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Wikipedia Has Figured Out A New Way To Stop Vandals In Their Tracks

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pending-changes-safeguard-on-wikipedia-2012-12

Wikipedia

In a small but fundamental change to Wikipedia, a tool which protects articles from malicious vandalism while simultaneously permitting good-faith edits has gone live on the English Wikipedia.

When a page under ‘pending changes’ protection is edited by a new user or a user without an account, the edit does not go live until it has been reviewed by a more experienced editor.

Edits made to Wikipedia articles are normally visible immediately.

The new tool is in contrast to the typical means of page protection on the online encyclopaedia, which, in the case of a flurry of vandalism to an article, completely locks it from being edited at all by new users.

Pending changes is already used on the second largest Wikimedia Foundation project, the German Wikipedia, but unlike the English one, on which pending changes can be assigned to and removed from pages that are frequently subjected to unconstructive edits, it’s applied to all articles by default.

This is a significant and long-awaited development. Wikipedia cannot remain the resource that it is if its four million-plus articles – the product of enormous amounts of volunteer time – are fair game.

At last, the burden for dealing with problematic edits is being shifted away from good-faith editors constantly having to challenge them, and onto those who make drive-by and contentious edits, who may now find themselves arguing the case for why their changes should even appear, let alone remain once already published, as they otherwise would.

There is already plenty of evidence within the project that suggests this is the only way forward. More and more experienced editors are inserting FAQ sections in the discussion pages of articles to save themselves fro! m consta ntly dealing with the same questions and disputes, and at the top of the dispute resolution ladder, the Arbitration Committee has a large list of sanctions for various articles and topics, which can be applied to editors who don’t follow the rules.

But some might argue it’s much too little, much too late. Wikipedia has regrettably served as an anonymous platform to libel people, one which appealed to Johann Hari when he used it to describe people he didn’t like as alcoholics, anti-Semites, or homophobes.

Pending changes would not only have made it much more difficult for such edits to get through, but might even have diminished the incentive to make them in the first place if they didn’t appear immediately after submission.

And then there’s the matter of simply getting things right. If pending changes was enabled on all articles, would Lord Justice Leveson have inadvertently labelled a 25 year old Californian student as a founder of The Independent newspaper?

The fact that Wikipedia can be edited by anyone is arguably both the site’s best and worst aspect: without it, it wouldn’t be what it is. But with September 2012 seeing the lowest monthly level of new editors since September 2005, a laissez-faire attitude to content is no longer sustainable. Sharing knowledge is a worthy and appealing undertaking; baby-sitting its potentially fleeting presence in a digital no-man’s land, not so much.

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Monday, December 10th, 2012 news No Comments

How To Block Ads On YouTube And 6 Other Cool Tricks (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/best-youtube-plugins-2012-8

A college girl sings about YouTube editing

We love YouTube, but there’s a lot we’d change about it, too.

The ads are a little too obtrusive for us, we’d love to set a default video quality, and the famously obnoxious comments are often better left out completely.

Thankfully there are browser plugins that make it a snap to change the way you interact with the definitive video-sharing site for the better.

Stop YouTube videos from autoplaying

If you’d rather manually start YouTube videos yourself, a plugin called Flashblock can do the trick. It will keep all Flash videos from playing until you click on it.

It’s a little complicated though — it does this for all Flash video, no matter what site it appears on.

Still undeterred? Get it here >

YouTube High Definition

YouTube High Definition is a plugin that automatically plays videos at the highest possible quality. You don’t have to toggle the quality from the control panel on each YouTube video you watch.

Get it here >

Use AdBlock Plus to get rid of YouTube comments in Firefox

Adblock Plus is already one of the best plugins for killing ads on the web. But it has anot! her grea t application as well — crushing those vitriolic YouTube comments into dust.

Lifehacker offers the following instructions on how to make it work:

On Adblock Plus…just head to YouTube, click on the Adblock icon in your navigation bar, and hit “Easy Create Filter”. Then, just click on one of the comments and it should highlight all of them. After hitting “Add”, you should be free of YouTube comments forever.

Get it here >

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Stop Worrying About Creeps Calling [App Of The Day]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5932884/burner-stop-worrying-about-creeps-calling

Burner: Stop Worrying About Creeps CallingEveryone’s been there. You politely talk to some weirdo in a bar, and when the conversation ends, the guy wants your number. You’re nice and you don’t know how to say no. So you give it away reluctantly, and it can’t be fake, because he’s going to call you immediately so you have his digits too. Ugh. But because of a new app called Burner, you’ll never have to experience that horror ever again.

