TIME facebook

Facebook Reached An Unbelievable Milestone This Week

Inside The F8 Facebook Developers Conference
Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty Images Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive officer of Facebook Inc., speaks during the Facebook F8 Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. Zuckerberg plans to unveil tools that let application makers reach the social network's audience while helping the company boost revenue. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A million users isn't cool, you know what's cool?

1 billion people used Facebook on Monday. With 7.125 billion people on earth, that means almost 1 in 7 people logged into the social media site.

This is the total number of people who used the site on that one day, different from the Daily Active User figure the company posts with its financial earnings that reflects a 30-day average.

Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg took to Facebook on Thursday to announce the company’s achievement:

We just passed an important milestone. For the first time ever, one billion people used Facebook in a single day.

On Monday, 1 in 7 people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family.

When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it’s just the beginning of connecting the whole world.

I’m so proud of our community for the progress we’ve made. Our community stands for giving every person a voice, for promoting understanding and for including everyone in the opportunities of our modern world.

A more open and connected world is a better world. It brings stronger relationships with those you love, a stronger economy with more opportunities, and a stronger society that reflects all of our values.

Thank you for being part of our community and for everything you’ve done to help us reach this milestone. I’m looking forward to seeing what we accomplish together.

TIME Drones

Construction Workers Are Now Being Monitored By Drones

drone-flying-sky
Getty Images

Drones fly over the construction site once a day

Constructions workers building the stadium for the Sacramento Kings in California have a boss watching over them in a very literal way. They are being monitored by drones.

Once a day, drones fly over the construction site and take videos that are converted into 3D images, which can then be compared to construction plans to highlight areas of structure that are falling behind schedule, MIT Technology review reports.

Some concerns have been raised about worker privacy or incentivizing construction workers to work longer hours. But Mani Golparvar-Fard, who helped develop this drone software, says the drones aren’t so different than normal bosses.“It’s not new to the construction industry that there would either be people standing and observing operations, or that there would be fixed cameras,” he told MIT.

The stadium is set to open in October 2016, if the drones keep construction on schedule.

TIME Media

This Is the Next Battleground for Netflix and Amazon

Gaby Hoffmann, Jeffrey Tambor, Jill Soloway
Richard Shotwell—Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP From left, Gaby Hoffmann, Jeffrey Tambor, and Jill Soloway speak onstage during the "Transparent" panel at the Amazon 2014 Summer TCA on Saturday, July 12, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The streaming wars continue to go global

Amazon and Netflix will soon be squaring off in a new Asian battleground. On Wednesday Amazon announced that it will bring its Prime Instant Video service to Japan in September. Netflix has had long-announced plans to roll out its own streaming service in the country on Sept. 2.

Amazon’s Japanese offering will include dramas, anime and variety shows popular in both the U.S. and Japan. Original shows like “Transparent” will also be available.

Amazon, which already offers Prime subscriptions in Japan, will have a significant price advantage. Amazon Prime costs ¥3900 (about $32) per year, or about $2.71 per month. Netflix will have multiple tiers starting at ¥650, or about $5.40 per month.

It reminans to be seen whether either service will find substantial success in the country. Hulu launched in the country in 2011 but ended up selling off its Japanese streaming business to the Nippon TV television network in 2014.

TIME YouTube

YouTube’s Founder Is Paying Big Bucks to Kim and Kanye

Kim Kardashian West Kanye West
Taylor Hill — Film Magic/Getty Images Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West attend the 2015 CFDA Awards at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City, June 1, 2015

Superstar couple was so appalled by Hurley's actions that they sued

A co-founder of YouTube is paying a large settlement to Kim Kardashian and Kanye West to settle a lawsuit, according to TMZ. The gossip website reports that Chad Hurley, one of the three founders of YouTube, must pay Kim and Kanye $440,000 for filming West’s proposal to Kardashian at San Francisco’s AT&T park and putting it on his new video site Mixbit. Hurley had reportedly signed a confidentiality agreement that prohibited spreading footage of the proposal.

$440,000 is a relatively small sum for Hurley, who sold YouTube to Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion. No word on whether the incident will stop West from rapping about YouTube among his many references to social media.

TIME Instagram

Instagram Just Made Its Biggest Change Ever

Instagram portrait mode.
Instagram Instagram portrait mode.

Instagram is no longer just for squares

Instagram’s defining square format has changed the way people take and share pictures. Panoramic city skylines become boxed vignettes, and that high-rise shot is pinched and squeezed into an abstract rooftop profile. But that’s all about to change.

Starting Thursday, Instagram will let users upload portrait and landscape photos and video, in addition to the 1×1 square format.

