Chatbots, Facebook Messenger, Google Wallet, More: Sunday Buzz, July 3, 2016


Chris Messina has launched his own chatbot. “MessinaBot responds to people who message Messina on Facebook and can make appointments on his behalf. It also lets you see his most recent posts and comments on Product Hunt, tells you about upcoming events where he’ll be speaking, shows his recent podcasts and articles, and presents Messina’s favorite cocktail recipes. Users can also ask to speak directly with Messina.”

Speaking of bots, their popularity on Facebook Messenger has exploded. “if you’re wondering why Facebook‘s spending so much time on Messenger’s bot programme, it’s largely thanks to its success to date. ‘Since the launch of the Messenger platform, over 11 000 bots have launched on Messenger and over 23 000 developers have signed up for’s Bot Engine,’ Facebook notes.”

Google is going to kill off the Google Wallet card (The physical card.) “Before Android Pay, there was Google Wallet. And during Wallet’s reign over NFC-powered payments, Google offered a physical card to use as a rechargeable debit card. As Wallet has shifted roles, however, the search giant reached the decision to get rid of the physical card connected with it.”

You will never know how many “Undersea Kingdom” jokes I resisted putting into this bit: Google has a new undersea cable. “Today, Google’s latest investment in long-haul undersea fibre optic cabling comes online: the FASTER Cable System gives Google access to up to 10Tbps (Terabits per second) of the cable’s total 60Tbps bandwidth between the US and Japan. We’ll use this capacity to support our users, including Google Apps and Cloud Platform customers. This is the highest-capacity undersea cable ever built — about ten million times faster than your average cable modem — and we’re beaming light through it starting today.”


In the United States, the 4th of July is a holiday (Independence Day) with lots of food and fireworks. So I’m posting this article from The Verge, which is a twist on those “how to take good firework pictures” articles you see every year: How to use GIFs to take better fireworks photos.

The New York Times has some in-depth instructions on how to make sure you keep seeing news in your Facebook Newsfeed. I didn’t know Facebook had gotten so specific in letting you determine what you want to see from a page. Sure wish I could do this in bulk…


Google Maps is now offering multistop directions (about time!) “It’s simple enough: once you add your starting point and destination, a trip to the menu button and a tap on ‘add a stop’ pops up another waypoint. Routing is adjusted, and so is your time projection.” Doesn’t look like it’s available for iOS yet (headdesk)

From Fast Company: How To Break Open The Web. “… we spent three days earlier this month in San Francisco with technologists and activists who are determined to re-decentralize or redistribute the web (and by extension, the broader Internet), by returning control and permission to the edges. Hosted by Internet Archive founder Brewster Kahle, who has called for a ‘moon shot’ to ‘lock the web open,’ the Decentralized Web Summit brought together some of the graybeards who invented it all with millennials who see beyond the boundaries of Facebook.”

Like / Not Like: here’s How Facebook users rebel against clickbait. “People who feel misled are actively going back to the News Feed and removing their likes from stories, according to Facebook. That’s significant. It’s an extra step, an act of commission, one that takes time and thought. And it’s an interesting way users who lack other means to voice their displeasure have devised as a kind of stop-gap measure for fighting back.” Why would you click Like on something before you’ve read it?


Be told: a US court has ruled that home computers connected to the Internet aren’t private. “A federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia has ruled that the user of any computer that connects to the Internet should not have an expectation of privacy because computer security is ineffectual at stopping hackers.”


From, a research story about social media and TV news that kind of makes my skull hurt. “According to [Anthony] Adornato’s nationwide survey of television newsroom directors – recently published in the journal ‘Electronic News’ – about 40% of newsroom directors said they had no policies in place to verify information from social media, even though they use social media as a major source of news.” So you shouldn’t be surprised by this next bit. “Without policies in place, a full third of those questioned indicated that their stations had aired information gained from social media that later proved to be inaccurate or false.”

Research: Why do people share content on Facebook? “Whether it’s on Facebook or another platform, 69 percent of people told Fractl they share content, at least partially, to feel closer to their friends. Facebook, itself, is proof of this – more than a billion people log in every day to keep connected with family and friends.” The article has more specific reasons as well as an infographic. Good morning, Internet…

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