Marc Andreessen Issues Apology After Social Media Backlash

Marc Andreessen is a venture capitalist best known for co-creating Mosaic, the first widely adopted web browser and has an estimated net work of around $600 million. Mr. Andreessen is also a Facebook board member and one of their most loyal supporters. On Tuesday evening, he defended Facebook’s Free Basics initiative which aims to provide internet access to impoverished nations through simplified phone applications. However, Indian regulators criticized the programme and claimed it only allowed for free access on certain services and discriminated against smaller companies. As a result, the Indian regulators believed Facebook was trying to “shape the users’ Internet experience”. When presented with this information, Mr. Andreessen voiced his opinion on Twitter (always a terrible idea) and made some extremely offensive claims:

https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/697226616812900352?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

Mark Zuckerberg released a statement distancing himself from Andreessen’s remarks and reiterated that they didn’t reflect Facebook’s attitude:

“I want to respond to Marc Andreessen’s comments about India yesterday. I found the comments deeply upsetting, and they do not represent the way Facebook or I think at all.

India has been personally important to me and Facebook. Early on in my thinking about our mission, I traveled to India and was inspired by the humanity, spirit and values of the people. It solidified my understanding that when all people have the power to share their experiences, the entire world will make progress.

Facebook stands for helping to connect people and giving them voice to shape their own future. But to shape the future we need to understand the past. As our community in India has grown, I’ve gained a deeper appreciation for the need to understand India’s history and culture. I’ve been inspired by how much progress India has made in building a strong nation and the largest democracy in the world, and I look forward to strengthening my connection to the country.”

As you might expect, the social media backlash and comments from Zuckerberg encouraged Andreessen to make a full apology:

https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/697399609929261057?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/697404200368500736?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

This entire situation demonstrates why it’s so important to think before posting opinions online especially if you represent a huge company like Facebook. Clearly, the comments were misguided, and seemed quite reactionary to the decision to favour net neutrality.

Image courtesy of BusinessInsider

India Bans Facebook’s Free Internet Platform Over Net Neutrality Concerns

India’s national telecom regulator has banned Mark Zuckerberg’s “free” internet endeavour for violating net neutrality. Free Basics, formerly known as Internet.org, was designed to bring free internet to developing countries, but access to websites was restricted to Facebook’s commercial partners, meaning Free Basics users could only visit sites that had paid to be featured.

“No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content,” the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has ruled (via BBC News).

The World Wide Web Foundation, created by WWW inventor Tim Berners-Lee, has welcomed the ruling. “The message is clear: We can’t create a two-tier Internet – one for the haves, and one for the have-nots,” Programme Manager Renata Avila said. “We must connect everyone to the full potential of the open Web. We call on companies and the government of India to work with citizens and civil society to explore new approaches to connect everyone as active users, whether through free data allowances, public access schemes or other innovative approaches.”

While Zuckerberg has maintained throughout that Free Basics adheres to net neutrality rules – “Instead of recognizing that Free Basics fully respects net neutrality, they claim–falsely–the exact opposite,” he blustered back in December – a Facebook spokesperson claims that the company will work to ensure that its free internet initiative complies with net neutrality.

“Our goal with Free Basics is to bring more people online with an open, non-exclusive and free platform,” a Facebook spokeswoman said. “While disappointed with the outcome, we will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the internet and the opportunities it brings.”

Zuckerberg Wants Facebook to Have 5 Billion Users by 2030

Mark Zuckerberg is known for thinking on a large-scale, but his long-term plans for Facebook will definitely be challenging to achieve. Mark wants Facebook to have no less than 5 billion users by 2030, and while this goal is certainly achievable on paper, its real-world application is going to depend on numerous factors, including the overall number of internet users across the globe. Right now, “just” 3.2 billion people enjoy access to the internet, but as the world’s population is expected to soar to as much as 8 billion in the coming years, this figure is bound to expand quite a bit. Obviously, if Facebook wants to draw in more users in the next few decades, it will need to take on an active role in providing internet access to the world’s less developed nations.

Google is currently trying to do just that with its Project Loon and Skybender projects, and while Facebook is certainly trying to catch up with its own drone projects and initiatives such as Internet.org, progress has been a bit slow. Some of you might think that Facebook is likely to die out or be replaced with another service by 2030, and I’m definitely not going to argue with that. However, sources suggest that Zuckerberg has big plans for the social network in the coming years, which means that he has probably figured out exactly how to ensure its growth in popularity.

