending funds to friends and family.

Skype added the ability to send money on its app for Android and iOS as part of a new partnership with PayPal; with availability in 22 countries, the Send Money feature allows you to pay a friend from at any point from the conversation window.

While chatting with friends or family, you can simply swipe right, tap Send Money, and complete the money transfer processes.

Albeit, it requires a bit of setup, but it seems pretty straightforward; on your first attempt to use Send Money, you'll be prompted to confirm your location, and once your location is confirmed, it will ask you to link you PayPal account to your Skype profile if within eligible country, at which point PayPal will take over and handle transferring of the money.

And you'll have to be on the latest version of the Skype mobile app to use the Send Money feature, however the person who is receiving the funds can be using any version of Skype.

Microsoft has declined to comment on question whether the feature will be coming to the universal Windows Skype app any time soon.

Skype "Send Money" adds to plethora of new features coming to the messaging platform

While Facebook allow users to go "Live" directly from Facebook’s app or website via their webcam, or stream through software hooked up to a desktop and broadcast from PC, now the company is testing an instant “go live” feature for mobile, with the ability to “go live” within the Facebook Camera screen.

The new “go live” feature starts a live video broadcast, alongside other options, like the ability to create a GIF or use Facebook Live Audio.

Facebook live broadcast was introduced in 2015, first within the company's iOS and Android apps, and later this year, was made available to the desktop.

Afterwards, as live broadcast keep gaining traction, Facebook added a Live Audio feature, primarily designed for publishers and authors, for things like news radio - like book readings, movies and audio-only broadcasts.

Albeit, the ability to “go live” from the Facebook Camera wasn't in the mix, and that was a bit of a hindrance for many.

Now, all camera-related functions are on screen, with the current testing mode, including using photo filters, making a GIF, or recording live audio and live video, alongside taking a personal photo or video to share on Facebook.

The feature also offers the option to go live only for "Facebook Story", instead of sharing the live video in a regular post, and can as well “go live” both in Facebook Story and post at a time.

The company however maintains that this is a test, and that the feature isn't rolling out to users any time soon.

Facebook testing "Go Live" on screen within Camera icon

LinkedIn, the renowned business and employment-oriented social networking service, has launched a new service to try to identify potential mentors and people who might be looking for mentorship, and then help match them together.

While the company is wooing new users in emerging markets; the roll out of the new service will play a key role into jelling its business in such zones.

The mentorship service (which testing commenced last month) is absolutely free and will be available first to users in U.S. (specifically, San Francisco) and Australia. And LinkedIn has set aside a hand-selected list of potential mentors, who will be initially available to people who indicate that they are interested in the mentorship.

Albeit, the mentors are given options about who they would prefer to match, be it people within their networks, or in same geolocation.

On the other hand, after a mentee indicates interest in getting a mentorship, LinkedIn provides parameters to help narrow down the search, if your list of potential mentors is as wide as the network's entire user base. Either side can terminate the communication at any point.

The company is hoping to spur engagement on its platform with the new service, and perhaps the new engagement efforts may directly relate to what most people need from the network.

But, just how much help is too much for the asking for people offering their services for free; and how would LinkedIn ensure that it has enough mentors across the different fields?

The option to become a mentor will eventually be open to everyone overtime, which means; we all could stand to learn something from a mentor.

Do You Need a Mentor? You can Actually Find One on LinkedIn

Are you loud? Or better put, are you the kind of person that takes your music everywhere you go? Infinix Smart X5010 is the phone for you; first of the “Smart” series (a new line of budget friendly smartphones) built with music lovers in mind by Infinix Mobility.

Albeit perhaps, it's not exquisitely for the heavy hitters or power users, as many expected from a device with the “smart” tagline, but you will discover that "smart" is in the details when it comes to producing quality sounds.

For a quick rundown of specs; Infinix Smart X5010 comes with a 5.0 HD display, 1GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, Android Nougat 7.0 out of the box and powered by 3060mAh battery. See full specs here.

And coupled with XOS 2.2 which promises improved speed that makes navigation swift and also gives room for fast and efficient use of multitasking on your smartphone; while helping to decrease power consumption to the barest minimum. It also provides an excellent interactive experience and has innovative features such as custom themes, and Freezer.

What sets this bae apart from the rest?

Infinix Smart creates realistic entertainment with high-impact audio & video, with the aid of the Dirac Stereo WideningTM technology.

The state-of-the-art digital audio performance enhancement technology optimizes the sound systems from the device to headphones by correcting impulse and magnitude frequency response, which drastically improves musical staging, clarity, voice intelligibility, and bass fidelity.

It is tailored to each specific earphone or loudspeaker model based on meticulous acoustic measurements.

And the dual front speaker on Infinix Smart ensures that the audio output is balanced when using the device in landscape mode for video playback or for music.

Infinix Smart is a stylish smartphone tailored for the young and vibrant, with availability in exciting colours such as Champagne Gold, Bordeaux Red, Mysterious Blue, Black, and Apple Green.

Hands-on: Infinix Smart breaks the boredom

The Internet of Things (IoT) has potentially opened the door for wearables, home appliances, and other embedded software to share and communicate via the Internet, making information security on the shared media an important issue that cannot be neglected.

While cybersecurity fears about IoT remain prevalent — some lawmakers in the U.S. Congress is about now getting to work to ensure the government raises its own defenses in response to possible attack.

Hackers had weaponized the Internet of Things — they took aim at the backbone of the Internet last year, impeding access to websites like Twitter and Spotify.

The idea of connected devices is dependent on access, storage and processing of data. And for this purpose, companies working on IoT collect data from multiple sources and store it in their cloud network for further processing.

As data is the key driver of IoT, the door is wide open for privacy and security problems and single point vulnerability of multiple systems.

The new proposal by the lawmakers would put into law a requirement that vendors ensure that small, screenless devices sold to the U.S. government can be patched against security vulnerabilities.

All the more reason for Congress to adopt new cybersecurity rules, is on the fear that some federal agencies are better than others at safeguarding their devices from hackers. Even as the Department of Defense remains one of the biggest buyers and researchers of web-connected portable devices.

The overriding objective is to put in place guidelines that would allow experts to test the security of IoT devices, and report to manufacturers without fear of liability under any federal laws.

The Internet of Things: Is it a new Cybersecurity challenge?

Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research lab (FAIR) has made an unprecedented discovery while trying to improve chatbots - the “dialog agents” bots created their own language, and able to communicate with one another in an unexpected way.

The bots, named Bob and Alice, were developed in the social network's AI division, in an effort to teach chatbots how to negotiate with each other.

Bob and Alice, had generated a new language all on their own; excerpt:
Bob: "you i everything else . . . . . . . . . . . . . ."
Alice: "balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me."

While actual interpretation may seem as mere gibberish. But it’s amazing how AI, if given the opportunity, can deviate from the command script to create new stuff.

Albeit, the researchers did not dismiss the language as gibberish, but called it a kind of shorthand understood by the chatbots. As the bots were left to themselves to communicate as they chose, and were not given any directive to stick to English language.

In a rather futile effort to better converse with humans, the bots went a step further and ended up communicating to each other outside human understanding.

Meanwhile, Facebook has inadvertently shut down the program, but claims the findings are a huge leap in AI research.

Facebook shut down experiment to teach chatbots to negotiate