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FACEBOOK and Snapchat are some of the worst apps for sucking you monthly data packages dry. However, these top tips can save you from running out of mobile internet access.

With most mobile operators not offering unlimited packages, it's easy to find yourself without access to the internet on your smartphone.

When things do run out it's also incredibly expensive to top things - most UK operators charge around £7 for 1GB of extra data.

Many people have no idea where their data goes each month but there are plenty of ways your smartphone will munch through your allowance.

Apps such as Snapchat, , Netflix and  with videos and photo downloads then worst offenders.

 

HERE'S WHAT EATS THROUGH YOUR DATA EACH DAY

  •  Web browsing (50 pages) uses abut 50MB of data per hour
  •  Checking your emails once a day uses about 150MB of data a month 
  •  Uploading photos can use 100MB (per 10 images)
  •  Ultra high definition video streaming can use 7GB of data per hour

Fortunately, help is at hand, as the team at Mobiles.co.uk have shared their top tips, on how to reduce your mobile data spend.

HERE'S SOME TOP TIPS ON SAVING YOUR DATA

1. Stop auto-play on social platforms

New research has found that nearly two thirds of smartphone owners use the Facebook app every day and 40 per cent use YouTube daily.

Since leading social and video platforms, introduced their auto-play functions, more often than not, videos will start streaming, even if you hadn’t planned on watching them. 

It’s this feature that may be eating into your data allowance.

Don’t worry, it’s easy to fix. Simply, go into your social media account settings and either turn-off auto-play, or choose to use it only when your connected to Wi-Fi. 

Facebook app dataGETTY

You can turn auto-play videos off when using mobile data

 

Facebook introduce Facebook Stories

2. Utilise Wi-Fi

If you can, try to leave your Wi-Fi on. This will help you connect automatically to Wi-Fi ports you’re already paired with, preventing the need to use mobile data.

By leaving your Wi-Fi turned on, it will also allow you to find and use Wi-Fi hotspots, saving you even more data. Just make sure the connections are from an official source, and read the T&Cs before you connect.

Lastly, if you’re on iOS, turn off your Wi-Fi Assist. The Wi-Fi Assist will switch to 4G when your connection is low. To stop this, just deselect in settings.

Facebook data usage warningGETTY

Facebook autoplay videos should be turned off if you don't want to use your data

3. Stop apps using mobile data

Another big drainer on your mobile data are your beloved apps, as they may be updating in the background, even when you’re not using them.

Don’t fret, you can stop this massive purge of data happening by selecting the Wi-Fi only option in your settings.

The other benefit of stopping this is that it should help preserve battery life too.

4. Track how much data you’re using

If you’re finding that you’re running out of data on roughly the same date every month, and have tried the tips we’ve suggested, try tracking to see which apps or services are draining your data well.

To view how much data you have used go to settings and scroll down to the list of apps. You can reset the date on this, so you could track things across a day, a week, a month etc. This way you can understand your usage and determine what may be the cause of the issue.   

Netflix data appGETTY

Netflix can also burn through your data

5. Download content to use offline

Two of the biggest data drainers are video streaming (especially if in HD) and music streaming, so if you’re an avid fan of binging on box sets, listen closely.

Updates to Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and BBC iPlayer in 2016 allowed users to download certain content to their devices, which can be viewed offline. 

 

So, if you’re half way through Stranger Things or want to catch-up on the weekend’s football action with Match of the Day, download when you’re connected to Wi-Fi, and save yourself tens of thousands of MB in data – you just need to make sure you have enough space on your phone for the download file.

You can also use this offline approach with Spotify and Apple Music to download your favourite music too, but this is one of the premium features.

Smartphone data 4G usageGETTY

6. Change video quality on Netflix/ BBC/ YouTube

There is no better way to appreciate the wonders of the natural world than by watching Planet Earth in stunning 4K.

However, it can be detrimental to your data allowance, as according to Netflix, streaming content in HD can use 3 GB per hour, and using Ultra HD will suck up 7 GB per hour, whereas watching a standard definition (SD) video will only use 0.7 GB per hour.

Keen to catch-up on the latest episode of The Walking Dead or Line of Duty, and can’t wait until you get home? Just stream using SD, and enjoy.

7. Turn off push notifications on email/social platforms

Not just a massive battery drainer, having your push notifications turned on for email and social media apps can also drain your data. So, unless you really need to be notified instantly, turn these off in the app settings.

