May 28, 2015: Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg through his FB post today annouced the official launch of its Internet.org service to Pakistan in collabration with country's leading telecom carrier Telenor.
Launched in 2013 in Zambia and later spreading to more than 10 countries, Internet.org aims to provide users in less developed countries with internet access free of charge for selected topics including local and global news, health, finance, education and jobs. The service will be available on both 2G and 3G network through browsers and an android app.
Pakistan reportedly has over 27 million active internet users, with half of them using web on mobile devices.
Although, the California based company claims to bring affordable connectivity to users, the service has been hugely criticised in India and hotly debated globally for breaching the net neutrality as it restricts the users choice and provide access to only those site which are part of Facebook's program.
However, in earlier this month, Facebook announced that Internet.org Platform will be opened to websites that met its criteria.
May 27, 2015: In a desperate and to put in a mild terms, a heartening move, French startup companies forms a consortium to attract international experience talent to return back home, pooling their resources to offer free repartriation help and advice as part of the package.
The campaign which they named as 'Come Back Leon' is inspired by a 1980s TV advert where a pasta lures youngsters away as their parents plead: "We have the same at home!"
Tired of poor job prospects, low growth and high taxes, many skilled labour from France left their homes to developed countries like United Kingdom and United States to pursue their dreams. To lure them back, the catchphrase the campaigners coined is "We are innovating at home!"
The claims of campaign sounds credible as it back by a fact that France was the most represented nation for a fourth successive year in the Deloitte 2014, top 500 index of Europe'a fastest growing tech firms, counting 86 companies in total. Paris also claims the status as the startup capital of Europe.
According to Frederic Mazzella, the chief of successful car sharing starup BlaBla Car, the initiative has a modest budget of "several hundreds of thousand euros."
If project members of the startup sector has to be believed, there are 3,000 jobs has to be fill this year alone but they are well aware about the fact that it's not easy to get back well settled skilled talent abroad.
The group has a target of estimated 2 million French million people living abroad, and around half of them are high-degree level. Their primary target is 40K people in Silicon Valley for which they are planning a roadshow in New York, San Francisco and London this summer.
And France government too playing its role to get rid of their infamous image as low growth, high tax bureaucratic nation. The govt economic minister Emmanuel Macron during La Web Conference 2014 said, "To be clear about the French momentum, we are accelerating," he further adds, "The key question for us is how to accelerate, and how to help create new businesses. My job is to be sure that in the coming years we create thousands of new businesses to replace the old ones. My job is to protect people and allow them to be innovative and take risks."
May 27, 2015: During a key note address at Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Asia 2015 in China, Intel chief pitches their company's wireless technology and Internet of Things devices.
In his statement, Intel general manager Kirk Skaugen said that the world is moving towards a situation where "everything that consumes electricity computes and communicates." He further adds, "the future is really hurtling towards us," and explains that within a decade "there will be about 50 billion connected devices in the world: improving our lives, our health, saving time and making us safer, as well as many unimagined benefits."
The California based company identified the core area which they believes lead to widespread adoption of the Internet of Things: Wireless Technology. On an average each person today carries around six wires for their devices, claims Intel chief.
To makes lives easier and the world wire-free, Intel adopted Alliance for Wireless Power (A4WP)'s magnetic resonance standard, which allows power to transmit through several centimeter of otherwise non-conductive material like wood & plastic, enabling creation of furniture or surfaces which can double as wireless chargers. To develop this wireless technology, Intel to partner with Chinese home appliances firm Haier.
Intel also demonstrated their RealSense camera technology, which uses human face as password for computer security, interfaces (waving a hand or making a gesture, similar to Microsoft Kinect recognition technique), and 3D modelling (scanning people, objects, rooms to build interactive computer model of them).
May 24, 2015: For the next three days, there will be some exciting advancements will be happening in the world of Consumer Electronics as CE Show Asian Edition will be going to start in China's own silicon valley, Shanghai.
Ahead of the show, the German automaker Audi announced that it will team up with Huawei to develop new LTE module for Chinese Audis. And it will get seamless integration of China's leading search engine Baidu's Car Life.
