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Facebook explains its News Feed post ranking process, rolls out story bumping feature to improve UX

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/08/06/facebook-news-feed-story-bumping/

Facebook explains its News Feed post ranking process, rolls out story bumping feature to improve UX

Have a love/hate relationship with your Facebook news feed? Sure, that feed serves up plenty of photos and posts from friends and family that you want to see, but there are also plenty of posts you could do with out, or posts you wish had been assigned greater importance. Facebook knows this, and is constantly tinkering and iterating its news feed post ranking processes to provide the most relevant stories possible to each individual user. To that end, Facebook’s rolling out a new feature, called story bumping, to better percolate the stuff you care about to the top of your feed. Story bumping has already been launched on the web, and will be rolling out to mobile in the coming weeks.

Previously, Facebook evaluated the most recent posts on the social network by assigning each post a score based upon a series of factors including: number of likes and comments, the relationship between you and the poster, the type of content, etc. Using those signals, Facebook runs them through a proprietary algorithm to determine a post’s score. News feed then displays the posts with the highest score at the top of the feed. However, this method often resulted in relevant posts being relegated below the fold, and those posts would forever be lost in the never-ending social story avalanche. Story bumping provides a way for such posts to be seen by tweaking the recency logic previously used. Instead of picking from the most recent posts, the system now looks for the most recent posts that have not been viewed by the user, so that those older, yet relevant posts get a second crack at showing up in the top of your feed.

 

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Tuesday, August 6th, 2013 news No Comments

The Happiest and Saddest Places in the Country as Told by Your Tweets

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5985419/the-happiest-and-saddest-places-in-the-country-as-told-by-your-tweets

The Happiest and Saddest Places in the Country as Told by Your Tweets Louisiana residents probably won’t be too pleased to hear the following news, which, for them, won’t really be a change of pace at all. According to a team at the very not-real-sounding Vermont Complex Systems Center and based on what is surely a totally objective and not-at-all arbitrary analysis of tweets, Louisiana is understandably (Katrina, blacking out the Super Bowl, being notoriously obese) the saddest state while Hawaii (sunshine, pineapple, knowing they bestowed Manti Te’o unto the world) is the happiest.

To find these purported emotional extremities of the US, the researchers analyzed each tweet for its happiness content based on the positive words, such as beauty and love, and negative words, such as boo and lied, that were used. In addition to whether or not a tweet contained “happy” or “sad” words, the extent to which a city used certain words more or less than the national average also played a role in its rating. For instance, Napa’s relatively low use of the (sad) word “bitches” directly contributed to its status as the happiest and least-derogatory-towards-women city in the country. Conversely, Beaumont’s markedly high use of the (sad) word “shit” played a role in its status as the US’s most depressing and profane place to live.

The Happiest and Saddest Places in the Country as Told by Your Tweets

Of course, this study does leave a considerable amount of room for error. It in no way takes into account the context surrounding the indicator words. For instance, a tweet declaring “Damn, look at these fine bitches” might very well be marked as sad when, in fact, it’s a joyful declaration of aesthetic appreciation. Still, the authors are able to note that their data correlates with other (still probably highly subjective) measures of happiness as conducted by Gallup.

Even if potentially woefully inaccurate, it is, nonetheless, a fun little study that, depending on your city, can either validate your current emotional state or send you into existential crisis as you question the very happiness you thought you had, everyone in Louisiana. Enjoy.

The Happiest and Saddest Places in the Country as Told by Your Tweets

[ariXv.org via The Atlantic]

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Wednesday, February 20th, 2013 news No Comments

We Don’t Plan to Build Apps for WinPho8

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5968080/google-we-dont-plan-to-build-apps-for-winpho8

Google: We Don't Plan to Build Apps for WinPho8If you’ve been holding out for a Gmail or Drive app on WinPho8, you’re all outta luck. Google has announced that it has no plans to roll out Windows Phone 8 software for the major Google apps.

Speaking to V3, Clay Bavor, product management director at Google Apps, explained:

“We have no plans to build out Windows apps. We are very careful about where we invest and will go where the users are but they are not on Windows Phone or Windows 8. If that changes, we would invest there, of course.”

Instead, Google plans to concentrate its efforts in iOS and Android apps:

“In 2012 we’ve laid some of the ground work and really improved the experience of our core apps on mobile devices, such as adding native editing of spreadsheets for both iOS and Android apps.”

Like Google Maps, which is now back on iOS. So, if you have an intimate love affair with the big G, look like WinPho8 still isn’t for you. [V3]

Image by AP

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Thursday, December 13th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Build Your Virtual Closet on Your iPhone

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5966033/polyvore-build-your-virtual-closet-on-your-iphone

Polyvore: Build Your Virtual Closet on Your iPhoneIt always helps to have a little inspiration for an outfit, and to be able to buy it right away without much effort. Polyvore, are your ears burning?

