usa today

drag2share: Google Is Losing The War Over Cookies And May Ditch Them In Favor Of A New User-Tracking Device (GOOG)

source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/businessinsider/~3/echkAa30yd0/google-may-ditch-cookies-for-adid-2013-9

cookie monster

Google is working on an alternative ad tracking system that could replace cookies, according to USA Today. The new system is called “AdID,” and it would offer certain privacy and security enhancements over the cookie.

Cookies are little bits of code that advertisers and web sites drop into your browser as you surf the web. They track your web history, which advertisers use as a guide to your potential shopping interests.

Google has been slowly losing a war over the use of third-party cookies to track users on behalf of advertisers. You can see how gritty that was has become in this interview with executives from Mozilla, which makes Firefox.

Competing companies have lined up against cookies: Microsoft has made “do not track” the default setting in its Internet Explorer browsers. Apple’s Safari browser blocks third-party cookies altogether New versions of Firefox will block them, too. Part of the problem is that browser makers have very little financial incentive to maintain a robust cookie environment, and a much bigger financial incentive to make browsers that people love and trust.

Google’s Chrome browser stands alone in allowing all cookies as the default setting. Chrome is now the most popular browser, but it easy to switch tracking off.

AdID would allow Google to abandon the cookie system altogether in favor of som! ething t hat advertisers prefer, and thus skirt the cookie war.

If Google could prove that AdID was more useful for advertisers and more private for users than cookies, it could start a gold rush (in Google’s favor) to use AdID.

It would also put Google’s AdID in competition with Apple’s cookie-substitute, the “identifier for advertisers” (IDFA or IFA). That cookie alternative is the default tracker on Apple’s mobile devices running the new iOS 7 operating system.


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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 news No Comments

drag2share: Google’s AdID, an anonymous identifier for advertising, could replace the aging cookie

source: http://www.engadget.com/2013/09/18/google-adid-an-anonymous-identifier-advertising-cookie/?utm_medium=feed&utm_source=Feed_Classic&utm_campaign=Engadget&ncid=rss_semi

Google's AdID, an anonymous identifier for advertising, could replace the aging cookie

You know the drill: accept the cookie, delete the cookie, empty the cookie bin, and so on. Mostly, it’s an exercise used when attempting to get your mum’s PC to run a wee bit faster, but if you think about it, the cookie is one of the most archaic pieces of the world wide web that’s still in use today. Naturally, Google is swooping in in a bid to change the status quo, according to a new report from USA Today.

Essentially, the search giant is building an “anonymous identifier for advertising, or AdID, that would replace third-party cookies as the way advertisers track people’s internet browsing activity for marketing purposes.” Perhaps astoundingly, it sounds as if the project could benefit both consumers (by shielding true identities) and advertisers at the same time. Of course, pundits are concerned about the global leader in online advertising controlling the technology that tracks movements on the web, but to us, it sounds as if end users will get far more power over who sees what when compared to today’s cookies.

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 news No Comments

USA Today Tells Facebook Its Services Are No Longer Needed For Super Bowl (FB)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/usa-today-tells-facebook-its-services-are-no-longer-needed-for-super-bowl-2012-12

eli manning super bowl trophy

Last year, USA Today partnered with Facebook to create its Super Bowl Ad Meter, which for better or worse has become the most prominent measure of a Super Bowl ad’s success.

The partnership was innovative because it asked all Facebook members to vote on ads, instead of just a panel of a handful of people selected by USA Today. And it brought the power of social media to an inherently social event on behalf of a stolidly traditional media property.

But no more.

This year the newspaper is going it alone — again. It’s told Facebook its services are no longer needed. Publisher Larry Kramer told Ad Age:

“We want to do this ourselves because we’re going to do a lot of these,” he said. “We need to build the apparatus ourselves do we’d own it.” 

“Look, Facebook is great and we like working with them, but if you look at this organization today top to bottom vs. a year ago, we’re a lot more digital … And we need to build that internally.”

The Ad Meter’s qualifications for being the nation’s top rater of Super Bowl ads have previously been called into question. It doesn’t measure halftime ads, even though those ads — such as Clint Eastwood’s “Halftime in America” spot for Chrysler — are some of the most talked-about commercials.

And it consists of a voting panel of just 300 people in two separate locations — even though dozens of social media analytics companies can measure chatter about the Super Bowl online from millions of people.

USA Today will replace Facebook with a “a password-protected microsite” that users will have to sign up for in order to vote.

