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Facebook’s Helicopter Drone Project Got Grounded: Report

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight

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Facebook
Facebook releases Messenger redesign on Android, iOS. Pixabay

Facebook discontinued last year a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations, The Verge reported.

The project was discontinued a few months after being shown off at the F8 developer conference in May of 2017, said the report on Monday.

“Tether-tenna was a proof of concept project we were evaluating when we discussed it at F8 in early 2017,” a spokesperson for Facebook was quoted as saying.

The idea was to send a helicopter equipped with telecommunications equipment hundreds of metres up in the air to be able to tether to fiber and power lines in places where wireless capacity was compromised due to disaster or other factors.

“It wasn’t something we pursued further as we chose to focus our efforts on continued development and advancement of our Terragraph, millimeter-wave, and HAPS (high altitude platform station) programmes,” the Facebook spokesperson added.

Representational image.
The project was discontinued a few months after being shown off at the F8 developer conference in May of 2017, said the report on Monday. Pixabay

The Tether-tenna is, however, not the only aerial Internet project that Facebook has abandoned in recent times.

In June this year, Facebook announced it decided to abandon its plan to develop high-flying solar-powered drones called Aquila that was aimed to deliver Internet to nearly four billion people in remote parts of the world.

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A high altitude platform station (HAPS) system, Aquila’s mission, according to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, was to connect the world and help people who do not have online access all the opportunities of the Internet.

Facebook began Aquila project in 2014. In 2017, the solar-powered drone successfully completed the second full-scale test flight.

Tether-tenna was a much smaller scale idea compared to Aquila. (IANS)

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Here are All The Things One Should Know About Facebook Pay

According to the social networking giant, users do not need to download anything new -- Facebook Pay works seamlessly on the apps they use

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Facebook Pay
Eligible users can set up Facebook Pay by setting it up for use across all Facebook apps individually. Pixabay

Marking its foray into the digital payments system, Facebook has launched a new payments system named Facebook Pay which lets users send money to friends, shop and donate on the social networking platform and Messenger.

Currently available in the US, it will be expanded to Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp later.

It is not yet clear if Facebook Pay will launch in India as Facebook’s plans in the country are focused around WhatsApp Pay as it has a massive WhatsApp user base in the country. However, it hasn’t been introduced so far due to regulatory issues.

It is also not known if both Facebook Pay and WhatsApp Pay will be introduced in India.

According to the social networking giant, users do not need to download anything new — Facebook Pay works seamlessly on the apps they use.

Mobile billing will also be a mode of payment on the platform, said the firm’s payment terms.

“Getting started is quick and easy. Simply add your credit card, debit card, or PayPal, and you’re good to go,” the company said in its support page.

Eligible users can set up Facebook Pay by setting it up for use across all Facebook apps individually. They can go to Settings > Facebook Pay, on the Facebook app or website, then add a payment method.

It is pertinent to note that Facebook Pay is also not connected to its proposed cryptocurrency wallet Libra.

The company will not charge a fee from the users for sending and receiving money via Messenger app.

Facebook Pay
Marking its foray into the digital payments system, Facebook has launched a new payments system named Facebook Pay which lets users send money to friends, shop and donate on the social networking platform and Messenger. Pixabay

Facebook may, however, subject users to fees from third parties for reversal charges or insufficient funds if attempted payments are rejected.

Users who are under 18 will not be able to use the peer-to-peer (P2P) payments service on Messenger.

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P2P is also not to be used for business, commercial, or merchant transactions. The company will discontinue payment services if it notices such prohibited transactions. (IANS)