In 1995, Bill Gates made these predictions about streaming movies and fake news on the internet

Today, pretty much everyone regularly uses the internet to read breaking news and stream the latest blockbuster films. But in 1995, the internet was still in its infancy, and many Americans weren’t even online yet.

Bill Gates — as the co-founder of Microsoft (which made Internet Explorer, one of the first web browsers) — likely knew as much about the potential of internet technology as anyone in the mid-90s, however. So it’s not shocking that in 1995 Gates would be asked for his predictions on what the internet might look like a couple of decades into the future.

That’s exactly what happened when Gates sat down with author and journalist Terry Pratchett for an interview that appeared in the July 1995 edition of GQ magazine’s UK version. At the time, Gates was 39 and the world’s richest person with a net worth of $12.9 billion (he’s now second to Jeff Bezo with a $99.6 billion net worth, according to Forbes).

Gates’ conversation with Pratchett recently resurfaced online when writer Marc Burrows, who is working on a biography of Pratchett, tweeted two screenshots of the magazine interview (Gates is identified in the interview screenshots as “BG” and Pratchett is “TP”).

Not surprisingly, Gates had a couple of predictions for the future of the internet — one of which would turn out to be eerily prescient, while the other one seems to have come up short.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter
Streaming movies

One prediction that Gates nailed was that the internet would forever change the way we consume entertainment, like movies and television shows. At the time, most people’s idea of a home entertainment system was a television hooked up to a VCR (electronic devices that played VHS tapes for anyone too young to remember), though video discs like DVDs were beginning to be introduced by the mid-90s.

In the interview, Pratchett is astounded when Gates tells him that “VCRs will be obsolete within ten years.”

“What? Completely obsolete?” asks Pratchett, who then asks if discs will be the primary home video format.

“Oh, they’ll be replaced by a disc player within four or five years,” Gates says. “I’m talking about access to media across the network.”

In other words, Gates is describing our ability to watch movies, TV shows and other streaming videos online. Gates, who complained that VCRs had “the world’s worst user interface,” went on to explain: “Everything we’re talking about will have screens to guide you and when you pause there’ll be a built-in personality that’ll immediately jump in and help you.”

Gates’ prediction ended up being pretty much on the money, as online video technology continued to improve over the next decade to the point where the now-ubiquitous video streaming platform YouTube was founded in 2005, 10 years after this interview took place. In 2007, Netflix announced plans to start streaming full movies and shows online. Today, Netflix has nearly 150 million streaming subscribers around the world, while more than two billion people watch videos on YouTube every month.

Pratchett also wanted to know if Gates thought that the internet would eventually make it easier to spread misinformation to large groups of people.

“There’s a kind of parity of esteem of information on the Net,” Pratchett remarked to Gates in the interview. “It’s all there: there’s no way of finding out whether this stuff has any bottom to it or whether someone just made it up.”

As an example, Pratchett proposed a hypothetical situation where someone purporting to be an expert promoted a theory online claiming that the Holocaust never happened. That theory, Pratchett argued, could be propped up on the internet and “available on the same terms as any piece of historical research which has undergone peer review and so on.”

While Pratchett’s biographer, Burrows, argued on Twitter this week that Pratchett had “accurately predicted how the internet would propagate and legitimise fake news,” Gates’ response is worth noting for the fact that the Microsoft co-founder failed to foresee the same negative effects of online misinformation.

Gates agreed with Pratchett that misinformation could be spread online, but “not for long,” the billionaire reasoned. For instance, Gates argued, the internet could contain fake news, but it would also create more opportunities for information to be verified and supported by appropriate authorities, from actual experts to journalists and consumer reports.

“The whole way that you can check somebody’s reputation will be so much more sophisticated on the Net than it is in print today,” Gates tells Pratchett.

Of course, we know now that many online platforms — from social media sites like Facebook to online video sites like YouTube — have struggled to squash the spread of misinformation and fake news on the internet. Even Gates himself says today that he’s concerned about the spread of misinformation online, admitting that “it’s turned out to be more of a problem than I, or many others, would have expected.”

But Gates also said, in a 2018 interview with Quartz, that he remains optimistic that the internet will continue to become more sophisticated as an information source over time, and that the benefits of having access to such a wealth of information on the internet will eventually outweigh the “challenges” of separating fact from fiction online.

[“source=cnbc”]

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

Facebook Lite for Android Review: Made for India

While phone makers are now launching 4G handsets and companies like Airtel and Reliance working towards bringing the networks in India, you might think that there’s no need for apps that minimise data use. The fact of the matter though is that even in a metro like Delhi, 3G access depends greatly on which part of the city you’re in at the time.

That’s where Facebook Lite for Android comes into the picture. The app was launched in Asia earlier this month, and on Monday, Facebook Lite became available in India.

