Monday, May 24, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Best Google Home Page Ever, I think, I've only been here twice

Check out this website I found at

Posted via web from Digital Anthropology

Facebook and Others Caught Sending User Data to Advertisers

Facebook and Others Caught Sending User Data to Advertisers

The Wall Street Journal is reporting on what could be a major scandal brewing for Facebook, MySpace and other social networks: despite assurances to the contrary, the sites have apparently been sending personal and identifiable information about users to their advertisers without consent.

Large advertising companies including Google’s DoubleClick and Yahoo’s Right Media were identified as having received information including usernames or ID numbers that could be traced back to individual profiles as users clicked on ads. The data could potentially be used to look up personal information about the user, including real name, age, occupation, location, and anything else made public on the profile. Both of the aforementioned companies denied being aware of the “extra” data they were receiving and claim they have not made use of it.

The WSJ goes on to report that since raising questions about the practice with Facebook (Facebook) and MySpace (MySpace), both companies have since rewritten at least some of the code that allowed transmission of identifiable data. Beyond those two companies, LiveJournal, Hi5 (Hi5), Xanga (Xanga) and Digg (Digg) made the list of sites identified as sending identifiable information back to advertisers when a user clicked on individual ads.

The Journal found that Facebook went farther than most in sharing identifiable data, by sending the username of the person clicking the ad as well as the username of the profile they were viewing at the time. This news could hardly come at a worse time for Facebook, a company that currently faces a privacy backlash potent enough to make the cover of Time Magazine this month.

Outside of Facebook, the other companies named in the article maintain the data they send to advertisers contains the user ID of the profile a user is visiting when they click on an ad, and not the user ID of the visitor themselves. Both Google and Yahoo made strong statements refuting the idea that they would ever make use of any such personally identifiable data. Yahoo VP of global policy Anne Toth said of the allegations, “We prohibit clients from sending personally identifiable information to us. We have told them. ‘We don’t want it. You shouldn’t be sending it to us. If it happens to be there, we are not looking for it.’”

What do you think: is this another privacy-related stain on Facebook as well as other social networks, or much ado about nothing?

Posted via web from Digital Anthropology

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Target is reinventing its consumer electronics department

Target is reinventing its consumer electronics and videogame department across its US stores, with a new open layout that will provide a “convenient, enjoyable shopping experience, ensuring guests can easily access the information and products they want”. The majority of Target stores will have the new electronics layout completed by June 2010. As part of the transformation, the videogame section is being expanded by 30% revealing a large, open guest friendly format that will include new product-accessible fixtures organised by platform and game genres. Additionally, a majority of stores will be further enhanced with videogame Learning Centers and Trial Stations.

Target’s new video game Learning Centers will feature a 40” high definition touch screen where guests can read reviews, learn about game features, sort by ESRB ratings, view instore price and inventory, receive recommendations on best sellers, or page a team member for assistance. The stations also allow customers to try out titles before they buy. “Target is committed to creating an intuitive and easy shopping experience for our guests,” said Mark Schindele, Senior Vice President. “The electronics and video game reinvention was designed with the wants and needs of our guests as our top priority. They’ve asked for additional product diversity and better access to games and information, and our new layout offers them just that.”

In addition to an expanded video game footprint, Target is making improvements and additions in the TV, camera and camcorder sections of the electronics department that will add to and enhance its current product offerings while making the selection process even easier. An improved TV wall will offer a more realistic in-home presentation and a better way for guests to compare picture quality across brands. Clear signage highlighting product features is being integrated within the overall display, and key accessories can be found at the base of the TV wall so that guests can easily find everything they need to enjoy their new purchase.

Posted via email from Digital Anthropology

Monday, May 17, 2010

Robot Priest Marries Couple in Japan

Robot Priest Marries Couple in Japan [VIDEO]

Procedurally, the ceremony of marriage is a very linear affair. The priest says some things, then the groom and bride say some things, kisses are exchanged, and the couple is married.

Is it odd, then, that Satoko Inoue and Tomohiro Shibata decided to employ a robot called i-Fairy to marry them? Now, perhaps; but in a couple of years, especially in Japan which is already home to 800,000 industrial robots, it might become a regular occurrence.