Over 60 per cent of smartphone owners check emails via a handset every day1, this can use about 150MB of data per session. If your phone is set to fetch data wirelessly at specific intervals, you will quickly consume data. Stop it by going into your settings and turning it off.

 

If you’re still struggling to stick to your mobile data allowance, it might be time to consider reviewing your contract and upgrade to plan with more data.

Source : This article was published express.co.uk By DAVID SNELLING

Categorized in Social

Facebook, with its tech cohorts Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, have huge pools of data about their users, which lend considerable network advantages over smaller players. Credit Noah Berger/Associated Press

There is a growing drumbeat that the five leading tech behemoths have turned into dangerous monopolies that stifle innovation and harm consumers. Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook — what the tech columnist Farhad Manjoo calls the Frightful Five — have a combined market capitalization of more than $2.7 trillion and are an increasing part of everyday life.

They are each assembling enormous pools of data about their users — which they use not just to sell more targeted advertising, but to improve and personalize their services, increasing their network advantage against smaller players.

 

But while these firms are increasingly formidable and deserve scrutiny, over all their market power appears less durable than infrastructure-based monopolies of previous generations. As David Evans and Richard Schmalensee note in “Matchmakers,” dominant digital platforms are “likely to be more transient than economists and pundits once thought.”

In most tech markets, multiple players reach viable scale. And consumers often have an incentive to switch between competing services, based on convenience and price.

Not only are these titans vulnerable to regular existential threats (recall Microsoft’s unbreakable hegemony over PC software that didn’t translate to mobile computing), they are also all converging — therefore competing — with one another.

All five of these firms are in a broad race to dominate consumers’ digital lives at home and at work. They all offer a suite of connected services — for instance, some combination of music, video and communication services — which increasingly overlap with one another. They are each expanding their market opportunity, but also straying out of their zones of competitive advantage into areas of increasing rivalry. This convergence in strategy, products and tactics is a powerful inoculation to anticompetitive outcomes.

Many of the recent monopoly arguments rely upon narrowly defining markets to make a rhetorical case, as well as hypothetical consumer harm. Ben Thompson, who writes the tech newsletter Stratechery, for instance, argued recently that Facebook has a monopoly in the “content provider market.”

 

It is easy to see how commentators get worked up about Facebook, given it controls several large, overlapping networks including WhatsApp and Instagram. But the claim that it has a monopoly over content providers, is risible. Even if Facebook were the singular acquirer of content, that would make it a monopsonist, not a monopolist. This distinction is critical because a monopsonist — who is the only buyer for a given set of suppliers — uses its power to squeeze input prices (like the sole employer in a town, keeping wages low). Whereas a monopolist uses its power to raise consumer prices.

Facebook’s importance as a major traffic source for many content sites is self-evident, but publishers still go directly to consumers and use other significant intermediaries — notably Google, which is owned by Alphabet. The woes of the publishing industry are because of the impact of the internet, not Facebook.

Mr. Thompson unconvincingly asserts that Facebook’s power over publishers produces a “dead weight loss” (where monopoly taxation leads to a waste of resources) and that consumers are afflicted by Facebook’s stifling of innovation. But Facebook users are not suffering under the yoke of oppressive masters. On the contrary, they are benefiting from a period of intense competition.

The same applies when it comes to entertainment. Netflix isn’t one of the big five, but it enjoyed a brief honeymoon as a monopoly after it crushed Blockbuster. But just a few years later, it faces intense competition around the globe. While the Netflix chief executive, Reed Hastings, may say that “sleep” is his company’s major rival, in reality, Amazon and Alphabet — not to mention Hulu, HBO and myriad local players — prevent Netflix from running away with the market.

Commentators often conflate ubiquity, or narrow market dominance, with a broad-based monopoly. Amazon regularly gets tarred with this brush. About 80 million people now take a Prime subscription bundle, according to industry estimates. Weaving together multiple products and services under one compelling offering gives Amazon a formidable advantage to which its rivals are scrambling to react. But even so, Amazon is so far only exhibiting signs of market dominance in the market for books. And even there, as Paul Krugman has noted, it looks more like a monopsonist exerting market power than a monopolist exploiting consumers.

For diapers, dog food, videos, music, cloud-computing services, voice technology and so forth — it faces extreme competition from other tech companies, not to mention traditional retailers. Walmart alone is still four times its size in retail (albeit much smaller online). In video and music, Amazon is an order of magnitude smaller than Netflix and Spotify. And in cloud computing, Amazon faces serious competition from Alphabet and Microsoft and others, which offer similar services, also on a grand scale.