Facebook Lite is available on Google Play and it is just 435KB in size, runs on Android 2.2 and above, so even if you’re using an older phone, you can probably take advantage of the application. According to Shankar, Facebook Lite was designed to solve two challenges – 2G Internet and low-end smartphones – and based on our experience with the app, it seems to have accomplished those goals.

What is Facebook Lite?
As the name suggests, Facebook Lite is a light version of Facebook. It looks like an old version of the Facebook app, with blocky looks and limited features. The full-fledged Facebook app has large cards with neat gutters, expands all pictures and fills up your screen, supports gestures to move between the different Facebook functions.

Facebook Lite on the other hand shows all these previews at a much smaller size, and when we were using it on a 2G network, images took forever to show up. The difference between how posts are displayed between the two versions of Facebook is dramatic, and it’s definitely much more appealing to use Facebook on the full application.

facebook_lite_example.jpgOne other thing we noticed as soon as we started the application is that the Facebook logo is absolutely tiny, and this continued as we used the app too – images attached to posts are tiny thumbnails, filling the width of the screen, and they load after you tap on them. On the full Facebook application, images are much bigger, and they’re likely being preloaded, because they popped up in full size as soon as we tapped on the thumbs. The catch is that you’re pre-loading a lot of images you might not want to click on, using a lot of your mobile data along the way.

facebook_example.jpgShankar also points out that in the Facebook Lite settings, you can also choose the image quality, between low, medium and high. Facebook uses proprietary compression algorithms to deliver the images at the desired size, without losing too much visible quality.

Overall, the experience of using Facebook Lite is a lot less refined than the full version, but you’re able to see posts and links more quickly while on the road, and you’re using less mobile data to do so as well. All the features you’d expect – the news feed, friend requests, messages, notifications, and search, all show up. You can easily post status updates, or photos, just like you can on the full application. Messenger is built right into Facebook Lite, so you don’t need to have Facebook Messenger installed to chat anymore.

How well did it perform on 2G?
While it’s less refined, Facebook Lite loaded up posts much more quickly than the full version of the app when we switched to Edge connectivity. Usually, when we’re on the road in remote areas, we give up on Facebook because it’s almost certainly not going to load more posts.

The experience with Facebook Lite was a lot closer to using that other social network – Twitter. There are still problems, and posts still take some time to load. Images don’t pop up right away, and take even more time to load. But it does show you new posts and you can at least read what people are saying while you wait for a picture to load, which is a step forward.

Doing all this required some sacrifices. For one thing, the app does not support videos yet, though that is on the roadmap, according to Shankar. It also doesn’t support advanced location features – basically anything that requires the GPS. And while you can post comments on updates and pictures, you can’t reply to comments for now. And while the main Facebook app allows you to work offline, and make post updates when it connects to a network, Facebook Lite does not have this feature.

facebook_lite_settings.jpgWho should use this?
If you’re using an older Android phone, or if you bought a budget Android device, then the amount of storage available will can often be quite limited.

In such a case, the small size of Facebook Lite might actually be a big plus point, and you might be willing to sacrifice a little bit of the polish of Facebook, but an app that actually works smoothly and loads quickly on your phone which also frees up a lot of space. While Facebook Lite takes less than 1MB, Facebook can be a lot bigger – a few random checks all turned up usage of over 150MB. Smaller footprint also means that app updates take less data.

But the most important thing was that Facebook Lite uses less data. Facebook says that the app gives a reliable experience, even when bandwidth is at a minimum.

That means that if you’ve already started using an LTE connection on your flagship Android phone with a quad-HD screen, then you should will probably find this app boring and pointless. If you spend most of your time at home or in office, with a steady Wi-Fi connection, then you can probably give this app a miss.

On the other hand, if you’re on the move a lot and travel in areas where getting a 3G signal is still a rare thing, or if you’re trying to reduce the data usage you see for Facebook, then this app will be appealing.

On a smaller, lower resolution screen, the difference between the two versions of Facebook wasn’t so pronounced, so you might prefer it if you have an older device, or if you bought a budget phone. And as we mentioned, it will probably be a good idea if you’re using a phone with limited storage space as well.

The app isn’t for everybody, but frankly, the number of people with good connectivity and high-end devices is definitely smaller than people with spotty Internet access and entry-level devices. Based on that, launching Facebook Lite seems like a great move, and will likely find plenty of takers in India.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Tech Firms Should Be Made Liable for ‘Fake News’ on Sites: UK Lawmakers

Tech Firms Should Be Made Liable for 'Fake News' on Sites: UK Lawmakers

Tech firms like Facebook should be made liable for “harmful and misleading” material on their websites and pay a levy so they can be regulated, British lawmakers said, warning of a crisis in democracy due to misuse of personal data.

