Twitter Starts Rolling Out New Look for Web, Apps, TweetDeck, and Twitter Lite

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Changes designed to make Twitter feel lighter, faster, and easier to use
  • Update brings bolder headlines and more intuitive icons
  • Users’ profile images changed from square-shaped to round

Twitter has unveiled a new look, and much like some previous changes the company has made to its short-messaging service, it’s not going over so well with the Twitterati.

“Today, with lots of feedback and ideas from you, we’re refreshing our product too and making it feel lighter, faster, and easier to use. We listened closely and kept what you love,” Twitter said in a blog post announcing the new design.

The San Francisco company says the new design emphasises simplicity, making it faster and easier to use, with bolder headlines and more intuitive icons. It also changed users’ profile images from square-shaped to round. On its apps and TweetDeck, tweets will “now update instantly with reply, Retweet, and like counts so you can see conversations as they’re happening,” Twitter added.

twitter ios app redesign twitter

The company said the new user interface will roll out on twitter.com, Twitter for iOS, Twitter for Android, TweetDeck, and Twitter Lite in the coming days and weeks.

Twitter users immediately responded Thursday by tweeting jokes and memes critical of the changes. There were almost 30,000 tweets about the new user interface, or UI, within hours of the change, the vast majority of them either complaining about the new look or mocking it. A popular image was a suddenly round SpongeBob SquarePants.

twitter ios redesign twitter

Twitter also took heat from users last year when it changed its algorithm that orders the tweets users see. Users also tweeted their dismay when the company rolled out its Moments feature, and when it got rid of its star icon signifying a “favorite” tweet, in favor of a heart icon, similar to Facebook’s “like” button.

The redesign is Twitter’s latest attempt to freshen the messaging service, which has struggled to attract new users at the same pace as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Twitter revenue growth has stalled for years, and the company has cut costs and shuffled executives while still never posting a quarter of profit.

Out of an action movie: Chinese man’s grocery shopping has the internet gasping

The man’s smooth manoeuvres were captured on the close circuit television (CCTV) camera of the store (Screengrab)

A man in eastern China has found a trick to save time while looking for that ever shrinking parking spot – just get your car inside the general store.

The man’s smooth manoeuvres were captured on the close circuit television (CCTV) camera of the store in Jiangsu province’s Zhenjiang.

The footage, which was shared by People’s Daily on their Facebook account, shows a bewildered store attendant as he sees the car entering the shop. But, he is seen rushing to attend his customer, who bought a bottle of yoghurt and a bag of chips.

Chinese man

And in an instant, the shopkeeper completes the transaction and returns the change. He even waves a goodbye to the driver.

The video has left the internet confused about the odd intentions of the man. However, several comments have poured in praising the efficient skills of the attendant.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go16zz73dxk?ecver=2]

“The salesman deserves to be commended. He displayed some habits of an effective leader. The driver is an idiot though and should treat it as an exception case. Respect to the sales guy,” one user stated on Facebook.

The video has received 1800 reactions and 253 shares till now.

Facebook Rolls Out New 'Order Food' Feature for Mobile and Web

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The feature is showing up for select people in US
  • It appears on web and the app as well
  • The ‘Order Food’ feature is powered by Delivery.com and Slice

Facebook is rolling out a new ordering food feature, in a bid to keep users hooked onto its app, and not stray off to another app for other tasks. The social media giant now has a new option on Web and mobile allowing users to order food online. This ‘Order Food’ feature is showing up for select users for now, and only users in America are set to get it first.

Facebook Rolls Out New 'Order Food' Feature for Mobile and Web

This new feature is possible due to Facebook’s partnership with Delivery.com and Slice in the US, announced back in October. TechCrunch reports that the option shows up on Facebook’s side bar or the app’s main menu. By clicking on it, the Order Food option throws up all the supported restaurants. The restaurants are displayed with a featured image, rating, cuisine, and a price point. There’s a Start Order button at the bottom of it, clicking on which will take you to the selected restaurant’s page. It then shows you if the restaurant is open for delivery or pickup. You can then add delivery address or switch to pickup, whatever you prefer. Then from the menu, you select what you want to order, see how much delivery fee is levied, final amount to be paid, check your cart, choose mode of payment, and confirm the order.

