Mark Zuckerberg’s Net Worth Increased by $12.4 Billion Last Year

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Balasubramani Mariappan
Mark Zuckerberg had a very good 2013.The Facebook cofounder and CEO’s net worth increased by $12.4 billion last year, the largest gain of any current tech exec, not counting Bill Gates, according to data released this week fromBloomberg Billionaires Index. Zuckerberg is currently worth more than $24.5 billion.

That increase in his net worth was driven by Facebook’s stock, which doubled for the year. Facebook stock started the year at $27.44 a share and ended at $54.65, thanks to renewed optimism for the company’s ability to monetize on mobile and growing confidence in the social space in general.

To his credit, Zuckerberg has taken steps to give some of that money back. For the second year in a row, he and his wife Priscilla Chan donated 18 million shares of Facebook to charity. This year, those shares were worth nearly $1 billion. Zuckerberg also signed a pledge in 2010 to give away most of his wealth to charity during his lifetime.

Other tech execs did quite well for themselves last year, too, according to the Billionaires Index. Gates, the former Microsoft CEO who now focuses on philanthropic efforts, saw his net worth increase by $15.8 billion, thanks to a surge in Microsoft stock. Meanwhile, Elon Musk’s net worth increased by 233% during the year, the largest percentage increase of any billionaire on the list, resulting from a huge spike in Tesla’s stock price.

Image: Steve Jennings/Getty

Just 47% of Facebook Users Get News From the Social Network

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Balasubramani Mariappan

While some of our news feeds are filled with news updates, less than half of Facebook users say they use the social platform to get news updates.

The most popular social network for getting for news is Reddit, where 62% of users say they get news. The least popular source is Pinterest, where just 3% of users say they get news.

Statista‘s chart below shows the percentage of users of 11 major social networks who report getting news from the respective platforms.

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Image:  iStock, SamHiTwitterFacebookReddit 

How I Became Rich Before 30 and How You Can Too

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Balasubramani Mariappan
If there is one universal truth, it’s that everyone is looking to get rich quick. This probably explains why so many people are willing to believe there’s a Nigerian prince out there with their email address, ready and willing to mail them money. Truth is, whether looking for your dream job or starting up a new company, too many young people are looking to strike gold as quickly and easily as possible.

As someone who made my first million before I turned 30, the question of how to become a young millionaire often arises. Unfortunately, I don’t know of any magic pill to take or button to press to become instantly successful.

For starters, I followed the 10,000 hour rule of mastering any subject, deferring parties in college to spend sleepless nights working on business plans with a select group of other broke overachievers. Along with my 13 other roommates, I spent most of my formative “party” years working hard, mastering skills and eating a lot of Ramen noodles.

I know it’s possible to become wealthy early in life if you have the drive, determination and ambition to succeed. Here are a few tips that helped me achieve success and just might help you, too.

Confess and Attack

As a young worker, most people will see your age as your biggest hurdle and most pressing handicap. But the truth is that your youth just might be your biggest advantage.

So many of the people I networked with and contacted were older (sometimes much older) than myself. Often, these people knew they wanted to get hooks into the online space but just didn’t understand how the game was played online. They were actually looking for someone hungry and motivated, but best of all, they were looking for someone who had grown up around technology and understood the market.

Still, there is definitely a real perceived disadvantage to being a young and “inexperienced” worker or entrepreneur. This is when I began to formulate my “confess and attack” strategy. I would tell potential business partners the fairly evident truth: I’m young. But this doesn’t mean I don’t know what I’m doing or that I haven’t put in the time and energy to become an expert in my field.

Once I confessed what we both knew and explained my skills, I would attack their preconceived notions. I would push the conversation back to them, explaining if they weren’t comfortable with me or my team after understanding my skills, then perhaps we weren’t a good business fit.

I took back control of the situation and found business partners who actually believed in me and my ability to succeed, instead of jittery investors ready to bail at the first signs of trouble.

Your Socializing Can Determine Your Success

As a young job seeker or entrepreneur, your network is key. Think of the old saying, “Show me who your friends are and I’ll tell you who you are.” This is as true for the business world as it was when your mom said it about that one friend you had in high school who was always trying to get you to skip class.