“Square format has been and always will be part of who we are,” reads an Instagram press release. “That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.”

Instagram users will be able to adjust the orientation of their photos to portrait or landscape by tapping on the format icon before editing. Once shared, the full-sized version of the photo will appear on other users’ feeds, but the post will still show up as a center-cropped square on users’ profile pages.

The Facebook-owned company said the move is a response to some users’ demands for more flexibility. “We know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram,” reads the post. “Friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end.”

But the change is also a way for Instagram to better capitalize on the growing rise of mobile video, especially as rival service Snapchat popularizes portrait-oriented smartphone videography. “We’re especially excited about what this update means for video on Instagram, which in widescreen can be more cinematic than ever,” the post continues.

 Landscape
InstagramInstagram Landscape

In addition to the formatting change, Instagram will now allow users to adjust the intensity of all filters with either photos or videos.

The Instagram update will be available immediately in the iOS App Store and Android’s Google Play store.

TIME Apple

Here’s When Apple Is Unveiling the Next iPhone

Apple Unveils iPhone 6
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Apple CEO Tim Cook shows off the new iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch during an Apple special event at the Flint Center for the Performing Arts on September 9, 2014 in Cupertino, Calif.

The company sent out event invites today

Apple just sent out invitations for a media event on Wednesday, Sept. 9. The company is expected to use the event to unveil the next iPhone, among other announcements.

Apple’s invite also teases something to do with Siri, the company’s digital personal assistant. It’s long been known that the next version of Apple’s iPhone software, iOS 9, will pack big Siri improvements. But it’s also possible Siri is coming to an upgraded Apple TV set-top box, which some observers expect the company to unveil at the September event.

Meanwhile, here’s what happens if you actually ask Siri to give you a hint:

TIME Innovation

25 Quotes That Take You Inside Albert Einstein’s Revolutionary Mind

Apr. 4, 1938
TIME Albert Einstein on the Apr. 4, 1938, cover of TIME. Though better known for his discoveries than for his inventions, Einstein did co-invent a new kind of refrigerator. He also appeared on the cover of TIME five other times.

"Imagination is more important than knowledge"

Over the years, Albert Einstein’s name has become synonymous with genius.

In his lifetime, Einstein changed the world, describing the workings of reality better than anyone since Isaac Newton and revealing the capabilities of the atom bomb. In 1999, Time named him Person of the Century.

Here are 25 of Einstein’s most telling quotes; each will take you inside the mind of the legend.

On authority

“Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth.”

[“The Curious History of Relativity”]

On scope

“Nature shows us only the tail of the lion. But there is no doubt in my mind that the lion belongs with it even if he cannot reveal himself to the eye all at once because of his huge dimension.”

[Smithsonian, February 1979]

On politics

“I am by heritage a Jew, by citizenship a Swiss, and by makeup a human being, and only a human being, without any special attachment to any state or national entity whatsoever.”

[“The Yale Book of Quotations”]

On certainty

“As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain; and as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality.”

[Address to Prussian Academy of Science, January 1921]

On humility

“As a human being, one has been endowed with just enough intelligence to be able to see clearly how utterly inadequate that intelligence is when confronted with what exists.”

[Letter to Queen Elisabeth of Belgium, September 1932]

On relativity

“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute — and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”

[“The Yale Book of Quotations”]

On his growth

“It is true that my parents were worried because I began to speak fairly late, so that they even consulted a doctor. I can’t say how old I was — but surely not less than three.”

[Letter, 1954]

On common sense

“Common sense is nothing more than a deposit of prejudices laid down in the mind before you reach eighteen.”

[“The Universe and Dr. Einstein”]

On success

“If A is a success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play, and Z is keeping your mouth shut.”

[“The Yale Book of Quotations”]

On nationalism

“Nationalism is an infantile sickness. It is the measles of the human race.”

[“Albert Einstein, the Human Side”]

On mystery

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder, no longer marvel, is as good as dead, and his eyes are dimmed.”

[“The World As I See It,” 1930]

On solitude

“My passionate sense of social justice and social responsibility has always contrasted oddly with my pronounced lack of need for direct contact with other human beings and human communities. I am truly a ‘lone traveler’ and have never belonged to my country, my home, my friends, or even my immediate family, with my whole heart; in the face of all these ties, I have never lost a sense of distance and a need for solitude.”

[“The World As I See It,” 1930]

On presentation

“If I were to start taking care of my grooming, I would no longer be my own self.”