Facebook has increasingly become a focus of the media committee’s inquiry into “fake news” after the data of 87 million users was improperly accessed by British-headquartered consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

The cost of higher privacy standards will hit Facebook’s profit margins for several years, the firm said on Wednesday, wiping over $120 billion (roughly Rs. 8.35 lakh crores) off its share price, and the company is coming under concerted regulatory scrutiny in Britain, the United States and the European Union.

“Companies like Facebook made it easy for developers to scrape user data and to deploy it in other campaigns without their knowledge or consent,” Damian Collins, chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, said in a statement.

“They must be made responsible, and liable, for the way in which harmful and misleading content is shared on their sites.”

The committee’s interim report and Collins’s comments were embargoed until July 29. Other news organisations broke the embargo after a copy of the report was published online by Dominic Cummings, who ran the officially designated Vote Leave campaign in the EU referendum.

The standards of accuracy and impartiality which tech companies are held to could be based on regulator Ofcom’s rules for television and radio, the lawmakers said.

The committee’s report also suggested a levy on tech firms which could contribute to an increased budget for Britain’s data regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), in the way in which the banking sector pays for the upkeep of its watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority.

The ICO earlier this month fined Facebook for the Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Cambridge Analytica, which was hired by Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016, has denied its work on the US president’s election made use of the data in question.

It has also said that while it pitched for work with campaign group Leave.EU before the Brexit referendum in Britain in 2016, it did not end up doing any work on the campaign.

The committee however said that adverts used online in the campaign were not clearly labelled, and expressed concern about a breach of spending rules by rival campaign group Vote Leave.

“We are facing nothing less than a crisis in our democracy – based on the systematic manipulation of data to support the relentless targeting of citizens … by campaigns of disinformation and messages of hate,” Collins said.

The findings were made in an interim report, with the full report due in the autumn.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

HOW SOCIAL MEDIA HAS MADE E-MARKETING EASY AND AFFORDABLE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Written by Sujain Thomas

Online marketing can sometimes appear confusing for marketers who have to choose between several marketing channels to decide which would be most effective. There used to be a time when SEO was the dominant online marketing platform along with email marketing. Gradually things started changing, and the advent of the social media platform completely changed the perception of online marketing. From the beginning of online marketing, visibility remained the most crucial criterion for marketing success. Social media networks boosted the visibility aspect many more times and proved its enormous abilities in creating wide outreach.  Businesses of all sizes capitalized on the easy access to social media networks and built aggressive marketing strategies around it. However, the biggest beneficiary of social media marketing is the small business segment with local interests. Small businesses that rely on local markets found a robust platform for marketing on social media.

The need for social media marketing

Online marketing that revolves around San Antonio SEO is all about earning high ranks in search results for which it is essential to maintain high visibility of websites. Visibility has a link to search rankings because it facilitates search engines to pick sites against search queries. Since social media is the most frequented place on the internet, the target audience would be comfortable in accessing the business on social media. Moreover, almost 80% consumers depend on online research before making purchases, which makes it imperative for hosting your business on social media.

Social media is especially attractive for small businesses because the majority of searches lead to conversions as buyers search only when they have decided to purchase. Social media has enormous capabilities of driving traffic to websites and is the most prominent reason for attracting marketers. Local businesses simply cannot do without using social media that gives it the most economical option for online marketing.  Why you should use social media for business would become clear upon reading this article.

Generate business familiarity

Social media creates high engagement and provides the opportunity for two-way communication that facilitates close interaction with the audience. You can post all types of content on social media. From images to text, videos, blogs, tweets, and infographics, every piece of content generates viewer engagement, elicits their response and can often go viral by creating an instant connection with the audience. The beauty of social media is the ever-increasing reach of the communication that keeps expanding through sharing.  When the audience finds value in the content, they come forward to re-post it, re-tweet it and share it by other means that keeps on spreading the content almost endlessly. All this happens without any additional effort on the part of the marketers. Automatically, the visibility of content keeps multiplying that gives local businesses enormous exposure without any investment.

Stay connected to customers

The success of a business depends largely on how well your nurture your customer base by keeping in touch with them. Social media has made it easy to connect with customers on a personal level. However, local businesses might find it difficult to remain active on social media networks with a steady flow of content that attracts the audience.  Where would you look for content that could keep your audience connected? The answer lies in presenting stories of your business to the audience that revolves around your business activities. Choose stories that the audience would find interesting and you will be surprised how quickly the audience reacts to it by engaging in conversation. Thus, begins the process of building relationships with customers by using social media that you can extend to acquire new customers too.

Advertise free of cost

Local businesses that have small budgets cannot think of advertising on the traditional channels due to high cost. Social media has now made advertising easy for small businesses, as it does not involve any spending except for creating the advertisement. A social media profile allows display of content that features business achievements besides upholding the products and services through text, videos, and images. It is possible to create a long-term advertising campaign on social media that helps to take your business to the doorsteps of customers regardless of their location.  The advertising campaign on social media acquires good value due to the trust enjoyed by social media that shows your business in good light.

