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Facebook ‘experiment’ lets select users pay to have messages routed directly to a stranger’s inbox

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/12/20/facebook-experiment-pay-messages-routing-email/

Facebook 'experiment' lets select users pay to have messages routed directly to a stranger's inbox

Get ready to have your preconceived notions of email destroyed. In a Facebook blog post today, the company has gone to great lengths to bury the lede — which, essentially, says that it’s experimenting with the idea of letting non-connected users pay in order to have a message routed to one’s inbox instead of that ill-fated “Other” folder. According to the company, it’s being dubbed a “small experiment” to “test the usefulness of economic signals to determine relevance.” As an excuse, Facebook has evidently consulted with “several commentators and researchers,” which “have noted that imposing a financial cost on the sender may be the most effective way to discourage unwanted messages and facilitate delivery of messages that are relevant and useful.”

Bitterness aside, there is some value in being able to directly ping a stranger you heard speak at an event, or you want to really show your interest in a job opportunity, but it still destroys the level playing field that we’ve all come to know and respect as it relates to digital communication. This message routing feature is only for personal messages between individuals in the United States, and if there’s a silver lining to be found, we’re told that the number of messages a person can have routed from their Other folder to their Inbox will be limited to a maximum of one per week. It’s unclear how the service will evolve once the testing ends, but perhaps it depends on how much blowback occurs compared to the whole Instagate thi! ng.< /p>

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Thursday, December 20th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s The Spaceship That Will Fly Rich People From NYC To Tokyo In 90 Minutes

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/xcor-reveals-full-scale-model-of-lynx-2012-10

xcor aerorspace lynx

Since the last flight of the Concorde in 2003, supersonic travel has been the province of jet fighter pilots and Felix Baumgartner.

XCOR Aerospace wants to change that. Out of a group of outfits looking to bring back travel faster than the speed of sound, it has an especially intriguing idea: flying from one airport to another, via outer space.

It’s no pipe dream: XCOR is busy building the Lynx, its suborbital commercial spacecraft, which will take off and land like a conventional plane, but offer a cruising speed of Mach 3.5, 62 miles above the ground.

As it moves toward its first test flights in early 2013, XCOR has built a full-scale mockup of the Lynx, which it brought to last week’s International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight, in New Mexico.

The design is not final yet, COO Andrew Nelson says. But it’s the best look yet at the craft that could make point to point travel in space a reality, and send passengers from New York to Tokyo in an hour and a half.

This is the rendering XCOR created of the Lynx.

XCOR is already booking ‘up and down’ flights, for $95,000 a pop.

Last week, it successfully fired the Lynx’s engine.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow Getting There on Twitter and Facebook.

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Monday, October 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

Why Facebook Has Banned Some People From Seeing The ‘Want’ Button

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/omBVf-XY-vA/heres-why-facebook-isnt-letting-some-people-see-the-want-button-yet-2012-10

Even though Facebook is actively and openly testing a “Want” button, chances are you won’t be able to see it.

Intrigued since rumors flooded the internet earlier this summer, I wanted to see what the highly anticipated button looked like for myself.

I wanted to “Want” something.

Facebook is currently testing the feature with seven different retailers, so I went to Victoria Secret’s web page to check it out. This is what I found:Facebook want button

Collect? But, I didn’t want to collect, I wanted to want!

Confused, I went to the other six testing retailers (including Pottery Barn, Fab.com, and Michael Kors), but they all would only let me collect, too.

I called a Facebook spokesperson, wondering if it was something I was doing. But when I explained my wantless condition, she said, unsurprised, “Oh, that probably means you’re in the Collect group.”

You see, although everyone’s eyes went to the “Want” button in Facebook’s testing announcement, many overlooked that the social media giant is testing a “Collect” and a “Like” (yes, another “Like,” for products not people) button, too.

Users are pre-selected to only be able to do one action.

“We’re testing to see what does the best,” she said. “Who’s to say what we’re going to do in the future.” Facebook won’t say whether it will launch just one, two, all three … or none.

“As the test progresses you might be able to change, but they act exactly the same. It’s just the actual word is just differ! ent.”

Still determined to see a want button, I forced a healthy chunk of the office to go to the Victoria’s Secret page to see what button popped up. Ten people I approached in a row were also in the “Collect” group, followed by two with “Like.” (Yawn).

It wasn’t until I got to Ashley Lutz, our retail reporter (appropriately enough), that I found someone in the “Want” group.facebook want

So chances are, if you’re desperate to click the “Want” button, you’re going to have to go through a handful of friends before you find it. And enjoy it while you can, because it could easily be scrapped if the other two actions yield a better performance.

