Daily Archives: June 14, 2015

Iron Man Galaxy S6 Edge sells for a staggering $91,000


The Iron Man version of Samsung’s Galaxy S6 Edge is any Marvel fanboys wet dream, but it takes Tony Stark’s bank card to even be in with a chance of snapping one up. Following its limited release, one particularly special model has just sold for a whopping $91,000.

The Iron Man-themed Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has been causing quite a fuss in Asia, after it had a limited release in Korea on May 27.

Wannabe superheroes and budding Avengers have been throwing down big money to get hold of the rare piece of Marvel memorabilia, which was limited to just 1,000 units on its initial lunch.

Now, an Iron man S6 Edge has been snapped up at auction in China for a staggering $91,000. While they are all rare, this particular model was highly coveted for its unique serial number.

In China, the number 6 is considered lucky, and this one was model number 66, so it was considered ‘double lucky’ – that is, twice as likely to bring its owner good fortune. The Iron Man theme also means the phone is red and gold, colours that are considered luxurious.

Many of those who have bought the handset in Korea have been putting them up for sale on eBay. Although again, the asking price is rather outrageous. The average is around $4,550 (£2,967), a massive step up on the S6 Edge’s already steep £760 price tag.

It may be your only way of getting one, though. Samsung has confirmed the device will hit China and Hong Kong later this month, but there’s been no mention about other markets.

Apart from the respray, the limited edition handset is identical in the hardware department. It features a 5.1-inch, dual-edge 2560 x 1440 pixel QHD display with a 16-megapixel, OIS-enhanced primary camera and 3GB of RAM.


Facebook gages attention to bypass lackluster “Likes”


Facebook doesn’t need you to “Like” something any more to know you’re interested: just by taking the time to read, the ever-seeing algorithm is learning. The social networking behemoth has announced the latest iteration of its News Feed system, no longer tracking just “Likes” and comments, but comparing the relative attention each post garners to figure out what users might really be intrigued by.

Traditionally, Facebook used explicit measures to work out whether a person was interested or not in something in their News Feed. If they clicked “Like”, or left a comment, the algorithm would assume they’d like to see more stories similar to those in future.

Those that went without such clicks, however, were presumed to be less relevant, and so similar stories would show up less frequently over time.

Turns out, Facebook’s research suggests, “just because someone didn’t like, comment or share a story in their News Feed doesn’t mean it wasn’t meaningful to them.”

Instead Facebook is looking at how long each story grips someone’s interest, basing algorithmic learning on that amount of silent attention.

Crucially, it’s the relative reading time that is being looked at. For instance, if you look at a video post for fifteen seconds, that could be because you’re truly interested in it – even if you still don’t go on to “Like” or comment on it – or it might just be because your connection is slow and buffering takes a long time.

So, Facebook’s engineers are using comparative measures: how long you looked at each story in relation to how long you looked at the rest of the page.

The changes will be rolled out seamlessly over the coming weeks, Facebook says, and it shouldn’t be the sort of thing you necessarily identify as happening. The goal, as always, Facebook says, is to simply put more content that you care about at the top of your page whenever you visit, and of course hopefully keep you coming back for more.

SOURCE Facebook

Twitter Removes 140-Character Limit From Direct Messages


NEW YORK: Twitter today said it will remove the 140-character limit from its direct messaging feature, a move that will allow people to send longer private messages to their friends using the microblogging platform.

However, the 140-character limit on tweets will remain in place.

“We’ve done a lot to improve Direct Messages over the past year and have much more exciting work on the horizon. One change coming in July that we want to make you aware of now (and first!) is the removal of the 140 character limit in Direct Messages,” Twitter Product Manager (Direct Messages) Sachin Agarwal said in a blogpost for developers.

Direct messages in other rival social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn do not have such length limits.

“You may be wondering what this means for the public side of Twitter. Nothing! Tweets will continue to be the 140 characters they are today,” he added.

In April this year, Twitter had started giving users the option of receiving private direct messages from people they do not “follow” on the website.

Earlier only individuals that followed each other on twitter were able to exchange direct messages.

The company has grown its monthly active users by 18 per cent over last year to 302 million.


Facebook Using Time You Spend on Content to Determine Interest


How much time would you say you spend reading new posts on Facebook? Are you a quick skimmer who breezes by all your friends’ updates just to get a general sense of what’s going on, or are you the type to really sit down and spend some time reading an update or gazing through a new photo gallery?

You might wonder why it matters. Normally, it wouldn’t; how you spend your minutes (or hours) on Facebook is your business. However, Facebook is going to start using the exact time you spend looking at various types of content as just one more factor in how relevant (or not relevant) that content might be.

“When talking to people about the way they use their News Feed, we’ve found that it’s not as simple as just measuring the number of seconds you spend on each story to understand if that piece of content resonated with you. Some people may spend ten seconds on a story because they really enjoy it, while others may spend ten seconds on a story because they have a slow internet connection. We’ve discovered that if people spend significantly more time on a particular story in News Feed than the majority of other stories they look at, this is a good sign that content was relevant to them.,” writes Facebook software engineers Ansha Yu and Sami Tas, in a blog post.

There’s nothing new you’ll notice as part of Facebook’s new interest in how much time you spend viewing posts. It’s not like a little tiny stopwatch or counter is going to appear next to anything you view—fun as that might be. And we presume that this is just going to be one more factor in the great equation that determines just what appears in your News Feed (and where). After all, it would be quite a pain in the butt to look at some cat meme on Facebook, accidentally walk away from your computer for 20 minutes, and suddenly find your News Feed taken over by funny feline pictures.

And, of course, there’s the simple fact that some posts, by their very nature, take longer to get through than others. Lengthy diatribes from your friends that require a “see more” click to get through are inherently going to take more time to view. On the other hand, images you might also be interested in naturally take much, much less time to analyze, interpret, laugh at, and move past. That’s not to say that you prefer monologues over memes; it’s just the nature of the beast.

“We’ve started rolling this out and will continue over the coming weeks. We do not expect Pages to see significant changes in distribution as a result of this update,” reads Yu and Tas’ blog post.


Soon, your embarrassing Wikipedia searches will be encrypted


Wikimedia announced this week it was in the process of implementing HTTPS by default across all of its sites, including Wikipedia. The HTTPS protocol will create an encrypted connection between users’ computers and Wikimedia sites, in an effort to protect transmitted data and make it difficult for governments or third parties to monitor traffic. Wikimedia will also use HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS) to prevent communications being sent over HTTP.

HTTPS is not new for Wikimedia. Since 2011, users have been able to implement HTTPS manually through the browser extension HTTPS Everywhere, and logged-in users have defaulted to HTTPS since 2013. Wikimedia has previously held off on defaulting to HTTPS because of the problems it could create for users with low bandwidth or poor connections, according to Motherboard. HTTPS can also affect selective censorship of websites, meaning people in certain countries where censorship is prevalent may have trouble accessing any Wikimedia sites at all.

Compared to sites like Yahoo Mail (which uses default SSL encryption) and Facebook, Wikimedia is not a high-stakes site for security. But the announcement comes at a time when user privacy and security is a growing concern across the internet. This week, the US government also announced it would also be moving to an HTTPS standard. All publicly accessible federal websites will be required to default to HTTPS by December 31st of 2016, according to a White House statement.

Wikimedia says it is in the final stages of the transition, and hopes to complete it in the upcoming weeks.


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