It is blindingly obvious that traditional retailers are suffering. But holding Amazon responsible for the decline in brick-and-mortar retail is like blaming Craigslist for the death of print classifieds. The natural gravitational pull of the internet caused those problems, not one company.

 

While almost all of the hand-wringing about tech monopolies is overblown. The player that perhaps warrants the closest scrutiny today is Alphabet, and in particular its Google search engine.

Google’s overwhelming dominance of search (it has 90 percent market share in United States search revenue) is particularly critical given search’s centrality to the web’s commercial ecosystem. Google, however, has not been sensitive enough in handling its power — especially with its history of bringing the fight to smaller, narrowly focused rivals, like Yelp in the local reviews market. Its strategy in certain verticals resembles the old survival maxim: First, eat what the monkey eats, then eat the monkey.

There is no denying that the leading tech companies are riding high. The recent signal by the Federal Communications Commission that it intends to ditch net neutrality has fueled concerns that the Frightful Five will further stifle competition from start-ups. While these firms have all been public advocates for net neutrality (they don’t want to be taxed by Comcast or Verizon), they won’t have any trouble affording whatever “tax” the carriers might impose. Instead, the companies at some risk of real disadvantage will be start-ups we haven’t heard of yet.

However, as consumers continue to migrate to mobile, neutrality matters less. Mobile carriers already use “zero rating” (whereby certain services don’t count toward data caps) to advantage their own content (or that of their partners). And unlike in fixed broadband, consumers are afforded some protection by the real choice they have in mobile carriers.

Plainly there is no cause to be Pollyannaish. It’s sensible to be wary of acquisitions and potential overreach. And there may be specific cases that cross the line and should be reined in. Over all though, the kind of competition we see among Apple, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft tends to sort things out naturally and brutally.

 

The only surefire winner from this battle is the consumer.

Source : This article was published in nytimes.com By JEREMY G. PHILIPS

Categorized in Social

A SECRET document shows in scary detail how Facebook can exploit the insecurities of teenagers using the platform.

FACEBOOK has come under fire over revelations it is targeting potentially vulnerable youths who “need a confidence boost” to facilitate predatory advertising practices.

The allegation was revealed this morning by The Australian which obtained internal documents from the social media giant which reportedly show how Facebook can exploit the moods and insecurities of teenagers using the platform for the potential benefit of advertisers.

 

The confidential document dated this year detailed how by monitoring posts, comments and interactions on the site, Facebook can figure out when people as young as 14 feel “defeated”, “overwhelmed”, “stressed”, “anxious”, “nervous”, “stupid”, “silly”, “useless”, and a “failure”.

Such information gathered through a system dubbed sentiment analysis could be used by advertisers to target young Facebook users when they are potentially more vulnerable.

While Google is the king of the online advertising world, Facebook is the other major player which dominates the industry worth about $80 billion last year.

But Facebook is not one to rest on its laurels. The leaked document shows it has been honing the covert tools its uses to gain useful psychological insights on young Australian and New Zealanders in high school and tertiary education.

The social media services we use can derive immense insight and personal information about us and our moods from the way we use them, and arguably none is more fastidious in that regard than Facebook which harvests immense data on its users.

The secret document was put together by two Australian Facebook execs and includes information about when young people are likely to feel excited, reflective, as well as other emotions related to overcoming fears.

“Monday-Thursday is about building confidence; the weekend is for broadcasting achievements,” the document said, according to the report.

Facebook did not return attempts by news.com.au to comment on the issue but was quick to issue an apology and told The Australian that it will conduct an investigation into the matter, admitting it was inappropriate to target young children in such a way.

“The data on which this research is based was aggregated and presented consistent with applicable privacy and legal protections, including the removal of any personally identifiable information,” Facebook said in a statement issued to the newspaper.

However there is suggestion that the research could be in breach of Australian guidelines for advertising and marketing towards children.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose last month. Picture: Noah Berger
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaks at his company's annual F8 developer conference in San Jose last month. Picture: Noah BergerSource:AP

Many commentators have suspected Facebook engaged in this sort of cynical exploitation of the data it gathers but the leaked document is scarce proof.

Mark Zuckerberg’s company has not been shy about exploring ways it can manipulate the data it collects on users.

For one week in 2012, Facebook ran an experiment on some of its users in which it altered the algorithms it used determine which status updates appeared in the news feed of nearly 700,000 randomly selected users based on the post’s emotional content.

Posts were determined to be either negative or positive and Facebook wanted to see if it could make the selected group sad by showing them more negative posts in their feed. It deemed it could.

