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Facebook and French satellite provider Eutelsat have teamed up to transmit free internet to large portions of Africa via orbital satellite.
With the help of Spacecom, the duo has secured the entire Ka-band payload of the AMOS-6 geostationary satellite which will transmit the signal. The AMOS-6 is configured with "high gain spot beams covering large parts of West, East and Southern Africa" as well as "high throughput satellite architecture" that ensure cost-effective, Direct-to-User internet access for Africans. Both Facebook and Eutelsat will split the broadband capacity, and the satellite is scheduled to launch in the second half of 2016.
"Facebook's mission is to connect the world and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa," said Chris Daniels, Vice President of Facebook's Internet.org. "We are looking forward to partnering with Eutelsat on this project and investigating new ways to use satellites to connect people in the most remote areas of the world more efficiently."
According to a report from Recode, Google is preparing for the launch of 'YouTube Red', the company's ad-free, subscription-based model for YouTube that has been in the pipeline for quite a while now.
Recode is reporting that numerous emails were sent out to channel owners, asking them to agree to a new set of terms and conditions by October 22nd or their monetized videos would be switched to private until the new agreement had been agreed upon. We don't know if the subscription-based YouTube Red will launch on that day, but it should be within hours of that.
The ad-free YouTube Red will launch in the US at first, after which it will float across the pond once Google begins sorting out the various legal issues associated with rights management. As for pricing, we can expect a decent price of $9.99 per month, something that will include Play Music Unlimited. As someone who shifted over from Spotify to Play Music Unlimited, I'm hoping my existing subscription will include YouTube Red.
Streaming music service Pandora invites everyone to enjoy one day of ad-free music, as the company celebrates its 10-year anniversary. The special day takes place on Wednesday, September 9, and is fully sponsored by Pandora One - so from 12:00 am ET until 12:00AM ET Thursday, anyone can listen to ad-free music.
Despite the drastic rise of Spotify, Pandora still streams the most music out of all competing services - with almost 80 million listeners each month, listening to 74 billion hours of music, creating 8 billion stations, and sharing more than 55 billion thumbs over the past decade.
"From the first song Pandora played in 2005 to the 50 billionth we celebrated earlier this year, our mission has remained the same - to provide each of our listeners with the best music experience possible, whether an old favorite or introducing them to a new artist and style of music," said Tim Westergren, founder of Pandora. "Listener Love Day is a celebration of not only our listeners, but a day dedicated to great music."
With 4K video becoming more of a 'thing', Google is wanting to get the amount of data it consumes through your Internet connection down to a more acceptable level.
The company is developing a more efficient video compression codec called VP10, which has been in development for over a year now. Compared to H.264, VP9 uses half the bandwidth to provide users with the same quality video, while VP10 halves that again. VP10 will also feature sharper images, better colors, and a better dynamic range between lights and dark.
Google is hoping to reach its performance targets for VP10 by the end of 2016, so we're a little while away yet.
It turns out that many people aren't afraid of fallout from Ashley Madison's high-profile data breach, with "hundreds of thousands" of new members reportedly signing up for the site in the past week. In addition, 87,596 women also signed up for the infidelity website, according to Avid Life officials.
"Last week alone, women sent more than 2.8 million messages within our platform," according to Avid Life Media.
"Recent media reports predicting the imminent demise of Ashley Madison are greatly exaggerated. Despite having our business and customers attacked, we are growing." However, CEO Noel Biderman stepped down as head of the company, and additional shakeups are possible - though it looks like a bit of notoriety could be helping the website.
We knew it was coming, but Google has just officially announced YouTube Gaming, a new gaming-focused service that is launching tomorrow. YouTube Gaming will arrive as its own web service, as well as including Android and iOS apps.
YouTube Gaming will be Google's portal for gaming video content, with the service automatically collecting all gaming-related videos. This will include livestreams on individual pages for more than 25,000 different games. More so, it will provide gamers with personalized recommendations based on the pages and channels that they follow.
Google is also making it much easier for people to livestream their games to YouTube, offering up a new page (which is currently sitting in beta form), providing a better way to start streaming your games from a personal URL. Frank Petterson, Engineering Manager for YouTube Gaming said: "Together, we all make gaming better. Our peers make us better gamers, and games are made better by the communities that surround them".
A few days ago YouTube updated its web-based video player, with the video sharing giant now removing the iconic 301+ view counter. It has been replaced with a new real-time view counter, which is much better for viewers, and YouTube content creators.
YouTube explained its 301+ view counter in an infographic, above, where it quickly became a placeholder to stop spammers from artificially increasing YouTube video views. Once a video hit 300 views, YouTube would halt the view counter at 301+ until it was able to confirm the views weren't spam bots, and then it would reveal the true view count.
But now, YouTube is confident that it can tell the difference between automated views and real-life people watching them. From now on, the view counter will drive up as more people watch the videos, with the iconic 301+ view counter now put to rest.
Some of you may have already noticed, but Google has updated the look of YouTube on the web today, with the web-based video player receiving a slick new look.
YouTube now features a transparent control bar which disappears after a few seconds, with the timeline bar being thin until you run your mouse cursor over it, which makes it easier to manipulate. The Settings menu has also been tweaked, which now has a more mobile-like feel, while the "watch later" button now gone, kinda.
The "watch now" button is still there, but you have to go into full screen mode to find it, where it's now hiding in the top right hand corner of the video.
Thanks to an expiring domain registration, someone has taken the Arkansas Governor's URL and ensured it redirects to a LGBT community focused chat room and forum.
Expected to be in retaliation to Asa Hutchinson's harsh stance on the LGBT community, Hutchinson recently refused "to veto a bill which banned local governments in Arkansas from passing anti-discrimination ordinances to protect LGBT residents," as reported by Gizmodo.
According to Vocativ, this domain was taken over by a college student by the name of Dylan Hailey. In an interview with this news website, Hailey claims to currently own the domain registration details to 27 politicians now with no intentions to stop in the future.
Majority of citizens in the United States access the Internet, whether using a PC, smartphone, tablet, or some other device - but 15 percent of adults still don't access the Internet, according to the Pew Research Center.
The US government and social service programs have increasingly invested in additional Internet adoption, and there has been a noticeable change. In 2000, a whopping 48 percent of the American adult population did not use the Internet.
"Despite some groups having persistently lower rates of Internet adoption, the vast majority of Americans are online," Pew said. "Over time, the offline population has been shrinking, and for some groups that change has been especially dramatic."