Twitter Tests Removal of Usernames From Tweet Replies

Twitter Tests Removal of Usernames From Tweet Replies

  • A tweet sent as a reply can make use of this new feature
  • Twitter is currently testing the feature with limited users
  • Twitter recently excluded media & other attachments from character limit

Twitter is on a spree with attempts to make its users happier, allowing them to say more within the constraint of just 140 characters. A month ago, the social media giant has relaxed its 140 character limit to include media items and external website links, polls etc. by not counting them against the 140-character limit. At the time, it also removed usernames from being counted within the character limit. Now, the company is going a step further, and has begun testing the removal of usernames from replies, cleaning them up even more.

First spotted by TechCrunch, Twitter has confirmed it is testing the removal of usernames from a reply. It’s limited to a few Twitter for iOS users, but the company added it will roll out the feature to all users at some point, without clarifying when – it points to a Twitter Help page with more information.

With the new method, if a user wants to mention numerous usernames, they can freely do so without stressing on the character limit or seeing a bunch of @usernames even in a group conversation thread, avoiding the notorious ‘Twitter Canoe’ issueAs we mentioned, Twitter is trying this feature in a very limited manner and on a limited number of just mobile devices. This isn’t yet available on web apps, website, and Tweetdeck. Notably, this feature is only meant for the tweets sent as replies to someone, and not fresh tweets mentioning a user. As we mentioned, Twitter is actually removing the entire ‘@username’ part from the tweet, not just just omitting them from the character limit. This could make some users feel awkward if they are in a constant and long-run practice of mentioning users with their usernames.

The ’empty’ boxes will start appearing with a snippet just above your tweet reply that says ‘In reply to XYZ user and others’ (if any). Some users might get confused if this is a fresh tweet or a reply that they’re making within a tweet. The ‘others’ part in the snippet will open a list of users who you’re replying, and you can edit the users you are mentioning.

Twitter is making some dire efforts to revive its position as social media platform, where it’s cliffhanging to see a possible acquisition or a divestiture. Recently, Disney, Salesforce, and Google were reported to have backed out from the race to bid for Twitter.

Nintendo Switch Price and Release Date to Be Revealed on January 12

Nintendo Switch Price and Release Date to Be Revealed on January 12

  • The Nintendo Switch price is rumoured to be between $300 and $350
  • Nintendo will use its January 12 event to show off games and launch plans
  • March 2017 is its release month

The Nintendo Switch may have had a brief albeit effective reveal via three minute video from Nintendo, but there’s still many questions left unanswered.

Of these the biggest are its price and release date. Nintendo has confirmed that we will know these details on January 12 at a presentation that will be live streamed.


“This will be an event for invited media, financial analysts and trade partners in Tokyo that will be globally livestreamed on Jan. 12, US time. The presentation will include the launch date and pricing for Nintendo Switch, as well as a look at the lineup of games currently in development. The presentation will include the launch date and pricing for Nintendo Switch, as well as a look at the lineup of games currently in development,” a statement from the company reads.

For now, there’s no exact release date save for the reveal video ending with “coming soon March 2017”.Several reports pegged the price of the Switch to be on the higher side compared to the Wii.


“A long-in-the-works revamp to the company’s consoles — the NX, with reveal coming next week — is liable to come at a price that will result in a “major” disappointment for volume sales, the firm Macquarie says,” according to a post on investor website Seeking Alpha. “Speculation is putting the price of the new console between $300 and $350, in line with competing consoles, vs. the Wii’s former discount to rival boxes from Sony and Microsoft.”

Android Pay Partners Visa and Mastercard for Faster Checkout

Android Pay Partners Visa and Mastercard for Faster Checkout

  • Integration will show in Android Pay app from early 2017
  • Users will be able to pay using just their fingerprint
  • Will enable faster checkouts for Android Pay users

In a bid to expand its reach, Android Pay has partnered with Visa and Mastercard to allow the easier payment option at “hundreds of thousands of new sites” where Visa Checkout or Masterpass are accepted. However, users will have to wait till early 2017 for the integration to show up inside the Android Pay app, Google said in a blog post.

This effectively means that Android Pay users will be able to perform easier and faster checkouts by just authenticating their fingerprint, and no additional details, wherever Visa Checkout or Masterpass are accepted. “No longer will users have to remember multiple usernames and passwords in order to checkout, saving them time and hassle,” the search giant said in its post.

In addition to Android Pay users, this integration will also ease up the transaction process for retailers and merchants by reducing the time taken for each transaction significantly.

“Android Pay’s open platform also makes the payment integration easy for merchants and developers. Merchants who have enabled Visa Checkout or Masterpass on their sites will instantly benefit from these enhanced payment experiences as the buttons will update automatically. And just as apps such as Fancy and Luxe have seen with Android Pay, these merchants can look forward to faster checkout times, fewer abandoned carts, higher conversions and increased sales,” Google said.