If you can’t be bothered to do that, don’t worry: Business Insider will bring you our “Super Bowl For Quants” roundup of social media analyses of the ads the day after the game.

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Tuesday, December 11th, 2012 news No Comments

Starbucks Is Charging $450 for a Specially Etched Metal Gift Card to Buy Coffee Flavored Water

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5966108/starbucks-is-charging-450-for-a-specially-etched-metal-gift-card-to-buy-coffee-flavored-water

Starbucks Is Charging $450 for a Specially Etched Metal Gift Card to Buy Coffee Flavored WaterStarbucks, purveyor of coffee flavored water, builder of coffee scented corner stores and shelter for no coffee drinking Wi-Fi leeches, has a new shtick: a premium gift card. It’s made of steel! It’s ‘specially etched’! And it’s a super, limited edition that inanely costs 450 bucks.

The gift card itself costs $50 to make, the other $400 will be loaded as Starbucks credit and can only be bought on Gilt. I guess Starbucks people go to Starbucks enough that the $400 will manifest destiny itself in the caffeinated brown liquid but damn if this isn’t some elitist craziness. The card, which will surely make its owners feel good about themselves, comes with “with gold-level Starbucks card membership benefits, such as gifts and freebie refills on brewed coffee and tea.”

Jason Goldberger, executive vice president at Gilt.com, told the USA Today it’s all about exclusivity:

“When you’re waiting in line at Starbucks, the next person in line won’t have it.”

Ugh. [USA Today]

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 news No Comments

42% Of Windows Users Plan To Switch To Apple

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/windows-users-plan-to-switch-to-apple-2012-11

Windows 8 Survey

Anti-virus company Avast conducted a survey of Windows-based PC users the day before Windows 8 was released.

The results were devastating for Microsoft and non-Apple PC makers.

They were excellent, meanwhile, for Apple.

Byron Acohido wrote up the results for USA Today and filmed a short video with charts. You can watch that here. In the meantime, here are the key points:

  • The survey covered 135,000 Windows users split across three versions of the operating system: Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
  • Only a very small percentage of users–9%–said they were going to accelerate a purchase of a new computer because of Windows 8.
  • Overall, 16% of those surveyed said they planned to buy a new computer
  • Of these folks, a staggering 42% said they plan to buy an Apple product–either a Mac or an iPad (see chart above)
  • Most of the Apple buyers (30% of the total buyers) planned to buy an iPad, suggesting that some of these planned purchases are motivated by the desire to buy a tablet. (Maybe Microsoft can save some of these with strong sales of the Surface.)
  • The rest of the switchers, 12%, planned to buy a Mac.

Last week, it was reported that Windows 8 sales are off to a weak start.

That’s not surprising, given the results of this survey.

And the most ominous part of the survey is the implication that nearly a third of those w! ho plan to buy a new computer plan to buy an iPad. Some of these purchases may be supplemental–the PC owners may keep their PCs–but they won’t do anything to help the Wintel PC business.

As tech guru Jean-Louis Gassee points out in his weekly note, the survey also suggests that Windows 8 has created a huge opportunity for Apple to convert a lot more Windows users to Apple products.

SEE ALSO: Windows 8 Sales Are Well Below Microsoft’s Expectations

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Monday, November 19th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s A Disastrous Stat For Microsoft (MSFT, AAPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-a-disasterous-stat-for-microsoft-2012-11

Steve Ballmer

USA Today reports that software security firm Avast surveyed 140,000 of its users, and came up with this stat:

About one-third of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP users who are ready to buy a new personal computer say they intend to switch to an Apple product.

Obviously that’s very bad news for Microsoft as it rolls out Windows 8/RT.

Daring Fireball’s John Gruber says its great news for Apple:

Historically, the single biggest problem Apple faced in the PC market is that most consumers never even considered buying an Apple computer. If this number of potential switchers is even close to true, Mac and iPad sales are going to continue to grow.

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Friday, November 16th, 2012 news No Comments

Hurricane Sandy has knocked out 25 percent of all cell towers, cable services in 10 states

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/10/31/fcc-sandy-fallout/

FCC Hurricane Sandy has knocked out 25 percent of all cell towers, cable services in 10 states

Julius Genachowski has revealed that Hurricane Sandy has knocked out a full quarter of cellphone towers and cable services in the 10 most affected states. The FCC chief believes that, as more towers expend their battery back-ups and the storm’s continued presence, the situation’s going to get worse before it gets better. He’s also reiterated that users should avoid making non-essential calls and use e-mail or social media to avoid overloading the straining networks. One point of interest in the call, was that land line phone outages were much less widespread — which might be something to remember if you’ve ever considered cutting the cord.

