Posts tagged Gets

Death Gets A Facebook Update

Social media sites, so good at chronicling the ins and outs of our lives, have been uniquely terrible at handling their inevitable end. 

On Facebook, for instance, a reported death has long stuck friends and family with a static and almost ghostly memorial account—one disconnected from the lives of others even as it continued to display posts from the bereaved and the clueless alike. (For a while, accounts of the deceased sometimes mysteriously continued to “like” things as well.)

See also: Why Are Dead People Liking Stuff On Facebook?

Fortunately, that’s starting to change. Today, Facebook is announcing a new feature that lets people choose a representative—a family member, friend, or someone else they trust—to manage their account and data if they pass away. These “legacy contacts,” as Facebook calls them, can effectively maintain the profile as a living memorial to the deceased.

As Facebook explains in its press release, the objective is to give people more control over what happens to their accounts after their deaths and to better support grieving people who have lost a loved one.

Facebooking With The Dead

“One of the most important things we can do when it comes to memorializing someone is to tell stories about who they were, what they meant to you, and therefore what you have lost,” says Jed Brubaker, an “academic collaborator” on Facebook’s legacy contacts project, which is directly related to his doctoral research on digital afterlives at UC Irvine.

See also: How We Die On Social Networks

Brubaker continues:

In my research, people consistently describe the memories posted about the deceased, and the ability to share their own, as one of the most powerful aspects of memorialized profiles. However, sometimes people find these profiles uncomfortable. They don’t know how to act.

Ideally, Facebook “legacy contacts” will ensure that memorial profiles remain just that. These caretakers will have the ability to change profile and cover photos, accept new friend requests, and post messages that they can pin to the top of the deceased person’s timeline—a useful way, for instance, to ask for obituary details or announce the time and place of a memorial service.

See also: How We Talk About Death On Social Media

You can also explicitly allow a legacy contact to download an archive of your Facebook profile and timeline after your passing. Legacy contacts, however, won’t be able to log in as you, and won’t have access to your direct messages. 

Of course, no one has to choose a legacy contact. And if you’d rather not leave a digital legacy at all, Facebook will now also let you request deletion of your account and associated personal information upon your death.

Reporting a death to Facebook remains the same. Someone who knows the deceased person can request that the account be memorialized via a form on the Facebook Help section.

Grieving Online, In Public

Today’s public and social-mediated communication about death represents a big shift from the private and closely held practices most Americans are familiar with. It is reminiscent of earlier times when deaths created public conversations, as in Victorian post-mortem photography.

See also: Should I Unfollow Roger Ebert?

Today’s proliferation of funeral selfies—often shot by teenagers to express their feelings about death, a topic typically far removed from their regular lives—aren’t too far removed from such older practices. Posting such photos online not only allows people to express their conflicting reactions to death, it offers a visual way of connecting with others who might be experiencing similar feelings at the same time. 

Social media can also make encounters with death a more commonplace occurrence. On Facebook, it’s normal to come across posts about someone’s death sandwiched between Buzzfeed quizzes, cat videos, birth and wedding announcements, and links to news stories. And if you think about it, that makes perfect sense; death, after all, is another part of life. 

“It isn’t only that death is part of our social media streams, but also where we are reading those streams,” Brubaker says. “We’re looking at the newsfeed on our laptops, sure, but also on our phones while walking from our cars in the parking lot. The result is that encounters with grief and death can be everyday experiences, part of our everyday lives.”

Lead photo by Eddy Van 3000

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SearchCap: Google Gets Firehose, Google Algorithm Tweaks & Yahoo Gemini

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Google Gets Firehose, Google Algorithm Tweaks & Yahoo Gemini appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Pinterest Search Gets Smarter, Delivers Results Based on Gender by @mattsouthern

There’s nothing worse than searching for a new pair of kicks on Pinterest, and having to sift through pins of high heels when you really want a glimpse of the latest Jordan’s — am I right guys? When you’re a male on Pinterest, the search results can be a difficult place to navigate at times due to the fact that 71% of US visitors are women. Now Pinterest search is getting smarter, the company states in an announcement, with enhancements to Guided Search that will allow you to filter search results by gender. These types of customized search results will […]

The post Pinterest Search Gets Smarter, Delivers Results Based on Gender by @mattsouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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Europe’s Largest Public School Of Video Games Gets A Major Upgrade


Editor’s Note: This was originally published by our partners at Kill Screen

It’s a cold winter morning at Angoulême, a small town located at the Eastern side of France, and dozens of game developers, students and politicians are about to enter a huge building next to a river. The National Graduate School of Games and Interactive Media of France (ENJMIN) has a new home.

Since 2005, when the ENJMIN started offering graduate courses on game development, much has changed in the game industry. Games have, by and large, become more meaningful, they have a bigger audience now than ever, and they are crossing lines with other art forms more aggressively.

