Category: Report

Actually, the GIF Is Dying

Oxford American Dictionaries has named GIF, the acronym for graphical image format, its word of the year. “Like so many other relics of the 80s, it has never been trendier,” said the head of US dictionaries at the press.

Now, it’s certainly true that animated GIFs, images that display an endless loop of frames, have enjoyed a renaissance in the 2010s, even playing a prominent role in the just-completed US presidential election. But it’s worth noting that, as an image format, GIF has never been less popular.

Read the complete article at The Atlantic.

Should Teenagers Have Racist Election Tweets In Their Google Results For Life? Jezebel Votes Yes.

Over at the Gawker properties, lady blog Jezebel came up with a creative post-election social media story: Tracie Egan Morrissey decided to make members of the high school set accountable for racist tweets that they sent out after Barack Obama was re-elected. Morrissey writes:

There was an abundance of hate speech on Twitter after Obama’s reelection, with people hurling violent and racial epithets. Many of those tweeters were teenagers whose public Twitter accounts feature their real names and advertise their participation in the sports programs at their respective high schools. Calls were placed to the principals and superintendents of those schools to find out how calling the president—or any person of color, for that matter—a “n*****” and a “monkey” jibes with their student conduct code of ethics. We contacted their school’s administrators with the hope that, if their educators were made aware of their students’ ignorance, perhaps they could teach them about racial sensitivity. Or they could let them know that while the First Amendment protects their freedom of speech, it doesn’t protect them from the consequences that might result from expressing their opinions.

Read the complete article at Forbes.

California Threatening Developers With $2,500 Fine Per Download For Privacy Violations

The California Attorney General is threatening scores of app developers with massive fines for non-compliance with privacy notification laws. “The companies were given 30 days to conspicuously post a privacy policy within their app that informs users of what personally identifiable information about them is being collected and what will be done with that private information,” stated the official release. Failing to comply leaves companies susceptible to fines big enough to bankrupt a small country–$2,500 per download. While the state is unlikely to levy that kind of force, companies will certainly take notice of their legal obligations to comply with the California Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Read the complete article at TechCrunch.

Privacy experts criticize moves to sidestep IE10’s default Do Not Track settings

When it comes to consumers’ rights to control their own browsers, everybody wants to sound like they’re pro-choice. But with many millions of advertising dollars on the line, the definition of pro-choice tends to align with the financial interests of those doing the defining.

That probably goes a long way toward explaining why software giant Microsoft and web services including Adobe, the Apache Foundation and Yahoo are at odds regarding the Do Not Track (DNT) feature of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 10 (IE10), which comes with the release of Windows 8.

They all say consumers should have a say over the level of privacy they want, in the form of choice about whether or not they want their browsing activities tracked, which allows ad networks to display targeted advertising on websites they visit.

Read the complete article at CSO.

FACEBOOK: I WANT MY FRIENDS BACK

Comment:  Could this be the beginning of the end of Facebook’s dominance, the butterfly that leads to the hurricane, or will Zuckerberg get away with it like he has everything else?  You decide.  Please be sure to read the whole article at Dangerous Minds.

THE BIGGEST ‘BAIT N’ SWITCH’ IN HISTORY?

This has been brewing since around May. At least that’s when we first started noticing it here at Dangerous Minds and we certainly weren’t the only ones.

Spring of 2012 was when bloggers, non-profits, indie bands, George Takei, community theaters, photographers, caterers, artists, mega-churches, high schools, tee-shirt vendors, campus coffee shops, art galleries, museums, charities, food trucks, and a near infinite variety of organizations; individuals from all walks of life; and businesses, both large and small, began to detect—for it was almost imperceptible at first—that the volume was getting turned down on their Facebook reach. Each post was now being seen only by a fraction of their total “fans” who would previously have seen them.