According to motivational speaker Jim Rohn, we are the average of the five people we chose to spend the most time with. We will often emulate the people we’re closest to and, if those people are successful, your own chances of success rise in proportion.

If your five closest companions are highly motivated and successful individuals, these traits will likely spur you to work even harder. In fact, a study showed people who shared goals with others were 33 percent more likely to achieve those goals.

In my own experience, spending time with successful people has allowed me to meet interesting individuals and expand my professional network. The relationships I’ve fostered have been sincere, allowing me to help others as much as they offer guidance and support.

For instance, I had a contact at the NFL who introduced me to a former player he knew who was influential in our industry. We shared business ideas and became fast friends. One night, I got a call from this player inviting me to attend a party he was throwing.

Once at his gathering, I had the opportunity to connect with many influential and successful people. In college, I didn’t spend much time socializing because I was putting in my 10,000 hours, now I was chatting with a well-known tennis star. A big part of my current social life is surrounding myself with successful people who understand what I’m working toward and can attempt to help me reach my goals. Connecting with the right movers and shakers is extremely effective for allowing you to see what direction your own path to success might take.

Unfortunately for us all, money doesn’t fall out of the sky or grow on trees. The good news, however, is that nothing is holding you back from being successful at a young age. You just need to work hard, have confidence in your abilities, and surround yourself with positive and successful people.

Russia Launching New Search Engine ‘Sputnik’ to Compete With Google

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Balasubramani Mariappan
The name Sputnik stands tall in history books as the vessel that helped spark a space race with the U.S. But a new Russian project with the same name is planning to play catch-up in an area where the U.S. already has a huge lead: search engines.

Rostelecom, the country’s state-controlled telecom service, has been charged with creating a search engine to compete with the likes of Google, as well as well local search-engine leaderYandex, which is based in the Netherlands, according to Reuters.

Even with state backing, however, Sputnik will face stiff competition. On its website, Yandex claims that it currently generates 62% of all search traffic in Russia.

But recent events have destabilized the company. Yandex lost its popular co-founder, Ilya Segalovich, in July to cancer. That led to a brief dip in Yandex’s stock, and doubt about the company’s long-term future.

So while Yandex is currently the market leader — and Google is close behind with roughly 25% of Russia’s search users — Rostelecom may be launching Sputnik at just the right time.

Rostelecom has already spent $20 million on the search engine, according to a report in Russia’s Vedomosti. The site will reportedly be accessible at http://www.Sputnik.ru, and will launch some time in the first quarter of 2014.

Rostelecom did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A Breakdown of Twitter’s 200 Million Users

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Balasubramani Mariappan
Twitter recently filed for a $1 billion IPO, and in doing so revealed that the site had 218.3 million monthly active users in its second quarter.

But who precisely are those users? And what are they doing on the microblogging network?

SEE ALSO: More Sunday Comics

In this Sunday comic, Nitrozac and Snaggy of The Joy of Tech take a stab at breaking down the millions of people who tweet — and, as it turns out, a lot of users are just spambots and parents spying on their kids.

Comic illustration provided by The Joy of Tech. Published with permission; all rights reserved.

Google Launches Street View for Over 100 Indian Monuments

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Balasubramani Mariappan
Google has partnered with the Indian Ministry of Culture and the Archeological Survey of India to bring Street View to over 100 monuments in the country, providing a 360-degree view of these structures that will be available to anyone with access to the Internet. The project began on Thursday.”Google’s mission is to make information more accessible, and around the world Google is constantly looking for new ways to tell the stories of the world’s diverse cultures and make them available worldwide,” the company said in a statement provided to Mashable. “Google hopes to help make more of India’s heritage accessible to people around the world, and to help preserve India’s unique history for generations to come.”

The Taj Mahal, the Ajanta and Ellora caves, and Qutub Minar, an ancient Islamic monument, are three structures that will be featured on Google Maps, as well as on the company’s world wonders site. Google’s Trekker, a backpack that has a camera attached to it, will capture footage of the monuments. Designed to go places that most wheeled vehicles can’t, it has already seen Mount Fuji, the Galapagos Islands, the streets of Venice and the Grand Canyon.

The Street View team has ramped up its activity recently, recently grabbing footage of various coral reefs.