What does it do?

Gives you a fake number to use that you can give out freely because you can kill the number whenever you want.

Why do we like it?

It’s not just for fending off randoms. You could also use Burner when you’re making a Craigslist transaction, going on an OKCupid date, searching for a job, or completing a drug deal if you’re into that. You can use whichever area code you want, so if you want to fool a girl into thinking you’re an out of towner that she’ll never see again, you can do that (you asshole). It comes with enough credits for one number, but you can always buy more for $2 each. You never know when you’ll have to defend your phone.

Burner

Download this app for:

The Best:

Avoid creeps

The Worst:

You have to pay for more numbers

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Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 news No Comments

Olympic Fans Asked to Stop Tweeting So Much

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5929971/olympics-fans-asked-to-kindly-stop-tweeting-so-damn-much

Olympics Fans Asked to Kindly Stop Tweeting So Damn MuchHey, uh, Olympics spectators? Really glad you made it out and all, totally appreciate the support and money you spent on those tickets and the fact that you painted those little flags on your faces. All of that’s great, seriously. But it turns out you’re also tweeting so much that it’s interfering with our event broadcasts. So knock it off. Please.

That’s the basic message from the International Olympic Committee, which Reuters reports has asked viewers of outdoor races to cool it a little with with social media. The reason? A surge of tweets during yesterday’s cycling road race made competent television coverage nearly impossible:

Commentators on Saturday’s men’s cycling road race were unable to tell viewers how far the leaders were ahead of the chasing pack because data could not get through from the GPS satellite navigation system travelling with the cyclists.

Organizers fear the same fate awaits the men’s and women’s marathon and the triathlon, unless live viewers refrain themselves from tweeting unless it’s “urgent,” which honestly there’s no such thing as an urgent tweet, right? That’s silly.

Anyways! The most likely outcome is that people will continue to tweet, and signals will continue to take a hit, and we’ll all continue to have a good laugh about how far behind our infrastructure is from where we need it to be in an age of real-time everything. [Reuters]

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Sunday, July 29th, 2012 digital No Comments

Public Outcry Just Forced A Major Grocery Distributor To Stop Buying ‘Pink Slime’

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/public-outcry-just-forced-a-major-grocery-distributor-to-stop-buying-pink-slime-2012-3


Ground Beef

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — National supermarket operator Supervalu Inc. says it will stop buying ground beef that contains the filler now known as “pink slime” due to customer concerns.

The company owns stores under the Acme, Albertsons, Cub Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher’s, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Shaw’s/Star Market, Shop ‘n Save and Shoppers Food & Pharmacy banners.

Federal regulators say the filler meets food safety standards. But critics say the product could be unsafe and is an unappetizing example of industrialized food production.

Supervalu said Wednesday that customer concern prompted it to stop carrying products containing the filler. Public outcry over “pink slime” has grown sharply as images, media reports and online petitions about it have spread.

The low-cost additive, which has been used for years, is made from fatty bits of meat left over from other cuts. The bits of meat are heated, spun to remove the fat, compressed into blocks and exposed to ammonia to kill bacteria. Producers often mix the filler into fattier meat to produce an overall leaner product and reduce their costs.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced this month that, beginning in the fall, the National School Lunch Program will let school districts decide whether to buy ground beef that contains the filler. Previously, it was difficult for schools to know whether beef they bought from the feds had it or not.

As a result, a number of schools have said they will stop using meat with the controversial filler.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has spoken out against it, and fast-food chain McDonald’s Corp. decided last year to stop putting ammonia-treated meat in its products.

Shares of Supervalu, which is based in Eden Prairie, Minn., fell 7 cents to close at $6.20 Wednesday and rose 3 cents in after-hours trading.

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Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook DOMINATES Google+, Tumblr, And Pinterest (GOOG)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/chart-of-the-day-facebook-dominates-google-tumblr-and-pinterest-2012-2

Facebook is absolutely dominating other social networks — with users spending more than 6 hours on the site for the month of January, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.

comScore released some new data on social media site usage for the month of January. The next closest competitor is Tumblr — where users only spent about an hour and a half in January.

chart of the day, avg time spent on social media sites, feb 28 2012

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Wednesday, February 29th, 2012 news No Comments

How The iPad Kicks Kindle’s Butt When It Comes To Ad Traffic (AAPL, AMZN)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-ipad-kicks-kindles-butt-when-it-comes-to-ad-traffic-2012-2


kindle ipad

Amazon just kicked off a new TV campaign for the Kindle Fire, which it doubtless hopes will further dent sales of Apple’s iPad. But Kindle has a long way to go before it starts threatening the iPad as a device for serving online ads to consumers.

