Twitter’s Periscope is up
Live streaming services have been trending in the tech world. The commotion began with Meerkat, a service that launched at the end of February. Using Twitter to alert people to a Meerkat broadcast, or a “Meerkast,” the service allows people to stream a live video feed to the web and attract any amount of viewers.
Twitter has launched a direct rival service called Periscope, from the company it bought for $100 million in January, and a debate has been sparked about which live streaming service will crowd out the other.
One of the primary differences between the two is that Meerkat streams aren’t saved for replay. They are either viewed live or not at all, while Periscope gives viewers a chance to see the feed even if they missed it the first time around. A host of other differences, ranging from lag times, privacy settings, and filming modes, have been pitted against each other as techies try to decide which application has the advantage.
The trend could be just that – a trend. Whether live video streaming is just a temporary fad or a potential outlet for social media communication in the future remains to be seen.
The U.S. Treasury Department reached a settlement with online money transaction service PayPal after alleging that the company allowed the processing of illegal transactions that violated U.S. sanctions against Iran, Sudan, and Cuba.
“For several years up to and including 2013, despite processing a high volume of transactions and maintaining an international presence, PayPal does not appear to have implemented effective compliance procedures and processes to identify, interdict, and prevent transactions in apparent violation of the sanctions programs administered by OFAC,” reads the settlement.
It appears PayPal is not denying the transgression, agreeing to a payout of $7.7 million to the U.S. government.
For three to four years, PayPal reportedly processed 136 transactions in the name of a man who had been linked with programs involving weapons of mass destruction, according to the BBC. Furthermore, it allowed transactions to take place in countries like Iran and Cuba that violated sanctions forbidding U.S. companies to do business with these regions.
PayPal has had security problems in the past, but this latest instance will push the Palo Alto company to further shore up its security and payment scanning abilities.
The messaging application space is a saturated one, with global giants like Facebook-owned Whatsapp and regional stalwarts like China’s WeChat and Korea’s KakaoTalk dominating market share. So when Facebook introduced its own messenger app, it had its doubters – but with 600 million users, 100 million behind Whatsapp, the app has proved the skeptics wrong.
At Facebook’s annual F8 developers’ conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, the company announced that it would try to build on the app’s success with new features such as reservation booking and order tracking. Perhaps more importantly, the app will now work with third party applications that can add functions of their own to the messenger service.
Some of the third party apps unveiled include forecasts from the Weather Channel, animated images from ESPN, and audio files from Sound Clip, among others, according to the BBC.
“Moving from just being a single service to a family of world-class apps to help people share in different ways is the biggest shift in our strategy to connect people in many years,” said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the event.
With an announcement last week that the Facebook Messenger app could also be used to transfer money, it’s clear that the social media giant is looking to create a multi-dimensional messenger service that could eventually surpass the rest.
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