Mark Zuckerberg’s Neighbours Unhappy Again!

Mark Zuckerberg is not really ingratiating himself with his neighbours within the local but admittedly expensive community that is Liberty Hill in San Francisco. The extensive construction and the accompanied noise and disruption has not been a favourite with the fellow residents and now a parking dispute has again caused friction between the Facebook founder and his neighbours.

The aforementioned parking dispute involves Mark Zuckerberg’s security team “permanently’ and illegally occupying desirable parking spots in the area with two silver SUVs”. Below is an image to illustrate the alleged problem that has annoyed the fellow residents, as you can see, these vehicles are stationed next to the social network founder’s house.

It has annoyed the community to such an extent that it has distributed a letter to residents urging them to “complain to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) about the vehicles and also contact Zuckerberg’s residential security manager, Tim Wenzel” Below is an image of the letter that was obtained.

In response, a spokesperson for Mark Zuckerberg states “The security team’s cars are parked in accordance with local parking laws. The team strives to be sensitive to neighbour’s concerns and regrets any inconvenience.”

Disputes, in this case, can be perceived as rather silly with the potential to escalate out of all proportion, I think this has evolved from allegations in 2014 of persistent and noisy construction work followed by further allegations involving an apparent restraining order which had reportedly been filed by Mr Zuckerberg’s security team against a 62-year-old local man, leaving him temporary homeless in 2015. I do think there is also a perception that “rich” individuals do not respect the social etiquette within the community, but rather zoom in and develop an area without any consideration for residents.

It will be interesting to see if there are any further reports of alienation between both parties in the future.

Image courtesy of dnaindia

Zuckerberg Shocked India Doesn’t Appreciate His Free Internet

The Internet.org “free internet” initiative – now known as Free Basics – is under threat of closure by Indian authorities, but its founder, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, doesn’t get why India isn’t grateful for his efforts. The Time of India reports that the country’s telecoms regulator is putting pressure on Reliance to cease carrying Internet.org over fears that its “walled garden” structure – allowing only sites that are paid-up partners with Free Basics to be accessible to users – is anathema to the idea of a free and open internet.

Zuckerberg has now responded to the controversy, insisting that his vision for Internet.org is purely philanthropic, and lamenting the fact that no one seems to see that but him. “Who could possibly be against this?” he begs in a Times of India op-ed. “Surprisingly, over the last year, there’s been a big debate about this in India.”

“Instead of wanting to give people access to some basic internet services for free, critics of the program continue to spread false claims–even if that means leaving behind a billion people,” Zuckerberg says. “Instead of recognizing the fact that Free Basics is opening up the whole internet, they continue to claim–falsely–that this will make the internet more like a walled garden.”

“Instead of welcoming Free Basics as an open platform that will partner with any telco, and allows any developer to offer services to people for free, they claim–falsely–that this will give people less choice,” he argues. “Instead of recognizing that Free Basics fully respects net neutrality, they claim–falsely–the exact opposite.”

Many, including figures within the India government, disagree with Zuckerberg’s appraisal, with Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik arguing in a letter to Indian regulators: “While the underprivileged deserve much more than what is available, nobody should decide what exactly are their requirements. If you dictate what the poor should get, you take away their rights to choose what they think is best for them.”

Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg Invest in Clean Energy Technology

New ideas for saving the environment come from the founders of Facebook and Microsoft who are teaming up to solve climate change. Mark Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, along with Bill Gates, have announced today that they have launched the Breakthrough Energy Coalition. The main goal is to invest in zero-carbon energy technology around the world. Some of the most prolific names in technology, Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, Jack Ma, and Masayoshi Son are also included in the team.

At the U.S Climate Control Conference event, which is taking place in Paris this week, Gates and U.S President Barack Obama are expected to unveil a new initiative called Mission Innovation. Over the next five years, this organization will work with governments to double public investment in energy research. Nineteen countries have already joined Mission Innovation, and according to the Washington Post, by 2020 these countries will increase their annual spending on clean-energy research and development to $20 billion.

The Coalition and Mission Innovation are separate programs, but they will work together in countries that desire the reduction of carbon emissions. With a flexible attitude toward investments and making Series A funding a priority (electricity generation, transportation, industrial use, energy system efficiency), we could definitely be expecting positive comebacks from the Breakthrough Energy Coalition.