Data from Rimm-Kaufmann Group, an online marketing agency, show that the iPad maintains its total dominance of the tablet market when it comes to ad traffic. Kindle is slowly making progress, but it only has 3.48 percent of the market to iPad’s 88.1 percent.

iPad had a 93.44 percent share of the market late last year, so share is being traded quickly in this category.

With iPad 3 on the way, even those small gains for Kindle may be in jeopardy.

When it comes to ad performance, the iPad also has a significant edge. If you index the data to the average ad displayed on a desktop computer, ads on iPad get 10 percent more revenue per click, the same level of overall clicks, and a greater average order value.

All the other tablets, including Kindle, perform much worse than ads displayed on PCs.

iPad dominates ad traffic on tablets, but its dominance is slipping.

The Kindle is gaining share of ad traffic the fastest against the iPad.

But the iPad is still the most effective tablet device by far, for advertisers.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Saturday, February 11th, 2012 news No Comments

What Is SOPA? [Sopa]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5877000/what-is-sopa

What Is SOPA?If you hadn’t heard of SOPA before, you probably have by now: Some of the internet’s most influential sites—Reddit and Wikipedia among them—are going dark to protest the much-maligned anti-piracy bill. But other than being a very bad thing, what is SOPA? And what will it mean for you if it passes?

SOPA is an anti-piracy bill working its way through Congress…

House Judiciary Committee Chair and Texas Republican Lamar Smith, along with 12 co-sponsors, introduced the Stop Online Piracy Act on October 26th of last year. Debate on H.R. 3261, as it’s formally known, has consisted of one hearing on November 16th and a “mark-up period” on December 15th, which was designed to make the bill more agreeable to both parties. Its counterpart in the Senate is the Protect IP Act (S. 968). Also known by it’s cuter-but-still-deadly name: PIPA. There will likely be a vote on PIPA next Wednesday; SOPA discussions had been placed on hold but will resume in February of this year.

…that would grant content creators extraordinary power over the internet…

The beating heart of SOPA is the ability of intellectual property owners (read: movie studios and record labels) to effectively pull the plug on foreign sites against whom they have a copyright claim. If Warner Bros., for example, says that a site in Italy is torrenting a copy of The Dark Knight, the studio could demand that Google remove that site from its search results, that PayPal no longer accept payments to or from that site, that ad services pull all ads and finances from it, and—most dangerously—that the site’s ISP prevent people from even going there.

…which would go almost comedically unchecked…

Perhaps the most galling thing about SOPA in its original construction is that it let IP owners take these actions without a single court appearance or judicial sign-off. All it required was a single letter claiming a “good faith belief” that the target site has infringed on its content. Once Google or PayPal or whoever received the quarantine notice, they would have five days to either abide or to challenge the claim in court. Rights holders still have the power to request that kind of blockade, but in the most recent version of the bill the five day window has softened, and companies now would need the court’s permission.

The language in SOPA implies that it’s aimed squarely at foreign offenders; that’s why it focuses on cutting off sources of funding and traffic (generally US-based) rather than directly attacking a targeted site (which is outside of US legal jurisdiction) directly. But that’s just part of it.

…to the point of potentially creating an “Internet Blacklist”…

Here’s the other thing: Payment processors or content providers like Visa or YouTube don’t even need a letter shut off a site’s resources. The bill’s “vigilante” provision gives broad immunity to any provider who proactively shutters sites it considers to be infringers. Which means the MPAA just needs to publicize one list of infringing sites to get those sites blacklisted from the internet.

Potential for abuse is rampant. As Public Knowledge points out, Google could easily take it upon itself to delist every viral video site on the internet with a “good faith belief” that they’re hosting copyrighted material. Leaving YouTube as the only major video portal. Comcast (an ISP) owns NBC (a content provider). Think they might have an interest in shuttering some rival domains? Under SOPA, they can do it without even asking for permission.