The results were published in a scientific journal but Facebook was criticised by those concerned about the potential of the company to engage in social engineering for commercial benefit. 

Facebook’s Data Use Policy warns users that the company “may use the information we receive about you … for internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement.”

 

Currently information about your relationship status, location, age, number of friends and the manner and frequency with which you access the site is sold to advertisers. But according to the report, Facebook is also seeking to sell ads to users concerned with insights gleaned from posts such as those concerned with body confidence and losing weight.

Source : This article was published in news.com.au By Nick Whigham

Categorized in Social

Fermat, a collaborative, open-source technology project, has announced the launch of the Internet of People (IoP) Consortium, an initiative aimed at boosting academic research and encourage university-led pilot projects related to the “person-to-person economy.”

The IoP is meant to allow people to hold direct control and ownership of their data and digital footprint. The project seeks to develop and provide individuals with the tools to freely interact electronically, both for social and commercial purposes, “without unnecessary third party interferences.”

The newly formed consortium will provide opportunities to universities and research institutions to develop and participate in innovative projects in that field. Current members include ELTE, Infota, Virtual Planet and Cyber Services PLC.

 

First pilot project

In March, the consortium launched its first pilot project through a research lab at ELTE, the largest and one of the most prestigious universities in Hungary, in cooperation with the EIT Digital Internet of Things Open Innovation Lab.

Focusing on the shipping industry, the pilot project found that with disintermediating technology, multinational companies in a wide range of verticals can significantly increase effectiveness and reduce costs. Technology which removes unnecessary intermediaries and creates a decentralised system, improves privacy for both senders and receivers, allows on-demand contractors to better monitor failure situations, and helps smaller shipping companies enter the market.

“Our first project has already delivered important findings on the power of IoP technology,” Csendes said. “Though the study focused on the shipping industry, the technology developed could improve the logistics industry as a whole.”

 

The Internet of People

Fermat's Internet of People projectFermat, an organization based in Switzerland, is in charge of building the decentralized infrastructure for the IoT, which includes an open social graph, a direct, peer-to-peer access channel to individual people, and a direct device-to-device communication layer.

The IoT intends to be an information space where people’s profiles are identified by a public key and interlinked by profile relationship links. Profiles can be accessed via the Internet.

The project aims to empower people by allowing them freedom to administer their online privacy, protect themselves from spying, censorship or data mining, by establishing direct person-to-person interactions.

Speaking to CoinJournal, Fermat founder Luis Molina explained:

“The information on the Internet of People is controlled by end users using their profile private key, in the same way they control their bitcoin balances using their bitcoin private keys. This means that only them can modify the information of their profiles and the relationship with others profiles as well.”

Similarly to Facebook, an individual is able to configure the privacy level of his or her profile and choose which information is public.

“A profile uploaded to the IoT does not mean that everyone can access all the information on it,” Molina said.

“The main difference is that when you upload your info to Facebook, Facebook is in control and they monetize your information using it for their own profit. On the other hand the Internet of People allows you to sell pieces of your private data or digital footprint on a global marketplace to whoever you choose and as many times you want, even the same piece of data.”

The IoP uses a new type of cryptographically secured data structure called the graphchain. The main difference between a graphchain and a blockchain is that the first acts as a cryptographically secured data structure in which no blocks or transactions have to be stored.

According to Molina, Fermat’s graphchain technology enables a global mapping of everybody with verified proof of how they are related, and also people-to-people and company-to-people interactions without going through intermediaries.

Csendes said that the graphchain technology brings “endless business opportunities because of the additional network components and methodologies added on top of blockchain technology.”

 

“The IoP Consortium was formed in response to the need for concrete and developed use cases demonstrating this value,” he concluded.

Source : This article was published in coinjournal.net By Diana Ngo

Categorized in Online Research

WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Because companies will soon be able to recognize your face.

As you may already be aware, we know a lot about you. Yes, you! We know whether you clicked here from Facebook or if you came via our home page. We will know how long you spend reading this article and what you click to read next. That information enables us to figure out what interests you, which may affect what shows up next time you visit our site. If OZY were as big a part of your life as Facebook or Google is — if not yet, then soon! — we would know so much about you that we could show you advertisements targeted to your every interest.

But what if we could recognize your face? If so, we might adjust our messages to you depending on whether you look happy or sad, distracted or engaged. We’d adjust if you were looking to the left of the screen, or to the right. We’re not watching you read us, at least not yet, but the capability might not be too far away.