For its part, however, India has given Google some trouble in the past, according to BGR. The company tried to map Bangalore’s streets two years ago, but ran into regulatory roadblocks that forced it to call off the project.

After teaming with Indian organizations, though, Google’s latest effort is off to a better start.

“We believe that the new panoramic imagery of 100 Indian monuments will not only allow people to interact with our country’s culture in new ways, but also digitally preserve India’s heritage for future generations,” Pravin Srivastava, director general of the archeological survey, said in a statement.

What do you think of Google Street View’s latest addition? Tell us in the comments, below.

BONUS: 14 Google Tools You Didn’t Know Existed

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Samsung Expects to Post Record $9.4 Billion Profit for Q3

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Balasubramani Mariappan
Samsung may overtake Apple as the most profitable consumer electronic company, or at least give it a run for its money.Samsung announced Friday that it expects to report a record operating profit of 10.1 trillion won (or about $9.4 billion) in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. That’s up from $6.9 billion the previous quarter and $7.4 billion in the same quarter last year.

Apple, which has long been the most profitable company in the industry, has seen its profit decline year-over-year in each of the last two quarters. The company won’t report its numbers for the September quarter until later this month, but its profit in that quarter last year was $8.2 billion.

Image: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty

Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition: For Serious Tableters Only

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    A Powerful Note

    The 2014 Edition of the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 is a feature-filled tablet, but only power users will probably have the patience to unleash its true potential. It starts at $549.99.

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    Android 4.3

    The Note 10.1 runs Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean.”

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    S Pen

    The big extra feature in all of Samsung’s Note products is the digital stylus, called the S Pen.

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    Air Command

    In the new Note 10.1 and the Note 3 smartphone, the stylus can call up a menu called Air Command, which includes many of the most-used functions of the S Pen.

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    Multi Window

    Two applications can run on the screen at the same time with the Multi Window feature, although drag-and-drop functionality between the two maps may or may not work.

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    Pen Window

    In addition to Multi Window, the S Pen can create its own smaller window, where you can have any number of compatible apps appear, such as a calculator.

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    Faux Leather Back

    The back of the tablet is designed to resemble leather, and it has a soft-touch feel.

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    Left Side

    On the left you’ll find the headphone jack and one of the stereo speakers.

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    Bottom

    On the bottom there’s the microUSB port.

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    Right Side

    On the right is the microSD slot (for additional storage), the other stereo speaker and the S Pen slot.

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    Top

    On top there are buttons for power and volume as well as an infrared blaster that you can use to control a TV and other home theater gear.

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    A Stylus With Style

    The 2014 Edition S Pen is redesigned with metallic grooves.

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    Magazine Mode

    Swiping up from the home screen engages Magazine mode, designed by Flipboard to aggregate news sources, social networks, local info and personal data (such as calendar invites) into a browsable, visual experience.

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    Balasubramani Mariappan
Whether or not you’ll like Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition tablet depends on what you want to do with it. For advanced functions — which usually involve using its trademark stylus, the S Pen — the tablet takes the technological version of the scenic route. It’s chock full of functional landmarks, both major and minor, with tucked-away abilities off the beaten path, which require time to navigate and discover.All of Samsung‘s wonders are scattered across this tablet’s Android countryside, many accessible only via circuitous routes.

For instance, instead of making it easy to write on the screen, or clipping an area of a screen to share or save, or opening up a secondary app in a picture-in-picture window, or several other cool and useful functions, Samsung has saddled its otherwise sensational 10.1-inch tablet with needlessly serpentine stylus accessibility.

Worse, some of these cool and useful stylus-centric functions aren’t nearly as intuitive as they could have been, short-circuiting their ultimate usefulness.

Ergonomic Eye Candy

The Samsung — oh, I’m not gonna type “Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition” every time, so let’s just call it GNote14 — GNote14 (officially SM-P600) comes in four editions: black or white in 16GB ($549.99) and 32GB ($599.99) capacities. The price includes two years of Dropbox(how much capacity this includes is unclear), a three-month Hulu subscription, a year of the quite handy Boingo in-flight Wi-Fi, and Google Play credits: $25 for apps and $50 for movies and TV shows.

