Posts tagged Much

Facebook Opens Internet.org To Developers—Just Not Very Much

Facebook is learning a valuable lesson: Giving away Internet access is hard. Making a business out of giving a little bit away and then charging for more is even harder.

Internet.org, Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to offer free Internet to the developing world, has always been a commercial affair cloaked in high-mindedness. If there was any doubt about that, it’s become even clearer in Facebook’s response to Indian net-neutrality supporters who complain that its walled-garden approach threatens the open Internet in their country. 

See also: Facebook’s Growth Is Slowing—So It’s Going To Expand The Internet

On Monday, the company announced that it will open up the Internet.org app to developers, presumably so anyone can make their sites and services available through the Internet.org “platform.” Facebook hopes that will be enough to appease the critics.

But instead of swinging open the door, the company opened it just a crack. To gain entrance, third parties must strip down their offerings, while those that require high data bandwidth—like video sites or ones using high-resolution photos—won’t get in at all. Neither will sites that use standard Web security (TLS/SSL, sometimes known as HTTPS) or JavaScript, among the most common Web tools today.

All that makes Internet.org an “open platform” that’s not really very open at all. It allows for just enough Internet to give people a taste. The idea: Once hooked, these users will gladly pay for broader access. As a calculated business move, it makes some sense. But it doesn’t exactly make for a pure humanitarian play.

Facebook itself even acknowledges that.

Endangered: The Open Internet In India?

Facebook has a complicated dance with Internet.org. It needs to dangle just enough Internet access and services to keep users interested, and enough motivation for partners and network providers to stick around, while simultaneously fending off detractors.

The latter is no easy feat. Internet.org distills the available online world down to only a few dozen basic services, so far deployed in just nine regions. Perhaps Facebook thought these areas would just happily accept these crumbs, since they’re free for developing markets with fewer alternatives. But on the contrary, that makes for even more scrutiny. 

See also: Facebook’s First Drone Is Broader Than A 737

When Facebook prioritizes some sites over others, or artificially limits free access to information, that has larger implications in areas where few other pipelines of communication exist. That’s a nightmare scenario for net-neutrality advocates, who believe in an open Internet and denounce schemes that confer preferential treatment on some sites over others. The concern came to a head in India, after Internet.org launched there last February.

The Huffington Post reported that Cleartrip, NDTV, Newshunt and the Times Group have all backed away from the Facebook project. “The Times Group will be pulling out TimesJobs and Maharashtra Times from Internet.org,” the site wrote last month, “and has committed to withdraw from internet.org if its direct competitors—India Today, NDTV, IBNLive, NewsHunt, and BBC—also pull out.”

Interesting New Developments

Apparently in response to the criticism, Facebook will let outside developers make their sites and services available to Internet.org—though the company says that the move was always in the cards.

“The debate here certainly accelerated our plans,” Chris Daniels, Facebook’s vice president of product for Internet.org, told Scroll.in, an independent politics and culture blog based in India. “The debate also gave us an opportunity to go to all the constituents of the debate and hear how they see Internet.org, the benefits they see from it and the concerns people have about it.”

In a video, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg clarified a bit more: 

When people use free basic services, more of them then decide to pay to access the broader Internet, and this enables operators to keep offering the basic services for free. It’s not sustainable to offer the whole Internet for free, though. It costs tens of billions of dollars a year to run the Internet, and no operator could afford this if everything were free. But it is sustainable to build free basic services that are simpler, use less data, and work on all low-end phones.

But critics worry that Facebook is effectively fashioning itself into a gatekeeper of what users can and cannot access for free. To address this head on, the company will “offer services through Internet.org in a way that’s more transparent and inclusive,” Zuckerberg wrote in the official blog post. 

The company contends that acceptance won’t be arbitrarily decided by Facebook. It will hinge on adherence to a few fundamental guidelines: Developers should encourage people to explore the larger Internet by linking to outside sites, develop a simpler or stripped-down version as a free basic service (that networks can more easily support), and conform to technical requirements that allow “zero rating” (that is, free carriage) and other tactics for minimizing data load, cost and network effects. 

Facebook has made it clear that Internet.org will only allow for basic services. The terms effectively bar data-heavy sites and services that require a lot of bandwidth, such as streaming sites, as well as SSL/TLS/HTTPS security protocols and JavaScript. 

At the very least, the company does seem more transparent, making no bones about where it sees its greatest priority. And it’s not with end users.