World Wide Web Inventor Says “No” to Internet.org

Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web infrastructure for the internet, is vehemently opposed to Mark Zuckerberg’s Internet.org plan to bring a limited internet to poor countries, an initiative that has long been criticised for violating net neutrality and branded an internet “ghetto”.

“When it comes to compromising on net neutrality, I tend to say ‘just say no’,” Berners-Lee said, regarding Internet.org. “In the particular case of somebody who’s offering […] something which is branded internet, it’s not internet, then you just say no. No it isn’t free, no it isn’t in the public domain, there are other ways of reducing the price of internet connectivity and giving something […] [only] giving people data connectivity to part of the network deliberately, I think is a step backwards.”

After getting so much bad press, Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, changed the name of Internet.org, which launched last year, to ‘Free Basics’, but the same problems remain. Users will only be given access to sites that Free Basics deems appropriate – likely those that sign up to financial agreements with the initiative – restricting free use of the internet, flagrantly flouting the rules of net neutrality. Free Basics is still operating in India, despite a walkout by a number of its publisher partners.

Thank you Times of India for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia.

Mark Zuckerberg Wants Universal Internet Access by 2020

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is calling on the United Nations to make universal internet access a reality by 2020. Zuckerberg, who is working with the One organisation, formed by U2 singer and post-Geldof pseudo-Messiah Bono, made the proposal in a speech at the UN as part of its Global Goals initiative, explaining that “connecting the world is one of the fundamental challenges of our generation.”

“Today over half the people on this planet don’t have access,” Zuckerberg later said in a New York Times op-ed he wrote with Bono. “That is not good for anyone — not for the disempowered and disconnected, and not for the other half, whose commerce and security depend on having stable societies.”

Zuckerberg used the examples of African farmers tracking inventory and prices of crops and livestock via mobile internet and refugees that use smartphones to stay in touch with loved ones after fleeing their countries to illustrate that the internet improves the lives of everyone. According to a UN report, 57% of the world – a massive 4 billion people – do not have internet connections.

“It’s one thing to say we should connect the world. The real trick is how,” Zuckerberg said. “There’s no simple solution or silicon bullet.”

With the advent of mobile internet, the biggest remaining obstacle to bring internet to new areas is access to electricity. “Nine out of 10 rural Africans don’t have electricity,” said Zuckerberg. “Governments can make the difference. This is why we support initiatives like President Obama’s Power Africa plan and the bipartisan Electrify Africa Act in Congress, as well as the African Development Bank’s investments in renewable energy.”

Thank you PC Magazine for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Life News.

Facebook is Creating a ‘Dislike’ Button to Help Users Express “Empathy”

Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg was originally skeptical of implementing a ‘dislike’ button but appears to have had a change of heart. Apparently, the ‘dislike’ function is now a necessity to “express empathy” and offer support to friends in bleak moments. Zuckerberg explained his plans and said:

“I think people have asked about the Dislike button for many years,”

What [users] really want is the ability to express empathy. Not every moment is a good moment.”

“We’ve talked about for a while how can people express a wider range of emotions.”

According to Zuckerberg, it could be some time until the button is publicly revealed:

“It’s surprisingly complicated to make an interaction that will be simple.”

In all honestly, I think this is an incredibly naive move and open to flagrant abuse. At first glance, it appears fairly suitable as friends shouldn’t begin trolling each other and disliking their activities. However, Facebook is awash with business pages, groups and other content which could turn into a colossal mess. I wouldn’t be surprised to see work acquaintances behaving in a petty manner as “friends” on Facebook can refer to a whole host of various relationships. In reality, it’s impossible to maintain more than perhaps 20 close-friendships and people with over 1000 “friends” could be targeted by people on their contacts list.

Unfortunately, people turn to social media for communication and rely on it too much. Therefore, many add so-called, “friends” to appear more popular and successful to their peers. I believe the ‘dislike’ button will only create a cesspool of hatred in a similar vein to Reddit comment sections, then again I could be wrong.

Thank you Digitalspy for providing us with this information.

Zuckerberg Predicts Telepathy as the Next Technological Advancement

Facebook creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg believes that instant messaging over mobile devices and computer will be rendered obsolete by… telepathy? According to Zuckerberg, in his latest Townhall Q&A post, the next big advancement in communications will involve brains transmitting information to other brains directly.

“One day, I believe we’ll be able to send full rich thoughts to each other directly using technology,” Zuckerberg wrote. “You’ll just be able to think of something and your friends will immediately be able to experience it too if you’d like.”