Social signals impact search rankings

Social signals generated by sharing content on social media are highly valuable to marketers because search engines use social signals as a measure of website authority. When you post your business on social media, the response of the audience determines how well your website would rank during searches. Since people keep talking about your business only when they find enough value in it, social signals constitute an element of business value that reflects in the search results. A social media profile becomes visible in search results and opens up new opportunities of earning more clicks in addition to the links displayed in the search results.  For more benefits in rankings, you have to optimize the business profile on social media.

Choosing social media networks

The plethora of social media networks can land marketers in a dilemma when deciding which ones would be right for them. While taking your business across all available networks might sound like an easy solution, it is neither feasible nor desirable. To make it easy, your comfort level in using some platforms is a reason for choosing it. Match it with the choice of the audience because you need to take your business across social media channels where you would find the majority of your target audience. A third factor to consider is the compatibility of the platform you select. How well the platform would be able to uphold your business in the way you want is something to think. Most importantly, judge the traffic generating capabilities of the channel both online and offline.

Implement a social media marketing campaign based on sound strategies that provide the expected returns.

[“Source-irishtechnews”]

OnePlus 6 Will Be Made of ‘New Materials’, Confirms Company

OnePlus 6 Will Be Made of 'New Materials', Confirms Company

While its formal launch is expected in a few days, OnePlus 6 has now been revealed with an all-new back panel that will likely enable wireless charging support. OnePlus has officially confirmed that the upcoming OnePlus 6 features “new materials”. It is being speculated that the smartphone will come with a glass back panel. A glass back on the OnePlus 6 will make it a closer competitor against the Apple iPhone X and Samsung Galaxy S9 that both come with glass back panels.

A tweet by OnePlus India hinted the presence of a new back material on the OnePlus 6. “Same expert craftsmanship, new materials #OnePlus6,” the tweet reads. The tweet accompanies an image that shows a glossy black surface with an engraved line that says “Designed by OnePlus”. The black surface could be the glass back panel on the new OnePlus handset.

Unlike the OnePlus 5 and OnePlus 5T that both had an aluminium back, the OnePlus 6 will certainly need to come with a new panel if it has to offer wireless charging – as surfaced in a leaks-based concept video. Companies such as Essential Products and Xiaomi have already used ceramic as the material on their offerings to enable wireless charging, while Apple and Samsung have opted for glass in their respective flagships.

That said, we need to wait for the official launch to understand which new material the OnePlus 6 will feature. The handset will be an Amazon Exclusive in India and is expected to come with a water-resistant build. It will also come with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 SoC, coupled with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB inbuilt storage.

[“source=gadgets.ndtv”]

Meet the man who made £1.5MILLION by blogging his way around every country on the planet

Johnny Ward, 33, went from backpacker to big money media boss all the while ticking off every country on the planet thanks to advertising on his first blog. He's pictured here in Kabul, Afghanistan

A globetrotting traveller has made over a million pounds from blogging all over the world.

Johnny Ward, 33, went from backpacker to big money media boss all the while ticking off every country on the planet thanks to advertising on his first blog.

The on-the-go millionaire says he has been living the dream since quitting his job and travelling to every country in the world, all while earning £1,500,000 from blogging.

Johnny Ward, 33, went from backpacker to big money media boss all the while ticking off every country on the planet thanks to advertising on his first blog. He’s pictured here in Kabul, Afghanistan

The on-the-go millionaire says he has been living the dream since quitting his job and travelling to every country in the world, all while earning £1,500,000 from blogging. He's pictured here at Leptis Magna in Libya

The on-the-go millionaire says he has been living the dream since quitting his job and travelling to every country in the world, all while earning £1,500,000 from blogging. He’s pictured here at Leptis Magna in Libya

Johnny was born in Galway, Ireland, but moved to County Down in Northern Ireland as a child where he grew up not being able to afford a family holiday. He's pictured here in Yemen

Johnny was born in Galway, Ireland, but moved to County Down in Northern Ireland as a child where he grew up not being able to afford a family holiday. He’s pictured here in Yemen

Johnny originally dreamed of becoming a footballer - but knew at 13 that he'd never cut it. So he focussed on becoming a success in the business world instead. He's pictured here in Afghanistan

Johnny originally dreamed of becoming a footballer – but knew at 13 that he’d never cut it. So he focussed on becoming a success in the business world instead. He’s pictured here in Afghanistan

Johnny said: ‘I had just quit my one and only real job in Sydney, Australia, in a blaze of glory to travel the world and be a blogger.

‘When an advertiser finally contacted me six months in, I thought it was my friends joking with me but thankfully the advertiser wasn’t scared off by my weird reply and we closed the deal.

