Posts Tagged ‘something’

Is That Online Dating Profile Real?

February 13th, 2012 02:00 admin View Comments

NoVday-150.jpgTomorrow is Valentine’s Day. People, especially Internet users, are either happily coupled up and doing something lovey-dovey, or they’re hunting around on dating sites for their soulmate. Because, you know, true love only happens on the Internet. Unfortunately for some, there’s danger in online dating.

“Cyber criminals are constantly looking for that common interest to capitalize on and in this case it’s love,” said Molly O’Hearn, Vice President of Operations at Iovation. “Just like in the face-to-face world, if something seems too good to be true it probably is.”

Iovation explains the seven different ways online dating abuse can happen.

  • Credit Card Fraud – Using a fake or stolen credit card, users create multiple accounts and scam others.
  • Spamming – This happens a lot via email. When it happens on Internet dating sites, it takes the method of sending unsolicited bulk messages via email, postings and IMs. Like that Facebook “Win an iPad3!” scam, the spammer is promoting a specific product.
  • Scams and Solicitations – Like that crazy door-to-door salesman who keeps trying to sell innocent people on a 3-for-1 neighborhood pizza deal that just doesn’t exist, scams and solicitations on online dating sites try to get community members to take advantage of nonexistent products and services.
  • Identity Mining – This method involves scoring personal information through phishing, keystroke logging and fake business websites.
  • Profile Misrepresentation – A user is – gasp! – not who they say they are. It is the Internet, after all.
  • Harassment/Bullying – Like mean teenagers online, people on Internet dating sites harass or abuse others unnecessarily.
  • Chat Abuse – For anyone who leaves the chat function on, it’s easy to creep up on other community members and harrass them through chat.

Iovation recently discovered a 150% increase in fraud attempts directed at dating websites and their customers. In 2011, Iovation found that 3.8% of transactions that took place over the Internet were fake. That is a 150% increase from 2010, when the percentage was only at 1.4%. Things remained about the same in 2009, at 1.5%. In total, Iovation has halted 60 million fraud attempts.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Source: Is That Online Dating Profile Real?

Reddit: No More Suggestive Content Featuring Minors

February 12th, 2012 02:56 admin View Comments


First time accepted submitter say_hwat writes “Today Reddit announced that it has banned subreddits dedicated to posting sexualized imagery of people under the age of 18. Last year, the site came under fire for r/jailbait, a subreddit dedicated to posting images of people under 18. The subreddit was shut down, but many others, such as r/gaolbait and r/bustybait, continued existing or sprung up afterwards. The policy change today came hours after a thread on Something Awful called for a public campaign against Reddit’s lax attitude towards the sexualization of children. The Something Awful thread creator claims that Reddit’s administrators know about child pornography being traded, but refuse to act. Among others, the thread creator cites r/preteen_girls as being particularly egregious.”

Source: Reddit: No More Suggestive Content Featuring Minors

Tapeheads and the Quiet Return of VHS

February 6th, 2012 02:05 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “Joshua Phillips writes that something was lost when videos went from magnetic tape and plastic, to plastic discs, and now to digital streams as browsing isles is no more and the once-great video shops slowly board up their windows across the country. Future generations may know little of the days when buying a movie meant you owned it even if the Internet went down and when getting a movie meant you had to scour aisles of boxes in search of one whose cover art called back a story that echoed your interests. Josh Johnson, one of the filmmakers behind the upcoming documentary ‘Rewind This!‘ hopes to tell the story of how and why home video came about, and how it changed our culture giving B movies and films that didn’t make the silver screen their own chance to shine. ‘Essentially, the rental market expanded, because of voracious consumer demand, into non-blockbuster, off-Hollywood video content which would never have had a theatrical life otherwise,’ says Palmer. While researching the documentary Palmer found something interesting: there is a resurgence taking place of people going back to VHS because a massive number of films are ‘trapped on VHS’ with 30 and 40 percent of films released on VHS never to be seen again on any other format. ‘Most of the true VHS fanatics are children of the 1980s,’ says Palmer. ‘Whether they are motivated by a sense of nostalgia or prefer the format for the grainy aesthetic qualities of magnetic tape or some other reason entirely unknown, each tapehead is unique like a snowflake.’”