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Hurricane Sandy has knocked out 25 percent of all cell towers, cable services in 10 states originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 31 Oct 2012 06:29:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 news No Comments

A Leak From The USA TODAY Shows How The Kindle Fire Is Blowing Away Other Android Tablets (AMZN, APPL)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/a-leak-from-the-usa-today-shows-how-the-kindle-fire-is-blowing-away-other-android-tablets-2012-2


Here’s an interesting look at how the platform wars are playing out across smartphones and tablets.

GeekWire landed an internal slide from USA Today that lists how many times its application has been downloaded. USA Today has a wider, more geographically diverse readership than most other newspapers, giving us insights into the ecosystem that we might not get from the typical measurement companies.

If USA Today’s internal statistics are any indication, the Kindle Fire is blowing other Android tablets out of the water. The slide shows 260,000 downloads of its app for Kindle Fire compared with only 130,000 for other Android tablets. That’s a two-to-one ratio.

The Kindle Fire still trails the iPad by some ~2.6 million downloads, but that’s unsurprising. What’s more impressive is how much headway the Kindle Fire has made in the short time since its release.

Further, you can see that the iPhone app is still beating the Android app in downloads. And Windows Phone has a lot of work to do.

usa-today-kindle-fire

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Friday, February 10th, 2012 news No Comments

Hospitals Are Using Confidential Medical Records To Target High-Paying Patients

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/hospitals-are-using-confidential-medical-records-to-target-high-paying-patients-2012-2


skin-cancer-screening

Hospitals are increasingly milling their patients’ confidential medical records to target their promotional mailings for services, reported Phil Galewitz of USA Today.

It’s not illegal, but the practice doesn’t sit well with consumer advocacy groups who point out that many health care providers are choosing to ping patients with better insurance coverage.

That creates a sort of indirect discrimination, as hospitals make it harder for consumers with less insurance to learn about services they may very well need.

To target the ads, hospitals determine the likelihood that patients would need certain services based on age, income and insurance status. Hospitals have said they target patients with private insurance because the companies tend to pay higher rates than government-backed plans like Medicare and Medicaid.

The mailings also advertise a variety of tests, such as screenings for cancers and cholesterol, which are generally more expensive.

As record numbers of Americans go without health insurance, hospitals targeting consumers who are more capable of shelling out money for services has been an inevitable outcome, along with soaring health insurance premiums (Read why the rich are building their own hospitals.)

To make matters worse, employers are also reducing health insurance benefits in the workplace.

As we recently reported, one in five Americans are experiencing difficulty paying off their medical debt, while 25 percent have considered filing for bankruptcy because of rising medical bills. 

Though targeted mailings might place others without insurance at a disadvantage, hospital officials insist they target patients who pay more to make enough profit to serve everyone.

Now learn 6 ways to arm yourself against rising health insurance costs >

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Monday, February 6th, 2012 news No Comments

Here’s The Information Facebook Gathers On You As You Browse The Web

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/facebook-tracking-2011-11


mark zuckerberg f8

Facebook stirred up privacy concerns when it came out that its “Like” and “Share” buttons appearing all over the web actually report your visits back to Facebook servers.

Now Facebook engineering director Arturo Bejar has shared what personal information the company retains with its tracking cookies, as reported by USA Today.

When you’re logged in, Facebook will keep a timestamped list of the URLs you visit and pair it with your name, list of friends, Facebook preferences, email address, IP address, screen resolution, operating system, and browser.

When you’re logged out, it captures everything except your name, list of friends, and Facebook preferences. Instead, it uses a unique alphanumeric identifier to track you.

Keep in mind that Facebook isn’t tracking your entire browsing history, just your visits to sites with “Like” and “Share” buttons.

Bejar told USA Today that Facebook technically could link your name to your logged-out browsing data, but he “makes it a point not to do this.”

Why does Facebook gather all this info and what do they do with it? By keeping so many details, it makes it easier to identify fake accounts and scammers. By keeping track of what users “Like” around the web, Facebook can show people ads that will be the most interesting to them and generate more revenue.

Despite Facebook having the best intentions — wanting to maintain a high quality user experience and generate ad revenue — you can see why privacy experts are concerned.

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Friday, November 18th, 2011 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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