WhatsApp launches desktop messaging option

WhatsApp on a Samsung phoneOnly users who currently access WhatsApp on non-Apple devices will be able to use the desktop client.

However, in a blog post announcing the feature, the company says that messages will still live on users’ phones. The desktop messaging option is also not available to users who access the app on Apple devices.

“We will not be able to provide [the] web client… due to Apple platform limitations,” it wrote.

Last February, Facebook paid nearly $19bn (£12.6bn) to buy WhatsApp, which recently reported that it had around 700m mobile users. The acquisition was completed in October.

WhatsApp is one of the world’s largest messaging platforms, but concerns have been raised about how it plans to increase its user base in addition to how it will make money.

Currently, the company charges a $0.99 (65p) annual fee to users who sign up to the service after their first 12 months of using it.

However, a filing with US regulators in October by Facebook revealed that the app brought in only $15m in revenue in the third quarter – and lost nearly $230m in the first half of 2014.

Source: BBC News

How to Turn Off Facebook’s Auto-Playing Video Ads

How to Turn Off Facebook's Auto-Playing Video Ads

Facebook recently introduced auto-playing video ads on desktop and mobile, but thankfully there’s now a switch to opt out. Here’s what you have to do.

On the Desktop

How to Turn Off Facebook's Auto-Playing Video Ads

For Facebook on the desktop, you can turn off auto-play videos in your settings:

  1. On Facebook, head to the drop-down menu in the upper right-hand corner and go to Settings > Videos. You can also click here to go straight there.
  2. Next to the Auto-Play Videos setting, click the “On” box and change it to “Off.”

Safari users may have to try using another browser, as some people are reporting that this setting does not show up in Safari for some reason.

On Android

How to Turn Off Facebook's Auto-Playing Video Ads

Unfortunately, there is no way to completely disable Facebook’s video ads on mobile. However, you can disable them when you’re not on Wi-Fi:

  1. Open Facebook, open the left sidebar, and tap “App Settings.”
  2. Check the “Auto-Play Videos on Wi-FI Only” box.

On iOS

How to Turn Off Facebook's Auto-Playing Video Ads

Similar to Android, there is no way to disable the ads completely, but you can disable them when you’re not on Wi-Fi.

  1. Go to the iOS Settings app from the home screen, and open up Facebook’s settings.
  2. Tap the Settings option and under “Video,” switch the “Auto-Play on Wi-Fi Only” option on.

Why filling hard drives with helium can boost storage capacity by 50%

The HGST Ultrastar HE6 - not much to look at, but they've got to keep 
it wrapped up tight lest the 'secret sauce' gets out.

The latest trick in adding extra capacity to our computers doesn’t rely upon ‘5-dimensional memory crystals’ or price-drops in SSDs but on the second most abundant element in the universe: helium.

HGST (a subsidiary of Western Digital) have revealed a new type of storage medium, the world’s first “hermetically sealed, helium hard drive”. By replacing the air in a hard drive with helium (a gas that is seven times less dense than air) the disks inside create less turbulence when they spin, meaning more discs can be packed into less space and use less power.

In numbers the new six terabyte hard drives are 23 per cent more power efficient and offer 50 per cent more capacity than regular drives. It’s an innovation that tackles a purely mechanical problem (the limit of how fast disks can spin when packed closer together) to create a high-tech improvement.

Not only is HGST’s “Ultrastar He6” the first helium-filled drive, but it’s also the first to fit six terabytes of storage into the standard 3.5-inch hard drive container.

Storage companies have been experimenting with helium for decades but creating a manufacturing process that produces long-time airtight hard drives has proved elusive until now.

And although this sort of technology might be slightly beyond the ken of the average consumer at least for now) the ability for large data centers to fit more storage into less space using less power has all sorts of escalating benefits.

HGST president Mike Cordano told AllThingsD that one of the main markets for the new drives will be cold storage – ie, data that is rarely accessed but still needs to be available at any time.

This could include data like old photos on Facebook – you stick them online, never touch them again and look at them rarely, but you still want to access them whenever you like. Previously this sort of data would have been stored on magnetic tape, but this is no longer practical for the internet age.

As well as cold storage, there’s one extra kicker in favour of the helium-filled drive. Because they’re hermetically sealed it also means the drives are watertight, meaning they’re perfect for use in what are known as “immersion data centers”.

In these systems hard drives and servers are submerged in a non-conducting fluid similar to mineral oil. This means the hardware can be run at relatively higher temperatures, but remain cool thanks to the liquid. In more ways than one, this technology is anything but a lot of hot air.

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