Yahoo mail hacking, tech offers and social intelligence: social media and tech updates

First the bad news.

Yahoo emails passwords hacked two years back; accounts still under threat

Yahoo, the second largest email provider, has announced that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 possibly in a state-sponsored attack. At least 500 million account holders are likely affected by the attack. 

Yahoo is now asking the potentially affected users a security questions in addition to password. It is also advising users to change their password.

Twitter now allows more than 140 characters to accommodate photos etc!

Twitter's announcement is self-explanatory; we need not add more: Say more about what's happening! Rolling out now: photos, videos, GIFs, polls, and Quote Tweets no longer count toward your 140 characters.

To visit the tweet announcing this, click here.

How much has Google modified its search algo recently?

Google has announced on its blog that it has rolled out an update of 'Penguin' (one search signal consisting of many factors, released in 2012) in all languages. It is applied real-time now and has better spam filtering capability.

YouTube Go: great video experience in poor connectivity

YouTube has announced YouTubeGo, an Android app that allows offline video-viewing and many other features aimed at billions of people with poor bandwidth. The service is going to start with India, in a few days from now. This is one leap ahead of the offline video on YouTube app started two years back.

Allo and Alexa: trying to take chat experience to a new level

Google has delivered on its promise to bring out Allo, its 'smart' messaging app by September. It looks really smart, with suggestions coming up based on your chatting history, stickers, myriad ways of expressing emotions and editing photos as you share them. On top of it, you ask a question about something such as a flight or a restaurant and the 'personal assistant' helps you with immediate response without your needing to go elsewhere. At first sight, Allo looks to be a better assistant than Cortana (Microsoft) and Siri (Apple).

That takes us to Alexa, the personal assistant offered by Amazon. Reports are that Amazon wants to give Alexa the power of social conversation. That means, in addition to giving you information about the things you are searching or writing about, it will chat you up!

The social intelligence project on Alexa is to be promoted and tested through a university competition for a year, ending November 2017. The team developing the best socialbot gets a princely sum of $500000 and the school, another one million dollar.