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Pinterest was somewhat quiet towards the end of 2015, but make mistake, the photo-sharing website is planning a big year in 2016.

Pinterest boasts around  70 million users globally, according to estimates from comScore, the research company.

The firm employs more than 450 people, and has raised more than $760 million in venture capital.

Despite generating  little to no revenue, the company is valued by investors at $5 billion.

After three years of massive growth, 2015 was the year when Pinterest finally began to address that key issue – making it a profitable business.

The company has been beta testing Promoted Pins for eight months, burrowing away working with its partners to make sure it gets its ad platform right.

2016 is the year when it all comes together, and Pinterest, as always, are thinking big.

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On New Year’s Day, Pinterest began selling ads on the site to marketers, and have their sights firmly set on taking ad spend off the likes of Google, Twitter and Facebook.

Its major competitors have been pursuing advertising for years, but Pinterest feel they are at advantage over them given the nature of their product focused service.

“On Facebook, you think about friends, and on Twitter you think about news,” Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s head of partnerships, told the New York Times.

“On Pinterest, you think about what you want to do, where you want to go, what you want to buy.”

Essesntially, Pinterest aims to do for its users discovery on the site what Google did for search.

Pinterest wants to bring the content that their users want without them even knowing they want it.

To help them achieve this ambitious goal, Pinterest began working with a number of exclusive advertising partners in a limited test in June.

The Promoted Pin ad look much like the other content on Pinterest.

Marketers can target it to certain groups of people based on their location, sex and the type of topic they have shown interest in.

Pinterest claim early results are promising.

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Brand advertisers see Promoted Pins ‘re-pinned’ or shared by users, an average of 11 times per advertisement.

On average, every ad will be seen by 30 percent more people than the brand paid to show it to because users have shared the ad with friends.

Kraft Foods was one of the lucky few who began testing the ads in June, and so far they have been impressed with the results they have yielded.

But more than anything, they see the value of the vision Pinterest have for their platform.

“We’re aiming for the holy grail here: trying to provide the right content to the right people, at the right time,” Dana Shank, an associate director at Kraft Foods, told the New York Times.

“To be on a platform where people are actively looking for that content? That’s invaluable to us.”

The problem advertises face on social networks is making the adverts blend seamlessly in the wealth of unpaid content.

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It’s not easy, but given that Pinterest is so product led, it helps advertisers accomplish that goal enormously.

“Advertisers tell us Pinterest is the only place where their brand feels truly welcome,” Ms. Bradford said.

Of while Pinterest may feel they already have a clear advantage over their competitors, there is still an awful lot of ground to make up.

Facebook, which has more than 1.3 billion users, generated $3.2 billion in revenue last quarter. Google generated $16.5 billion in revenue for that period.

“Pinterest definitely has a lot of potential, because the nature of the activity is totally commercial,” Debra Aho Williamson, principal analyst at eMarketer, told the New York Times.

“But if you look at where its business is compared to Facebook or Twitter, it still has a lot of work to do.”

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg held a Q&A session in Columbia as the firm launched their free internet programme.

Zuckerberg was in Colombia to roll out its free set of public online services.

On Wednesday, Facebook launched Internet.org, a set of free services ranging from Wikipedia to local job listings that can be accessed by anyone with cellular connectivity,  in the country.

Facebook is a founding partner of Internet.org, which is already available in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia

Internet.org aims to provide internet access to two thirds of the world’s population, mostly those living in poorer nations, who do not have internet access.

Zuckerberg, who has made it his goal to make the world a more connected place, believes the service can be a force for peace.

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The Internet.org app offers users of the Tigo telephone network free access to basic online services including weather, Wikipedia, Facebook, and government services.

Zuckerberg also used the trip to Colombia to give the latest monthly Q&A sessions.

Speaking in Bogota, the first outside the U.S., Zuckerberg answered a variety of personal and Facebook-related questions.

“Giving the people the tools of connectivity is important in itself to create communication,” Zuckerberg said. “I think a lot of conflicts are caused by misunderstandings.”

Zuckerberg also said the tools could help bring peace to Colombia’s 50-year-old armed conflict with the leftist FARC rebels. The two parties are currently locked in peace talks.