The feature is fairly simple, and is self-explanatory, once you begin to use it. Once the order is confirmed, it gives you an average estimate time of delivery as well. Unfortunately, this feature could not be tested by us, as the option is only showing up for select users in US for now. There is no word on if Facebook plans to roll this service out to other countries. Food ordering services like Delivery.com and Slice will benefit heavily from this new feature, as it can reach out and tap into the large audience database of Facebook. Facebook confirmed the roll out of the new feature to TechCrunch.

 

From the user’s point of view, it eliminates the need to open another app to order food, and can now do an additional task from Facebook itself. Ride sharing app Uber also tapped into the online food ordering market with UberEats, and has launched the service in India earlier this month. However, Facebook has made this feature available within its app, and hasn’t launched a separate app like Uber.

Let us know if this feature is showing up for you, and whether it is working smoothly in the comments below.

Marissa Mayer Fades Out as Yahoo Set to End Its Run

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Verizon-Yahoo deal recently got a nod to be completed on June 13
  • Marissa Mayer will be departing the company with $186 million
  • She became the Yahoo CEO in 2012

Marissa Mayer was hailed as Yahoo’s savior when she took charge of the pioneering Internet firm five years ago.

But Mayer was unable to stem the decline of the iconic Silicon Valley company, which is set to close a deal on Tuesday selling its core Internet operations to telecom giant Verizon.

She is likely headed for the exit as Yahoo ends two-decade run as an independent company, getting a departure package worth an estimated $186 million.

Marissa Mayer Fades Out as Yahoo Set to End Its Run

Mayer inherited a company in protracted decline, having lost its leadership as an Internet search company to Google and falling behind others like Facebook in serving money-making ads to users.

She is the latest in a line of chief executives who tried to reinvent Yahoo, and her experience at rival Google inspired hope.

“Marissa inherited a mess, in a company that had already lost its leadership role in search,” said Creative Strategies president and analyst Tim Bajarin, who has known Yahoo since its early days.

Mayer, 42, joined Google in 1999 as its 20th employee and led efforts for hit products, including its flagship search product and homepage.

At Yahoo, where she became CEO in 2012, she went on a buying spree that included a $1 billion acquisition of blogging platform Tumblr to reach a younger audience.

She also cut more than a thousand jobs.

“Buying your way out of a problem like this is rarely going to solve your trouble,” analyst Rob Enderle of Enderle Group said of acquisitions racked up at Yahoo.

Yahoo’s finances have been skewed by its stake in China’s Alibaba. It bought a 40 percent stake in Alibaba in 2005 for $1 billion and its current holding is now worth many times that amount, dwarfing the value of its Internet operations.

It also has a multibillion-dollar stake in Yahoo Japan. These holdings will not be transferred to Verizon but remain in a separate entity named “Altaba.”

Like to dislike
A survey released last month by business insights specialty website Owler ranked Mayer as the second most disliked chief executive, behind the head of United Airlines.

“Career-wise, Marissa is done,” Enderle said.

“She’s rich, so she could certainly fund herself as a venture capitalist but if she doesn’t work on her skill set she is going to lose a lot of money as a VC.”

Enderle put fault on the Yahoo board, saying Mayer was put in a “very bad spot” and failed to provide a mentor for a job she had never done before.

 

“Like our president, it shows that when you take someone with no idea what they are doing and put them in a job they shouldn’t do, it will end badly,” Enderle said.

Born in a small Wisconsin city, Mayer worked at a grocery store before attending Stanford University, where she studied computer science.

While her intellectual skills qualify her as a nerd, her blond good looks and star quality have put her on the cover of magazines including Fortune, Vanity Fair and Vogue, where pictures of her featured in a fashion spread.

Glamour magazine named her “woman of the year” in 2009 and she has been on several lists of influential tech personalities.

Pioneered search
Yahoo was one of the first companies that enabled users to find their way online, but lost its role as a leader.

