Goodbye, Yahoo! You would be missed

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If you are from the generation that saw the dial-up Internet age, you must have used one of the many service of a company called Yahoo! Be it chatting away in your favorite chat room or searching for something on the Internet (yeah, people used to do that before Google came along). Yes, that Yahoo! that still feed our nostalgia of the early, humbling days of the Internet, is selling itself.

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Alphabet Surpasses Apple as the World’s Most Valuable Company

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Alphabet Inc., the holding company of Google has unequivocally becomes the World’s Most Valuable Company, surpassing Apple with a market cap difference of $23 billion dollars – Google’s market cap was $558 billion with 8% increase after the company reported its fourth-quarter earnings. Meanwhile, Apple’s market cap sits at a $535 billion.

The company smashed expectations on both ends, bringing in $21.3 billion in revenue and earnings of $8.67 per share. What amazing is that Google, a software company, surpassed the revenue of Apple, a hardware company with crazy margins on its products. This narrative alone speaks a lot of its capabilities and focus on making the best of what they make, which are mostly intangible services.

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Google Partners with Movidius to Enhance Deep Learning Capabilities in Next-Gen Android Smartphones

Google today announced a partnership with a Silicon Valley chip manufacturer Movidius Work to bring powerful machine learning image recognition technology directly to Android smartphones.

As part of the agreement, Google will deploy its advanced neural computation engine on Movidius’ ultra-low-power platform, revolutionizing the usual server-based AI computation model. This enhancement will allow complex machine learning algorithms to run on device locally without an Internet connection and little to no latency issue.

The head of Google’s machine intelligence group in Seattle, Blaise Agüera y Arcas commented said,

What Google has been able to achieve with neural networks is providing us with the building blocks for machine intelligence, laying the groundwork for the next decade of how technology will enhance the way people interact with the world. By working with Movidius, we’re able to expand this technology beyond the data center and out into the real world, giving people the benefits of machine intelligence on their personal devices.

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Android N is Saying Goodbye to Oracle’s Proprietary Java APIs

Google has announced to move away from Orcale’s proprietary Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). In the next version of their operating system, Android N, the new standard will be OpenJDK, an open source alternative.

It all started last month with a “mysterious Android codebase commit”  which shows 8,902 files were changed, clearly notes OpenJDK code was added to Android:

Initial import of OpenJdk files.
Create new libcore/ojluni directory with src/main/java and src/main/native subdirectiories.
Build ojluni into core-oj jar.
Use openjdk classes from java.awt.font package.
Copy all files from jdk/src/share/classes and jdk/src/solaris/classes directories in openjdk into libcore/ojluni/src/main/java.
Copy following native files from openjdk to libcore/ojluni/src/main/native: [long list of files]

I largely suspect it has a lot to do with Oracle vs Google case in which Oracle, which only bought Java a few months ago from Sun Microsystems, claimed Android has copied Java’s source code in their operating system. To anyone who didn’t follow the case, the main code in question was just a few lines written by a guy at Google who previously used to work at Sun on Java. That’s right. He wrote the code in both cases (among thousands of lines of code he wrote on both projects) and it happened to be the same on a few lines by the same guy (Joshua Bloch). Out of millions of lines, this was it:

private static void rangeCheck(int arrayLen, int fromIndex, int toIndex) { 
    if (fromIndex > toIndex) 
        throw new IllegalArgumentException("fromIndex(" + 
             fromIndex + ") > toIndex(" + toIndex+")"); 
    if (fromIndex < 0) 
        throw new ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException(fromIndex); 
    if (toIndex > arrayLen) 
        throw new ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException(toIndex); 
}

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Facebook is Scared of Android

Mark Zuckerberg’s $190 billion baby feels threatened by the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, Android.

Both companies are a giant in their respective core competencies. For Facebook, it is social media and accompanying online advertising and for Google, a multitude of Internet-based products including a mobile operating system used by over 1.4 billion people.

Why, then, a giant like Facebook is scared of Android?

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Start Healthy, Stay Healthy

Pakistan is growing with a rate of 1.49% of its population each year. Out of 1000 of those infants born, 57.48 die. We are among the few countries with moderate percentage of child miscarriages. A whopping 33% of the entire population of Pakistan consists of children between the ages of 0 and 4.

A high number of child mortalities are partly due to the lack of knowledge of a child’s nutrition. Nestlé, a brand that doesn’t need any introduction, organized a blogger’s meetup as an effort to spread the importance of child nutrition, specially during an infants first 1000 days of brith.

The event took place at Pearl Continental Hotel on a pleasant Saturday evening. #First1000Days was conducted by Dr. Huma Fahim who is Medical Advisor in Nestlé Nutrition. I was amazed to know that when a child is born, it is actually 270 days old already. So the main focus of the event was children health during first 1000 days of their lives: 270 days before birth and 730 days after opening their eyes in this world. According to Dr. Fahim, these 1000 days are most critical to a child’s health. She also pointed out the importance of nutrition of a mother during pregnancy and after giving birth to a child. This bodes very well in favor of taking extra care of a woman bearing a child, something many households, specially rural ones, should know about. A mother’s diet and health overall directly impacts a child during the first 1000 days of their lives, which means a malnutrition or an over-nutrition can greatly effect the physical and mental state of the child.

Dr. Fahim also shared an astonishing and interesting statistics with us as well. According to her, malnutrition or over nutrition, have contributed to the fall of average height of an infant by 4 inches now. We also got to know that a child’s height by the second year of his life is almost half the height that child will have as an adult.

Nestlé has an expertise in nutrition and believes it has a responsibility to share that expertise. We want to promote better health through good nutrition in the first 1,000 days of life. Research shows that children who don’t get proper nutrition in their early years can’t fully develop their physical and cognitive potential and are at an increased risk of poor health as adults.

– Waqar Ahmad, Head of Corporate Affairs.

Giving a child their fair share of health is not only a responsibility of its parents and the state but it’s also our society as a whole. So let’s be good samaritans and share the word.