Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Earthquake on Tuesday, april 16, 2013

 More People killed, hundreds of houses destroyed in Pakistan

A powerful earthquake in Iran on Tuesday hit hundreds of homes in Pakistan, killing more than 30 people in a remote community close to the desert border, officials said.


The quake damaged mud houses in the town of Mashkail in Pakistan's Baluchistan province, state broadcaster PTV reported.

Two military helicopters carrying medical teams have been sent to the area, which lies just a few kilometres from the frontier, while paramiltary troops were being moved to supplement the relief efforts.

"At least 34 people have been killed and 80 others wounded in Mashkail," a local government official told AFP.

"The bodies are at the hospital and injured are being treated by army doctors. Paramilitary forces are busy in rescue work."

Tremors cracked government buildings in the area and PTV said President Asif Ali Zardari had expressed grief over the losses in Iran and Pakistan.

Iran's Seismological Centre said that the 7.5-magnitude quake struck at 3:14 pm (1044 GMT) in the country's southeast, close to the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan. The website of the US Geological Survey put the magnitude of the quake at 7.8.

Local hospital official Ashraf Baloch told AFP by telephone from Mashkail that several hundred houses had been damaged.

"The Washuk has been destroyed and also hundreds of houses have been damaged in surrounding villages," Baloch told AFP.

Mehdi Zare, an official at the Seismological Centre, told state television that the earthquake was unprecedented in 56 years.

In December 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake killed 31,000 people in Iran's southern city of Bam and destroyed its ancient, mud-built citadel.

Tuesday's earthquake was felt across large parts of Pakistan including Islamabad, where buildings shook, and the largest city Karachi where tremors prompted many to flee buildings in terror.

There were no reports of significant damage to infrastructure.

Pakistan's Jamaat-ud-Dawa charity, one of Pakistan's biggest charities but on a UN terror blacklist as an alleged front for terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba, announced on Twitter that its teams were already in place.

"Rescue and Aid Teams have reached Kharan and Panjgour while relief efforts are underway now in these districts," it wrote on its official account.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, the head of JuD and the founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba, also tweeted in English: "Our thought, prayers go out to the victims of earthquake in Iran affected areas in Pakistan. Our Rescue & aid Teams have reached at site."

Pakistan was hit by a 7.6-magnitude earthquake on October 8, 2005, that killed more than 73,000 people and left about 3.5 million homeless, mainly in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir and parts of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Earthquake 7.8 magnitude quake strikes Iran, felt in Pakistan, India and other gulf nations

According to the USGS, the quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale.
 
A major 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Iran near the border with Pakistan on Tuesday killing 40 people and injuring many.

An Iranian government official said on Tuesday he expected hundreds of deaths.

"It was the biggest earthquake in Iran in 40 years and we are expecting hundreds of dead," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The tremors were also felt in Pakistan, India and other gulf nations.

13 people were killed in southwestern Pakistan on when the region was struck by tremors from the earthquake.

The three women and two children were killed when their mud house collapsed in the district of Panjgur in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan, according to government officials from the area.

The US Geological Survey said the quake hit at 10:44 GMT at a depth of 15.2 km (9.4 miles). The epicentre was in southeast Iran in an area of mountains and desert.

It was located 201 km (125 miles) southeast of the Iranian city of Zahedan and 250 km northwest of Turbat in Pakistan, USGS said.

The epicentre of the quake was 86 km from the city of Khash, near Pakistan's border.
Tremors were felt in the capital and its adjoining areas Tuesday afternoon.

Many people rushed out of their offices and homes in the National Capital Region after the quake that lasted several seconds.

According to the USGS, the quake measured 8 on the Richter scale.

A powerful 6.3 magnitude quake struck close to Iran's only nuclear power station on April 9, killing 37 people and injuring 850 as it destroyed homes and devastated two villages.

Tremors felt in India too

Strong tremors rocked large parts of north India, including the national capital and its adjoining areas, Tuesday evening. There were no immediate reports of any casualties. The quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale at its epicentre on the Pakistan-Iran border.

