Zuckerberg to the UN: The Internet Belongs to Everyone

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Facebook rebrands free Internet service, expands.

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. Speaking at the United Nations Private Sector Forum, the Facebook CEO announced that by bringing connectivity to the camps will ‘help refugees access support from the aid community’ and it will also ‘maintain links to families’.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel confronted Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on how his company is progressing in efforts to curtail racist posts, after her government complained the social network wasn’t doing enough to crack down on recent xenophobic outbursts.WASHINGTON: Facebook has changed the name of its programme offering free Internet to developing countries to “Free Basics” and added more services. 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 comes after criticism because of the limited service for the free programme – which some say flies in the face of Facebook’s commitment for “net neutrality,” or equal treatment for all online services. 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.

Announcing the Connectivity Declaration, Zuckerberg added: ‘By connecting more people in developing countries, we have more opportunity to create more than 140 million new jobs, lift 160 million people out of poverty and give more than 600 million children access to affordable learning tools. 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 a statement, Facebook said that with its latest update, “more than 60 new services are available across the 19 countries where free basic services are available.” Facebook has said it would be impractical to offer the entire Internet for free through the programme, which works through mobile carriers in various countries. This is a bummer, of course, if you’ve just paid for new vertical blinds in the lounge-room, but according to believers Judgment Day is at hand and the good Lord cares little for interior design.

The putative clue to our impending demise is an unusually bulbous full moon, gleefully identified by over-excited people on the windier shores of Christianity and Judaism as a “blood moon”. To prominent evangelists such as Mark Blitz of El Shaddai Ministries in Washington, and the eponymous head of John Hagee Ministries in San Antonio, Texas, this is deeply significant. 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. They and their followers point to an obscure passage in the Old Testament’s Book of Joel – “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord comes” – and advise their followers, a touch smugly, to get on their knees and wait for the apocalypse. If there is a deity up there, therefore, sending worrying messages via the night sky, He is evidently not that concerned with keeping the southern hemisphere in the loop.

Light from the sun, although largely blocked by the Earth, still refracts weakly through the atmosphere, generating a faintly red hue, sometimes accentuated by airborne volcanic dust. Pastors Blitz and Hagee, perhaps disappointed that they are still alive, will join the ancient order of people who wrongly predicted the end of the world. In Australia the movement is strong, if less defined, with dedicated stores such as Survival Supplies Australia in Lilydale, and dozens on online blogs and forums. Given the messianic concerns surrounding Monday’s blood moon, it seems safe to predict a sales spike this weekend for a book currently offered on eBay, called Jesus Was A Prepper.

Because, after all, if the world is going to burn and roil and be scorched clean by a vengeful god beneath a blood-red moon, it’s important to look one’s best.

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