Facebook Q1 Shows Massive 52 Percent Growth Year Over Year


Skeptics expecting the Facebook success story to end will have to wait. The company reported a 52 percent revenue growth and tripled its quarterly profits in the first three months of 2016.

Facebook’s impressive growth coincides with Apple’s drop in sales for the first time in 13 years this quarter.

What’s also interesting is that another rival Microsoft hasn’t done well either. The company missed Wall Street expectations and reported a 25 percent decline in profits.

Facebook Q1 Reports 52 Percent Growth, Key Highlights

Some of the key highlights of Facebook’s first quarter results include the following:

  • Profit was 77 cents a share, surpassing Wall Street expectations of 62 cents a share.
  • More than 80 percent of the overall revenue came from mobile advertising, up from 73 percent for the same period in 2015.
  • More than 3 million businesses are using Facebook’s advertising products every month.
  • Total number of users rose to 1.65 billion, a jump of nearly 60 million over the fourth quarter.
  • Sales for the quarter reached $5.4 billion, up from $3.5 billion last year.

“To me, this is like Google 10 years ago,” Mark Mahaney, an Internet analyst at RBC Capital told The New York Times. “They really had such momentum, and they’re proving how valuable they are to both advertisers and consumers.”

Facebook Shows Massive Growth Thanks to Mobile

While Facebook reports 52 percent growth overall in Q1, it should be noted that 54 percent of all active users logged onto the site only through the company’s mobile site or app. Moreover mobile ads, which command a higher price than the ones featured on desktops, accounted for nearly four-fifths of its revenue.

The numbers clearly reveal that almost all of Facebook’s users are visiting the site from their mobile devices. And it’s not difficult to understand why mobile is playing such a big role in Facebook’s success.

A majority of new users are coming from regions outside North America and Europe. In those parts of the world, mobile phones are the most common and sometimes the only medium to access the Internet. Facebook confirms this. The company said it added 71 million mobile-only users in the first quarter.

To fully leverage the potential of mobile, Facebook has made moves like acquiring mobile company WhatsApp. At the same time, it is focusing on its mobile ads business.

“Businesses are no longer asking if they should market on mobile, they’re asking how,” Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “This is a shift that we think we’re very well-positioned to take advantage of and build on.”


iPhone 7 Rear Panel Leak Shows Design Changes; iPhone 7 Plus Dual Camera Spotted

The leaks show no sign of the Smart Connector.
The iPhone 7 to sport a new arch-shaped camera.
Apple has ordered for around 72 to 78 million iPhone 7 devices this year.
Leaks surrounding the iPhone 7 have picked up pace, and now several reports and images of Apple’s upcoming smartphone have surfaced online revealing more crucial details.

What is claimed to be the actual rear panel of the iPhone 7 is seen in photos, revealing design tweaks. The Weibo image, retrieved by 9to5Mac, reiterates previous reports, and shows that the antenna bands are shifted to the top and bottom edges. The camera lens continues to protrude, but seems to be a bit closer to the sides. The lens is more arched-shape with smooth edges, and a protective circumference around it. Even though the camera continues to jut out, the design is tweaked so that the lens stays protected even without a rear casing.

iphone 7_leak1_weibo.jpg
In the meanwhile, HDBlog leaked images of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus moulds, along with the schematics of the two smartphones. These images further testify that the iPhone 7 Plus will come with the dual camera setup, but there is no trace of the Smart Connector to be seen. This is in contrast with previous reports that point towards an iPad Pro-like Smart Connector at the back of the new iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 7 Pro devices.

iphone 7_leak_baidu.jpg
Apple is also said to be very optimistic about its upcoming iPhone devices, and has ordered for a large number to be produced. Economic Daily News reports that Apple has asked its manufacturers Foxconn and Pegatron to produce as many as 72 to 78 million devices this year. There have been reports of slow growth in sales in the past year, but it looks like the company is betting big with the iPhone 7.

The iPhone 7 is expected to launch in three variants – iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7 Pro/Plus Premium. It should come with Apple’s new A10 processor, and run iOS 10. The larger variant is expected to see a bump in RAM to 3GB to support the dual camera setup, while it is expected to come with a possible 256GB option. There have also long been rumours for the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack in this generation.