What does it do?

Lets you create and browse outfits and buy individual pieces right from the app.

Why do we like it?

Because, I for one, love to shop. And I love Polyvore, which has been around for about five years as a website, but just now launched its own fancy iPhone app. Want to shop for a certain trend, color, or style? You can find various collages (think Pinterest boards before Pinterest) made by other members—some of which are designers—and fill your virtual shopping bags with wares from links around the internet’s virtual mall. For example, if you were looking for an ugly Christmas sweater you’ll actually wear after that holiday party, you’re in the right app.

Polyvore

Download this app for:

The Best:

Beautiful picture sets

The Worst:

My wallet hurts in December

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Meet Magine, The iPad App That Shows Just How Cool An Apple TV Could Be (AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/meet-magine-the-ipad-app-that-shows-just-how-cool-an-apple-tv-could-be-2012-11

Magine iPad App

People love TV.

Stats to prove it:

  • About 100 million people pay for cable TV, according to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.
  • The average monthly cable bill was $86 2011, according to NPD. It’s expected to be $123 by 2015 and $200 by 2020.

So, if we’re all in love with TV, why are we excited about the near-certain prospect of an Apple TV?

Mainly because the software for current TVs and set-top boxes is terrible. Cable company software is ugly and hard to navigate.

Impressed with our MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones all of us – including industry insiders like Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes, for example – imagine Apple could do a much better job.

Over in Sweden, a startup called Magine (pronounced like Imagine without the “I”) has done more than just dream.

It built a product for iOS and Android, which streams and records 16 Swedish television channels. Sometimes called the “Spotify for TV,” its shows us just how cool Apple TV software could be.

With Magine, your iPad is both a remote and a viewing device. Apple TV will have to work the same way, right?

Instead of hitting the “guide” button on your remote and navig! ating wi th arrows, you can use gestures.

This is how you select a show – by touching it.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Friday, November 30th, 2012 news No Comments

You Can Now Hire Funny Or Die To Make Your Ads

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/funny-or-die-is-expanding-from-standalone-sketches-and-going-into-commercials-2012-4

 

will ferrell

Funny or Die is going commercial by, well, creating commercials.

The Adam McKay and Will Ferrell brainchild, which had a humble start in 2007 (featuring videos of drunken landlord babies) and then exploded into a celebrity-laden viral video machine, is launching a division called Gifted Youth that is entirely dedicated to making real advertisements.

While some products have been integrated into videos—like Emma Stone’s “ad” for iPhone murder apps—it wasn’t done to sell anything. So far, brands have served as excuses to make funny videos. Now they’re going to be the main event.

Chris Bruss, the vp/branded entertainment at Funny or Die who will helm Gifted Youth, told the New York Times that the division will give agencies and marketers the coveted opportunity to work with writers, directors, and maybe even actors who have worked with Funny or Die.

Advertising agencies are constantly trying to create the next big viral video. While once in a blue moon a client will sign off on Old Spice guy, let’s face it, moons are rarely blue and agencies are far more likely to make Mary J. Blige sing about fried chicken in a Burger King ad that is destined to get pulled.

Funny or Die, on the other hand, epically wins at viral content. For example, Will Ferrell’s local Super Bowl ads for Milwaukee beer—spawned from a deal that Pabst made with Funny or Die in 2010—got more Twitter mentions than $3.5 million national Super Bowl spots for Cadillac, Century 21, CareerBuilder, Lexus, and Hulu.

But everyone shouldn’t start dancing in the street just yet. While Funny or Die is good at creating funny content, it’s a whole other ball game when you have a client that’s going to have to approve content every step of the way. Who’s really going to be able to tell Will Ferrell, for example, what he can and can’t say? We’re also anticipating that agencies, who just love working/competing with new creatives on the block, will be butting heads with Gifted Youth.

The new ad shop had a soft launch during TNT’s slam dunk contest during the NBA All-Star weekend by airing a Kia commercial starring Blake Griffin and actor Jeff Goldblum. Gifted Youth also just released spots for New Era baseball caps in which comedians Nick Offerman and Craig Robinson fight over their respective love for the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Socks. (This is a continuation of last year’s ads in which John Krasinski and Alec Baldwin feud about the Red Socks and the Yankees).


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Thursday, April 5th, 2012 news No Comments

SeedTable Is A Stunning New Way To Interrogate CrunchBase

Source: http://techcrunch.com/2012/03/08/seedtable-is-a-stunning-new-way-to-interrogate-crunchbase-and-find-investors/

Screen Shot 2012-03-08 at 10.22.40

I have a love/hate relationship with CrunchBase. On the one hand, it has great information about startup tech companies. On the other hand, it relies on a wiki-like structure which means it is sometimes not updated as frequently or as accurately as old-style databases which used to employ people go over the data regularly. However, its wikiness means it can be free – pretty useful for the entrepreneur! Perhaps the real unsung hero of CrunchBase is its API which means third party developers can whip up new things with the data. The latest is SeedTable, a new project from Imran Ghory, a founder of CoderStack.