The Complexities Of A Freemium Internet

Internet.org “has to work for operators in the long-term,” Facebook’s Daniels said in the Scroll.in interview. He continued:

What we believe though is that giving consumers more choice will make them experience some of these basic services that are valuable to them and then they can go on to explore the broader Internet. When they do that, they will pay for the data, and that does work for the operator.

Indeed it does. Facebook needs to make sure carriers get something out of the arrangement, because they’re the ones footing the bill for service. The system falls apart without those networks—at least for the foreseeable future. Facebook has been exploring other tactics, including beaming connectivity from drones and satellites, likely so it can bring Internet.org to remote regions. But for now, carriers are still key.   

Therein lies the freemium model, which wouldn’t work if users had unfettered Internet access from the beginning.

But Facebook is the one with the most to gain, if it can pull off this intricate balancing act. Because the more people it can connect, with either free or paid services, the larger its pool of potential users, which has been its real goal all along. 

Lead photo/screenshot courtesy of Facebook

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How Much Traffic Will You Lose From The Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse? – Search Engine Land


Search Engine Land
How Much Traffic Will You Lose From The Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse?
Search Engine Land
Google's mobile-friendliness update is coming this April, but should you be rushing to make your site mobile-friendly? Columnist Bryson Meunier explains how to estimate the impact on your site. Bryson Meunier on March 12, 2015 at 9:15 am. 0; More.

View full post on SEO – Google News

How Much Traffic Will You Lose From The Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse?

Google’s mobile-friendliness update is coming this April, but should you be rushing to make your site mobile-friendly? Columnist Bryson Meunier explains how to estimate the impact on your site.

The post How Much Traffic Will You Lose From The Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse? appeared first on Search…



Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

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What Did We Just Learn About The Apple Watch? Not Much

We were expecting Apple’s media event to answer all the questions we had about the Apple Watch — but in the end it mostly covered old ground and a few non-wearable announcements. Much of what was said on stage we’d heard six months before, though there are a handful of new details to pore over.

For starters, there’s the simple matter of availability and pricing. Apple will take preorders for its smartwatch starting April 10, and will begin actual sales in nine countries on April 24. It will debut with a range of designs that range in price from $349 to more than $10,000.

The ability to make calls from your wrist is something Apple hadn’t previously mentioned—and which you can’t yet do on Android Wear. Watch owners can use the device’s integrated microphone and speaker to initiate and receive calls—though whether you’ll want to walk down the street talking to your watch is another question.

It sounds like it’s going to be the same as using your iPhone in loudspeaker mode, except you’ll have both hands free to carry groceries or cling on to a subway train pole. With the limited range of the smartwatch’s internal components, you might need your wrist pretty close to your face for it to work—but we’ll know for sure when the first review units arrive.

Assault On The Battery

We also got a new hint on battery life. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the watch will last 18 hours over a variety of activities, although that doesn’t clarify things much beyond the “all-day battery life” phrase he used at the original Apple Watch unveiling last year. And the fine print in the official press release helpful notes that “battery life depends on device settings, usage and other factors.” So again until we get to test the watch out we’ll have to take Apple’s word for it.

[Update, 3:34pm PT: Apple added a new Apple Watch battery-life page to its site that gives some additional details about its claims. Here’s what it says about the 18-hour claim:

All-day battery life is based on 18 hours with the following use: 90 time checks, 90 notifications, 45 minutes of app use, and a 30-minute workout with music playback from Apple Watch via Bluetooth, over the course of 18 hours. Battery life varies by use, configuration, and many other factors; actual results will vary.

The same page notes that charging the Apple Watch should take about 90 minutes to reach 80% battery capacity and 2.5 hours to reach 100%.]

So it’s possible that light users will get a whole day’s use from the Apple Watch, just as they do with their iPhones. Any kind of serious activity, though—making calls, tracking runs, going on an Apple Pay-powered shopping spree—and you might be looking for a charger by the early afternoon.

That’s a big problem for a device designed to be worn constantly, always listening out for input and monitoring your vital statistics at regular intervals. We heard nothing about the rumored low battery mode that some insiders say kicks into action once the battery life dips below a certain level.

Apple VP of technology Kevin Lynch was on hand, as he was in September, to showcase a few different apps, but again this was mostly treading old ground: apps to browse photos, unlock hotel doors and send doodles. We did find out that Apple Watch apps are handled by a separate app built into iOS 8.2, which rolls out from today. If you don’t have an Apple Watch, you can use it to see what you’re missing.

Aside from prices and shipping dates, there was very little in Apple’s Spring Forward showcase that we didn’t already know. We’ll have to wait until April to get the big questions about battery life and day-to-day use answered.