What’s most initially striking about GNote14 is what’s going on behind it: the faux-leather rear. It’s not soft, but the material is more than feel-good and pretty — it provides a firmer grip than Samsung’s usual cheap plastic, especially when your palms get a bit sweaty.

The black version befits the male executive demographic, but I’m not sure who the white edition is aimed at

The black version befits the male executive demographic, but I’m not sure who the white edition is aimed at — certainly not at anyone who has ever owned (and had to clean) white leather clothing. I was conscious of the relative cleanliness of each surface I considered setting my white review sample down upon.

But the firm, leathery grip is necessary. GNote14 is light enough, just 1.19 pounds compared to the iPad’s 1.44-pound heft. But a tablet this large is going to be cumbersome and unwieldy to hold in one hand, regardless of weight. This awkwardness is amplified when you have to hold the GNote14 in one hand, and especially in landscape mode, while wielding and applying Samsung’s S Pen stylus in your stronger hand.

GNote14 is ringed with what appears to be a silver metallic rim. Embedded in this rim up top on the left (holding the GNote14 in landscape mode) are the on/off toggle and the volume down/up controls (there are faint + and – icons on each). In the middle top is the infrared blaster for GNote14′s AV remote control capabilities, and on the bottom rim is the microUSB port. These two are similarly sized and shaped; on numerous occasions, I tried to shove the charging jack into the IR blaster.

On either side of the screen are GNote14′s stereo speakers, which pump out smooth tones with plenty of volume. The sound far superior to tablets sans stereo speakers (such as iPad). On the right side is a microSD card slot.

Impressive Screen, Specs

Spec-wise, the GNote14 is arguably the most advanced of any tablet extant. GNote14′s impressive 10.1-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 pixel resolution screen is deceptively higher than iPad’s 2,048 x 1,560 display. But the GNote14 is wider, accounting for the extra pixels. And that expansive widescreen display area can be a bit of dust collector.

Everything that appears on GNote14′s TFT LCD (not AMOLED) display, including even the tiniest of text, is bright and crisp — highly readable. Colors on photos and video are bright and natural, though lacking the pop-off-the-screen black levels rendered by AMOLED. Video runs smoothly, without noticeable refresh rate blur.

Behind the screen is Samsung’s snappy and high-powered Exynos 1.9GHz quad-core processor, plus a second 1.3GHz quad-core processor. The purpose of this second processor is unclear, but the Android 4.3 “Jelly Bean”-powered GNote14 is super speedy in all but one function, which we’ll get to in a moment.

You also get 3GB of RAM, dual-band Wi-Fi including “gigabit” 802.11ac (there’s no cellular version) and Bluetooth 4.0 (aka Smart).

Camera & Battery

GNote14 is equipped with an exceptional 8-megapixel camera on the rear, which snaps remarkably sharp photos in even dimly lit conditions. Here’s a sample:

Samsugn Galaxy Note 10.1 sample

You also get a flash to illuminate darker scenes, except it takes GNote14 four-to-five seconds — an eternity in picture taking — to focus, light and capture a scene.

GNote14 finally catches up to iPad’s 10-hour battery life. I real-world on-and-off usage I was able to go nearly two days without worrying about recharging.

Stylus-itis

While playing with the GNote14, I uncovered a host of useful tweaks I would love to learn more about and integrate into my everyday “tableting,” with dozens more features and functions yet to be discovered and explored. This space is too limited to delve into even a fraction of GNote14′s cornucopia of goodies, both app- and OS-based, that Samsung has rammed into the GNote14.

Samsung S Pen

But Samsung’s showiest functions for business users are those categorized under Air Command — and here’s where GNote14 gets in its own way.

There are five Air Command functions:

  • Pen Window, which, like Ofelia in Pan’s Labyrinth, lets you scrawl a square or rectangle door on the GNote14 screen into which then magically pops a menu of seven compatible apps that, when you tap one, appears in that drawn picture-in-picture window.
  • S Finder, an extensive universal (device and web) search tool, which also lets you hand-write symbols as part of your search.
  • Screen Write, which enables you to choose from a variety of stylus line thicknesses and colors to draw or write on any screen, then save and/or share that screen.
  • Scrapbooker, which lets you circle and clip segments from any screen for saving and/or sharing.
  • Action Memo, which lets you scrawl handwritten notes and can translate scrawled email addresses and Web URLs into actual usable email address and URLs.