The bride, Inoue, works for Kokoro Ltd, the company that makes the i-Fairy, a robot usually employed as a museum guide. The husband, Shibata, was a client of the company, so in a way, the robot brought them together. “It’s true that robots are what caused us to first begin going out, and as suggested by my wife, we decided that we wanted to try this sort of wedding,” Shibata said.

All it took was new software, and the robot presided over the marriage without problems, as you can see in the video below. So much for robots not understanding the meaning of love.

Posted via web from Digital Anthropology

Thursday, May 13, 2010

$16 for all those berries! I love NC

The State of Wireless Satisfaction in the US

The State of Wireless Satisfaction in the US

May 13, 2010


Virtually everyone has a cell phone and wireless plan. The difference in the number of dropped calls and cell phone reception can depend on many factors, including location and the wireless carrier. A recent survey of wireless customers pulled back the curtain on which wireless carriers are making their customers the happiest and which ones could stand to do a bit better if they expect customer loyalty and the profits that come with it.

Click to Enlarge

The State of Wireless Satisfaction in the US

Posted via web from Digital Anthropology

U.S. companies will spend about $63 billion this year on their own websites -- roughly equivalent to

TSA’s liquid rules: down the drain

TSA’s liquid rules: down the drain

The Transportation Security Administration’s unpopular restrictions on liquids have been vaporized, says travel commentator Chris Elliott.

“Passengers say the TSA has all but stopped screening their luggage for liquids,” he said.
Officers no longer ask passengers to remove lotions, shampoos and even water bottles from their luggage. They also are overlooking all manner of liquids packed in carry-on bags.

The TSA initially banned liquids and gels from carry-on bags in 2006 after British authorities thwarted a plot to blow up planes bound for the US with liquid explosives.

The agency in 2008 promised to ease its restrictions within a year by removing size limits on liquids.

A TSA spokesman insisted the rule is still in effect. “The policy continues to be enforced, although it is important to note that we empower our workforce with direction,” said TSA’s Lauren Gaches.

Elliott concluded the policy is largely unenforced.

He urges the much-maligned agency to come clean about liquids.

“If there’s any evidence that my tube of Crest is dangerous….then I think we’ll all quietly empty our toothpaste, hair gel and contact lens solution into one quart-sized, clear plastic, zip-top bag,” he says.

About time

Posted via web from Digital Anthropology

Facebook Poised to Take Geo-Networking Mainstream

Facebook is expected to launch location-based functionality as soon as May

Facebook is really making moves of late, with initiatives like universal Like Button and Facebook shopping, they are positioning themselves to compete with Google. Good for them.

Posted via web from Digital Anthropology

Not long until 3D video becomes a commodity baked into smartphones and point-and-shoots.

3D Video Recording Coming to a Cellphone Near You

When we say everything is going 3D, we really mean it. Roger Ebert notwithstanding, the world has gone gaga for 3D, from Titanic to the $100 bill and even Playboy Bunnies.

But wait, you say — there’s still a huge gap in terms of actually being able to produce 3D video thanks to the expensive new equipment outlays required. True, but consumer electronics manufacturer Sharp has plans to leapfrog over much of that gap by the end of this year by bringing the world’s first 3D camera for mobile devices to a cellphone near you.

The camera module, designed specifically for small devices like cellphones and digital cameras, shoots 3D footage at 720p resolution. Samples of the new camera will be available by July before the real mass production begins, so by this summer we should be able to get our eyes on the level of quality we might expect from devices that will incorporate it later this year.

If Sharp is able to produce the modules at comparable cost, it might not be long until 3D video support becomes a commodity baked into most smartphones and point-and-shoots. There are yet other problems to solve, not the least of which is ensuring everyone has the means to comfortably view 3D content — whether it be via glasses or through the still relatively nascent glasses-less 3D technology. Nevertheless, Sharp’s mobile 3D camera stands to be yet another important milestone in the march to ubiquitous 3D.

Would you be interested in the ability to record 3D video right from your cellphone, or do you think 2D will keep most people content for some time?

Will 3-D finally break through, becoming a staple in society or will it simply go back to the drawing board after we tell it that it's still not good enough.
We shall see....

Posted via web from Digital Anthropology