Facebook Messenger Lets You Use PayPal to Send Money to Your Friends

PayPal booth in a shopping center

Facebook makes payments easier by integrating PayPal into Messenger

If you are willing to send money to your friends in an easy and secure way, Facebook Messenger is here to help you. The company has just announced it has started a collaboration with PayPal which will allow people to use the service and send money to their friends directly from the messaging app. The feature is already available on iOS, and will arrive on Android shortly. However, this applies only to US users at the moment.

Payments are more accessible now on Facebook Messenger

Facebook knew how money businesses are sometimes urgent, and decided to give users the chance to deal with them via social media. Therefore, it facilitated payments on Facebook Messenger for the first time in 2015. Now, it decided to improve the service, and to allow them to send money within groups. Therefore, a PayPal collaboration will let you deal with this kind of business right away.

This payment feature was actually a part of M, an AI assistant integrated in Facebook Messenger. This assistant analyzes the conversations you have, and makes suggestions on actions you might be willing to perform. Therefore, if you are talking about money with someone, M will direct you towards a quick payment method.

Facebook is now collaborating with PayPal for easier transactions

If you want to use PayPal to make a transaction, you can tap a blue plus icon in Facebook Messenger. Then, you can select the Payments tab, which will display a series of options of payment. Also, you can set Messenger to remember your preferred method, and make a second transaction quicker.

By choosing to pay with a credit card, Messenger will automatically connect you to a PayPal account, and then you can easily send the money wherever you need to.
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Sony Has Just Released the Kid-Friendly Mini Wired Gamepad

PlayStation 4 console and controller

Sony released a kid-edition controller, Mini Wired Gamepad

Sony has just released new gaming gear, namely the long-awaited Mini Wired Gamepad compatible with PS4. For the creation of this tool, Sony collaborated with Hori, the well-known producer of gaming equipment. As the name said, the controller comes in a small size, and is likely made especially for children.

What’s so special about the Mini Wired Gamepad?

If you compare the Mini Wired Gamepad with the original controller, it is about half the size of the latter, and 40 percent of the DualShock 4. It comes in the color blue, so typical of PlayStation consoles. However, this is the only color available. Some other specifications include a wire which connect the controller to the console.

These are the features which make it stand out. Then, most of the other elements make it really similar to DualShock 4. All the buttons present on the Mini Wired Gamepad can also be found on DualShock 4. They allow you to play any PS4 game you like, while using the same controls you are already used to.

The smaller size made Sony give up some features

However, your experience might suffer a bit, as some of the exclusive features present on other controllers are now gone. As the Mini Wired Gamepad is smaller than you have been used to, Sony had to give up some of vibration, the speaker, the touch pad, the jack for the headset, or the motion sensor.

However, even if the touch pad is gone, it doesn’t mean your controls will suddenly be cut in half. By manipulating the sticks present on the mini controller, you should be able to simulate the movements offered by the touchpad.

Sony found the perfect way to make gaming more comfortable for children, as spending too much time using the massive controllers could have turned painful by the end of the day. It might work just as fine for humans, as the Mini Wired Gamepad is easier to manipulate and to hold.
Image Source: Pixabay

Google Maps Gives Up the Cupcakes which Counted Your Calories

Cupcake with pink frosting on top

Google ditches the offensive cupcakes from Google Maps

Not a long time ago, Google released a new feature on its Maps app, which was meant to show people the calories they would burn if they chose to walk to a certain location. However, this feature didn’t reach the desired effect, so Google decided it was better to ditch it.

The cupcakes showed how many calories you could have burned by walking

The update was supposed to promote activity as a healthy option, and to convince users to walk to their direction instead of taking the car. Therefore, it calculated how many calories they would burn if they opted for this healthier alternative. If you selected the walking route, these calories were displayed as small cupcakes.

However, users didn’t grasp Google’s good intentions, and slammed the new feature everywhere on the web. Most of them took to Twitter to express their disapproval of the cupcakes, and blamed Google for being mindless about those people who struggle with eating disorders or similar issues.