He said: “Just giving people the tools of connectivity is important by itself in creating communication and a tighter social fabric in creating peace,”

Earlier, Zuckerberg had met with Colombia’s President, Juan Manuel Santos, to discuss how to bring internet access to the billions across the globe who still don’t have access to it.

“This alliance with Facebook represents a big help for our challenge as a country in devising programs to impact lower income communities,” Molano said.

The Colombian president predicted around eight million Colombians could benefit from the Internet.org program.

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Of 48 million Colombians, more than nine million are online, according to an official report in 2013.

Zuckerberg said the free tools would also help young entrepreneurs and businesses prosper.

“By giving people these basic tools for free, you’re creating an equal playing field,” he said..

Vice president of Internet.org and Facebook executive Chris Daniels told AFP that it is

Facebook’s mission is to make the world more open and connected and Internet.org’s mission is to connect the two thirds of the world that is not yet connected to the Internet.

He said: “That two thirds that are not yet connected are primarily located in emerging markets, so this is why we have the focus on Internet.org in emerging markets.

“We think that there are two primary barriers to people using the Internet. What Internet.org is trying to solve is both affordability and awareness. Trying to give a small set of basic services that are going to improve people’s lives.

Facebook Growth

“We believe by people having their first experience on the Internet, they will start to understand the value of the Internet, they’ll pay for access to the Internet and hopefully improve their lives.”

Ultimately, Daniels, and Zuckerberg for that matter, believe that the world will be a better place when it is finally connected.

“Our mission in Facebook is to make the world more open and connected. And we don’t feel we can do that until the entire world is connected,” Daniels said.

“I don’t think the question is necessarily what Facebook gains, but what the world gains.

“And what the world gains is more people have better opportunities in their lives, more people have the opportunity to express themselves, the communication tools.”

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Productivity is fundamental for the continued growth of any growing company.

It may not be the most important aspect, that lies within the product itself, but it is certainly up there with the most important of them all.

Many businesses are constantly looking at how they can increase productivity without sacrificing quality.

But the truth is, millions of businesses could easily up productivity by simply evaluating how they work internally.

New data-mining tools are helping employers work out just where all that time goes during the working day, allowing employers to pinpoint exactly where they can cut activities to increase productivity.

Emails and meetings have long been touted as one of the prime causes for stunting productivity.

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Seagate Technology is one company who hired another VoloMetrix  to conduct a study on how its employee teams use time and work together.

“You improve what you measure,” Joan Motsinger, vice president of global operations strategy, told the Wall Street Journal.

Seagate discovered some employees were devoting more than 20 hours a week to meetings.

This was based on an analysis of 7,600 Seagate employees’ interaction and activities in 2013 by VoloMetrix in Seattle.

The study also found that a consulting firm was draining thousands of hours of its employees’ time, sending 3,700 emails annually.

In light of this, Seagate reduced meetings and cut back on its dealings with the firm.

VoloMetrix’s software uses data from employees’ email headers and calendars to show how groups are interacting.

individuals see confidential weekly  dashboards showing how much time they spent on email or in meetings and can also receive reports on their ‘organizational load’.

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These confidential reports measures the number of meetings they call and emails they generate compared with their peers.

“A small handful of people are really off the charts,” Chantrelle Nielsen, head of customer solutions at VoloMetrix, told the Wall Street Journal.

In a study of more than 25 companies, VoloMetrix found executives who consume more than 400 hours a week of colleagues’ time, ‘the equivalent of 10 people working full-time every week just to read one manager’s email and attend his or her meetings’.

One middle manager in a recent 17-company study by consultant Bain & Co. and VoloMetrix discovered he was spending eight hours a week in meetings he didn’t need to attend.

He also found he was spending four hours a week reading unnecessary emails or responding to emails that he could have left.

After all the time wasted on unnecessary tasks he found that he had just 11 hours left in his workweek to work on core tasks.

Michael Mankins, lead author of the study and a Bain partner based in San Francisco, tot ld The Wall Street Journal that common time-wasting habits include copying too many people into emails and overuse of ‘reply all’.

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He said that inviting too many people to meetings is another common mistake, and cites seven people to be the sweet spot when it comes to making effective decisions during meetings.

