Facebook Messenger will try to be the third wheel in your new relationship

Just ahead of Valentine’s Day, Facebook is adding a few features to Messenger that’ll appear for new couples, ranging from mostly innocuous tweaks to cloying changes that’ll remind both of you that Facebook is always watching and trying to embed itself deeper into the fabric of your lives.

First, after confirming you’re in a relationship with someone, a messenger chat will open up between the two of you, which sounds super helpful in 2018, a year in which it’s totally possible that people in a relationship have never chatted online. When you open the chat, hearts will fall across your screen. Facebook will then display a prompt to set custom emoji, nicknames, and colors for the chat. The default emoji will also be changed to the face…

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The Verge – All Posts

America’s love-hate relationship with social media, quantified

It’s complicated.

Millions of Americans use social media daily. But that doesn’t mean they love it. Or so they say.

Some of the most-used social media products in the world — Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram — are also some of the ones that Americans have strong negative feelings about, according to a recent Harris Poll that surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults online last month.

Case in point: Twitter. The service has 330 million monthly active users around the world, as of last September, and the U.S. president uses it to threaten nuclear war and blast the news media. Most people — 89 percent — are familiar with the platform, but they’re divided on how they feel about it, according to the poll. Some 46 percent of Americans surveyed wanted to, in the survey’s parlance, “kill it and hope it dies” while 43 percent wanted to “fuel it to keep it alive.”

On a much bigger scale is Facebook. With two billion monthly active users — a good chunk of the world’s population — it’s become an essential tool in many people’s lives. In the U.S. and Canada, 183 million people use it every day.

Still, 32 percent of those surveyed by Harris said they hoped Facebook would go away. (A bigger 64 percent said they think we should keep it.)

The Harris Poll also took a look at a number of other social media apps, which it broadly defined as a platform with a social component.

Dating platform Tinder — though not typically what you’d consider social media — was also largely disliked. About 43 percent of people want it to go away — about the same percentage who aren’t familiar with it in the first place. Pandora, which is most popular for its free internet radio service, is relatively well-liked, with 62 percent of people saying they want it to stick around and only 19 percent wanting it to disappear.

This Harris Poll was conducted online between Dec. 19 and 21, 2017, and surveyed 2,160 adults in the U.S. It is weighted to be representative of the population at large.

Recode – All

Essential Creator Takes Leave Amid ‘Inappropriate’ Google Relationship Allegations

Andy Rubin — the mastermind behind Google’s ubiquitous Android operating system, and creator of the Essential Phone — has reportedly taken a “leave of absence” from his smartphone startup following allegations of an “inappropriate relationship” dating back to his years at Google, according to an investigative report published this week by The Information.

According to sources “familiar with the matter,” these allegations of impropriety stem from Rubin’s time working as the head of Android at Google, where he was reportedly in an undisclosed relationship with “a subordinate” on the Android team — a clear violation of Google’s corporate policy, which requires that employees disclose any relationship so they can be assigned to separate projects.

While the specific nature of the woman’s allegations remain unknown, Rubin was reportedly made aware of an investigation into his conduct back in 2014 — shortly before he left Google, citing, at the time, how he was frustrated over how long it would take the search giant to advance its robotics department.

Meanwhile, within the same, relative timeframe, Rubin was reportedly informed by a superior that his behavior not only violated company policy, but was “improper and showed bad judgement,” according to The Information.

Mike Sitrick, a spokesperson issuing comment on Rubin’s behalf, appeared to contest The Information’s report, however, saying that “Any relationship Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual,” and that “Mr. Rubin was never told by Google that he engaged in any misconduct while at Google and he did not, either while at Google or since.”

Interestingly, Rubin’s leave of absence is said to be for “personal reasons” that are unrelated to this week’s report.

From Android to Essential

Rubin became Google’s Senior Vice President of Mobile and Digital content after the search-giant acquired his Android operating system in 2005. After the company went through its ‘big restructuring’ in 2013, Rubin was then assigned to Google’s robotics division — which oversees the company’s acquisitions in the robotics space, including Boston Dynamics — while Sundar Pichai replaced him as head of mobile and digital content.


Meanwhile, after less than a year managing Google’s robotics division, Rubin left the company to pioneer a hardware incubator startup, according to TechCrunch. And his latest endeavor, the Essential Phone, launched earlier this year to generally positive reviews.

Touted as boasting a “pure Android” experience, the high-end handset originally retailed for $ 699 — however it’s price has since been cut to just $ 499.

iDrop News

Essential’s Andy Rubin takes leave of absence after ‘inappropriate relationship’ allegations follow from Google

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Essential head and former Android chief Andy Rubin is taking a "leave of absence" after allegations of an "inappropriate relationship" at Google have resurfaced.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News