Facebook Open Sources Presto for Munching Petabytes of Data

Facebook unveiled Presto, a SQL-on-Hadoop engine that it developed in-house, back in June this year. The SQL engine is capable of doing fast interactive analysis on the social networking site’s enormous 250-petabyte-and-growing data warehouse, with processing speed 10 times faster than Hive.

Today the company has open sourced Presto and the code was made available today under the Apache v2 license. According to Facebook, Presto is “ten times better” than alternatives such as Hive when it comes to CPU efficiency and latency for a large number of queries.

“It currently supports a large subset of ANSI SQL, including joins, left/right outer joins, sub-queries, and most of the common aggregate and scalar functions, including approximate distinct counts (using HyperLogLog) and approximate percentiles (based on quantile digest),” Martin Traverso, a software engineer at Facebook said.


Facebook initially relied on Hadoop MapReduce along with Hive, however, as users increased and its data kept multiplying, the approached seemed very slow. To overcome this issue, Facebook started the development of Presto in the fall of 2012 and was released to Facebook employees last spring. Facebook says that the engine is used by over 1000 employees, running over 30,000 queries on a daily basis.

So, who can use Presto? Well, if you’re a business with 750GB or more data, Presto could be the right choice for you, and Facebook estimates that the system could be relevant for such businesses.

Presto, unlike Hive, does not depend on MapReduce computing framework, which in fact has led to improved scheduling, says Facebook. The software is already being tested by a number of other large Internet services, namely AirBnB and Dropbox.

You can get the source code here.


Here’s What You Need to Do to Get a Custom Google Plus Profile URL

Ever since Google announced Google+, users have been craving for custom Google Plus profile URL, and now the wait has finally come to an end. Google+ users can grab a vanity URL for this profile and finally stop using third-party services like gplus.to

While a bunch of users are enjoying their Google Plus vanity URL, many users are still wondering why the option to get a vanity URL is still not available. Getting a custom URL for your Google Plus profile, Business Page, and Local Page requires some basic eligibility. Here’s what you need to in order to get ahead of the line:

Eligibility for User Profiles:

  • You should at least have 10 or more followers
  • Your account should be 30 days old or more
  • A profile photo is a must

Eligibility for Business and Local Pages:

  • Must be a verified local business
  • Must be linked to a website

If you meet the above eligibility you will be intimated by Google with a notification to create your Profile URL. Google also automatically suggests you a custom URL for your page or Profile, however, you can still opt a URL of your own choice using the provided option.


If you have requested for a change, Google will review your Request for the new custom URL and allot it for you if it is available and strictly meets the site’s Terms and Policies.

If you’ve met all the above criteria and still haven’t received the option to create a vanity URL for your profile, you just have to wait as Google is rolling out the feature in batches.

Instagram Starts Showing Ads

Instagram has started to display ads, starting with a sponsored photo of fashion brand Michael Kors, and this is how it looks:

Instagram's First Advertisement

Last month the company announced two categories — Sponsored Photos and Sponsored Videos, which has now started to appear on user’s feeds, promising user engagement with those brands they don’t follow or aren’t aware of.

The very first ad that popped up was a sponsored photo of a Michael Kors ladies’ watch, displayed on a table, with a caption stating “Pampered in Paris.” Instagram in a note said, “Michael Kors ran the first ad on Instagram this morning, targeting women in the US in a certain age range.” By late Friday, the sponsored photo had garnered more than 181,000 “likes”, along with some comments by unhappy Instagram users.

Instagram currently has about 150 million active users, and Facebook is quite positive in making a good revenue from Instagram. It is also said that Facebook is carefully adding magazine-quality photo ads to Instagram as it hopes to bring in revenue from the service without alienating users.

Celebrating India’s 66th Independence with Google Doodle

It’s that time of the year where people of India pay homage to their leaders and those who fought for India’s freedom. On the 66th Independence Day (67th if you count 15th August 1947 as the first Independence) of India, Google India is celebrating the occasion with a tri-colored doodle on its home page, in the form of a ribbon, which on mouse over will greet you with a message, “Indian Independence Day”.

67th Indian Independence Day commemorated with Google doodle

Google has been celebrating India’s Independence Day with a doodle on its home page every year since 2003, where most of the doodles featured the Indian national flag. However, the 2011 and 2012 doodles were quite different as Google created the doodles by featuring the Indian national symbols in place of the Tricolour. Last year, we saw a beautifully designed colorful peacock with a large plume tail.

On this day, the Prime Minister of India hoists the Indian flag on the ramparts of the historical site Red Fort in Delhi.

