Brazilian judge orders mobile providers to block WhatsApp for 72 hours

A Brazilian judge has ordered wireless phone carriers to block access to Facebook Inc’s WhatsApp for 72 hours throughout Latin America’s largest country on Monday, the second such move against the popular messaging application in five months.

The decision by the judge in the north-eastern state of Sergipe applies to the five main wireless operators in Brazil and affects WhatsApp’s more than 100 million users in the country. The reason for the order is not known due to legal secrecy in an ongoing case in the Sergipe state court.

In a statement, WhatsApp said the company was “disappointed at the decision” after doing the utmost to cooperate with Brazilian tribunals.

The decision “punishes more than 100 million users who depend upon us to communicate themselves, run their business and more, just to force us to hand over information that we don’t have”, the statement said, without elaborating.

Facebook Messenger Lets 50 Friends Get In on a Call

Facebook last week announced that it had rolled out group calling worldwide in its Messenger app. Members engaged in a group conversation can tap the phone icon on their screen to initiate a group call. They can manage individual participants on the next screen. Members of a group who miss the initial call can tap the phone icon in the group chat to join the call while it's in progress.

The feature allows up to 50 participants and is available only in the latest version of Messenger.

Move Over, Phone Carriers

The announcement likely will cause concern among telecommunications companies because "if you consider that social media's a form of asynchronous communication, then Facebook is the largest telecom on the planet, with about 1.3 billion subscribers," observed Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.

"Now add synchronous communications -- that is, communications in real time -- and Facebook's beginning to come into focus as the next paradigm of communications: async and sync combined," he told TechNewsWorld. "This could be a game changer."

Facebook launched Development Kit for Apple TV – Salinas Tech Zone

Facebook Inc. has just announced support for Apple Inc.’s tvOS and the new software development kit (SDK) is the perfect tool for developers to create better social experiences on tvOS. The new SDK offers features like login support, share to Facebook, and Facebook Analytics for Apps. The new SDK from Facebook is one of the first efforts from a tech company to develop for tvOS.

The new SDK works similar to the login feature found in the Facebook app for iOS

Users won’t need to create multiple accounts to log into their devices. Facebook understands that typing on the TV remote would be a hassle, and thus has adopted a different authentication method to log in, such as a confirmation code. Social media giant says that it has developed an app that will deliver a more personalized user experience. It says users will have the option to get recommendations for movies and music based on their social experiences.

The new SDK is capable to log into third party apps like Spotify and Pandora, which makes the authentication process a breeze. However, apps like HBO Go, which require all the credentials via the remote, will use the same authentication method as Facebook to log in. The new SDK allows developers to have real time feedback on their apps through Facebook analytics, which can further help improve user experience. Developers also have the ability to share their posts via the tvOS app so that they can improve user experience while sharing posts.

Reviews for Apple’s fourth-generation Apple TV were generally positive, but many pointed out an apparent shortcoming in the way tvOS handles app logins. Also noted in AppleInsider’s review, tvOS does not support universal authentication, meaning users have to enter account credentials into non-Apple apps like Netflix, Hulu, HBO and more.