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Oculus “may” use data for advertising, but when?

Oculus “may” use data for advertising, but when?

When it was announced that Facebook would be purchasing Oculus, it gave a lot of people pause. I certainly didn't see that move coming, but over time it slowly made more and more sense. After all, VR can be used for a lot more than just playing video games. It can be a great way to interact with other people, which is what Facebook is all about. Of course, Facebook is also about making money through advertising, which has caused some concern over the last few days.

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Facebook: Messenger basketball game played by many, mastered by few

Facebook: Messenger basketball game played by many, mastered by few

Last month, Facebook updated Messenger with a “hidden” basketball game in honor of March Madness, and now it is back with some stats: as expected, tens of millions of people played the game, which simply involves swiping your finger to flick a basketball into a basket. What wasn’t expected, though, is how terrible most of us are at the game. According to the social network, not even 1-percent of users who played reached a “best score” of 30 or more.

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Let’s Try WhatsApp with end-to-end encryption

Let’s Try WhatsApp with end-to-end encryption

So you'd like to enable the brand new Encryption security WhatsApp has brought to the world today, do you? Lucky you, there's not a whole lot you're going to have to be doing. Thanks to WhatsApp's newest software update, the app and ecosystem now has end-to-end encryption automatically. According to the developers behind this app, "When end-to-end encrypted, your messages, photos, videos, voice messages, documents, and calls are secured from falling into the wrong hands."

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Facebook’s AI helps the blind see photos in feeds

Facebook’s AI helps the blind see photos in feeds

Last week at BUILD 2016, Microsoft revealed a Seeing AI project that combines decades of research in computer vision, neural networks, and artificial intelligence to help the blind identify anything using only one single app. Not to be outdone, Facebook is also announcing a similar thrust aimed at people with severe visual impairments. Dubbed Automatic Alternate Text, the feature uses those same computing technologies and theories to identify contents of a photo in a Facebook post, allowing screen readers to describe them as if they were text, and giving visually impaired people a better idea of the picture in their head.

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Oculus software said to be always on, privacy worries arise

Oculus software said to be always on, privacy worries arise

Oculus has just recently launched the consumer version of its Rift VR headset and, aside from some delays in shipping, things look good for the company so far. Reviewers are still on the fence about virtual reality in general but most seem to be quite positive about the experience using the Oculus Rift. However, Oculus commercial journey has just begun and already it might be entangled in some controversy around the thorniest of topics these days: privacy. The Oculus services installed on PCs have been discovered to always be running. Coupled with some privacy policies, the situation is raising some alarms for some people.

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Report: Egypt nixed Free Basics over Facebook’s refusal to spy

Report: Egypt nixed Free Basics over Facebook’s refusal to spy

In December, news surfaced that Egypt had shut down Facebook’s Free Basics Internet service, news that itself followed the social network’s troubles in India. The move was a sudden one, and officials made no public announcements about their reason for pulling the plug. According to new sources who have surfaced, Free Basics was canned because Egyptian government officials wanted access to spy on users, something Facebook reportedly rejected.

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Facebook Instant Articles is adding video advertisements

Facebook Instant Articles is adding video advertisements

Facebook is going to add video advertisement support to Instant Articles, a platform for publishers that presents articles more quickly to the social network’s users. In addition to the new video advertisements, Instant Articles will also get a new ad unit block on top of the ones already available, something Facebook anticipates will boost ad impressions more than 20-percent.

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Facebook offers BlackBerry one last hope, makes web app available

Facebook offers BlackBerry one last hope, makes web app available

BlackBerry users with devices other than the Android-powered Priv are used to bad news when it comes to their platform of choice, but they were hit extra hard earlier this month when Facebook announced it was dropping support for its native app on the BlackBerry 10 OS, pulling its WhatsApp messaging service as well. What with Facebook being the most important website to hundreds of millions of people, it's easy to understand why BlackBerry users would be upset.

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Facebook Messenger gets KLM Royal Dutch Airlines bot

Facebook Messenger gets KLM Royal Dutch Airlines bot

Facebook Messenger has announced that it has a new bot that is running in some locations with a wider rollout coming in the following days. The bot is the first for an airline partner and that airline is KLM Royal Dutch Airlines. To use the bot when you book a ticket with the airline, you have to choose to receive info via Facebook Messenger.

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Facebook Messenger code hints at in-store payment feature

Facebook Messenger code hints at in-store payment feature

Facebook is quietly working on a feature that will allow its users to make in-store purchases using its Messenger app, according to a new report. The feature and others were spotted in the app’s code, with other possible future features including “secret conversations” perhaps akin to what WhatsApp recently rolled out. Facebook is tipped to have a large team working on the new buying feature.

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Glitch sends Facebook Lahore Safety Check to the whole world

Glitch sends Facebook Lahore Safety Check to the whole world

Following catastrophic events like the 2011 tsunami that hit Tokyo, Facebook launched its new Safety Check feature to utilize the vast reach of the social network to connect affected people with their families and friends. It basically works by sending out a notification asking you if you're OK when Facebook detects you're within the affected area. This weekend, however, some Facebook users from different places around the world were being asked by Safety Check if they were alright, saying they were in Lahore, Pakistan where a suicide bomb killed dozens and injured hundreds.

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Facebook quietly developing impersonation security alerts

Facebook quietly developing impersonation security alerts

Most people have had to deal with an online bully at one point or another, but the harassment usually comes in the form of unwanted messages, whether they’re replies to tweets or comments on statues. Less common but no less problematic are online impersonations, a more involved form of online bullying in which one person creates an account pretending to be another person. Such actions can range from annoying to career-destroying, and now Facebook’s creating a tool to prevent it altogether.

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