[Letter, December 1913]

On imagination

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

[Smithsonian, February 1979]

On motivation

“The ideals that have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Kindness, Beauty, and Truth. Without the sense of kinship with men of like mind, without the occupation with the objective world, the eternally unattainable in the field of art and scientific endeavors, life would have seemed empty to me. The trite objects of human efforts — possessions, outward success, luxury — have always seemed to me contemptible.”

[“The World As I See It,” 1930]

On education

“The aim [of education] must be the training of independently acting and thinking individuals who, however, see in the service to the community their highest life problem.”

[Address, October 1936]

On ambition

“Nothing truly valuable arises from ambition or from a mere sense of duty; it stems rather from love and devotion towards men and towards objective things.”

[Letter, July 1947]

On learning

“Most teachers waste their time by asking questions that are intended to discover what a pupil does not know, whereas the true art of questioning is to discover what the pupil does know or is capable of knowing.”

[“Conversations with Albert Einstein,” 1920]

On thinking

“I very rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express in words afterwards.”

[“Productive Thinking,” 1959]

On life

“A happy man is too satisfied with the present to dwell too much on the future.”

[Smithsonian, February 1979]

On curiosity

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”

[Nova]

On work ethic

“The state of mind which enables a man to do work of this kind … is akin to that of the religious worshipper or the lover; the daily effort comes from no deliberate intention or program, but straight from the heart.”

[Speech, 1918]

On childhood

“The ordinary adult never gives a thought to space-time problems … I, on the contrary, developed so slowly that I did not begin to wonder about space and time until I was an adult. I then delved more deeply into the problem than any other adult or child would have done.”

[Letter, 1956]

On the role of science

“One thing I have learned in a long life: That all our science, measured against reality, is primitive and childlike — and yet it is the most precious thing we have.”

[“Albert Einstein: Creator and Rebel,” 1972]

On the hustle

“The only way to escape the corruptible effect of praise is to go on working.”

[Smithsonian, February 1979]

This article originally appeared on Business Insider.

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TIME Ashley Madison

There Are Almost No Active Female Users on Ashley Madison

HONG KONG-LIFESTYLE-INTERNET-SEX
PHILIPPE LOPEZ—AFP/Getty Images

Most appear to be bots, fakes, or inactive accounts, a report says

The large disparity in the number of male and female accounts on the adultery website Ashley Madison is well-documented. But an analysis by Gizmodo of the massive data dump released by people who allegedly hacked the company’s website shows the number of active female users is absolutely miniscule.

Ashley Madison has about 31 million male accounts and 5.5 million female accounts. But the overwhelming majority of those female accounts appear to be bots, fakes, or inactive accounts that were hardly used in the first place, the report says. Gizmodo found that only about 1,500 of the female users had ever checked their messages on the site, while only 2,400 had ever chatted on the site, and only 9,700 had ever replied to a message.

Hackers first threatened to release personal information about Ashley Madison users in July, and then proceeded with a massive data dump earlier this month. Ashley Madison is now facing several lawsuits from several former users who say the website knew about the security vulnerabilities in its systems.

TIME Autos

Here’s Where Driverless Cars Are Learning the Rules of the Road

A former naval base offers a perfect testing ground

Self-driving cars are getting closer to hitting our nation’s highways by huge numbers every day. They can legally roam around California, Florida, Michigan and Nevada, although sightings still remain pretty rare. But don’t let that fool you: Anybody who’s anybody is building an autonomous vehicle.

On the tech side, Google, Apple and Tesla are all working on or rumored to be working on driverless cars. But what of the conventional auto-makers? BMW, Audi, and Daimler are in, buying a $2.8 billion mapping company together so their cars don’t get lost. Mercedes is reportedly launching a self-steering car in March 2016. And Ford has a Silicon Valley office, so what does that tell you? Even Uber wants its own smart wheels in order to cut drivers out of the equation.

So where are all these futuristic cars learning to drive? One answer is a big, empty California space called GoMentum Station. Carved out of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, this 2,100-acre area has 20 miles of roads, perfect for taking a robotic car through driver’s ed. Located in Concord, the testing ground is only a 60-mile drive from Silicon Valley, making it easily accessible for many technology giants.

But not just anyone can roll into GoMentum Station. Closed to the public, the facility isn’t even listed on Google Maps, but you can find it there. As a former naval base, it was already a secure facility when it opened for business in October 2014, something that has attracted Honda, Mercedes Benz and possibly Apple to the world’s largest self-driving test track.

