Facebook Free Basics Program Banned in India – Telecom Regulatory Authority of India Ruled Telcom Providers Must Charge Same Price for All Content

Facebook’s Free Basics service has hit a major roadblock in India.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) ruled today that cellular operators are required to charge the same price for all content.

The new law, known as the Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, indicates that “no service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.”

It goes on to say that; “No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that has the effect of discriminatory tarlffs for data services being offered or charged by the service provider for the purpose of evading the prohibition in this regulation.”

That means Reliance Communications — which was partnering with Facebook via its internet.org program — will be unable to bring back the free basic Internet to Indian mobile customers.

Free Basics, the brainchild of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a program from internet.org, a global initiative to make Internet access available to five billion new households in underdeveloped areas by 2023.

Under Free Basics, users in Mumbai, Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Chennai, and Kerala regions, were able to access Facebook and Facebook Messenger, Wikipedia, Bing Search, Dictionary.com, Accuweather, BabyCenter & MAMA, Malaria No More and a number of local and international news organizations.

The problem, critics say, is that the plan violates the principles of Net neutrality by only offering select sites to users, a practice known as a ‘walled garden.’

Zuckerberg, however, has stressed that some free access is better than no access at all.

Facebook’s CEO penned an opinion piece, which was published by the Times of India in December, about the importance of the program. He described Free Basics as a “bridge to the full Internet and digital equality.”

“Instead of wanting to give people access to some basic Internet services for free, critics of the program continue to spread false claims – even if that means leaving behind a billion people,” he wrote.

“Instead of recognizing the fact that Free Basics is opening up the whole Internet, they continue to claim – falsely – that this will make the Internet more like a walled garden. Instead of welcoming Free Basics as an open platform that will partner with any telco, and allows any developer to offer services to people for free, they claim – falsely – that this will give people less choice. Instead of recognizing that Free Basics fully respects Net neutrality, they claim – falsely – the exact opposite.”

Now that the TRAI has made its decision, it looks like Facebook will have to go back to the drawing board if it wants to get India’s lower-income mobile users online.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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TeslaCrypt Ransomware Targets WordPress Sites – Security Intelligence (blog)

TeslaCrypt Ransomware Targets WordPress Sites
Security Intelligence (blog)
If the visitors have out-of-date, unpatched versions of Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, Microsoft Silverlight or Internet Explorer, they put themselves at risk for infection by the TeslaCrypt ransomware. This malware encrypts user files and then

Webmaster Internet – Google News

Yahoo To Close BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) Next Month

Yahoo to close yet another search service. Yahoo BOSS is closing March 31, 2016.

The post Yahoo To Close BOSS (Build Your Own Search Service) Next Month appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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What to do When a Site Drops in Google’s SERPs

WebmasterWorld Members discuss ideas and solutions when a site has dropped in Google’s SERPs over time.

WebmasterWorld

Facebook App Continues to be a Drain on iOS: Report

If you are a Facebook user and an iPhone owner, you may still be noticing some battery drain issues.

And this despite Facebook fixing a bug that left it running in the background, even when it was not being used.

Facebook first came under fire last fall when it came to light the app was causing battery drain.

After the fix came out for iOS, Android Central discovered the Facebook app can actually drain Android Smartphone batteries by as much as 20 percent.

Now, The Guardian reporter Samuel Gibbs has published the findings of a week-long test using an iPhone 6. He discovered that removing the app from his iPhone saved him as much as to 15 percent battery life.

To use Facebook, Gibbs, instead, accessed the site on the Web via the Safari web browser. He said he asked other iPhone users to perform the same test and they all reported similar battery savings.

A side benefit from removing the app was regaining storage: about 500MB, in fact —111MB for the app itself and 389MB in cached data from the app.

“Using Facebook in Safari was almost as good as the app. You can even place a shortcut to Facebook in Safari on the homescreen that looks almost identical to the app’s icon (the white is a little less bright but you need eagle eyes to see),” Gibbs said. “The only restriction was the Share-to function, which does not exist for websites, meaning that to share photos I had to manually hit the ‘post photos’ button on the mobile site.”

