Friday, September 4, 2015

Facebook-owned WhatsApp reaches 900 million monthly active users

WhatsApp has grown tremendously from the time Facebook acquired it in 2014 for $19 billion. The messaging app's founder, Jan Koum, has just announced on Facebook that the service has reached 900 million monthly active users (MAU). That means it has gained 100 million new ones in less than five months since Koum celebrated reaching 800 million subscribers in April. That number isn't too far off from its parent company's either, which announced 1.49 billion MAUs as of June this year. In comparison, Facebook's own Messenger app reached 700 million MAUs in June, mostly due to its split from the social network's main application. Considering the app has been installed at least a billion times on Android, the new user count isn't that surprising. We just hope its continued success doesn't lead to even more divorces in Italy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Not meeting online user expectations is costly

  • Lost Revenue
Every second of delay will lead to a 7% decrease in web conversions. Additionally, 75% of shoppers who experience a website that freezes, crashes, is too slow, or involves a convoluted checkout process would no longer buy from that site.
  • Productivity Losses
Under performing web-based internal systems severely hinder employee productivity. 68% of managers surveyed in a recent study cited “slow internet” or “inability to access documents from a network” as affecting their productivity.
  • Brand Damage
Poor web experiences generate social media negativity and deter other prospects, jeopardizing future revenue. In fact, 4% of unsatisfied customers (such as those impacted by an outage or a slow loading page) will complain.10 And just one negative review can cost you 30 customers.
  • Additional Marketing Costs
Inbound marketing leads will be lost when your site underperforms and frustrated visitors leave without completing conversion goals. As a result, you will need to increase your marketing spend to drive additional web traffic to recoup lost leads.

SOURCE : The Ultimate Guide to: Improving Web Performance with Monitoring

Thursday, August 20, 2015

7 real-life cyborg implants

Medical technology advances faster than the speed of light, or at least that's the way it seems sometimes. These days, there are implants to treat all sorts of afflictions, and researchers are developing new medical devices that can help a person become a little more human than human. You can implant a bionic lens to get superhuman eyesight, get a tattoo to manage diabetes and -- someday soon, hopefully -- use a wireless device to control fertility. Read on for more amazing medical implants that can enhance your life in ways you never thought possible. 

by Cat DiStasio

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Android 'M' is for Marshmallow

As is tradition (Lollipop, KitKat, Jelly Bean, Ice Cream Sandwich, etc.) Google has revealed the version name for the upcoming sixth version of Android with a new statue in front of its Mountain View, CA HQ. The "polish and quality" focused Android M will stand for Marshmallow, and while it's still not available for public consumption (check out our preview from June), the company is encouraging developers to get their apps ready now, with a new SDK and "near-final" preview versions to use. The name shouldn't be much of a surprise however, since it's the one most of you guessed in our poll, where it nabbed 37 percent of the votes.

SOURCE: Android Developers

Monday, August 17, 2015

Two-factor system uses ambient sounds to verify your login

Two-factor can keep your Gmail, iCloud and other accounts from getting hacked, but it's unfortunately rather tedious to use. That's why a team of researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland has developed a tool called "Sound-Proof" to make the process less painful. Any app or program with Sound-Proof integrated can authenticate your logins by listening to ambient sounds. That's it -- you don't need to pick up your phone, generate a pass-code or wait for a text with one, so long as you've already installed the tool's mobile app.

For instance: if you sign into the app on your laptop browser, the app fires up on its own, and both your computer and phone will start listening for sounds. Once the system determines that both devices are hearing the same background music, AC hum or the rhythmic snoring of your dog, then you get logged in. According to the researchers, the tool only uploads the "digital signature" of the sounds around you and not the sounds themselves in order to protect your privacy. Plus, it doesn't need extensions or any other additional downloads for computers, so it works even if, say, you're using a roommate's laptop.

While it's definitely a lot easier to deal with than traditional two-factor, it's also clearly imperfect. Determined hackers who already have your password can follow you around until you're in the same place to access your account. Since the app starts listening in on its own, you might not even know that someone's trying to hack you until it's too late. Some elements might prevent sounds from matching up, as well, and don't forget that you need a data connection in the absence of WiFi. We hope the team finds a way to make Sound-Proof more secure before releasing the tool as an actual product. As it is, it's just a research project, which the team will present at the Usenix security conference this August.

VIA: Wired


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Apple's 'Move to iOS' app makes it easy to switch from Android

Apple's upcoming mobile platform apparently comes with a new app called "Move to iOS" that wirelessly transfers data from Android devices to iPhones and iPads. It was curiously skipped over during the company's WWDC keynote earlier, but Daring Fireball points it out buried underneath all the new features on the iOS 9 preview page. The page doesn't go into details, but "Move to iOS" will presumably be available on the Play Store, so you can download it on an Android device -- right next to Apple's other upcoming Android app -- to enable wireless transfer.

Apple says the process can securely copy over "your contacts, message history, camera photos and videos, web bookmarks, mail accounts, calendars, wallpaper, and DRM-free songs and books." Plus, it marks your free apps like Facebook as suggested downloads in the App Store, adds paid ones to your iTunes Wish List and "helpfully" suggests recycling that old Android phone. It's unclear when the app's Android part will hit Google's app marketplace, but you might be able to check the iOS 9 version as soon as July if you sign up for public beta access.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Windows 10 is coming to the Raspberry Pi 2 for free

Over the years, the Raspberry Pi has helped children learn to code and has powered many homebrew projects around the world, but some users have often lamented at the lack Windows support. Luckily, now that the Raspberry Pi 2 is here, that's all about to change. Microsoft has announced that it will support the Raspberry Pi Foundation's latest board, making a specialized version of its Windows 10 operating system available to the wider Pi community for free via its Windows Developer Program for IoT (Internet of Things).

Microsoft says that Windows 10 will be made available "later this year," offering it to "Makers" in the same way it delivered Windows builds for developers tinkering with Intel's Galileo board. The key thing here is price: tinkerers can grab the new ARMv7 board, which is said to deliver at least six times the performance of the old Model B+, for just $35 and begin building their own home automation tools. Microsoft says it will share more details on what its new version of Windows 10 can do in "the coming months", but it shouldn't mean that you wait until then before buying one.

Source: Microsoft