Facebook debuts Home, Apple is said to be approaching agreements for streaming radio and buzz builds as Game of Thrones starts its third season.
Facebook debuts Home, Apple is said to be approaching agreements for streaming radio and buzz builds as Game of Thrones starts its third season.
A new study says the contents of a person’s breath are unique and change slowly, if at all – possibly leading new non-invasive diagnostic tools.
Wanderlust Cameras is looking for Kickstarter support for the Travelwide camera. It’s an analog shooter that takes 4×5 film. Typically expensive and heavy, the Travelwide aims to be your lighter, cheaper option for large format photography.
Today Facebook is introducing Home – a new way to turn your Android phone into a great, living, social phone.
We all want to share and connect. That’s how we discover new information and build meaningful relationships. But today, phones are built around tasks and apps. To see what’s happening with your friends, you pull out your phone and navigate through a series of separate apps.
Facebook is sharing and connecting are what matter most, what would your phone be like if it put your friends first?
Facebook’s answer is Home. Home isn’t a phone or operating system, and it’s also more than just an app. Home is a completely new experience that lets you see the world through people, not apps.
From the moment you wake up your phone you become immersed in cover feed. Cover feed replaces the lock screen and home screen. It’s a window into what’s happening with your friends – friends finishing a bike race, your family sharing a meal or an article about your favorite sports team. These are the beautiful, immersive experiences that you get through Home.
You might have missed these updates before, but now they’re a central part of the Home experience. Since Home is both your lock screen and home screen, the content comes right to you. You can flip through to see more stories, and double tap to like what you see.
Cover feed is for those in-between moments like waiting in line at the grocery store or between classes when you want to see what’s going on in your world.
With chat heads you can keep chatting with friends even when you’re using other apps. When friends send you messages, a chat head appears with your friend’s face, so you see exactly who you’re chatting with. Messages reach you no matter what you’re doing – whether you’re checking email, browsing the web, or listening to music.
You can move chat heads around and respond to messages. And since SMS is integrated into Facebook Messenger for Android, chat heads include Facebook messages as well as texts.
Cover feed is great for seeing everything going on in the world. But when something happens that’s more important and directed at you, like a friend posting on your timeline, you’ll receive notifications with their profile pictures.
To open notifications, just tap them. And if you don’t want to deal with them right now, you can just swipe to hide them and keep flipping through cover feed until you want them back.
It’s as easy to get to your apps in Home as it is on any other phone. Swipe up to see your favorite apps in the launcher. There’s also a screen containing all of your apps, and you can drag your favorite apps to the launcher.
How To Get Home
Home will be available as a free download from the Google Play Store starting April 12. Home works on the HTC One X, HTC One X+, Samsung GALAXY S III and Samsung GALAXY Note II. Home will also work on the forthcoming HTC One and Samsung GALAXY S4, and on more devices in the coming months.
Home will also be available pre-installed on phones through the Facebook Home Program. HTC and AT&T are the first companies working together to deliver a phone with Home. It’s called the HTC First and it goes on sale April 12.
We designed Home to be the next version of Facebook. But we also wanted to do something more. We wanted to reimagine the way we all use computing devices to make us more connected and bring us closer to the people we care about.
Download Home and put your friends front and center on your phone.
What is Home?
Home is a whole new experience for your phone. It’s software that turns your Android phone into a great, living, social phone.
How can I get Home?
You can download Home for free from the Play Store starting April 12, or purchase a phone with Home pre-installed. The first phone to come with Home is the HTC First, which goes on sale in the U.S. on April 12.
Where is Home available?
Home will initially be available for download in the U.S. on April 12, and will be available in other countries shortly after that.
What Android phones does Home work on?
Home is available on:
HTC One (Future)
HTC One X
HTC One X+
Samsung GALAXY S III
Samsung GALAXY S4 (Future)
Samsung GALAXY Note II
How can I buy a phone with Home on it?
AT&T will offer the HTC First for sale on April 12.
Is Facebook building a phone?
No. Facebook Home is a software experience designed to run on Android devices.
Is Facebook home an operating system?
No. Facebook Home is a family of apps. You install them and they become the home of your phone.
BAHAWALPUR, Pakistan (AlertNet) – Razia Yousaf is one of the brightest students in Bahawalpur, but she struggles to study in her darkened home when frequent power cuts strike.
