January News Bytes
Facebook Messenger Adds Uber
If you have ever had trouble hailing a taxi or finding private transportation, your problems may be solved now that Facebook Messenger is adding ride-hailing service to its offerings. Straight from Messenger, without closing any chat dialogues or having to download an app, you can get a ride from your location by simply pressing the car icon. Uber car service was the first added to Messenger in December 2015 with Lyft being added this month. While U.S. Messenger users may think this is revolutionary, this ability has been around for a while within China-based WeChat.
Christmas Network Outages
Gaming platforms PlayStation and Steam experienced difficulties over the Christmas holiday possibly due to cyberattacks, of which they had been forewarned. Two separate hacking groups – Phantom Squad and SkidNP – promised to compromise gaming networks on Christmas, claiming the attacks would be with no malicious intent and simply to highlight security flaws. As one SkidNP member told the news site TechWorm, “We attack services to make them know what attacks are like so they can fix them.” Neither PlayStation nor Steam has officially credited Christmas outages to such attacks, although various messages on social media make a connection between the outages and the hacking groups’ promises.
Amazon Getting into Logistics
According to The Seattle Times, Amazon may be entering the shipping business, joining companies like FedEx and United States Postal Service. The company is reportedly planning to lease 20 Boeing 767 jets to launch the service by the end of Q1, giving them control over the delivery of products purchased through Amazon Marketplace and possibly prevent delays through busy times like the recent holiday season. Amazon has not yet confirmed this rumor, although it is not the first time the company has explored independent shipping options, including package drop-off by drones.