Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Salesforce buys Slack for $27.7 billion

 Cloud computing giant Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack, the two companies announced on Tuesday. The deal, rumblings of which began surfacing last week, marks one of the most consequential acquisitions in the business software industries in recent years and Salesforce’s biggest purchase ever.

Salesforce and Slack

Salesforce is paying $27.7 billion for Slack, according to the press release. “Under the terms of the agreement, Slack shareholders will receive $26.79 in cash and 0.0776 shares of Salesforce common stock for each Slack share, representing an enterprise value of approximately $27.7 billion based on the closing price of Salesforce’s common stock on November 30, 2020,” the announcement reads.

“Stewart and his team have built one of the most beloved platforms in enterprise software history, with an incredible ecosystem around it,” said Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. “This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world. I’m thrilled to welcome Slack to the Salesforce Ohana once the transaction closes.”

“Salesforce started the cloud revolution, and two decades later, we are still tapping into all the possibilities it offers to transform the way we work. The opportunity we see together is massive,” said Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield. “As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can’t wait to get going.”

Slack has transformed from a fast-rising startup formed as a gaming company in 2009 into a major competitor of Microsoft with more than 12 million daily active users as of October of last year (and likely many more now, though the company has not disclosed concrete numbers) and a market value of close to $25 billion. The company, led by Flickr co-creator Butterfield, started primarily as an email alternative that pitched itself to startups, media companies, and other tech-savvy businesses to better manage interoffice communication.

But Butterfield and his team grew Slack into a full productivity suite with video meeting features, file hosting, IT administration, and all manner of other features typically offered by large enterprise corporations. Earlier this year, the company expanded its partnership with IBM to include the company’s entire 350,000-plus workforce.

However, Slack has also struggled in the face of fierce competition from not just Microsoft, but Facebook and other companies that have launched their own versions of office chat and productivity platforms. The company had lost nearly half of its market value since going public in April 2019, and it failed to turn a profit during its last three quarters despite the surge in remote work due to COVID-19. The company did not have an obvious path to becoming profitable and no clear way to overcome increasing pressure from Microsoft Teams, making a potential acquisition more likely with each passing quarter.

Salesforce, also a major competitor to Microsoft but in the cloud sector, is worth nearly $220 billion and has grown to become one of the largest software companies on the planet, thanks to its customer relationship management software that helps businesses manage sales online.

Both Salesforce and Slack have only become more vital during the coronavirus pandemic as companies worldwide have moved to remote work and moved substantial portions of their businesses online. Yet, unlike Slack, which has seen a rollercoaster of climbs and steep drops in its stock price, Salesforce has only seen its market valuation expand in recent months. Its shares peaked at an all-time high in September. Salesforce and Slack joining together ensures both platforms can better compete against Microsoft, Oracle, and other cloud and enterprise companies in the future.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Samsung note 20 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 5G available in 2 new colors

 Samsung’s Galaxy Note 20 5G and Z Flip 5G are available in a pair of new colors in the US starting today, the company has announced. The Note 20 5G is now available in red, while the Z Flip 5G is available in white. Both colors are being produced in “limited quantities,” Samsung says, and there’s no difference in specs or pricing between these and the original models.

Samsung Note 20 5G and Galaxy Z Flip 5G

For those keeping track, these are the fourth and third colors for the Note 20 5G and the Z Flip 5G, respectively. The Note 20 5G is currently available in copper, green, and gray, while the Z Flip 5G is available in copper and gray. Although they’re not getting the new colors, the Ultra version of the Note 20 is also available in white and black, while the 4G version of the Z Flip comes in black, purple, and gold.

The new Note 20 color has been announced as rumors continue to swirl that the range might be discontinued next year. A few respected leakers have indicated that next year might not see the release of a new Note lineup, and last week a report from South Korean outlet AjuNews claimed that Samsung plans to discontinue the range. Don’t worry if you’re a fan of the Note’s S Pen, though. Reports suggest that Samsung plans to add support for the stylus to the successor to the Galaxy S20 Ultra.

The new colors for the Note 20 5G and Z Flip 5G are available to order from Samsung’s online store starting today, the company says.

ByteDance gets an extension for the sale of TikTok in the USA

 The Trump administration has once again extended the deadline for ByteDance to sell video sharing platform TikTok’s business in the US, Reuters reported. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has given China-based ByteDance until December 4th to either sell or spin out its US business, according to a court filing. CFIUS reportedly granted the extension “to allow time to review a revised submission” that it recently received.

TikTok

President Trump said in August that TikTok and its parent company were a national security risk to the US, and issued the initial order requiring TikTok to sell its US business. Trump’s order would have blocked all US transactions with ByteDance.