Now the 10th-grade student has been awarded a solar-powered lamp by the Punjab provincial government in recognition of her outstanding academic performance in examinations last year. Yousaf hopes the new lamp will light the way to her goal of becoming a journalist.
“The solar-powered lamp is really a great help in finishing my schoolwork, particularly after sunset,” she explains, sitting at the table where she studies in her family’s mud-brick home in Azam colony, some 500 km (310 miles) south-east of Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital.
The country’s Punjab provincial government is trying to tackle one of the unintended consequences of growing power cuts in Pakistan – the poor performance of students who cannot study at home – with its Ujala Programme (“Programme for Light”), launched last December to help high-scoring students like Yousaf in grades 9 to 12.
After attending school, the 15-year-old spends the afternoons working with her mother and two sisters on the family’s two-hectare (five-acre) vegetable field. She only has time to complete her homework in the evening, after sunset.
“I am happy that the solar lamp has eased my study and doing school assignments has become easier,” Yousaf says, smiling.
GROWING ENERGY CRISIS
Pakistan is facing an energy crisis due to its rising population, the effects of climate change, and a precarious security situation that discourages investment in conventional and renewable energy sources, say government and development officials.
According to the UN Development Programme in Pakistan, about 38 percent of the country’s estimated 180 million people lack access to electricity, including 97 percent of rural households.
The growing energy deficit has led to the closure of thousands of businesses and manufacturing plants, hobbling the economy and leaving many people unemployed and destitute. The State Bank of Pakistan estimates that four million job opportunities have been lost since 2008 due to the country’s energy problems.
Over half of Bahawalpur district, where Razia Yousuf lives, is not connected to the national power grid. Even those homes with power may only receive six hours of supply each day during the summer months, when the grid is overloaded by demand from air conditioners.
The Ujala Programme aims to help. In January, more than 15,000 solar lamps were distributed to students at government schools in Bahawalpur division, which comprises three districts.
Mohammad Jehanzeb Khan, secretary of the Punjab energy department, said that the government plans to distribute 200,000 lamps across the province’s 36 districts by April this year, at a cost of 2.5 billion Pakistani rupees (about $26 million).
Each solar lamp kit, which costs 12,000 rupees (about $120), consists of a 30-watt solar photovoltaic cell, a battery and a mobile phone charger. It can light a 40-watt bulb for 18 hours on a 10-hour charge from sunlight.
SENDING A MESSAGE
“Promotion of usage of solar energy among these students, who are future drivers of the country, will clearly send a message to them that in Pakistan renewable energy has potential,” said Punjab’s chief minister, Shahbaz Sharif, at a ceremony for distributing the lamps in January at Islamia University in Bahawalpur.
Sharif explained that the long-term goal of the Ujala programme is to raise awareness of alternative energy resources among the province’s poorer residents, in order to reduce their dependency on the national power grid and improve environmental conditions through clean energy technology.
According to a report by the Petroleum Institute of Pakistan, an industry body, primary energy consumption in Pakistan has grown by almost 80 percent over the past 15 years.
Despite a daily demand of 16,000 megawatts (MW) of power, less than 11,000 MW is generated, two-thirds of it through fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas, according to the federal ministry of water and power.
Pakistan imports around 80 percent of the oil it uses, and Asim Hussain, Federal Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources, recently warned that the country’s domestic oil and gas supplies will be exhausted by 2030. Hussain stressed the need to explore renewable energy to meet rising needs.
Despite the country’s renewable energy potential, Pakistan produces less than 10 MW daily of its electricity from solar and wind sources, according to the country’s Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB). The board’s studies estimate the total solar power potential to be 2.9 million MW per year. The country could also produce around 346,000 MW annually through wind power.
This vast potential remains untapped because of political instability, low investment in renewable energy technology and research, and poor adaptation of technology to local needs, experts say.
“Foreign investment in promotion of renewable energy … is not likely to come if the law and order situation remains the same,” admitted Arif Alauddin, chief executive of AEDB.
Despite this, a few collaborative projects with countries that have advanced renewable energy technologies have pushed ahead.