…while exacting a huge cost from nearly every site you use daily…

SOPA also includes an “anti-circumvention” clause, which holds that telling people how to work around SOPA is nearly as bad as violating its main provisions. In other words: if your status update links to The Pirate Bay, Facebook would be legally obligated to remove it. Ditto tweets, YouTube videos, Tumblr or WordPress posts, or sites indexed by Google. And if Google, Twitter, WordPress, Facebook, etc. let it stand? They face a government “enjoinment.” They could and would be shut down.

The resources it would take to self-police are monumental for established companies, and unattainable for start-ups. SOPA would censor every online social outlet you have, and prevent new ones from emerging.

…and potentially disappearing your entire digital life…

The party line on SOPA is that it only affects seedy off-shore torrent sites. That’s false. As the big legal brains at Bricoleur point out, the potential collateral damage is huge. And it’s you. Because while Facebook and Twitter have the financial wherewithal to stave off anti-circumvention shut down notices, the smaller sites you use to store your photos, your videos, and your thoughts may not. If the government decides any part of that site infringes on copyright and proves it in court? Poof. Your digital life is gone, and you can’t get it back.

…while still managing to be both unnecessary and ineffective…

What’s saddest about SOPA is that it’s pointless on two fronts. In the US, the MPAA, and RIAA already have the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to request that infringing material be taken down. We’ve all seen enough “video removed” messages to know that it works just fine.

As for the foreign operators, you might as well be throwing darts at a tse-tse fly. The poster child of overseas torrenting, Pirate Bay, has made it perfectly clear that they’re not frightened in the least. And why should they be? Its proprietors have successfully evaded any technological attempt to shut them down so far. Its advertising partners aren’t US-based, so they can’t be choked out. But more important than Pirate Bay itself is the idea of Pirate Bay, and the hundreds or thousands of sites like it, as populous and resilient as mushrooms in a marsh. Forget the question of should SOPA succeed. It’s incredibly unlikely that it could. At least at its stated goals.

…but stands a shockingly good chance of passing…

SOPA is, objectively, an unfeasible trainwreck of a bill, one that willfully misunderstands the nature of the internet and portends huge financial and cultural losses. The White House has come out strongly against it. As have hundreds of venture capitalists and dozens of the men and women who helped build the internet in the first place. In spite of all this, it remains popular in the House of Representatives.

That mark-up period on December 15th, the one that was supposed to transform the bill into something more manageable? Useless. Twenty sanity-fueled amendments were flat-out rejected. And while the bill’s most controversial provision—mandatory DNS filtering—was thankfully taken off the table recently, in practice internet providers would almost certainly still use DNS as a tool to shut an accused site down.

…unless we do something about it.

The momentum behind the anti-SOPA movement has been slow to build, but we’re finally at a saturation point. Wikipedia, BoingBoing, WordPress, TwitPic: they’ll all be dark on January 18th. An anti-SOPA rally has been planned for tomorrow afternoon in New York. The list of companies supporting SOPA is long but shrinking, thanks in no small part to the emails and phone calls they’ve received in the last few months.

So keep calling. Keep emailing. Most of all, keep making it known that the internet was built on the same principles of freedom that this country was. It should be afforded to the same rights.


drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

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Tuesday, January 17th, 2012 news No Comments

Stop paying Kim Kardashian $10,000 per tweet – She’s NOT Influential if no one re-tweets

Source:  AdAge.com

Yahoo Scientist Questions ROI of Kardashian’s Sponsored TweetsDuncan Watts Explains His Model for Predicting Value of Influencers on Twitter

Ad Age Digital Conference

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) — Stop paying Kim Kardashian $10,000 per tweet. That’s the recommendation based on the work of Yahoo’s principal research scientist Duncan Watts, who presented his findings at Advertising Age’s DigitalConference.

“If you recruit enough people who, on average, influence just one other person, you could get a much better return on investment if you aggregated them and altogether paid them a tenth of what Kardashian gets.”

But in looking at influencers, Mr. Watts found that it’s incredibly hard to predict who will be a major factor on Twitter, a conclusion that runs counter to the prevailing wisdom of social epidemics popularized by the book “The Tipping Point.” While he acknowledges there are certain personalities such as Kim Kardashian who can potentially trigger a larger cascade of re-tweets given her large amount of “followers” (“Tipping Point” enthusiasts call her a connector), close studies of social platforms reveal that influence is spread more efficiently and more reliably when done through many-to-many connections, rather than through a few highly connected individuals.