Personally, I’m looking forward to the day Zuckerberg has one too many Pinot Grigio spritzers and accidentally sends a telepathic message to the whole of Facebook, calling every user a “dumb f**k” for ever sharing their brain’s information over the site.

Zuckerberg also answered questions on Facebook’s interest in artificial intelligence, admitting that the company uses Facebook profiles to inform how to create an unreal mind. “Most of our AI research is focused on understanding the meaning of what people share,” he wrote. “In order to do this really well, our goal is to build AI systems that are better than humans at our primary senses: vision, listening, etc.”

“For vision, we’re building systems that can recognise everything that’s in an image or a video. This includes people, objects, scenes, etc. These systems need to understand the context of the images and videos as well as whatever is in them,” Zuckerberg added. “For listening and language, we’re focusing on translating speech to text, text between any languages, and also being able to answer any natural language question you ask.”

Thank you The Guardian for providing us with this information.

Internet.org Is a Two-Tiered Ghetto For the Internet’s Poor

A coalition of internet advocacy groups from 31 countries has formed to stand against Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s “free” internet project, Internet.org. In an open letter, supported by groups from India, Colombia, Uganda, and Iceland, to name but a few, Internet.org is branded a “walled garden” that keeps the poor segregated from normal internet users, with corporations and businesses deciding what users can and cannot see, in a flagrant flouting of the principles of net neutrality.

“In its present conception,” the letter reads, “Internet.org thereby violates the principles of net neutrality, threatening freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, security, privacy and innovation.”

“We urge Facebook to assert its support for a true definition of net neutrality in which all applications and services are treated equally and without discrimination — especially in the majority world, where the next three billion internet users are coming online — and to address the significant privacy and security flaws inherent in the current iteration of Internet.org.”

Another major worry is that Internet.org prohibits the use of TLS (Transport Layer Security), Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or HTTPS encryption by its partners, leaving both services and users vulnerable to attack. Though Zuckerberg has paid lip service to both net neutrality and online security as recently as 4th May, the entire premise of Internet.org as it stands is not conducive to either. In its current guise, it can only ever be an internet ghetto where the poor are exploited as commodities in exchange for limited and heavily controlled internet access.

Thank you Silicon Republic for providing us with this information.

Internet.org Gets Trashed by Global Internet Activists

Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire Facebook founder, recently unveiled plans to offer a ‘free’ internet – essentially a sponsored internet portal through which limited filtered content can be viewed – to the world’s poor through his Internet.org endeavour.

A group of internet activists from around the world, however, have taken exception to the idea, accusing Zuckerberg of treating the poor as a lower class who don’t deserve to benefit from net neutrality, all in the name of ‘free’ internet; free from cost, but not free from corporate control. Digital rights activists across the globe have, quite rightly, accused Zuckerberg of attempting to violate the concept of an open internet.

Brazilian activists have written to President Dilma Rousseff, an advocate of Internet.org, to protest, saying, “We believe this project … could jeopardize the future of Brazil’s information society, the digital economy and the rights of users on the network, such as privacy, freedom of expression and Net Neutrality.”

The e-mail, written by Cristiana Gonzalez of the University of Sao Paulo, continued, “If defending Net Neutrality is a challenge, try convincing policymakers that there are better solutions to affordable access than offering the ‘free Internet’ via cellphones.”

In Nairobi, tech entrepreneur Ali Hussein Kassim said, “The Googles and Facebooks of the world can lure local users onto their global sites and platforms, but what happens to local Internet entrepreneurs who are trying to launch their own online businesses and services?”

“It’s like inviting me into your house and telling me that I can do this and that,” Kassim added. “People like us will continue pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing until they hear us. We will not give up.”

Zuckerberg, in a particularly pissy rebuttal to criticism, said last week, “We have to ask ourselves, what kind of community do we want to be? Are we a community that values people and improving people’s lives above all else? Or are we a community that puts the intellectual purity of technology above people’s needs?”

Niels ten Oever, head of digital for free speech group Article 19, was one of many who took exception to Zuckerberg’s rhetoric, responding, “It’s not the community of people that are fighting for Net Neutrality that are depriving people of full Internet connectivity. It’s the telcos, companies and governments that have the capacity and resources to do so, but who don’t.”

Zuckerberg does not want to bring free internet to the masses, he wants to inflate his Facebook userbase and monetise an untapped resource. The sooner he is honest about that, the better.

