Facebook Messenger’s PM director Martinazzi leaves after launching Day

Completing almost 8 years at Facebook, Director of Product Management Peter Martinazzi has left the company. His last product, Messenger Day, shipped on Thursday. A Facebook “OG”, Martinazzi was well-liked and respected at the company. He worked with the growth team in some of Facebook’s breakout years before the IPO, and ran all of Messenger product during its modernizing 3.0 redesign in 2013.

Goofy and casual, but with the zeal of a true believer in the mission of connecting people, Martinazzi always struck me as the emblematic Facebook staffer in my several interviews with him over the years. He could both articulate lofty philosophy and intention behind social apps, yet drill into the logic behind tiny product decisions,

Teammates celebate with Peter (bottom left) in 2015

A Facebook spokesperson said about the departure, “Peter is so well loved; he’s off to travel the world.” That’s understandable after enduring the fast pace of Facebook since 2009. Martinazzi tells me he still loves Facebook, and just had an itch to adventure outside of California.

Facebook’s head of Messenger David Marcus wrote “When I got to Facebook 2 1/2 years ago, Peter was running all of product for Messenger, and he already had a solid reputation across the company for hardcore execution skills, and amazing product chops . . . Conventional wisdom is that you learn from older people, who’ve had more experience. In this specific case though, I know for a fact I learned more from Peter than he learned from me.”

Martinazzi departs the company at a critical time for Messenger as it seeks to branch out from strict text messaging into visual communication, social media broadcasting, business interaction, ecommerce, and becoming a third-party app platform. Martinazzi helped Messenger reach over 1 billion users, developing a large lead over other western messaging apps.

But that also puts huge pressure on the app as a fundamental utility. The launch of Day and Messenger Camera complicate this, cluttering Messenger’s home screen with a shutter button and a Snapchat Stories clone. Some users have already expressed how they don’t want these features getting in the way of more utilitarian text messaging. Our writer Jon Russell succinctly sums up the case against Messenger Day and the same Snapchatification of WhatsApp with its new Status feature.

On the other side of the argument is the fact that about 560 million photos are shared on Facebook Messenger every day, and it only just launched its revamped camera in December and Day this week. People are already exhibiting this behavior so why not make it easier to share these photos with lots of friends at once? Messenger clearly sees an opportunity to climb towards Snapchat’s 2.5 billion Snaps created per day.

Now the Messenger team will have to react to and iterate on Messenger Day’s launch without Martinazzi. While Facebook eventually brought in more experienced excutives like PayPal’s David Marcus and Stan Chudnovsky to run the Messenger unit, Martinazzi exemplified Facebook’s roots. In most companies, that would mean doing things they way they’d been done before. At Facebook, that means being willing to change whatever necessary to adapt to how people share.

Twitter Cracks Down on Cyber Hate

Twitter on Tuesday suspended the account of Richard Spencer, one of the leading voices of the alt-right movement, amid a wider crackdown on hate speech and cyberbullying. It also expanded the use of several existing tools and changed policies to make it easier for users to fight back against abuse and harassment.

Twitter suspended the accounts of Spencer, president of the National Policy Institute, a white nationalist think tank. It also suspended the account of the organization, as well as the accounts of its online magazine and Washington Summit Publishers, which is Spencer’s book publishing firm.

Spencer referred to the move as “corporate Stalinism.”

The suspensions and larger crackdown come amid an increase in reported hate crimes since the presidential election, which was praised by a number of alt-right groups while thousands of protesters took to the streets in cities across the country.

“The Twitter rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct and multiple account abuse, and we will take actions on accounts violating those policies,” a Twitter spokesperson told TechNewsWorld.

Twitter’s mute button, which allows users to block certain accounts, has been enhanced to allow users to block keywords, phrases and entire conversations they consider offensive, similar to the Unfollow feature on Facebook.


Who Ya Gonna Call?

The change comes months after the widely reported onslaught against Ghostbusters star and Saturday Night Live cast member Leslie Jones. After being bombarded by racist and sexist attacks, she temporarily unplugged her own Twitter account.

“Twitter provides an opportunity for users to have more control of their experience on the site,” said Zach Fuller, paid content analyst at Midia Research. “I expect the feature to be welcomed by the Twitter community.”

The mute function for words and hashtags applies only to user notification, and the tweets will still show up in the timeline and via search, Twitter noted.

Twitter’s hateful conduct policy already bans conduct that targets users based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religion, age, disability or disease. The new tools give users a more direct ability to report that type of abuse going forward.

Twitter has retrained all of its support teams on the cultural and historical context of hateful conduct, and it has implemented a refresher program.

The company had received feedback from users that “people didn’t always know where or if they could report hateful conduct, especially if not targeted at them personally,” Twitter spokesperson Brielle Villablanca told TechNewsWorld.

