Twitter considers paid membership option

Twitter considers paid membership option

Twitter is considering adding a paid membership option for businesses and power users.

The micro-blogging service, which has struggled to grow its user base in recent years, is carrying out surveys to “assess interest” in the idea.

Paying members would get access to an enhanced version of Tweetdeck, Twitter’s souped-up interface that offers more functionality than Twitter.com.

The company has not made any indication it is considering charging regular users of the service.

But a premium membership scheme could offer Twitter a new revenue stream at a time when users are increasingly turning to other networks such as Snapchat.

Twitter’s active user base has plateaued – and advertising revenues, currently the firms only meaningful income stream, are in decline. Twitter’s struggles come despite the online advertising market growing considerably in the past year.

BlackBerry to reinvent its brand

BlackBerry to reinvent its brand

Blackberry is on a mission to reinvent its brand by focusing on software and security.

Research firm Gartner says sales for BlackBerry, nicknamed CrackBerry by fans, peaked in 2011, with 52 million smartphones sold. But amid increasing competition from Apple and Samsung, the company has seen a steady decline in sales. It’s been 15 years since BlackBerry released its first smartphone in 2002.

BlackBerry CEO John Chen said Friday on “CBS This Morning.” “And we have three licensees so far and we’re probably going to have a lot.”

Last year BlackBerry announced they would stop building their own phones, outsourcing their hardware development. This allows them to focus on the “internet of things,” Chen said, to take their software beyond phones and into every day devices like washers and dryers.

Asked what Blackberry has that Apple and Samsung don’t, Chen said “security.” He used former President Obama as an example of someone in government who used the BlackBerry.

“We are the most secure infrastructure, software,” Chen said.

SHOCKING—Nigerian engineer handed written test at New York airport

SHOCKING—Nigerian engineer handed written test at New York airport

A software engineer from Lagos, Nigeria, is claiming that he was made to sit a written test by US airport immigration officers because they weren’t convinced he was telling the truth about his skills.

According to social networking site LinkedIn, Celestine Omin, 28, landed in New York’s JFK airport last Sunday after a 24-hour flight from Nigeria. Mr Omin is employed by Andela, a tech start-up with offices in New York, Lagos, Nairobi and San Francisco.

The firm says it recruits “the most talented developers on the African continent” and connects them with tech employers in the US for potential job vacancies. Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg visited Andela’s office in Lagos last year.

Mr Omin had reportedly been granted a short-term visa to work with First Access, a financial technology company in New York’s Manhattan district. After being asked a series of questions by a US Customs and Border Protection officer, he was taken into a room for further checks.

“Your visa says you are a software engineer. Is that correct?” an officer is reported to have asked Mr Omin.

He says he was then given a piece of paper and a pen and told to answer these two questions to prove he is actually a software engineer:

“Write a function to check if a Binary Search Tree is balanced.”

“What is an abstract class, and why do you need it?”

Mr Omin told LinkedIn it seemed to him the questions had been “Googled” by “someone with no technical background”.

He said later on Twitter that he was “too tired to even think”, and told the officer they could “talk about other computer science concepts”.

After he handed back his answers, he was told by the officer that they were wrong. He said he presumed he was required to provide “the Wikipedia definition” for the questions.

JAPANESE APP HELPS WORKERS FIND OPEN TOILETS AND EMPLOYERS TRACK BATHROOM TIME

JAPANESE APP HELPS WORKERS FIND OPEN TOILETS AND EMPLOYERS TRACK BATHROOM TIME

A Japanese telecom firm has announced the creation of an app to help workers find available bathroom stalls and to tell employers if they spend too much time in there.

KDDI said the app, which will be available to businesses in March, will tell workers in participating buildings where they can find the nearest available bathroom stall. The app uses sensors installed on the stall doors to determine whether they are occupied or available for use.

The sensors also notify an administrator if a toilet stall is occupied for more than 30 minutes, a service the company says is designed to notify bosses of potential accidents in the bathrooms, but could also be used to bust employees using the bathroom to avoid work — a 2012 survey indicated 30 percent of middle-aged businessmen in Japan use bathroom stalls to take naps at work.

Find out more by following this link http://upi.com/6496938

NOKIA 3310 MOBILE PHONE RESURRECTED AT MWC 2017

NOKIA 3310 MOBILE PHONE RESURRECTED AT MWC 2017

Nokia’s 3310 phone has been relaunched nearly 17 years after its debut.

Many consider the original handset iconic because of its popularity and sturdiness. More than 126 million were produced before it was phased out in 2005.

The revamped version will be sold under licence by the Finnish start-up HMD Global, which also unveiled several Nokia-branded Android smartphones.

One expert said it was a “fantastic way” to relaunch Nokia’s phone brand.

The announcement was made ahead of the start of the Mobile World Congress tech show in Barcelona. LG, Huawei and Lenovo are among others to have unveiled new devices.
Nokia no longer makes phones itself, but manufactures telecoms equipment, Ozo virtual reality cameras, and health kit under the Withings brand.

The BBC reports that the new 3310 qualifies as a “feature phone” rather than a smartphone as it only provides limited internet facilities. It relies on 2.5G connectivity – which has slower data speeds than 3G or 4G – and is powered by the S30+ operating system, which allows web browsing but has a much smaller range of apps than Android or iOS.

Its single camera is also restricted to two megapixels. However, its advantage over more powerful handsets is its battery life. HMD says the colour-screened phone has up to a month’s standby time and delivers more than 22 hours of talk time. It also comes with the modern version of the classic game Snake preinstalled. Its launch price is €49 ($51,75; £41.51).

What is your take on the relaunch of the Nokia phone?

MWC 2017: LG G6 PHONE IS MADE FOR SPLIT-SCREEN USE

MWC 2017: LG G6 PHONE IS MADE FOR SPLIT-SCREEN USE

LG has ditched the modular design of its previous flagship smartphone and unveiled a new top-end model that is designed for split-screen uses.
To achieve this, the G6’s display has an 18:9 aspect ratio, rather than the 16:9 used by most handsets. It means that when viewed in landscape mode, the screen appears wider than normal.

LG has acknowledged that last year’s G5 missed its sales targets. One analyst said the change in strategy was wise. The new device was unveiled in Barcelona ahead of the opening of the Mobile World Congress (MWC) trade show.

LG’s new phone was also distinguished by being the first Android device announced to include Google Assistant – the search giant’s voice-controlled rival to Apple’s Siri – beyond Google’s own Pixel phone.

The BBC reports that the G6’s display measures 5.7in (14.5cm) compared to the G5’s 5.3in (13.5cm) component. It is also brighter, adding support for high dynamic range (HDR) video playback. This makes compatible footage appear more vibrant and detailed in the shadows.
The new device can also be submerged underwater for up to half an hour.

Yet the G6 is thinner and slightly smaller than last year’s model thanks to the decision to abandon add-on components – such as a higher quality audio processor – and a return to an irremovable battery.

The new phone is designed around Android 7’s support for split-screen software, allowing two same-sized square interfaces to be seen either side-by-side or one-above-the-other, depending on how the phone is held.