But it wasn’t just the so-called “fan pages,” individual Facebook users were also starting to notice that they weren’t seeing much in their newsfeeds anymore from the various entities they “liked”—or even updates from their closest friends and family members. Something was amiss, but unless you had a larger “data set” to look at—or a formerly thriving online business that was now getting creamed—it probably wasn’t something that you noticed or paid that much attention to.

When we first noticed the problem, our blog had about 29,000 Facebook “likes.” Our traffic was growing 20% month over month, but our Facebook fans grew at a far faster pace. We were getting hundreds of new ‘likes” every day. Still do. As I write this, our Facebook fans now number over 53,000, not quite double what it was then, but give it another month or so and it will be.

53,000 is a more than respectable number of Facebook fans for a blog that’s only been around for a little over three years. So why is it that our pageviews—our actual inventory, what we sell to advertisers—coming from Facebook shares are off by half to two thirds when the number of new “likes” has risen so dramatically during this same time period?!?!

Read the complete article at Dangerous Minds.

Actually, file-sharers buy more legal music than everyone else

A study has found that music fans who use peer-to-peer file sharing services actually purchase more music, on average, than those who stay completely legit.

The study by the American Assembly, a nonpartisan public policy think tank housed at Columbia University, found that file sharers purchase around 30 percent more music than non-file sharers. File sharers also have much larger music collections, naturally, with a big boost to their libraries provided by files they’ve downloaded without buying.

Read more at venturebeat.

Anonymous hits UK government websites over Julian Assange row

The hacking group Anonymous claims to have brought down British government websites in protest at the handling of Julian Assange‘s bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

The self-styled hacktivist group targeted the websites of No 10 and the Home Office early on Tuesday under what it called “Operation Free Assange”.

Hackers said they had also brought down websites belonging to the justice department and Department for Work and Pensions in the attack.

Anonymous vowed to continue targeting government websites as the diplomatic temperature around the WikiLeaks founder continued to rise

Read the complete article at The Guardian.

IBM claims spintronics memory breakthrough

Computerworld – In a paper set to be published this week in the scientific journal Nature, IBM researchers are claiming a huge breakthrough in spintronics, a technology that could significantly boost capacity and lower power use of memory and storage devices.

Read the complete story at Computerworld

Augmented reality becoming more meaningful, study shows

Augmented reality beginning to break away from novelty

Augmented reality may be a promising and innovative technology, but it has long been confined to the world of gimmickry in terms of mobile applications. Today, the technology is most often used to provide mobile users with various kinds of novelty experiences. As such, augmented reality has found itself in a difficult position, as its practical uses remain largely undiscovered. Nonetheless, consumers are expected to soon be exposed to the practical uses of augmented reality in the near future, according to a new study from ABI Research.

Study suggests that practical augmented reality will become more prominent in the near future

The study predicts that consumers will start being exposed to a new wave of meaningful augmented reality applications in the coming years. These applications will not be exclusive to smart phones, however, as they will come installed on wearable augmented reality systems, such as glasses. The study suggests that the sectors that will see a massive influx of attention from augmented reality will be interactive print, mobile shopping, and education.

Read the complete article at QR  Code Press.

3D viewing up, but still small when it comes to the bigger picture

Some 113,000 people watched the London 2013 opening ceremony in 3D, figures confirm, sending mixed messages on whether the format is finally starting to be adopted, or  if it still has a long way to go before it proves itself in UK homes.

The audience figures via Attentional, based on BARB viewing panel data, to Pocket-lint show that just over 100,000 tuned into the BBC HD channel to watch the opener to the London 2012 Games in 3D.

To put that into perspective, almost 27 million people watched the opening ceremony on BBC One and BBC One HD, making it the most-watched show this year and one of the most-watched shows in TV history, talking a whopping 81 per cent of the share of all television watched on Friday 27 July between 9-12pm.

When you look at the numbers like that the appetite for 3D is minimal, suggesting that the format hasn’t yet made any real inroads into the UK home.

Read the complete article at Pocket-Lint.