Red Lines

Policing hate speech on a social network can be difficult, because it begins to creep into activity that is considered censorship, noted Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

“Eventually, artificial intelligence will make it easier,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but that is going to be further into the future — and even then, nothing is perfect, because AI needs to learn and adapt just like a human.”

Despite those concerns, cracking down on hate speech and abusive behavior will be important for social networks to avoid driving users away altogether.

Cyberbullying has been an ongoing problem on Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, and it reportedly was a factor in Twitter’s inability to find a buyer last month, when companies such as Salesforce, Disney and others considered making a bid for the company.

Google’s DeepMind AI Said to Outperform Professional Lip-Readers

Google's DeepMind AI Said to Outperform Professional Lip-ReadersArtificial technology has taken significant leaps in recent times with companies such as Microsoft even making bold claims that its speech recognition system is as good as humans. Now, the latest achievements of Google’s AI technology might help in significantly improving the lives of hearing-impaired people with a better lip-reading system, as well as improving the quality of translations using Multilingual Neural Machine Translation.

An AI system developed in collaboration with DeepMind, owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, and University of Oxford was trained by using news videos with runtime of over 5,000 hours, and over 118,000 sentences, according to a report by New Scientist.

The videos were taken from BBC shows that aired between 2010 and 2015. After training, the system was set to lip read programmes broadcast between March and September of this year. According to the report, the system can decipher entire phrases like “We know there will be hundreds of journalists here as well,” by just looking at the speaker’s lips.

While a professional lip-reader was able to register a success rate of just 12.4 percent in trying to decipher 200 randomly selected clips from the above data set, the AI system successfully recognised 46.8 percent of all words from the data set.

Google further announced that the company’s translation tool – Google Translate – which recently received the support of Neural Machine Translation to recognise entire phrases instead of single words, will now make use of Multilingual Neural Machine Translation. The company says that Multilingual Neural Machine Translation improves upon the previous system and uses it as a base.

“Our proposed architecture requires no change in the base GNMT system, but instead uses an additional “token” at the beginning of the input sentence to specify the required target language to translate to. In addition to improving translation quality, our method also enables “Zero-Shot Translation” – translation between language pairs never seen explicitly by the system,” the search giant said in a blog post.

This effectively means that Google Translate will now use one system for all translations instead of using individual systems for each language pair translation. It further allows the system to do translation between language pairs that it has never seen before.

Even though we will have to wait for the actual impact of these achievements by Google’s AI technology, it has to be said that the technology’s feat is impressive at the very least.

Whatsapp beta gains Snapchat-esque stickers and scribbling

whatsapp beta snapchat

As we continue toward the social media singularity, with every messaging and image sharing platform eventually converging into an indistinguishable array of Snapchat/Messenger/Instagram Frankenstein mashups, Whatsapp appears to be tossing its hat into the ring with stickers and drawing tools.

This isn’t the first Facebook-owned service to crib a feature from Snapchat. Earlier this year, we saw Instagram get a similar upgrade.

This news comes to us via redditor armando_rod, who noticed the features on Whatsapp beta. Since this is part of the beta, there’s no guarantee that they’ll make it all the way out to the official version of the app, but we’d be surprised if they wound up axing it.

To give it a whirl yourself, you can head over to the beta test landing page and sign up to become a tester.

Intel to Spin Out McAfee Unit, Sell Stake in Business to TPG

Intel to Spin Out McAfee Unit, Sell Stake in Business to TPG

Intel Corp said it would spin out its cyber security division, formerly known as McAfee, and sell a majority stake in it to investment firm TPG for $3.1 billion in cash.

TPG will own 51 percent of the new entity, valuing the entire company at $4.2 billion including debt.

Intel, which bought McAfee for $7.7 billion in 2011, will retain a 49 percent stake in the business.

The deal ends a failed effort by Intel to stake out a major position in the computer security business. At the time of the acquisition, Intel spoke of integrating McAfee security technology into its chips, but little came of those plans.

Intel executives at the time also said they hoped the acquisition would give it a piece of the emerging business of protecting corporations from sophisticated espionage, but newer players such as Mandiant, now a unit of FireEye, came to dominate that business.

At the same time, PC growth slowed, eroding the traditional McAfee customer base’s potential.

The unit, rebranded as Intel Security Group in 2014, will revert to the McAfee brand name following the closing of the deal, expected in the second quarter of 2017.

McAfee’s founder, John McAfee, was for a time on the run from a murder investigation in Belize and is a pariah in the industry. He recently sued Intel to get back the right to use his name.

Chris Young, Intel Security’s general manager, will be named chief executive of the new company.

Intel Security’s revenue rose 11 percent to $1.1 billion through the first half of this year, the company said in a statement.