"The epicentre of the quake was the Pakistan-Iran border and it measured 7.8 on the Richter scale," V. Dattatreya, head, seismology, India Meteorological Department (IMD), told IANS.

The quake took place at 4.14 p.m. (IST) at a depth of 33 km, an official said.

The strong tremors that lasted several seconds, leading to panic in many places. People rushed out of their offices and homes in the National Capital Region.

Saturday, 6 April 2013

How to Create Your Android or iOS Application Without Coding

With the huge number of mobile applications in Google Play and App Store and how they make our mobile phones more useful, you can’t help but assume that one must be a fully qualified programmer with years of experience to create a productive mobile application. From learning the basics of programming to writing the codes out, it’s probably a pretty tough thing but did you know you can create a nice little mobile app without knowing a damn thing about programming? Although it may not be as professional as those ones you see at Apple Store but still, you can create something for your personal use and even share with friends.
Must Read: Android Based Devices and iPhone – Which is Better?
Some sites offer this service for free, allowing you to create your own Android or iOS application for free and the good news is that you’re not required to be a programmer, you may not even know a bit of code. So, how does this sites work?
Must Read: Top 5 Android HD Games For 2012
The sites offering this service have different web applications you can run in your browser with an understandable GUI you can easily use to create your app. It can be as simple as a drag-and-drop process which can really be fun.
1. Appsbar
create your android or iOS app without coding
Appsbar is quite easy to use and they offer some robust tools to help you create your mobile application. i had the time to use it for a while and I can say that the service they offer for free is quite a great one. A regular person who doesn’t even know how programming works should be able to create a nice app using the tools they offer. There are predefined options but you can make your app look just how you want it by uploading your own icon, splash screen, and so on. As a blogger, you may want to have your blog’s RSS feed in your application and Appsbar makes this possible. Why not check out the app I create here?
2. Capriza
create iOS or Android application
I accidentally came across Capriza yesterday and I had the time to use if for a while. You’re made to install a Firefox addon that you can lauch any time you feel like creating a mobile web app. The tutorial you first go through is enough to guide you in creating your own application by using bits and pieces of page elements from a standard web page. It’s isn’t that hard to use as well.
3. AppMakr
create mobile for free
AppMakr is a great platform that lets you publish your app like a real developer. The offer premium service you can subscribe to if you want the the best out of it but the free service they provide too is enough if you just want a simple mobile app.
Others include:
4. TheAppBuilder
5. iBuildApp
Of course, these services are free and easy to use but there are still some limitations. You possibly can’t create complex apps or 3D games without some real coding involved but all the same, you can still make something out of these mobile app builders if you really want to.

Google Adsense, Media.net & Addynamo: Which One is the Best?

Google Adsense as you know is one of the most reliable contextual advertising company publishers use in making money online, I guess that’s not new. Is it? Addynamo on the other hand was launched not quite long ago but is making waves on the internet. They do this not only with their contextual advertising program only, but also with their sponsored tweets program which lots of people have been benefiting from, whether you are a blogger or not. Another very strong contextual advertising company on the way is Media.net.

Google adsense is facing a great competition, and if not that they’re well reputed, if not that they have lots of advertisers – one out of these two (Addynamo or Media.net) would probably have taken the lead over them. It’ll be a tough job to overtake Google Adsense though, some reasons are; time of being in operation, reputation, amount of advertisers they serve, program policies… and by the way; webmasters, bloggers and advertisers using Adsense also have a natural love and trust for them, it’s just natural that not everyone will love a thing.
Must Read: 7 Reasons Why Your Google Adsense Earning is Low
Before pushing further I’d like to say that; this article is not written to condemn adsense, overhype addynamo, Media.net or vice versa. But to outline some important features of these three companies and the service they render as well as their good and grey sides.

