Instagram finally lets you edit DMs

Mar 04, 2024 - 7:36 PM - by Reverend
Instagram launched direct messaging tools way back in 2013, but there hasn’t been a way to edit them after the fact. That changes today. Meta just rolled out a software update for the Instagram app that finally allows for DM edits, with one major caveat. You only have 15 minutes to make any changes.

Here’s how it works. Once you send a direct message and realize you made a huge blunder, just press and hold on the sent message. This will create a dropdown menu. Look for “edit” and make the required changes. Nobody will ever be the wiser, as long as you got there within 15 minutes.

This isn’t the only change to DMs found with today’s update. You can also pin up to three of your favorite direct messages on top of the feed, which is useful in the case of ongoing conversations. This can be done with standard one-on-one chats and group chats. Just hold on the conversation tab, look for the dropdown and tap “pin” to make the move.

The update also makes it easier to toggle read receipts on and off, depending on personal preference. The rest of today’s new features are cosmetic. There are new DM themes, and some include unique animations. Finally, the update features a way to save your favorite stickers in your DMs for easy access. Just hold on the sticker and it’ll be there next time you want it.

  0 Replies | 1,597 Views

Microsoft adds new Copilot features to Windows 11 as AI hype remains high

Feb 29, 2024 - 7:36 PM - by Reverend
Microsoft is bringing more generative AI capabilities to Windows 11 with a new update for the operating system.

Available today, the upgrade will add more functionality to Copilot in Windows 11, Microsoft’s built-in generative AI app, including the ability to tell Copilot to adjust your PC's settings, a new photo editing feature, and plug-ins for apps like OpenTable.

The updates, which are part of Microsoft’s Copilot preview, are part of the company’s effort to incorporate generative AI across its various product lines beyond its Azure cloud segment. It's also part of a broader industry push to use AI PCs, computers with built-in neural processors, to boost PC sales after years of declines.

Microsoft debuted a dedicated Copilot button for Windows keyboards, the first new key in nearly 30 years, at CES 2024, indicating its intention to make Copilot a centerpiece of the operating system going forward.

To use Copilot’s new "skills," as Microsoft calls them, you’d call up the assistant via the Copilot key or on-screen shortcut and type in commands like “show battery information,” “empty recycle bin,” or “launch live captions,” and the AI assistant will perform the appropriate task.

Other options include resizing text, launching voice input, and turning on the battery saver. For most people, these commands will make navigating their computers just a bit easier. But they hold plenty of potential to dramatically change how we interact with our PCs in the future.

Yahoo Finance
  0 Replies | 1,770 Views

X enables live video broadcasts in Spaces

Feb 29, 2024 - 7:32 PM - by Reverend
X's audio chat rooms called Spaces can now broadcast live video, but only for those hosting the session. As The Verge reports, a Dogecoin designer posted an official walkthrough of the feature on the platform formerly known as Twitter. Hosts will now be able to choose whether to enable video and switch on their cameras when they create a Space. They can then broadcast with either their front or rear cameras and in vertical or landscape orientation. We're still not seeing the option to enable video in Spaces on Android, but it's reportedly already available for iOS devices.

The platform already has a separate feature allowing users to broadcast live video, but that option's not quite as interactive as a Space. In a Space session, participants can still speak or co-host, even though only the host has the capability to broadcast live video.

Based on follow-up posts by some users, X has to fix a few bugs and other issues for the feature to work smoothly. Enabling video apparently introduces quite a lengthy lag into chat sessions, and broadcasting in landscape makes it impossible to manage a Space, since the video takes up the screen. Also, participants on desktop don't have the ability to see videos yet. Mobile users that do see videos are shown an interface that prominently displays the host's visual feed next to participants' user icons. The Verge says videos only live inside the chat sessions as they happen in real time and that users will have to join to see them, which means recorded Spaces are still audio-only at the moment.
  0 Replies | 1,409 Views

WhatsApp adds new text formatting options to improve messaging

Feb 21, 2024 - 7:36 PM - by Reverend
Four new text formatting options have been added to WhatsApp to help users communicate more effectively. Available starting today, WhatsApp users can now use bulleted and numbered lists, block quotes, and inline code to highlight and organize their messages, making it easier to break down large sections of text into something easier to read.

