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Your Instagram Data Is Now Officially Facebook Data

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5969001/your-instagram-data-is-now-officially-facebook-data

Your Instagram Data Is Now Officially Facebook Data A new Instagram privacy policy goes into effect on January 16th, 2013. The service will now be sharing your data with its new owner Facebook. Get used to it.

Basically, Instagram has updated a few of the subhead sections of its policy to reflect the fact that it is a part of Facebook now. Instagram can now share information like cookies, log files, device identifiers, location data, and usage data,with “with businesses that are legally part of the same group of companies that Instagram is part of.” According to the Instagram blog, it’s a wonderful thing for you:

Our updated privacy policy helps Instagram function more easily as part of Facebook by being able to share info between the two groups. This means we can do things like fight spam more effectively, detect system and reliability problems more quickly, and build better features for everyone by understanding how Instagram is used.

Less spam? Great! Of course, this also means that Instagram is heaping its data over with the privacy nightmare that’s Facebook. The data will definitely be used to target better advertising at you on Facebook, and to serve you advertisements on Instagram whenever that starts happening. Here is the relevant section from the new policy:

Affiliates may use this information to help provide, understand, and improve the Service (including by providing analytics) and Affiliates’ own services (including by providing you with better and more relevant experiences).

This was inevitable, but at least now it’s official. [Instagram via TechCrunch]

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Monday, December 17th, 2012 news No Comments

IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nano-sized authentication methods (video)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/04/ibm-brings-the-fight-to-counterfeiters-with-nano-sized-authentic/

IBM brings the fight to counterfeiters with nanosized authentication methods

As counterfeiters continue to up their game, technology’s quest for the ultimate method of proving authenticity goes on. We’ve seen ideas at the nano level before, but IBM thinks its latest research might be so difficult to reverse engineer, that it’s impossible for forgers to reproduce. IBM scientist Dr. Heiko Wolf explains that the basic principle involves using the surface tension of water to orient nanorods on a stamp, which can then be printed onto any surface. These nanorods are so small that gravity alone isn’t enough to place the particles into predetermined patterns, such as corporate logos. IBM’s researchers have also patented a related nano-patterning method that uses fluorescent spheres that can take the color red, blue or green. These then arrange themselves in a completely random order, which is mathematically so difficult to replicate it’s known as PUF (physically uncloanable function). Both methods can be applied to a broad selection of objects, making them ideal candidates for anti-counterfeit detection for everything from diamonds to passports — all that’s needed to verify authenticity is an optical microscope. Don’t get your Picasso out of the vault just yet though, as it’s estimated that it’ll be another five years or so before the technology will find its way to market.

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Source: IBM Research

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

Soon You’ll Be Able To Buy Wine Over Facebook

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-wine-gifts-with-robert-mondavi-winery-and-chandon-2012-11

girl drinking wine

How did we miss this small print during Facebook’s recent launch of Facebook Gifts? “Soon, you’ll also be able to send wine from Robert Mondavi Winery and Chandon,” the company said on its blog.

(Gifts is a new function in which, when someone has a birthday, users can click on a little gift icon and send them something nice.)

In fact, you can already send someone a Mr. Beer home brew kit from Facebook Gifts.

But it appears that booze of all kinds will soon begin flowing regularly within Facebook. It’s the perfect medium given that age verification — a constant bugbear for alcohol marketers — is already taken care of.

Please follow Advertising on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »



All you have to do is take the name of the product and add vs after it (e.g. “iPhone vs”). Google’s autocomplete function will display search suggestions based on what you’ve already typed. Because you’ve left out the product you want to compare, Google will effectively suggest new products to check out that are similar to the popular option you already know. Pretty cool!

LPT: Easily find similar products using Google | Reddit

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Thursday, September 20th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5894572/in+app-ads-are-destroying-your-battery-life

In-App Ads Are Destroying Your Battery LifeYou intuitively know that all of those applications running in the background on your phone are latently eating away at your battery’s charge, but a new study reveals that the main culprit isn’t any useful function. It’s location-pinging ads.

The study, conducted by a team lead by Abhinav Pathak from Purdue University, analyzed the energy used by several popular free Android apps (PDF) like Angry Birds, Facebook, the New York Times, and Chess. The team developed an “energy profiler” they call “Eprof” that determines what processes within an app are using energy. The results are shocking: 65 to 75 percent of energy consumed by the free apps studied are used by third-party advertising modules within the programs. These apps continue to run in the background even when you’re not actually using the app. Only 10 to 30 percent of that energy is used to power the applications’ “core functions.”