According to a Bloomberg report, Apple has already planned for mass production of Oled displays for next year’s iPhone. Applied Materials hinted at these huge demands, and said that there has been a fourfold increase in orders. Notably, Apple has also been rumoured to switch to an all-glass enclosure with the iPhone 7s aka iPhone 8,
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Tags: Apple, Dual Camera, iOS, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 7 Plus Premium, iPhone 7 Pro, Mobiles,


Netflix well-knownshows What snap shots Hook viewers on New shows

Netflix Reveals What Images Hook Viewers on New Shows

Netflix has observed that its viewers spend handiest 1.eight seconds thinking about whether to look at ashow or movie this is presented to them. With so little time to make a successful pitch to ability viewers, the employer has become enthusiastic about making it easy for individuals to make a brief selectionabout whether a display is thrilling.

For Netflix that means perfecting the promotional paintings imagery that runs alongside an explanation of the show. members spend 82 percent in their time specializing in art work at the same time as surfingNetflix, according to the business enterprise.

This week Netflix released new findings about the strength of the images its affords to visitors even asintroducing them to suggests, and what trends in an picture can encourage a viewer to look at a show.

Netflix finds that pics with expressive facial emotion that bring the tone of the display do well. paintingsfeaturing recognizable or polarizing characters additionally be successful.

for example, in searching at promotions for the second season of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” anphotograph proposing a near-up of two characters showing silly expressions turned into most famousfor the comedy.

however there also are pass-cultural differences to which images paintings. as an example, with thedisplay “sense8,” Netflix found that unique promotional pictures have been most appealing inside theu.s., Brazil, Germany and Britain.

even though a show has an ensemble cast, on the subject of promotional purposes someone needs to hog the spotlight.

whilst ensemble casts are excellent for a massive billboard at the aspect of a dual carriageway, they may be too complicated at small sizes and ultimately now not as powerful at helping our participantsdetermine if the title is proper for them on smaller displays,” defined Netflix’s Nick Nelson in the blog post.

even as the Netflix show “Orange Is the new Black” featured eight solid individuals in its Season 1 image, Netflix scaled returned to a single character for seasons 2 and three.

Netflix reached these conclusions through what is known as A/B trying out, wherein audiences are break up into businesses and proven specific pix. Analysts then gauge how audiences respond to the one of a kind alternatives.

Netflix stated it is from completed with optimizing pictures for shows. It wants to next see whether or notit could optimize trailers, montages and movement billboards.

© 2016 The Washington publish

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Tags: Apps, home enjoyment, internet, Netflix

This chart shows how attacks on freedom of speech in India have soared this year

This chart shows how attacks on freedom of speech in India have soared this yearFrom sedition cases against Jawaharlal Nehru University students for allegedly chanting anti-national slogans to attacks on journalists in Chhattisgarh, India has been having a bad year for freedom of speech.

Eleven cases of sedition have been filed against 19 people in merely the first three months of 2016. No cases under this category were filed in the same quarter in the last two years, according to a report compiled by the media watchdog The Hoot.

The report, released this week, points out that the sedition charges against six students of Delhi’s JNU were only the first of a series of cases filed against people across the country – ranging from Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi to Asaduddin Owaisi, the member of parliament from Hyderabad.

Defamation cases involving politicians also jumped: 27 cases were filed in the first quarter of the year compared to just two cases filed in the corresponding period last year, according to The Hoot.

Media targeted

During the same period, reporters around the country have been under attack in several places. In the first three months of this year, 14 attacks on media personnel have been reported, often resulting in their equipment being damaged. In February, Karun Mishra, the Bureau Chief of the Jansandesh Times, was shot dead in Sultanpur.

Last month, two journalists were arrested in Chhattisgarh. This comes in the wake of reports that as many as nine journalists covering the JNU agitation were contacted for questioning by the Delhi Police. Some of these reporters said that that police personnel even came knocking on their doors.

The Editors’ Guild even issued a statement last week claiming that “not a single journalist” is working without fear or pressure in Bastar, the district in Chhattisgarh most affected by Maoist violence. “There is pressure from Maoists as well on the journalists working in the area,” said the body, which has more than 200 editors as its members.

“There is a general perception that every single journalist is under the government scanner and all their activities are under surveillance. They hesitate to discuss anything over the phone because, as they say, ‘The police is listening to every word we speak.’”