Image via Apple

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The FAA Finally Suggests Drone-Use Rules—And They Don’t Allow Much

The Federal Aviation Administration finally released its proposal for rules to regulate unmanned aircrafts 55 pounds and under. Revealed Sunday, the proposal would relax some restrictions on remote-controlled multirotor vehicles—popularly known as drones—but still forbids activities such as drone delivery and crop inspection.

See also: Leaked FAA Proposal Forecasts Turbulence For Drone Rules

The proposal looks remarkably similar to an FAA proposal leaked in late November. It would require drone operators to hold a pilot’s license and would ban drone flights outside of daylight hours. It also requires that drone operators keep their drone in their “line of sight,” which would make crop and pipeline inspection tough and package delivery impossible.

The FAA is seriously late with its drone proposal. Multirotor copters are already allowed in airspace across the world. And the FAA’s draft rules are coming out weeks after the issue crashed on the White House lawn.

See also: Why We Need A New Word For Drones

Meanwhile, small drone use has surged. Hobbyists have a wide selection of recreational drones to choose from. Aircraft pilots are increasingly reporting drone sightings alongside planes, and are concerned about collisions. Large companies like Amazon are looking into commercial uses for drones under 55 pounds, and just might have the influence to sway drone regulations from their current restrictive state into their favor.

Nearly ten years in the making, this FAA draft proposal must still undergo public comment and revision before becoming final, and that could take a year—which could make it unlikely that the FAA will meet its self-appointed September 2015 deadline for drone regulations.

Photo by Michael MK Khor

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How Much Do You Invest in Relationship Building? by @imlukeguy

Marketing has always been a struggle for businesses – and some methods require more finesse than others. For example, some experts suggest running Facebook ads is a valid marketing method to sell products. But after spending $500, it is possible to not get even one purchase. That’s when you slam the keyboard and tell yourself Facebook is a hoax. And many would agree with you. But, ask yourself this: Have you ever bought from a stranger without some sort of trust there? Um, no. Back to my example. You’ve spent the $500 in ads and you’re just blown away. Questions flood your mind.Why isn’t anyone […]

The post How Much Do You Invest in Relationship Building? by @imlukeguy appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Why SEO is much easier than you think – The Globe and Mail


Business 2 Community
Why SEO is much easier than you think
The Globe and Mail
Search-engine optimization (SEO) has gone through a series of evolutions over the years. Older tactics, which focused on keyword-based optimization and black-hat practices, have become obsolete, and modern strategies, which focus on user experience, …
6 Degrees of SEO Separation – From Data to Content PerformanceSearch Engine Watch
5 SEO Myths That are Killing Your ContentBusiness 2 Community
2015 SEO tactics: 3 ways to make Google your BFFOrlando Business Journal (blog)
Econsultancy (blog) –Fourth Source –SME Insider
all 8 news articles »

View full post on SEO – Google News

Why SEO Is Much Easier Than You Think – Entrepreneur

Why SEO Is Much Easier Than You Think
Entrepreneur
Search-engine optimization (SEO) has gone through a series of evolutions over the years. Older tactics, which focused on keyword-based optimization and black-hat practices, have become obsolete, and modern strategies, which focus on user experience, …

and more »

View full post on SEO – Google News

Huge Smartphones Will Be Big In 2015—We Don’t Have Much Of A Choice

ReadWritePredict is a look ahead at the technology trends and companies that will shape the coming year. 

According to a report released Monday from analytics firm Flurry, people went nuts for phablets in general—and Apple’s gizmos in particular—over the holiday season.

The report revealed that more than half of new devices activated over Christmas week belonged to Apple, at 51%, while Samsung and Nokia nabbed just 18% and 6%, respectively. Flurry also noted that the trend toward large “phablet” phones heated up, from 3% of devices two years ago to 13% this year.

See also: The Top 5 Smartphones Of 2014

On the surface, the numbers seem to indicate consumers’ growing obsession for phablets. But it’s a backward look that only tells half the story. To understand what that breakdown means and how it may affect the upcoming year in mobile, you have to take into account a few other details.

A Huge Fish In A Shrinking Pond


“For every Samsung devices [sic] that was activated, Apple activated 2.9 devices,” Flurry wrote. “For every Microsoft Lumia device activated, Apple activated 8.8 devices.” The firm also states that Christmas 2014 “saw a big jump in the number of phablets activated.”

That’s a notable outcome in a holiday season that saw “flat” electronics sales overall. According to MasterCard’s holiday spending report, consumer sentiment is shifting away from buying goods to purchasing “experiences.” Any gadget that can stand out in such a dull retail environment must offer something consumers really want—like a huge screen.