TPG, which is making a $1.1 billion equity investment in the company, first approached Intel’s board about a potential transaction for McAfee around a year ago, sources familiar with the matter said.

TPG also led a $120 million investment round for security startup Tanium last year and was the lead investor in a $100 million funding round in internet security firm Zscaler.

Fb Now helps you to Posts movies in remarks on Android, iOS, and internet

Facebook has delivered the capacity to post movies in comments and replies at the social network. This new characteristic is now to be had on Android, iOS, and web users globally.

Facebook Now Lets You Posts Videos in Comments on Android, iOS, and Web

The digital camera button on the cease of the feedback discipline will now display you an choice to upload a picture or video. it is a gradual international rollout, so be patient if it hasn’t reached your monitors but. With the creation of this selection, fb customers now get a further option to comment with, along with the pre-current alternatives of textual content, pictures, stickers, and emojis.

facebook product engineer Bob 1st Earl Baldwin of Bewdley claims that the video functions works for posts by using people, pages, in addition to within groups and activities. The video remark function came to life at fb’s 50th Hackathon in February, in which Stanley Baldwin and his group made all of it manifest in an afternoon’s time. The crew then took it up as side venture, and spent months on sharpening, and it’s far now to be had for all users throughout systems.

The social network has been lately pushing video pretty aggressively with the intention to pit in opposition to YouTube. The organisation roped in various artists, media houses, and manufacturing homes to get them to add movies at once on facebook. It brought new video centric features like 360 diploma guide, and even stay movies. the new video feedback characteristic will simply similarly that effort, and help push video content material on facebook even extra.

Playing Real Money Games Online

Online slots are, if you’ll pardon the expression, generally a crapshoot. And for this reason, when you first step onto an internet casino, like Wintigo Casino, and are faced with the multitude of slots, it can be hard to know where to begin.

Do you pick the one that catches your attention first? The one based on the movie or TV show that you are familiar with and/or love? The one that says it has the biggest payout? Or should you start doing your research on each games‘ payouts, rules, etc.?

Most of us have limited budgets, so the last thing that we want to do is to throw our money away on a slot game that turns out to be a waste of time. But, thankfully there is a solution to this problem. There are some sites that will actually let you play, on a trial basis, some of their most popular games without you having to spend a single penny.

How is this possible? The answer is simple really – online casinos  like http://www.allslotscasino.com/au/ which is offering a really kind welcome bonuses and a huge inventory of games to play are constantly in competition with each other. To ensure your loyalty, they offer bonus plays, like free money to bet with, in the hopes that you will open up your wallet even more. But, if you take advantage of these offers and play your cards right, it’s possible that you can play a number of real money slots for free at Alls Slots casino before playing for real money.

Interested in learning more? We’ve got you covered. Check out our list of some of the top spots that you can slots that you can some of the top two spots that you can slots that you can play real money games online that you can play for free.


Monopoly Plus

Monopoly, both the slot and the board game, have been must have been a popular choice for gamers throughout the years. This particular version may seem a little complicated at first, but it is the best version today.

It has 5 reels, 3 pay lines, and regular game play will take you around the conventional Monopoly board. But as with any slot, the fun, and the money comes with the bonuses. One of the most generous is the board bonus, Which can net you up to 300 times the amount of your line bet.

In addition to this, there are a heap of other bonuses that are linked to certain spaces. However, the big payoff comes when you encounter the random Mystery Wilds bonus. In this game, Mr. Monopoly will travel around the board, turning around cards, and producing amazing payouts that you will be sure to appreciate.

And that’s not all, this game’s fantastic memory means that games carry over from session to session. So, with enough gameplay, you will be able to level up and gain new player titles and, probably most importantly, new and better bonuses.


South Park Reel Chaos

This is probably the most warped slot on the internet, but what else would you expect from the people that created South Park? In this game. you are a member of a team of superheroes led by Cartman as the Coon as they battle the evil Professor Chaos (better known as Butters) and his crew.

One of the biggest bonuses in this game is the Mint Berry Crunch, where a bizarre half-berry, half-human superhero comes on the scene to fight the bad guys. Your multiplier will increase each time he is able to defeat one of his opponents, making it possible for you to win as much as 260 times your line bet.

This game also features mini-games, based on the main South Park characters, which trigger wilds, multipliers, and more. Admittedly, the payouts aren’t that big, but the fun that you will have with these kids is priceless.


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

We all know the infamous story of the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Just like Jekyll was transformed into the nefarious Hyde, this slot has been transformed into an immersive 3D game with 30 pay lines and five reels. When a bonus or combo is triggered, all the payout symbols turn into cool animations.

There are over half-a-dozen different bonuses and a number of them (like the frenzy bonus which gives you the ability to rampage through London’s city streets as Mr. Hyde), have incredible 3D animations. Although the playoffs are a little bit on the low side, there are lots of free spins awarded, some where you can win as much as 50 times your line back. Still, it’s important to note that the average payout is about 10 times the line bet.