Source: Tapeheads and the Quiet Return of VHS

Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley

February 1st, 2012 02:14 admin View Comments


Hugh Pickens writes “Brian Fung writes in the Atlantic that one of Romney’s electoral problems is that he occupies a kind of uncanny valley for politicians, inexplicably turning voters off despite looking like the textbook image of an American president. Just as people who interact with lifelike robots often develop a strange feeling due to something they can’t quite name, something about Romney leaves voters unsettled. As with the robotic version of the uncanny valley, the closer Romney gets to becoming real to a voter, the more his likeability declines. ‘The effect is almost involuntary, considering the substantial advantages Romney enjoys from appearance alone,’ writes Fung. ‘But in person, his polished persona gives way to what appears a surprisingly forced and inauthentic character.’ Political commentator Dana Milbanks adds that although Romney is confident and competent, in casual moments his weirdness comes through — equal parts ‘Leave It to Beaver’ corniness and social awkwardness. ‘Romney’s task now is to work his way out of the uncanny valley toward a more compelling style of humanity,’ concludes Fung. ‘But every day he lingers in it, the hill grows steeper.’”

Source: Mitt Romney, Robotics, and the Uncanny Valley

Ask Slashdot: How To Inform a Non-Techie About Proposed Copyright Laws

January 31st, 2012 01:34 admin View Comments


First time accepted submitter skywiseguy writes “I know someone who continues to argue that the takedown of MegaUpload shows that the existing laws are not adequate and that we *need* SOPA/PIPA to protect the movie/music industries from offshore (non-US) piracy. I keep trying to inform him of the history the *AA’s have brought to bear on the copyright laws and how these bills are something that will continue the abuse of copyright instead of ending piracy as they are claiming. He has no grasp on how DNS works, much less the internet in general. What can I do to show him how destructive these bills actually are, preferably with something that is as unbiased as possible?”

Source: Ask Slashdot: How To Inform a Non-Techie About Proposed Copyright Laws

USPTO Declares Invalid Third of Three Critical Rambus Patents

January 27th, 2012 01:55 admin View Comments


slew writes “This is a followup to this earlier story about 2 of 3 of Rambus’s ‘critical’ patents being invalidated. Apparently now it’s a hat-trick.” There’s something that seems unsavory and wasteful about a business environment in which a company’s stock value “fluctuates sharply on its successes and failures in patent litigation and licensing.” The linked article offers a brief but decent summary of the way Rambus has profited over the years from these now-invalidated patents.

Source: USPTO Declares Invalid Third of Three Critical Rambus Patents

USPTO Declares Invalid Third of Three Critical Rambus Patents

January 27th, 2012 01:55 admin View Comments


slew writes “This is a followup to this earlier story about 2 of 3 of Rambus’s ‘critical’ patents being invalidated. Apparently now it’s a hat-trick.” There’s something that seems unsavory and wasteful about a business environment in which a company’s stock value “fluctuates sharply on its successes and failures in patent litigation and licensing.” The linked article offers a brief but decent summary of the way Rambus has profited over the years from these now-invalidated patents.

Source: USPTO Declares Invalid Third of Three Critical Rambus Patents

How To Learn Who Has You In Their Google+ Circles

January 27th, 2012 01:12 admin View Comments

googlecircleslogo.jpgThe second-most important thing about social media is talking to people. The most important thing is to know whom you’re talking to. We can’t have a conversation about “authenticity” or “realness” or any other airy social media concept until we understand that there are people listening on the other side of that megaphone, and that’s very nice of them to do. In order to get something out of social media, our listeners have to get something out of listening to us.

To give them what they want, it helps to know who they are. With the integration of Google+ into search, Google’s social network will become an increasingly important part of the Web. By Google’s count, it has 90 million users already. If you want to have a presence in Google search, active participation on Google+ is a good idea. I tested a tool for understanding the Google+ audience today and found some interesting insights.

Global Google+ Demographics


The tools at gather many of the basic statistics one needs to understand who uses Google+. They offer a free global report that they compiled by crawling 45 million public profiles, a very healthy sample of the estimated total, and normalizing the somewhat erratic data they got to within acceptable limits.

As it stands in January 2012, 70.38% of Google+ users identify as male, 28.77% are female, and the remainder fall into Google’s third category: “other.” Nearly 80% of users fall into the 18-34 age brackets. Over 30% of users are from the U.S., followed by around 14% from India, although the #2 state/region and seven of the top 10 cities are in India.

The majority of Google+ users surveyed are not active on Facebook or Twitter. 99.7% are not active on Foursquare. Google+ is a different place altogether from the rest of the social Web. How do my own followers compare?

Personal Google+ Demographics


PlusDemographics also offers personal reports for a fee. Single reports cost $4.99 for personal profiles and $9.95 for business pages. There are discounts for buying reports in packs. Personal reports crawl up to 10,000 followers, which ought to be enough to get a sense. It gives you general demographic information about your people as a whole, and it highlights some individual users following you based on their “prominence” on the network. Here’s what it found from mine:


Almost 87% of my encirclements identify as male. That’s a pretty remarkable indication of the demographics of people who follow tech bloggers on Google+.


