This is how you gossip at work without getting caught

off the record chrome app

Be careful about those chat-based conversations you’re having at work: In many cases, instant messages and Internet browsing habits are under the watchful eye of your bosses (or the IT guys). They want you working – and not gossiping with coworkers down the hall about how much you hate the dental policy. But if you just can’t help yourself, there’s Off The Record, a browser solution that can keep you in everyone’s good graces and still let you get your gossip on.

Off The Record (O.T.R. for short) is a Snapchat-like clone, but for the work place. It’s yet another self-destructing messaging service, but this time there’s a time, place, and reason for using O.T.R.

Unlike other ephemeral apps, O.T.R. is Web based. It’s a Chrome browser add-on only. The add-on was developed by Lamplighter Games – developers of the iPad game Trivia Party – last year at TechCrunch Disrupt. 

Like Snapchat, on O.T.R. you can view the message or picture for a limited time (five seconds to be exact) before the media gets deleted. And there’s no option to send videos yet. Since O.T.R. is meant for the workplace, it integrates with Yammer and allows you to send off-the-record messages to these contacts.

Because O.T.R. is a browser plugin, your bosses won’t know that you’re using it, granted that they’re checking visited URLs and not actively monitoring your entire computer screen remotely (if that’s the case, you’re out of luck). 

But there are risks to using O.T.R. Knowing the innumerable security problems that Snapchat has faced (primarily, the ease with which you can screen capture something), self-destructing apps just aren’t the most secure platforms. But if it’s rather harmless gossip then there’s not much to worry about – just be sure you trust the recipient.

Oh and also don’t forget to look over your shoulders. You never know who might be walking around your cubicle.

Product Review

Screen snags aside, the Galaxy Fold is an exciting step toward a foldable future

Samsung's Galaxy Fold is the company's first foldable phone, with two screens, six cameras, and a dual-cell battery. The phone may be delayed due to display issues, but that doesn't stop us from asking -- what's it like to use?

Stop backing into your neighbor's car with the best backup cameras

The right backup camera will allow you to better avoid vehicles and other obstacles without taking your eyes off the road, rendering "sorry, I hit your car!" notes a thing of the past. Here are our current favorites.

Here's everything you need to know about setting up your wireless router

Want to get Wi-Fi working in your home, but don't know where to start? Here's a quick tutorial outlining the four basic steps needed for most routers. You'll be browsing on your laptop from the couch in no time.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.

Skype screen sharing for mobile will let you share your swipes on dating apps

Skype is prepping the launch of screen sharing for mobile so you can share your swipes on dating apps, shop with buddies, or, perhaps, show a PowerPoint presentation to coworkers. It's in beta just now, but anyone can try it.
Social Media

Facebook toys with mixing Stories and News Feed into one swipeable carousel

Facebook's News Feed could look a lot like Stories if a prototype the social media giant is working on rolls out to users. The design change mixes Stories and News Feed posts into a full-screen slideshow that users swipe left to navigate.
Social Media

No more moon showers as Facebook Messenger’s dark mode gets official rollout

Facebook Messenger launched a dark mode last month, but to activate it you had to message the crescent moon to someone. Now it's been rolled out officially, and it can be accessed in a far more sensible way — via settings.

Twitter has revealed a launch date for its handy hide replies features

Twitter has revealed a launch date for a feature that lets users hide replies to their tweets. The hope is that it will help the original poster filter out offensive or irrelevant content from conversation threads.
Smart Home

Oh, Zuck, no! Facebook rumored to be creating a voice assistant to rival Alexa

Facebook hasn't been a big player in the smart speaker market, but that may be changing: The social media giant is reportedly working on a digital assistant to compete against Alexa and others.
Social Media

Facebook says it unintentionally uploaded email contacts of 1.5 million users

Facebook says that over the last two years it unintentionally uploaded the email contacts of 1.5 million users as they signed up to the social networking service. The process has ended and the email addresses are being deleted.
Digital Trends Live

Digital Trends Live: Facebook data security, Ubisoft helps Notre Dame, and more

Join DT Live as we discuss Facebook security issues, Ubisoft's plan to help rebuild Notre Dame, and more. We are also joined by Emily Teteut of Snap the Gap, Jennifer Sendrow of New York Public Radio, and DJ and producer Zeke Thomas.

After controversial video, China bans ‘Leica’ on social media

A video that referenced Tiananmen Square got the name of the camera company Leica banned from the social media platform Weibo. Leica says the video wasn't an officially sanctioned promotion.

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.