In September, the US Commerce Department issued an order to block downloads of TikTok in the US. The president then said he had approved “in concept” a deal with Oracle and Walmart that called for creating a new US-based entity, TikTok Global.

That deal has yet to receive final approval, however, and TikTok said earlier this month it had received “no substantive feedback” from the Trump administration for some time. The government then issued a notice November 13th that set the new deadline for the deal for November 27th.

However, the government is still bound by an injunction issued by a federal court in Pennsylvania on October 30th. The Commerce Department issued an unpublished rule saying the agency is complying with the terms of that judge’s ruling. Its prohibition of TikTok transactions “has been enjoined and will not go into effect, pending further legal developments.”

IP Vanish VPN review 2020- A snappy VPN for all your needs

THE BEST VPN FOR 2020


IPVanish is a zero-logs VPN provider. This means it does not keep any record of your connection data or browsing activity.

We investigated the privacy policy in-depth to make sure that the company’s claims are accurate. We found that it is clearly-written and very transparent; it explicitly states that it does not keep traffic or even metadata logs:

To summarise, IPVanish’s logging policy is as private and transparent as it gets. The only information collected is an email address and payment method in order to process transactions.

IP Vanish 


The VPN does not:

  • Log user traffic or usage of the VPN service
  • Sell or rent user information to third parties

IPVanish is one of the longest-running commercial VPNs available, founded in 2012 by Mudhook Media, part of the Highwinds Network Group.

In 2017 it was acquired by Stackpath, a CDN, cloud services, and firewall company. Two years later, Stackpath itself was acquired by online media giant J2 Global.

Stackpath has focused on acquiring and running VPN services for many years, and has plenty of experience in the area. The company owns several other VPN services including StrongVPN and Encrypt.me.

In short, IPVanish has changed ownership several times in the past few years. This could be seen as a drawback – it takes a while for a VPN provider to establish trust, and this trust is effectively reset every time it comes under new management.

In the case of IPVanish, though, its acquisition by Stackpath and J2 Global is a positive step for privacy. As we’ve covered, the previous management was involved in some controversies, so the arrival of a new owner with a strong reputation in the VPN industry is more than welcome.

IPVanish is a safe VPN with strong security. It protects your data with industry-leading AES-256 encryption and supports the highly secure protocols OpenVPN, IKEv2, and L2TP/IPsec. We tested all of its apps and found they work to effectively hide your IP address, encrypt your data, and protect you from IP, DNS, WebRTC, and IPv6 leaks.

Advanced features include traffic obfuscation, split tunneling, DNS and IPv6 leak protection as well as the ability to manually configure your DNS settings. There’s also a VPN kill switch to keep your data secure in case of a connection drop. This isn’t turned on by default and it’s not available on iOS, so make sure to switch it on before connecting.

The apps also offer an unusual level of control over your OpenVPN configuration, and there’s even a SOCKS5 proxy available for torrenters.


SPEED:


IPVanish is very fast on local connections. We recorded an average download speed of 93Mbps on nearby servers, which is very good. This works out as a speed loss of less than 10%, which makes it one of the fastest VPNs we’ve ever reviewed.

Even on long-distance connections, IPVanish didn’t slow down our Internet connection too much, with an average download speed of 53Mbps from the US. This means it is fast enough for torrenting and HD streaming even on international connections.

We also found IPVanish to be very reliable and stable. The client connected to the VPN server remarkably quickly ‒ sometimes in less than one second.

Complete with unlimited bandwidth, these speeds mean you can access the internet, send emails, and stream video content without interruption. You can find the full results of our speed tests below.


NETWORK REACH:


IPVanish has a large network of 1,400+ servers in over 85 locations, all of which are entirely self-owned and managed. Users also have access to over 40,000 IP addresses, which is one of largest networks we’ve ever seen.

A large number of IP addresses helps to prevent server congestion and performance while connected to popular locations.

The network includes servers in most European countries and over 500 servers in North America, although the choice is more limited outside these regions – particularly in Africa. Here’s a breakdown of exactly how many servers are available in each region:

  • North America: 822
  • Europe: 434
  • Asia: 66
  • Oceania: 83
  • South America: 32
  • Africa: 12

IPVanish is one of the very few VPNs to offer a native app for Amazon Fire TV. This app will encrypt your connection and help to bypass region-restrictions to unlock content from other countries. Installation is very easy, and there’s a detailed setup guide on the company’s website.

In fact, the native application for Fire TV is so easy to install and use that we recommend it as the best VPN for Firestick. The service doesn’t keep any logs either, which means your streaming history will remain completely private.


