Daily Archives: May 15, 2015

Now study a course on your smartphone anytime, anywhere


EdX, a nonprofit learning destination, and Qualcomm Education, a subsidiary of wireless technology provider Qualcomm Inc has collaborated together to develop edX’s MOOC (massive open online course) mobile capabilities and enhance its open source platform to benefit around the world.

As part of the collaboration, Qualcomm Education will contribute engineering resources and will license elements of its SDK code, which edX will distribute to the Open edX community.

This collaboration with edX adds MOOC opportunities, which will be available for anyone with an internet connection and a device.

“We know that giving students 24/7 access to their learning materials, their teachers and each other can dramatically improve learning. The collaboration with edX is an important step toward expanding access through the power of the mobile platform, enabling the Qualcomm ‘Why Wait’ experience for students around the globe,” said Paul Jacobs, executive chairman, Qualcomm Inc.

EdX, which offers more than 500 courses from institutions like MITx, HarvardX, BerkeleyX and UTx, seeks to increase access to high-quality education by enhancing the online experience on mobile.

“We see a significant opportunity for mobile technology to help realize this goal. Mobile has transformed many industries and we anticipate it will do the same for education,” said Anant Agarwal, chief executive officer, edX, and professor, MIT.

NYT, National Geographic newsfeeds debut on Facebook


MUMBAI, INDIA Facebook which so far stayed away from directly sourcing news content has made its debut in the news segment.

It has released a mobile app named Instant Articles, thereby providing its users direct access to new articles published in leading publications like New York Times, NBC News, National Geographic and BuzzFeed.

The social media major announced the initiative yesterday. It said that nine media organizations will publish content directly on Facebook’s iPhone app, rather than just links. It’s also promised users faster download time; just eight seconds!!!

Revenue model
Facebook said it will use the same criteria to rank Instant Articles in its newsfeed, as other types of content-namely the number of users who like, comment or share the articles and time users spend on the news pages.

According to reports, Facebook will allow publishers to keep all the revenue from ads they sell to accompany their content. Publishers can sell excess ad inventory through Facebook’s advertising network and keep 70 per cent of the revenue.

Mobileggedon at play ?
Reports appearing in the international media said that tech companies long ago drew a connection between slow loading speeds on the Internet and their bottom lines. According to the reports, Amazon.com in 2006 had said that a delay of one-tenth of a second in loading its website nipped about one per cent from its sales. In 2009, Google said slowing search results by 100 to 400 milliseconds-less than half a second-meant users conducted between 0.2 per cent and 0.6 per cent fewer searches.

On mobile devices, the stakes are even higher. In 2013, Google recommended to website operators that their mobile pages should load in less than one second. At that time, just 16 per cent of Fortune 100 websites came close to that threshold, according to a report from the marketing firm The Search Agency.

In keeping with this principle, Google recently changed its algorithm and made its search engine friendlier for mobile websites. This means that faster the loading speed of a website, more the inclination of a viewer to read the articles; in this case more the chances that the article would find its way into Facebook’s Newsfeed.

What analysts say ?
According to a Pew Research Center study released recently, two-thirds of American adults own a smart phone, up from just over a third in the spring of 2011. The study noted that 39 out of 50 news sites have more traffic coming from mobile users than from desktop.

Facebook may have entered into unchartered territory, but this is a strategy which may bring the social networking major into serious news business. The reasons being one, more than 70 percent of Facebook’s traffic comes from mobile, and two; the initiative underscores chief executive Mark Zuckerberg’s increased emphasis on Facebook’s mobile strategy, including the acquisitions of the photo-sharing app Instagram and messaging service WhatsApp.


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