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Instagram Internally Testing Web Version of Direct Messages

In the current design, Direct on the web is reportedly available from a Direct arrow icon in the top right of the screen.

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Instagram
In the current design, Direct on the web is reportedly available from a Direct arrow icon in the top right of the screen. Pixabay

Facebook-owned photo-messaging app Instagram is reportedly testing internally a web version of Direct Messages (DMs) that would allow personal chat and sharing of posts between users on the app.

If and when the feature rolls out for public, it would enable Instagram users to chat via DMs on a desktop, laptop PC, Mac and non-Android or iPhone.

“Mobile reverse-engineering specialist and tipster Jane Manchun Wong alerted us about the Instagram’s test. It’s still being internally ‘dogfooded’ — used heavily by employees to identify bugs or necessary product changes. But she was able to dig past security and access the feature from both a desktop computer and mobile web browser,” TechCrunch reported late on Tuesday.

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Rolling out a web version of Direct could prove to be a full-fledged SMS alternative rather than just a tacked-on feature for discussing the photo and video app’s content, the report said. Pixabay

In the current design, Direct on the web is reportedly available from a Direct arrow icon in the top right of the screen.

Instagram added notifications feature in 2016, and later in 2017 added Explore and some other features for web users.

With a 1-billion user-base worldwide, the app still does not allow web users to post Stories from the desktop.

Rolling out a web version of Direct could prove to be a full-fledged SMS alternative rather than just a tacked-on feature for discussing the photo and video app’s content, the report said.

instagram
With a 1-billion user-base worldwide, the app still does not allow web users to post Stories from the desktop. Pixabay

Facebook launched its chat feature on web before releasing it on mobile phones.

Similarly, Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp launched a web portal in 2015 followed by desktop clients in 2016.

Also Read: Dating Apps Questioned Over Age Verification After Child Abuse Cases

It could also pave the way for Facebook’s upcoming unification of the back-end infrastructure for Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram Direct that should expand encryption and allow cross-app chat, the report added.

Instagram has not officially responded or commented on the subject.(IANS)

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Intel and Cray Collaborate With U.S. Government, Aims for Nation’s Fastest Computer

The world's current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.

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Intel
This Jan. 1, 2018, file photo shows an Intel logo on the box containing an HP desktop computer on sale at a Costco in Pittsburgh. VOA

A U.S. government-led group is working with chipmaker Intel and Cray to develop and build the nation’s fastest computer by 2021 for conducting nuclear weapons and other research, officials said Monday.

The Department of Energy and the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago said they were working on a supercomputer dubbed Aurora with Intel, the world’s biggest supplier of data center chips, and Cray, which specializes in the ultra-fast machines.

The $500 million contract for the project calls on the companies to deliver a computer with so-called exaflop performance — that is, being able to perform 1 quintillion (1,000,000,000,000,000,000) calculations per second.

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It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers. VOA

If the project succeeds, Aurora would represent nearly an order of magnitude leap over existing machines that feature so-called petaflop performance, capable of doing 1 quadrillion (1,000,000,000,000,000) calculations a second.

It also heightens the stakes in a race in which the United States, China, the European Union and Japan have all announced plans to build exaflop-capable supercomputers.

One of Aurora’s primary functions would be simulating nuclear blasts, a pillar of weapons development since the ban of live detonation testings.

Aurora will be built with artificial intelligence capabilities for projects such as developing better battery materials and helping the Department of Veterans Affairs prevent suicides, Rick Stevens, an associate lab director with Argonne overseeing the exascale computing project, said during a news
briefing.

The project is a win for Intel, which will supply its Xeon CPU chips and Optane memory chips for Aurora.

FILE - The Nvidia booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13, 2017.
The Nvidia booth is shown at the E3 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, June 13, 2017. VOA

Intel has been fending off rival U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp.’s rise in the chip content of supercomputers as the machines take on more artificial intelligence work. Nvidia’s chips are found in five of the world’s current top 10 supercomputers, though the Nvidia chips are found alongside chips from its rivals, according to TOP500, which ranks the machines.

The world’s current most powerful machine, the Summit supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, contains chips from International Business Machines Corp. and Nvidia.

The source of chips for supercomputers has become a factor in trade tensions between the United States and China. The world’s third-fastest supercomputer — the Sunway TaihuLight in China — has chips developed domestically in China.

Also Read: U.S. Tariffs on China Could Remain Same, Even After Reaching The Trade Deal

Chirag Dekate, an analyst with Gartner who studies the supercomputing market, said that despite the small contract size relative to Intel’s overall revenue, the work done on Aurora will eventually filter down to the company’s commercial customers.

“It’s not just a jingoistic race between the U.S. and China,” Dekate said. “The innovations that Intel is developing here will percolate down to other parts of its business.” (VOA)