 

Indeed, facial recognition technology is almost ready for the mainstream. “Computer vision” is “moving very fast” toward the creation of browsers of the visual world, says Ambarish Mitra, co-founder and CEO of Blippar, an app that scans and recognizes images and faces and then shows you search and social-network results on your screen, combining two of the tech world’s current favorite functionalities — machine learning and augmented reality (AR). The dream, so it seems, is to become like a real-time, image-based search engine, a face-based social network and Pokémon Go, all rolled into one. Blippar is not the only “facial network” out there. The Russian website FindFace generated controversy last year when its search-by-faces function was used to reveal the identities of porn actresses. And just as a website to connect college students created by a fresh-faced Mark Zuckerberg in his dorm room eventually revolutionized the news media and advertising industries, these technologies could change how companies market products — and a whole lot more — in untold ways.

“We’re producing a paradigm shift in thinking in marketing and advertising,” says Mitra. His superlatives aren’t entirely unjustified: The Blippar logo has appeared on 12 billion products in the past four years through the company’s marketing partnerships with more than 1,500 brands, including Heinz, Coca-Cola and Anheuser-Busch. These “Blippable” products can be scanned in Blippar’s smartphone app, but rather than just linking to a webpage the way QR codes do, the phone displays interactive AR marketing features. “And why should I need to recognize an ugly square,” Mitra asks, referring to QR codes, “when I can recognize something on its own?”

 

WHAT [APPLE’S] SIRI IS TRYING TO BE FOR THE AUDIO WORLD, BLIPPAR IS TRYING TO BE FOR THE VISUAL WORLD.

Imagine scanning the face of a billboard model to see an AR version of you wearing the same necklace, or scanning the car in front of you through your screen to get information on where you can buy the same model at local dealerships. (If this sounds like something from Netflix’s dystopian satire Black Mirror, it is — check out the first episode of the third season.) And what about a future where you walk into a store that recognizes your face and then offers you bespoke deals based on the shopping habits you revealed during your previous visit? That’s possible, says Dr. Gary Wilcox, a leading expert on social media and advertising. Indeed, it’s only an extension of existing geolocated marketing techniques that ping deals to your phone when you’re near a certain brand’s store — or its competitor’s.

“There’s a history of advertising staying pretty close to technological developments,” says Wilcox. But as technologies have evolved from print to radio to TV to the internet, marketers have largely relied on trial and error to find the techniques that work best, so “some of these early ideas” for virtual and augmented reality ads “are kinda silly,” he says. For Mitra, one medium remains to be conquered — the visual world: “What a lot of CMOs do not understand is that the biggest [form of] media in the world is actually products themselves. … We will reach a stage where if someone is curious about something, that’s the exact point [where] advertisers will put a very contextual message.”

Somewhat ironically, the personalization of technology that enables marketers to know everything about you essentially brings us back to the pretechnology era of personalized commerce when you were friends with the local store manager, says Harikesh Nair, a professor of marketing at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. If you’re a little freaked out by the idea of companies recognizing your face, “the market will determine” how much of this intrusion society will accept, says Nair — humans will probably never be comfortable having medical, family or financial details digitally attached to their faces as they walk down the street, he thinks. But as far as he’s concerned, if it makes it easier for him to find a suit he likes, it’s all good. “I think we as a society have already implicitly accepted that trade-off,” he says.

To be sure, Blippar isn’t the new Facebook or Google — at least not yet. “You would have to have a [new piece of] hardware that aids these sorts of applications,” says Dokyun Lee, a professor of business analytics at Carnegie Mellon University, insisting that people aren’t going to walk around viewing the entire world through smartphone cameras all the time. Facial-recognition software was banned from Google Glass because it was considered too creepy, and even then the product never made it to market. The future would certainly be more awkward than most sci-fi films suggest if we have to view everything — and everyone’s faces — through our phone screens.

 

But for the Blippar CEO, the Pokémon Go mania wasn’t some alienating dystopia; it was the start of an enlightened future. “Mark my words,” says Mitra, “computer vision and AR will go mainstream well before head-mounted devices take off, and it’s gonna happen through phones.” Just be sure to watch where you’re going when some irritating ad pops into your AR universe.

This article was  published in ozy.com by James Watkins

Categorized in Others

FACEBOOK FREEBIES: Social network is looking at ways to bring free internet to disaster zones

FACEBOOK has announced plans to bring free internet to the masses with this new Wi-Fi-supplying helicopter.

