Wednesday January 22, 2020
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Facebook Launching its Own TV Streaming Service; Approaches Netflix, Disney, Hulu, HBO

The social networking giant is set to launch an updated version of its video chat device 'Portal' later this year

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According to a report in The Information late Wednesday, the Facebook TV chat device will use the same technology currently available in the company's video-calling 'Portal' devices. Pixabay

Facebook is launching its own TV streaming service this fall and has reportedly approached Netflix, Disney, Hulu, HBO and other media companies for a new TV chat device for making video calls from TVs.

According to a report in The Information late Wednesday, the Facebook TV chat device will use the same technology currently available in the company’s video-calling ‘Portal’ devices.

The social networking giant is set to launch an updated version of its video chat device ‘Portal’ later this year.

Andrew Bosworth, Vice President of Facebook’s Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) has confirmed that the company has a lot more to unveil acelater this fall” related to Portal.

Facebook, TV, Netflix
Facebook is launching its own TV streaming service this fall and has reportedly approached Netflix, Disney, Hulu, HBO and other media companies for a new TV chat device for making video calls from TVs. Pixabay

According to Bosworth, Facebook would also reveal some “new form factorsa that Portal would be shipped with.

“The new device, code-named Catalina, will also come with physical remote and streaming video services similar to other television boxes like Apple TV,” said the report.

According to Cheddar, the device would allow customers to attach a camera to the top of their TV sets which would eliminate the need of a dedicated video chatting device.

Portal was launched in November 2018. While the smaller device was priced at $199, the larger “Portal Plus” was made available for $349 with a 10-inch display and 15-inch display, respectively.

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The smart camera-enabled device is also powered by Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa and comes with front cameras.

The Facebook Portal has a 10-inch display, while there is a 15-inch display on the Portal+.

The devices offer hands-free voice control and allow users to start a video call simply by saying “Hey Portal”.

It uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recognise people in the frame and follow them as they move throughout a room. (IANS)

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Vodafone Quits Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency Project: Report

The Libra project, which is still in development, aims for the launch of its first version this year

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vodafone
Vodafone logo. Pixabay

Vodafone has become the latest big player who have decided to quit Facebook’s controversial Libra cryptocurrency project.

Vodafone joins PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Mercado Pago, eBay, Stripe and Booking Holdings in withdrawing from the controversial project — and is the first company to exit after the Libra Association was formed in October last year, coindesk reported on Tuesday.

The companies left owing to concerns about heightened regulatory scrutiny.

“We can confirm that Vodafone is no longer a member of the Libra Association. Although the makeup of the Association members may change over time, the design of Libra’s governance and technology ensures the Libra payment system will remain resilient,” the Libra Association said in a statement.

“The Association is continuing the work to achieve a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of the Libra payment system.”

Despite top-notch firms pulling out, Facebook and 20 partner organisations formally joined the digital currency Libra project in Geneva in October.

The Libra Association said that more than 1,500 entities have expressed an interest in joining the digital currency project.

facebook, servicefriend, startup, cryptocurrency, libra
Representations of virtual currency are displayed in front of the Libra logo in this illustration picture. VOA

Several US senators have opposed Facebook’s digital coin, arguing that the social networking giant has been irresponsible with user data privacy. They have even called the digital cryptocurrency Libra “delusional” and “dangerous”.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in October about Libra, defending the idea, but acknowledging the struggles left to overcome.

Libra has failed in its current form, according to the President of Switzerland.

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In a media interview, Swiss President and Finance Minister Ueli Maurer stated that Libra does not have a chance of being successful “because the basket of currencies that is deposited in this currency is not accepted by the national (central) banks”.

“The project in this form has actually failed,” Maurer was quoted as saying.

The Libra project, which is still in development, aims for the launch of its first version this year. (IANS)