Along with India, three other countries celebrate their Independence Day on August 15 – Bahrain, South Korea and Republic of the Congo.

Happy Birthday India.

Facebook Acquires Mobile Technologies, Developer of Jibbigo

Facebook announced in a status update that it has acquired Mobile Technologies, a 12-year old speech recognition and machine translation start-up that developed the app Jibbigo. The terms of the deal, however, were not disclosed.

With the latest acquisition, Facebook looks forward to effectively make use of the voice recognition and translation tools to connect with the rest of the world. Jibbigo is the world’s first speech-to-speech translator that runs both online and offline.

Facebook Acquires “Mobile Technologies”

“Voice technology has become an increasingly important way for people to navigate mobile devices and the web, and this technology will help us evolve our products to match that evolution,” Tom Stocky, Facebook’s director of product management, wrote in a post. “We believe this acquisition is an investment in our long-term product roadmap as we continue towards our company’s mission.

Here’s the full post from Tom Stocky, Director, Product Management at Facebook announcing the acquisition:

Google Doodle Celebrates Erwin Schrödinger’s 126th Birthday

Today Google is celebrating the 126th birthday of Erwin Schrödinger, a famous Austrian physicist who won Nobel prize in 1933 for his eponymous equation on quantum wave mechanics. He is perhaps best know for the mind experiment known as Schrödinger’s Cat.
Erwin Schrodinger was born on August 12, 1887 in Vienna, Austria, to Rudolf Schrodinger and Georgine Emilia Brenda. After being tutored at home, Erwin Schrodinger studied in Vienna under Franz S. Exner and Friedrich Hasenohrl. By 1911, he was assisting Exner. Erwin Schrodinger also worked in the fields of electrical engineering, atmospheric electricity, and atmospheric radioactivity, however, he’s mostly renowned for his work in quantum mechanics.
Schrödinger’s cat is one of the most famous experiments, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects, resulting in a contradiction with common sense.

Here’s a video that gives a brief idea about it —

Born: August 12, 1887, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 4, 1961, Vienna, Austria
Spouse: Annemarie Bertel (m. 1920–1961)
Parents: Rudolf Schrödinger, Georgine Emilia Brenda
Honors and Awards:

  • Nobel Prize for Physics (1933) – for the formulation of the Schrödinger equation
  • Max Planck Medal (1937)
  • Erwin Schrödinger Prize of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (1956)
  • Austrian Decoration for Science and Art (1957)

WordPress.com Now Offers Custom .CO Domains

WordPress bloggers now have an option to register a .CO domain for a price $25/year for their site hosted on WordPress.com. The existing options prior to the .CO domains were .ME, .COM, .NET, and .ORG

The .CO domain is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) for Colombia, which is administered by .CO Internet SAS. WordPress in a blog post announced the availability of the domain as an option earlier today. The announcement also stated that there are “more than 1.5 million .CO domain names registered by individuals and businesses in over 200 countries worldwide. A .CO domain name is short and memorable, making it a great option for your WordPress.com website or blog.”

How to register a .CO Domain with WordPress?

You can register a .CO domain for your WordPress site by navigating to Store and then to Domains in your Dashboard. Type the desired .CO domain name under the “Add a Domain” option.

WordPress .CO Domain

Click on the “Add domain to blog” button, and in the next page you will be asked to enter a few details including your contact information. You can also add Private Registration to your domain for an additional $8

Click on the “Register Domain” button and in the next screen you will be asked to make a payment of $25 to register your .CO domain. Once you have activated your domain, navigate to Store and then to Domains in your Dashboard, and select button next to the new .CO domain you wish to activate, and click Update Primary Domain.

However, if you’re new to WordPress.com and would like to register a new site with .CO domain, then go to the WordPress.com signup page and fill in the desired details. From the drop-down menu select .CO as your domain and proceed with the registration followed by the payment page.

Download and Update Falcon Pro for Free Outside Google Play Store

Everybody loves Falcon Pro, but sadly Twitter is a bit jealous of that and hence has made the app’s and developer’s life miserable. When Falcon Pro was first released, it quickly became one of the most popular third-party Twitter app offering sleek design and brilliant features.

With Twitter API token limited to 100,000, the developer had to reset the API tokens after having reached the limit. Unfortunately, the API token limit hit again after the reset and Twitter had to shut down the app, which lead the developer, Joaquim Verges, pull it down from Google Play Store.

However, there’s some good news now. Users can continue using the latest version of Falcon Pro as Verges decided to upload and provide updates for Falcon Pro for free from http://getfalcon.pro

Go ahead and download the Falcon Pro v2.0.4 apk now!