Google MapsGoMentum Station

The area was originally developed as a World War II naval base with two parts: an inland zone where GoMentum is now located, and a tidal area located on Suisun Bay. The base was used for munition storage throughout the years, and the waterfront patch was the scene of the infamous Port Chicago disaster, a 1944 incident in which 320 African American soldiers were killed when munitions exploded while being loaded into a ship. Terrified of another explosion, some 250 soldiers refused to handle the dangerous weapons after that, a protest that resulted in mutiny charges for 50 of them. This disaster and the events that followed exposed racism in the military, and its shockwaves can still be felt today.

But in even in its present state, GoMentum Station continues to reflect its militarized past. Managed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority, the area looks like the Ukrainian city of Chernobyl years after its Soviet-era nuclear meltdown. The roads are cracked. The painted lines have faded. The landscaping is rough. But on the plus side, real-world road conditions are rarely pristine, and a runaway tumbleweed is a great stand-in for a ball-playing child when you’re testing autonomous cars.

As for the sights to see, a 7-mile-long roadway is great for testing high-speed driving. A pair of 1,400 foot long tunnels are ideal for putting GPS and other sensors through their paces. Railroad crossings help the self-driving cars face real-world scenarios. And parking lots aplenty let the robot-cars learn to parallel park without hoards of lookie-lous making them self-conscious.

As for when we’ll start to see more of the real deal on the highways, that’s all up in the air. While many tech and automotive companies are racing to reinvent the wheels, everything from insurance concerns to regulatory issues need to be tackled before driverless cars can tackle the onramps of the world en masse. The wait could be as torturous as a visit to the DMV. Speaking of, why can’t tech fix that?

TIME Video Games

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain Is the Best Metal Gear Ever

The new pinnacle of stealth gaming, and a triumphant farewell from one of the medium's brightest luminaries.

The holy grail of world-building games, it’s argued, is a black box that lets players do as they like with minimal handholding. Pliability with just the right measure of accountability. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, a tactical stealth simulation wrapped in a colossal resource management puzzle inside a love letter to theatrical inscrutability, comes the closest of any game I’ve yet played to realizing that ideal.

That probably sounds a little backwards if you’re hip to Hideo Kojima’s long running Metal Gear Solid series, which launched in 1987 on a Japanese computer platform. We laud Kojima for his contributions to stealth gaming’s grammar, but he’s also loved and, by some, lampooned, for bouts of indulgent auteurism. A self-professed cinephile (he told me in 2014 that he tries to watch a movie a day), he’s notorious for straining attention spans with marathon film-style interludes and epic denouements. His last numbered Metal Gear Solid game, Guns of the Patriots, holds two Guinness records, one for the longest cutscene in a game (27 minutes), another for the longest cutscene sequence (71 minutes). A fan-edited compendium of the latter’s combined non-interactive sequences clocks in at upwards of nine hours.

So it feels a little weird to declare The Phantom Pain comparably cutscene-free. Oh they’re still here, as fascinating, offbeat and abstruse as ever, but restricted to momentary exposition instead of Homeric interruption. It’s like some other mirror-verse version of Kojima helmed production, suddenly obsessed with play-driven storytelling, while most of the grim narrative about the descent of a Melvillian mercenary trickles in through cassette tapes you can listen to at leisure, or ignore completely.

Konami

That turnabout pays dividends. We’re instead treated to a clandestine feast of open world prowling, an unparalleled tactical toybox staged in sprawling bulwarks bristling with eerily sentient enemies. You play as Big Boss, the grizzled, cyclopean soldier of fortune we spent so much of the series reviling, traumatized and left comatose by events in last year’s prologue and prolegomena, Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes. The Phantom Pain is the revenge fantasy entrée transpiring nine years later, a grab-your-bootstraps offshore empire-building exercise and parallel slide into militaristic perdition by way of the Soviet-Afghan and Angolan (civil) wars circa 1984. It’s a Cold War paranoiac’s paradise.

The idea, first articulated in 2010’s Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, is that you’re leading a private nation-agnostic military force from your “mother base,” a concrete and steel-jacketed platform anchored in the middle of the Indian Ocean near the Seychelles archipelago. From there, you execute contracts for shadowy clients in fictional swathes of Afghanistan and the African Angola-Zaire border region, accruing capital to unlock an arsenal of espionage munitions, all the while sleuthing for intelligence on the sinister outfit that brought you to ruin nearly a decade ago.

You’d think a game about private mercenaries would entail managing squadrons of them, and The Phantom Pain does eventually unlock a meta game where, wielding an anachronistic wireless handheld drolly dubbed an “iDroid,” you can deploy groups of soldiers to conflict zones based on probabilistic projections. But this is Big Boss’s story, and the lion’s share plants you in his boots, embarking on missions framed like TV episodes, infiltrating then exfiltrating enemy compounds, mountain fortresses and repurposed ancient citadels to extract some piece of intel, rescue a skilled soldier or assassinate whatever operative. It’s during those tense, punishing, exquisitely crafted sorties that the experience shifts from glorified hide-and-seekery to sublime subterfuge.