Thank you Moyers & Company for providing us with this information.

More than 70% of Facebook’s Revenue Is Mobile

Facebook has shown us a thing or two about itself in its first three years as a public company. It knows how to make serious amounts of money, is increasingly mobile and keeps attracting users even though it seems as if every person on the planet who has access to the internet already uses it.

The humongous company reported its first quarterly month earnings today. It has 1.44 billion monthly active users and another 1.25 billion on mobile devices, an increase of 13% and 24%. Facebook has an insane amount of users overall, coming in at a whopping 936 million active users every single day.

Their overall revenue rocketed up to $3.45 billion, up 42% than the same time frame last year. The shift to mobile is continuing with 73% of the company’s revenue coming from mobile adverts compared to 59% last year.

The company had net income of $1.19 billion, up 28 percent compared to $926 million for the first quarter of 2014. The company saw more than four billion daily video views. “Video is exploding on mobile,” said COO Sheryl Sandberg on the earnings call. Revenue was low compared to expectations, while profits were high, and the stock was largely flat in after-hours trading.” The Verge reported.

“Facebook’s costs were way up. It spent $2.61 billion, an increase of 83 percent year over year. Not surprisingly this shrunk its operating margin to 26 percent compared to 43 percent in the first quarter of 2014.The company’s biggest expense as a percentage of revenue was research and development, and on the earnings call the company indicated this was its biggest driver of new hiring as well.”

Sounds to us like Facebook are expanding into the market wherever they see an opportunity. Mark Zuckerberg has been adamant that the company will continue this approach and will invest in areas such as solar-powered drones and virtual reality to keep on the cutting edge of the forever changing market.

Thank you to The Verge for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of PerthGazette

Facebook Wants to Bring Free Internet to Europe

Free internet is something that everyone wants nowadays, and for good reason too. Where do you go when you want to read the latest news, speak to friends or check your email account? This is why Facebook plans to bring free internet to Europe soon.

Zuckerberg was present in a Q&A recently and divulged its plans to connect countries with limited access to the Internet. He stated that there are a lot of people who are still not connected to the internet today and he wants to change all that.

“Yes, we want to bring Internet.org [everywhere] where there are people who need to be connected. We’re starting off by prioritizing the countries with the most unconnected people and by working with network operators and governments who are most excited about working with Internet.org to get everyone online in their countries.”

The company also launched a feature that provides basic mobile internet in countries such as Kenya, India, Tanzania and Columbia. Though it won’t bring Google Fiber to your doorstep, it still provides some way to stay connected with the changing times.

Zuckerberg seems to have disclosed some other information regarding his company’s future plans with the latest Facebook Messenger payment feature and that Oculus is going to go well beyond the boundaries of gaming.

“Our mission [is] to give people the power to experience anything,” he wrote. “Even if you don’t have the ability to travel somewhere, or to be with someone in person, or even if something is physically impossible to build in our analog world, the goal is to help build a medium that will give you the ability to do all of these things you might not otherwise be able to do.”

Facebook has quite a lot planned for the future, from connecting everyone and bringing them together with free internet and its social media platform, to digging into future technologies such as Oculus and attempting to exploit it to its full potential. What are your thoughts on the matter?

Thank you Tech Radar for providing us with this information

Artist Paints Poop Portrait of Mark Zuckerberg

A Brooklyn artist and hacker, known only as KATSU, has created a large portrait of Facebook creator and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, painted with his own faeces. The poop portrait is on display in The Hole gallery in New York, as part of the artist’s first solo exhibition, called “Remember the Future”.

KATSU has quite the Zuckerberg fetish: in April 2013, he littered the walls of New York City with posters of the Facebook Maestro’s face, doctored to give him a black eye. The artist revealed to Gizmodo why Zuckerberg is his favourite target, saying, “Mark is Mark. He’s this mutation, this gross aspiration everyone idolizes. His face has reach. He deserves to be ridiculed.”

Source: Mashable

The Future of Facebook Will Be Wearable, According to Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, creator and CEO of Facebook, predicts that by 2025 Facebook will be integrated into proprietary wearable devices.

“In another 10 to 15 years … there will be another platform which is even more natural and even more built into our lives than mobile phones are,” Zuckerberg said. “It’s pretty easy to imagine that in the future, we will have something that … we can wear.”