Facebook Messenger Adds PayPal as a Payment Option

The payment options on one of the world’s most used instant messaging apps, Facebook Messenger, has now widened. While previously Facebook Messenger only supported payments for products and services via debit card transactions, the messaging service has now added as a payment partner – starting with a small number of users in the US. Users will be able to pay through their PayPal account via a chatbot after they link their PayPal account on Facebook or Messenger.

The payment feature has started to roll out for users to pay for Messenger transactions using theirPayPal wallets, starting with the US. “To continue ushering in this new commerce paradigm, today we are announcing an extension of our relationship with Facebook and Messenger, to help make mobile commerce smarter, simpler and more secure for consumers as well as merchants.” said Bill Ready, EVP, Chief Operating Officer, PayPal in a

PayPal notifies users on Messenger itself whenever a transaction takes place via the Messenger app. The notifications will also include the receipts and other payment details. Facebook last December partnered with PayPal’s subsidiary Braintree and Uber to allow users to hail rides using its messaging app and pay directly via Messenger.

PayPal has already tied up with multiple payment services like Visa, MasterCard, Telcel and Claro, Vodafone and Alibaba. This is also not the first time PayPal has partnered with a messaging service – BlackBerry Messenger got the service across platforms last year ( Facebook’s Messenger app will pave more ways for other merchants to exploit its payments. Facebook created chatbots, and now the Messenger app now boasts of more than 30,000 chatbots. The social media giant says that it’s also working with Stripe, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express among others to enable users to pay on the app.

New Smart Gloves to Monitor Parkinson’s Disease

New Smart Gloves to Monitor Parkinson's Disease

Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have developed smart gloves that measure tremors and rigidity in fingers – common symptoms of Parkinson’s disease – allowing doctors to monitor patients using smartphones.

The gloves are connected to smartphones, which process the data and deliver it to neurologists in their offices.

This way, doctors can manage the treatment plan of the patient day-to-day, ensuring that medication is working properly and eliminating the need for patients to make stressful clinical visits, researchers said.

Kunal Mankodiya, director of University of Rhode Island’s Wearable Biosensing Laboratory, said he is researching how to transform gloves, socks, clothing and even shoes into high-tech items that will make people healthier and improve their lives.

“Patients with Parkinson’s face many mobility issues – driving and even walking long distances,”Mankodiya said.

“The glove will give patients the option of receiving health care while remaining at home, and it also reduces the risk of falls and other accidents,” he said.

Mankodiya is also working on high-tech socks for people who have suffered strokes.

Sensors woven into the fabric relay information about a patient’s gait to doctors and physical therapists so they can tailor rehabilitation therapy to each patient.

“The socks examine the walking stride. They can quantify movements of the knee and ankle joints to find subtle irregularities that require therapy,” Mankodiya said.


Scientists May Have Finally Cracked the Curious Case of Sun’s Tilt

Scientists May Have Finally Cracked the Curious Case of Sun's Tilt

Planet Nine – the undiscovered one at the edge of our solar system — appears to be responsible for the unusual tilt of the Sun, say researchers.

Planet Nine was predicted by Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown from California Institute of Technology’s (Caltech) in January this year.

The large and distant planet may be adding a wobble to the solar system, giving the appearance that the Sun is tilted slightly.

“Because Planet Nine is so massive and has an orbit tilted compared to the other planets, the solar system has no choice but to slowly twist out of alignment,” said Elizabeth Bailey, graduate student at Caltech and lead author of a study announcing the discovery.

All of the planets orbit in a flat plane with respect to the Sun, roughly within a couple degrees of each other.

That plane, however, rotates at a six-degree tilt with respect to the Sun-giving the appearance that the Sun itself is cocked off at an angle.

Brown and Batygin’s discovery of evidence that the Sun is orbited by an as-yet-unseen planet – that is about 10 times the size of Earth with an orbit that is about 20 times farther from the Sun on average than Neptune’s – changes the physics.

Planet Nine, based on their calculations, appears to orbit at about 30 degrees off from the other planets’ orbital plane, influencing the orbit of a large population of objects in the Kuiper Belt.

“Every time we look carefully, we continue to find that Planet Nine explains something about the solar system that had long been a mystery,” added Batygin, assistant professor of planetary science.

How did Planet Nine achieve its unusual orbit?
Though that remains to be determined, Batygin suggests that the planet may have been ejected from the neighbourhood of the gas giants by Jupiter, or perhaps may have been influenced by the gravitational pull of other stellar bodies in the solar system’s extreme past.

The findings have been accepted for publication in the Astrophysical Journal.