Responding to emails from colleagues for fear of appearing rude is another common time-wasting culprit, says Mr Mankins, who suggests simply telling your colleagues you’re not going to reply simply to save time.

Bob Moore, director of software engineering for InterMetro Industries, coaches employees to be aware of time-wasting habits.

“It’s not unusual to see people who sit next to each other emailing each other and CC-ing half the company,” Mr. Moore told the Wall Street Journal.

He also suggests talking face-to-face to save time.

Much of what has come from such time-wasting studies is fairly clear, in a fast developing technological world, sometimes we simply need to just get back to basics.

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Facebook Page owners uploaded more videos directly to Facebook than they did via sharing from YouTube videos for the first time ever, according to new research.

It’s an important milestone for Facebook who have been attempting to persuade brands to post directly to the site rather than via YouTube.

The world’s most popular social network has also been courting some of YouTube’s brightest stars to try and shift the balance of power, and at least for the moment, it has.

Until recently Facebook was not even considered a destination for video, but now it seems they are taking a serious chunk out of YouTube’s market share.

YouTube’s videos posted directly to Facebook by content creators has been declining since May, whereas users uploading videos to Facebook has been increasing.

In November, Facebook’s share of video posts uploaded directly to Facebook overtook YouTube’s videos on Facebook for the first time ever, according to new data from Socialbakers.

Socialbakers tracks social media data, and analysed 20,000 Facebook Pages as a basis for their latest research.

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The reason for this shift is that marketers and content creators are starting to realize that uploading content directly to Facebook is more beneficial to uploading it to YouTube alone.

This is in part because videos on Facebook automatically play as a user scrolls through the news feed, a feature introduced late last year, meaning users are drawn to the content without actively having to press play.

On the flip side of this, a Facebook view probably carries less weight than a YouTube view, given that the user will have probably taken a more active role in seeking out the content on the Google-owned platform.

This is something that Socialbakers says it plans look into the quality of a YouTube view versus a Facebook view in the coming weeks.

While this is something that’s up for debate, one thing that isn’t, at least as far as this latest research is concerned, is that Facebook videos are proving to be far more engaging than videos on any other platform.

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Socialbakers CEO Jan Rezab told Business Insider this is because Facebook videos are simply ‘more natural’ to share and interact with than YouTube videos.

But this is not happened by fluke, Facebook having been working tirelessly to put themselves in this position.

Facebook’s top brass has continued to stress the importance of video in quarterly earnings calls.

It recently launched autoplay video ads and it reportedly trying to poach YouTube’s rising stars publish content direct to Facebook.

Facebook has increased user video functionality and it rolled out video ads on Instagram.

All this has made for a tantalising prospect for brands and content creators, and some huge brands have begun to favour Facebook over YouTube, at least only for experimental purposes.

This year, UK department store John Lewis uploaded its Christmas ad direct to Facebook for the first time.

Business Insider claim that 24 hours after John Lewis’ video launched, 40% of its views were on Facebook, whereas last year the views all went to YouTube.

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And in the first day after launch, the Facebook video attracted 76.9% of the social media shares compare to 23.1% for YouTube.

However is still very much the top dog in terms of video uploads and views.

A Google spokesperson told Business Insider that 300 hours of video per minute were uploaded to YouTube, compared to 100 hours in 2013.

Since May 2013, there has also been a 50% jump in the number of video hours viewed monthly.

And a recent study from AOL that found YouTube was the most effective online platform when it came to bringing awareness and driving purchase decisions.

Despite this, brands would be foolish to ignore Facebook’s growing dominance in the video arena, and should begin to think about stepping up their video efforts on the world’s most popular social network.

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It doesn’t matter how successful a business you are, you’re going to taste failure on more than one occasion.

The key to a successful business though is picking yourself up and learning from your mistakes.

Some people are stubborn, and will continue to make mistakes until it is too late to do anything about it.

Google, one of the biggest and most successful companies in the entire world, has had to deal with many failures over the years.

According to Google’s head of spam Matt Cutts, who is currently on a leave of absence, the company make sure they know exactly where they went wrong to avoid making the same mistakes twice.

“Google has a pretty good culture of doing postmortems,” Cutts said. “When something fails, someone close to the failure tries to document what happened and why.

