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:
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).
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.
Source: IBM Research
Google search results are like the old beat up recliner of the internet. Your butt’s always there, and if anything changes, you notice. Well, Google changed the way its search results look. It’s a relatively small change, but you’re going to notice.
The biggest difference is that the bar along the left hand side of your searches is gone. This is where you used to break your search down into News, or whatever else. That function is now at the top of your results, along with the also relocated Search Tools. Search Tools moving means you don’t have those two butt ugly calendars with custom dates in your line of sight, which is a plus. This change has been live a day or two, and should only be a negative if you’re running a ton of searches (it’s been killing me).
Google is also featuring information from Google’s Knowledge Graph for popular searches, like “barack obama”, “mitt romney”, and “presidential election”, for example. So! Google’s a little prettier, and it’s rearranged the furniture a bit. Seems like a nice, small change, right? [BuzzFeed]
Marketers and advertisers using iOS applications can now monitor app downloads on Google’s AdWords This function has been available on Android phones since April.
Gap is no longer planning to work with just Ogilvy on its advertising campaigns. While the company told Ad Age that it is not doing an agency review, Gap has reached out to PNH and AKQA to do new campaigns.
Think you’ve seen enough political ads? Well get ready because one-third of all political spots will air between now and November 6.
The Martin Agency chose Joe Alexander, formerly an ECD at the shop, to be its new CCO. Alexander has worked on campaigns for UPS and Wal-Mart.
TED launched “Ads Worth Spreading” for the third time.
Months after retiring as chairman of Siegel & Gale, Alan Siegel opened a brand and corporate identity consulting firm called Siegelvision.
There’s! talk th at LG’s bottomless elevator stunt is actually fake.
Previously on Business Insider:
- Inside The Bizarre World Of Sexy Halloween Costumes … For Pets
- 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Facebook’s Carolyn Everson
- These Are The 13 Most Terrifying Ads Ever
- Watch The First iPad Mini Ad
- See The 29 Biggest Executive Perk Packages in Advertising, Ranked By Extravagance
It’s easy to find popular products, but sometimes you want something different than the mainstream option. Finding a good alternative isn’t always easy, but Redditor wellnhoferia found a simple trick for discovering popular alternative products: Google autocomplete.
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!
You 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]
Folding: 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.
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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