Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, which aims to bring affordable Internet to the 5 billion people in the world who otherwise can’t access it, has already benefited 800 million people in nine countries, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
“We’ve now made free basic Internet services available to more than 800 million people in nine countries, including just in this quarter, launching in India, Colombia, Ghana, Guatemala, and the Philippines,” Zuckerberg revealed during the company’s Q1 earnings call, adding that over 7 million people, who weren’t connected to the Internet before, now get online using Internet.org. “And this year, we expect to connect even more people,” he said. Read more »
Google rolled out an update to its search engine, which boosts the ranking of mobile-friendly pages. The update affects search rankings only on mobile devices in all languages.
Mobile searchers will now find it easier to find high-quality pages that don’t require tapping or zooming. Read more »
Google has announced that YouTube apps running on select devices manufactured in 2012 and earlier will no longer be supported after this month. These devices include Sony TVs & Blu-ray Discs, Panasonic TVs & Blu-ray Discs, older iOS devices, and devices running older versions of Google TV.
“As we upgrade the YouTube Data API to bring more features, we’ll begin shutting down the old version on April 20, 2015. This will result in the current YouTube app not working on certain device models from 2012 and older,” the Mountain View, California-based company said in a blog post. The upgrade also affects the 2nd gen Apple TV. Read more »
There is no doubt that Google is the undisputed king of the online search market, but it looks like Bing is slowly and steadily capturing market share, at least in the US. According to latest numbers from research firm comScore, Microsoft’s search engine has captured 20.1% of the US desktop search market, which means that it now powers 1 in every 5 desktop searches in the country.
As expected, Google is at the top with 64.4% market share, while Yahoo, ASK and AOL round-up the top five with 12.7, 1.8, and 1.1% market share respectively. “In total, 18.9 billion explicit core searches were conducted in March, with Google Sites ranking first with 12.1 billion (up 11%), followed by Microsoft Sites with 3.8 billion (up 12%),” the research firm said. Read more »
Every year, search giant Google comes up with something special for April Fools Day, and this year was no exception, with the company’s website coming out reversed. However, what’s different this year was that the prank inadvertently broke the website’s security.
“The prank compromised the site’s own security by omitting a crucial header that makes it vulnerable to user interface redressing attack, such as click-jacking,” said UK research firm Netcraft, which was the first to discover the vulnerability. Read more »
Google has said that its Project Loon, which involves beaming 4G mobile Internet from helium-filled balloons, is close to launching thousands of balloons. The project has been underway for a couple of years now.
“We’re getting close to the point where we can roll out thousands of balloons,” said project leader Mike Cassidy, adding that such a number is necessary to deliver reliable Internet access to users in remote areas where no other means to connect to the Internet are available. Read more »
Despite its modest birth WhatsApp has become a veritable force in the messaging realm and has been growing in popularity exponentially over the past few years. Yesterday, Jan Koum, CEO and co-founder of the mobile messenger, shared on his Facebook page that the product has reached yet another veritable milestone – 800 million monthly active users.
Last August, this number was around 600 million and this January – 700 million. At this rate of about 25 million new active users per month, the service could very well exceed 1 billion, by the end of the year. Needless to say, this is a huge achievement and the exponential growth of WhatsApp has become even more impressive after Facebook paid a hefty $19 billion and took the platform under its wing in February 2014. Read more »
Just a few months after hackers breached Sony Picture Entertainment’s computer network, stealing sensitive information and effectively bringing the studio to a standstill, WikiLeaks has published the stolen data – comprising 173,132 emails and 30,287 separate documents – in a fully searchable format.
“This archive shows the inner workings of an influential multinational corporation,” said WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. “It is newsworthy and at the centre of a geo-political conflict. It belongs in the public domain. WikiLeaks will ensure it stays there.” Read more »
Net neutrality has been a hot topic of debate in India the last couple of weeks. The issue started after Airtel announced plans of charging VoIP calls separately and later snowballed into a larger movement when the company announced free access to Flipkart on its network.
But Airtel wasn’t the only one violating net neutrality laws. Facebook’s internet.org intiiative, in collaboration with Reliance, did the same, giving free access to several sites to those on Reliance’s network. While this is a move was in the interests of the customers, especially those who cannot afford to pay for data packs to access the internet, it still violates the principles of net neutrality that dictates that all data should be treated equally. Read more »
Google has had a phone locating service in the Android Device Manager website for a while now. The company has now implemented the functionality within its search engine itself.
You can now simply search for ‘Find my phone’ on Google and a small window appears on the search page showing the map and your phone’s current or last known location. From there you can choose to give your phone a ring to help you find it if it’s around. You can also choose a different device from the drop down menu at the top if you have more than one Android devices. Clicking on the map will take you to the Android Device Manager website. Read more »
Last year, Microsoft and Dropbox announced a partnership meant to lead to tight integration between the cloud storage service and the software giant’s Office suite. This went live for mobile apps shortly afterwards, but only today has it been launched for Office Online.
You can now edit any Word, PowerPoint, or Excel file in Dropbox in your Web browser. All the changes you make will automatically be saved to your Dropbox. So you can now work on the documents you have stored in your Dropbox even without having the offline Office apps installed on your computer. Read more »
The video binge-watchers stay glued to the YouTube only if they have an AdBlock installed for uninterrupted entertainment. Meanwhile, several millions of users have to go through the YouTube ads to continue watching their 5 to 10 minute videos.
YouTube is now working to eliminated the YouTube ads by offering an ads-free monthly subscription service through its Content Creators to the end users. By paying a monthly fee, you can enjoy watching videos from your favorite channels without wasting a second on the ads. Read more »
Facebook has launched a standalone website for its Messenger service. This is already accessible at Messenger.com, where you can go and use only that functionality from Facebook’s main site. The company is adamant that this doesn’t mean Messenger will ever go away from Facebook.com.
However, Messenger was once part of the Facebook apps for mobile – but then it got pulled out, thus forcing people to install the standalone Messenger app alongside the main one. So, in the future, there’s still a slim chance we’ll see something like that happen on the Web too. Read more »
If you have been following Dropbox during the past year or so, you already know that the cloud file sharing service has been growing exponentially in both popularity and features. The San Francisco company has been putting a lot of effort to escape from its simple roots and grow into a sprawling ecosystem, based around collaboration and creative work.
This has led to the acquisition of a lot of other services and startups by the cloud system, as well as the introduction of clever new features, options and the vital integration with other major platforms and suites, like Microsoft Office, for example. Read more »
An update to HTC Blinkfeed for Android renamed the application to Sense Home. The new app brings BlinkFeed, HTC Themes, as well as HTC Sense Home widget under one roof.
HTC Themes functionality allows users to change icons, colors, wallpapers, and even the sound bundles of their device. Read more »