“A good postmortem document should also point the way to avoid similar mistakes in the future. Mistakes happen, but you don’t want to make the same mistakes over and over again.

“Instead, it’s important to try to get to the root of a problem and fix it there. Failure can be a good thing if you learn valuable lessons along the way.”

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But while knowing where you went wrong is sometimes fairly simple, other times it’s a little trickier.

“But it’s also a rule of thumb of software engineering that it’s 10x harder to catch a problem at each new level of deployment,” Cutts said. “That’s why solid tests (e.g. unit tests) are so helpful; it’s much easier to fix a problem when you catch it earlier.

“Likewise, requiring code reviews before submitting code changes can avoid lots of stupid mistakes. Once buggy or poor code is checked in, debugging a problem can get much harder.

“And if a problem makes it out into production, it’s typically even more difficult to fix.”

Being the savvy customer that he is, Cutts said that postmortems can even be taken a step further – the premortem.

This is effectively trying to predict what may go wrong once the product launches.

He said: “An example of a premortem would be going to each member of a team before a product launches and asking them ‘what’s going to break or fail? What’s the mostly likely thing to go wrong?”

“After all, the people who have been working hard on a project have been steeped in it and are intimately familiar with potential weaknesses and failures.”

Matt Cutts

Cutts says the idea is so simple that it practically explains itself, though there are a couple subtleties.

“First, don’t bring everyone into one big room and ask ‘hey, what’s going to go wrong?’ That’s a recipe for groupthink unless there are a small number of glaring problems,” he said.

Cutts said that instead, you should collect initial feedback independently and privately so that people won’t be biased by hearing what others are saying.

With private feedback you may end up hearing opinions that people are afraid to express in public.

If you do have to settle for a big group meeting, ask people to channel their personal concerns on their own before opening up the public discussion.

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“The second subtlety is that ‘dogfooding’, the process of testing your own product internally before introducing them to the world, is almost like a premortem if you can get good feedback internally,” he said.

“The touchy issue here is authenticity: people want their feedback to be taken seriously, but internal feedback might be biased or skewed for various reasons.

“Even if you disagree with internal feedback, it makes sense to take a clear-eyed look at what people are saying. And if you do disagree, it helps to explain your reasons for adjusting to feedback or not.

“Could a pre-mortem help your next project avoid a massive failure? Why not give it a shot to find out? Premortems can be an easy and fast exercise, and you might get some really useful insights.

“Just ask the people close to the launch to brainstorm ‘What’s most likely to go wrong?’ before the project launches.”

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A British peer-to-peer money transfer service has raised $58 million in the latest round of funding, valuing the company close to $1 billion.

Andreessen Horowitz, the US venture capital group, led the round to invest in the peer-to-peer money transfer service TransferWise.

TransferWise was founded by early employees of Skype four years ago, and lets people send money to one another internationally in 39 countries.

Andreessen Horowitz the was created by Netscape and Opsware founders Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, and have invested in Facebook, Twitter, Airbnb, Github and Pinterest in their early days.

The huge sum prices the company around $1 billion, according to people familiar with the deal.

Mr Horowitz is ardent advocate of financial innovations such as bitcoin, and spearheaded the venture capital’s led investment.

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“In 2011 the TransferWise revolution quietly erupted out of necessity,” a post on the official TransferWise blog said.

“The old world of finance was under-serving and over-charging. That had to change, and 4 years on we’re humbled by the support our movement receives.

“In 2015, with the help of heavyweight backing TransferWise is set to go truly global.

“We’re honoured to have Andreessen Horowitz – one of the world’s largest investment firms – leading a $58 million funding round.”

As part of the deal, Mr Horowitz will take a seat on TransferWise’s board, his first for a European start-up.

TransferWise’s founders Taavet Hinrikus and Kristo Käärmann said the investment will allow them to grow stronger and reach further.

They said the service currently  serves 292 currency routes, serving more than 50 countries.

The service supports transfers between euro, British pound,  Canadian and US dollar, Swiss franc, Polish zloty, Turkish lira, Romania leu, Bulgarian lev, Georgian lari, Hungarian forint, Danish, Swedish, Czech, Norwegian krone.

