review

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

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5882888/new-man-in-the-browser-attack-bypasses-banks-two+factor-authentication-systems

New "Man in the Browser" Attack Bypasses Banks' Two-Factor Authentication SystemsThe banking industry often employs two-step security measures—similar to Google Authenticator—as an added layer of protection against password theft and fraud. Unfortunately, those systems have just been rendered moot by a highly-advanced hack.

The attack, know as the Man in the Browser method, works like this. Malicious code is first introduced onto the victim’s computer where it resides in the web browser. It will lay dormant until the victim visits a specific website—in this case, his bank’s secure website. Once the user attempts to log in, the malware activates and runs between the victim and the actual website. Often the malware will request that the victim enter his password or other security pass into an unauthorized field, in order to “train a new security system.” Once that happens, the attacker has full access to the account.

Luckily, the method is only a single-shot attack. That is, the attacker is only able to infiltrate the site once with the user-supplied pass code. But, once in, the attacker can hide records of money transfers, spoof balances and change payment details. “The man in the browser attack is a very focused, very specific, advanced threat, specifically focused against banking,” Daniel Brett, of malware testing lab S21sec, told the BBC.

Since this attack has shown that the two-factor system is no longer a viable defense, the banking industry may have to adopt more advanced fraud-detection methods similar to what secure credit cards. When compared to having your account silently drained, standing in line for the teller suddenly doesn’t seem like that much of a hassle. [BBC News via Technology Review]

Image: jamdesign / Shutterstock

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 news No Comments

I Read 21 Books About The Financial Crisis And They Explained Nothing

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/andrew-lo-21-books-financial-crisis-2012-2


andrew lo

Ever thought you would have to read 21 books to get to the bottom of what caused the financial crisis?

Andrew Lo, an economist at MIT, has some bad news: it’s going to take at least 22.

Lo, a leading expert on hedge funds and financial engineering, has written a paper (h/t NPR) for the Journal of Economic Literature describing his experience reading 21 books on the crisis — nine by journalists, 11 by academics and one by a former Treasury Secretary.

His conclusion: In a field that prides itself on its scientific rigor (however dismal), the books reveal that alarmingly few facts about the crisis have been agreed upon. Was there too little or too much regulation? How much of a factor were low interest rates? No one’s been able to say conclusively.

“After each book, I felt like I knew less,” Lo told NPR’s Planet Money.

Economics, he says, has fallen well short of that standard when it comes to understanding the crisis:

“Many of us like to think of financial economics as a science, but complex events like the financial crisis suggest that this conceit may be more wishful thinking than reality.”

Read Andrew Lo’s Reading About the Financial Crisis: A 21-Book Review >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Not Enough Data To Explain Why Doctors Are Leaving Medicare

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/medicare-2012-1


Doctor

The government is having a hard time conducting a full review of physicians who have opted out of medicare, according to a memo released last week by the Department of Health and Human Services. 

The evaluation sought to answer what type of physicians opted out, whether the number of physicians opting out increased or decreased over time, and why the physicians chose to opt out. 

According to deputy inspector general Stuart Wright, the evaluation was not completed because Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), Medicare Administrative Contractors (MACs) and legacy carriers do not maintain sufficient data

While CMS provided the Office of Inspector General (OIG) with 7,900 providers ranging from 1998 to March 2011, only one out of 10 MACs and one of six legacy carriers provided OIG with all data elements required by CMS. Consequently, the OIG claimed it could not sample opted out physicians and interview them. 

The memo implied that the number of physicians opting out will increase in the future, considering “the potential for legislated decreases in Medicare reimbursement for physician services. ” It briefly references a 2011 August report published by the Texas Medical Association, which reported that 50 percent of Texas physicians are considering dropping out of Medicare program altogether. 

This trend is nothing new. TMA has released another report in March 2011 that showed that 34 percent of Texas doctors are not accepting new Medicare patients or have limited the number of doctors. Similarly, a report by AARP released in February 2010 surveyed 413 Idaho physicians and found that 17 percent have completely closed their practices to new Medicare patients.

The Physicians’ Foundation has published numerous reports on the topic. A 2008 survey reported that 12 percent of physicians have closed their practices to Medicare patients and the 2010 survey reported that 52.2 percent of physicians said that health reform would cause them to “close or significantly restrict their practices to Medicare patients.”

Now See: Why doctors are loosing money >

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Tuesday, January 31st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5879847/bribing-customers-to-get-five+star-amazon-reviews-is-a-new-marketing-low

We all read reviews and check star ratings on Amazon before we buy stuff. We’ve already seen that companies sometimes write reviews themselves, and they’re easy to spot by the way they’re written. But there’s a new trend among some less trustworthy Amazon sellers: bribing customers to write favorable reviews.

Accorrding to a report by the New York Times a compnay called VIP Deals has been offering its customers a complete refund on their purchase — while still allowing them to keep the item — in return for a review.