Zuckerberg made the forecast during a Q&A session at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia, but followed up by saying that he doesn’t yet know what form the wearable will take. He does assure the more fashion-conscious Facebook users that, whatever it is, it won’t look “weird like some of the stuff that exists today. You’ll just be able to have context about what’s going on around you in the world, and communicate with people, and not have to disrupt your conversations by looking down.”

Facebook, of course, now owns the ultimate in ‘wearable devices’ after its $2 billion purchase of Oculus, creator of the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift, last Summer.

Source: The Street

Zuckerberg Starts Facebook Book Group, Wants You to Join

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has a New Year’s resolution to read more books, and he wants you to join him. Zuckerberg has vowed to read a new book every fortnight for the entirety of 2015, and has started a group on Facebook for others to take on the challenge, too.

In the announcement post, Zuckerberg wrote:

I’m excited for my reading challenge. I’ve found reading books very intellectually fulfilling. Books allow you to fully explore a topic and immerse yourself in a deeper way than most media today. I’m looking forward to shifting more of my media diet towards reading books.

30 million invites have been sent to Zuckerberg’s followers, and 80,000 people have already signed up. Any Facebook user can join the group, called A Year in Books.

Source: The Verge

Mark Zuckerberg Scoffs at Tim Cook’s ‘People are Products’ Claim

Back in September, Apple CEO Tim Cook launched a veiled attack on sites like Facebook that are free but carry ads. Cook claimed that “when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.” He expanded on his point, saying, “I think everyone has to ask, how do companies make their money? Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried.”

Now, Chief Executive of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has hit back. He defended his company’s operating strategy, saying, “A frustration I have is that a lot of people increasingly seem to equate an advertising business model with somehow being out of alignment with your customers.” Then, in a direct swipe at Cook’s company, Zuckerberg said, “What, you think because you’re paying Apple that you’re somehow in alignment with them? If you were in alignment with them, then they’d make their products a lot cheaper!”

Zuckerberg summed up the ideology of Facebook: “Our mission is to connect every person in the world. You don’t do that by having a service people pay for.”

Source: The Verge

Watch Mark Zuckerberg Dump Ice Water over Himself

Opinions are split when it comes to Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, but I think we can all agree that this new trend is awesome. In the never-ending row of challenges extended on-line after daring them yourself, it’s now time to dump ice water over your own head.

This isn’t just some random challenge but has a specific purpose. To raise awareness for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord, famous people are dumping buckets of ice water over their own head only to follow up on nominating 3 new people.

And it is working. As reported by Huffington Post, the Ice Bucket Challenge has increased donations to the ALS Association by 1000 percent.

Thank you TechCrunch for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of TechCrunch.

Facebook Will Begin to Force Users to Install Messenger App

Once again we get another reason to hate Facebook more than we do already, in the next few days Facebook will be forcing users to download the messenger application to their mobile device to continue talking with friends and family. This is for the world, as far as I know, apart form the EU who had to do it back in April.

Users will get several hints to download the app before hand, allowing them to continue using the normal chat for a little bit longer but eventually the normal messages tab button will be replaced with a messenger app shortcut, not cool Facebook, not cool.

Facebook claim that using messenger is about 20% faster than using the standard chat feature in the normal app running on both IOS and Android devices. Apparently the feedback EU switch over was positive so Facebook have decided it’s time everyone used the app. I for one will not be using it, probably hidden malware or something…

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

Average US Facebook User is on Facebook More than They Exercise

Ok excuse me if I dig into Americans a little bit here, I am British after all. So the latest figures from Facebook, according to Mark Zuckerberg, show that on average an American will spend at least 40 minutes a day on the social network, times that by 7 and it comes to just over 4.5 hours per week. The average american is recommended to get at least 2.5 hours of mild exercise a week by the US Government but only 20% of them actually meet the recommended target, the source of that information can be found here, which means 80% don’t! 80% of American Facebook users spend more time staring into their devices then actually keeping themselves fit. You wonder why it’s a nation that considers obesity a disease when the facts are there to prove that people are just too damn lazy to get off their asses and do themselves some good.

If you’re an american and you’re reading this, firstly hello, secondly next time you pick your phone up, don’t open up the app, ring a friend like you used to before Facebook existed, arrange to meet them face to face, go for a walk maybe? Just get out and about, explore the world, meet new people, don’t spend so long just glued to your phone or PC staring at Facebook.