Galaxy Note 7 Pre-Order Customers Finally Hear From Samsung; Offered Galaxy S7 Phones and Freebies

Galaxy Note 7 Pre-Order Customers Finally Hear From Samsung; Offered Galaxy S7 Phones and Freebies

  • The device that had been set to go on sale in India in early September
  • Samsung is offering Galaxy S7 or Galaxy S7 Edge in lieu of Galaxy Note 7
  • Samsung discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 on Tuesday

Samsung on Friday offered alternative phones to its India customers who had pre-ordered its flagship Galaxy Note 7 devices, in a bid to appease loyal clients in one of its largest smartphone markets.

The world’s largest phone maker has been hit by an avalanche of negative publicity, after being forced to recallmillions of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 devices and later scrap the high-end phone altogether.

(Also see: Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall: The Name That Wasn’t Meant to Be)

India is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing smartphone markets and a critical one for Samsung as it is the No. 1 player in the nation with a roughly 25 percent market share.

The device that had been set to go on sale in India in early September ended up not getting to any Indian customers after it failed to resolve overheating problems which caused some of the phones to ignite.

The company initially apologised to customers for the delay in the Galaxy Note 7, and in a release late on Friday it said for those who had pre-booked devices, in lieu of the Galaxy Note 7 it would offer customers either its Galaxy S7, or Galaxy S7 Edge devices.


It also offered affected clients a free set of its virtual reality headsets, a free pair of wireless headphones, a voucher worth about $50, along with a free one-time screen replacement in case of any damage to the new smartphone within a year.

In a separate statement Samsung also questioned analyst estimates on the extent of the impact on revenue in India from the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.

“We can confirm that contrary to these reports, we are headed for record sales of mobile phones this year,” the company said in the statement.

Earlier on Friday, Samsung said however that it expected to take a hit to its operating profit of about $3 billion over the next two quarters due to the discontinuation of the Galaxy Note 7.



© Thomson Reuters 2016

Samsung Galaxy Note7

Samsung Galaxy Note7





Front Camera



1440×2560 pixels




Android 6.0.1



Rear Camera


Battery capacity



Twitter Charts Solo Path as Salesforce Rules Out Takeover

Twitter Charts Solo Path as Salesforce Rules Out Takeover
  • Salesforce said on Friday that it would not make a bid
  • Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey may now have to chart an independent course
  • Dorsey is likely to face intense scrutiny over his continued role as CEO

Twitter Inc faces an uncertain future after Inc , the last of the companies believed to be interested in buying the troubled social network, said on Friday that it would not make a bid.

Twitter and Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey may now have to chart an independent course in the face of stagnant user growth, heavy losses and mounting competition from the likes of Facebook’sInstagram and Snap Inc’s Snapchat.

Dorsey is likely to face intense scrutiny over his continued role as CEO of both Twitter and the payment company Square , especially if the company’s next quarterly report in late October is as weak as some analysts expect.

Twitter grew rapidly for years after it was founded in 2006, and has assumed a unique and influential position in the global media ecosystem. But the company has been plagued by management turmoil since its earliest days and has long been criticized for a lack of product innovation and, more recently, lack of user growth.

Twitter last month hired bankers to field acquisition offers and companies including Alphabet and Disney expressed interest, according to sources familiar with the process. Google and Disney decided not to proceed, the sources said, leaving Salesforce, a provider of cloud computing software for businesses, as the last reported bidder.


But Salesforce investors reacted poorly to the idea, sending the company’s stock down when its interest in Twitter first emerged. Salesforce Chief Executive Marc Benioff said on Friday he had ruled out a bid.

“In this case we’ve walked away. It wasn’t the right fit for us,” Benioff told the Financial Times in an interview, saying there were many reasons the fit was not right, including price and the culture of the company.

A spokeswoman for Salesforce confirmed the comments. Twitter declined to comment.

Twitter’s shares closed 5 percent lower Friday at $16.88, while those of Salesforce rose 5 percent to $74.27.

Twitter had planned to wrap up any sale discussions by the time it reports earnings at the end of October, sources told Reuters earlier this week.

It is still possible that other bidders could emerge, according to people familiar with the matter. One source said the company may consider possible strategic investments rather than a buyout.

With a market cap of about $12 billion and losses running at about $400 million a year, Twitter was likely judged too expensive by prospective buyers.


Growth stalls
As an independent company, Twitter will likely need to address its unusual leadership situation, analysts said. Dorsey has split his time between Twitter and Square since he returned as Twitter’s permanent CEO about a year ago.

Investors are likely to pressure the company to appoint a “full-time” chief executive, said SunTrust Robinson Humphrey analyst Robert Peck.

“The most common question we receive from investors is given the struggling turnaround, doesn’t the company need a full-time CEO?” Peck said.

Dorsey sent a memo to employees earlier this month calling the company “the people’s news network,” and rallying them to “deliver a better Twitter faster.”