Apps shouldn’t continue to serve you ads when you’re not locking at the apps. It’s a bug, or something more nefarious. According to the researchers, developers don’t notice energy consumption problems—bugs or otherwise—because most apps are “energy oblivious,” meaning that the developers don’t pay attention to how much energy apps use. [Eurosys 2012 via New Scientist]

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Monday, March 19th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Google tests the ‘do not track’ waters with a Chrome extension

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/24/google-tests-the-do-not-track-waters-with-a-chrome-extension/

Keep My Opt-Outs

Well, that didn’t take long. One day after agreeing to implement a do not track button as part of a new consumer bill of rights, Google has given the people what they want… sort of. Keep My Opt-Outs is a Chrome extension, developed by the Mountain View team, that will prevent advertisers from using your browsing history against you. Presumably, this function will get built straight into the browser one day but, for now, you have to go dig it up in the Chrome Web Store — far from an ideal solution. Still, a tepid step into the shallow end is better than no step at all. You can install the extension yourself at the source.

Google tests the ‘do not track’ waters with a Chrome extension originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 24 Feb 2012 16:41:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink The Register  |  sourceKeep My Opt-Outs (Chrome Web Store)  | Email this | Comments

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5883891/texas-jury-smacks-down-landmark-shakedown-attempt-by-infamous-patent-troll

Texas Jury Smacks Down Landmark Shakedown Attempt by Infamous Patent TrollTim “I helped invent the Internet” Berners-Lee testified before a federal jury earlier this week, tearing into the validity of a key patent Eolas Technologies’ was exploiting to sue multiple web companies for $600 million. He must have been persuasive because the court took mere hours to reach its decision.

Eolas Technologies, an infamous patent troll firm with previous wins over Microsoft and others, had named over a dozen web companies in its 2009 suit alleging that the sites had infringed upon Eolas’ “Interactive Web” patent, awarded the year before, and claiming ownership over online video, image rotation and search auto-complete.

Office Depot, Rent-A-Center, Playboy, Oracle and others named in the suit had already agreed to settle the case, but Google and Amazon decided to fight it.

Berners-Lee testified to the potentially catastrophic and chilling effects this patent would have if upheld—which they somehow were by the USPO. Pei-Yuan Wei, inventor of the Viola browser, and Dave Raggett, creator of the embed tag also testified since the patent in question performed precisely the same function as their creations as well as others that were already widely known, if not already claimed.

Both sides in the case reportedly spent millions of dollars and years of effort creating presentations to convince the eight-judge panel but, in the end, the defendants won out and the judges declared the “Interactive Web” patent invalid. Eolas does have deep pockets and are likely to appeal—given the potentially gigantic payout—but this judgement invalidates its claims for the time being and prevents the firm from litigating any other company until the appeal is concluded. The web is safe—for now. [Wired via CNET via Techmeme]

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Friday, February 10th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Gamers Redesign a Protein That Stumped Scientists for Years [Science]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5878459/gamers-redesign-a-protein-that-stumped-scientists-for-years

Gamers Redesign a Protein That Stumped Scientists for YearsFolding: it’s detestable and boring, as any Gap employee can tell you. But it’s also a totally fun thing you can do in a video game! And today it’s particularly exciting because players of the online game Foldit have redesigned a protein, and their work is published in the science journal Nature Biotechnology.

It seems nobler than shooting people in the face, somehow. Granted, Foldit attracts a unique kind of gamer who enjoys obsessing over biological protein folding patterns. Proteins get their function from the way they are folded into coils like in the image above. When the amino acids in a protein interact, they create that coiled, three-dimensional structure. Scientists can manipulate the structure to make the protein more efficient. In Foldit, designs that create the most efficient proteins garner the highest scores.

University of Washington in Seattle scientists Zoran Popovic, director of the Center for Game Science, and biochemist David Baker developed Foldit (which is different from Folding@home, Stanford software that lets people donate their idle computer processing power to create a protein-folding supercomputer). By playing it, at-home gamers have redesigned a protein for the first time, and they did it better and faster than scientists who have trained their entire careers to build better proteins. Justin Siegel, a biophysicist in Baker’s group told Scientific American:

I worked for two years to make these enzymes better and I couldn’t do it. Foldit players were able to make a large jump in structural space and I still don’t fully understand how they did it.

Here’s how it works: Researchers send a series of puzzles to Foldit’s 240,000 registered users. The scientists sift through the results for the best designs and take those into the lab for real-life testing. They combed through 180,000 designs to get to the version of the protein published today. The paper details an enzyme that thanks to the crowdsourced redesign is 18-fold more active than the original version.

Now for the anticlimactic part: this particular enzyme doesn’t really have any practical uses. But the researchers say it’s a proof of concept, and future Foldit designs will be more useful. In fact, Baker has fed players a protein that blocks the flu virus that led to the 1918 pandemic—and their puzzle solving for this one could lead to an actual drug.

Nature via Scientific American

Image: Foldit


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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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