Facebook Sorry After Third Outage In A Month

Facebook faced a 40-minute outage last night. This is the third outage in a month and Zuckerberg says he’s really, really sorry for this. Anyone who tried to access the site during that time got this message in return: “Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can.”

FacebookFacebook has more than 1 billion monthly active users and a majority of them are online at any given point in time. When the network crashed for the third time in a month, users took to Twitter to express their anguish at the outage. 

FB user Teri Gidwitz wrote, “Uh oh. Looks like a @facebook outage”.

Another user Mark Barret wrote, “I join a social media company and Facebook has an outage. Coincidence?.”

There were some people who jibed at the situation. “So excited to be a part of the Facebook outage of 2015,” tweeted Tim Joseph.

The outage happened because of a Graph API failure, a system that connects the basic Facebook infrastructure. Such regular crashes affected Facebook shares and they plunged by 4% on Monday. Apart from the effect it had on the business of the social media network, it also affected life for many users.

“I was in the middle of a business chat when it suddenly it went down. I got frantic thinking someone has hacked into my account,” says a local businessman.

“There is already a network issue in my area. Luckily yesterday I got access to the internet. I was chatting up with an old school friend after years and the site went down. I refreshed the page for several minutes but nothing happened.”

How social media outages affect our lives is a direct reflection of how dependent we are on the virtual world. For some of us services like Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp are an integral part of life. One routinely sees people spending more time social networking than talking to their family members. Is this the kind of addiction we should be looking at?… Read the rest

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Internet.org Is Now FreeBasics But Why?

net neutralityFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is now considering a change in name for the controversial internet.org platform. Now being called Free Basics, it is meant to provide web access to more people by offering it free of cost. Free Basics will also allow these new users to enjoy complimentary services from around 250 partners.

Supported by leading mobile phone manufacturing companies like Nokia and Samsung, this free internet service from Facebook aims to connect around 4.4 billion people who are yet to be introduced to the online world.

Who will benefit? 

Eventually, Free Basics aims to connect areas that don’t have internet connectivity. This will be done using drones and laser technology. But currently, the platform aims to bring low network areas such as 2G networks under the Free Basics bandwagon. 

People living in India and other developing nations are going to benefit from the service. Surveys indicate that people living in remote areas will receive better guidance for pregnancy care, parenting, education and even farming using free internet services. 

Read more about the debate: The Net Neutrality Debate: Larger Than You Thought

What is the catch?

The concept of Free Basics is in direct contrast with the concept of net neutrality that smaller players and the advocates of internet are against. Subscribing to Free Basics implies only players who pay the provider will be accessible to users.

Ever since the internet has penetrated Indian households, it has given opportunity to entrepreneurs to expand and innovate. When they will have to start paying to be seen and heard on the internet, the market will only be available for the giants in every vertical.

For the end user, this means they will not have access to the new players. They would have restricted access to news, information and e-commerce.


When the Indian prime minister Narendra Modi met Mark Zuckerberg, this issue has been brought to light once again. … Read the rest

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55,669 Villages To Get Mobile Connectivity By 2018

The Indian government has been making a constant endeavor to use technology to advance the small towns and villages in India. Towards this, the Communications Ministry has announced that 55,669 villages will be brought under mobile connectivity by 2018. 

This development is planned under the Digital India program and will occur in a phased manner so that it can receive aid from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF).

While the rest of the country is enjoying internet at 3G and 4G speeds, lack of mobile connectivity is affecting development in remote areas. Therefore, if the government’s plan works out successfully, people in remote areas would be able to use technology to their benefit.

Digital India Movement to cover all panchayats

Offering mobile connectivity to remote areas is a major concern for the government. But government officials have said that an important factor for the movement is to offer high speed internet to remote areas.

This is not all. The movement also aims at offering government services on the web and promoting electronic manufacturing. This move is expected to generate more jobs to reduce youth unemployment.

The government has also covered 23,604 villages with optic fiber cables under the National Optical Fiber Network (NOFN) project. Though the project has crossed its deadline, it is still an important achievement as 2.5 lakh panchayats are expected to come under this network by the end of 2016.


 … Read the rest

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India Wants High Quality Porn Instead Of No Porn At All

More than a decade ago, when I covered the porn industry for the first time for NRI magazine India Empire I wrote,

In this day of easy sex and dial-a-porn, Indians are beginning to let go of their penchant for equating sex on screen with smut. Liberalization and exposure to the Internet may have got a lot to do with the change in attitudes—on both sides, the middle-class movie goer, and the lumpen vandal—but what has helped in this transformation is the arrival of a new breed of Bollywood actresses and directors. 

India wants high quality porn instead of no porn at all
Credit: Bollywood Hungama

  India Empire, October 2004


Little did I know how far India would come within the next 10 years? Not far ahead, far below. From what I know, the Indian government has a duty to protect the rights and integrity of its citizens. Whenever did they get the freedom to rid people of their rights?