Facebook’s desire to bring internet, and its social network, to the world has just been taken up a notch.

Having already started trialling its high-flying internet drones that will bring wireless internet access to the developing world, the internet giant is now working on specialist internet supplying helicopters. 

The autonomous machines are for use closer to home, however, and will one day take to the skies above urban settings.

 

The small helicopters, known as Tether-tenna, will deliver free internet to areas where natural disasters have wiped out the existing infrastructure.

For them to function, some remaining fibre line functionality will still be needed, however, with the helicopter being tethered to a fibre line, creating a replacement internet tower of sorts.

“One of Facebook's goals is to not only connect communities, but to connect them when they need it most,” Facebook’s Yael Maguire wrote in an official blog post.

He added: “When completed, this technology will be able to be deployed immediately and operate for months at a time to bring back connectivity in case of an emergency - ensuring the local community can stay connected while the in-ground connectivity is under repair.”

The tethered helicopters will fly “a few hundred feet from the ground” and transmit a wireless signal to a broader area.

“When completed, this technology will be able to be deployed immediately and operate for months at a time to bring back connectivity in case of an emergency,” Maguire explained.

Despite making the announcement to coincide with its ongoing F8 developer conference, Facebook has warned that its internet bringing helicopters won’t be taking to skies above cities anytime soon.

“This is still in the early stages of development and lots of work is needed to ensure that it will be able operate autonomously for months at a time, but we're excited about the progress so far,” Maguire stated.

Facebook’s internet drones have been taken on their maiden test flights in recent months and will be flown above developing nations in the not too distant future.

Facebook introduce Facebook Stories

Despite already having well over 1 billion users, Facebook believes that by bringing internet access to billions of new people, it can rapidly expand its active monthly user base.

It’s internet-supplying helicopters are just one way it is looking to do this.

Elsewhere, the social giant has updated a number of its services in recent weeks, with the core Facebook app echoing rival Snapchat by adding Facebook Stories.

These let you upload short picture and video clips that expire at the end of every day and are visible to all of your friends.

 

A knock-on affect of this new feature is that you can now .

This article was published in dailystar.co.uk by Luke Johnson

Categorized in Social

At this week's Facebook F8 conference in San Jose, Mark Zuckerberg doubled down on his crazy ambitious 10-year plan for the company, first revealed in April 2016.

Here's the current version of that roadmap, revealed by Zuckerberg this week: 

(Screenshot/Facebook) 
Basically, Zuckerberg's uses this roadmap to demonstrate Facebook's three-stage game plan in action: First, you take the time to develop a neat cutting-edge technology. Then you build a product based on it. Then you turn it into an ecosystem where developers and outside companies can use that technology to build their own businesses.

When Zuckerberg first announced this plan last year, it was big on vision, but short on specifics.

On Facebook's planet of 2026, the entire world has internet access — with many people likely getting it through Internet.org, Facebook's connectivity arm. Zuckerberg reiterated this week that the company is working on smart glasses that look like your normal everyday Warby Parkers. And underpinning all of this, Facebook is promising artificial intelligence good enough that we can talk to computers as easily as chatting with humans.

 

A world without screens

For science-fiction lovers, the world Facebook is starting to build is very cool and insanely ambitious. Instead of smartphones, tablets, TVs, or anything else with a screen, all our computing is projected straight into our eyes as we type with our brains.

A mixed-reality world is exciting for society and for Facebook shareholders. But it also opens the door to some crazy future scenarios, where Facebook, or some other tech company, intermediates everything you see, hear, and, maybe even, think. And as we ponder the implications of that kind of future, consider how fast we've already progressed on Zuckerberg's timeline.

facebook mark zuckerberg smart glasses
(Mark Zuckerberg promises that, oneGetty) 

We're now one year closer to Facebook's vision for 2026. And things are slowly, but surely, starting to come together, as the social network's plans for virtual and augmented reality, universal internet connectivity, and artificial intelligence start to slowly move from fantasy into reality.

In fact, Michael Abrash, the chief scientist of Facebook-owned Oculus Research, said this week that we could be just 5 years away from a point where augmented reality glasses become good enough to go mainstream. And Facebook is now developing technology that lets you "type" with your brain, meaning you'd type, point, and click by literally thinking at your smart glasses. Facebook is giving us a glimpse of this with the Camera Effects platform, making your phone into an AR device.

Fries with that?

The potential here is tremendous. Remember that Facebook's mission is all about sharing, and this kind of virtual, ubiquitous "teleportation" and interaction is an immensely powerful means to that end.