There is some exciting news for attendees too, you'll get a free test ride in Audi's latest electric car Audi R8 e-tron, that too for 8-km on busy roads of Shanghai, but hold on, there's a trick here, the steering will be in autonomous 'piloted drive' mode.
To win over the huge Chinese market for consumer electronics, more than 200 technology companies from 15 countries around the world will debut their consumer technology innovations at the inagural International CES Asia.
Karen Chupka, Senior VC for CES said: "With large retailers like JD.com participating alongside major brands such as Cadillac, Samsung, Mercedes Benz, LeTV, Twitter, Microsoft Xbox, China Mobile, Audi, Hisense, Intel, Ford, Monster, IBM, Gibson and Voxx, it is impossible to find a show in Asia with this much diversity and innovation on the show floor."
"They wanted Las Vegas here. Right here, people love their technology. There's a huge market for digital devices here in Asia, and of course, Shanghai is the official city of the future," says Gary Shapiro, the president of Consumer Electronics Association at the Audi Keynote.
We'll be covering the entire show, we'll keep you updated with latest happenings as it comes. Stay tune.
May 23, 2015: Location based targeting which is also called Geo targeting is one of the most potent tool and a widely used technique in web marketing and advertising today as it improve the conversion rate on websites. Geo targeting shows the content on website depends on the visitors country, region, city, postal code and so on. This technique give more relevant web content to visitors making it easy to attract their attention, which in turn convert the visitor into a click or sale. To make this technique more reliable and seamless, a startup comes up with Geolify.
Geolify is a SAAS based solution aims to develop geo targeting for website easy and efficient so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of this tested technique even with little or no coding knowledge. It uses IP address of the visitor to deliver location based images, content and url redirects on a website.
By utilising the power of geolocation, customers can boost their website ROI and CTRs by delivering content that is relevant to the visitor's location.
Traditionally, this technique needs lots of coding experience and an expensive IP location database. With Geolify, no coding required at all. Their tools provide full visual based editor to create and deploy geo targeted URL redirects, images and content on your website.
May 23, 2015: An American technology company NVIDIA has announced the launch of its new ray tracing technology, Iray.
In a press release, the company said that the technology tracks the way beams of light interact with objects in the environment. It said to take advantage of Graphic Processing Units to render detailed models in real-time.
The statement further adds that a new generation of glass-sheathed buildings with radical computer-designed curves are reflecting and concentrating light in ways difficult for designers and engineers to predict. The new technology is developed to address this problem.
"With Iray, designers can see how light interacts with their design over long stretches of time - as the sun moves across the sky at different times of the day and year," the release states.
Iray is designed keeping in eye mainly the designers and visual effects artists working with 3D content who require predictable photorealistic imagery.
May 21, 2015: Last year, Apple in collobration with IBM has launched a MobileFirst for iOS solutions and recently included 22 enterprises apps across range of industries. Taking this apps to next level, Apple today updated its webpage adding few of its enterprises apps including Hospital RN, Field Connect and Incident Aware with Apple watch support.
Hospital RN helps nurses stay updated with their daily tasks notifications, with watch support, notifications will appear on their wrist, helping them perform duties in more easier way.
The Apple page writes:
"The Hospital RN app for iOS gives nurses the power to spend less time tracking down information and more time caring patients. It uses iBeacon technology to accurately identify patients by location so nurses can easily find their records and provide appropriate care. Push notifications on iPhone and Apple Watch alert nurses to review new patient requests, changes in lab status, safety alerts, and prioritized task lists for immediate action. And Apple Watch lets nurses quickly view notifications so they can stay more focused on patient care."
Apple aims to make employees life easier in enterprises by empowering them with iOS apps, which makes their work smoother and faster.
May 21, 2015: The Canada based e-commerce startup Shopify debuts at U.S Stock exchange valuing the company at $2.2 billion.
Shopify (NYSE:SHOP), which also makes its debut in Toronto Stock Exchange today has become the first Canadian company to get listed in US exchange this year.