Users didn’t refrain from expressing their disapproval of the feature

Seeing the negative feedback the feature had received, Google admitted the cupcakes were merely an experiment. The company performed a brief session of testing on iOS but, since it hasn’t been welcome by users, the feature will be dumped.

Users had other things to complain about. Since the calories are displayed as pink cupcakes, some of them found they were subtly addressed to women. Others didn’t make such extensive associations, but still found the feature was quite unsuitable for Google Maps. If users are interested in the calories they burn, they have plenty of other designated apps to use.

After this failed attempt, Google will probably stick to keep Maps free of useless updates, and focus more on its strength and advantages.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Connect Tag Is a Smart Tracker which Runs for a Week on One Charge

Person wearing a wrist smart tracker

Connect Tag can keep you up to date to your objects’ location for an entire week without charging

Keeping track of your more vulnerable loved ones or of your personal stuff can be tough sometimes. Sure, there are many devices which can simply be attached to an object or person, but they do not have unending battery life. Samsung knew this was the most widespread problem with smart trackers, so it decided to release a device of its own.

Connect Tag surpasses the battery limitations

Sometimes, it might be hard to keep an eye on your kids, pets, or even objects, so there’s always the option of attaching a smart tracker to them, and being always connected to their location via a smartphone app. However, constant tracking drains the battery, but Samsung found a solution.

The new smart tracking device is called Connect Tag, and takes advantage of the disadvantages of similar equipment. It is powered by a narrowband tech, which can run for an entire week after one single charging session. All this technology is contained in a compact encasing, which makes it easy for it to attach to almost anything.

The device is also waterproof, so you can easily attach it on your dog’s leash without fearing it might damage it. Also, you can give it to your kids to carry around, or hook it to your bags. Moreover, you can choose a specific area where the object or person should keep roaming and, whenever the device gets out of the area, you are alerted on your smartphone.

The smart tracker will be available only for Android

Connect Tag can easily work as a regular smart device, so it has other appliances as well. You can connect it with different equipment in your home, and tell it to turn on the lights or the TV. However, it has some disadvantages.

Since it’s produced by Samsung, Connect Tag can only be paired with an Android smartphone. The company hasn’t revealed anything about an iOS version yet, but there’s still some time until it comes on the market. Also, Samsung hasn’t mentioned anything about the price, and it might be a little too spicy for some users.
Image Source: Max Pixel

Side-Loading of Extra Games on the SNES Console Is Already Available Thanks to Modders

SNES Classic console and its controller

You can now play any game you want on SNES

For the second time in the history of Nintendo’s classic consoles, a modder managed to crack open one of the devices, discover its functioning system, and find out how to load and play other games, which are not included in its original distribution. Only a week after the release, a Russian hacker loaded dozens of additional games on the mini SNES.

As soon as the NES Classic Edition console was first released, Cluster, a Russian modder, took its time to find out how to make it possible for people to play some extra games on the console. Several months later, he managed to find out NES’ secret, and a ton of new games were now side-loaded on it.

However, it seems Nintendo didn’t have any problem with it. The release of the mini SNES Classic Edition came and, only a week after, Cluster had already found out how to add games on the console. This means Nintendo didn’t take significant efforts to change the software and the components of the mini SNES, leaving modders able to manipulate the device with ease.

You can add what games you want on the mini SNES console

Cluster has a special tool, called hakchi2, which lets you upload the game you want on the SNES. You don’t need too much technical knowledge to do that but, if you are more than an average PC user, you should be able to load mostly any game you want on the console. It will even allow older games, which were available only on the NES.

This exclusive option will be more than welcome by the SNES fans, since being able to play more games on the console is, indeed, a huge advantage. The NES console has been released with 30 official games, while the number decreased to 21 on the new SNES.

Everything will happen with Nintendo’s blessing, as the company has absolutely nothing bad to say about this. You are probably aware NES contained a secret message for modders. The same message is now hidden inside SNES as well, so the Nintendo is actually encouraging all these attempts.
Image Source: Flickr

Advanced Photo Technique Allows Regular Cameras to Shoot Images in Blind Spots

Person taking a photo with a professional camera

CornerCameras lets you take pictures of objects in blind spots

The MIT researchers developed a technology which allows a regular camera to take photos of objects hidden around the corner. Thanks to a special imaging technique, the camera becomes able to analyze the shadows of objects hidden in blind spots, and create an image based on these observations.

