Saturday, 3 March 2012

Apple hits 25 billion app downloads, next 25 billion unlikely to take long

Apple announced early Saturday morning that its iOS App Store has reached 25 billion downloads, a figure it couldn't have imagined — certainly not this soon — when it launched the store back in 2008.
Early Saturday morning, someone somewhere downloaded the 25 billionth app from Apple’s iOS App Store.
The tech company immediately put up a message of appreciation on its website, saying, “A billion thanks. 25 times over. The App Store has reached 25 billion downloads. Thank you for getting us there.”
Launching in July 2008, the App Store has been a huge success thanks to the popularity of Apple’s iPhone and iPad devices, onto which millions of people around the world load their apps.
According to figures released by Apple this week, there are now over 550,000 apps in the store, created by 248,000 registered iOS developers in the US and countless more around the world. The company says it has so far paid royalties to developers in excess of $4 billion.
iOS app downloads are happening at such a rate now that it shouldn’t be more than a couple of years before it hits the 50 billion milestone.
The result of a competition to reward the person who pushed the app download counter to the 25 billion mark is yet to be announced, but someone out there will soon be receiving a $10,000 gift card redeemable in the Cupertino company’s various online stores.
Let’s hope the winner, who’ll be getting a phone call from an Apple representative to inform them of their prize, doesn’t react in the same way as the winner of Apple’s previous competition celebrating 10 billion app downloads last year. She put the phone down on them.

Firefox lets users track who is spying on them

Mozilla, the maker of Firefox, has unveiled a new add-on for the popular web browser that gives users an instant view of which companies are "watching" them as they browse, the Daily Mail reported on Friday. The move comes the same week that Google pushed ahead with its controversial new privacy policy, built to provide even more data for Google's $28 billion advertising business - despite concerns that the harvesting of private data might be illegal in many countries.
The Collusion add-on will allow users to "pull back the curtain" on web advertising firms and other third parties that track people's online movements, says Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.
Google's business is built on advertising - the company earned $28 billion from its AdWords service in 2010.
Google's new privacy policy allows it to "streamline" data from Android phones, YouTube, Gmail and web browsing to target its adverts even more precisely towards individual web users.
Mozilla's Firefox is the world's second most popular web browser, a position under threat from Google's own Chrome browser. The Collusion add-on is an official Mozilla product, and was unveiled at the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference this week by Mozilla CEO Gary Kovacs.

Rescued Photographer: In Syria 'It's Not A War, It's A Massacre'

An image grab from a video uploaded on YouTube shows Paul Conroy in the Syrian city of Homs.

The British photographer who was rescued from Syria gave his first interview to Sky News today.
Paul Conroy, who was injured during the shelling of the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, said that what he saw in the city was a "massacre beyond measure."
"It's not a war, it's a massacre," he said. "An indiscriminate massacre of men, women and children."
It wasn't clear where Conroy, who works for The Sunday Times, was at the time of the interview, but appears that he was talking to Sky News from a hospital bed.
"It's more than a catastrophe," he said. "It's snowing there now; people can't light fires.. In years to come, we're going to sit and we're going to go, 'How did we let this happen under our nose?"'
Conroy urged the international community to act or it will look at Syria the way it looks at Rwanda.
The people of Homs "need something to happen," he said. "It's not too late but it needs someone to step up to the mark and do something."