Daily Archives: September 8, 2014

Driven by mobile, over 1 bn videos viewed everyday on Facebook

New Delhi: Social networking giant Facebook Monday said more than one billion videos are viewed everyday on its platform, with over 65 per cent of it being consumed on mobile phones.

Facebook, which has more than 1.32 billion monthly active users (MAUs) globally, has over 1.07 billion mobile MAUs.

“Since June there has been an average of more than one billion video views on Facebook every day. Overall growth in video views exceeded 50 per cent from May through July of this year,” Facebook said in a blog.

Now, more than 65 per cent of video views are on mobile, it added.

“Video is one of the most engaging and immersive ways to tell your story… Video uploaded directly to Facebook is an increasingly important part of News Feed, and more people than ever before are sharing, discovering, and engaging with videos that they care about,” Facebook Project Management Director (Video) Fidji Simo said.

The US-based firm is now rolling out an update this week that will allow people to see how many views a video has received on Facebook.

“Views will be shown on public videos from people and pages, to help people discover new, popular videos,” Simo added.

Facebook is currently testing a new feature on mobile that aims to help people discover new videos and after someone finishes watching a video, Facebook may show additional related videos that they might find interesting.

“We are committed to making Facebook the best place to share, discover and watch videos, and we’ll keep listening to feedback to improve video on Facebook,” Simo added.


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Most expensive video game to hit cyberspace Tuesday


London: Billed as the biggest video game of the year and also the most expensive one ever made, Destiny will be launched Tuesday to an expected 10 million players.

Developed by US-based video game developer Bungie, the plot of the sci-fi game is set 700 years in the future, where players travel through space to prevent humans from being wiped out by aliens.

The project has cost $500 million – more than twice the budget of the new Star Wars films, The Guardian reported.

“The investment had been strongly focused on the social aspect of the game and of the Destiny universe, which is what has set it apart from other games,” said Derek Carroll, a designer for Bungie who has worked on Destiny for almost five years.

The game can only be played online so that all the players can appear and interact in each other’s games.

Destiny may revolutionise the face of gaming when it hits shelves globally, many claimed.

“Destiny is a tremendous undertaking and it is certainly the biggest game I’ve ever worked on or that possibly anyone’s ever worked on,” Carroll added.

Players in the game will protect the solar system from alien attackers either in groups or alone and will travel all over Earth, Venus, Mars and the moon.

Destiny will be Bungie’s first new project since Halo and its sequels, and the anticipation and secrecy surrounding it has already ensured it is the most pre-ordered piece of entertainment software in history, The Guardian reported.

A record breaking 4.6 million people played it when a beta demo version was released in July.


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Arab governments agree to ‘confront’ IS jihadists

Arab states agreed Sunday to take the “necessary measures” and were prepared to cooperate internationally to confront Islamic State militants, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said.

At the start of a foreign ministers’ meeting in Cairo, Arabi had called for a political and military confrontation with the jihadists and other militants he said threatened the existence of Arab states.

He later stopped short of explicitly backing US air strikes targeting IS jihadists who control swathes of Iraq and Syria.

“The Arab foreign ministers have agreed to take the necessary measures to confront terrorist groups including” IS, Arabi said at a news conference.

“International cooperation is included; international cooperation on all fronts,” he said.

The ministers agreed to “take all measures to counter terrorism: political, security and ideological,” he added, without spelling out what these measures would be.

His remarks came as the United States expanded air strikes against the militants and sought wider regional backing for its campaign.

Arabi had earlier urged the foreign ministers to take “a clear decision for a comprehensive confrontation, militarily and politically”.

Iraq had welcomed US President Barack Obama’s plan for an international coalition against jihadists as a “strong message of support”, after repeatedly calling for aid against the militants.

Obama outlined the plan at a NATO summit Friday for a broad coalition to defeat IS, which led an offensive that overran parts of Iraq in June and also holds significant territory in neighbouring Syria.

Obama’s IS ‘game plan’ He said Sunday he will make a speech on Wednesday to lay out his “game plan” to deal with and ultimately defeat IS, but warned he would not wage another ground war in Iraq. IS, originally an Al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq that expanded in the Syrian conflict, claims its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the rightful leader, or Caliph, of all Muslims. The group’s astonishing rise in Syria and Iraq caught the weak government in Baghdad, and much of the region, off guard. Arabi said IS posed a threat to the entire region.

“What is happening in Iraq is that the terrorist organisation not only threatens a state’s authority, but threatens its very existence and the existence of other states,” he said. Arab countries have participated in Western-led military campaigns in the past, including the first Gulf War and the aerial campaign against the late Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi. The United States on Sunday expanded its month-long air campaign against the militants in Iraq’s Sunni Arab heartland, hitting IS fighters west of Baghdad as Iraq troops launched a ground assault.

Aside from fighting in Iraq, Arab states are concerned that IS is coordinating with domestic extremists and that militants who travelled to join the group may conduct attacks on their return home. In Egypt, several militants who have carried out attacks on security forces since the army overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013 had travelled to fight in Syria. Egypt’s main militant group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has not publicly pledged its loyalty to IS, but has referred to the jihadists as “brothers”.


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Putin is ‘self-centred’, says Dalai Lama


Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama criticised Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as “self-centred” in a German newspaper interview today, saying Putin seems to want to “rebuild the Berlin Wall”.

“His attitude is: ‘I, I, I’,” the Dalai Lama said, pointing out that Putin had served as Russian president, then prime minister and then president again.

“That’s a bit too much,” he told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. “This is very self-centred.” The Buddhist leader also had more criticism for Russia, now in the worst standoff with the West since the Cold War, than for China, which has ruled Tibet since its 1950 invasion.

“China and Russia, these are two very different cases,” said the Dalai Lama, voicing hope that “the modern world supports China becoming a democratic country”.

“China wants to be part of the global political system and will be ready to accept the international rules in the long run,” he said in the interview conducted in English.

“I don’t have the impression that this accounts for Russia and President Putin, as well, at the moment. “We had become accustomed (to the fact) that the Berlin Wall has fallen,” he said, alluding to the shattering of the Communist bloc begun 25 years ago.

Now President Putin seems to want to rebuild it. But he is hurting his own country by doing this. Isolation is suicide for Russia.”


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