‘My sleep pattern is all over the place from working and partying late to waking up at weird times for flights and business calls so I never really have a pattern.’

Johnny was born in Galway, Ireland, but moved to County Down in Northern Ireland as a child where he grew up not being able to afford a family holiday.

Johnny got the idea for his million-pound business when working full time in Sydney and with the money he made from that he booked a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe and started blogging more seriously

Johnny got the idea for his million-pound business when working full time in Sydney and with the money he made from that he booked a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe and started blogging more seriously

The first version of Johnny's website was made by a man in the Philippines for £100. Johnny is pictured here in that country, in Palawan

The first version of Johnny’s website was made by a man in the Philippines for £100. Johnny is pictured here in that country, in Palawan

Johnny's travels have taken him to every corner of the globe, including unstable parts such as Somalia, pictured

Johnny’s travels have taken him to every corner of the globe, including unstable parts such as Somalia, pictured

Speaking about how he made his fortune, Johnny said: 'I started my travel blog, started making around $7,000 per month from that site, so I started a few more blogs, and hired a couple of writers, before long I was making $50,000 per month'. Here he is at Darvaza Crater Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan

Speaking about how he made his fortune, Johnny said: ‘I started my travel blog, started making around $7,000 per month from that site, so I started a few more blogs, and hired a couple of writers, before long I was making $50,000 per month’. Here he is at Darvaza Crater Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan

Without the bank of mum and dad to support a ‘gap yah’ Johnny offered his body to a medical trial to afford flights out East where he earned more by teaching English after graduation.

He said: ‘The medical trial was my only way to generate a decent amount of funds in a short period of time!

‘I had worked on American summer camps with disabled kids and disadvantaged kids each summer, which whetted my travel appetite.

‘This time university had finished so I had to do something drastic to allow me to start a new travel lifestyle.

‘I come from a poor, single parent home and we grew up on benefits so my mum couldn’t fund my “gap year”, therefore medical research and then teaching English in Thailand were my route to a new, adventurous lifestyle.’

Johnny got the idea for his million-pound business when working full time in Sydney and with the money he made from that he booked a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe and started blogging more seriously.

The Irishman claims advertising has allowed him to blog around the world and make £1.5million in the process thanks to the first website he paid a man in the Philippines £100 to make.

He said: ‘I started my travel blog, started making around $7,000 per month from that site, so I started a few more blogs, and hired a couple of writers, before long I was making $50,000 per month.

Johnny's advice to aspiring bloggers is 'to have a story to tell'

Johnny’s advice to aspiring bloggers is ‘to have a story to tell’

‘I invest my money, mostly in property, and I’m careful with my revenue.

‘I haven’t met the guy who set up my first website since he did it but we’re still friends on Facebook.

‘As soon as I started making money online from blogging I decided to visit every country in the world, and it’s been the most amazing journey imaginable.

‘Other than being a footballer, which at about age 13 I knew was clearly not going to happen, I wanted to be a businessman.

‘I’m still only a small part through my own personal journey, onwards and upwards I hope.

‘I’m really close to my mum and sister, so I talk to them a lot and now I have some money I see them a lot more, but those first five broke years of travel were tough in terms of that.

‘When I was 24 or 25 it was easier to get my friends to come and visit me, then hitting 30 they all had mortgages, engagements and kids so it became progressively more difficult for me to convince them to join me.’

Having travelled to every country in the world at least once, Johnny certainly has seen a few shocking sights, none more so than a murder right before his eyes.

He said: ‘Mauritania, West Africa, has a bad reputation but it was amazing, the people were so warm and welcoming not to mention the landscapes and stuff to do there, which was mind blowing.

‘The friendliest people I came across were probably in Algeria or Iran, maybe the Philippines too.

‘My most frightening experience was definitely watching a guy get shot twice right in front of me, 20 minutes after landing in Angola.’

JOHNNY WARD’S TOP TIPS FOR RUNNING A SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL BLOG… AND MAKING MONEY FROM IT

What top tips do you have for running a travel blog?

Be different. A four-month gap year in South East Asia and Australia will be an awesome experience, so much fun and you’ll meet friends for life but no one wants to read the same stories about Sydney, Bangkok and Singapore, they’ve heard it all before.

So why should people read your stuff? What’s your angle? How are you different? Every man and his dog has a blog now, but if you want it to gain traction you have to have a story to tell, and a gap year in Thailand won’t cut it.

What tips do you have for gaining followers?

You have to love social media, interacting with people. Some people love it, some don’t.

For me, it gives me energy to help inspire strangers to travel the world, it picks me up when I’m weary from the road. But if you find it a chore, then it’ll never fly. So be honest, be regular and be committed.

How do you make money from the blog and how much have you managed to get from blogging since it started?