Compatibility with Kodi is also a big benefit of IPVanish ‒ we haven’t seen another VPN provider invest anywhere near the amount of effort into marketing their VPN for use with Kodi.

IPVanish is not the cheapest VPN service available, but it is reasonably priced given the amount of apps and features on offer. Overall, the prices of its subscriptions are around average compared to similar VPN services.


PRICING:


There are three subscription plans available including a monthly, quarterly, and annual package. Each of the three options are paid upfront and include exactly the same features. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee, but no free trial.

If you sign up to IPVanish via our links, you can get a discount of up to 73% depending on which plan you go for. The best price comes with the annual subscription plan, which costs only $2.91 per month, billed as $34.99 the first year and $77.99 thereafter.

Get IPVanish- IPVanish Pricing Plans - #1 VPN in the World - Join Now!

THIS CONTENT IS NOT SPONSORED OR AFFILIATED IN ANY WAY BY IPVANISH

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Apple black friday sale deals! It's wild

 It’s rare that Apple slashes the prices on its own products. Fortunately, other retailers are putting a lot of Apple products on sale for Black Friday. A bunch of retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, B&H Photo, Walmart, and Woot are slashing the prices on everything from wearables to its wireless earbuds.

Apple black friday sale

Additionally, the online Apple store will have a special promotion on Friday, November 27th, and running until Monday, November 30th. The promotion will allow you to get up to $150 in an Apple gift card if you purchase an eligible product during the four-day event as listed below:

  • Get a $25 Apple gift card when you buy an Apple Watch Series 3
  • Get a $25 Apple gift card AirPods (wireless or wired case) or a pair of AirPods Pro. If you buy a pair of AirPods you can also add engraving at no extra cost
  • Get a $50 Apple gift card when you buy an iPhone SE, iPhone 11, or iPhone XR. You can also save when you trade-in a current device
  • Get a $50 Apple gift card if you buy the Beats Studio 3 / Solo Pro / Solo 3 / Powerbeats Pro / Powerbeats high-performance wireless earphones
  • Get a $100 Apple gift cad when you buy an Apple TV 4K, Apple TV HD, Home Pod
  • Get a $100 Apple gift card when you buy an iPad Pro or iPad mini. You can also add engraving at no extra cost and you can save if you trade in a current device
  • Get a $150 Apple gift card on specific MacBook Pro and iMac models and you can save if you trade in a current device

Below, we have listed all the best Black Friday discounts you can take advantage of if you are looking to buy any Apple device

iPad deals:

Mac Deals:
  • Mac mini with M1 processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB storage is $829 at B&H Photo (usually $899)
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB SSD storage is $1,249 at Amazon (usually $1,299). The same model is also on sale at B&H Photo.
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage is $1,449 at Amazon (usually $1,499). The same configuration is also on sale at B&H Photo.
  • 13-inch MacBook Pro (two ports, mid-2020) with Retina Display, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD, a quad-core 8th Gen Intel i5 processor, and integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics is $1,149 at B&H Photo (usually $1,229)
iWatch Deals:

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Best Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals on music streaming

 Ready to re-up your Netflix subscription for another year? What about Spotify or Apple Music? Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be the perfect opportunity to lock in your streaming services for less money than they’d usually cost. Whether you’re after music, live TV streaming, or something more niche, there are a host of offers and limited-time deals to choose between.


GET HULU FOR $1.99 PER MONTH FOR THE NEXT YEAR

Hulu’s hard-to-resist Black Friday promotion is back for another year. It lets you subscribe to the standard (with ads) plan for $1.99 monthly instead of the regular $5.99 rate.

Here’s the fine print: this offer is only available for new and returning customers — and to qualify for the latter, you must have canceled the service at least three months ago. Anyone who took advantage of last year’s $1.99 promo is ineligible this time around.

The Hulu deal will be available starting at 12AM PT / 3AM ET on Thursday and will run until 11:59PM PT on Monday night (2:59AM ET Tuesday).

SIGN UP FOR SLING TV, AND GET YOUR SECOND MONTH FOR FREE

New customers subscribing to live TV streaming service Sling TV will get their second month of Sling Blue or Sling Orange (a $30 value) for free as part of the company’s holiday offer. If you prepay for two months of service, you can get a free TiVo Stream 4K, which is a perfectly decent Android TV streaming dongle. Sling TV is also offering a three-day free trial of the service.