Google Adsense

Google adsense as you must have already known, is a contextual advertising company that supports adsense for content, adsense for search and adsense for mobile. It also supported adsense for feed which was recently shut down. Among all listed products, you only make more money on adsense for content and sometimes from mobile, but even at that, you must get your fingers dirty before you can make good money from it. First, getting into Google adsense is almost as difficult as putting an elephant’s head through a needle’s eye, secondly, maintaining your adsense account is no less, they hit you once you go against their written program policies. What a horror!
Must Read: 5 Easy Ways to Make Money with your Blog
Not trying to scare or discourage you here – most especially if you don’t have an adsense account yet. Adsense may be difficult to get and maintained, but not impossible. And on the other hand their pay is highly attractive. In protecting your account, all you need do is read and abide by Google Terms of Service, adsense program policies and ask questions on forums about how you can protect your adsense account, why people were banned and how to prevent such mistakes – There are several people who’ll be willing to give you facts about it.

Media.net

Media.net Contextual Ads program enables web publishers to easily and effectively earn advertising revenue. The company is powered by three giant companies; Microsoft, Yahoo and Bing making it a very strong rival to Google adsense, with Media.net in the game, adsense should be very careful and should take it easy with their customers. People using the program are not complaining about their CPC cos it’s satisfactory, but adsense pays more though. Their complaints are bent on different things, some are; Media.net only accepts websites on manual review (takes 24 hours), they must manually review every single site you want to place their ads on unlike adsense that allows you to add adsense to all your web pages including your articles on web 2.0 sites (e.g hubpages.com) after getting just one adsense account, they sometimes do not approve micro-niche sites and some other flimsy excuses… The service of this company is simply good but can’t be compared with adsense, may be that’s for now. They beat Google adsense with their live customer support though.
Must Read: 10 Reasons why You’ve not Made Money Online as a Blogger
Here’s something you’d like to know about Media.net, their kind of link list ad unit is built on a floating bar, see image below:

With this kind of ad placement you’ll get lots of clicks, I mean lots of it. Media.net could be a good alternative to Google, most especially for the reason that their ads are more like menus and not like Google’s format of adverts which carries “Ads by Google” of “AdChoices”, this is almost known to all internet surfers and is going hackneyed.
Summary:

Reasons why I prefer Google than media.net: Google has a large network of ads; covering several niches, countries, they also pay better; Media.net is bent on accepting sites with most of their traffic coming from the US and the UK – This is not Google, Google covers more countries.
Reasons why I envy Media.net users: There’s no fear of instant lose of their accounts – No insecurity, they get good (live) customer support, the floating ad unit rocks.

Addynamo

Addynamo is awesome at accepting new applications, they accept any application. Even if your site is not yet driving much traffic, they accept you. You don’t also have to sweat yourself over getting banned; I have never heard that anyone got banned from Addynamo, someone may have been banned but not one that I know. Addynamo is easy to get and maintained, they equally pay publishers well. But their pay is slightly not as attractive as the one of Google adsense too. Standard websites uses them; I have seen addynamo ads on Makeuseof.com and Facebook.com. Secondly, Addynamo sponsored tweets is fun. If you have a Twitter account, you can participate as a Twitter Publisher with Addynamo, and get paid by advertisers to promote topics you support.
Must Read: How To Cheat On google Adsense
You’ll have to link your twitter account, once you’ve done that; you will receive notifications via email every time an advertiser loads a campaign for you to respond to. You can accept or decline the brief & set the price you want to be paid. It’s that simple! But I’ve had friends who testified with screenshot of making $1000+ from addynamo sponsored tweets. No rush! I know you want to go and register with them right away. But here’s what’s required, a fat twitter account, I mean you must have lots of followers. Once you have a good number of followers, Addynamo sponsored tweets will be just fun throughout.
Putting it together

Google seems strict (they’re certainly not bad) but all that strict side of them is just to protect their business and advertisers’ interest, there’s no live customer support cos of the numbers of publishers they have. Addynamo may be a good alternative plus it looks easier to operate than Google Adsense but Adsense simply pays more. Media.net is almost as good as adsense. These three companies as you can see are all great. Your decision should be the one to use at a particular time, if Google shows off, go take Media.net. If Media.net shows off, Addynamo is there to receive you anytime. They pay Nigerians in naira.

