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Facebook Set to Bring Updated Version of its Video Chat Device ‘Portal’

The device is also powered by Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa and comes with front cameras

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Social networking giant Facebook is set to launch updated version of its video chat device ‘Portal’ later in 2019.

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

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

Speculations suggest these “new form factors” could include the “Ripley” device that has appeared in Portal firmware repositories, the report said citing TechCrunch.

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FILE – The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

According to Cheddar, the device named “Ripley” would allow customers to attach a camera to the top of their television sets which would eliminate the need of a dedicated video chatting device.

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

Also Read- YouTube CEO Apologises to LGBTQ Community

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

“Hardware is coming to the home, and we want to make sure that human connection, connection between two people, is a first-party experience on that hardware,” Bosworth said. (IANS)

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Facebook Apologizes Employees after Several Racist Incidents

The employees wrote that "things have gotten worse since former staffer Mark Luckie published a note in November last year, claiming Facebook had "a black people problem."

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook has apologized after current and former employees went on to social media and detailed several racist incidents against black, Hispanic and female Asian employees at the social networking company.

Facebook tendered it’s apology after an after an anonymous post from 12 employees under the group name “FB Blind” on online publishing platform The Medium went viral, USA Today reported on Friday.

“We may be smiling. We may post on Instagram with industry influencers and celebrities. We may use the IG ‘Share Black Stories’ filter and be featured on marketing pieces. We may embrace each other and share how happy we are to have the opportunity to work with a company that impacts nearly three billion people.

“On the inside, we are sad. Angry. Oppressed. Depressed. And treated every day through the micro and macro aggressions as if we do not belong here,” wrote the Facebook employees.

The problem, they said is not just with black employees of different genders.

“The incidents are also reflective of behaviours against Latin and female Asian employees. The experiences invoke how we, the twelve Facebook employees present and past who are sharing our stories here anonymously, have been made to feel as employees by Facebook managers, HR business partners, and their immediate white colleagues,” the post further read.

Hundreds of African-American Facebook employees embarked to Menlo Park, California this week to be part of its annual “Black” event.

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The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

“Many of us will go to the AfroTech event in Oakland to share stories, network, and meet up with other engineers, designers, and leaders in the industry,” the employees wrote.

A company spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that no one at Facebook, or anywhere, should have to put up with this behaviour.

“We are sorry. It goes against everything that we stand for as a company. We’re listening and working hard to do better,a said Bertie Thomson, Facebook’s Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Also Read: Here’s Why Twitter’s Rival Social Network Mastodon Trending in India

The employees wrote that “things have gotten worse since former staffer Mark Luckie published a note in November last year, claiming Facebook had “a black people problem.”

“Racism, discrimination, bias, and aggression do not come from the big moments. It’s in the small actions that mount up over time and build into a culture where we are only meant to be seen as quotas, but never heard, never acknowledged, never recognized, and never accepted.

“We are remaining anonymous because Facebook creates a hostile culture where anyone that is non-white is made to feel fear for their job and their safety to report any bad behaviours,” they added. (IANS)