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Today WhatsApp announced a new upcoming feature that most likely played a major role in Facebook's recent acquisition of the company. WhatsApp says that later this year it will be adding voice calling services to the popular text messaging app, a move that will undoubtedly send it rocketing even further past its competition. The new Voice calling feature will arrive on Android and iOS first, with Windows Phone and BlackBerry receiving the new features later down the road.
WhatsApp says that the new voice calling feature will be free initially, but could charge for the service in the future, much like the way its messaging service is free for the first year and then requires a $0.99 per year subscription fee. If the company can keep the new voice calling service in the same $0.99 to $2.99 per year range, I can see almost everyone subscribing at the new rate, which in turn would equate to massive revenue growth for Facebook and WhatsApp.
Additionally, WhatsApp's founder issued an official apology for the downtime the service recently suffered. Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO said that the outage was the app's longest ever, lasting about four hours. As someone who uses WhatsApp almost exclusively for all of his text messaging, the outage was an annoyance, but as a techie myself, I know that these things happen. I do find it refreshing to see a CEO apologize about the outage, something not many other leaders of tech companies do when their services go down.
The UTorrent dev team released 3.4 version of the client with a promise that it would change the way uTorrent chooses peers and therefore improves the download speeds and preventing DDOS attacks.
Other than the bug fixes and new features, BitTorrent's Adam Kelly explained how the new system works. He said,"If a BitTorrent client chooses poorly, or if there are malicious actors in the swarm, the connections between clients are not well distributed through the swarm, leading to a large number of hops from node to node. That slows down the ability to each client to pass data on to the next."
While Facebook might be acquiring WhatsApp for a hefty $16 billion, it looks like the messaging application company might not be too good with encrypting its messages. With over 450 million active users, this becomes quite the user base for government spies, hackers, and more.
WhatsApp's use of secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption is meant to support version 2 of the protocol, which is capable of being hacked into, and monitored by a third-party. The messages being flown back and forth between WhatsApp users can even be manipulated. WhatsApp has failed to use a technique known as certificate pinning, which is designed to block attacks using forged certificates to bypass Web encryption.
Pinning allows an app to work only when communicating with a server using a specific certificate, and because this certificate is hardwired into the app, it will simply reject connections with any other attempts of a false certificate. Security consultancy firm Praetorian, has chimed in, with Paul Jauregui writing: "This is the kind of stuff the NSA would love. It basically allows them-or an attacker-to man-in-the-middle the connection and then downgrade the encryption so they can break it and sniff the traffic. These security issues put WhatsApp user information and communications at risk".
Mobile video editing company muvee recently announced its muvee Action Studio app for Google Android users looking to edit GoPro videos.
The app allows users to enjoy Fast Mode, Automatic Mode, and Pro Mode editing settings to quickly and easily edit videos from their mobile device. Fast Mode edits videos without decoding them, allowing users to trim and splice videos together; Automatic Mode has a unique setting that allows the app to cut videos to music tracks; and Pro Mode allows shots to be refocused, reframed, with a wider selection of editing tools available.
"I was snowboarding in Lake Tahoe with my GoPro and wanted to quickly put some highlight clips together to music and post on YouTube," said Terence Swee, muvee founder and CEO, in a press statement. "I did not want to bring a PC along with all the other equipment I was already lugging. I then realized that there must be a ton of GoPro users who are out mountain biking, diving, surfing or kayaking... in places where you don't want to bring a PC. But we always have our phones with us. I thought: 'I should be able to edit my GoPro videos on my phone immediately!' Now we can."
The now Facebook-owned WhatsApp has just come back online after a four-hour outage, with the company taking to Twitter of all places to confirm that the outage was indeed happening.
The messaging company posted on Twitter that the service was back online, where it said: "WhatsApp service has been restored. We are so sorry for the downtime...". It is all back up and running now, with "server issues" being blamed on the four-hour downtime of the messaging service.
VideoLAN crew worked on Windows 8, RT and phone app version of VLC player with the help of Kickstarter fundraiser. After a year's time, the group's hardwork paid off as its player has finally received approval, and soon will be listed in Windows app Store.
The VLC player will be released for Windows 8, 8.1 and RT. After the release, the company will be starting to work on the windows mobile version of the app. The BETA version had several audio issues, along with other development issues for the Windows OS.
While the Angry Bird craze has mostly come to an end, Rovio is still partnering with big name brands to use its game as a marketing platform. Today the company announced that Angry Birds Rio has been updated to version 2.0 for both Android and iOS to celebrate the upcoming premier of Rio 2, the sequel to Rio, a animated movie from Blue Sky Studios.
With the original Angry Birds Rio seeing millions of downloads, Rovio and Blue Sky Studios teamed up again to create some hype for the April 11th debut of the Rio 2 movie. Unfortunately with the game not as popular as before, I really do not see it gaining as much traction as it did the first time around. I spent many hours playing Angry Birds and Angry Birds Star Wars, but I never could get into Angry Birds Rio. I will most likely download it tonight and spend a few minutes trying it out before bed though.
Don't you just hate it when you are out somewhere and you want to connect to a public Wi-Fi network, but you need the login details and all that? It can get annoying when you need your e-mail or Facebook fix.
Well, it looks like the folks over at Google might have a fix for that, in the form of a new app that would "automatically authenticate and connect to its free hotspots inside Starbucks stores or wherever they are available". Google has started this already, moving itself into Starbucks franchises across the United States, replacing AT&T as the official Wi-Fi partner.
Still, logging into a Google hotspot still requires authentication. This new app that Google is working on, would retain your Google account information, logging you in automatically as soon as your phone is near the hotspot. We might not see the app released, ever, but it would be nice of Google to maybe bake this into the next release of Android.
The tech world is still shocked this morning at yesterday's news that Facebook is buying WhatsApp for $16 billion, and now new details have emerged that suggest that Facebook was not the only one looking to buy the worlds largest instant messaging service. A new report from Fortune says that WhatsApp turned down an offer of $10 billion from Google when the offer did not include a seat on Google's board of directors.
The report also says that Facebook's CEO, Mark Zukerberg, made the $16 billion offer to WhatsApp co-founder and CEO Jan Koum on the 9th of February and the pair finalized the deal just five days later. The deal was reportedly sealed on Valentines day, when Koum arrived at the Zuckerberg home and interrupted a dinner between Mark and his wife. After finalizing things over chocolate covered strawberries, Koum walked away with a seat on Facebook's board and a few billion dollars richer.
WhatsApp is the largest messaging service in the world and today the biggest social network in the world took notice. Today Facebook filed a document with the SEC that confirms the massive acquisition which was valued at $16 billion in cash and stock. Facebook says that WhatsApp will remain independent from Facebook and its competing messenger app, and the acquisition is part of Facebook's ongoing plan to connect the world with each other.
Jan Koum, WhatsApp co-founder and CEO, said, "WhatsApp's extremely high user engagement and rapid growth are driven by the simple, powerful and instantaneous messaging capabilities we provide. We're excited and honored to partner with Mark and Facebook as we continue to bring our product to more people around the world."
"WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people. The services that reach that milestone are all incredibly valuable," said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook founder and CEO. "I've known Jan for a long time and I'm excited to partner with him and his team to make the world more open and connected."