Marvel’s Jessica Jones Renewed for a Second Season on Netflix

Marvel's Jessica Jones Renewed for a Second Season on Netflix

Jessica Jones, the second collaboration between Marvel and Netflix starring Krysten Ritter as the show’s eponymous lead, will get a second season on the streaming service, the company’s head of content acquisition Ted Sarandos announced at the Television Critics Association press tour on Sunday.

The Marvel drama premiered back in November to generally positive reviews from all around, with creator and writer Melissa Rosenberg commended for the show’s portrayal of women. It landed Ritter a nomination in drama’s best actress category at the Critics’ Choice Awards, and gave Marvel a successful second entry after April’s Daredevil – also on Netflix – as the studio looks to expand its influence into television.

Daredevil itself is set for a second season in March this year, and will be followed by series for Luke Cage (Mike Colter) who was introduced in Jessica Jones; and Iron Fist, who is yet to be cast. After that, Marvel intends to bring all four of them together for a mini-series titled The Defenders. There are also rumours of a spin-off series starring Jon Bernthal of The Walking Dead fame as The Punisher, who is set to appear in Daredevil’s Netflix return.

There is no word yet on when production will begin on season two of Jessica Jones or when it’s slated for release. Sarandos said: “The Defenders production schedule will determine the production schedule of second [for Jessica Jones] and third seasons [for Daredevil]. It’s a work in progress.”

Netflix also provided premiere dates and production news for a whole host of original programming during its presentation. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, the surprise hit comedy, will have its second run on April 15. While the fourth season of Orange Is the New Black will arrive on the service on June 17, Sci-fi dystopian tech anthology series Black Mirror will have a season run of 12 episodes, with Charlie Brooker still at the helm.

Skype Group Video Calling Coming to Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile

Skype Group Video Calling Coming to Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile

Marking its 10-year anniversary, Microsoft’s Skype team on Tuesday announced that it has introduced the group video calling feature to everyone on Android, iOS, and Windows 10 Mobile. Skype already supported group video calls but only for those who opted for Skype for Business. The feature is now available to non-subscribers as well.

The feature can be used free of cost and will be rolled out to users in the ‘coming weeks’. However, for those who want to preview the group calling feature, they can sign-up by submitting some details.

The Skype group video calling service lets up to 25 users share a video call on desktop. However, the popular VoIP service is not the only one sporting such kind of feature. Rival apps such as GoogleHangouts also supports group video calling for up to 10 users. Line (with Popcorn Buzz), Viber, WeChat, and other popular chatting apps also have the feature. Hike in September last year introduced group audio calling feature, letting up to 100 people to talk to each other in a group call. Other popular chatting applications such as FaceTime and Facebook Messenger are yet to receive the feature.

Gurdeep Pall Singh, the Global Corporate Vice President of Skype in the company blog post added that in 10 years Skype users have generated nearly 2 trillion minutes of free Skype video calls. “In fact, with that amount of time, you can use Skype to read to every child in the world for 10 hours, every family can be together over Skype for more than 7 hours and there’s still time left for the entire world’s workforce to have an hour-long interview via Skype,” he said.

Google IO 2016 Dates and Venue Announced

Google IO 2016 Dates and Venue Announced

Google CEO Sundar Pichai has announced the date and venue for the company’s annual developer event. Google I/O 2016 will be held in Mountain View, California on May 18 through May 20 later this year.

Pichai shared the news on social media adding that the event was heading back “to the neighbourhood where it all started 10 years ago: Shoreline Amphitheatre in Mountain View.” The company has for the past several years held its annual event at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, which is why its decision to hold the event at a different could have a special purpose.

The company typically utilises the event to announce the new Android version and make available its developer preview to enthusiasts. The company, for instance, announced Android M (since lengthened to Marshmallow) and its feature at its last year’s developer conference. The company also announces major upcoming changes to apps and its cloud products.

At Google I/O 2016, the company is expected to introduce Android N and showcase some of its features. One feature that we’re really looking forward to is multi-window support on Android. Reports suggest that the company is working on it – in fact, it was expected to be announced with Android M, later revealed as Android Marshmallow. We also expect to get an update on Google Glass, and perhaps see a new improved version of Cardboard.

The company could also share an update on Brillo and Weave, the operating systems for IoT devices. It will be interesting to see if Google reveals any major update to Chrome OS, which will supposedly bring some Android features.

The company’s decision to hold the event in its own backyard certainly could be seen as the new beginning for the company, which announced a major reshuffle last year, creating a holding company,Alphabet Inc. It could also mean that the company will use the voluminous space to give self-driving car demonstrations.