Choosing the Perfect Domain Name for Your Blog or Business Website

Choosing a blog name is one thing that any blogger shouldn’t rush into because a blog name is the first foundation for building a successful blog. In this article I will be sharing with you the important steps to follow when choosing a blog name or domain name for your business either online or offline.
how to choose a good domain name

Step by step guide on how to choose a perfect blog name or domain name

When it comes to choosing a domain name for your new blog or offline/online business, most people get confused as what they plan to use is already taken by someone else. It’s for this reason people go with wrong domain names but before you choose, you should consider these few points.

It should be short

A short blog name or domain name is easy to remember than a long domain name, only choose a name that will be easily remembered by your blog visitors in case they want to revisit your blog again. Remember that not all blog readers will remember your blog url or name if it is too long so always go for a short and easy to remember blog or domain name.
Must Read: 10 Important Points To Write a Great Blog Post

The name should be self descripsive

Your blog name should be able to describe what your blog is about to your blog readers an example of a descriptive domain name is dailyblogtips.com. This is a self descriptive domain name which tells every first time visitor what the blog is about. A descriptive domain name describes what your blog is about to a first time visitor just at the first sight of the domain name, people can figure out what your blog is about if it is self descriptive and they will be patient to read your blog if they are interested in what blog url stated to them.
Must Read: How Many Blogs Should You Have to Make Money Online?

Register a .com domain name

A .com domain is the most visited extension of a blog and almost all popular blogs focus on a .com domain name. When browsing on the internet, most internet surfers usually type every domain name with a .com extension at the end because they are too familiar with it. It is the most popular and most used extension so it’s much more preferable.

Easy spellings

You should consider using an easy to spell word for your domain name, you can use a word from English or let’s something from the dictionary. This will help people know the spelling of your domain name because some blog names are very hard to spell e.g pagamaragrasive.com which is very difficult to spell and remember. For this reason, you must consider choosing a name that’s easy to spell.

No hypens

To me, hypens are considered as a pretty bad practice for a domain name. It makes a blog lose most of its daily, monthly, and even yearly blog visitors for nothing. A domain with hypens looks like this blogging-foundation.com and most times, users forget to add this hyphen.
This tips will guide you in choosing a perfect blog name or domain name for your business, a perfect name is a perfect business foundation, and remember a perfect name is the first foundation for any blog or website. Make sure you carefully choose a perfect domain name either for your online or offline business.
My question for you: What name have you decided or chosen for your blog and how perfect is the name? Share your thoughts with us.
If you enjoyed this article make sure you share this post with friends.

Android Based Devices and iPhone – Which is Better?

