TIME Companies

Mark Zuckerberg Doesn’t Want All the Credit for Bringing the Internet to More People

Mark Zuckerberg attendes Mobile World Congress 2015
David Ramos—Getty Images Founder and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg speaks during his keynote conference during the first day of the Mobile World Congress 2015 at the Fira Gran Via complex on March 2, 2015 in Barcelona, Spain.

"It's really important not to lose sight of the fact that people driving this are the operators"

Mark Zuckerberg kept a low profile Monday during his Mobile World Congress keynote about Internet.org, Facebook’s project to spread Internet connectivity to underserved areas with wireless carriers’ help.

The Facebook founder downplayed his company’s role in Internet.org, instead urging the audience to recognize the work and investments of mobile carriers. Zuckerberg delivered his keynote alongside executives from three global telecommunications companies.

“While it’s sexy to talk about [Internet.org’s Internet-beaming] satellites, the real work happens here, by the companies. It’s really important not to lose sight of the fact that people driving this are the operators,” Zuckerberg said. “Too often Internet.org is conflated with Facebook.”

People in the parts of the developing world where Internet.org’s app is available get access to Facebook, Google search and some other services for free. But the end goal is to convince these users to eventually purchase data plans from wireless carriers — and so far, Internet.org has been successfully driving new smartphone use.

“It Colombia, it’s very encouraging to see about 50% more people in three weeks in our network as new data users,” said Mario Zanetti, senior EVP of Latin America at telecom company Millicom. “In Tanzania, we have seen a ten-fold increase in the number of smartphone sales since we launched the [Internet.org] campaign. So it’s pretty impressive numbers.”

Despite Zuckerberg’s efforts to highlight the work of Internet.org’s carrier partners, it’s hard to see the project being successful without Facebook’s involvement. Zuckerberg’s company has largely spearheaded the organization’s efforts, while its offerings in the Internet.org app, like Facebook Messenger, are a big draw to attract users.

However, some mobile carries could be worried that Facebook might cannibalize their voice and texting plans with its own services. Last year, Facebook acquired chat app WhatsApp, which became popular as means of avoiding wireless carriers’ texting fees.

“This is a point of tension between operators and Facebook in particular. It’s a consideration for any company to be careful to deliver the ‘key’ to the competitor,” said Jon Fredrik Baksaas, CEO of telecom company Telenor. “You really want to watch that ‘key’, and you want to control how that ‘key’ develops. That’s where the disruption comes.”

TIME Web

Google Just Made It Easier to Search for Flights Online

And you don't even have to know where you want to go

Google has updated its flight-search tool and included an array of cool features.

Much like most flight-comparison sites, Google offers a range of fares and available flight options.

Photo: Google

But for undecided travelers, the newest feature lets users plug in countries or whole regions. For example, enter “flights to Europe” and a map will appear showing varying prices for different European destinations.

And if you really have no idea where to travel, you can even hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button to generate a completely random location.

Flexible-date search options are also available so users can compare prices across multiple months, and the search engine will even suggest tips for how you can bag a cheaper deal.

Google Flights was launched in 2011, but the latest version of the site was announced on Wednesday.

Read next: 10 Google Maps Tricks You Need to Know

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Web

Watch Hundreds of Fireworks Explode Over Beijing From the Air

See Chinese New Year unfold from the sky

A passenger flying into Beijing at midnight on Chinese New Year recorded the fireworks exploding all across the city—a spectacle that puts 4th of July to shame.

Though China has been toughening regulations on fireworks due to air pollution—Beijing’s smog has already reached hazardous levels—it’s clear that they haven’t stopped these traditional celebrations.

TIME Web

How Health Websites Are Sharing Your Symptom Searches

Health Website Symptom Search
Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

From WebMD.com to CDC.gov

Searching for symptoms of your sickness online can be a huge hassle, and now there’s another headache to consider: your online privacy.

From for-profit sites like WebMD.com to government sites like CDC.gov, health websites are passing along your searches to third-party websites, according to a report in Motherboard.

The culprit? Many of these sites employ tracking tools that end up forwarding your searches onto big-name companies like Google and Facebook, along with lesser-known data brokers.

Read the rest of the story at Motherboard.

TIME Web

Reddit Restricts Nude Photos After Celebrity Hacking Scandal

Users are now banned from posting nudes without permission

Reddit is cracking down on sexual content following the posting of many celebrities’ nude photos on the messaging site last year.

The company said Tuesday that it is changing its privacy policy to ban users from posting nude photos and videos of people engaged in sex acts without getting their permission first, the New York Times reports.

