News  General
Mandela Effect

Parallel worlds

There's an amazing theory going round the internet right now called "The Mandela Effect". It's doesn't have much to do with Nelson Mandela apart from the name being taken from one example of it. 

This form of collective misremembering of common events or details first emerged in 2010, when countless people on the internet falsely remembered Nelson Mandela was dead. It was widely believed he had died in prison during the 1980s. In reality, Mandela was actually freed in 1990 and passed away in 2013 – despite some people’s claims they remember clips of his funeral on TV.

See, I thought Nelson Mandela died in prison. I thought I remembered it clearly, complete with news clips of his funeral, the mourning in South Africa, some rioting in cities, and the heartfelt speech by his widow.

Then, I found out he was still alive.

The instances of this which are being termed "The Mandela Effect" is characterized by a significant number of people misremembering Nelson Mandela being reported as dying in prison in the 1980's, and not in 2013 after being released.

News  General
Facebook Drone

Crash landing

Facebook's drone, Aquila, powered by the sun, crashed during its first flight in Yuma, Arizona because of strong winds.

The flight itself was a success and the problem only hit during the landing.

No-one was injured, and fixes are being incorporated into an improved design for the next one.

The drone has has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737 at 141 feet (43m). Termed "Aquila", it was built with carbon fiber and weighs around 900 pounds (408kg). During the test flight it remained aloft at low altitudes for over 90 minutes, which was beyond the initial plan for a 30 minute flight. 

News  General
Emerging markets

Emerging markets

In Africa, India, China and many other countries the first and only experience of the internet is via mobile. 

Huge difficulties face anyone wishing to deliver internet services to remote areas, where poverty is often rife, and the next meal much more important than the high score on whatever game is popular at the time.

Those born after 1985 are much more likely to live their entire life online, and have no problem shopping through their mobiles.

Sites like Alibaba, Tencent, Weibo, and many others prioritized mobile efforts over desktop ones mainly  because of the rise of mobile Internet over the desktop Internet. Nearly all hardware, software, and services innovations in China are focused on mobile-first, and these are often mobile-only. 

News  General
Mobile overtakes desktop

It's all mobile

Whilst nearly two-thirds of American households still have a landline, the figure for Africa is 2 percent.

These emerging markets, together with the trend for "cord cutting" in the West, meant that fir the first time more data was sent via mobile than desktop on the internet in 2016.

Steadily growing since 2009, mobile web browsing has eaten the desktop’s share of web traffic and shows no sign of stopping. In October 2016, the two swapped places with global mobile and tablet browsing accounting for 51.3% versus the desktop’s 48.7%, according to the latest data from web analytics firm StatCounter.

We are past the tipping point. Google's Head of Search, Amit Singhal, said Google fields more than 100 billion searches per month, and whilst predicted for some time, the pattern shows clearly the future of the internet.