It’s a really hard thing to do trying to determine which platform is better between Android and iOS because both have their pros and cons. If you’re an Apple freak, you will be of the opinion that there’s nothing comparable with your iPhone but the same thing goes for Android OS users. I’m using an iPhone but I plan on getting an Android smartphone in the near future, not because my iPhone doesn’t serve purpose, but because there are certain things I love in Android OS as well. I love my iPhone, there’s no doubt about that but that won’t blind me from telling the truth about these two mobile operating systems.
Even though I don’t personally use an Android device on a day to day basis, I know all about it because I’m quite used to it and can tell the difference. Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, admits there are certain things he wish his iPhone does but couldn’t. “My primary phone is the iPhone,” Steve Wozniak says. “I love the beauty of it. But I wish it did all the things my Android does, I really do.”
android vs iphone - which is better?Now, that’s a real tech guy talking. Let’s weigh the pros and cons one after the other before judging which of the platform you should really go for.
1. iOS is exclusive to Apple, Android is open source
With Android being an open source platform, it means there’s open market, open environment and development of the OS is open to anyone. This sounds good but there are certain things to consider. iOS is exclusive to Apple and Apple alone and this means you are limited by the rules Apple set, install only what they approve of and so on (unless you jailbreak your device).
The disadvantage of Android being an open source platform is that it’s open to malwares. There has been lots of issues lately about how insecure Android OS can be and more specifically, cybercriminals have entered the practice of developing malicious apps and sneaking them into the app marketplace to place unsuspecting victims into their web.
This is a the major edge iOS has over Android and like I mentioned before, so far your phone is not jailbroken and you download apps from iTunes store, your mobile device is secure.
2. With iPhone, there are less devices to choose from, with Android, the range of available devices is huge
This is another factor to consider. iPhone is iPhone and will always be iPhone and that’s never going to change. If you’re going for a device running iOS, it has to be from Apple. Android OS is available on several devices in various sizes and shapes. You can decide to go for an Android phone with a real keyboard, a portable phone that isn’t so bogus, a non-touch screen phone and so on. It could be from Samsung, HTC, LG or which ever manufacturer you choose. The choice of device is all yours.
With iPhone, you only have a few devices to choose from, depending on your money.
3. When it comes to design, Apple wins
When it comes to design and longevity, iPhone has that and till date, no smartphone manufacturer can beat that. Though there are are countless smartphones out there, the uniqueness and beauty of iPhone is unrivaled.
4. You can’t customize your iPhone (unless jailbroken)
This is a major disadvantage of iOS, you can’t customize it and that sucks pretty bad. There are tons of customizations available for Android users but if your iPhone is not jailbroken, you’re probably stuck with what Apple has to offer.
Like I mentioned earlier, it’s a different case if your device is jailbroken. There are lots of customizations available through Cydia repositories but the fact is that not all users are willing to take the chance of jailbreaking their iPhone and void their warranty. The bottom line is this: customization too is available for iPhone and mine has been functional than any Android phone I know of since I jailbroke it. Android users too need to root their phones to get certain things done.
5. When it comes to fluidity and responsiveness, iPhone wins
With iPhone, the user interface leverages the hardware in a way that Android doesn’t, that explains why iPhone is easier to navigate. It’s even been said that iPhone 4s with dual core processor is faster than the new Samsung Galaxy S III with quad core processor. I don’t know how far this is true and if it’s only a rumor but the fact remains that iOS UI is more user friendly.
6. There are dead cheap Android phones, iPhone is expensive to lots of people
No matter how much you have, you can always get an Android smartphone and this is one of the reasons Android is a lot better than iOS. I’ve seen lots of people settling for Android devices because they can’t afford an iPhone and in due time, this may increase Android popularity over iOS.
There are lots of more points to consider but I’m not so sure I can think of more for now and there are others I left out because I considered them irrelevant.
When it comes to choosing a smartphone, there are lots of things to consider and the one you go for should be dependent or the kind of user you are and what you want out of your phone. iPhone rocks in its own way, so does Android. I used to be a Symbian freak (a part of me still is) but for now, I’m an Apple fan and I need to upgrade this crappy iPhone 3G to 4S first before thinking of getting an Android device :P
I must admit, though, that Google was smart in taking over Android development and making it open source. It gives power to the user in a lot of ways Apple never will. That’s why the jailbreaking community is growing daily…consumers need a lot more.
With Android and iPhone battling it out, the consumer wins. As they say, nothing brings out the best in products like competition.
Choosing the better platform between Android and iOS is nothing but fan discussion. Bother are the most used and powerful mobile OS platforms and the one you stick to is a matter of which one meets your daily needs better.

iOS versus Android: the app arms race

In the aftermath of the release of the Samsung Galaxy S4 last week, and Apple’s marketing backlash, the iOS vs Android arms race has hit a milestone. Android is growing faster than ever, in terms of both their market share and the revenue they pay out to app marketers. Apple’s marketing has taken on a decidedly ‘attacking’ tone. ‘There’s iPhone. And then there’s everything else’ is clearly mirroring the phrase, ‘Here’s the best, forget the rest’. It’s about time, we thought, for an infographic on the iOS vs Android feud as it stands now. Which is the best platform for app marketers? Let’s consider some factors, or scroll down to view our infographic right away.