It also supports transfers from these currencies to Indian rupee, Malaysian ringgit, Philippine peso, Singaporean, Hong Kong, Australian and New Zealand dollar.

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The founders say the company plans to open 300 further currency routes in the next year.

The owners said in the blog post: “We’re honoured to have the backing and mentorship of some of the world’s smartest and most esteemed innovators.

“We’re building a transparent, fair and truly global world of finance, but the bank’s party isn’t over yet.”

Mr Hinrikus said Horowitz’s interest in TransferWise shows how ripe financial services are for disruption.

He said: “For too long legacy providers’ dominance of the market has allowed consumers to be hoodwinked into paying huge hidden charges for services as basic as currency exchange.

“We’re excited to have Ben join our board. His experience will help us take our revolution in financial services across the globe, starting with the US offices we’re launching.”

The investment also includes backing from existing TransferWise backers Sir Richard Branson, Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Index Ventures, IA Ventures, and Seedcamp.

Mr Horowitz said: “We are thrilled to be backing Taavet and Kristo. They discovered an important secret and are  uniquely prepared to pursue it.

Andreessen Horowitz

“Not only is their solution 10 times better than the old way of exchanging foreign currency, it could not have come at a better time. We see massive opportunity for new financial institutions like TransferWise.”

Andreessen Horowitz’s investment in TransferWise comes after reports that Sequoia, another Silicon Valley venture capital group, was leading talks over a $50 million funding round in November.

That previous round also valued TransferWise close to $1 billion.

The choice of investor came down largely to who would give the company a more generous valuation, according to people familiar with the deal.

In November, TransferWise claimed its business was growing 20 to 30 per cent a month, Mr Horowitz said in the blog post  that this figure was now 15 to 20 per cent a month.

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Yahoo plan to spin off their 15% stake in the Chinese ecommerce group Alibaba.

Chief Executive Marissa Mayer has been under increased pressure of late from twitchy shareholders, keen to ensure the young CEO utilises Yahoo’s near$40 billion stake wisely.

The move should buy Ms Mayer some more time in the hot seat, despite continued declines in Yahoo’s  core advertising business.

Display advertising has fallen eight of the past nine quarters.

On Tuesday, Yahoo said revenue from display advertising had fallen by 4% to $532 million from a year earlier.

The company also reported fourth-quarter earnings of $166 million, a 52% decrease from a year earlier.

Yahoo also reported that revenue in the fourth quarter, minus commissions paid to search partners, had declined 2% to $1.18 billion.

That figure fell well short of analysts’ estimates.

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Despite this, investors will welcome the decision to spin-off the Alibaba stake

The spin-off will allow Yahoo to draw value from their stake in Alibaba, while avoiding a tax bill of billions of dollars.

Yahoo plans to move its 15% stake in Alibaba shares into a  separate company called SpinCo.

SpinCo shares will then be given to existing Yahoo shareholders.

Yahoo said SpinCo will own all of Yahoo’s remaining shares of Alibaba. Yahoo will take on no debt in the deal and they will retain its cash.

After the spinoff, which is expected in the fourth quarter of this year , Yahoo shareholders will be able to cash out their Alibaba stock on their own.

Alibaba will also have the chance to buy the entire entity, essentially letting them own their shares at a lower tax rate than if it tried to acquire them now.

The spin-off will allow Ms Mayer to refocus her efforts on turning around the company’s fortunes of its core business, and will allow them to keep 35.5% interest in Yahoo Japan.

Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Ms Mayer said she had considered dozens of alternative structures for unlocking value from the Alibaba shares, but decided on a spin-off around last August.

Alibaba

She said much of her first two years as CEO had been spent on deciding how to tackle the issue, working with a small army of bankers and lawyers.

“We homed in on the spinoff structure over the summer and we basically spent the fall really refining it,” Ms Mayer said.

“There were a lot of variations on the way to do the spin, what was included in the spin, was it a reverse spin or a straightforward spin, which is what we ultimately chose.”

Immediately after the announcement, Yahoo shares rose by 5.8% in after-hours trading.

As well as saving the company billions of dollars in taxes, the spin will also put to bed fears from investors that Ms Mayer would blow much or all of the stake on costly acquisitions.