It is selling its core Internet operations to telecom giant Verizon for $4.48 billion, capping a long decline from when it had a peak market value of some $125 billion (roughly Rs. 8,05,723 crores) in 2000.

Founded in 1994 by Stanford University students David Filo and Jerry Yang, Yahoo was created as a type of directory for the Internet. It was originally called “Jerry and Dave’s Guide to the World Wide Web.”

Its initial public offering in 1996 was the largest for a tech startup at the time.

Based in Sunnyvale, California, Yahoo became the leading “portal” for the Internet, with a home page that allowed users to click on categories such as sports, finance and movies, or search for information.

“In a way, Yahoo introduced the concept of search,” Bajarin said.

“They started diversifying with all these content layers and in the process didn’t put enough engineering resources in the search engine.”

Google launched in 1998 and usurped Yahoo’s search throne.

While Yahoo will continue to exist under Verizon, it remained to be seen what the telecommunications firm will do with it.

“You’re losing an iconic figure of Silicon Valley,” Bajarin said.

More than 1,000 jobs could be shed as redundant positions get eliminated at combined AOL and Yahoo operations, according to US media reports. Verizon is expected to merge those two operations into a new unit called Oath.

Jacqueline Jossa works out in full make-up showing off her bridal body in sports bra as wedding fast approaches

Jacqueline Jossa’s wedding to former TOWIE star Dan Osborne is fast approaching and there’s no doubt the actress is going to look stunning in her dress after she shared a video of her toned body on Instagram.

In the video, Jacqueline is at a dance class with her two-year old daughter Ella. The adorable toddler moves to the music before pulling mum Jacqueline in to dance with her.

Jacqueline, 24, flaunts her trim body in a sports bra and matching leggings, showcasing a flat and toned stomach.

The EastEnders star shared the video on her Instagram with the caption: “Ella O owns the dance class! As usual my love my darling! I love you always and forever princess.”

Jacqueline danced with Ella in the cute video (Photo: jacjossa/Instagram)

Fans showered Jacqueline with compliments. On user wrote: “A body to die for.”

Another said: “One hot mumma!”

And another added: “It’s nice to see a celeb with a beautiful natural body!”

Jacqueline hasn’t been able to hide her excitement over her upcoming wedding to Dan.

Jacqueline and Ella enjoyed a dance class together (Photo: jacjossa/Instagram)

Posting a make up free selfie to Instagram last week , Jacqueline wrote: “I love this weather!

“Walking about, not a scrap of make up on all day, or yesterday. It’s so refreshing!! My o my! Please stay for a while sun! We love you. I am tired as usual, up at 6 this morning with Ella squidge!!

“As I was writing this I had to stop half way because Ella heard the ice cream van..”

Jacqueline showed off her toned stomach (Photo: jacjossa/Instagram)

She added: ““Time is flying so fast, and very soon i will be an Osborne ❤ just a little update hope everyone is having a lovely weekend and feeling safe and happy.. ❤so much love to you all. Xxx”

Fans flooded the photo with compliments. One wrote: “No make up required, naturally beautiful lady you are.”

Another said: “Who needs makeup when your that good looking lucky Mr Osborne.”

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Rolls Out World's Largest Aeroplane, the Stratolaunch

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Microsoft’s Paul Allen has been building world’s largest aeroplane
  • It is called Stratolaunch, will be larger than Howard Hughes’ 1947 plane
  • It’s not to carry passengers, but rather rockets

The initial construction on the massive aeroplane Paul Allen has been quietly building in the California desert is complete, and the vehicle, which would be the world’s largest aeroplane with a wingspan wider than Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose, was wheeled out of its hangar for the first time on Wednesday.

Called Stratolaunch, the plane has some impressive stats: a wingspan of 385 feet, or longer than a football field, a height of 50 feet. Unfueled, it weighs 500,000 pounds. But it can carry 250,000 pounds of fuel, and its total weight can reach as high as 1.3 million pounds.