Many people criticized Reddit in September when nude pictures of celebrities such as Jennifer Lawrence were widely disseminated on the site. Reddit eventually removed the photos but argued that the removal was because some of the images may have violated copyright or depicted underage girls, not because they were an invasion of people’s privacy. The new rules, however, seem to indicate that Reddit is shifting its typical opposition to any and all forms of censorship. “The opportunity here [is] to set a standard for respecting the privacy of our users,” Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said.

The company, which attracted $50 million in new venture funding in September, also plans to launch moderation tutorials to help users in leadership positions better govern the activities of communities on the site.

[NYT]

TIME Web

This ‘Exploding Kittens’ Game Just Raised Almost $9 Million

Animal Sanctuary Needs £200,000 To Avoid Closure
Christopher Furlong—Getty Images Milly, a 13-week-old kitten waits with her brother Charlie (L) to be re-homed at The Society for Abandoned Animals Sanctuary in Sale, Manchester which is facing an urgent cash crisis and possible closure on July 27, 2010 in Manchester, England.

The game that blew up on Kickstarter

A card game that features exploding kittens and wise goats has raised an astonishing $8.78 million on Kickstarter.

With 219,382 backers, “Exploding Kittens” is the most-backed Kickstarter project ever. It’s also received more funding than any project from the Games category.

Exploding Kittens was created by comic artist Matthew Inman, as well as Elan Lee and Shane Small. The game consists of a deck of cards and is basically a non-deadly version of Russian Roulette: if you draw a card with an detonation-prone kitten, you’re out.

The creators’ goal was a measly $10,000 in funding. Now, the game’s creators will have to ship card decks to more than 200,000 people, Mashable reports.

In a question-and-answer session on Reddit, a commenter asked, “Did you have any idea that this was going to be this big?.” Lee replied, “NOPE.”

TIME Google

These Are the Most Gorgeous Google Street Views Imaginable

The lulissat Icefjord in Greenland as seen on Street View in Google Maps.
Google Maps The lulissat Icefjord in Greenland as seen on Street View in Google Maps.

Take a virtual trip through some of the most beautiful country on Earth

Google Street View just added a new virtual destination: some of the most stunning landscapes in Greenland, from fjords to viking ruins.

“Thanks to our partners Visit Greenland and Asiaq, you can now explore immersive 360-degree imagery of the world’s largest island, which is sparsely populated yet chock full of glorious natural wonders and historical sites,” Google wrote on its blog Wednesday. “Let us take you on a tour of fjords, waterfront vistas, Norse ruins and more.”

Check out Google Maps to start your viking tour.

Read next: Apple Granted Patent for Virtual Reality Headset

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Web

Here’s How Google Wants to Make It Easier to Treat What Ails You

Google medical conditions
Google

Search results will now include treatment options

Google searches of common ailments will soon include illustrated guides to treatment, the search giant said Tuesday.

The new feature, which will roll out over the course of this week, will encompass 400 of the most commonly searched medical conditions, from tonsillitis to pink eye. Along with illustrations of the symptoms, the results will include bulleted lists of how frequently the condition occurs and what treatments are available to patients.

“We’re hoping to provide a framework for a more informed conversation with your doctor,” Amit Singhal, Google’s vice president in charge of search, told USA Today.

WebMD shares dropped by more than 5% in morning trading, shortly after Google’s announcement.

TIME Web

Here’s the Unexpectedly Beautiful Way to Look at Wikipedia

Wikipedia Galaxy WikiGalaxy
Courtsey of Owen Cornec

The site's 100,000 most popular pages mapped like stars

A new 3-D web experiment visualizes Wikipedia as its own galaxy.

WikiGalaxy maps the site’s 100,000 most popular pages as if each were its own star, with related pages clustered together, and pages of the same category sharing the same color. There’s even shooting stars, which represent bots, the software programs that automatically update certain pages. Inside the visualization, you’re able to explore each “star” or search for your favorite webpage, and see what other “stars” are nearby.

It’s rad; check it out here.

TIME Web

How the Internet Reacted to Netflix’s Major Service Outage

The streaming service stopped working Tuesday for about an hour

The Internet collectively broke down on Tuesday afternoon when, for about an hour or so, Netflix stopped working for many users.

In a statement to EW, Netflix confirmed that the streaming service went dark around 3:40 p.m. PT for some users in North America and South America, “with a lesser effect on devices in Europe.”

“Service was restored to most Netflix members in under an hour. Our engineers are still investigating the cause,” the statement read.

While it may have been less than an hour, let’s not underplay the apparently lethal effect it had on users, some of whom reported that when Netflix is down “life is not worth living.”

This article originally appeared on EW.com

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