When I first started my blog in 2010, I didn’t understand anything about SEO, online marketing, internet advertising etc but after six months or so in Africa a company contacted me and asked for a advert, they paid about £40 and it was a huge turning point in my life – I finally believed it was possible to work for myself, make money online and be truly free.

From there it increased month on month, until it was about £4,000 a month.

After partying a bit too hard in Thailand, it dawned on me that if I can monetize one website, why not three or five or 50! So then I expanded my portfolio of websites.

Then in the past few years I’ve made over $1m (I use $ because clients generally negotiate and pay in USD).

Do you have any tips for securing flight upgrades or discounted stays?

If your travel blog is popular, you honestly, honestly will never have to pay for another hotel again in your life – madness, but true.

Do you have any other source of income?

When things started going ok for me I contacted a wealth manager so I have a stock portfolio, and I try to invest in property too, but I’m clueless about it so it’s a big learning curve for me!

[“source-dailymail”]

 

 

Meet the man who made £1.5MILLION by blogging his way around every country on the planet

Johnny got the idea for his million-pound business when working full time in Sydney and with the money he made from that he booked a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe and started blogging more seriouslyA globetrotting traveller has made over a million pounds from blogging all over the world.

Johnny Ward, 33, went from backpacker to big money media boss all the while ticking off every country on the planet thanks to advertising on his first blog.

The on-the-go millionaire says he has been living the dream since quitting his job and travelling to every country in the world, all while earning £1,500,000 from blogging.

Johnny Ward, 33, went from backpacker to big money media boss all the while ticking off every country on the planet thanks to advertising on his first blog. He's pictured here in Kabul, Afghanistan

Johnny Ward, 33, went from backpacker to big money media boss all the while ticking off every country on the planet thanks to advertising on his first blog. He’s pictured here in Kabul, Afghanistan

The on-the-go millionaire says he has been living the dream since quitting his job and travelling to every country in the world, all while earning £1,500,000 from blogging. He's pictured here at Leptis Magna in Libya

The on-the-go millionaire says he has been living the dream since quitting his job and travelling to every country in the world, all while earning £1,500,000 from blogging. He’s pictured here at Leptis Magna in Libya

Johnny was born in Galway, Ireland, but moved to County Down in Northern Ireland as a child where he grew up not being able to afford a family holiday. He’s pictured here in Yemen

Johnny originally dreamed of becoming a footballer – but knew at 13 that he’d never cut it. So he focussed on becoming a success in the business world instead. He’s pictured here in Afghanistan

Johnny said: ‘I had just quit my one and only real job in Sydney, Australia, in a blaze of glory to travel the world and be a blogger.

‘When an advertiser finally contacted me six months in, I thought it was my friends joking with me but thankfully the advertiser wasn’t scared off by my weird reply and we closed the deal.

‘My sleep pattern is all over the place from working and partying late to waking up at weird times for flights and business calls so I never really have a pattern.’

Johnny was born in Galway, Ireland, but moved to County Down in Northern Ireland as a child where he grew up not being able to afford a family holiday.

Johnny got the idea for his million-pound business when working full time in Sydney and with the money he made from that he booked a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe and started blogging more seriously

The first version of Johnny's website was made by a man in the Philippines for £100. Johnny is pictured here in that country, in Palawan

The first version of Johnny’s website was made by a man in the Philippines for £100. Johnny is pictured here in that country, in Palawan

Johnny's travels have taken him to every corner of the globe, including unstable parts such as Somalia, pictured

Johnny’s travels have taken him to every corner of the globe, including unstable parts such as Somalia, pictured

Speaking about how he made his fortune, Johnny said: 'I started my travel blog, started making around $7,000 per month from that site, so I started a few more blogs, and hired a couple of writers, before long I was making $50,000 per month'. Here he is at Darvaza Crater Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan

Speaking about how he made his fortune, Johnny said: ‘I started my travel blog, started making around $7,000 per month from that site, so I started a few more blogs, and hired a couple of writers, before long I was making $50,000 per month’. Here he is at Darvaza Crater Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan

Without the bank of mum and dad to support a ‘gap yah’ Johnny offered his body to a medical trial to afford flights out East where he earned more by teaching English after graduation.

He said: ‘The medical trial was my only way to generate a decent amount of funds in a short period of time!

‘I had worked on American summer camps with disabled kids and disadvantaged kids each summer, which whetted my travel appetite.

‘This time university had finished so I had to do something drastic to allow me to start a new travel lifestyle.

‘I come from a poor, single parent home and we grew up on benefits so my mum couldn’t fund my “gap year”, therefore medical research and then teaching English in Thailand were my route to a new, adventurous lifestyle.’

Johnny got the idea for his million-pound business when working full time in Sydney and with the money he made from that he booked a one-way ticket to Zimbabwe and started blogging more seriously.

The Irishman claims advertising has allowed him to blog around the world and make £1.5million in the process thanks to the first website he paid a man in the Philippines £100 to make.