Although, the “Collect” button actually appears to offer more features than “Want” or “Like.” Taking a page out of Pinterest’s e-book, you can place the products you’re interested in in different categories like fashion, home, and shoes.

Please follow Advertising on Twitter and Facebook.

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Sunday, October 14th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5944495/one-key-way-the-iphone-5-totally-destroys-the-competition

One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the CompetitionWe got hints from an early Geekbench result that the iPhone 5 was going to be flying. It seems that Apple’s really has worked some magic, both with iOS 6 and its custom silicon, to make the iPhone 5 absolutely blazing at crunching Javascript. Browsing on the iPhone 5 is going to be lightning quick.

AnandTech managed to grab an iPhone 5 review sample to run some quick SunSpider Javascript benchmark tests, and well, you can see for yourself below. Not only does the iPhone 5 destroy Android’s best, but it beats Intel’s Atom chips too.

A couple of caveats here, though. This browser test uses the default browser on each platform, so those of you using Chrome on Android could see faster results (let us know in the comments if you get a chance to run it). According to Intel, as this kind of processing relies heavily on the memory interface of the SoCs, its Atom could easily best chips based on the Cortex A9 spec because of memory speed issues. It seems Apple’s custom silicon has removed these kinds of memory problems, making the iPhone 5 the fastest mobile Javascript cruncher ever seen.

One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the Competition

Hopefully the rest of the system is absolutely blazing too, because no one likes to wait around for things to happen. We all suffer from hourglass syndrome, right? [AnandTech]


One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the CompetitionOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5944495/one-key-way-the-iphone-5-totally-destroys-the-competition

One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the CompetitionWe got hints from an early Geekbench result that the iPhone 5 was going to be flying. It seems that Apple’s really has worked some magic, both with iOS 6 and its custom silicon, to make the iPhone 5 absolutely blazing at crunching Javascript. Browsing on the iPhone 5 is going to be lightning quick.

AnandTech managed to grab an iPhone 5 review sample to run some quick SunSpider Javascript benchmark tests, and well, you can see for yourself below. Not only does the iPhone 5 destroy Android’s best, but it beats Intel’s Atom chips too.

A couple of caveats here, though. This browser test uses the default browser on each platform, so those of you using Chrome on Android could see faster results (let us know in the comments if you get a chance to run it). According to Intel, as this kind of processing relies heavily on the memory interface of the SoCs, its Atom could easily best chips based on the Cortex A9 spec because of memory speed issues. It seems Apple’s custom silicon has removed these kinds of memory problems, making the iPhone 5 the fastest mobile Javascript cruncher ever seen.

One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the Competition

Hopefully the rest of the system is absolutely blazing too, because no one likes to wait around for things to happen. We all suffer from hourglass syndrome, right? [AnandTech]


One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the CompetitionOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5944495/one-key-way-the-iphone-5-totally-destroys-the-competition

One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the CompetitionWe got hints from an early Geekbench result that the iPhone 5 was going to be flying. It seems that Apple’s really has worked some magic, both with iOS 6 and its custom silicon, to make the iPhone 5 absolutely blazing at crunching Javascript. Browsing on the iPhone 5 is going to be lightning quick.

AnandTech managed to grab an iPhone 5 review sample to run some quick SunSpider Javascript benchmark tests, and well, you can see for yourself below. Not only does the iPhone 5 destroy Android’s best, but it beats Intel’s Atom chips too.

A couple of caveats here, though. This browser test uses the default browser on each platform, so those of you using Chrome on Android could see faster results (let us know in the comments if you get a chance to run it). According to Intel, as this kind of processing relies heavily on the memory interface of the SoCs, its Atom could easily best chips based on the Cortex A9 spec because of memory speed issues. It seems Apple’s custom silicon has removed these kinds of memory problems, making the iPhone 5 the fastest mobile Javascript cruncher ever seen.

One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the Competition

Hopefully the rest of the system is absolutely blazing too, because no one likes to wait around for things to happen. We all suffer from hourglass syndrome, right? [AnandTech]


One Key Way the iPhone 5 Totally Destroys the CompetitionOur newest offspring Gizmodo UK is gobbling up the news in a different timezone, so check them out if you need another Giz fix.

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Wednesday, September 19th, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

How Advertisers Use Facebook To Figure Out When You’re Pregnant (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-advertisers-use-facebook-to-figure-out-when-youre-pregnant-2012-9

pregnant

Facebook got taken to task by Ad Age this weekend in a report that accuses the social network of being  “purposefully vague” about how it targets users based on their likes and interests.

We told you yesterday that Facebook has more than 200 ways of tracking its users around the web.