Ghory has built a brand new interface to CrunchBase which exposes a few things CrunchBase itself can’t right now due to the limitation of its interface. And it really is very good. A quick tip: start typing in the name of a city in the search box.

“I wanted to see how London was doing compared to other cities in terms of startups,” Ghory told me. In building SeedTable he realised it was also really useful for discovery, thus you could click London, then Consumer Web, then see who had backed those companies.

So we can now see the ‘Most Active Cities’ (in the last 12 Months) in terms of startup funding are San Francisco, New York and London. However, there are separate figures for Palo Alto and Mountain View, which suggests Silicon Valley remains head and shoulders above the rest overall.

Drilling down to a city, say London, we can see historic trends such as a big hump when many companies were founded in 2008-2011, and we can see VC, Angel and Exits tacking upwards.

One anomaly Ghory found was that companies often only add themselves to CrunchBase after they have funding, which throws their founding data out of whack. If people just entered super-accurate information, and did it early, we’d see better data. (Anyone can add anything to CrunchBase).

SeedTable also exposes the top Angel rankings by investment count in London. This includes The Accelerator Group, Stefan Glaenzer, Index Ventures, Eden Ventures, Seedcamp and Sherry Coutu. The same listing for most active VCs lists Index Ventures, Accel Partners, Eden Ventures, Balderton Capital and Pentech Ventures.

Of course, this only relies on CrunchBase, which needs to be maintained and updated.

When you get to places like Istanbul, CrunchBase starts to show its gaps, with far less data available, even though it’s clear the city is in a tech boom. At least the upward graph is there on founded companies.

SeedTable is an example of data being made a great deal more useful via interface. I can see myself using it almost as much as CrunchBase.


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Thursday, March 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/02/23/insert-coin-node-helps-your-smartphone-monitor-pretty-much-ever/

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you’d like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with “Insert Coin” as the subject line.
Fallen out of love with sensor? Don’t worry, Variable Technologies is here to help. The company’s working to bring the world Node, a project aimed at helping smartphone users “explore the fun and power of sensors.” The “Swiss Army knife-sized” modular device communicates with the iPhone 4S and Android devices via Bluetooth. It has a built-in accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope and can detect physical motion and space, temperature and elevation, to name but a few. It also has a game control module and eight LEDs that can double as a camera flash, with carbon monoxide and radiation detection on the way. The Node will be compatible with Arduino devices and will have an open API, firmware and source code. There’s a month left to help Variable hit its lofty $50,000 goal. Click the source link for more info.

Continue reading Insert Coin: Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything

Insert Coin: Node helps your smartphone monitor pretty much everything originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 23 Feb 2012 16:49:00 EDT. Please see our! terms for use of feeds.

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Friday, February 24th, 2012 news No Comments

Caterina Fake Launches Pinwheel, Which Lets You Leave Notes Around The World

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/caterina-fake-launches-pinwheel-which-lets-you-leave-notes-around-the-world-2012-2


Caterina Fake

Caterina Fake, who previously cofounded Flickr and Hunch, has launched a new startup called Pinwheel, which lets you leave vitrtual notes around the world.

She announced the launch on her personal blog earlier today.

Enter the Internet of things, where you can choose to follow people, places or things. The notes you leave can be private, or you can share them with everything and everybody. 

The possibilities seem endless.

For instance, Fake shared a note she wrote for her friend Lauren:

note

Perhaps this would be a more useful note when you’re roaming around town: “Find me a Nearby Toilet NOW.” 

That seems to be coming soon: Fake wrote on her blog that she plans on building out a notification system so you can get pinged when someone you follow sends out a note.

We knew last year that True Ventures, SV Angel and her fund, Founder Collective, invested.

As far as making money, Fake is betting on selling sponsored notes.

The site is still in private beta — you can sign up here for an invite to try out the web and mobile app. The iOS version is coming up next.

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Friday, February 17th, 2012 news No Comments

What Makes Us Spend On Valentine’s Day?

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/infographic-these-things-make-people-spend-the-most-on-valentines-day-2012-2


 J. Lo’s love may not cost a thing — but she’s probably not your Valentine.

In our latest infographic, we break down the dollars behind Valentine’s Day romance: how much are people spending on flowers, candy, greeting cards and sparkly baubles? What should you buy for your Valentine this year? And what’s going on with Virginia Beach?

Pre-order a bouquet, chill a bottle of champers and start building your candy stash. VDay is on its way.

Click image to see a larger version.

Valentine's Day

This post originally appeared at HR Block’s Block Talk Blog.

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Wednesday, February 8th, 2012 Uncategorized 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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