The product in question is a Vipertek brand premium slim black leather case for the Kindle Fire — a fairly lucrative market given how many Kindles were sold over the holidays. VIP Deals have been selling the case for under $10 plus shipping (the official list price was $59.99). The New York Times explains what customers experienced:

When the package arrived it included a letter extending an invitation “to write a product review for the Amazon community.”

“In return for writing the review, we will refund your order so you will have received the product for free,” it said.

While the letter did not specifically demand a five-star review, it broadly hinted. “We strive to earn 100 percent perfect ‘FIVE-STAR’ scores from you!” it said.

Apparently VIP deals has no web site and uses a mailbox drop in suburban Los Angeles as a return address, and last week had received 4,945 reviews on Amazon for a nearly perfect 4.9 rating out of five. Since, Amazon has removed the product page.

Speaking to the New York Times, Anne Marie Logan, a Georgia pharmacist, said: “I was like, ‘Is this for real?’ ” she said. “But they credited my account. You think it’s unethical?” Just a bit, Anne. Just a bit. [New York Times; Image: MikeBlogs]

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Friday, January 27th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Symbian^3 reviewed in exquisite and ruthless detail by Eldar Murtazin

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2010/06/24/symbian-3-reviewed-in-exquisite-and-ruthless-detail-by-eldar-mur/

No folks, those mythical N8 review units still aren’t on our doorsteps, but we can offer you the next best thing: a thorough (we mean thorough) overview of the Symbian^3 environment that will be front and center on Nokia’s next great phone. Eldar Murtazin of mobile-review reports on everything from the sophisticated handling of contacts and caller ID pictures, through the noticeable speed improvements, past the limited utility of online widgets that display only two lines at a time, beyond the “weak spot” web browser, and all the way to Symbian’s unhealthy habit of “clinging to continuity.” It’s an enlightening read, which pulls no punches with its conclusion: Symbian^3 is an evolutionary step up from S60 5th edition, which brings nothing new to the market and offers no comparative advantages. Strong words from Eldar, paricularly when he doesn’t disclose what build of the OS he’s using; his rationale, however, is that his analysis relates to overarching design decisions and ignores software bugs and version-specific foibles. Make of that what you will.

[Thanks, scotsboyuk]

Symbian^3 reviewed in exquisite and ruthless detail by Eldar Murtazin originally appeared on Engadget on Thu, 24 Jun 2010 06:15:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Thursday, June 24th, 2010 news No Comments

iPhone OS Still Triples Android’s Market Share

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5556346/iphone-os-triples-androids-market-share-for-now

iPhone OS Still Triples Android's Market ShareNielsen’s new “iPhone vs. Android” report offers up the latest numbers in the big mobile battle: Both platforms have loyal users, but Apple’s still on top by a long shot.

They don’t come as much of a surprise, but with all the talk of Android’s surging popularity and explosive app growth, Nielsen’s numbers do serve as a reminder that Apple still has a comfortable lead. Versus Android, that is—nationally, the iPhone’s still in second place, with a 28% market share compared to RIM’s 35% (Android has 9%; Windows Mobile has 19%).

But it will be interesting to see how things shake out over the course of the year. With the new iPhone dropping in a matter of weeks, prospective smart phone buyers (23% of U.S. mobile customers now have them) will be faced with the choice of hopping on the Apple wagon or exploring the multitude of Android options. As Matt noted in his Froyo review, Android is as polished as it’s ever been and is likely to improve even more in coming months. And while it’s hard to top the iPhone hype machine, reception to early versions of iPhone OS 4 hasn’t exactly been rapturous.

iPhone OS Still Triples Android's Market Share

Another Nielsen graph shows that both platforms enjoy loyal users—80% of iPhone users want another iPhone; 70% of Android users want another Android phone—with Android’s group slightly more curious about the iPhone than the other way around. But in my experience, it seems like things are trending to the opposite. With Android’s app offerings increasingly matching up with the iPhone’s, I’m seeing more and more people considering Android a viable option for themselves, as well as one they can recommend to others.

Though still on top, Blackberry’s loyalty is only 47%, and as current Bold owner, I’m definitely of the 53% that’s planning on jumping ship when it comes time to buy my next phone. I’m just not sure what ship I want to jump into. [Nielsen via CNET]

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Monday, June 7th, 2010 news No Comments

paid advertising <-- $1 --> social marketing ?

if you had a dollar to spend today, where would you spend it? on paid advertising or on social marketing? why?

Paid advertising – it’s over once it’s aired

Social Marketing

1. peers telling peers – a lot more effective and trusted by modern consumers than a paid ad

2. archived conversations – when people take social actions like rate, review, comment, recommend, and share, these actions are archived for everyone to see online (valuable to future users doing research)

3. it yields a continuously increasing stream of free traffic (enhances SEO efforts)

after-seo


So whatcha gonna do?

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Tuesday, February 24th, 2009 digital 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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