Activist investor Starboard Value LP recently raised such concerns, warning Ms Mayer of reprisal if she didn’t heed their words.

Marissa Mayer

While Ms Mayer still has her work cut out at turning round the company’s fortunes and winning around all of the investors, there were some beacons of hope in the fourth-quarter earnings call.

Yahoo has invested in a number of areas including mobile, social, native ads and video.

Combined, these businesses  contributed $1.1 billion in revenue and were the fastest-growing part of Yahoo, Ms Mayer said.

Mobile revenue in the fourth quarter alone grew 23% to $254 million, a figure that  represents about 20% of Yahoo’s total revenue.

“If broken out on their own they would undoubtedly be one of the fastest growing start-ups in the world,” Ms. Mayer said.

Ms Mayer said Yahoo would only consider larger acquisitions if they fall into one of these four areas.

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Twitter’s co-founder has dismissed the news that Instagram has outgrown the micro-bogging platform after it hit 300 million monthly active users, saying it’s like comparing ‘apples and oranges’.

It seems Evan Williams is not impressed with Instagram’s proud boast, and took a swipe at Facebook for getting too hung up on monthly user metrics.

Speaking to Fortune magazine, Williams hit out at how the numbers were presented and noted that Twitter, which is still struggling to turn a profit, made more money than Instagram.

“It’s a question of breadth versus depth. Why is users the only thing we talk about? The crazy thing: Facebook has done an amazing job of establishing that as the metric for Wall Street,” he said.

“No one ever talks about, ‘What is a [monthly active user]?’ I believe it’s the case that if you use Facebook Connect—if you use an app that you logged into with Facebook Connect—you’re considered a Facebook user whether or not you ever launched the Facebook app or went to Facebook.com.

Evan Williams

“So what does that mean? It’s become so abstract to be meaningless. Something you did caused some data in their servers to be recorded for the month. So I think we’re on the wrong path.”

Williams also questioned the overall value Instagram in terms of what the photo-sharing site brings to the world, arguing that Twitter has had a far greater impact.

“If you think about the impact Twitter has on the world versus Instagram, it’s pretty significant. It’s at least apples to oranges. Twitter is what we wanted it to be,” he said.

“It’s this realtime information network where everything in the world that happens on Twitter—important stuff breaks on Twitter and world leaders have conversations on Twitter.
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Microsoft has unveiled Windows 10 and a new web browser to replace Internet Explorer, Project Spartan.

This evening, Microsoft showed off Project Spartan, its next generation web browser.

Joe Belfiore,  the Corporate Vice President, said Project Spartan will be ‘tuned for mobile’.

The tech giant also used the announcement to showcase the latest version of Windows, and said it will give the software available for free to users on with Windows seven or later.

“The feedback we’ve received is truly shaping Windows 10,” Terry Myserson told the Mail Online. “Today is a monumental day for Windows.

“For the first year after Windows 10 is available, we will make a free upgrade available to all devices running Windows 8.1, in a bid to ensure all of the firm’s customers are on the latest version.”

Mobile users can expect to use Windows 10 in February, ahead of a full release later this year.

Windows 10

A ‘technical preview’ of the desktop version is currently available, although it expected to received a major update following the announcement.

Myserson said Microsoft was ‘humbled that 1.7million people have installed Windows 10, and installed it over 3 million times.’

He said Windows 10 will run on smartphones, desktops, tablets and Microsoft’s Xbox One games console.

“It should be easy to put one device down and pick up another and carry on,” he said. “Technology needs to get out of the way.

“We see a world using ink, voice gestures and gaze to interact.”

At the event Microsoft also gave an impressive demonstration with Windows 10’s siri-like personal assistant, Cortana.

Cortana lets users search using voice commands.

The feature is triggered by saying ‘hey, Cortana’ then asking a question, though doubters have pointed to a similar feature on the Xbox One that has so far proved frustrating.

“One of the key premises of Cortana is that she is a personal digital assistant, and that she will get to know you,” Mycroft’s Joey Belfiore told the Mail Online.

Cortana

“Cortana will provide a new way to interact, it is the world’s most personal assistant.”

While the Windows 10 announcement didn’t throw up many surprises, the introduction of Project Spartan certainly raised a few eyebrows.