After you install the app, you’ll be asked to login to Twitter. If you already own a token, there’ll be no problem signing in. That way, existing users can still get updates and enjoy the app. However, users are complaining that even though they have a token they still are not able to login.

Thankfully the developer decided to leave behind a little trick (hidden feature) which allows users with (or without) a valid token to login by allowing them to enter their own API using Twitter’s developer program.

Follow the steps below to login via the API access method to get start using Falcon Pro again:

Download Falcon Pro’s APK from http://getfalcon.pro, and install it on your device. (If you have the older version installed, then consider removing it)

  1. Now, open Falcon Pro and you’ll be taken to the login screen. Tap the three corners (they light up when you touch them). That is, tap on the top left, top right, bottom right of the app.
  2. Then, shake your device, after which you’ll get a message saying “Custom Login unlocked!”. Press OK, tap on “Custom login,” keep this screen open.Falcon Pro for Free APK
  3. Visit http://dev.twitter.com from your device or your computer’s browser and login with your Twitter accounts.
  4. On the top right, select “My applications” from the drop-down menu and click on “Create a new application. If you already have an app create, then jump to step 7
  5. Enter the name, website, and callback URL in the fields provided. You can enter any URL even if it doesn’t exist, but make sure the format is correct, like http://example.com (the http:// part is necessary)
  6. Enter the CAPTCHA and agree to the terms and conditions and click on “Create your Twitter application.”
  7. Open the Settings tab of the app and select “Read, Write and Access direct messages” under the Application Type. Just below that, enable the “Allow this application to be used to Sign in with Twitter” option by ticking the check box. Then, hit the “Update this Twitter application’s settings” button.
  8. Switch back to the Details tab, and copy the Consumer key and Consumer Secret (case sensitive) to the login screen in Falcon Pro and enter it in the respective fields. Tap the Save button and then tap on “login into Twitter” option.
  9. Verify the app and grant access to your Twitter account. And you’re done. Enjoy the app.

New Online Payment Solution – PayZippy by Flipkart

After having shut down Flyte for good, Flipkart has unveiled a new service, a new payment gateway — PayZippy, which is housed under a separate firm Flipkart Payment Gateway Services (FPGS) Pvt Ltd.

PayZippy will now join the party at the current competing online payment industry which includes some of the most widely used services like PayTM, CCAvenue, Citrus, and many others. Although there are a bunch of choices that we already have, what’s so different about Flipkart’s PayZippy is that is aims to partner with banks directly and provide higher efficiency unlike the current payment gateways.

PayZippy by Flipkart

PayZippy pricing for Indian Merchants


For Debit Cards
Transaction Value Standard Pricing Promotional Pricing
Rs. 2000 or less 0.75% N/A
Rs. 2000 or more 1.0% N/A
For Credit Cards
Transaction Value Standard Pricing Promotional Pricing
Rs. 0-5 lakhs 3.5% 3.5% 2.5%
Rs. 5-10 lakhs 3.25% 3.25% 2.25%
Rs. 10-25 lakhs 3% 3% 2%
Rs. 25-100 lakhs 2.5% 2.5% 2%
Rs. 1 Cr + Custom Quote Needed

For debit card transactions, merchants will be charged 0.75 percent of the transaction value if less than or equal to Rs. 2000, and 1 percent for transaction value Rs. 2000

What PayZippy offers seems to be industry standard rates on credit and debit cards. At present, the service is running a promotional offer cutting down the standard pricing by one percent.

According to Flipkart, they have been working on this payment gateway solution for over two years and claims to have done through research. PayZippy features real-time tracking system of bank gateways, quite similar to what CCAvenue had launched few months back.

With Flipkart’s new PayZippy service, merchants can start accepting payments from most of the major credit & debit cards including MasterCard, Visa, and Maestro. However, Net Banking transactions are not enabled yet.

Expect a New Facebook Login Page Very Soon

Have you seen one of those Twitter backgrounds with profile pictures of ‘followers’ arranged in a tiled manner? Well, something similar to that is what Facebook is testing for its new login page.

Jash Jacbo, blogger at Techzei, spotted the new Facebook login page that is being tested features a colorful tiled background of profile pictures. The current login page has a plain light-blue background color with new features being highlighted on the left and a sign up form on the right.

Facebook New Login Screen

The new login page design focuses mainly on the sign up form displaying it as a dialog box. The top bar is the same login-bar where users can enter their login credentials to login.

Unfortunately, it was just a test. The new login page only opened up for a few minutes until Facebook decided to switch it was back to the old one.