Shooting images even in blind spots

This revolutionary photo system is called CornerCameras, and lets you shoot blind corners that sometimes not even the human eye can see. This system is equipped with sensors which perceive the slight changes in light which affect the shadow of an object. Then, according to the shadow captured by the camera, the system can make up what should be hidden around the corner.

CornerCameras captures small 1D images, and puts them all together, revealing the shape of objects in blind spots, as well as its speed or direction. If this technology gets perfected, it might have valuable applications, in the self-driving car industry for instance.

The system needs plenty of light to take photos

The technology makes use of the movement of objects to detect their shape and trajectory. By seeing how this motion affects their shadow and the penumbra which surrounds them, the camera can build up a complete image of objects even when they are in blind spots. Also, CornerCameras uses walls and obstacles as natural cameras, exploiting their optical properties.

You don’t need a highly sophisticated camera for the technology to work, as it is suitable for any kind of smartphone. Also, it can capture blind spots both inside and outside, and not even rain can stop it. However, the system still requires quite a lot of light to be present. At the moment, researchers are working to perfect it in a low-light environment, as well as in a dark one. Even shifting lights might disturb its well-functioning, so there’s room for improvement.

Image Source: Pexels

New Wolfenstein II Ad Campaign Sparks Intense Political Controversies

Wallpaper for Wolfenstein II

Bethesda re-appropriated Trump’s slogan for the latest Wolfenstein campaign

Bethesda has recently released a new ad campaign to promote the upcoming Nazi-killing game, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. This campaign uses a variation of the already popular slogan of President Trump, Make America Great Again. However, the word “great” is replaced with “Nazi-free”, which sparked a lot of unexpected and unwanted controversies.

The campaign re-appropriates President Trump’s slogan

The Wolfenstein series has always been well-known for depicting the killing of Nazis. The latest game presents an alternate universe where Nazi Germany has won World War II, and is currently in control of Europe and the United States. Therefore, the central campaign behind Wolfenstein II is to get the US rid of Nazis.

This is why Bethesda took the already popular slogan, changed it to suit their campaign, and overlaid the text over a video game sequence showing Nazis marching on the American streets. However, this came in a strange time for the US , when alt-right supporters are marching through the streets.

There are no hidden political messages in Wolfenstein II

Although that wasn’t Bethesda’s intention, the Wolfenstein campaign fell right in the middle of a controversy. Many people interpreted the anti-Nazi message and the Trump correlation to a campaign against the president’s supporters. Therefore, the ad sparked a lot of unwanted reactions, so Bethesda felt the need to clarify the situation.

The video game company insisted that there were no political motives behind the release of this ad campaign, and it didn’t want to promote violence or the massacre of any supporters. Wolfenstein has always been about killing Nazis, but this is just a video game. Also, the general conception was that no one should get offended about the slaughtering of Nazis since, for about 70 years, they have been regarded as bad guys.

The fact that the release of the game coincided with alt-right supporters marching in the streets is purely coincidental. Wolfenstein II is merely a game, so it shouldn’t be taken seriously. It has been released only for entertainment purposes, so there are no secret messages or connections hidden in it.

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Frontier Offered Us the First Glimpse into the Jurassic World Evolution Universe

Jurassic World logo on a dusty brown background

Frontier released a preview on the upcoming Jurassic World Evolution

Developers Frontier have just released their yearly livestream expo, and it came with some special surprises for fans. Gamers had dozens of questions regarding Jurassic World Evolution, the long-awaited dinosaur game. Since the game will only be out sometime during the summer of 2018, Frontier decided it was time to let people find out more about it.

Jurassic World Evolution follows the line of the 1993 movie

Therefore, during the livestream in question, the developers came up with some answers about Jurassic World Evolution which kept bugging the fans for quite a long time. Therefore, the game is dedicated to all those who enjoyed the 1993 film, Jurassic Park. The entire atmosphere revives the cinematic experience, and leads players through all the stages in the development of the park.