It’s an interesting experiment and one that may not bode well for Facebook’s mobile app.


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Young voters aim to energize peers in presidential campaign – The Keene Sentinel


The Keene Sentinel
Young voters aim to energize peers in presidential campaign
The Keene Sentinel
To that end, candidates this year are expected to spend a total of a billion dollars on political advertising through digital media, according to media research organization Borrell Associates. Young people are using the Internet more than traditional

Webmaster Internet – Google News

The Local Data Ecosystem Just Got A Little More Eco-Friendly

Google recently introduced the Google My Business API, but what does this mean for local business marketers? Columnist Christian Ward of Yext explains.

The post The Local Data Ecosystem Just Got A Little More Eco-Friendly appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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LinkedIn Shareholders Lose Big Bucks – Company’s Executive Chairman Loses Almost Half of $2.8B Fortune

It is not a good time to own LinkedIn stock.

In fact, it’s a down right rotten time to have shares in the professional networking firm.

The company’s executive chairman, Reid Hoffman, lost nearly 50 percent of his $2.8 billion fortune Friday as LinkedIn stock took a tumble Friday. It was LinkedIn’s largest ever drop — 43.6 percent to $108.38 — brought on by the company’s grim financial outlook for 2016. The company’s projections, announced last week, failed to meet investor expectations, causing stocks to hit a three-year low.

Jeff Weiner

Jeff Weiner

Hoffman was not the only one to sustain heavy losses, either. A number of LinkedIn executives and venture capital backers also took losses running into tens of millions of dollars as both stocks took a nosedive on grim financial outlooks.

According to Reuters, Hoffman lost $1.2 billion on paper reducing his stake to $1.6 billion, while LinkedIn’s CEO Jeff Weiner’s stake plummeted by $70.9 million to $91.5 million.

Board member and venture capitalist Michael Moritz, the chairman of Sequoia Capital, also lost big: $56 million with his stake dipping to $72.8 million.

Fellow board member David Sze, a managing partner at Greylock Partners, dipped to $5 million down from $8.9 million.

Weiner, upon announcing his company’s fourth quarter results and outlook for 2016 tried to put a positive spin on the upcoming year.

“We enter 2016 with increased focus on core initiatives that will drive leverage across our portfolio of products,” he said.

The first quarter of 2016 is expected to see an estimated revenue of $820 million. The entire year has been forecasted to be between $3.6 billion and $3.65 billion.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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Do SEOs At Larger Agencies Earn More Than Those At Smaller Agencies?

Local search practitioners, how do you stack up to your peers in the industry? Columnist Myles Anderson sheds some light on this topic based on data from BrightEdge’s recent annual Local SEO Industry Survey.

The post Do SEOs At Larger Agencies Earn More Than Those At Smaller Agencies? appeared…

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Peer-to-Peer Connections Comes to Google Hangouts

Peer-to-peer connections is a new functionality coming to Google Hangouts.

The new tool offers more support to improve call quality and speed to Google’s conversation app.

HangoutsGoogle told VentureBeat that while peer-to-peer connections are not yet the default setup for every Google Hangout, it is the company’s goal for the app.

Google, in a new post to its Google Support page for Hangouts, said direct peer-to-peer connection will be used “when possible.”

“This allows Hangouts to more efficiently route your call directly to the person you’re talking to, rather than connecting the call through one of Google’s servers,” the post reads.

“Note: A direct peer-to-peer connection between you and the other person reveals both your IP addresses. With an IP address, it’s possible to approximate your location.”

The new peer-to-peer functionality will be compatible with iOS, Android and the Web. To use the tool, which is still rolling out, you will need to make sure your app has been updated to the most recent version. The person you wish to converse with will also need the latest version installed for the peer-to-peer connection to function.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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