He said: ‘I started my travel blog, started making around $7,000 per month from that site, so I started a few more blogs, and hired a couple of writers, before long I was making $50,000 per month.

Johnny's advice to aspiring bloggers is 'to have a story to tell'

Johnny’s advice to aspiring bloggers is ‘to have a story to tell’

‘I invest my money, mostly in property, and I’m careful with my revenue.

‘I haven’t met the guy who set up my first website since he did it but we’re still friends on Facebook.

‘As soon as I started making money online from blogging I decided to visit every country in the world, and it’s been the most amazing journey imaginable.

‘Other than being a footballer, which at about age 13 I knew was clearly not going to happen, I wanted to be a businessman.

‘I’m still only a small part through my own personal journey, onwards and upwards I hope.

‘I’m really close to my mum and sister, so I talk to them a lot and now I have some money I see them a lot more, but those first five broke years of travel were tough in terms of that.

‘When I was 24 or 25 it was easier to get my friends to come and visit me, then hitting 30 they all had mortgages, engagements and kids so it became progressively more difficult for me to convince them to join me.’

Having travelled to every country in the world at least once, Johnny certainly has seen a few shocking sights, none more so than a murder right before his eyes.

He said: ‘Mauritania, West Africa, has a bad reputation but it was amazing, the people were so warm and welcoming not to mention the landscapes and stuff to do there, which was mind blowing.

‘The friendliest people I came across were probably in Algeria or Iran, maybe the Philippines too.

‘My most frightening experience was definitely watching a guy get shot twice right in front of me, 20 minutes after landing in Angola.’

What top tips do you have for running a travel blog?

Be different. A four-month gap year in South East Asia and Australia will be an awesome experience, so much fun and you’ll meet friends for life but no one wants to read the same stories about Sydney, Bangkok and Singapore, they’ve heard it all before.

So why should people read your stuff? What’s your angle? How are you different? Every man and his dog has a blog now, but if you want it to gain traction you have to have a story to tell, and a gap year in Thailand won’t cut it.

What tips do you have for gaining followers?

You have to love social media, interacting with people. Some people love it, some don’t.

For me, it gives me energy to help inspire strangers to travel the world, it picks me up when I’m weary from the road. But if you find it a chore, then it’ll never fly. So be honest, be regular and be committed.

How do you make money from the blog and how much have you managed to get from blogging since it started?

When I first started my blog in 2010, I didn’t understand anything about SEO, online marketing, internet advertising etc but after six months or so in Africa a company contacted me and asked for a advert, they paid about £40 and it was a huge turning point in my life – I finally believed it was possible to work for myself, make money online and be truly free.

From there it increased month on month, until it was about £4,000 a month.

After partying a bit too hard in Thailand, it dawned on me that if I can monetize one website, why not three or five or 50! So then I expanded my portfolio of websites.

Then in the past few years I’ve made over $1m (I use $ because clients generally negotiate and pay in USD).

Do you have any tips for securing flight upgrades or discounted stays?

If your travel blog is popular, you honestly, honestly will never have to pay for another hotel again in your life – madness, but true.

Do you have any other source of income?

When things started going ok for me I contacted a wealth manager so I have a stock portfolio, and I try to invest in property too, but I’m clueless about it so it’s a big learning curve for me!

[“Source-dailymail”]

Sirius Said to Have Made Fresh Approach to Pandora for a Takeover

Sirius Said to Have Made Fresh Approach to Pandora for a Takeover

 

Satellite radio company Sirius XM Holdings Inc’s Chairman Greg Maffei recently made a fresh approach to internet radio provider Pandora Media Inc and expressed interest about a potential takeover, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Sirius XM did not offer a specific price and Pandora has yet to respond to the overture, the source added.

Representatives and Sirius XM declined to comment.

Bloomberg first reported the new approach on Friday. The report noted that earlier this year, Sirius offered about $15 per share to buy Pandora.

Earlier on Friday, CNBC reported that Pandora is now open to selling itself and willing to engage with Sirius XM.

However, a separate source close to the matter told Reuters that Pandora is currently making no renewed effort to sell itself.Pandora faces stiff competition from services such as Sweden’s Spotify, Apple Inc’s Apple Music, Google’s Play Music and Amazon.com Inc’s Amazon Music Unlimited, which dominate the on-demand music service market.

An acquisition by Sirius XM would help give Pandora a bigger foothold in cars and also allow Sirius XM to expand its Internet and mobile presence.

Pandora, which has a model more like an Internet radio station that plays songs matching a genre without allowing users to make selections, is set to unveil an on-demand music streaming service in December, as it looks to move beyond its roots.

The company said in October that it has seen a decline in its active users of the service.

Pandora has been urged to explore a sale by Corvex Management LP, a hedge fund run by Keith Meister, a protégé of activist investor Carl Icahn, after it disclosed a 9.9 percent stake in Pandora in May.