Zuckerberg says that on average people spend 9 hours a day being around social media, this includes TV, Radio, your phone and your PC. If people did more and got out more then they wouldn’t be so exposed to all this media designed to convince you to buy products. In my opinion it’s a form of brainwashing, all be it a mild one, it’s still always there, buy this, look at this, even subliminal messages are being used by retailers to make you buy products without even thinking about it. This is why I don’t watch television or listen to the radio, just too toxic.

Thanks to TweakTown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of TweakTown.

Oculus VR Is Now Officially Owned by Facebook

Remember when the internet went crazy back in march because Facebook decided to splash out on Oculus VR for a hefty $2 billion? Well you should because it was pretty big news! Facebook paid Oculus VR $2 billion in two ways, a chunk of $400 million in cash and the other as 23.1 million shares of Facebook valued at $1.6 billion .The process of Oculus VR being acquired by Facebook is now complete and they own everything, which is either really good or really really bad.

“We’re looking forward to an exciting future together, building the next computing platform and re-imagining the way people communicate”.

That was a joint statement from Oculus VR and Facebook, lets just hope Facebook don’t mess this up and ruin everything with such a unique and game changing product.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow. Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate”

Mark Zuckerberg said that back in March just after he made the offer to Oculus VR. In April, the Federal Trade Commission approved the deal. Right now, people are waiting for their Development Kit 2 (DK2) units to arrive, sporting a 1080p low-persistence screen, and much more.

Thanks to TweakTown for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of TweakTown.

“Lowest Cost Possible” For consumer Oculus Rift

In a recent interview with Ars Technica, CEO Brendan Iribe spoke out about Oculus Rift, Facebook and on comments made my Mark Zuckerberg. Not only has he said that the company (Oculus) expects the Rift to sell “north of 1 million units” when released, but that Zuckerberg wants to unit to be as affordable as possible.

While we already know that Facebook has a sizeable war chest in terms of financial backing, their money isn’t expected to have much, if any, impact on the consumer model of the rift or its design, especially since development was already well underway before they signed a massive cheque to buy up the company. The main difference there is that Facebook will be taking a cut from the profits and looking to use the technology to secure other deals with content providers. However, it’s those profit margins that Zuckerberg is least concerned about, stating that he wants to ignore margins wherever possible to drive down the Rift’s costs for consumers, and “I do too” added Iribe.

“at the same time, we were planning to run a business, hopefully a break-even [or] profitable business off of this, not a money-losing business (Oculus). Mark is much more in the mindset of ‘Let’s get this to scale with the best quality product at the lowest cost possible.'”

Let’s be honest, Facebook has a healthy bank ballance already, so it makes sense for them to take a smaller cut on Oculus Rift, at least at first to help the product succeed, rather than push it into the realm of the enthusiast, and ignoring the average consumer by jacking the price up.

With everything from games, to a David Attenborough documentary being made for the Rift, I can’t wait to see the final product. Facebook and Oculus are still elusive about the consumer model release date, only going as far to say they “will be disappointed” if it’s not released by the end of 2015.

Thank you ArsTechnica for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of ArsTechnica.

Facebook and Zuckerberg To Sell 70 Million More Shares

On Monday Facebook will officially be a member of  the Standard & Poor’s 500-stick index. Facebook and Zuckerberg will be offering 70 millions share to the public to commemorate this momentous occasion. With the 70 million shares up for grabs, based on their current stock price of $55.50 per share, the offering would raise close to $3.8 billion. However the shares will likely be slightly lower than $55.50 when released to reflect the dilution in regards to this offering.

Facebook as a company will offer over 27 million Class A shares, which would be used for working capital. Facebook said it has no plans for the extra capital, however many have said that the offering could be used to bolster Facebook’s pursuit to fund future deals. This seems likely as Facebook is an aggressive acquirer of smaller rivals having all ready purchased Instagram and just recently having an offer to buy Snapchat for $3 billion turned down.

Mark Zuckerberg will also exercise stock control to purchase 60 million Class B shares (which are used to hold majority voting rights), he will then sell 41.35 million of those Class B shares as Class A shares using the majority of the profits to pay taxes connected to the exercise of his options. With Zuckerberg giving some up of his Class B shares he will still control more than 60 percent of the voting rights. As well as these offerings a filing has also stated that Zuckerberg will also make a charity donation of 18 million shares (roughly $1 billion) to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that he has supported previously before in the past. What do you think of this news? Will you be snapping up some shares when they become available?

Thank you The New York Times for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of The Hindu.