Sci-Tech

Americans are suddenly taking global warming way more seriously

Americans Finally Realize That We Cause Climate Change

Finally, a new U.S. Gallup poll indicates that more people from the U.S. are concerned about global warming now than before.

“Climate change denial is simply no longer plausible, and the American people are recognizing that”.

A Gallup poll released this week shows an all-time high of 65 percent of Americans who said climate change was caused by human activities, up from 55 percent just past year.

For the latest survey, researchers asked a random sample of 1,019 adults (aged 18 and older) some questions via telephone. All of the respondents live in the US and, more specifically, in the District of Columbia.

A prominent climate scientist at Pennsylvania State University, Michael Mann, said that the increase of “overall warmth” being witnessed worldwide in recent years and an increasing number of natural disasters including floods, droughts or massive wildfires are main factors that influence public attitudes. Independents feeling the same about the issue recorded 64 percent.

Similarly, 38 percent of Republicans felt the increased temperatures of the Earth were due to human activities, up slightly from 34 in 2015, while 85 percent of Democrats agreed human intervention was the cause, climbing from 74 percent in 2015.

But is it really surprising that Americans have had a change of heart, in light of the past winter? The U.S. has experienced unusually warm temperatures this February, especially in the western part of the country. In the winter, the temperature was 2.1 degrees above the average in the 20th century.

As expected, the concerns over global warming split along political party lines, with 84 percent of Democrats saying they were anxious a “great deal” or a “fair amount” over the issue, and only 40 percent of Republicans agreeing.

Such findings are relevant in terms of tackling climate change in the future.

Zuckerberg outlines his vision of merging social media with virtual reality

In a blog post the day before the Samsung event, Facebook announced that it will soon bring its 360 video streaming technology to the Samsung Gear VR headset.

Fellow smartphone giant HTC was also unveiling virtual reality technology with its new headset.

“VR is the next platform, where anyone can create and experience anything they want”, he said. “We believe in encryption, and we think that that’s an important tool that honestly people are going to find a way to get anyway”.

Facebook’s Internet.org initiative, which Free Basics was originally part of, has been bouncing other project ideas around, including the potential to beam internet connections down from drones using lasers. Be that as it may, Zuckerberg’s appearance may have overshadowed Samsung’s VR technology.

The hope is the work will lead the cheaper network infrastructure gear, so it will be more economical to expand Internet access to places where it’s too expensive at present, Zuckerberg said.

“We’re going to do our first trials at full scale a bit later this year”, said Zuckerberg, speaking at Mobile World Congressin Barcelona.

The men who were tapped to lead Facebook’s Social VR team are Daniel James, a game developer known for Puzzle Pirates, and Mike Booth, the creator of the popular Left 4 Dead franchise. “Imagine being able to sit in front of a campfire and hang out with friends anytime you want”, he said. While sharing some virtual reality statistics, Zuckerberg mentioned that more than 1 million hours of videos had already been watched on Gear VR headsets.

Facebook has reiterated its commitment to the long-term future of social virtual reality with the creation of a new “social VR team“.

Group meetings will be held at any destination around the world, at any time of choice.

“There are two real things that we are focused on with VR”, he said.

WordPress Creators Work with Facebook to Bring Support for Instant Articles

WordPress Creators Work with Facebook to Bring Support for Instant Articles

On Monday, Facebook said it would add a WordPress plugin that makes it easier to generate and publish Instant Articles from WordPress.

Facebook’s Instant Articles are near-instant loading articles which offer all of the information in an article without loading any additional scripts or content.

To develop and test the new plugin, which essentially adapts Web content for Facebook’s Instant Articles feature, Facebook has partnered with WordPress.com VIP parent company Automattic. Rather than requiring publishers to manually format each article, the plugin for WordPress users will automatically optimize stories to appear as Instant Articles.

According to Facebook, over 25% of the websites on the internet are powered by WordPress, which quite a massive number. Then, it decided to make it easier for some publishers to share their content on the platform.

Automattic is planning to release the plugin as a free option for all WordPress users in time for the broader launch of Instant Articles in April.

The plugin is now available to download from GitHub, but they have revealed that it’ll be coming to the plugin repository soon.

Apple, whose content and social initiatives take a backseat to their software and hardware, jumped into the mix when they replaced Newsstand with News.

Once the plugin is set up, making Instant Articles will be as easily as checking a box.

“We encourage all interested publishers on WordPress to review the plugin’s documentation and FAQs”, the post said. And to increase the number of publishers getting on board with Instant Articles, they have announced their own WordPress plugin to make articles Instant Articles friendly.

Considering the partnership with WordPress, the Instant Articles feature may gain a lot more ground in the near future. Publishing directly to Facebook would keep readers from visiting the site.

It will be interesting to see how Facebook’s Instant Articles play a role and how this feature really ensures that traffic and revenue get to back to the publisher.