The age breakdown is comparable to the global population, trending slightly older, which I find flattering.


The majority of my Google+ followers do use Facebook, which is different from the general population. Almost none are active on Klout, but that’s more than in the global report, which found less than 0.1% used Klout.

These are all very basic data points, of course. Only a rough understanding of my encirclements is possible from these data. The way to get to know the people they represent is by talking to them, sharing with them and following their links.

How do you get to know the people on your social networks?

Source: How To Learn Who Has You In Their Google+ Circles

Could You Ever Love An Ad?

January 25th, 2012 01:45 admin View Comments

adjitsu_candy150.jpgToday, ads are something we skip. They coat everything we watch, read and listen to like a sticky film, blinking and shouting and shocking us into paying attention. Their value is measured in “impressions,” how many people’s eyeballs scan past them, and on the Web, a click on an ad is the holy grail. That’s what passes for “engagement.”

Have you ever seen an ad that made you say, “My daughter would love this ad!” Cooliris builds ad technology that elicits that response. “Our vision is to make every single pixel in the ad interactive and living,” says Aneesh Karve, product manager of Cooliris’ ad technology, AdJitsu. So far, it has pushed mobile and desktop ads into three dimensions, creating ads you can go into and look around. Today, it’s offering a first look at “high-interaction” ads, which unlock the laws of physics in touch-controlled ads.

The Crack of Dawn

When I first met Cooliris, it was making 3D AdJitsu ads. These got noticed by the market, but the team began to realize that advertisers were fixating on the 3D tricks itself, the trees, rather than the forest of immersive ads Cooliris wants to build.


“We were talking immersive, but the market was hearing ’3D,’” says CEO Soujanya Bhumkar. Aneesh Karve says the most common question they get about their product is, “Do I need 3D glasses?” But the 3D stuff was just an example. “This is the future of how you do display advertising.”

“Whatever is available on the technology stack that we’re deploying to, we’re going to pull out the bag of tricks available to us and make something cool out of that.”

The 3D ads use WebGL in browsers, and they run natively on iOS. This is a technology for which the market isn’t quite ready. Phones will have blazing-fast graphics soon, but they don’t yet. “3D is awesome, but right now 3D penetration on mobile is just at the crack of dawn,” Karve says. “What we wanted to do was reach more people on today’s technology.”

High Interaction

Today, Cooliris has a demo that steps back from the 3D cliffs and canyons they’ve been showing around so far. It’s a simple game with real physics. You tap the screen, and round pieces of candy appear. They roll down, in the direction of gravity, and they bounce off each other like real objects.

The engine was designed by a physicist. The existing software development kit contains the full physics engine, so they can reach more people whether or not they have WebGL.

Objects feel as real as possible. They’re aware of each other, they respond naturally to the forces of the user’s input. Gravity is dynamic to the accelerometer. Whichever way is down is the way the candy falls. Coming up next for AdJitsu is realistic momentum and friction. The point is not to make something loud noticeable. It’s to make an ad that you want to play with as though it’s a real object.

When demoing high-interaction ads, a partner told the team, “My daughter would love this ad.” That’s a pretty good sign.

You Don’t Have to Be A Physicist

AdJitsu ads can be built using PageKit, its own set of tools that allows developers to write ads in 3D and with real physics without having to know how. When approaching 3D ads, Cooliris knew they had to build something more democratic. Not everyone is an OpenGL graphics programmer. Karve says the goal of PageKit is to enable any artist with Photoshop, HTML and CSS skills to make something immersive and high-fidelity. “Now, you don’t have to be a physicist to write a miniature game with real-life dynamics.”

Since its a format any HTML developer will recognize, the ads also support normal rich media content like embed video. The output supports browsers or the native iOS environment. Here’s a video of Max, a 13 year-old up-and-coming programmer, demonstrating how PageKit works. Don’t worry; he’ll walk you through it.

Ads You Want To See

To Cooliris, the value of ads is not about impressions anymore. It’s about time spent in the ad. These are ads you can go into and play with. But this isn’t “gamification.” It’s not a gimmick to trick users into clicking more. It’s just there, it feels real, and it piques your interest. You’ll never remember the brand if you don’t enjoy the ad experience. Cooliris thinks that experience is the most important part.

What do you think? Does this ad look fun? Would you stick around and play?

Source: Could You Ever Love An Ad?

ReadWriteWeb Events Guide, January 21, 2012

January 21st, 2012 01:00 admin View Comments

We’re always on the lookout for upcoming Web tech events from around world. Know of something taking place that should appear here? Want to get your event included in the calendar? Let us know in the comments below or email us.

Source: ReadWriteWeb Events Guide, January 21, 2012