GET FOUR MONTHS OF TIDAL FOR 99 CENTS OR $1.99 FOR HI-FI

Tidal’s annual subscription discount is available starting on November 24th through December 2nd. Those who take advantage can get four months of standard Tidal Premium for 99 cents; you can also opt for the lossless HiFi service tier for $1.99. Tidal says this is a value of $39.96 (Premium) and $79.96 (HiFi). After the promotional period, you’ll be on the hook for the standard going rate of $9.99 / month for Tidal Premium or $19.99 / month for HiFi.

YOUTUBE TV NOW COMES WITH A FREE CHROMECAST

If you’ve never tried YouTube’s streaming TV service, you can now get a free Chromecast with Google TV (a value of $49.99) once you sign up. The rising cost of YouTube TV is frustrating, but at least now you get a complimentary gadget with your first $64.99 bill. To get the free Chromecast, you’ve got to subscribe by December 31st, and the deal is limited to one per household.

GET THREE FREE MONTHS OF SPOTIFY — IF YOU’RE A NEW SUBSCRIBER

Spotify is running a holiday promo where you can get three months of the leading subscription music service before having to fork over the regular $9.99 each month. Unfortunately, the deal is aimed at those who haven’t tried Spotify Premium before. That’s a bummer for existing customers, but if you’ve managed to stay a holdout all this time, now you can get the ad-free experience at no charge for the next three months. However, you’re also eligible for the offer if you canceled your Spotify Premium subscription prior to October 17th.

CREDIT- Verge

Monday, November 23, 2020

Twitter Fleets being accessible even after 24 hours. Thanks to a error

 Twitter’s new ephemeral tweets, known as fleets, are supposed to last for only 24 hours. But a bug is causing fleets to not totally disappear, remaining accessible well past their expiration dates. First reported by TechCrunch, the bug allows fleets to be viewed and downloaded by other users, but without notifying the fleet’s author.

Twitter Fleets

“We’re aware of a bug accessible through a technical workaround where some Fleets media URLs may be accessible after 24 hours,” a Twitter spokesperson said in an email to The Verge. “We are working on a fix that should be rolled out shortly.”

The “workaround” referenced appears to be a developer app that could scrape fleets from public accounts via Twitter’s API. The Twitter API doesn’t return URLs for fleets that are older than 24 hours, according to the company, and once the fix is rolled out, even if someone has a URL for active fleet, it won’t work after the expiration point.

And while fleets are only visible on users’ timelines for 24 hours, Twitter stores fleets on its back end for up to 30 days, longer for fleets that violate its rules and may require enforcement action, the company says. During that 30 day period, a fleet is available in a user’s Twitter Data downloads as long as Twitter is retaining a copy. The “seen by” action is typically only available when someone views a fleet via the Twitter app.

Twitter is a bit late to the disappearing content party— fleets are essentially its version of Instagram or Snapchat stories, They allow mobile Twitter users to briefly share text, videos, images, or other tweets. They’re not meant to be retweetable and you can’t directly “like” a fleet, but you can reply to one by tapping on it, which sends a direct message to the fleet’s creator.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

T-Mobile adds 33 more channels to the TVision as a fix for content disputes

 T-Mobile is adding 33 channels from its $10-per-month TVision Vibe service for free to all of its pricier TVision Live plans as it deals with ongoing complaints from cable companies like Discovery over how it offers channels.

T-Mobile

“Current TVision Live customers and anyone who signs up for a TVision Live service package gets an additional 30+ top-rated entertainment channels from TVision Vibe included,” the press release notes.

As Variety notes, T-Mobile’s press release frames the newly added channels as a holiday deal, but the reality is likely a little bit more complicated: it’s a temporary solution as T-Mobile works to deal with issues raised by its cheaper $10-per-month Vibe plan, which offers channels from AMC, Discovery, and Viacom at a dramatically lower cost.

According to an earlier report from Variety, the issue is centered on the fact that T-Mobile’s contract with those content providers dictates that channels offered in cheaper tiers (like Vibe) have to be included in more premium tiers, too. Splitting up everything into separate packages, like T-Mobile had originally done — as nice of a benefit as it might be for consumers — appears to be against those contracts.

For now, T-Mobile is solving that issue by including the AMC, Discovery, and Viacom channels in the pricer Live plans (which cost between $40 to $60 per month, depending on which version a customer chooses).

But it’s hard to imagine that it’ll be a viable long-term solution, given that T-Mobile will have to pay for providing those channels to all of those new customers. And unless the company is willing to just take the loss on that indefinitely, it’s likely that it’ll either have to rejigger its plans entirely or be forced to raise prices (much as competitors like Hulu and YouTube TV have had to do this year).

Salesforce buys Slack for $27.7 billion

  Cloud computing giant Salesforce is acquiring workplace chat app Slack, the two companies   announced on Tuesday . The deal,   rumblings o...