This year marks Apple’s entry into the phablet market, so it’s tempting to chalk up the company’s success to finally satisfying people’s voracious appetite for massive phones. But there’s an inconvenient stumbling block to that narrative: Consumers barely had any other choice.

See also: Mastering Apple’s Gigantic iPhone 6 Plus With Puny Hands

You can actually count the number of decent small phones with one hand.

The following are five compact smartphones, perhaps the best of the lot, and all of them pale in comparison to their larger siblings. Yet, not even these offer a display smaller than 4.3 inches:

  • LG G2 Mini: 4.7 inch display
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Mini: 4.5 inch display
  • HTC One Mini: 4.5 inch display
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact: 4.3 inch display
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact: 4.6 inch display

Some believe even smaller 4-inch screens are already dead. This year, the demise of Apple’s last 3.5-inch screen put the iPhones 5S and 5C next on the chopping block. But that says less about public sentiment than mobile makers intentionally killing off or shortchanging compact phones as they foist colossal devices at consumers. 


iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S

Next year, things may be different. Reportedly Apple may go back to compact 4-inch displays with an “iPhone 6S Mini.” The fact that there’s even a rumor of Apple harking back to a more diminutive size suggests there’s plenty of desire left for wee devices. If the story pans out, the move might even set off a race back to petite phones. 

Power Plays, Big And Small


Of course, some people will cling to phablets, no matter what. Like me. For years, I held out for an advanced compact smartphone, but the iPhone 6 Plus changed my mind. 

Part of the reason was the luxurious feel of a bigger screen. This year, our time spent on mobile displays finally eclipsed television, making for another trend that shows no sign of slowing. Watching videos on a larger phone display has obvious appeal. 

But that wasn’t the real reason. 

The iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 offer battery life that dwarfs their smaller versions. Logically, bigger phones hold bigger power cells. So if Apple unleashes a small iPhone next year, it would have to solve that challenge (or hope that battery technology finally surges forward). Software optimizations help, but they’re no more than workarounds for lackluster lithium-ion cells.

Not Everyone’s Flipping For Phablets


Likely next year, the mobile conversation will shift away from who’s launching a big phone to the other big initiatives they support, like wearables, mobile advertising, mobile payments, real-world services and smart cars, TVs and homes. 

See also: 2015: The Year Of The Mobile Singularity

For the devices themselves, what’s left will revolve around battery life and technologies designed to mitigate the annoyance, including fast-charging features and stop-gap solutions like wireless charging and energy management optimizations. Expect these to become even more important talking points in 2015. 

Also, if an advanced small Apple iPhone really is on the menu next year, then industry watchers will be glued to those numbers even more than usual. Because if someone can make a compact smartphone that’s operable with a single hand and doesn’t force compromises on users, it could undercut sales of big mobile devices. 

Consider that, during the year of the phablet, another wacky trend emerged that goes directly against the “everyone wants massive phones” narrative. 

The fashion industry—an influential voice in technology now, thanks in part to collaborations with wearable device makers—seems to have rejected phablets. So what exactly are arbiters of taste like Vogue’s Anna Wintour, celebrity fashionistas like Rihanna and flamboyant rock stars like Iggy Pop rocking these days? Devices that are the very antithesis of huge touchscreens.


Yes, I’m here to tell you that flip phones are apparently back in style. Tell all your phablet-hating friends. 

Lead photo by Hadrian courtesy of Shutterstock; iPhone photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite; screen shot from YouTube video by Entertainment Tonight; charts courtesy of Flurry. 

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The Apple Watch Will Cost How Much?!


<em>Editor’s Note: This was originally published by our partners at <a href=”http://www.popsugar.com/tech/Apple-Watch-Price-36057195″>PopSugarTech</a>.&nbsp;</em>

Whoa — we did not expect a price tag this steep for the Apple Watch. During Apple’s September announcement, CEO Tim Cook said the smartwatch would start at $349. But today, iGen.fr is reporting that the wearable tech could cost up to $5,000 for the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition. It’s likely that the initially announced $349 price is referring to the Apple Watch Sport edition. The outlet also claims that the stainless steel band version will cost around $500.

Go on a vacation or buy a superluxe Apple Watch? Up to you.

Apple’s head of retail recently unveiled that the Apple Watch won’t arrive until Spring, to the dismay of many who just want an iOS smartwatch on their wrist already. Would you drop a couple grand on a smartwatch? Let us know.

Read More From PopSugarTech:

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