This week, Oculus unveiled "Facebook Spaces," a "social VR" app that lets denizens of virtual reality hang out with each other, even if some people are in the real world and some people have a headset strapped on. It's slightly creepy, but it's a sign of the way that Facebook sees you and your friends spending time together in the future. (Facebook Spaces, which lets you hang out with your friends virtually.Facebook) 

Facebook Spaces
And if you're wearing those glasses, there's no guarantee that the person who's taking your McDonald's order is a human, after all. Imagine a virtual avatar sitting at the cash register, projected straight into your eyeballs, and taking your order. With Facebook announcing its plans to revamp its Messenger platform with AI features that also make it more business-friendly, the virtual fast-food cashier is not such a far-fetched scenario.
 
 
Sure, Facebook Messenger chatbots have struggled to gain widespread acceptance since they were introduced a year ago. But as demonstrated with Microsoft's Xiaoice and even the Tay disaster, we're inching towards more human-like systems that you can just talk to. And if Facebook's crazy plan to let you "hear" with your skin plays out, they can talk to you while you're wearing those glasses. And again, you'll be able to reply with just a thought.
 
Regina Dugan F8
(Regina Dugan unveiled Facebook's mind reading ambitions on Wednesday.Facebook)
 
If we're all living in this kind of semi-virtual world, it makes Facebook key to every interaction, and crucially, every financial transaction we conduct in that sphere. It could make the company a lot of money, certainly.
 

 

 
So yes, while it's still at least a decade off, this is all happening, little bit by little bit. But with Facebook facing fresh questions every day for its role in our personal lives and our political elections, it's also important to remember that much of this gives the social network — as well as companies like Apple, Google, and Microsoft which all pursuing the same ends — unprecedented control over our conceptions of reality. It's time to ask these questions now, and not later.
 
This article was published in  finance.yahoo.com by Matt Weinberger
Categorized in Others

Facebook is responding to the challenge from Snap in the classic way that tech companies try to face new competitors — by duplicating every core feature that made Snap popular, and then trying to crush it with distribution and marketing.

According to a story published Tuesday in The Information (subscription required), Facebook created a "Teens Team" to figure out how to grab teenagers back from Snapchat, and has been up front about its tactics within the company: The internal mantra among some groups is "don't be too proud to copy."

 

Unfortunately for Facebook, the track record for this strategy is poor.

Flash back to the early 2000s, when Microsoft was the undisputed king of the tech industry, with two unassailable monopolies — operating systems and productivity apps for personal computers.

It faced a lot of competitors, but the one that scared it the most was Google, which was in a completely different business.

Google didn't start by creating alternatives to Windows and Office, although it did so later. Instead, it created a suite of online services — first search, followed by email and maps — that threatened the entire purpose of a personal computer. Why rely on Microsoft software running locally when you could get so much done with web apps?

Microsoft's response? Trying to build the exact same service that made Google famous — a search engine, first known as MSN Search, later rebranded to Bing.

Eleven years later, Bing is a small minority player in search, with less than 10 percent market share on the desktop and less than 1 percent in mobile, according to NetMarketShare. Google dominates with almost 80 percent share on the desktop and well over 90 percent in mobile. "Google" has become a verb. Nobody "Bings" anything.

Bolstered by the massive margins in search advertising, Google has moved farther and farther into Microsoft's core territory, adding a massively successful mobile operating system (Android), web browser (Chrome), online productivity apps (Google for Work) and an increasingly robust cloud computing business. It also surpassed Microsoft in market cap for the first time in 2012 and remains ahead today.

Google faced its own Bing moment in 2011,

 when it faced a challenge from then-upstart Facebook. The social network didn't threaten Google by building a better search engine. It did so by creating an entirely different online service, based around social networking and real identities, that drew people's attention away from search and other Google properties. As people spent more and more time on Facebook, advertisers followed.

Google's response? To launch a competing social network based on real identities called Google+. It was just as successful as Bing — which is to say, not successful at all.

Facebook may still win. After all, Microsoft used this playbook very effectively in the 1990s to eliminate the threat posed by Netscape Navigator — it built a better browser, then shipped it with Windows. It dominated web browsing for almost a decade (until Google came along with Chrome and Apple's iPhone introduced the concept of effective mobile web browsing).

But Microsoft in the 1990s had an effective monopoly on personal computing platforms with Windows. If you wanted to go online, you had to go out of your way not to use Windows. The same is not true for Facebook — there are many ways to communicate and share information in real time with friends, including text messaging platforms like SMS and Apple's iMessage, and competing social networks like Twitter and — yes — Snapchat.