Konami

Consider just a few of the ways Kojima lets you poke his anthills. Like how to approach a cliffside fortress teeming with floodlights, security cameras, anti-aircraft cannons, machine gun nests, barbed wire fences, lookout posts, labyrinthine caverns, hovering gunships, weaponized bipedal robots and playgrounds of scalable, multilevel mud-rock dwellings staffed by relentless, hyperaware soldiers. From what angle? At sunrise or sunset? After thorough or slapdash surveillance? In what sort of camouflage? With the aid of a horse for quick arrival and escape, or a canine pal that can spot and mark enemies faster and more completely than you?

Should you wait for a stray sandstorm to blow through, occluding visibility and making direct approaches (or escapes) tenable? Buzz HQ to chopper in a rocket launcher so you can take out an enemy gunship while it’s still on the helipad? Scout for unguarded power hubs to kill lights and cameras (at the expense of raising guard alert levels)? Detonate communications equipment to disrupt radio chatter between field operatives and HQ? Should you slink across a dangerously unconcealed bridge to save time, or clamber down a rocky bluff, scurry across the basin below, then inch up half a dozen flights of steel-cage stairs to pop out at the bridge’s far side? Are you the turtle or the hare?

But it’s the game’s ruthless artificial intelligence that ties it all together so superbly. The Phantom Pain sports the most unpredictable, exploitation-resistant opponents we’ve seen in a sandbox game. Though they run through all the classic Metal Gear-ish paranoia loops, they’re capable of far grander collaboration and topographical awareness. If alerted, they’ll swarm your last known position, then spread out to probe logical escape routes. Favor night ops and they’ll don night vision goggles. Favor headshots and they’ll start wearing metal helmets. It’s as impressive, in its way, as Monolith’s Nemesis system in last year’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, turning indelibility into tactical iteration.

Konami

In the background sits your mother base, visually emblematic of Kojima’s fondness for pumpkin-orange containers and pipe-strung sidewalls, everything smooth and orthogonal and gleaming—the Jony Ive of offshore platform design. Once you’re using the Fulton recovery system, an intentionally silly balloon-driven means of quick-firing anything (enemies, weapons, animals and more) you find in the field back to base, you’ll spend hours here developing new weapons, fiddling with staff assignments and snapping on new platforms. Once you grok how battlefield bric-a-brac feeds into base growth, mission difficulty trebles, as you’re incentivized during assignments to track the best-rated foes and gear.

The game has its share of head-scratchers, like why enemies tagged on your radar stay marked when restarting a mission (convenient, but immersion-killing), or why it takes so much work to unlock the game’s notion of a fast travel system. I’m also conflicted about the buddy system: I wound up abandoning my wolf companion because he made the surveillance game too easy.

The least defensible design choice is probably Quiet, a female warrior-sniper dressed in, well, let’s just say the opposite of practical battlefield attire. There’s a plot explanation for this, but it’s pretty weak, though I found it curious that the men in the game seemed not to notice (okay, a couple yahoos overheard talking about her, but that’s it). It’s Kojima’s directorial eye that lingers voyeuristically here, robbing us of the choice not to leer, daring us not to be titillated.

Konami

But then we know by now that Kojima games mean wrestling with paradox. Thematic gravitas versus silly dialogue. Visual revelation versus graphical compromise. Gameplay versus cutscene. Eroticization versus objectification. Antiwar allegory versus lurid violence.

When I asked Kojima what hadn’t changed about gaming over the past several decades, he told me that while the technology had evolved, “the content of the game, what is really the essence of the game, hasn’t moved much beyond Space Invaders.” It’s the same old thing, he said, “that the bad guy comes and without further ado the player has to defeat him. The content hasn’t changed—it’s kind of a void.”

Loping across The Phantom Pain‘s hardscrabble Afghani-scapes, lighting on soldiers bantering about communism and capitalism, playing tapes of cohorts waxing philosophic about Salt II, Soviet scorched earth policies and African civil wars, questioning who I’m supposed to be—sporting metaphorical horn and tail, both hero and villain—all I know is that I’m going to miss the defiance, the daring, the controversy, the contradictions. This, given Kojima’s rumored breach with Konami and his own affirmations about leaving the series, is all but surely his last Metal Gear game, so it’s poetically fitting that it turned out to be his best.

5 out of 5

Reviewed on PlayStation 4

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