Reports suggest that journalists in Bastar are being followed or their phones have been tapped by authorities to track their movements while others claim that vigilante groups on the ground are getting a free-run in harassing and filing false cases against those reporters who dare to speak out about the violence in the red-corridor region.

Increasing intolerance

Cases of censorship have also risen this year compared to the corresponding period in the last two years. While only two such instances were reported in the first quarter of 2015, the tally was 17 this year. These cases range from Urdu writers being asked to declare that their writings would not criticise the government or the country to comedian Kiku Sharda being arrested, bailed out and then re-arrested for mimicking godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim in Haryana.

While threats to freedom of speech are not new, the intention may be different this time. As social scientist Pratap Bhanu Mehta wrote in theIndian Express in February, when the government swooped down on JNU student leaders:

The government does not want to just crush dissent; it wants to crush thinking, as its repeated assaults on universities demonstrate… Nothing that the students did poses nearly as much threat to India, as the subversion of freedom and judgement this government represents. The honourable ministers should realise that if this is a debate about nationalism, it is they, rather than JNU, who should be in the dock. They have threatened democracy; that is the most anti-national of all acts.

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World of Tanks Shows Belarus Potential Beyond Soviet-Era Farms

World of Tanks Shows Belarus Potential Beyond Soviet-Era Farms

World of Tanks, one of the five most popular PC video games in Europe and the United States with 100 million players joining virtual battles in World War II-era tanks, started in a kitchen in the capital of Belarus.

In a country better known for its Soviet-era collectivized farming and run by President Alexander Lukashenko, seen by some as “Europe’s last dictator”, the software industry is thriving thanks to highly-educated and low-cost engineers.

Despite its international success, World of Tanks developer Wargaming has kept a major operation at the high-tech park in Minsk, along with a dozens other companies including US-based EPAM Systems, founded by two Belarusians in 1993. Belarusian software engineers are also behind Japanese-controlled Viber messenger and the MSQRD selfie app bought by Facebook earlier this month.

The sector has flourished despite a wider economic slump, raising hopes that it could set an example for an overhaul of the mostly state-run economy, and attracting foreign workers, expatriate Belarusians and locals to jobs that pay about five times the average wage.

World of Tanks software developer Andrei Safronov’s hobby is drawing 3D models of tanks.

“I was noticed, invited, and now I work here,” the Russian said, showing off tank models on his computer screen in a shining 16-storey building in the industrial park where workers relax playing table football or video games on big screens.

World of Tanks, owned by Cyprus-based Wargaming, is the fifth most popular PC gaming title behind League of Legends, Counter-Strike, World of Warcraft, all produced by US publishers, plus Minecraft, the Swedish game now owned by Microsoft Corp.

Companies at capital’s high-tech zone contribute 1.5 percent of Belarus’s GDP, employ 24,000 people and last year had exports worth $700 million (roughly Rs. 4,640 crores). By contrast, the state-run Gomselmash, employing 14,000, sold just one combine-harvester in the month of December, contributing to 2015 exports of just $90 million (roughly Rs. 596 crores).

The economy shrank 4 percent last year, hit by a recession and international sanctions in neighbour Russia but the software park grew 20 percent and is expected to do the same in 2016.

Proud president
Such growth has been helped by the low levels of government interference, raising hopes that it could be used as a model for transforming the state-run economy.

Lukashenko came to power in 1994 after the collapse of the Soviet Union and his country until February was under EU sanctions for his human rights record that included concerns about freedom of speech.

Some opposition media outlets broadcast from nearby countries to evade censorship and the state telecom monopoly is the exclusive provider of Internet connections to the outside world. Reporters Without Borders ranked Belarus 157th out of 180 countries in the 2015 press freedom Index.

But Lukashenko, who once called the internet “garbage”, has left the technology sector alone and now seems proud of his country’s IT prowess.

Commenting on an episode when Belarusian hackers stole hundreds of thousands of dollars, he told parliament: “Of course it is a disgrace. But sometimes you look and you are proud that our people know how to do this.”

Aleksander Klaskovskii, a Belarusian political analyst said Lukashenko is not scared that access to sophisticated technology and the Internet will bring political ideas that could undermine his rule.