Age says Facebook’s advertising tool applies a hashtag to terms such as “morning sickness,” “ultrasound” and “pregnancy test” and can then serve ads against them. But Facebook declined to come out and say that it uses posts made by users to identify pregnant women (or other consumers going through a life change that might require a large number of new purchases):

Facebook, for its part, said it rarely uses the content of status updates as a signal for ad targeting.

But Facebook is careful to note that it doesn’t use the content of status updates to target pregnant women.

Finally, a spokesperson told Age:

“Not all advertisers are created equally in terms of how they define privacy as opposed to how we define privacy,” he said.

Facebook’s clients, however, told Age that they can use the site to ID pregnant women.

Café Mom VP-Marketing Kristina Tipton said her team has identified a Facebook audience of more than a million women who are likely to be pregnant or may have recently been so by anonymously targeting specific keywords that show up in users’ conversations … Ms. Tipton has been told by her Facebook rep that this process includes people who have mentioned the terms in their posts as well as users who have added those terms to their profile.

T! he big s urprise in the article is when Age all but accuses Facebook of lying:

Certainly there’s a gap between what marketers say they are being told and Facebook tells a journalist on the record.

Related:

Please follow Advertising on Twitter and Facebook.

Join the conversation about this story »

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Monday, September 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5914674/how-hackers-nearly-took-down-googles-recaptcha-system

How Hackers Nearly Took Down Google's reCaptcha SystemLast weekend a group of hackers unveiled Stiltwalker, a hack that subverts the reCaptcha system Google uses to protect its services from bots with 99 percent accuracy. But just hours before the group was set to present their hack at the LayerOne conference Google patched it up so it wouldn’t work anymore.

Stiltwalker is an impressive piece of engineering by the hackers from Defcon Group. CAPTCHA hacks have existed before, but what makes this hack so neat is that when it was working it could nail Google’s coded system much more accurately than any other before it. Rather than attack a single vulnerability, the hackers attacked several shortcomings of the audio portion of the audio version of reCAPTCHA from multiple angles. Ars Technica reports:

What the hackers-identified only as C-P, Adam, and Jeffball-learned from analyzing the sound prints of each test was that the background noise, in sharp contrast to the six words, didn’t include sounds that registered at higher frequencies. By plotting the frequencies of each audio test on a spectogram, the hackers could easily isolate each word by locating the regions where high pitches were mapped. reCAPTCHA was also undermined by its use of just 58 unique words. Although the inflections, pronunciations, and sequences of spoken words varied significantly from test to test, the small corpus of words greatly reduced the work it took a computer to recognize each utterance.

The group has said they’re already working on a way to get past Google’s new system. [Defcon Group via Ars Technica]

Image by Dirtbag / Blackhatworld

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Thursday, May 31st, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Google testing heads-up display glasses in public, won’t make you look like Robocop

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/04/04/google-testing-heads-up-display-glasses-in-public-wont-make-yo/

Image
The good news: Google has started testing those augmented reality glasses we heard about earlier in the year. The bad news: if the artsy shots of the test units are to be believed, they won’t make you look like some ’80s cinematic anti-hero. In fact, the things wouldn’t look too out of place in a New York Times style story. The software giant let it be known that, while it hasn’t quite got a sale date on the wearables, it’s ready to test ProjectGlass amongst the non-augmented public. The company is also looking for feedback on the project, writing in a post today, “we want to start a conversation and learn from your valuable input.” Want some idea of what ProjectGlass might offer the public? Sure, it’s not quite as good as strapping a pair on your own eyes, but interested parties can check out a video of Google’s vision after the break.

Continue reading Google testing heads-up display glasses in public, won’t make you look like Robocop

Google testing heads-up display glasses in public, won’t make you look like Robocop originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 04 Apr 2012 12:25:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink The New York Times  |  sourceProject Glass  | Email this | Comments

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Thursday, April 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Android study finds privacy and security risks related to in-app advertising

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/03/19/android-study-privacy-security-risks-in-app-ads/

Android has certainly taken heat for malware-related bits in the past. Now, a recent study by computer scientists at North Carolina State University reveals that over half of the 100,000 apps from the Android Market Google Play include so-called ad libraries, which are essentially handed out by Google or third-party devs to retrieve ads from servers and launch them on your phone. Of these, 297 were classified as “aggressive,” as they’re allowed to run code from a remote server. Furthermore, Dr. Jiang along with his squad of researchers found that more than 48,000 of the apps put to the test could track location via GPS, while other accessed info could range from call logs, contact numbers, to the apps list on your device. It’s unclear if this also applies to Android slates, though this particular study conducted only included handsets.

Continue reading Android study finds privacy and security risks related to in-app advertising

Android study finds privacy and security risks related to in-app advertising originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 19 Mar 2012 15:53:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink   |  sourceNCSU News  | Email this | Comments

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Monday, March 19th, 2012 news 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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