New Zuckerberg Initiative for Refugees Renews Debate Over Internet.org

29 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook will help the UN bring internet access to refugee camps.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told the United Nations about the internet’s ability to raise people out of poverty, explaining that for every 10 people connected, one will be lifted.

already have a hard life, but that’s made worse by the typical lack of internet access at refugee camps — unless you resettle, you may never get online. High Commissioner for Refugees to bring Internet access to refugee camps, BBC reports. “Connectivity will help refugees better access support from the aid community and maintain links to family and loved ones,” Zuckerberg said. “Facebook is in a unique position to help maintain this lifeline.” There are currently about 1.5 billion users that log into the social media website at least once a month. Zuck added: ‘Data can help us make smarter decisions but only if you can interpret it quickly and with confidence, so we want to help the U.N. make decisions that will advance our goals.’ Addressing crowds, which included President Xi Jinping of China, U2 musician Bono and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, he also said that access to the web should be ‘at the heart of the global development strategy’ when it comes to making poverty history. Attending a luncheon on the sidelines of a United Nations development summit, Merkel and Zuckerberg were overheard on a live broadcast on the UN website as participants took their seats. “Are you working on this?” Merkel asked in English. “Yeah,” Zuckerberg responded, before the dialogue was cut off by introductory remarks to those present. It should be accessible by everyone.” Other co-signatories included Jimmy Wales of Wikipedia, and U2 front man Bono because he has to muscle in on this sort of thing and probably thinks that every Somali villager is entitled to a free copy of his new album.

Company chief Mark Zuckerberg (who revealed the plans at a luncheon) didn’t explain how and where this would take place, but it won’t be shocking if Facebook relies on its upcoming internet drones to connect these sometimes remote places. German authorities have been grappling with the country’s biggest refugee crisis since World War II, with as many as 1 million seeking refuge from war and poverty expected to enter the country this year. In an unusual move for Zuck, he ditched his usual hoodie for a proper suit, attending a lunch do with guests including German chancellor Angela Merkel. “A ‘like’ or a post won’t stop a tank or a bullet, but when people are connected we have the chance to build a common global community with a shared understanding, and that’s a powerful force,” he said.

The UN estimates that it will take between 3.5 and five trillion dollars a year to meet the global goals involved, while Jamie Drummond, executive director of One, the Bono-fronted charity, called on the countries of the world to come up with an “urgent plan” to get things moving. The Facebook CEO recently co-wrote a piece in the New York Times with U2 frontman Bono in which they outline the importance of global connectivity and call for Silicon Valley tech companies to take action. A number of initiatives are already in place as the big internet players continue to show their philanthropic commitment to having even more people to advertise to. The company said it would join forces with a German internet watchdog, a non- profit group called Voluntary Self-Monitoring of Multimedia Service Providers, to monitor suspected hate postings. Zuckerberg’s Internet.org has come under fire for its Free Basics service which offers access to free sites which Facebook deems relevant to the audience, but fails basic privacy tests.

Dark, narrow gullies on the surface of the red planet contain water-bearing salts which researchers say almost certainly formed from water flowing downhill. Although the source and the chemistry of the water is unknown, the discovery could affect thinking about whether the planet that is most like Earth in the solar system could support present day microbial life. Which is why the discovery that water is now likely to be regularly flowing across Mars is so stunning,” said Swinburne University of Technology astrophysicist Alan Duffy.

You’ll get to keep your current user name (as long as it doesn’t contain invalid characters, in which case you’ll have to go through a few extra steps to make the transfer), and all your old comments will eventually (not immediately) migrate with you. Using instruments on the MRO, a research team led by Lujendra Ojha from the Georgia Institute of Technology analysed the chemical composition of a series of dark streaks, or gullies, emanating out of the walls of Garni crater. While the planet has polar ice caps and once hosted oceans and lakes billions of years ago, Dr Duffy said a lot people would be surprised to learn there is liquid water flowing there right now. It was assumed liquid water could not survive the planet’s dry, cold conditions and low atmospheric pressure, which would cause any surface water to boil away.

Cosmologist Geraint Lewis said just as salt on a frozen driveway lowered the freezing point of ice, this briny water remained liquid in the harsh conditions on Mars, allowing it to flow across the surface in the chill of a mid-summer on Mars. NASA went into details about how the discovery of liquid water on Mars was made during an major announcement and press briefing that was webcast, but it was not able to answer the biggest question: is there extraterrestrial life on the red planet? “We haven’t been able to answer the question ‘does life exist beyond earth?’, but following the [trail of] water is a critical element of that,” Dr Jim Green, Planetary Science Division director at NASA, said in a Q&A after the announcement.

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