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25 Mar
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Facebook acquires Oculus VR

 
Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook just announced on the social networking platform, Facebook that they have acquired Oculus VR.
 
This is his statement:
'I'm excited to announce that we've agreed to acquire Oculus VR, the leader in virtual reality technology.
 
Our mission is to make the world more open and connected. For the past few years, this has mostly meant building mobile apps that help you share with the people you care about. We have a lot more to do on mobile, but at this point we feel we're in a position where we can start focusing on what platforms will come next to enable even more useful, entertaining and personal experiences.
 
This is where Oculus comes in. They build virtual reality technology, like the Oculus Rift headset. When you put it on, you enter a completely immersive computer-generated environment, like a game or a movie scene or a place far away. The incredible thing about the technology is that you feel like you're actually present in another place with other people. People who try it say it's different from anything they've ever experienced in their lives.
 
Oculus's mission is to enable you to experience the impossible. Their technology opens up the possibility of completely new kinds of experiences. 
 
Immersive gaming will be the first, and Oculus already has big plans here that won't be changing and we hope to accelerate. The Rift is highly anticipated by the gaming community, and there's a lot of interest from developers in building for this platform. We're going to focus on helping Oculus build out their product and develop partnerships to support more games. Oculus will continue operating independently within Facebook to achieve this.
 
But this is just the start. After games, we're going to make Oculus a platform for many other experiences. Imagine enjoying a court side seat at a game, studying in a classroom of students and teachers all over the world or consulting with a doctor face-to-face -- just by putting on goggles in your home.
 
This is really a new communication platform. By feeling truly present, you can share unbounded spaces and experiences with the people in your life. Imagine sharing not just moments with your friends online, but entire experiences and adventures. 
 
These are just some of the potential uses. By working with developers and partners across the industry, together we can build many more. One day, we believe this kind of immersive, augmented reality will become a part of daily life for billions of people.
 
Virtual reality was once the dream of science fiction. But the internet was also once a dream, and so were computers and smartphones. The future is coming and we have a chance to build it together. I can't wait to start working with the whole team at Oculus to bring this future to the world, and to unlock new worlds for all of us.'
 
23 Mar
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Popular Game “Minecraft” Helps Its Maker Mojang AB Double Revenues

Mojang AB, the Swedish company that builds online games revealed that their net income has doubled as compared to the previous financial year thanks to the rage surrounding their game “Minecraft”. The company made a massive 816 million Swedish kronor ($128 million) in the last financial year, which had already improved from the 325 million kronor in 2012. Mojang AB has made revenues worth 2.07 billion kronor in the current financial year.
These numbers have been reported in the Wall Street Journal. The company is privately held and is expected to release their complete financial statements to the regulators in Sweden. However, the revenue figures appear insignificant especially when compared to the numbers posted by Mojang’s competitors namely King Digital Entertainment PLC and Supercell Oy. But one needs to take into account that Mojang AB is a very small game make from Sweden.
The company employs less than 40 employees and “Minecraft” is just five years old. Hence, the differentiating factor of Mojang as compared to their rivals is that they charge players a flat fee on downloading the game. It costs $27 for downloading “Minecraft” on a PC and $20 on a gaming console while the mobile version costs $7.
Rivals of Mojang, don’t employ this revenue model. They infact, allow users to download their games for free but charge them only for upgrades and adding features within the game play.  Hence they depend more on small number of users that are willing to spend big. “Minecraft” was among the top-10 highest grossing games in app stores of Google, Amazon and Apple. 
 
20 Mar
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How To Access Twitter In Turkey During The Ban

 
The Turkish government is attempting to cut off the access to Twitter due to the severe criticism the government is receiving before the elections. However, they have not been able to induce a blanket ban as yet, especially due to several workarounds.
 
As per Morgan Marquis-Boire who happens to be a researcher related security feels it isn’t to tough to ban a website across a country as the online traffic moves via the computers of limited ISP. As per him, the government when intends to ban a website like Twitter, asks the ISP’s to route any request to these websites to a dead-end corner of the Web.
 
However, in Turkey, the government has also banned access to Twitter on mobiles phones. But there are methods by which this ban can be subverted.
 
Users on the web may use VPN that makes use of a non-public channel. They must make use of programs like Tor that mask the location of the computer or the IP address and re-route traffic to servers around the globe before reaching the end.
 
This will allow the users in Turkey look like they are trying to access Twitter.com from New York and allow them to use the site. This mode of accessing Twitter will delay the speed a bit due to the re-routing.
 