Banning porn sites in India is an unwarranted attack on the personal rights and choices of its citizens. In a country where a 13-year-old has to fight her right to abort a foetus born out of a gruesome rape, this move comes as a surprise. First, protect your girls against men who threaten their modesty, then penalize ‘people’ who want to enjoy a little erotica within the confines of their homes. Yes sir, there are many women who enjoy porn as much as the men and it is their right.

It’s a wonder who struck against the idea of banning porn sites in India. Someone who didn’t have the time to think about the growth and development of the country, maybe? India is a democratic country and banning porn websites is not an example we should be setting.

The Modi government directed the Department of Telecom last week to block 857 websites as a move to control child pornography. This follows a 2013 petition files by an advocate who goes by the name Kamlesh Vasvani. He had also provided a list of the websites that should be banned. The list included a number of popular porn websites like 1Indiansex.net, 4hen.complayboy.com and porntube.com. However, the list also includes many non-porn websites such as CollegeHumour.com, 9gag.com and PopURLs.com.

Search India porn and 4,24,00,000 results show up. Better still, one must know that many porn websites make the most popular web addresses globally. Most men grow up watching porn and many of them agree that they would like to see high quality porn instead of no porn at all. That is what we need. Acknowledgement that we watch porn and it’s OK. Set the standards high and have better policies in place to check sex crimes on the internet. Banning porn sites is clearly not the solution.… Read the rest

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How Windows 10 May Annoy You?

Windows 10 may be giving permission to Microsoft to share your internet bandwidth with others. Next Web is the first to spot this feature in the new version of Windows.

Microsoft Gets Back Lashed for Distributing Windows 10 Updates Using Internet Bandwidth of UsersThe feature called Windows Update Delivery Optimization downloads the same updates and apps that you get through Windows Update and the Windows Store and then shares it with other people on local internet.

Delivery Optimization creates a local cache, and stores files that it has downloaded in that cache for a short period of time.” Next Web opined, “Depending on your settings, Windows then send parts of those files to other PCs on your local network or PCs on the Internet that are downloading the same files.” This feature works similar to BitTorrent.

This is a feature that is enabled by default in all the Windows 10 desktop editions. However, on Windows 10 Education and Windows 10 Enterprise, this feature distributes the update files on local network only.

It is better to turn this feature off and the process to do it is as simple as to visit Settings>Update & security>Windows Update>Advanced options. Thereafter, select ‘Choose how updates are delivered’ and then use the toggle to make ‘Discovery Optimization’ feature off.

After Wi-Fi Sense, this is yet another feature of Microsoft Windows 10 that irritates its users. Wi-Fi Sense was first made available on Windows Phone only. It used to share Wi-Fi credential to everybody on the contact lists of Outlook, Facebook and Skype of the users.

 … Read the rest

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Best Of Apple iPhone 7 Renders: Design, Home Button And Release Date

Apple is all set to release its flagship iPhone 7 either by the second half of this year or early next year. Amidst the waiting, we have collated the best renders from iPhone 7 enthusiasts from around the world. Coming from Antonio De Rosa, the ADR Studio designer, we expect Apple to launch iPhone 7 sans a Home Button.

The artist also anticipates finding the Digital Crown akin to what we saw on Apple Watch. Popular artist Serova reveals that the Apple iPhone 7 might come encased in thin steel. The render reveals that the new flagship might be bigger in size than its predecessors.

Apple iPhone 7 Renders Flood The InternetPopular Renders On The Round

Coming from Hasan Kaymak, we got renders that reveal an iPhone 7 Edge version with a design algorithm similar to what we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge. This image has no bezels and the notifications onscreen can be seen by scrolling through the side of the iPhone 7. Farfetched we think!

Yet Another Render

In fact, artists have even sniffed some iPod Nano inspiration for the iPhone 7.  Jackson Chung has rendered the Apple iPhone 7 as having touch-sensitive panels that will show notifications and erase the need  to flick the main screen on to check these.

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Xiaomi 5, Redmi Note 2 Photos Leaked; Redmi Note 2 Expected to Hit Market First

Rumors surrounding the Xiaomi 5 launch seem to be getting stronger with each passing day. Most recently, leaked images of the Xiaomi 5 hint at some of the expected specifications of the handset. These leaks also seem to have some good news for those who are anxiously waiting for the Redmi Note 2.

Xiaomi 5 and Redmi Note 2 photos leaked on internetSpecifications at a Glance

Though there is no official confirmation from the company, these leaked images indicate that Xiaomi 5 will sport dual camera arrangements similar to the ones found in HTC One M8, reports TechRadar. The handset is also expected to feature dual flashes between the two sensors of the phone. Even though detailed specifications of the phone are not known, the leaked image reflects that this phone will have a glass or glossy plastic back cover, which will significantly add to the look of the phone.

