Global Tech Roundup: Facebook Rolls out Vanishing messages on Instagram and Messenger

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Hi Guys! It’s the end of another busy week in the world of tech. There were several interesting happening across the global tech space during the week. From Apple’s Mac event to the release of Google’s e-Conomy Africa 2020 report.

Here is a quick roundup of some of the major stories around the globe you might have missed.

Google Photos will end free, unlimited storage Next year

Google will be ending its free and unlimited storage for Google Photos next year. The development follows Google’s change in its storage policies for free accounts.

Starting on June 1, 2021, new photos and videos will all count toward the 15 gigabytes of free storage that the company offers to anyone with a free Google account.

Similarly, Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms and Jamboard files will also start counting toward your storage total as well.

According to the company, it will take the average user three years to reach 15 gigabytes, after which they’ll either need to delete some photos or pay for a Google One account.

Alphabet to deliver internet in Kenya using beams of light

Alphabet’s ‘X’ division has renamed the Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) project as initiative Project Taara. The project uses light to deliver connectivity but unlike fibre optic cables, doesn’t require any trenches or poles.

It has a bandwidth of about 20Gbps but it works best at distances of up to 20KM and needs an unobstructed ‘line of sight’ to work. That’s why the team typically sets them up on towers, poles, or rooftops.

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According to the team, the tech can provide connectivity enough for “thousands of people to be watching YouTube at the same time. Taara general manager Mahesh Krishnaswamy has announced that the team is formally working with telecoms giant Econet in Africa.

Suggested read: Google Parent Company, Alphabet Reports $41B Revenue in Q1 2020, Despite Slow Business Due Pandemic

Facebook rolls out disappearing messages on Instagram and Messenger

Facebook has started rolling out its vanishing mode feature on Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp. Vanish Mode allows you send texts, photos, voice messages, emoji and stickers that disappear immediately they’re viewed by other parties and the chat window is closed.

On Instagram, some elements of Vanish Mode include disappearing photos and videos once a piece of media has been viewed. And on WhatsApp, the feature allows users to send messages that disappear after a predetermined amount of time – this will also include media, like images and videos.

Once activated, this feature won’t affect messages sent prior to the roll-out and users can turn disappearing messages on and off at any time in any individual chat. In a group chat, however, only group admins can turn disappearing messages on and off.

Virgin Hyperloop passes first human passenger test

Virgin Hyperloop has successfully conducted the first testing of its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers.

The first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Josh Giegel, and head of the passenger experience, Sara Luchian.

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The DevLoop test track is 500 meters long and 3.3 meters in diameter. The company says it has conducted over 400 tests on that track, but never before with human passengers.

For the first time, two people rode a hyperloop pod through a nearly airless tube at 100 mph

The Pegasus pod used for the first passenger test, also called XP-2, was a scaled-down version of what Virgin Hyperloop hopes will eventually be a full-sized pod capable of carrying up to 23 passengers.

DStv launches new decoder with new Netflix integration

DStv has launched its Explora Ultra decoder which includes built-in access to Netflix and other streaming apps.

The decoder will be available at retail stores from next week for a recommended retail price of N60,765 (R2,499) for the standalone device and N89944 (R3,699) including installation, 

According to DStv, customers will have the option to pay for their Netflix subscription in their monthly bill. It added that the inclusion in the bill will also be available to DStv customers who want to become new Netflix subscribers.

You can check out other news that happened during the week here. Have a nice weekend!!


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