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Rolls Out World's Largest Aeroplane, the Stratolaunch

But, really . . .. How big is it? It’s so big that it has 28 wheels and six 747 jet engines. It’s so big that it has 60 miles of wire coursing through it. It’s so big that the county had to issue special construction permits just for the construction scaffolding.

It’s so big that to truly get a sense of it, you have to see it from a distance – like a mountain.

But why is Allen, the co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seattle Seahawks, building such a massive plane?

It’s not to carry passengers, but rather rockets. The bigger the plane, the larger the rockets, or the greater the number.

Allen’s Stratolaunch company has partnered with Orbital ATK to “air launch” the company’s Pegasus XL, a rocket capable of delivering small satellites, weighing as much as 1,000 pounds, to orbit. The rockets would be tethered to the belly of the giant plane, which would fly them aloft, and once at an altitude of 35,000 feet or so, the rockets would drop and “air launch” to space.

 

“With airport-style operations and quick turn-around capabilities,” the company said it believes “air launch” is a cheaper and more efficient way to get satellites into space than rockets that launch vertically and can be extraordinarily expensive.

For Allen, it’s all about LEO, or low-Earth orbit. He, and others, such as Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit, are betting that they can reduce the cost of launching small satellites to space. And that, in turn, will lead to new ways to beam the internet all across the globe, provide better Earth sensing capabilities, better communication, and open up all sorts of avenues.

“When such access to space is routine, innovation will accelerate in ways beyond what we can currently imagine,” Allen said in a statement a year ago. “That’s the thing about new platforms: when they become easily available, convenient and affordable, they attract and enable other visionaries and entrepreneurs to realize more new concepts.”

More than a decade ago, Allen had hoped to spark a revolution in space travel when he funded SpaceShipOne, which became the first commercial vehicle to cross the threshold of space. The project ultimately won the Ansari X Prize, and a $10 million (roughly Rs. 64.5 crores) award. He then licensed the technology to Branson and moved on to other pursuits. But with Stratolaunch, he is back in the space business.

“Thirty years ago, the PC revolution put computing power into the hands of millions and unlocked incalculable human potential,” he wrote. “Twenty years ago, the advent of the Web and the subsequent proliferation of smartphones combined to enable billions of people to surmount the traditional limitations of geography and commerce. Today, expanding access to LEO holds similar revolutionary potential.”

In a statement Wednesday, Jean Floyd, Stratolaunch’s chief executive, said the company would be “actively exploring a broad spectrum of launch vehicles that will enable us to provide more flexibility to customers.”

He added: “Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be actively conducting ground and flightline testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port. This is a first-of-its-kind aircraft, so we’re going to be diligent throughout testing and continue to prioritize the safety of our pilots, crew and staff. Stratolaunch is on track to perform its first launch demonstration as early as 2019.”

SBI not ruling out write-offs, post merger of five associates

MUMBAI: In the wake of ballooning bad loans, public-sector State Bank of India (SBI), isn’t ruling out write-downs or write-offs following the merger with five associates.

“There can be no assurance that the bank will not have to undertake write-downs or write-offs in connection with the merger, which could have a negative impact on its financial condition and results of operations,” according to SBI’s offer document for the recently conducted Rs 15,000 crore share sale through private placement, while highlighting the risk factors.

It further said that the bank “may also incur additional costs” towards integrating operations and harmonising functions pursuant to the merger.

“In particular, the absorption of over 70,000 employees of the merged entities is expected to increase employee benefit expenses, mainly accruing out of liabilities with respect to provision of additional superannuation benefits,” it said. Prior to the merger, SBI had 2,09,572 employees.

In the largest consolidation in the banking space, five associate banks and Bharatiya Mahila Bank were merged on April 1, with SBI, putting the lender in the league of top 50 global banks.

SBI is currently in the process of integrating the merged entities’ operations with its own to leverage cost and operational efficiencies.

In its annual report, SBI said long-term benefits of the merger would significantly outweigh the near-term challenges.

“The resulting cost advantage, enhanced reach and economies of scale from this merger will help SBI sustain its mission of being an enduring value creator,” it said.