Twitter enjoyed a period of explosive growth in both users and revenues after its founding a decade ago, but growth has stalled over the past several years.

The company missed Wall Street’s sales expectations in both the first and second quarters of 2016, according to Thomson Reuters StarMine, and has yet to produce a net profit in 11 quarters as a public company. It will report third quarter results October 27, which SunTrust analyst Peck said he expects to be weak with data showing monthly active users flat or down.

To be sure, Twitter has become a focal point in the US presidential election. Many stories have unfolded on its service and comments made by the candidates have made big news themselves. No media company has a mobile product with as much reach as Twitter, BTIG analyst Rich Greenfield said.

Twitter has recently signed deals with a number of media companies and sports organizations to stream major events such as the presidential debates and Thursday Night National Football League games.


Amazon Global Store Launched in India for Easy Purchase of Goods From Abroad

Amazon Global Store Launched in India for Easy Purchase of Goods From AbroadAmazon India aims to make purchasing of goods sold abroad easier for customers in the country with the launch of the Amazon Global Store.

While you could technically order items from Amazon’s US portal to India, provided the seller shipped them, Amazon Global Store makes the process more reliable. A dedicated page showcases all eligible products that will ship to India. Amazon claims genuineness of products sold and a facility to return the item if there are any issues. Amazon says purchased products can be expected to arrive in 10 to 15 days after placing the order. At this time, you can only order items via prepayment using credit or debit cards, as well as netbanking (you can’t avail cash on delivery). Products in the Amazon Global Store are shown in the Indian currency, based on currency conversion done by Amazon from the listing price of the corresponding item on Amazon’s US portal. Prices shown also include import duty and tax deposits, which vary depending on the category of item ordered. Patrons wanting to purchase goods from international shopping sites are typically concerned about the items successfully being cleared by the local customs authorities. Amazon suggests that they will manage the customs process and even refund money if the actual import fees turn out to be less than the import deposit a customer is charged. Amazon warns that buyers will need to verify themselves with an ID proof upon delivery of items being shipped from the USA.
At this point, a variety of categories such as Clothing, Watches, Books, Electronics, Shoes, and Office Supplies appear to be listed on the Amazon Global Store in India. Amazon has also made it easy to distinguish if a listing falls under the Global Store section by placing the namesake tag next to the product listing. The product listing page also shows a breakup of the total cost including the currency-converted price, the import duty deposit, and delivery charges. You can read the Terms and Conditions of the Global Store here. It covers aspects like warranty support, which is dependent upon the manufacturer, and is also clearly stated on each product listing page. Another noteworthy mention in the T&Cs is the returns process, which suggests returns are honoured with only a refund, not a replacement.

Steam Dev Days 2016: Steam Link for Samsung TVs, Wireless Vive, and More

Steam Dev Days 2016: Steam Link for Samsung TVs, Wireless Vive, and MoreSteam Dev Days is Valve’s developer convention that takes place in Seattle every two years. While no press was present at Steam Dev Days 2016, that hasn’t stopped information from trickling out.

The headline announcement was Steam Link – which lets you stream Steam games on your PC to your TV, will be integrated into Samsung’s upcoming TVs. A massive coup and a monumental indicator of PC gaming’s importance in the living room.


In addition to this, Valve is investing in VR companies, particularly one responsible for 60GHz wireless transfer technology. This could possibly be Quark VR, a company developing a Wireless Vive headset with Valve advising.


Furthermore, a new SteamVR controller is in development as are next-gen Lighthouse basestations. The former has no release window while the latter is expected in 2017. The company also reaffirmed Lighthouse tech being planned as open and standardised as Wi-Fi.

On the topic of VR, Valve claims 1,000 new VR users are on Steam every day. Which is odd considering both the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift haven’t exactly sold as well as anticipated. Nonetheless, while Valve has no content announcements for Steam Dev Days, it claims to be working on something that should keep everyone happy.


“Although we’re not going to treat dev days this year as the place or the time to make big product announcements related to the content we have in development at Valve for virtual reality I do think that once it comes time to do that next year that nobody in this room is going to be disappointed about what we have in the works,” stated Valve’s Greg Coomer on a Periscope video. Could he possibly be alluding to the Half-Life VR game HTC’s leadership revealed and quickly apologised for?

Other points of note include Asia being the third largest market for Steam, growing almost 500 percent. Prior to the event, Valve noted in a prepared statement that Steam is home to over 10,000 games across Windows PC, Linux, Mac, and multiple VR systems.


VR appears to be the focal point for Steam Dev Days this year. While an admirable notion, it will be of interest to see if it ever reaches mainstream adoption given that the we’re just witnessing lower price points in terms of tech required. Whether the content is tailored for the platform or not could very well make or break Valve’s ambitions.