News  General
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. 

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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.

News  General
Project loon

Launching 180 satellites

Search engine giant Google has announced ambitious plans to help hundreds of millions of people get online.

In a moved dubbed "the next billion", the initiative is aimed at emneging markets in the third world - many of which will see users experiencing the internet for the first time.

Complementing its moonshot "Project Loon", the satellites will work alongside other technologies such as baloons and drones to bring the internet to regions previously off-limits.

A Google spokesman said: "Internet connectivity significantly improves people's lives. Yet two-thirds of the world have no access at all. It's why we're so focused on new technologies that have the potential to bring hundreds of millions more people online in the coming years."