For more stories about video games and culture, follow@killscreen on Twitter.

These changes have also been part of the life of the school, which was founded under the hood of a bigger regional project that has built seven public schools dedicated to creative media in the same neighborhood of Angoulême, a city previously only known for its comics festival.

Building this school from an ancient cigarette paper mill cost 10 million euros ($11.6 million). It was funded by the Ministry of Education of France, the Regional Government and Pôle Image Magelis, the creative media cluster project that France started a decade ago in this town.

See also: Confronting Video Game Torture, After The CIA’S Report

At its inauguration, people gather in the school auditorium to hear game British video game designer Peter Molyneux give the opening speech. He talks about the importance of making mistakes and describes some of his errors when he began his new studio, 22cans, and while making Godus, his latest game. 

“Making mistakes is the most important ingredient in creativity,” he says. Molyneux is followed by a series of speeches by politicians that give their view on how games and other creative media are important to the economic development and cultural heritage of France. They also praise the founder and director of the school, Stephan Natkin, a stubborn professor that had a clear vision for the ENJMIN since its first years.

Apart from the high tech labs, large rooms and the beautiful river view from the project room, the most important elements at any school are the students. After a lunch break, the class of 2014 show game trailers and share some details of their games. 

From a virtual reality climbing experience using the Oculus Rift to a narrative exploring game where you interact with an A.I inside a spaceship, passing through an emotional journey of a fisherman, all of the games are surprisingly polished. The students are all at the end of their two-year Master’s program.

The inauguration ends with a speech by David Cage, one of France’s best-known game developers, and one of the vanguards of narrative video game experiences. After his talk, he decides to stay and spend some time talking to students. He might learn some new things.

More From Kill Screen

For more stories about video games and culture, follow@killscreen on Twitter.

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Google Translate App Gets Improved Picture & Conversational Translation

The new Google Translate app for iOS and Android brings real-time camera based translation and conversational translation to iOS.

The post Google Translate App Gets Improved Picture & Conversational Translation appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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SearchCap: Bing Launches Book Carousel, Google France Homepage Gets “Je Suis Charlie” Badge & Yahoo’s Firefox Deal

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Bing Launches Book Carousel, Google France Homepage Gets “Je Suis Charlie” Badge & Yahoo’s Firefox Deal appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Google Cardboard Gets Software Development Kit For VR Apps


Google Cardboard

When Google Cardboard, the virtual reality viewer constructed of corrugated paper, came out this summer, people thought it was a joke. But the company was serious—and if there was any doubt about it, you can nix it now that Google just released a software development kit for it.

See also: Google Cardboard Offers Virtual Reality On The Cheap—Really Cheap

The box-cum-VR headset, 500 million of which has shipped, gets its own SDK, just like the Oculus Rift and its off-shoot, the Samsung Gear VR. With this, developers for Android and Unity game developers can create apps for Cardboard that even support complex aspects of virtual reality, like head-tracking, lens distortion and side-by-side rendering.

With all those shipments of Cardboard, there’s no shortage of end users to develop for either. That 500 million figure doesn’t even cover the do-it-yourselfers who made their own. Google released instructions at launch, and it also just updated those blueprints.


The new specifications allow for a variety of cutting tools—from big implements that can slice through mounds of cardboard to a wee utility blade piercing a single piece. That should give everyone a chance to experience virtual reality without dropping a c-note or more on fancy hardware. In fact, even if you buy a kit, it will only run you about $22 to $25 from new retail partners DODOcase, I Am Cardboard, Knoxlabs, and Unofficial Cardboard.

If you haven’t given it a go yet, you may be amazed at what has already come out to work with Cardboard—including a Volvo virtual test drive, a 3D performance by musician Jack White and an app that lets you virtually hang out onstage with Paul McCartney, as well as other 3D games and other apps

That selection could balloon, now that there’s a proper SDK available. The company also organized Cardboard apps for easy discovery in the primary Cardboard app in Google Play, so users can find and keep tabs on them. 

Nothing invokes the spirit of play like cardboard boxes. But that’s surely not the sum total of Google’s VR ambitions. Think of Cardboard more like a fundamental building block in a much bigger plan, the vision for which hasn’t fully come into focus yet.  

Photos courtesy of Google

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How To Write A Meta Description That Gets Click-Throughs

I feel sorry for meta descriptions. Google has long held that meta descriptions do not impact search engine rankings. From a 2007 post on the Google Webmaster Central Blog: Google reiterated this point yet again in 2009 in a post stating that the meta keywords tag was not used as a ranking signal:…



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SearchCap: Google Knowledge Graph Gets Social, Scrollable Google Answers & Google News Suggested Stories

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web. From Search Engine Land: 20 Ways B2B SEOs Can Leverage Schema.org Markup Structured data markup can improve search visibility, yet few websites use it. Columnist Derek Edmond provides…



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