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Zuckerberg to donate 99 percent of Facebook shares towards humanitarian causes

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source: thestar.com
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San Francisco: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan have pledged to donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares — about $45 billion — to advance human potential and promote equality for children.

Declaring the ‘Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’ as they welcomed their first girl child Maxima Chan Zuckerberg or “Max”, the couple on Tuesday said they have created a new foundation that would initially focus on “personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities.”

“As you begin the next generation of the Chan Zuckerberg family, we also begin the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to join people across the world to advance human potential and promote equality for all children in the next generation,” they posted in a 2,200-word letter to their new-born daughter on Facebook.

“We will give 99 percent of our Facebook shares during our lives to advance this mission. We know this is a small contribution compared to all the resources and talents of those already working on these issues. But we want to do what we can, working alongside many others,” the couple wrote.

We will share more details in the coming months once we settle into our new family rhythm and return from our maternity and paternity leaves, Zuckerberg said.

In the letter to their new-born daughter, the new parents said: “Today your mother and I are committing to spend our lives doing our small part to help solve these challenges.”

Zuckerberg owns about four million of Class A shares in Facebook and approximately 419 million Class B shares.

Each Class B share is worth 10 votes apiece which gives Zuckerberg majority voting power and control over Facebook’s strategic direction.

“We can make progress towards these opportunities only by standing on the shoulders of experts — our mentors, partners and many incredible people whose contributions built these fields,” the letter read.

“Max, we love you and feel a great responsibility to leave the world a better place for you and all children. We wish you a life filled with the same love, hope and joy you give us. We cannot wait to see what you bring to this world,” said the proud parents.

“Many of the greatest opportunities for your generation will come from giving everyone access to the internet. The internet is so important that for every 10 people who gain internet access, about one person is lifted out of poverty and about one new job is created,” the letter further read.

Yet still more than half of the world’s population — over four billion people — do not have access to the internet.

“If our generation connects them, we can lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. We can also help hundreds of millions of children get an education and save millions of lives by helping people avoid disease,” the Facebook CEO pointed out.

Facebook currently has 1.44 billion monthly active users.

(IANS)

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Facebook Is Planning To launch It’s Own Satellite ‘ATHENA’

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.

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Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported. Pixabay

 As part of its plan to connect billions of people who are still offline, Facebook is working on launching Athena, its own Internet satellite, early in 2019, the WIRED reported.

According to an application Facebook appears to have filed with the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the name PointView Tech LLC, the project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday.

Facebook, however, is not alone in aiming to increase Internet accessibility through satellites in low Earth orbit. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Softbank-backed OneWeb are two other prominent names who have similar ambitions.

Facebook also confirmed that Athena is their project, according to the report in the WIRED.

“While we have nothing to share about specific projects at this time, we believe satellite technology will be an important enabler of the next generation of broadband infrastructure, making it possible to bring broadband connectivity to rural regions where Internet connectivity is lacking or non-existent,” a Facebook spokesperson was quoted as saying in a statement.

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The project is designed to “efficiently provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas throughout the world,” the report said on Friday. Pixabay

While Facebook had long expressed its cherished goal of connecting billions of underserved people around the world, it has not had much success with two earlier projects.

In June, 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.

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.

The social network also discontinued in 2017 a small helicopter drone project that could temporarily replace cellular services in emergency situations, The Verge reported.

Also Read-Facebook’s Helicopter Drone Project Got Grounded: Report

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