There is another method to access Twitter in Turkey, which is based on Twitter as a medium to send text messages. Twitter is connected with numerous carriers in countries that include Turkey. They have given short codes to users that help them tweet.
 
 
By typing in the code – either 2444 or 2555 in Turkey, users can tweet. Twitter will then match the phone number of the sender with that of his/her Twitter account. This is a helpful method when no other option is available. Only those users that follow you will receive the texts.
 
Twitter notified their users in Turkey to tweet using texting service during the shutdown. Twitter presented the same proposal to users in Venezuela when the government implemented restricted access to Twitter.
 
19 Mar
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Which Is The Most Followed Account On Twitter?

 
Twitter has now emerged as a favorite social media network of many. Summing up your thoughts in 140 characteristics is what keeps Twitter fun and engaging. There has been deterioration in the user experience of Facebook especially since they introduced the “tagging” feature. Unlike Facebook, where people keep tagging 40-50 people to promote events or posts, Twitter is clutter free. You follow people that make your timeline interesting and informative. 
 
The main objective of any social network is having an audience with whom you can share and discuss stuff. Which brings us to the “followers”. Let’s face it, followers is the key performance indicator of your Twitter account. Whether you are a sportsman, movie star or budding stand up comedian, Twitter is all about “followers” and number of RT’s or retweets is a metric of how well you are doing on Twitter. 
 
So, who is the most followed person on Twitter? Here are top 10 followed accounts on Twitter.
 
1) Katy Perry – 51.3M followers
2) Justin Bieber – 50.2M followers
3) Barack Obama – 41.9M followers
4) Lady Gaga – 41.0M followers
5) YouTube – 40.3M followers
6) Taylor Swift – 39.7M followers
7) Britney Spears – 36.5M followers
8) Rihanna – 34.3M followers
9) Instagram – 31.3M followers
10) Justin Timberlake – 31.3M followers
 
There you have it ladies and gentlemen, the most followed accounts on Twitter. Now who would have thought Justin Bieber would have more people following him than the most powerful man in the free world, Barack Obama?
 
Source: Mashable
 
15 Mar
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Mozilla Pulls The Plug on Metro’ Firefox

Mozilla, the makers of the popular web browser Firefox have made a statement announcing their pulling off the plug on the building of Firefox for Metro.  Firefox for Metro was supposed to be developed specially for Windows 8’s touch-screen user interface. The primary reason for Mozilla to discontinue development of Metro was the lack of users for the beta version of the software. The company had been continuously working on this project for the last two years.
 
Mozilla noted that users preferred the classic Windows desktop version of Firefox as compared to the beta version of Metro.
 
VP of Mozilla Firefox, Mr. Johnathan Nightingale said through a press release:
 
“As the team built and tested and refined the product, we’ve been watching Metro’s adoption. On any given day we have, for instance, millions of people testing pre-release versions of Firefox desktop, but we’ve never seen more than 1,000 active daily users in the Metro environment. Shipping a 1.0 version, given the broader context we see for the Metro platform, would be a mistake.”
 
Hence if you happen to be using Window 8, and intend to switch to a touch browser, the only chance you can do that is using Microsoft’s own Internet Explorer.
 
15 Mar
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Messaging App “Secret” Raises Nearly $10 Million In Fresh Capital

 
Secret, the mysterious messaging app, established through an online article the fact they have raised almost $10 million in capital as per reports by the Wall Street Journal. Secret said they had successfully managed to raise $8.6 million via investments comprising of Google Ventures, Initialized Capital, and Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers.
 
This valuation was not disclosed by the company and it was initially reported by the Wall Street Journal that Secret was on its way in obtaining a valuation of amount of $40 million without including the investment. This puts the total to about $50 million. The online article also goes on to state that the company offers a look into the activity of users. 
 
Despite not disclosing the actual number of people that have signed up, the company says almost 75% of users with greater than 5 friends return each day and 90% of the people participating in a conversation come back within a week. At South by Southwest, the company to lure more users into signing up released the latest version of the Secret app.
 
Users will now be able to conveniently post secret posts to other social media networks as well as messages. Secret users can also look at text messages that have been poster in close proximity to their actual location by making user of the “Nearby” feature. The app that was launched on 30th January is one of the most popularly growing app that aids users in sharing private information.
 
Secret draws contacts from the phone of the user and displays messages that are anonymous from friends as well as the network of friends. David Bythow, the founder of Secret happens to be an ex engineer at Google and Squre and his partner Chrys Bader-Wechseler is an ex product manager at Google.
 
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