opinion

Clash of the troubled titans

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/20/clash-of-the-troubled-titans/

Each week Ross Rubin contributes Switched On, a column about consumer technology.

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Fans of the Lincoln-Kennedy coincidences can appreciate similarly contrived dynamics in comparing Nokia and RIM (neither of which, contrary to the occasionally expressed opinion, has been murdered despite “Apple and Android” consisting of three words and 15 letters). Both companies are former smartphone market share leaders — RIM in North America, Nokia globally. Both have had success in developing economies with efficient operating systems that they plan to support indefinitely. Both developed reputations for high build quality and good antenna design, and both were initially dismissive of the iPhone as they continue to see Android as the path to commoditization. And after precipitous market share declines, both hired new CEOs. Nokia, a European company, hired a CEO raised in Canada. RIM, a Canadian company, hired a CEO raised in Europe. These men now struggle with keeping their companies part of a viable alternative to the two dominant marketplace offerings.

Since embarking on their new operating system strategies, though, there have been many contrasts. While Nokia hired an outsider as a CEO, RIM hired an insider. Nokia decided to adopt a licensed OS; RIM decided to build its own (based largely on acquisitions). And now that both the 2012 Nokia World and BlackBerry World conferences have passed, there’s an opportunity to assess their comeback progress.

Continue reading Switched On: Clash of the troubled titans

Switched On: Clash of the troubled titans originally appeared on Engadget on Sun, 20 May 2012 18:19:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sunday, May 20th, 2012 news No Comments

Researchers out faux product review groups with a lot of math and some help from Google

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/17/researchers-out-faux-product-review-groups-with-help-from-google/

Google sponsors research that outs faux product review groups, calculates 'spamicity' and more

Ever consulted a crowdsourced review for a product or service before committing your hard-earned funds to the cause? Have you wondered how legit the opinions you read really are? Well, it seems that help is on the way to uncover paid opinion spamming and KIRF reviews. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have released detailed calculations in the report Spotting Fake Reviewer Groups in Consumer Reviews — an effort aided by a Google Faculty Research Award. Exactly how does this work, you ask? Using the GSRank (Group Spam Rank) algorithm, behaviors of both individuals and a group as a whole are used to gather data on the suspected spammers.

Factors such as content similarity, reviewing products early (to be most effective), ratio of the group size to total reviewers and the number of products the group has been in cahoots on are a few bits of data that go into the analysis. The report states, “Experimental results showed that GSRank significantly outperformed the state-of-the-art supervised classification, regression, and learning to rank algorithms.” Here’s to hoping this research gets wrapped into a nice software application, but for now, review mods may want to brush up on their advanced math skills. If you’re curious about the full explanation, hit the source link for the full-text PDF.

Researchers out faux product review groups with a lot of ! math and some help from Google originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 17 Apr 2012 19:49:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Tuesday, April 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Read Anonymous Reviews like Graffiti

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5886582/read-anonymous-reviews-like-graffiti

Read Anonymous Reviews Like GraffitiTrolls. They fill the internet with insults, dead-end arguments, and inanity the likes of which we’ve never seen. Or maybe we have. The Guardian’s David Mitchell notes that trolling comments aren’t all that different from graffiti, and should likewise carry no more weight.

More specifically, Mitchell is talking less about trolls as you and I know them and more about anonymous, often inaccurate online reviews. It’s not a bulletproof analogy by any means, but Mitchell’s idea does reframe the way you look at anonymous content in a compelling way:

When you read a bit of graffiti that says something like “Blair is a liar”, you don’t take it as fact. You may, independently, have concluded that it is fact. But you don’t think that the graffiti has provided that information. It is merely evidence that someone, when in possession of a spray can, wished to assert their belief in the millionaire former premier’s mendacity. It is unsubstantiated, anonymous opinion. We understand that instinctively. We need to start routinely applying those instincts to the web.

If you read a review, an opinion, a description or a fact and you don’t know who wrote it then it’s no more reliable than if it were sprayed on a railway bridge. We should always assume the worst so that all those who wish to convince… have an incentive to identify themselves.

The flip side of the coin, of course, is that anonymity is vital to the spread of information on the internet. The important tool to remember, as always, is your skepticism. Without it, you’re letting yourself get all worked up over graffiti. (And we’re not talking Banksy here—or even Hanksy.) Photo remixed from The Awl.