The Punjab government, for instance, has allocated 5,000 acres (2,000 hectares) of land in the Cholistan area for a solar energy project, according to Javed Akhtar, head of the Cholistan Development Authority. The provincial government has given 1,000 acres (400 hectares) to companies from Germany and the United States for solar power projects.
The German renewable energy company CAE announced it will invest almost 13 billion rupees ($132 million) to build the first solar panel manufacturing facility in Pakistan in the coming months.
The aim is to bring down the cost of solar energy, officials said.
“We are aiming to make sure that any person who installs the house solar system will have monthly instalments (to pay for the system) equal to their current monthly electricity bill,” said Shahzada Khurram, director of the company.
The federal government removed custom duties on the import of solar power materials at the end of February to promote the use of alternate energy sources.
Now it needs to begin requiring the use of solar power in some situations, said Mahjabeen Khan, programme manager at the Society for Conservation and Protection of the Environment, a nongovernmental organisation based in Karachi that has established solar model energy systems for poor households in southern coastal areas in Sindh province.
“The Pakistani government should legislate to make compulsory the use of solar energy for electricity generation in development projects and specific residential use to meet energy shortages,” Khan said. “It should also stop further extension of the transmission lines and put the entire funds meant for village electrification to solar use,” she said.
DT Daily: Cyborg Roundup
This week was a watershed moment for social media as a medium.
A ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission means publicly listed companies can now use social media to make official company announcements to investors, rather than just via press released on web pages and electronic news wires.
The news has huge implications for the way millions of people use social media, it means platforms like Twitter and Facebook will become networks where literally trillions of dollars in investment decisions will be made, beyond the trading desks and Bloomberg terminals of millions of money players across the world.
What the Changes Mean:
The acknowledgement by US officials of the importance of social media as a place for the dissemination of vital information for financial means is a huge step for social media and could significantly change the way companies and investors behave.
SEC rules require companies to inform investors and the public at large by disseminating important information at the same time on predetermined mediums in order for investors and firms to act on a level-playing field.
The changes came about after the CEO of Netflix tweeted his way into trouble last year, announcing his firm had executed 1 billion hours of video in a month for the first time, a move that boosted the share price and caught the attention of regulators.
The SEC said “an increasing number of public companies are using social media to communicate with their shareholders… we appreciate the value and prevalence of social media channels in the contemporary market communications, and the commission supports companies seeking new ways to communicate.”
In 2012, only 14% of companies used social media to communicate with investors (tweeting the same time as official press releases). With these changes, listed firm use of social will no doubt explode, as corporates feel more comfortable using social to communicate with investors and the wider public.
Social Media Strategy for Finance Firms & Publicly Listed Companies:
The rules changes mean firms across the world will need to put in place strong social media strategies not just for the announcement of vital information, but to mitigate the risk firms face from hackers, and rumor mongers using Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn to manipulate share prices.
Social Media Risk Mitigation:
The changes also mean investors need to be trained to recognise that social media can and will continue to be a place where traders can potentially manipulate markets through fake announcements and other rumours fueled by the instant nature of social media.
The Downfall of Business News Wires?
The changes could have implications for long used news wire services, companies could now focus their attention to social networks for announcements, and that would mean investors would need to become very savvy at organising and reading social media feeds.
The changes could also mean new social networks could spring up, focusing purely on company announcements where traders, investors and firms gather, as a way to filter out the noise from non-financial content.
CEOs and Big Town Investors Can Now Speak to the Public Directly:
The new rules would also allow major personalities at corporations to be more comfortable to engage with not just investors, but also clients and customers via social media.
“Social media is providing a great, authentic way for investors to get access to the insights of key executives at companies, this is a great opportunity for senior executives to talk to their customers,” Former Chief Privacy Officer at Facebook, Chris Kelly told Bloomberg TV.
This decision “is a positive recognition of the way the world has changed,” Kelly noted.
How do you think the SEC rule changes will play out?
I run a startup. Lean and mean, 16-hour days. Everything we do is ours. When we thought of hiring another person, it quickly became clear that we could not handle an employee. We could not pay for insurance, supervise them, offer them a stable salary. Why because all those things that are stable about a job are the opposite of a startup.
Brown Dog Gadgets has already seen a successful Kickstarter campaign for its simple USB solar chargers, and is adding larger capacities to its lineup.