“Most of them will send tweets, and no one else re-tweets,” Mr. Watts said. “A lot of times, not that many people are listening on Twitter.”

More supporting details here: http://www.marketingcharts.com/direct/celeb-twitter-followers-have-low-authority-13297

Celeb Twitter Followers Have Low Authority

While celebrities have high numbers of Twitter followers, those followers usually have minimal reach and influence, according to social media consulting firm Sysomos.

Celebrity Followers Offer More Quantity than Quality
Celebrities seem to have large amounts of followers with low Twitter authority levels (see “About the Data” for more information on how authority levels are determined). Of five celebrities examined, the average follower of President Barack Obama had the highest authority rating on a scale of 0 to 10, 2.4. The most common authority score among Obama’s roughly 4.2 million followers is 1, held by 20%.

sysomos-twitter-celeb-june-2010.jpg

Interestingly, the celebrity whose fans had the second-highest authority score of 2.1, pop singer Lady Gaga, had the second-lowest following of about 4.5 million. The most common authority score of followers of all celebrities except Obama was 0.

Actor Ashton Kutcher had the highest number of followers (about 5.1 million), and the third-highest average authority score (1.8). Pop singer Britney Spears had the lowest average follower authority score (1.3) and second-highest number of followers (about 4.8 million).

Celebrities seem to have large amounts of followers with low Twitter authority levels. This could be because they attract everyone from all walks of life. Some people may only be on Twitter to see what their favorite stars have to tweet about. In addition, most celebrity followers tracked by Sysomos had few followers themselves, pushing down their authority scores.

Social Media Heavyweight Followers Have Most Authority
Social media heavyweights, private citizens who have made a name for themselves on Twitter, had the fewest followers but the highest average authority scores for their followers. Following the pattern seen with celebrity tweeters, the social media heavyweight with the fewest followers, Jason Falls (27,195), had the highest average follower authority score (4.8).

sysomos-twitter-heavyweights-june-2010.jpg

Conversely, the two social media heavyweights with the most followers, Chris Brogan (139,693) and Jeremiah Owyang (64,775), tied for the lowest average follower authority score of 4. The most common authority score for all social media heavyweight followers was either 4 or 5.

Online Media Beats Traditional Media
On the whole, the five news/media sources tracked by Sysomos show more variety among their scores than the celebrities or social media heavyweights. However, online media sources attracted fewer followers with higher average authority scores than traditional media sources.

sysomos-twitter-newsmedia-june-2010.jpg

Online media source Read Write Web, with about 1 million followers, had an average follower authority score of 3, which was also its most common follower authority score (19%). This tied online media source Mashable in average authority score, most common authority score and percentage of followers with the most common authority score. Mashable has more followers with about 2 million.

Online media source Tech Crunch ties traditional media source Time.com with an average follower authority of 2.4 and most common follower authority score of 2, at virtually the same percentage. However, Time.com has significantly more total followers (2.1 million) than Tech Crunch (1.4 million).

Traditional media source New York Times has the highest total number of followers (about 2.5 million) and lowest average authority score (2.2). It also has by far the lowest most common authority score of 0 (22%). Not surprisingly, sources that specialize in social media attract users that are more active on Twitter.

Facebook Fans More Valuable Customers
While there is variation in the value of different types of Twitter followers, on the whole Facebook fans of a brand provide more value as customers than non-fans, according to a new study from digital consulting firm Syncapse Corp.

The average value a Facebook fan provides a brand is $136.38, but it can swing to $270.77 in the best case or go down to $0 in the worst. This value is based on Syncapse analysis of five factors per fan: product spending, brand loyalty, propensity to recommend, brand affinity and earned media value.

On average, a Facebook fan participates with a brand 10 times a year and will make one recommendation. Value can differ significantly by individual brand. For example, in the case of Coca- Cola, the best case for fan value reaches $316.78 but is $137.84 for an average fan. In the worse case scenario, a fan is worth $0.

About the Data: Using its social media monitoring and analytics platform, Sysomos looked at the authority rankings of five celebrities, five social media heavyweights and five media organizations. Rankings were based on the kind of Twitter users following these celebrities, social media heavyweights and media organizations. Each Twitter user is assigned an authority ranking between 0 to 10 – with 10 signifying someone with very high reach and influence. This authority ranking is based on the number of followers, following, updates, retweets and several similar measures used by Sysomos.

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Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 analytics 1 Comment

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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