These new formatting options have been in development for a while, but now they’re available on WhatsApp for Android, iOS, Web, and Mac, alongside support for Channels. They join the existing bold, italic, strikethrough, and monospace formats that were already available to all WhatsApp users.

Here’s how you can use the markdown-style syntax for these new formats directly within a message:

Bulleted lists: Exactly what it sounds like — you can now finally add bullet points to your messages to break information into things like shopping lists. Just place a “-” symbol at the start of your text, followed by a space.

Numbered lists: Another listing format, only with numbers, should you need to write something down in a specific order, like instructions. To use this format, add one or two digits, followed by a period and a full space — like, for example, “1. ”

Block quotes: Users can block quote text to highlight it and make it stand out in longer messages. Type the “>” symbol followed by a space before the text you wish to highlight to use this format.

Inline code: A useful format for coders but also a good way of highlighting specific information in your text. Users need to wrap their text with the “`” symbol to use this format — `like this.`

The Verge
  1 Reply | 2,015 Views

BBC iPlayer to end programme downloads for PCs and Macs

Feb 14, 2024 - 7:50 PM - by Reverend
The BBC's iPlayer streaming service is to end downloads for users who watch on desktop or laptop computers. Programmes will still be available to download on tablets and phones via the mobile iPlayer app.

Currently viewers on PCs and Macs can save programmes via the iPlayer Downloads app, but that will be closed.

The changes were "due to the low number of people using it and the cost required to keep it going" the BBC said.

"This does not affect downloads on the BBC iPlayer mobile or tablet apps and viewers can continue to stream programmes on BBC iPlayer on their PCs and Macs," a spokesperson added.

The BBC has published a timeline of the planned changes:

2 February - new downloads of the BBC iPlayer Downloads app end
11 March - downloading programmes from the web will end. Users will still be able to watch any existing downloads until 8 April
8 April - the BBC iPlayer Downloads app will be closed

The corporation declined to reveal how many people would be affected by the closure of downloads for users of desktops and laptops, but the decision has attracted some criticism.

One user, Steve Gerrard, posted on X (formerly Twitter): "This is terrible news. I watch almost all my BBC shows on my MacBook."

Former BBC Journalist Robert Rea wrote: "This strikes me as a very bad move. Why would you want to make it harder to watch your programmes?"

Cord Busters, a site that covers streaming TV and first reported the change, noted that "some users have expressed regret that they were not even aware of the feature's existence until now".

BBC News
  0 Replies | 2,074 Views

Disney Plus will start its password-sharing crackdown this summer

Feb 10, 2024 - 10:47 AM - by Reverend
Disney’s password-sharing crackdown will officially begin this summer. During an earnings call on Wednesday, Disney chief financial officer Hugh Johnston said Disney Plus accounts “suspected of improper sharing” will see an option to sign up for their own subscription.

Disney will also start letting account holders add people outside their household for an “additional fee” — but it didn’t say how much that will cost. “We want to reach as large an audience as possible with our outstanding content,” Johnston said. “We’re looking forward to rolling out this new functionality to improve the overall customer experience and grow our subscriber base.”

This year, both Disney Plus and Hulu have updated their terms of service to ban users from sharing their subscriptions with people outside their households. The new terms started applying to new subscribers on January 25th, but it’s coming for existing members on March 14th. Netflix already rolled out a similar version of paid sharing last year, costing subscribers an extra $7.99 per month to add a person located outside their home.

“Paid sharing is an opportunity for us,” Johnston added. “It’s one that our competitor is obviously taking advantage of, and one that sits in front of us ... We’ve got some very specific actions that we’re taking in the next couple of months.”

The Verge
  0 Replies | 2,385 Views

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