 

Facebook will have to do more to regain teens' attention than simply duplicating every feature that made Snapchat popular.

Source : cnbc.com

Categorized in Search Engine

It’s fair to say that social media has taken over the internet in the last decade. For most people, the bulk of their internet usage involves Facebook. With the ability to simply plug in and view the timelines of all of your friends’ lives, it’s not hard to see why it is so addictive.

Whether sites like Facebook are ultimately a good or bad thing for society is up for debate, but one thing can be said for certain: There is money to be made there. If you have products or services to sell, it is best to make sure that your brand is visible in areas where your audience is present.

There are many ways to make money with Facebook. Let’s take a look at a few of the easier ways to get started:

 

The group post + Email opt-in method

One of the most basic methods of making money on Facebook is a twist on the whole “landing page” method of internet marketing. You can create a simple landing page that provides a valuable offer. For example, let’s say you’re in the pets niche, so you offer to send people a free book on how to groom their cat in exchange for their signing up for your email list. While the original offer is free, this increases the likelihood that your prospects will be willing to buy your products or services.

Next, make a Facebook profile (or use your existing one). Join all of the category-related groups that you can find on Facebook and post your landing page on there, telling people that they can get something free for signing up. Obviously, you must do this in a way that isn’t spammy, otherwise, your efforts will backfire.

Once th"]ey sign up, you can send them niche-related affiliate offers periodically and make money from that. If you already have your product or service, you can promote that. You can also alternatively just post your affiliate link to relevant products in the groups, but this is more likely to get you banned.

Networking: The slow method

If you already have a business going, you can make more money by simply networking on Facebook. This is a “slow and steady” approach that can provide significant results over time. The key is to focus on having conversations with potential customers that don’t focus on selling.

 

Use your platform to position yourself as a resource. Answer common questions that your customers have. Use your expertise to provide value. When you position yourself effectively, people will feel more comfortable with spending their money with your business.

For example, if you own a company that builds fancy custom bicycles, you might join cycling-related groups. Give useful information and answer people’s questions. Once you have built a good reputation, then casually mention that you make custom bicycles. If people ask about a certain kind of bike, mention that you make them and give a bit of information.

Before you know it, people will be coming to you when they need your product or service.

Note: Facebook isn't the only way to network. Every business needs a website, and it doesn't take much to get online. Wix offers hundreds of gorgeous templates to choose from. 

Use paid ads to boost your business

If you have some capital, then buying paid ads or boosting your promotional posts on your business Facebook page can go a long way. This is an art in and of itself, but with enough experimentation, you can get tons of sales or opt-ins if your ads are targeted enough.

Making money on Facebook requires some creativity and some patience when learning the ropes, but it can pay off big in the long run since you will have a huge audience.

Source : komando.com

Categorized in How to
WHY IT MATTERS TO YOU

Spaces sheds light on Facebook's vision of the future of social media, which involves interacting with your friends in a virtual environment.

Facebook unveiled its new Spaces virtual reality platform at the F8 conference in San Jose, California, on Tuesday. The project aims to take the social experience one step further, providing Facebook users with virtual environments where they can interact with their friends.

Inside Spaces, users are represented by an avatar, which can be customized. You can even choose a photograph of yourself that you like, and Facebook will pick an option that resembles you.

 

The experience is built around interacting with up to three friends, but there’s more to do than simply talk to one another and gawp at each other’s avatars. Users will be able to share 360-degree video content, draw with virtual markers, and, inevitably, take selfies.

Facebook users who haven’t invested in a VR headset aren’t going to be left out of Spaces entirely. You can receive a standard video call from a group of users taking part in a Spaces session, and get a window into their virtual world, avatars and all.

Spaces demonstrates why Facebook purchased Oculus for $2 billion in 2014. While much of the VR content that’s hit the scene has been akin to traditional video games, it’s clear that the social media giant sees the technology’s potential to underpin a different kind of social media.

What’s unclear is whether users will latch onto what Spaces has to offer. The footage shown at the event made it look like an amusing diversion — but not the kind of thing that warrants spending upwards of $1,000 on a compatible headset and a sufficiently powerful PC.

Anyone with an Oculus Rift headset and an Oculus Touch controller can now try out the experience. The beta version of the app is available now from the Oculus Store for free. More information, including recommended specs, is available via the Oculus website.

Source : digitaltrends.com

Categorized in Social

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