“The Belarusian authorities are not so primitive. They are not Internet-phobic. Lukashenko is a rational person,” he said.

“Revolutions do not occur due to the fact that someone writes something on the Internet.”

The industry has succeeded because it has been independent, he said, showing the government what could be done in other moribund sectors if it makes structural reforms to allow more freedom.

Cheap and educated
Initially, Belarusian software specialists won business from Western companies by offering cut-price programming services for businesses and websites. Now they are making headway developing name-brand products known around the world.

Set up ten years ago, the park was the brainchild of former Belarusian ambassador to Washington and Lukashenko supporter Valery Tsepkalo who met successful Belarusian engineers in the United States and wanted them to be able to work at home.

The park does not get money from the state but benefits from tax breaks and the ability to tap an educated workforce.

Belarus has a strong tradition of science and engineering education, as do many other former Soviet states – Tetris, the popular cube game was invented by a Soviet programmer working at Moscow’s Academy of Sciences in 1984. Belarus’s 54 universities produce 4,000 software engineers every year.

“The most important factor (for being in Belarus) are strong schools of training for professional engineers,” said Jaroslav Tomilchik, EPAM’s human resources director in Minsk.

The low cost of living and the country’s position outside the European Union also helps keeps wage costs down compared to nearby EU members.

But success may bring pay rises, particularly as engineers move away from contracts and develop their own companies.

EPAM, one of the first residents of the park, has enjoyed years of consistent 20 percent plus growth and seen its stock jump fivefold since floating on the New York Stock Exchange in 2012. Nearly one-third of its global technical staff remain based in Belarus.

EPAM has benefited from technology outsourcing by European companies, outpacing Indian and US rivals based on its proximity to Western Europe and its focus on new product development for customers including investment bank UBS, Liberty Media and cosmetics brand Sephora.

Now, a second generation of technologists is taking shape, many of whom started with EPAM, but now are looking to build their own products and apps for start-ups.

“Look at these people…They can’t remember the Soviet Union,” said Tsepkalo. “This is new technology, created from scratch.”

Some Belarusians like Elena Shkarubo, who studied in London and worked in Moscow, are coming home. She returned to start the online platform MeetnGreetMe in March which allows people travelling to another country to find a local host.

“I wanted to do business in Belarus…I’m not going to change my nationality,” she said.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: EPAM, Gaming, World of Tanks

Netflix Is Making It Tougher to Pirate Its TV Shows and Movies

Netflix Is Making It Tougher to Pirate Its TV Shows and Movies

After taking a strong stand against users who utilise proxy services, Netflix is now making it tougher for people to pirate its TV shows and movies. The streaming company has begun sending DMCA notices toGoogle and file-sharing services to take down links of copyrighted content from their respective websites.

Netflix has reported tens of thousands of pirate links to Google, requesting the search giant to take down the links from search results, reports TorrentFreak. In the quest to assume control of its content and how they are distributed, Netflix is also taking the help of anti-piracy firm Vobile. Together, the two companies have sent 71,861 links to Google, as well as several torrent and streaming websites. It appears Netflix sent the first take down request in December.

The offending content, according to the report, contains links to Netflix-owned popular series such asHouse of Cards, Narcos, Sense8 and movies such as The Ridiculous 6 and A Very Murray Christmas. And the websites are honouring Netflix’s requests accordingly. A quick search for “House of Cards” on a popular torrent search engine reads, “39 results removed in compliance with EUCD / DMCA”

The move is in contrast with Netflix’s earlier stand on piracy. The company’s CEO Reed Hastings had said earlier that his company isn’t really bothered about piracy. On the contrary, this helped the company lure more users. “Certainly there’s some torrenting that goes on, and that’s true around the world, but some of that just creates the demand,” he said.

There’s also some bad news for users who were hoping Netflix to curtail its efforts to block proxy services. In a recent meetup with the press, Hastings reiterated the network licensing regulations the company has to oblige. He noted that that if Netflix has secured the right for a movie to air it in the United States, for instance, it has to separately secure licenses for airing the content in Germany. “That’s why we have to enforce those VPN rules, just like Amazon Prime Instant Video and others do as well. Think of it as the maturation of Internet TV.”

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Tags: Apps, DMCA, Entertainment, Home Entertainment, Movies, Netflix, VPN