India is inching closer to overtake the U.S. as Facebook’s biggest market, at least in terms of the number of active users. With over 100 million users as of March 31, India is now the only country where Facebook can aspire to have 1 billion users, thanks to a growing base of Internet users (currently around 200 million) and increasing proportion of mobile phone subscribers in its over 1.23 billion population. In an interview with India’s Economic Times newspaper, Javier Olivan, vice-president, growth & analytics at Facebook said getting 1 billion users in the country will be altogether a different challenge. As we have been writing, while India was expected to become Facebook’s biggest market in terms of number of users later this year, but it’s always going be difficult to translate that into ad dollars for the Palo Alto company anytime soon.
Read the full story at TechCrunch.
Comcast filed a 175-page “public interest statement” with the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to explain why its proposed $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable will be good for consumers. The country’s largest cable and broadband Internet provider is already meeting opposition in its quest to buy the second largest cable provider, however. As Comcast prepares for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing scheduled for tomorrow, more than 50 public interest groups “submitted a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler calling a market takeover of this scale ‘unthinkable’ and urging the agency to block the deal,” said an announcement from consumer advocacy group Free Press. “The coalition delivered the same letter to Attorney General Eric Holder at the Department of Justice, which is also charged with reviewing the merger.”
Read the full story at Ars Technica.
As most know, I love a good internal memo from inside Yahoo and here’s a doozy related to a rather controversial topic of late: How badly the new version of Yahoo Mail has been received by consumers. As has been widely reported, a relentless and vocal group of Yahoo Mail users have been complaining vociferously after the Silicon Valley Internet giant drastically revamped its popular Mail service in October. The ire includes a lot of distress over the removal of its tabs function and the addition of a multi-tasking feature in its place. Although change is hard for many, I get buttonholed almost everywhere I go by users – including some prominent techies – who complain about the new version. Apparently, some Yahoo employees agree, too, with only 25 percent of them heeding management pleas to move over from their longtime corporate email – Microsoft Outlook – to the new Yahoo Mail product.
Read the full story at All Things D.
The numbers are now in and Apple crushed estimates, having managed a fiscal fourth-quarter profit of $8.26 per share on $37.5 billion in sales. Apple’s September-quarter results certainly fall in line with the trend we’ve been seeing recently as the breakneck growth Apple has enjoyed in recent years continues to slow. In the year-ago quarter, Apple posted an $8.2 billion profit on revenue totaling $36 billion. Apple’s record profit in that quarter represented 24% year-over-year growth, and revenue was up 27% between the fiscal fourth quarters in 2012 and 2011. The star of the show is always Apple’s iPhone lineup, of course, and analysts were expecting the company to sell 31 million units in the September quarter – though some estimates reached as high as 36 million units. Apple reported on Monday that actual FQ4 2013 iPhone sales totaled 33.8 million handsets, beating estimates and growing an impressive 26% over the September quarter in 2012.
Read the full story at Boy Genius Report.
If you’re itching to shed that old, embarrassing Yahoo username in favor of something a little more age appropriate, we’ve got good news. Mayer and Co. have just opened up a wish list to request inactive usernames. Plug in your five moniker requests (in order of preference) by August 7th, and if you’re first in line for an account that hasn’t been used in over a year, it’ll be yours by the middle of the month. Once the search giant sends a message to your inbox, simply click the included link within 48 hours and the re-purposed account will be yours. After the initial period, folks will be able to add usernames to a watch list, and will be alerted when they become available. Worried that password recovery messages sent from other services to reused addresses could be a security issue? Yahoo is too.
Read the full story at Engadget.
Artificial and natural knowledge researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have IQ-tested one of the best available artificial intelligence systems to see how intelligent it really is. Turns out-it’s about as smart as the average 4-year-old, they will report July 17 at the U.S. Artificial Intelligence Conference in Bellevue, Wash. The UIC team put ConceptNet 4, an artificial intelligence system developed at M.I.T., through the verbal portions of the Wechsler Preschool and Primary Scale of Intelligence Test, a standard IQ assessment for young children. They found ConceptNet 4 has the average IQ of a young child. But unlike most children, the machine’s scores were very uneven across different portions of the test. “If a child had scores that varied this much, it might be a symptom that something was wrong,” said Robert Sloan, professor and head of computer science at UIC, and lead author on the study.
Read the full story at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Google has extended its Street View imagery to the top two viewing decks of the Eiffel Tower for the very first time, giving users a breathtaking view of the Parisian skyline from the famous French monument. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument globally – some 7 million people visit and ascend the monument each year – but Google is now opening the iconic structure up to absolutely everyone on the Web. Google employees took the Street View trolley, an image capturing device that looks exactly as you would expect, to both the second and top floors to capture the entire circumference of the viewing decks with all-new 360-degree photographs. The results are breathtaking and still trigger an inevitable sense of awe; it was the highest monument in the world for 40 years, although that title is now held by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – a building which Google has also scaled for its Street View image library.
Read the full story at The Next Web.