An internet troll’s opinion should carry no more weight than graffiti | The Guardian

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Wednesday, February 22nd, 2012 digital strategy No Comments

Encrypting Your Hard Drive No Longer Works Against Federal Prosecution [Law]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5878709/encrypting-your-hard-drive-no-longer-works-against-federal-prosecution

Encrypting Your Hard Drive No Longer Works Against Federal ProsecutionSometimes common “street smarts” fail you. Like when you ask the guy who’s selling you drugs if he’s a cop. Or when you encrypt your hard drive and refuse to unlock it for prosecutors while citing the self-incriminating clause of the Fifth Amendment.

A federal court judge has just ruled that being forced to decrypt one’s hard drive during prosecution does not violate the defendants’s Fifth Amendment rights. The ruling stems from a case against Ramona Fricosu, who is charged with mortgage fraud. She has refused to decrypt the contents of her hard drive arguing that doing so would require her to essentially testify against herself.

Nuh-uh, said judge Robert Blackburn, citing an earlier ruling against one Sebastien Boucher. In that case, the courts decided that, while Boucher’s encryption password was certainly protected, the information on his drive could be considered evidence in the case and was therefore not subject to the same liberties.

“I find and conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” Blackburn wrote in his opinion today. He also cited the All Writs Act, a 1789 statute, could be invoked as well to force Fricosu’s compliance.

Friscosu has until February 21 to comply or face contempt of court charges. Geez, it’s getting to the point that your secrets are better left on microfilm in pumpkin patches rather than on your hard drive. [CNet via The Verge]

Image – Tatiana Popova / Shutterstock


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Tuesday, January 24th, 2012 news No Comments

SOPA and PIPA Have Been Pulled (For Now) [Sopa]

Source: http://lifehacker.com/5877993/sopa-and-pipa-have-been-pulled-for-now

SOPA and PIPA Have Been Pulled (For Now)After Wednesday’s all-day protest of SOPA and PIPA, the bills that want to censor your internet, both bills have been shelved for further consideration, and will not be voted on as scheduled. Rep. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of SOPA, said he’s still committed to fighting piracy, but that this legislation isn’t the way to do it:

I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy. It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.

The Committee will continue work with copyright owners, Internet companies, financial institutions to develop proposals that combat online piracy and protect America’s intellectual property. We welcome input from all organizations and individuals who have an honest difference of opinion about how best to address this widespread problem. The Committee remains committed to finding a solution to the problem of online piracy that protects American intellectual property and innovation.

We’re hesitant to say the bill is “dead”, but after the events of this week it’s unlikely we’ll see SOPA and PIPA come to a vote in their current form. This probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of anti-piracy legislation, of course, and future bills could be just as dangerous. There are still things you can do to help, and while this is a victory, it isn’t a permanent one, so we wouldn’t get too comfortable just yet. Hit the link to read more.

Photo by Aspect3D (Shutterstock).

Statement from Chairman Smith on Senate Delay of Vote on PROTECT IP Act | US House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary via Ars Technica


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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

British Teenagers Would Rather Lose TV Than The Internet

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/british-teenagers-would-rather-lose-tv-than-the-internet-2011-10


3D TV

Young British teenagers would rather lose access to a TV than access to the Internet or their cell phones, reports the Guardian.

According to new research carried out by British communications regulator, Ofcom, 18 percent of 12 to 15-year-olds said they would miss TV the most if all media was taken away. That compares to 28 percent who said they would miss their cell phones and 25 percent who said they would miss the Internet.

A year ago, TV was missed as much as the Internet.

However, according to Digital Spy, the study also showed that young teenagers are watching more TV than ever. Viewing figures have increased by almost two hours a week since 2007, and “catch-up” services online are increasingly being used.

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Tuesday, October 25th, 2011 news No Comments

The iPad Is Not Expensive—for an Apple Product, Anyway [Ipad]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5504777/fact-the-ipad-is-not-expensivefor-an-apple-product-anyway

Fact: The iPad Is Not Expensive—for an Apple Product, AnywayThe iPad is not expensive. In fact, compared to other products through Apple’s history, it’s very cheap. It’s not opinion. It’s fact, as you can see in this comparative graphic, covering every major Apple device launch since the Apple I.

When you adjust the prices to 2010 dollars, the iPad is the second-cheapest major device ever sold by Apple. And when I say major I mean a device that was supposed to change the industry or create a new product category, like the Apple II, the Mac, the PowerBook 100, the Newton Message Pad, the iPhone, or the iPod, the only device cheaper than the iPad. [Vouchercodes]

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Monday, March 29th, 2010 charts 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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