Tech News

Facebook Owns the Internet, Project Loon Powers Sri Lanka… [Tech News Digest]

Dave Parrack 30-07-2015

Facebook has all the users, Sri Lanka connects to Google, Angry Birds 2 released, Amazon pushes the button, Microsoft adds ads to Solitaire, and The Last of McGyver.


Facebook Is Still Growing

Facebook is continuing to grow at an astonishing rate, with 1.49 billion people now using the site on a monthly basis. This figure, correct up to June 30th, represents a 13 percent year-on-year increase in the number of users during the second quarter of 2015.

As BBC News points out, with around 3 billion people estimated to be online, Facebook is used by half of the whole population of the Internet. Which is no mean feat. More impressive still is that fact that almost 1 billion of those people use Facebook every single day.

There have been several times when it seemed an implosion was imminent at Facebook, with people angry at changes being made and searching for a viable alternative. But no such alternative has ever arrived. Sure, Google+ has its fans, but Ello utterly failed Ello Just Had a Refresh, But Can It Be Saved? For a brief moment, Ello was the hot digital property everybody wanted to be on. And then it all fizzled out. Now, if people mention Ello, it's to make the same tired joke. Read More to impress.

The result is that Facebook continues to go from strength to strength, adding users and growing revenues. At this point in time I’m not sure the Facebook juggernaut can be stopped, so perhaps the 1.5 billion holdouts should just succumb to its lure 10 Reasons Why People Still Use Facebook [We Ask You Results] The main reason people still use Facebook is because everyone else uses it. Go figure. Read More .

Project Loon Looms Over Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is set to become the first country in the world with universal Internet coverage, and it’s all thanks to Google. According to Yahoo, the Sri Lankan government has signed a deal with Google which will see the Internet giant launch Project Loon into the skies above the island nation to the south of India.


Project Loon, for the uninitiated, is Google’s attempt at providing Internet access to remote areas, and it’s all done using giant balloons which float high in the stratosphere for several months at a time. Project Loon currently only delivers 3G speeds, but that’s more than most of Sri Lanka’s 20 million citizens enjoy at the moment.

Google hopes to have launched the Project Loon balloons into the skies above Sri Lanka by March 2015. Between them they will cover all of the 25,000 square miles of land that makes up Sri Lanka. Local Internet service providers will be given access to the balloons, reducing their costs by a significant margin.

Angry Birds 2 Takes Flight

Rovio has released Angry Birds 2, with the sequel to the ever-popular original available to download now on Android and iOS. The original Angry Birds was released way back in 2009, and there have been countless spin-offs released since. However, as can be seen in the gameplay trailer above, Angry Birds 2 changes things up a little.

The core gameplay — which sees you firing birds at buildings occupied by pigs — remains the same in Angry Birds 2, but Rovio has added several new elements. There are now boss battles, multi-stage levels, spells, and a brand new bird to use against those porcine egg-stealers. Oh, and there’s now new ways of spending cash, naturally.


Amazon Dash Buttons Cost $5 Each

Those Amazon Dash Buttons which many of us suspected were an April Fools’ Day joke Apple Starts a Religion, Microsoft Cancels Windows 10, & More... [Tech News Digest] Apple gets religious, Microsoft smashes Windows, Google takes a day off, Facebook culls Friends, vowels get banned, and MakeUseOf announces new offshoots. Read More , are now being offered to all Amazon Prime subscribers. Amazon originally announced the Dash Buttons on March 31st The Best April Fools of 2015, Facebook Riffs with Friends, & More... [Tech News Digest] Celebrating April Fools' Day 2015, Facebook's Riff app, the ASUS Chromebit, Amazon's Dash buttons, HBO on Sling TV, and homeless people reading mean tweets. Read More , offering them to a select few subscribers, but now everyone is being given the chance to buy some, at $5 a pop.

Amazon Dash Buttons are physical buttons which let you order an item with ease. There are 18 in total, for brands including Huggies, Tide, and Gillette, and you simply attach them to a fridge or a washing machine and press when you run out of that product.

This is a dumb idea that Amazon seems to be persevering with. And I have no idea why. Answers on a postcard, please.

Microsoft Solitaire Now Has Ads

Have you installed your free Windows 10 upgrade Should You Upgrade to Windows 10? Windows 10 is coming, but should you upgrade? Like almost every change it's mostly good, but also comes with drawbacks. We've summarized them for you, so you can make up your own mind. Read More yet? If so, you may have noticed Microsoft Solitaire has been brought back into the fold, with a new version included in Windows 10. Unfortunately, adverts have been added to Microsoft Solitaire for the first time.


These ads appear occasionally in the standard version, and last for between 15- and 30-seconds. However, you can remove the ads by upgrading to the Microsoft Solitaire Collection Premium Edition, which costs $1.50-per-month or $10 for a whole year. Ads it is then.

The Last Of Us Meets McGyver

And finally, The Last Of Us would make for a cracking movie, what with its zombie apocalypse setting and emotional storyline. YouTube channel Fury Fingers has had a crack at imagining what a movie based on The Last Of Us would look like, and it’s really rather good.

There’s just one problem. Joel and Ellie are a little more competitive in the movie, and try to outdo each other with zombie-offing weapons Keep the Undead Dead: The Best Tech for Taking out Zombies This is a breaking report. An unknown disease is sweeping the nation. Please remain indoors. There are some items in your home that may be of assistance. What follows is a special report from MakeUseOf. Read More even fictional engineers such as MacGyver Beam Me Up, Scotty! The 5 Greatest TV Engineers of All Time Here, for your entertainment, are the greatest fictional TV engineers of all time. Prepare to be astounded by these mechanical geniuses and master gadgeteers. Beam me up, Scotty! Read More would be proud of. Still, the result is a load of dead zombies and out heroes living to fight another day.

Your Views on Today’s Tech News

Will Facebook keep on growing? Will Project Loon take off in a big way? Do you have any interest in playing Angry Birds 2? Are Amazon Dash buttons the dumbest idea ever? Will you pay to remove the ads from Microsoft Solitaire?


Let us know your thoughts on the Tech News of the day by posting to the comments section below. Because a healthy discussion is always welcome.

Image Credits: mkhmarketing via Flickr

Related topics: Angry Birds, Facebook, Google, Google Labs, Mashup, Microsoft, Mobile Gaming, Windows 10.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 1, 2015 at 1:23 am

    Hello, Dave
    I didn't find an easy way to contact you privately.
    I guess the time on the Project Loon, March 2016 instead of 2015.
    Correct me if I am wrong.
    Correct the typo and delete this comment if I am right. :D


  2. Anonymous
    July 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    "Microsoft Solitaire Now Has Ads"