The ottawa tech company sold 7.7 million shares for a listing price of $17 apiece generating over $100 million. And company's trading above $25.68 a share now growing by 51% from its initial value.
Founded in 2004, Shopify is a ready made e-commerce solution provider for online retailers. It develops softwares for online stores and retail point-of-sale systems. As of now, startup has 150,000 merchants using its platform.
Tobias Lutke, CEO of Shopify in his statement said, "My only concern is where the stock will be in 12-24 months, and can we take a great company we have and turn it into something which is long lasting."
May 20, 2015: If you're a South Asian, you'll definately have a fair idea what cricket means in these countries, if you're not, let me tell you. Cricket is a hugely celebrated sport in South Asia, with 1.5 billion plus fan following in the region and a multi-million commericial interest, it brings broadcasters, sponsors and sporsters on a common platform. For some, it's life while for others it's religion. Cricket continues to dominate the public imagination in this region and Cricketers continue to rule the hearts. To turn this passion for sport into an oppurtunity, a Pakistan based startup 'GameDotPlay' gives life to a augmented reality game called CoverDrive.
Ata Kirmani, one of th co-founder of the company explains the uniqueness of their product, "Existing cricket games for PCs and consoles take away the thrill and excitement of the sport and make it boring and mundane," He further adds, "We wanted to give fans a more hands-on experience."
The game is still undergoing with many flaws, as we noted, it has no multi-player option and motion detection are not upto the mark. However, the founders are very much agree with these bugs and explains, "We developed Cover Drive for use with the original Kinect, which is outdated and does not provide an enthralling experience. Our next version will be much better."
As reported by TechInAsia.com, the startup has recently accepted for incubation at the Microsoft Innovation Center in Karachi, which will help founders refine the technical aspect of the game. The both founders Kirmani and Riasat continue with their day job to fund their dream project.
May 19, 2015: Today, over 150 technology companies including major players like Apple, Google and Microsoft, non-profit organisations and cyber security experts wrote a letter to President Obama urging not to support any legislation which allow the backdoor access into their products allowing intelligence agencies to access encrypted data.
In a letter, the tech companies, cryptologists and rights groups said that mandatory backdoors - which many government authorities in US and abroad have been calling for - would weaken the cybsecurity and it will "undermine human rights."
"More than undermining every American's cybersecurity and the nation'a economic security, introducing new vulnerabilities to weaken encrypted in the U.S. would also undermine human rights and information security around the globe. If American companies maintain the ability to unlock their customers' data and devices on request, governments other than the United States will demand the same access, and will also be emboldened to demand the same capability from their native companies. The U.S. government, having made the same demands, will have little room to object. The result will be an information environment riddled vulnerabilities that could be exploited by even the most repressive or dangerous regimes. That's not a future that the American people or the people of the world deserve."
The letter is wrote in wake of the growing voices in goverment asking for backdoors. Privacy activist and New America Foundation's Open Technology Institute policy director Kevin Bankston organized the letter to maintain the pressure on White House. He thinks President has been letting top intelligence and law enforcement officials to criticize companies for making their devices more secure, and allowing them to suggest that Congress should pass anti-encryption, pro-backdoor legislation.
It will be interesting to see who wins in this battle of privacy, the people's interest or state surveillance. We'll keep you posted, do comment about what you think on this matter.
May 19, 2015: The British telecom giant Vodafone reported €935.8 million in revenues in Ireland in fourth quarter of this calendar year, down by 2.6 percent year-on-year. But, company has some surprising growth in their subscribers base, 1.3m of 2.3m of their consumers now own smartphones.
The company in its preliminary Q4 results reported that out of 2.3m Irish customers at present, 2m were mobile customers. The fixed-line voice and broadband customer base grew by approximately 10 percent, from 25,700 to 282,300. And the enterprise revenues grew by 4 percent, the rise in this part of business is largely due to the company's winning new contracts from large firms like Ryanair.
