Facebook announced today its plans to buy the “mobile messaging company” WhatsApp for $12 billion in stock, $4 billion in cash, and an extra $3 billion in restricted stock units for employees as the cherry on top. That’s a lot of money — way more than the $1 billion Mark Zuckerberg spent on Instagram and $3 billion he offered for Snapchat — and the total has many Americans reacting with a puzzled head tilt. That’s because WhatsApp, which counts 450 million users, 70 percent of whom use it every day according to Facebook’s acquisition press release, is a monster abroad, across Asia, Latin America, and Europe, where it functions as a cheaper alternative to text messaging. Last summer, 150 million users ago, the data company Onavo found that WhatsApp had the highest reach of all messaging apps in most major countries, but not the U.S. Here, Facebook Messenger managed to edge it out, but didn’t even come close in Europe or … [Read more...] about What’s WhatsApp and Why Is Facebook Spending $19 Billion to Acquire It?
Whatsapp adding new contact
If you count among your interests “keeping up with friends” and “being yourself”, you’re in the target demographic for the new messaging app Peach, which bills itself as a “fun, simple way” of doing just that. The competitive edge of Peach, the latest venture from the Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann, is its compelling and clickable URL (“I’m not on Facebook, you’ll find me at Peach.cool”) and a couple of nifty features such as “magic words” – shortcuts to certain actions such as sharing a song you are listening to. Otherwise, Peach allows you to post and comment on status updates, share links and gifs, and do just about everything else you can on just about any social network. The difference is that elsewhere you might find more than just a handful of early-adopter friends to connect with. Peach is the latest social network (or maybe just one of the latest, since they are founded with such frequency) to set … [Read more...] about Ello, is anybody there? Alternative social networks abound for the peachy-keen
The US and UK may be engaged in cyber-offensives against North Korea in retaliation for attacks such as WannaCry, which caused widespread disruption to public services, companies and homes around the world in May. Neither the UK nor the US government will confirm whether they have already mounted revenge cyber-attacks against North Korea. However, a hint that action was already being taken was offered on Tuesday when Facebook said it had recently deleted accounts linked to the Lazarus Group, a hacking entity associated with North Korea that both the US and UK blame for the WannaCry attacks. A spokesperson for the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the public face of the surveillance agency GCHQ, said on Tuesday: “Our assessment has been that North Korean actors known as the Lazarus Group were very likely responsible for the WannaCry attack back in May this year.” Although the White House announced only on Tuesday that it believed North Korea was behind the … [Read more...] about Facebook action hints at western retaliation over WannaCry attack
A £3.5bn investment in government loans to financially stretched homebuyers and a £12bn scheme to increase the availability of mortgages to people who cannot afford a large deposit were unveiled by the chancellor "to support a new generation in realising the dream of home ownership". The two measures were the centrepiece of a package of financial support for the housing market, and aim to provide assistance to first-time buyers and those "trapped" in their existing homes and unable to take the next step up the property ladder. In his budget speech, George Osborne launched Help to Buy, which is, in effect, an expansion of two existing initiatives. Under the loans scheme, a buyer hoping to purchase a newly built home will be able to take out a mortgage for just 75% of the cost of the property, provided they can stump up a 5% deposit. Those who qualify will be eligible for an "equity loan" worth up to 20% of the value of the property, funded by the government, which will be … [Read more...] about Budget 2013: Osborne offers homebuyers Help to Buy
The wheels have a bronze finish to add a visual flourish to the matte-finish body. The Lamborghini Huracan Performante is a potent package straight from the factory, but the folks at R1 Motorsports give the high-performance coupe some fresh style with a military-themed motif. Gallery: Lamborghini Huracán Performante by R1 Motorsport 7 Photos The most noticeable part of the transformation is a matte olive drab wrap that creates an understated aesthetic over the Lamborghini's aggressive, angular lines. US Army emblems in bronze are on each door. More Tuned Examples Of The Huracan Performante: ⠀ Watch Supercharged Lamborghini Huracan Performante Hit 210 MPH Huracan Performante Spyder Looks The Part With Custom Wheels For a somewhat meaner look, there's a carbon-fiber body kit from Vorsteiner. The pieces include a new front splitter with blades just ahead of the wheels. A vented hood features a pair of extractors. There are also … [Read more...] about Tuned Lamborghini Huracán Performante Looks Ready For Army Duty
Awkwafina (left) and Constance Wu in Crazy Rich Asians Photo: Warner Bros. In April 2013, Crazy Rich Asians hadn’t yet hit bookstores. It wouldn’t become the year’s funny, fizzy beach read, reaching best-seller lists across the globe, for another few weeks. But Hollywood movie producers and studio executives had already begun clamoring for the romantic-comedy novel’s adaptation rights — Wendi Deng, the film-producing then-wife of Rupert Murdoch, was the first person to approach author Kevin Kwan with a development deal, among a number of option offers that came in around that time. As Kwan remembers it, one interested producer proposed a specific change he felt would make the project more broadly commercial: Would Kwan consider changing the book’s protagonist Rachel Chu from Chinese-American to white? “Someone actually said that to one of my representatives,” says Kwan. “I was like, ‘Do we even have to … [Read more...] about The Long Crazy Road to