The company earlier offered itself to potential buyers including Apple and Amazon.com, the Wall Street Journal had reported in July.

 [Source:- gadgets.ndtv]

Hundreds of pupils made to re-sit 11-plus after exam leak

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Hundreds of pupils are being made to re-sit an 11-plus exam after it was revealed some questions had been leaked in advance.

Investigations are being made into claims some children in Plymouth had seen the exam paper before taking the test.

Devon and Cornwall Police said no action will be taken against the alleged security breach, but the exam board G L Assessment is continuing its own inquiry.

Would you pass the grammar school test?

The maths and English papers were taken by students hoping to gain places at two grammar schools in the area, Devonport High School for Girls and Plymouth High School for Girls.

Some 400 girls will be made to re-sit the tests after earlier examinations were declared “null and void”.

A letter sent to parents by Plymouth City Council said: “At least one of the papers has been compromised.”

Some pupils reacted to the news positively, however, claiming the second try could help them achieve a higher mark.

Daisy Adams, from Plymouth, told the BBC: “I’m very happy because I might get a better score than I was going to get.”

Her mother, Sharyn Partridge, said: “The re-taking is the best way forward, its the fairest option for all the girls involved.

”It’s none of the girls fault what’s happened. Everyone re-takes and everyone has a fair chance.“

GL Assessment, which provides the tests, said: “Schools and authorised personnel have a legal duty to abide by our strict security protocols and we would like to reiterate that any breach of that duty will be dealt with.”

[Source:- independent]

‘No significant progress’ being made on improving retention rates at English universities

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No progress is being made in reducing dropout rates among students at universities across England, according to new research.

Findings have shown retention rates have barely moved since the 2009/10 academic year, and that the rates for students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds are still relatively lower when compared with others.

Just over eight per cent of those from low participation areas were not continuing in higher education over the last year, as opposed to just over six per cent in other areas. The report also shows there is a group of 20 institutions where around one in ten students are not completing university after just one year.

The findings, from the Social Market Foundation (SMF) and supported by student recruitment consultancy, Hobsons, has, however, shown institutions which are making a success of their student experience – with more satisfied students – are likely to have higher rates of course completion.

The report also shows that, while it’s typically assumed institutions that are doing more to widen participation are not likely to see higher completion rates as a result, there is a large group of universities that is making progress on both. Institutions including City, St Mary’s, Aston, Bishop Grosseteste, Lincoln, and Kingston have among the highest retention rates of all institutions for the most disadvantaged students, revealing no correlation between improving widening participation and worsening continuation rates.

Author of the findings, SMF director Emran Mian, described how every student who does not continue in higher education means “a loss of potential, a bad experience for that student, and poor value for the taxpayer,” as the investment in tuition costs is likely to have a low return.

Making reference to the Government’s white paper which states how “even the present position on retention represents thousands of life opportunities wasted, of young dreams unfulfilled,” Mian said the new research suggests a link between an institution’s student satisfaction and its dropout rates: “Institutions which prioritise student success are likely to see lower rates of non-continuation.

“Our research also suggests institutions cannot claim that making progress on widening participation has impaired their performance on increasing retention rates. Policymakers, students, and taxpayers expect institutions to make progress on both fronts. Government should encourage higher education institutions to focus on improving student success.”

Jeremy Cooper, managing director at Hobsons, a student recruitment consultancy, added how it was clear to see that, when students are happy and succeeding at university, they are more likely to complete their study. He continued: “Despite relatively low student dropout, there is a persistent minority that are falling through the gaps. As we continue to widen access, we have to focus on how we make progress supporting student success and give all students the targeted support they need.”

The research has come after it was revealed by MyVoucherCodes at the start of this year that 27 per cent of freshers saw in the new year by either dropping out of their course or admitted to contemplating making the bold move in the summer because of the expense, not liking the course they had chosen, or not liking the university they were at. Other reasons included that they had either found full-time employment or felt they were “disenchanted with further education.”

Meanwhile, London Metropolitan University and the University of Bolton emerged as having the highest expected student dropout rate, according to a league table on degree completion by the Complete University Guide. While London Met had an average dropout rate of 29 per cent, Bolton followed closely behind with 28.9 per cent of first-time undergraduates who were not expected to see out their studies this year.

Psychotherapist and researcher in psychological wellbeing at the University of Derby, Gareth Hughes, offered tips for students through MyVoucherCodes to help boost their university experience in order to ensure students made the right decision for them, including making as many new friends and getting involved in as many on and off-campus activities as possible.

He said: “No matter how many activities and events students cram into the first term, they will still benefit from trying new things and meeting new people. First-year students should try joining some new students’ union clubs and societies. If they are worried about making friends, they can contact their university’s student wellbeing service.”

[Source:- independent]