Internet Explorer, Microsoft’s iconic web browser is finally making way for the new, mobile focused browser.

“We think it’s time to build a new browser for the web,” Belfiore said.

Among other features, Project Spartan lets users make notes using a stylus on web pages, and then send them to colleagues.

Microsoft’s Cortana is built in to Project Spartan.

Aesthetically, Project Spartan  will look more like Google Chrome, and will be notably faster than Internet Explorer.

Project Spartan  will be available later this year across all platforms.

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“You cannot underestimate how important this is for Microsoft,” Jacques Kotze, Co-founder and COO of ad tech firm Adludio, told the Mail Online.

“It is arguably the first real attempt from the company to position itself ahead of the market again, instead of reacting to the innovations of Android and IOS.

‘Windows10 has a very grand vision for how Microsoft’s operating system can work for devices beyond mobile, to include the Internet of Things, and there is also clear support for their Cloud based offerings.

“Microsoft offering Windows10 as a free upgrade to Windows owners shows further proof of a clear shift from their previous thinking and departure from traditional licensing.

“Overall, this should be a wakeup call to everyone who has written Microsoft off, they have an incredible talent pool and it would be a refreshing game changer if they manage to start innovating to their true potential by shaking off the shackles of their big corporate past.”

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Google is close to investing in rocket maker SpaceX valuing the company around $10billion, according to reports.

While Facebook is making it their mission to connect the world, it seems Google is making it their mission to connect worlds.

The alliance, which is still in the works, would give Google a significant advantage   in Silicon Valley’s accelerating Internet space race.

The deal would see Google support the development of SpaceX internet satellites.

The satellites will help beam low-cost internet to billions around the globe.

And while those on Earth will initially reap the benefits of the network,  Tesla Motors and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk plans to use the profits to build a city on Mars.

While much around the deal between Google and SpaceX is speculation at this point, several reports have suggested that Google has agreed to value SpaceX north of $10 billion.

Reports have also suggested  that the size of the total round, which includes other investors, is significant.

SpaceX

SpaceX’s investors include Founders Fund, Draper Fisher Jurvetson and Valor Equity Partners

To call SpaceX’s plans ambitious is something of an understatement, but it they don’t seem to have had trouble attracting investment in this latest round of funding.

Musk intends to build a second internet in space and use it to connect people on Mars to the web.

Last week, Musk is hosted a SpaceX event in Seattle, where the company is opening a new office.

If Musk’s vision comes to fruition, it will see a vast network of communication satellites orbit earth.

The network would speed up the general flow of data on the internet and deliver high-speed, low-cost Internet services to the billions who do not currently have  access to the web.

The ambitious plan, which hasn’t got a name as of yet, would see hundreds of satellites would orbit about 750 miles above earth.

Traditional communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit at altitudes of up to 22,000 miles.

“Our focus is on creating a global communications system that would be larger than anything that has been talked about to date,” Musk told Bloomberg Businessweek.

Eon Musk

Musk argues that the vacuum of space would allow for internet speeds far superior to anything that can ever be achieved on Earth.

On Earth, internet data packets going has to travel through dozens of routers and terrestrial networks, but in Musk’s vision the packets would go to space, bouncing from satellite to satellite.

“The speed of light is 40 percent faster in the vacuum of space than it is for fiber,” Musk said.

“The long-term potential is to be the primary means of long-distance Internet traffic and to serve people in sparsely populated areas.”

Musk said the office will start with around 60 people and could grow to 1,000 within three to four years.

SpaceX’s employees will also work on Falcon rockets, Dragon capsules, and  vehicles to carry supplies, and one day, people into space.

Mars colony

“We want the best engineers that either live in Seattle or that want to move to the Seattle area and work on electronics, software, structures, and power systems,” he said. “We want top engineering talent of all kinds.”

Eventually, Musk wants to use the profits from the venture to help build a city on Mars, at a cost of around $10 billion, Musk said.

“People should not expect this to be active sooner than five years,” he said. “But we see it as a long-term revenue source for SpaceX to be able to fund a city on Mars.

“It will be important for Mars to have a global communications network as well,” he says. “I think this needs to be done, and I don’t see anyone else doing it.”

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