Smartphone and tablet market share

Some contests seem to have been won by Android categorically. Last month, the worldwide smartphone market share figures stood at 69.2% (Android) and 22.1% (iOS). These current figures are actually more in Apple’s favor than the October figures (75% and 15%), due to the release of the iPhone 5. But now the S4 is here, it’s likely we’re going to see the gap widen again.
On other counts though, iOS is the reigning champion. While Android also takes the lead in terms of tablet market share and smartphone app downloads, albeit with smaller margins, iOS is far, far ahead in terms of tablet app downloads; which must be due to the fact that there are over 275,000 optimized for the full-size iPad and iPad mini.

iOS vs Android app revenue and monetization

It is also a widely known and inescapable fact that, on the whole, iOS apps monetize much better than Android apps. The type of user that iOS attracts (and nurtures) are high earning and very engaged users. But that’s not to say the situation isn’t changing for Android.
While iOS pays out four times as much revenue to app marketers than Android, app revenue growth is growing five times more rapidly on Android. But will it stay this way so that Android can catch up and even overtake iOS? This remains to be seen, as we watch the battle of the platforms progress.

The life of the app marketer

In terms of the day-to-day of marketing apps on the respective platforms, iOS is a less fragmented platform with higher app marketing costs but greater profits for advertisers. It is also much easier and more predictable to carry out iOS App Store ranking boost campaigns due to the ranking algorithm being more heavily weighted on download volumes than an intransparent selection of factors. On Android, we see a more complex and fragmented reality for app marketers.
We created the following infographic to compare iOS and Android in terms of market share, user demographic and app marketing.
There’s a myriad of points on which you can compare the two platforms, and on reflection I think the conclusion must be this: both are winners in their own ways. Highly democratic I know, but that is how it is. Final words: Compare everything and identify and support the platform that’s right for your app.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Facebook aims to take centerstage on Android phones