Vodafone Ireland CEO Anne O'Leary said:
"In a highly competitive market, our performance demonstrates a continued improvement in trends during the year proving the effectiveness of our strategy which is to become the total communications provider of choice in the Irish market,"
She further adds, "As part of that strategy, we have seen growth in our enterprise revenues and continued migration in our customer base from pay-as-you-go to contract subscriptions thus delivering value added services to our customers."
As reporter by IrelandTechnologyBlog last week, Vodafone has teamed up with ESB to form Siro in a €450 fiber-to-the home joint venture, which aims to bring broadband to 50 towns across Ireland.
May 18, 2015: To solve the internet's jigsaw puzzle and to provide much needed order in otherwise chaotic photo updates people uploads online, researchers at Google and University of Washington have found a unique way, which automatically and instantly mine into 86 million images available on photo sharing sites including Flickr and Picasa to create a beautiful time-lapse videos.
The researcher claims that, this process will take months, or sometime years if it will be done manually. Usually, time lapse videos of the same place without mining process involved placing a camera focused on the same spot for the duration of time that needs to be documented.
The process cluster images by landmarks and other heavily photographed places, and sort those clusters by date, the team behind the mining process explains in a research paper. The photos are warped onto a common viewpoint in such a way that each image progress with as much visual consistency as possible.
The researchers promised that they will unveil their code and further results of the research soon. Till then, you can read their findings here.
May 18, 2015: The infamous infringement battle between Samsung and Apple doesnt seem to be reaching any dead end soon, the biggest legal battle which Apple won in 2012 relating to patent and trade dress, claiming $930 million for damages has been overturned by US court of Appeals for Federal Circuit in a latest ruling today.
However, the court reaffirmed the charges of Samsung copying the specific design patents in Apple's iPhone but not the overall trade dress as Apple claims, resulting which the previous $930 million fine will be donwsized. The judge after considering all the patents appeals said that the trade dress claims weren't legally justified leaving the final judgement to lower court. Since those appeals on which Federal court comments are related only for claims accounted $382 million, Apple still has $548 million to collect.
Apple's battle started when the iPhone company sued Samsung in 2011 for infringing and diluting Apple's patents and trade dresses.
There is no official word from both Samsung and Apple yet. If you've few more minutes to spare, you can read the judgement here.
May 16, 2015: The online challenge and peer learning platform startup Venturesity has raised $250,000 in funding. The investment round is led by India's high-profile angel investors including Phanindra Sama, Jay Sethuram, Joshua Bornstein and Ravi Trivedi..
Founded in 2013, Bengaluru based startup designed a unique challenge model platform for employers to help them discover relevant talent and acquire the right candidate.
The platform allows companies to post the challenge rather than just job description. The challenges will be real life scenarios and gives candidate a taste of what they are going to tackle on workplace. Each challenge has a package of learning material to go through, the leaderboards will display each candidate performance and features.
Subhendu Panigrahi, one of the founder of Venturesity said: "What we have done is taken age-old interview, made it more fun, social and rewarding. There are always prizes and goodies apart from real jobs and internships."
The startup serves their unique model to wide range of sectors like tech, design, marketing and operations. Their list of clients include the famous name like Oracle, Microsoft and internet companies like Housing, Ola, PayU and Perk.
The early trends suggests 80-85% users as the company claims are active job seekers while the rest are passive job seekers.
With latest funding, the company aims to make their platform more robust and expand their services to other geographies and verticals. They are also planning to triple their team size.
May 16, 2015: The South Korean company Samsung released four episodes featuring the Snapchat superstar Shonduras to highlight the power of curved display of Galaxy S6 Edge. The four videos are part of Samsung's Edge-ucational series which lasts about 8 minutes to show users the possibility of their device and its unique curved display.
May 16, 2015: In a bid to take on growing dominance of ecommerce giants like Amazon, eBay and everyone else, Google all set to launch 'Buy' buttons in their search results.
As per the unconfirmed reports, the option to buy will appear in search results when user Google the products on their smartphones. The buttons will be paired with sponsored search results.