You access all of these Air Commands by withdrawing the S Pen stylus from its scabbard, hovering the tip of the S Pen over the screen and pressing the button on the side of the S Pen.

I think.

This worked sometimes on the first try, usually after a couple of tries. In all events, this method of accessing Air Command controls is flashy — and completely unnecessary. 

All Air Command functions could have been more easily and simply accessed by finger touch from a pull down or pop-up menu

All Air Command functions could have been more easily and simply accessed by finger touch from a pull down or pop-up menu. The whole gestalt of Air Command smacks of a “we did it because we could” philosophy, instead of rejecting the clever in favor of simplicity.

More potentially useful is the handy Multi-Window, which allows two compatible apps, accessible via a pullout tray on the left side of the window, to be open side-by-side. There are 16 compatible apps at the moment, and you can move the dividing line between the two left and right to resize the apps.

However, the tray access arrow isn’t always visible, and the side-by-side apps couldn’t interact with each other. For instance, unless I was doing it wrong, I couldn’t drag a photo from the Gallery on one side of the screen to an open email on the other side (I got a “Not supported” message when I tried a simple finger-drag). Perhaps there are instances of side-by-side Multi Window cooperation, but I couldn’t find any.

Many of GNote14′s innovations feel similarly short-sheeted and counter-intuitive.

Getting the Memo

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is as impressive and long-winded to use as its name, and its expansiveness can be daunting — and I’ve only touched on a fraction of its expansive wonders.

Nearly all these features you’ll want to exploit require a second or two of “how do you do this again?” pondering — GNote14 is chockfull of dismissible “You can do this” pop-ups. And you ought not require the S Pen stylus to access anything — it ought to be supplementary, not required. In short, GNote14′s method to do something often overwhelms the rationale for doing it.

Devotees, especially young creative types in tune with tablet technology, will be willing to climb the learning curve and be rewarded for their effort. But for the mass of mobile consumers who just want to read, email, surf, play and view, GNote14 is akin to killing a fly with perhaps the most advanced anvil ever.

The Lowdown

What’s Good

  • Includes a plethora of advanced apps, functions and tweaks
  • 4 million-plus pixel display
  • 10-hour battery life

What’s Bad

  • Too reliant on stylus
  • Overly complicated OS
  • Awkward to handle with one hand

Bottom Line: The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 2014 Edition is so impressive a slab of technology it’s almost overwhelming, but accessing its most interesting features is too reliant on its S Pen stylus.

Images: Mashable, Christina Ascani

Will Help Damascus if it is attacked : Putin

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Balasubramani Mariappan

Russia will help Syria if it comes under attack, President Vladimir Putin has said, stressing that a majority of world leaders attending a G20 Summit in St.Petersburg came out against military intervention. Asked at a post-summit press conference if Russia would continue to support the Syrian government in the event of a U.S. military strike Mr.Putin said. “Will we help Syria? We Will. We are already helping, we are sending arms and cooperating in the economic sphere. I hope we will expand our cooperation in the humanitarian sphere, including relief aid to support civilians who have found themselves in a very dire situation in that country.”

The Russian leader said G20 was divided on the Syrian crisis but a great majority of the world leaders gathered in St.Petersburg clearly opposed unilateral military intervention in Syria. “I can tell you who favoured military action. It is the U.S., Turkey, Canada, Saudi Arabia and France, while British Prime Minister’s support for the U.S. was not shared by his citizens,” Mr.Putin said. “Now, who were categorically against: Russia, China, India, Indonesia, Argentina, Brazil, South Africa and Italy.” Mr.Putin said he took not of the “Unexpectedly” strong stand taken by Prime Minister Manmohan Sing against unilateral military action.

Syria was not on official agenda of the G20 summit, but the world leaders spent the “entire” Thursday evening discussing the Syrian crisis over dinner which stretched late into the night, Mr.Putin said. The Russian President said he had a “Substantive, constructive” 20 minute meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, but failed to bridge their differences over Syria.

At a separate press conference, Mr. Obama claimed growing support from other nations, but did not say if any other country apart from France was ready to join in his move.