Therefore, they start from the beginning, where you can collect samples of dinosaur DNA right from the archaeological sites. Then, you can use genetic engineering to raise your own specimens, and build Jurassic Park. The game won’t let players get bored, as they have to take decisions on how to run the park.

The game will put players at test

Also, they have three options they can choose from, when it comes to administrative details. First of all, the park can serve for pure entertainment. Then, you can choose to show everybody how good your security is by managing to keep the huge reptiles from ravaging the surroundings. In the end, you can use it for research purposes, or you can choose a mix of all three.

The game won’t be easy, as it will test the players’ ability to deal with the unexpected. Therefore, they will have to deal with emergencies, such as biological hazards which threaten your dinosaurs. Frontier developers provided plenty of screenshots from Jurassic World Evolution, where they present the surroundings and the mechanics behind the gameplay.

Touchscreen Systems in Cars Put Drivers in Danger By Getting Them Distracted

Touchscreen menu in a car

Touchscreen systems in cars are great distractions for drivers

A recent study developed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed a new risk for drivers. It’s not something coming from the road, but rather a tool placed in many modern cars. We are talking about touchscreen displays and systems operating inside vehicles, which might turn out a bit too distracting for drivers.

Touchscreen systems in a car capture the driver’s attention

For this study, researchers selected a number of 30 cars released over the past years, and found out that all of them contain distracting systems. Some of them have higher chances of capturing the driver’s attention and keeping him from looking at the road, while others are a little less dangerous. Even so, the distraction is present.

The number of deadly car accidents has increased over the past few years, and most of them occurred after drivers got distracted. Also, the number of crashes resulting after drivers directed their attention to something else increased by 8.8 percent over the past few years, and reached 3,477 in 2015.

All the tested car models are distracting to a certain degree

The AAA Foundation split the 30 car models in three groups, according to their distraction levels. Twelve of these had a huge amount of touchscreen systems inside, and were found to contain a very high level of distraction. Eleven other models were situated in the high group, while the other seven were in the moderate category.

Such systems are usually helpful, as they can display directions and localizations. However, they also contain music services, phone, or radio, which can easily capture the driver’s attention. This is why the foundation wants to urge carmakers to improve these systems, and prevent people from using them while the car is moving.

Among the most distracting car models, belonging to the very high group, there are Audi Q7 QPP, Chrysler 300 C, Dodge Durango GT, Ford Mustang GT, or GMC Yukon SLT.
Image Source: Flickr

Messenger Lite Keeps You Connected to Your Friends While Saving Your Internet Data

Facebook logo on a tablet's display

Messenger Lite consumes less data, but still allows you to keep in touch with your friends

Staying up-to-date with whatever’s new and constantly keeping in touch with your friends comes at a price. You might find that Facebook Messenger consumes quite a lot of data, which is not really affordable at the end of the month. However, Facebook thought of a solution, and will now offer people a way to use the messaging service without consuming much data.

Save some data while staying connected

Facebook developed a ‘light’ version of Messenger, which keeps you connected while using significantly less data than the full service. This version is called Messenger Lite, and offers less data-consuming features, while still offering many options for you to communicate with your friends.

Messenger Lite was already available in Australia, India, and 100 other countries. Now, Facebook rolled it out in US as well, together with UK, Ireland, and Canada. The app can already be downloaded from the Google Play Store, but it’s strictly for Android users. Unfortunately, it might take quite a while until it features an iOS version as well.

Messenger Lite removes the features which consume data

Messenger Lite works just like a regular Messenger app. Once you download it, you sign up with your already existent Messenger account. Your contact list immediately gets on display, together with the chats you have already started. However, some features are missing, but this is only meant to make the app run faster and consume less data.

For instance, video chats are no longer available on Messenger Lite, as they consume a lot of data. Also, the chat heads are gone, so you can message someone only after opening the app. However, the lighter version will let you sends emojis or photos, together with regular messages which contain text. This is a clever strategy to keep you connected to your friends, while consuming as few data as possible.
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