As The Wall Street Journal reports:
"If shopper click on the buy buttons, they will be taken to another Google product page to complete the purchase, the people explained. On that page, they will be able to pick sizes and colors and shipping options, as well as complete the purchase, one of the people said.
The products will still be provided and sold by retailers, rather than by Google. Retailers including Macy's Inc. are in talks with Google about taking part in the launch, the people added."
We reported last week here, Google has integrated similar option to tackle food industry. The official word from Google on buy buttons is not disclosed yet, we'll report as it comes.
May 14, 2015: Friend in need is friend indeed, yes, you can help your friends get through difficult times by helping them get loan by vouching for them on a first of its kind social media network platform called Vouch. The San Francisco based social network for credit Startup Vouch founded by ex-Prosper and ex-Paypal alumni, has raised $6 million in Series A funding to continue to grow its business. The unique feature of this credit service company is, it will count your social connections to know your credit-worthiness in addition to the current credit-score system banks commonly use.
The company's CEO Yee Lee says, "We didn't just look an individual and figure out how trustworthy is this one person in isolation," He further adds, "We instead looked at the network that's around that particular party and tried to figure out some cues."
The investment round is led by Core Innovation Capital, Data Collective, Stanford StartX Fund and Cooley LLP. The company raised $9.6 million in total till date combining earlier seed round.
To apply for a loan, borrowers must sign up for an account online or on mobile, Then, invite their friends to join their network. As name suggests, friends in their network can vouch for the borrower by choosing an amount they agree to pay if the the borrower defaults the loan.
Founded in 2013, the Startup was in beta mode before launching it officially last month. The Startup aims to apply new types of data to the process of granting loans at lower rates than traditional lender or borrowers. The company has claims to have offered $500 to $7,500 loans till now with interest rates somewhere between 5 percent and 30 percent.
As TechCrunch reports, today, the company has originated a million in loans, and its expanded network has thousands of users, including borrowers and sponsors. The majority of the loans are in good standing, too.
May 14, 2015: As per the uncofirmed reports, hackers have used the Starbucks mobile application vulnerabilities to siphon money from credit cards' and paypal accounts linked to the consumers accounts.
The seattle based company acknowledged the problem on Wednesday, but denied any security breach in their app, and blamed the weak passwords by consumers as probable reason for theft.
In a statement, coffee company said: "Like all major retailers, the company has safeguards in place to constantly monitor for fraudulent activity activity and works closely with financial institutions."
The Starbucks app allows the users to pay for their drinks and food through their mobile. Hackers said to found the way to get in to the app anonymously to buy a new gift card and transfer the funds to themselves.
On a cautious note, company's statement adds: "If a customer believes their account has been subjected to fraudulent acitivity, they are encouraged to contact both Starbucks and their financial institution immediately. Customers are not responsible for charges or transfers they did not make. If a customer's card is registered, their account balance is protected."
May 13, 2015: Facebook has some good news for content publishers, any guesses? Well, in a bid to make their platform more interactive the technology giant today introduced a new product through their blog and they called it Instant Articles. As the name suggests, the new product gives publishers an innovative platform to create fast and interactive articles on Facebook.
The California based company collaborated with nine famous publishers to launch its product. Here are the some of the key features which will enhance the reading experience like never before.
Plenty of articles from third party publishers shared daily on Facebook. An average story takes 8 seconds to load, which the company claims is the slowest single content type to load on their platform. Instant Articles solves this problem, the content through this new medium will load 10 times faster than standard mobile web articles.
2. Interactive Pictures and Videos
Instant Article adds new value to pictures, the unique feature on this platform allows users to Zoom in and explore high-resolution photos by just tilting phone. Pictures can speak louder than words is an old saying, now pictures tells its own story through audio caption.
Videos in articles get auto played as you scroll just like they do on Facebook feed, without taking an extra pain to click the play button. And readers can like and comment on the individual parts of an article.
One major concern for publishers is revenues afterall all this hardwork is for money, so Facebook framed a win-win strategy. Publishers can use analytics, control their stories, sell-ads in their articles and keep the revenue.