MENLO PARK, California (Reuters) - Facebook Inc on Thursday unveiled its most ambitious attempt yet to enter mobile computing without a phone of its own, introducing a new app that replaces the home screen on some Android smartphones.
Called "Home," the new software lets users comprehensively modify Android, the popular mobile operating system developed by Google, to prominently display their Facebook newsfeed and messages on the home screens of a wide range of devices - while hiding other apps.
"Why do we need to go into those apps in the first place to see what's going on with those we care about?" Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told the hundreds of reporters and industry executives gathered at the company's Menlo Park campus.
"We want to bring all this content to the front."
The "Home" software will be available for download for free from Google Play starting April 12. In addition, AT&T Inc has exclusive rights to sell for $100 the first handsets, made by Taiwan's HTC Corp, that come pre-installed with the software starting the same day. France Telecom's Orange will be offering the phone in Europe.
Shares in Facebook finished trading up 82 cents, or 3.1 percent, at $27.07; Google stock closed at $795.07, down $11.13 or 1.38 percent.
Analysts say should the new software take off, it may begin to draw users away from Google services. Offering Facebook messaging, social networking and photos on the very first screen that Android users see could divert attention from the panoply of services, such as search and email, which generate advertising revue for Google.
Instead of traditional wallpaper or a "lock screen," users with Home installed will see a new Facebook "cover feed" that displays a rolling ticker-tape of photos, status updates - and eventually, ads - from Facebook's network.
Facebook's executives, acknowledging that messaging and communications remain the most fundamental use for smartphones, also showed off a new "chat heads" messaging interface, which would combine SMS text messages and Facebook chat messages under one tool.
"On one level, this is just next mobile version of Facebook," Zuckerberg said. "At a deeper level, this can start to be a change in the relationship with how we use these computing devices."
People who used the software and the HTC phone on Thursday appeared impressed by the highly visual design and interface that featured a multitude of pictures. But analysts say the jury is still out on whether Home has appeal beyond habitual Facebook users.
Some were skeptical consumers would leap at the chance to make Facebook so central to their lives.
"Facebook thinks it's more important to people than it actually is," said Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research.
Golvin said that in markets like Spain and Brazil, mobile users spend far more time in messaging apps like Whatsapp compared to the Facebook app.
"For the vast majority of people, Facebook just isn't the be-all and end-all of their mobile experience. It's just one part," he said. "I see a more apathetic response among Facebook users than Facebook might be expecting."
COMPETITION WITH GOOGLE
Facebook's wide-reaching mobile strategy could heighten its competition with Google, the dominant Internet search engine and the developer of Android with whom it is locked in a battle for Internet users' time online and for advertising dollars. But if it proves to be popular among Android users, Home could also place the two companies in something of an uneasy partnership.
More than 750 million mobile devices featuring Android have been activated to date, according to Google, more than gadgets based on Apple Inc's iOS, the runner-up.
Zuckerberg downplayed the rivalry even as he praised Google's willingness to let other companies tinker with Android. He said he was confident Google would not make changes to Android that would hamstring Facebook.
"If 20 percent of time people are spending on their phones is in Home, I really think they're going to have a hard time making a rational decision" to limit Home's functionality, Zuckerberg told reporters.
Google issued a neutral statement, saying the new phone demonstrated Android's openness.
"The Android platform has spurred the development of hundreds of different types of devices," the company said. "This latest device demonstrates the openness and flexibility that has made Android so popular."
Not everyone is sure that Google will remain neutral.
"Google has made Android open, but as they release the next version, are they going to be as open?" said Simon Mansell, the chief executive of TBG Digital, an advertising technology provider. "Facebook is hiding all the Google stuff with their own stuff, and how Google will respond is interesting."
For Facebook - founded in Zuckerberg's dorm room in 2004 as a website - bolstering its mobile presence is critical. Nearly 70 percent of Facebook members used mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to access its service at the end of 2012, and 157 million of Facebook's roughly 1 billion users accessed the service solely on a mobile device.
The company has stepped up efforts to ensure that its revenue-generating ads can be viewed on mobile devices and Zuckerberg has said that the company's engineers are now focused on creating "mobile-first experiences."
Zuckerberg said features like cover feed will be ad-free initially, but he envisioned advertising as another form of content that will eventually be integrated. Analysts say the company treads cautiously when introducing ads into any of its services, wary of infuriating users.
"This is about becoming more deeply embedded in the operating system on mobile devices, and creating a broader platform," said Jan Dawson, chief telecoms analyst for the research firm Ovum. "It will allow Facebook to track more of a user's behavior on devices, and present more opportunities to serve up advertising."
But "that presents the biggest obstacle to success for this experiment: Facebook's objectives and users' are once again in conflict. Users don't want more advertising or tracking, and Facebook wants to do more of both."
Reports that Facebook was developing its self-branded smartphone have appeared sporadically and Zuckerberg has shot them down, as he did again on Thursday.
But with specialized software that adds a layer on top of Android, Facebook may get many of the benefits of having its own phone without the costs and risks of actually building a hardware device, analysts said.
"It's much lower risk than developing a phone or an operating system of its own, and if it turns out not to be successful, there will be little risk or loss to Facebook," Dawson said. "If it does turn out to be successful, Facebook can build on the model further and increase the value provided in the application over time."

