Internet

Twitter tipped in plan to increase 140-character limit

Twitter tipped in plan to increase 140-character limit

Twitter. It’s obviously different from Facebook in many ways, but one of the best differences is the character limit — Twitter users are forced to think about what they’re saying, and you won’t have to slog through paragraphs of needless banter as a result. Still, URLs and image links eat up the present 140-character limit substantially, and not all succinct sentiments can be squeezed into such a small restriction.

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Netflix, Virgin America partner to bring quality WiFi, streaming to the skies

Netflix, Virgin America partner to bring quality WiFi, streaming to the skies

Streaming media giant Netflix and airline Virgin America have just announced they're partnering for a new promotion that brings high-speed WiFi, and the subsequent binge-watching, to the skies. Starting this week and until March 2nd, 2016, Netflix subscribers will have access to free WiFi on Virgin America flights with ViaSat WiFi-equipped aircrafts, allowing them to watch the video service's entire catalog from 35,000 feet.

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Facebook to help UN bring internet access to refugee camps

Facebook to help UN bring internet access to refugee camps

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced over the weekend that he and Facebook plan to help the UN bring internet access to refugee camps. Zuckerberg says that internet access is an "enabler of human rights" and a "force for peace." Zuckerberg also pointed out that helping to bring internet access to more users isn’t altruism, that "we all" benefit when we are more connected.

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Zuckerberg to UN: Internet access can help bring world peace

Zuckerberg to UN: Internet access can help bring world peace

That may be a tall claim and one that many might scoff at, but that is exactly what Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, along with a host of other celebrities, told business leaders at a private luncheon at the United Nations last Saturday. Their connectivity campaign, one that seeks to make Internet access universal to the more than 4 billion people still deprived of the technology, believes that the Internet isn't only useful for sharing knowledge but also for helping end poverty and promoting world peace.

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Google to connect Indians to the Internet via train stations

Google to connect Indians to the Internet via train stations

Google has had some very ambitious and sometimes even incredible ideas to bring the Internet, whether low speed or high, to more people, from installing fiber lines in US cities to flying balloons in remote places in the world. Now it's bringing that vision and ambition to India, home country of new Google CEO Sundar PIchai. This time, however, it isn't looking to the skies to connect India's next 10 million to the Internet. Instead, it is looking to repurpose India's train stations to be come hubs of public high-speed Internet access across the country.

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Twitter is toying with native polls feature

Twitter is toying with native polls feature

You can run unofficial polls on Twitter — you just ask people to tweet their votes — but in the future you may be able to add actual polls to your tweets, soliciting opinions from followers and others. It isn't guaranteed users will see the feature; it is being experimented with right now. Experiments aren’t guarantees, but do indicate areas of focus within the company, and are a strong indicator that such a feature could roll out at some point.

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Facebook Notes gets custom styles, challenges Medium

Facebook Notes gets custom styles, challenges Medium

Facebook Notes — surprised the feature still exists? You’re not the only one. The social network hasn’t given Notes the same attention it has some of its other features, and many people ignore it altogether. Still, there’s a subset of users who like penning long narratives or using Facebook as their personal blog, and that’s where Notes comes in. Attention was drawn to the feature back in August when the social network began tweaking with it again, and today the company announced a full update.

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Google voice search now better, faster, stronger

Google voice search now better, faster, stronger

Google updates their voice search software, making speaking with the search engine far faster and more accurate than before. The Google Speech Team have announced that they're improving their neural network acoustic models using two new sets of features. One part of this equation is Connectionist Temporal Classification (CTC), while the rest consists of sequence discriminative training techniques. Go on a try a Google voice search with "OK Google" now - you'll notice the quickness. And the accuracy. And the ability to be heard in slightly more noisy environments.

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Facebook is down: tiny details

Facebook is down: tiny details

Today Facebook has gone down for thousands (if not millions) of users around the world. Blackout began at around 11:30 AM Central Time in the United States and appears to have affected areas in Europe and Asia as well. A live outage map suggests that most users reporting problems come from the United States, centering in around New York City, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis. Twitter complaints are coming at an increasing speed at the time this article is published, with just a few tweets a minute at 11:40 AM Central Time up to over 80 tweets per minute closer to 11:50 AM Central Time.

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OPM revises hack details: 5.6m fingerprints compromised

OPM revises hack details: 5.6m fingerprints compromised

In early June, the U.S. government revealed that four million federal employees were comprised as the result of a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management. It has since been suggested the number could be higher, and that the type of data grabbed (supposedly by Chinese hackers) was more extensive than originally reported. Today the OPM made a new update about the hack, revealing the hackers stole a few million more fingerprints than originally believed.

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White House report says broadband internet is a necessary utility

White House report says broadband internet is a necessary utility

Those of us with easy, everyday access to broadband internet might take it for granted, but its importance in today's world can be no more apparent than to the millions of Americans who don't have a connection. That's the sentiment expressed in a new report from the White House and the Broadband Opportunity Council, which write that broadband internet has become an "essential infrastructure for communities" and is no longer just a convenience, but a "core utility" in the same way as electricity and water.

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Gmail adds block and unsubscribe options for Android, web

Gmail adds block and unsubscribe options for Android, web

Email — it’s great most of the time, but like all things, it can be annoying at other times. One of those times is when someone you don’t like keeps emailing you — an annoying distant uncle who is somehow under the impression you’ve won the lottery, or someone you ticked off in the comments section of a website at some point. Equally annoying are subscription emails you don’t remember signing up for and can’t seem to unsubscribe from.

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