Alternatively, Facebook gives an option to choose for using their Audience Network to monetise unsold inventory.
Chris Cox, Facebook Chief Product Officer said: "Fundamentally, this is a tool that enables publishers to provide a better experience for their readers on Facebook." He further adds, "Instant Articles lets them deliver fast, interactive articles while maintaining control of their content and business models."
This move by Facebook as analysts thinks are to compete with Twitter, which still consider as best medium to track real time information.
At the moment, Instant Article is available only for Facebook app for iPhone.
May 13, 2015: Google Street View has been extensively used in US, Canada and many parts of Europe. However, in Asia the service is limited to selected parts of the capital cities and heritage sites. In India, the service is limited to famous tourist spots such as Taj Mahal and Qutub Minar to name a few.
After meeting with Google Street View team, the India's State Minister for Information Technology K T Rama Rao announced that the capital city of Telangana state Hyderabad will become the first city in India to get Google Street View.
In a statement issued on Tuesday, the Minister said: "Google is in talks with the Ministry of Home Affairs to get permissions for conducting the Street View exercise at a city-wide level. This permission is expected to be given shortly."
He further adds, "Upon the request made by the Minister, Google has agreed to make Telangana the first state which will get Street View for one complete city, namely, Hyderabad to begin with, with subsequent extension to other major cities and towns."
The Minister also make specific requests to use their Google Street View services to monitor any deviations from approved building plans, property tax collections, mapping of industrial land bank located in different parts of the state.
About Google Street view:
Launched in 2007, Google Street view is a technology which features as add on in Google Maps and Google Earth to provide panoramic views of the streets. This technology debuted in India in 2012 to provide street view for National Museum in New Delhi, in collaboration with Archaeological Survey of India.
May 12, 2015: The Middle East based telecommunication service provider Zain have announced that, in partnership with Vodafone they will offer machine-to-machine (M2M) services to enterprises and government across the region.
The two telecom giants have been working together from last three years, and this latest partnership will allow Zain to gain benefits from Vodafone's experience and opportunities offered by the exponential growth in M2M and 'Internet of Things' across the various key areas such as automative, asset tracking and smart metering.
In a press release, the company says that Vodafone's expertise in providing smart metering solutions is a key factor underpinning the relationship. Vodafone making a huge impact executing successful projects globally including India, New Zealand, across Europe and UK.
M2M are set to reshape the way enterprises will run, making machines connects wirelessly to the internet, transforming them into intelligent devices that exchange real time information. This will make the business work smarter keeping customers more happier.
"The roll-out of M2M services to our enterprise and individual customers is an important part of our strategic direction in creating a smarter world. The world is only just starting to appreciate the huge potential that comes from the real time monitoring and analysis of Internet of Things and M2M traffic and the potential benefits of M2M to the communities we serve is far-reaching. Through this partnership with Vodafone, Zain will deliver M2M services to end-users in a cost effective and scalable manner," says CEO of Zain Group Scott Gegenheimer.
Erik Brenneis, Director of M2M, Vodafone in a statement said: "M2M is the foundation for the Internet of Things and we are looking forward to supporting Zain and its customers to deliver world class M2M services. There is a huge opportunity for new M2M applications across a whole range of market sectors from connected cars and smart homes to mHealth."
Zain will set to roll out M2M services in the second half of 2015 starting from Kuwait on its 4G LTE network, followed by other countries across the region.
May 11, 2015: A leading UK based mobile phone retailer Carphone Warehouse with services across Europe has all set to launch their own mobile network called iD. The company's network infrastructure will be based on Three network.
The new iD network will be get unveiled with some eye-popping roaming 'TakeAway' plans. The plan will offer free frictionless roaming across 22 countries. These roaming plan will inclusive of texts, calls and data to 20 countries and the price will begin at £25.50 per month with 2-years commitment.
