Internet access via Facebook drones

The Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg  has announced to connect the two-thirds of the world that has no net access, using drones, satellites and lasers.It will put it in direct competition with Google, which is planning to deliver net access via balloons.Both of the net giants want to extend their audiences, especially in the developing world.

Details about Facebook’s plan were scant but it will include a fleet of solar-powered drones as well as low-earth orbit and geosynchronous satellites. Invisible, infrared laser beams could also be used to boost the speed of the net connections.Last year Facebook and other technology companies launched to help bring net access to the huge swathes of the globe that are still not connected.


Aerospace experts:

The social network has already teamed up with telecoms operators in the Philippines and Paraguay to double the number of people using the internet in that region.

“We’re going to continue building these partnerships, but connecting the whole world will require inventing new technology too,” Mr Zuckerberg said in his post.

To bring the project to fruition, Facebook has set up a Connectivity Lab that will include experts in aerospace and communication technology, from Nasa’s jet propulsion lab and its Ames research centre.

It has also hired a five-member team that worked at British firm Ascenta, whose founders developed the Zephyr, which holds the record for the longest-flying solar-powered unmanned aircraft.

Earlier this month there were rumours that the social network was interested in buying drone-maker Titan but there was no mention of this in the announcement.


“Google India” has been fined Rs 1 crore

Google’s failure to provide complete information in response to seven notices sent by the investigation arm of Competition Commission of India (CCI) resulted in its decision to impose Rs 1 crore penalty on the internet major.

While deciding to impose the fine, the fair trade watchdog CCI said that Google Inc and Google India Private Ltd failed to comply fully with various notices issued by the Director General (DG) on various occasions.


DG, the investigation arm of the fair trade regulator, is probing alleged anti-competitive practices by Google in the Indian market.

“Despite reminders and opportunities extended by the DG, the opposite parties advanced frivolous and vexatious pleas to delay and avoid compliance. It may be noted that the period of failure to comply commenced w.e.f. 26.02.2013 in terms of the first notice of the DG dated 12.02.2013 whereby the opposite parties were directed to comply with the requisitions contained therein before said date,” CCI said in its order made public.



Joomla! Framework changes to LGPL

The board of Open Source Matters (OSM) has voted to approve the request submitted by the Joomla! Production Leadership Team (PLT) to change the license of the Joomla Framework from GPL v2+ to LGPL v2.1+. It is important to understand that this license change applies only to the Joomla Framework, and does not affect the GPL v2+ license for the Joomla Content Management System (CMS).


This decision by OSM was the final step in a process that started early last year, when the PLT first initiated a public email list discussion and then conducted a survey aimed at the Joomla developer community. When the results of that survey indicated strong support for that potential license change, the PLT requested that OSM research legal issues regarding this potential change for the Joomla Framework. The conclusion of OSM’s research with the assistance of the Software Freedom Law Center was that there were no legal barriers to prevent potentially making that change.

For more background about this issue, please refer to this previous announcement that included a request from OSM for public comments and feedback.


Microsoft Office is now available for iPad

Microsoft has finally started offering an iPad edition of its Office software suite.It was announced at the first launch event hosted by Satya Nadella since he became chief executive of the firm.

Three separate productivity apps are available – Word, Excel and Powerpoint – each of which has been optimised for touch-based controls.Within hours of the launch, Word became the most downloaded application for iPads in Apple’s app store.The Excel and Powerpoint apps were the third and fourth most popular free app downloads, respectively, in the store.The popularity shows that customers are interested in accessing Microsoft’s signature Office products in their new, easier to use incarnation, compared with the web-based alternatives provided before.


Mr Nadella said that the announcement was part of a strategy to empower people “to be productive across all devices” with Microsoft software.

“We are taking great focus and great care to make sure Office on any device shines through,” he said, indicating that his firm would release versions of the apps for other mobile devices in the future.

However, the iPad edition is more powerful than the original iPhone version – for example more complicated edits can now be made to Powerpoint presentations and the programs make recommendations to help create visually appealing documents – and several experts believe there will be strong demand for the product.



Facebook buys virtual reality gaming firm “Oculus”

Facebook has bought the virtual reality technology firm Oculus VR for $2bn [£1.2bn], it revealed on Tuesday.

In a surprise announcement, the social networking company said it had paid $400m in cash and the rest in more than 23m shares, currently worth $1.6bn [£970m], plus an additional $300m pegged to future performance.


A detailed company statement said that Facebook recognised how Oculus had built a solid following among game developers, but that virtual reality technology would expand to other industries from communications and entertainment to education and media.

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

Oculus will remain in its base at Irvine in California while the transaction closes in the second quarter of the year. The company has just announced the Dev Kit 2 version of the Rift headset, complete with high definition displays and better head-tracking hardware. The company says it has also eliminated motion blur and judder, which should significantly reduce motion sickness in users – a vital element in ensuring wider consumer use for the device.

“We are excited to work with Mark and the Facebook team to deliver the very best virtual reality platform in the world,” said Brendan Iribe, co-founder and CEO of Oculus VR. “We believe virtual reality will be heavily defined by social experiences that connect people in magical, new ways. It is a transformative and disruptive technology, that enables the world to experience the impossible, and it’s only just the beginning.”

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Learn to Say “No”

Here’s a mantra to help you re-learn this important word: “It’s okay to say no.” Some people, unfortunately sometimes even our supervisors, seem to think that saying no is an excuse or some kind of cop-out.

It’s funny. We spend the first two or three years of our lives being told no, and then the rest of our days, especially at work, forgetting everything we have learned about that little three-letter word. Saying the word “no” is something you have to learn again if you hope to gain a good work-life balance.


They make us feel like saying no is a personal failing, or even worse a personal insult. Whenever they try that on you, just repeat the mantra: “It’s okay to say no.”

It’s okay to say no when you are overwhelmed and can’t keep up, or when you feel that the request is unfair or unreasonable. When someone asks you to work late on Friday night and they wait until just before 5 to ask, it’s okay to say no.

If you have worked the last three weekends and they ask you to work a fourth, it’s perfectly fine to say no. Saying no is also acceptable if you physically can’t perform a function, or if it involves a task where you do not feel qualified or competent.

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phplist: A open source Newsletter Manager

PHPlist is an open source software for managing mailing lists. It is designed for newsletters, news, advertising to list of subscribers management. It is developed in PHP and have MySQL database to store the information.Public interface is available in 35 languages. The documentation detailing the functions and features of the software is available in English and is partially translated into Spanish, French, and Dutch.

PHPlist can manage a list of subscribers and send e-mail messages to large numbers of subscribers. The subscription management, registration, personal data changes, and unsubscribe requests, are automated. Subscriptions to one or more lists are made through a subscription page that can be integrated into a website.The information requested during registration, for example, country, language, date of birth, favorite food, etc is determined by the list administrators and can be modified at any time.

This information can then be used for targeted messaging, you can send Newsletter to subscribers who meet certain criteria, such as country or city of residence.

The software is distributed free under GPL license.