The leaked image of Redmi Note 2 is also quite impressive. The phone is expected to feature a new fingerprint sensory slot just below the camera so that it can match the fingerprint scanner support, once it is launched by Google. Though the images indicate both handsets are ready for release, it is expected that the Xiaomi 5 would come to the market before Redmi Note 2.

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Google News Labs to train journalists and make internet a better place

Google has taken a step forward to make the internet a better place by training online journalists with the standards that they need to follow for presenting news in a better way, reports TechRadar. Google has created its very own News Labs to ensure that the news quality can meet the standards expected by the online readers.

 Google News Labs to train journalists and make internet a better placeMission of News Lab

 In a recent blog post, Steve Grove said that the News Lab aims to collaborate with the entrepreneurs and journalists on how to apply technological innovations in news reporting. The News Lab not just intents to sharpen the skills of the journalists but also serve millions of readers or users across the globe.

According to Grove, both technology and media landscape are evolving continuously and he believes that better information can be created only when the journalists and technologists coordinates with each other.

Though Google News Lab is turning heads, this is not the first time that the company is using technology to serve humans in a better way. It has created an outstanding search engine for accruing information, maps for finding right direction as well as YouTube and Androids. Therefore, it will not be wrong to expect Google News Lab to make online news much more faster and accurate.

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Net Neutrality: Facebook’s Internet.Org Expands In India

We can always bank on Facebook to work a miracle even while TRAI is trying to pack up net neutrality for once and all. Facebook has launched a platform, internet.org on Monday. This offers ground for developers to allow net access in growing niches and low income sectors in India.

Net Neutrality: Facebook's Internet.Org Expands In IndiaCurrently, developers are trying to gauge the regulations applicable for joining the same besides also understanding the kind of content considered apt for being featured here. The platform had earlier been launched in February this year in alliance with Reliance Communications. However, a large number of content creators and e-comm portals pulled out citing plausible violations of principle for net neutrality back then. The service is currently available in eight different countries besides India and is eyeing to bring in more than 8 million people online.

With the issues related to net neutrality taking on more severity in India, Chris Daniels, VP for product at Internet.org has expressed their involvement in understanding the main concerns involved. India ranks third in the list of highest internet surfer/users globally. This, Daniels opines that net neutrality does not negate the need to bring more people online. We believe internet.org is one app that will bridge these gaps soon.

also readWallet-Friendly Microsoft Lumia 435 Impresses With Bulky Battery, Sexy Styling And Functionality

 … Read the rest

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FREECULTR: Back to Basics, with Discounts!

Yes, the scope of e-commerce in India is growing rapidly and more people are realizing the convenience of shopping online. Internet users in India are now spoilt for choice with a plethora of e-commerce websites offering almost every kind of product imaginable online – books, clothes, watches, gizmos, shoes, and even home furnishing. FREECULTR is one such website that designs and manufactures its own brand of apparel and its USP lies in the fact that it is THE place to shop at if you are looking to add stylish basics to your wardrobe without burning a hole in your pockets.

FREECULTR is based out of Noida and was founded by Sujal Shah, former head of fashion (India) at IMG, Harish Bahl, founder and group CEO of The Smile Group, Sandeep Singh, former brand and media solutions lead at Quasar, and Rajesh Narkar. It was in the news towards the end of 2011, having raised funding to the tune of $4 million from Sequoia Capital India. Sequoia’s managing director, Shailendra Singh, has also joined the board at FREECULTR, post investment.

FREECULTR was envisioned as a provider of branded products, which have a high demand among Indian consumers but under a brand name that uniquely focused more of its marketing efforts in the digital space. Every product on the FREECULTR website is priced between Rs 499 and Rs 2000, making it highly affordable to own premium apparel.

Choose from a wide range of essentials in jersey or cotton and in solid, bright colors. Browse through FREECULTR for casual tees, polo necks, tunics, winter-wear, denims, pants, shoes, and other accessories for both men and women. FREECULTR offers t-shirts and denims in numerous styles and fits and has recently even launched lifestyle accessories like scarves, wallets, iPad cases, belts and sunglasses. The company has even launched jewelry for women on its website, as well as a new range of bags and footwear.

Quality is one primary point the company strives for and it ensures that orders are delivered within 2-5 days of online purchase. The website even offers free shipping and hassle-free returns on orders over Rs 1000. Another cool thing about the website is how it highlights new arrivals and the latest discount offers right on the homepage- saving you precious time in finding the latest loots.

The best thing about FREECULTR is definitely the awesome range of solid apparel in solid colors at affordable prices. The website features a simplistic design and its interface is very easy to use, even for the completely clueless non-geeks. So what are you waiting for? Sign up and bookmark FREECULTR as your go-to place to refurbish your wardrobe in a jiffy!… Read the rest

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