Graham Stapleton, CEO of Carphone Warehouse said: "iD gives increased flexibility and value to customers who are getting increasingly frustrated with the 'one size fits all' approach." He further adds, "Launching with range of plans - including 12 and 24 month contracts alongside 30 day options - means we can offer solutions based on how consumers actually use their mobile phone."
Overview of Plans:
- With £7.50 per month comes Nokia Lumia 635 on 24 month contract plan, which offers 150 inclusive minutes, 5000 texts and a 250MB 4G data allowance
- With £19.50 per month comes Samsung Galaxy A3 on 12 month contract plan which offers 300 minutes, 5000 texts and 1GB of inclusive data.
- Sim Only plan starts with £7.50 per month with 30-day rolling contract which includes 2000 minutes and 5000 texts.
There are many exciting offers yet to come, promised Stapleton. "The plans available at launch are just tip of the iceberg regarding what our network can offer," he said. "We're listening to our customers' thoughts and needs and will be using this insight to help develop and evolve iD over the coming months."
May 11, 2015: A Bangkok based e-commerce service provider company aCommerce announced that they have raised $5 million in funding. The investment round is led by Inspire Ventures, Ardent Capital and Sinarmas.
According to the company, the current funding round is in preparation for a larger series B funding round which will set to take place in second half of 2015. The firm claims that demand for their services in Indonesia exceeded their forecasts due to the rapid growth of new players in the market.
With the fresh investment, aCommerce aims to improve their three key divisions which are marketing, tech and warehouse space.
Founded in early 2013 by group of enthusiastic entrepreneurs, aCommerce grown leaps and bounds to become one of the largest ecommerce service provider in South Asia. The startup is now a preferred local partner for global brands including Samsung, Line and Huawei.
May 10, 2015: When you board a flight next time while saying a goodbye to your loved ones, make sure to say thank you to US court of Appeals. Well, it's because in latest ruling last week, A Washington DC court dismissed an appeal challenging the authority of Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to allow the use of electronic devices to passengers during takeoff and landing.
The appeal was made by Association of Flights attendants (AFA), suing the administrator of FAA Michael Huerta, against their agency decision to authorize airlines to let passengers use electronic devices. The FAA allowed 31 airlines to do so since 2013.
Well, you may be wondering why AFA could be having any problem with this decision of FAA? Here's what court found, and as arstechnica reports it:
"In this case, it really does not matter whether Notice N8900.240 is viewed as a policy statement or an interpretive rule. The main point here is that the Notice is not a legislative rule carrying "the force and effect of law." Perez, 135 S. Ct. at 1204. A legislative rule "modifies or adds to a legal norm based on the agency's own authority" flowing from congressional delegation to engage in supplimentary law making. Syncor, 127 F.3d at 95.
The court of appeals also clearly states in its ruling that FAA within its right always to change the law as it pleases and allowing electronic devices were well within its purview.
May 9, 2015: The startup Marble has a good news for someone who owns 3D printer, the ambitious company re-defined the possibilities of three dimensional printing by 3D prototyping a MRB-1 drone.
The MRB-1 has removable wings, composite body with the capability to stay aloft for much more longer than quadracopter drone, and it's removable parts makes it easy to disassemble for transport.
The thinking head behind the idea Mathieu Johnson, who is a Aerospace Engineer and claimed a fame for working on record breaking electric aircraft design project, has some interesting long term goals to develop a turn-key, commercial, unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for creating 2D and 3D navigational maps. In order to execute his ambitious goals, Johnson with four other engineers came together to give shape to their startup project Marble. The newly formed company aims to deliver cutting-edge, high performance drones. The camera mounted underside the drone will allow the UK users to get customised, high fidelity maps in the field.
The startup team used a Form 1+ printer from formlabs to build their prototypes:
Johnson says, "We can now produce exchangeable modules - thanks to the geometrical accuracy - without the need for moulded parts," He further adds, "It gives us the possibility to manufacture small batches of early-version product that we will sell to customers before committing to manufacturing methods more optimised for large scale production. For most parts, we may not able to manufacture them any other way, without compromising on weight or functionality."
And here's how the final product looked when it took the skies.