Monday, 1 April 2013

Secrets to Success

What is it that makes people successful and I mean really successful compared to you or me? Are they smarter or do they work harder? Are they risk takers or have powerful and influential friends?
The financial newspaper Investors Business Daily (IBD) asked these same questions a few years ago and started a multi-year search for the answer. They studied industry leaders, investors and entrepreneurs to understand the traits they all had in common that contributed to their success. Reproduced here is their list of 10 Secrets to Success along with my commentary on each no-so-secret, ‘secret’.
I decided to reproduce the list here and comment on each of the traits in hopes of motivating you and myself in the process. It’s time for me to take my own advice and start on the path to my dreams. I hope to motivate you, by using myself as an example.
I originally came across this list when I was staring at some papers on a refrigerator owned by someone who was very successful – both personally and financially. My family and I had just spent the night as a guest in a great house in the suburbs of Boston. We were living life large as we played pool in the rec room, drank wine from the wine cellar, and enjoyed a dip in the hot tub. The problem was, neither of the couples in the house owned the property or the life we were pretending to have. You see, my friends were house sitting for the original owner and they had invited us to stay for the weekend.
It wasn’t until the morning after our little ‘party’ that I noticed something taped to the refrigerator – something that impacts me each time I read it. It was the IBD 10 Secrets to Success. Once my head cleared, I quickly copied them down and read them over and over again. After our vacation I made copies and posted them in my home office and inside a journal I decided to keep.
The problem was, after a couple of months I forgot about the secrets and they fell by the wayside. And so did my actions towards my goals. At the time the articles 7 Ways to Grow the Action Habit or How To Motivate Yourself – Self Motivation didn’t exist and I lost my motivation. Well, I re-discovered the list and want to share it with you now. I hope you take these not-so-secret, secrets to heart and realize your dreams – whatever they may be.
1. How You Think is Everything.
Always be positive. Think Success, not Failure. Beware of a negative environment.
This trait has to be one of the most important in the entire list. Your belief that you can accomplish your goals has to be unwavering. The moment you say to yourself “I can’t…”, then you won’t. I was always given the advice “never say I can’t” and I’d like to strike those words from the dictionary.
I’ve found that from time-to-time my attitude waivers. A mentor of mine once said “it’s ok to visit pity city, but you can’t stay and there comes a time when you need to leave”. Positive things happen to positive people.
2. Decide upon Your True Dreams and Goals: Write down your specific goals and develop a plan to reach them.
Write down my dreams and goals? Develop a plan to reach them? You mean like a project plan? Yes, that’s exactly what this means. You may have heard the old adage: A New Years resolution that isn’t written down is just a dream, and dreams are not goals.
Goals are those concrete, measurable stepping stones of achievement that track your progress towards your dreams. My goal is to start a second career as a freelance writer – what are your goals?
3. Take Action. Goals are nothing without action.
Be like Nike and “Just do it”. I took action by reaching out and started writing. Every day I try to take some action towards my goals. It may be small, but it’s still an action. Have you taken action towards your goals?
4. Never Stop Learning: Go back to school or read books. Get training & acquire skills.
Becoming a life long learner would benefit us all and is something we should instill in our kids. It’s funny that once you’re out of school you realize how enjoyable learning can be. What have you learned today?
5. Be Persistent and Work Hard: Success is a marathon, not a sprint. Never give up.
I think every story of success I read entails long hard hours of work. There is no getting around this and there is no free lunch. But, if you’re working towards something that you’re passionate about, something you love – then is it really work?
6. Learn to Analyze Details: Get all the facts, all the input. Learn from your mistakes.
I think you have to strike a balance between getting all the facts and making a decision with incomplete data – both are traits of successful people. Spend time gathering details, but don’t catch ‘analysis paralysis’.
7. Focus Your Time And Money: Don’t let other people or things distract you.
Remain laser focused on your goals and surround yourself with positive people that believe in you. Don’t be distracted by the naysayer’s or tasks that are not helping you achieve your goals.
8. Don’t Be Afraid To Innovate: Be different. Following the herd is a sure way to mediocrity.
Follow through on that break-out idea you have. Ask yourself “What would I do if I wasn’t afraid?”
9. Deal And Communicate With People Effectively: No person is an island. Learn to understand and motivate others.
Successful people develop and nurture a network and they only do that by treating people openly, fairly and many times firmly. There is nothing wrong about being firm – just don’t cross the a-hole line. How do you deal with people?
10. Be Honest And Dependable: Take responsibility, otherwise numbers 1 – 9 won’t matter.
Enough said.