​Intel’s upcoming 8th generation Core processors will have 30% better performance

Theinsane 18-core i9 processorsin the new Core X series are not everything that Intel has revealed today. The company has also outed an important detail about its upcoming 8th generation Core CPUs for the mainstream. These will become available in the second half of this year, as successors to the currently selling7th generation Core SKUs.

Intel says the next generation chips will perform up to 30% better than the ones out today, at least in some circumstances and for some use cases.

The company has seen such a boost in SYSmark 2014 version 1.5, and the quoted improvement applies only to the 15W U-series processors. Intel pitted a 7th generation Core i7-7500U CPU (two cores, four threads, 2.7-3.5GHz clock speed) against an unnamed next generation chip with four cores, eight threads, and 4GHz maximum clock speed in order to achieve the aforementioned result.

Like the 6th and 7th generation Core processors, the 8th generation models will also be built using a 14nm process, but a “refined iteration” nevertheless. The new 8th gen architecture is codenamed Coffee Lake.

​WD and SanDisk unveil new SSDs starts at $100 for 250GB

Western Digital and its subsidiary SanDisk revealed new SSDs using 64-layer 3D NAND memory. They start at an affordable $100 for the 250GB model and going all the way up to 2TB. They are nearly identical, except that the WD drives come in 2.5/7mm and m.2 2280 form factors, while the SanDisk is available only in 2.5 flavor.

Both SSD models are based on a Marvell controller and the higher capacities should offer 560MB/s sequential read, 550MB/s sequential write, also 95K/84K IOPS in random read/write. The base 250GB model is a bit slower, though not by much.

The drives are available in 250GB, 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities and will be available in the third quarter of this year, starting at $100 for the 250GB model. Prices for the higher capacities haven’t been announced yet. Theprevious generation Blue SSDoffered 1TB for $300. Anyway, the new drives all have a 3-year warranty and are rated at 1.75 million hours

​Twitter has started filtering DMs from people you don’t follow

For a very long time Twitter’s been trying to make its Direct Messages (DM) functionality into a person-to-person messaging system that people will actually use on a daily basis. You know, like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. Given that it hasn’t yet shared usage numbers just for this feature, we assume it hasn’t succeeded yet. That, however, isn’t stopping it from adding ever more improvements to the DM system.

Case in point: today, the company announced a change in how some DMs are handled. If you have opted in to get DMs from anyone (and not just people you follow, which is the default), then those messages you get from the people you aren’t following will go into Requests, a new part of the Messages tab. This will include new group conversations you’re part of.

If you’ve opted-in to get Direct Messages from anyone, messages from people you don’t follow will go into requests.https://t.co/n1qasb7JZCpic.twitter.com/HQY20T5f6t

— Twitter (@Twitter)May 30, 2017

Once you’re in that section of the app, you’re able to either delete or accept any such inbound messages. Those who’ve sent you DMs will not know if you’ve seen them or not until you choose the “accept” option. You also need to pick that before you can watch media sent through such a DM, though alternatively you can opt to reveal the media prior to accepting the message. Note that deleting one DM from a user will not stop that person from DMing you again in the future – the block function should be used to achieve this effect instead.

​Instagram adds location and hashtag Stories in the Explore section

Over the past few months or so, Instagram has been relentlessly adding new features almost every week. Sure, most of those have been’inspired’ by Snapchat, but it’s still interesting to note how it doesn’t seem to want to slow down in this respect.

Case in point: today the Facebook-owned social network has added two more features – location and hashtag Stories can now be found in the Explore section.
When you enter the Explore tab, you’ll see a Story ring at the top, showcasing Stories that are happening near you. These come from people who have used location stickers. When you search for any location in the world, the Story ring will be there at the top too – with the best Stories happening in that spot.

Hashtag Stories are coming to Explore too. These will help you easily find Stories that are related to your interests – or any specific hashtag, really. So when you search for a hashtag, a Story ring might be at the top of the page, filled with Stories that use that hashtag. These are created by people who have used location hashtags in their Stories.
If your Story is shown in such a way, a line at the top of your Stories viewer will tell you how many people saw it. If you want to use location or hashtag stickers but don’t want your Story to appear in Explore, just tap the X in your Stories viewer list.

Location Stories are available in Explore starting with Instagram version 10.22, which is now rolling out through theiTunes App Store for iOSandGoogle Play Store for Android. Hashtag Stories in Explore will be landing in the coming weeks.

​Snapchat introduces Custom Stories, which you can create together with your friends

Not to be out done by Instagram, Snapchat is announcing a new feature of its own today. While the news has recently been filled more with Instagram’s copies of Snapchat’s features, here’s a chance for Snapchat to capture back some of the spotlight.

Custom Stories can be created about anything, and with any of your friends. So basically this lets groups of people contribute to the same Story. A Story is no longer a one-person affair. You decide who can add to the Story and who can view it.

You can also geo fence a Custom Story to a specific location, and such Stories automatically disappear if none of the contributors have added things in the past 24 hours.

​Google Drive’s Quick Access feature to be available on Web client soon

Google Drive

Google has announced that Drive’s Quick Access feature will soon be available on the service’s Web client. The feature in question is currently only available on Android and iOS.

Web Client

Quick Access, for those who aren’t aware, uses machine learning to intelligently predict the files you may need. Predictions are based on things like “who specific files are frequently shared with,” “when relevant meetings occur,” and “what files are used at specific times of the day.”

The feature’s launch is scheduled for June 13th.

​Facebook Messenger app update brings back messages as its top feature

New Messenger Interface

Facebook has just updated its messaging app. Starting today, Messenger will sort your conversations in tabs instead of having them in a confusing list.

At the top of the homescreen, there is a tab called Messages where all one-to-one conversations are listed. The second tab is called Active and you can see if someone is online or when they were last online on Messenger, while the third tab is called Groups – this is the place for all the group chats.

On the bottom of the app you will find tabs for the homescreen and calls, positioned left from the camera shutter for Stories. Searching for people and playing games is on the opposite side.

According to Facebook VP David Marcus, a Discover tab will appear as well. And dont worry about missing any messages, Facebook has implemented a red dot to notify you if there is anything you’ve missed.

The update should be rolling out worldwide this week to both Android and iOS. If Messenger still feels bloated, you can always download Messenger Lite that saves data and skips on multiple useless features