Posts tagged give

Bing Teams Up With CNN To Let Viewers Give “Real-Time” Feedback On 2014 Election Coverage

Bing is upping its political game, announcing today a partnership with CNN where users can give “real-time feedback” on CNN’s political coverage via Bing Pulse. According to the announcement, viewers will be able to vote on CNN broadcasts during the 2014 US elections, and all the…



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Would You Give Facebook Your Health Data?

Facebook is following Apple and Google into healthcare, according to a report from Reuters. The company is considering building online “support communities” and healthcare apps that would supposedly help people to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

The way the social network is planning to position this Facebook health effort is troubling.

According to one Reuters source, “the company is considering rolling out its first health application quietly and under a different name.” d, the idea of Facebook knowing how much you exercise and what your blood pressure is makes some people nervous. To gain users’ trust, the company may package up a healthcare app without Facebook branding, and get people to share their data—that just seems backwards.

See also: One Thing Is Missing From Facebook’s Research Guidelines: Respect For Its Users

Considering patient privacy is one of the most important tenants of healthcare, Facebook’s history of controversial privacy policies doesn’t make it seem like a corporation people would really want to trust with their data.

Facebook’s plans to roll out health apps under apps from Facebook that aren’t branded as such shows that even Facebook knows no one wants a future Facebook Health, either. 

So Why Is Facebook Doing This?

The company already has huge amounts of data on its users—names, where they live, what they read online, and what they’re interested in. Health data would only further strengthen its massive social graph.

There are a number of online support communities for people with health issues, like PatientsLikeMe and the #BCSM breast cancer community chats, and Facebook apparently wants to take advantage of peoples’ desire to share and interact with other patients for support, and build similar communities on Facebook. Reuters’ anonymous sources claim that Facebook is still in the “idea-gathering stage,” and is setting up a research and development arm for testing health applications.

See also: How To Opt Out Of Facebook’s Mind Altering Experiments

Facebook developing tools for healthcare isn’t entirely surprising. Earlier this year the social networking company acquired Moves, a fitness and health tracking application. When the acquisition was announced, people were quick to question whether their health data would be shared with Facebook—they were right. Shortly after Moves joined Facebook, the fitness tracking app changed its privacy policy to allow broader sharing with Facebook.

Whether or not a future Facebook health app will fall under the big blue branding, it will likely have data policies that allow Facebook access to your health data. And people might find that a little too personal to share with friends, let alone giant corporations. 

Lead photo by Memories_by_Mike on Flickr

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Bing: No Plans To Give Ranking Boost For HTTPS

At Search Marketing Expo, Bing’s Vincent Wehren, the Lead Program Manager for Bing Webmaster Tools, said they have no plans on ever giving a ranking boost to websites that switch to HTTPS. In August, Google began giving sites that use HTTPS a ranking boost as a bit of an incentive to…



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Cops Give Away Spyware And Tell Families It’s For Their “Safety”

Hundreds of law enforcement offices across the United States are handing out free copies of software that claims to protect children and families while they browse the Web. But according to an investigative report by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this software is actually spyware, and can put your data at risk.

Called ComputerCOP, the software reportedly allows parents to view recently downloaded material, identify keywords like “drugs” or “sex,” and uses a “KeyAlert” system that logs keystrokes to the hard drive, so that parents can see what their kids have been typing. 

The software works by placing the CD-ROM into the computer, and if parents choose to enable KeyAlert, the system will to capture conversation when one of the suspicious keywords or phrases is typed. 

Outdated and complicated to use, ComputerCOP is also ineffective, according to the EFF report. Researchers found that the software doesn’t do what it claims accurately—like identifying trigger words such as “gangs” in Web chat histories or in documents. What’s more, it regularly identifies documents that don’t include any of the trigger words. 

See also: Facebook Wants To Be Creepier Than Google With Your Data

According to the EFF, the key logs are unencrypted when running on a Windows machine, and easily decrypted on a Mac. If parents choose to get emails regarding the key logs, which they can through the ComputerCOP software, the information is sent unencrypted to third-party servers, not only putting information at risk, but rendering HTTPS protection on websites useless. The EFF was able to copy passwords using KeyAlert with “shocking ease.” 

ComputerCOP’s Clumsy Defense

Stephen DelGiorno, the head of ComputerCOP operations, told ReadWrite that  ComputerCOP only captures 500 characters at a time when a trigger word is identified, and saves them on the computer’s local hard drive to be viewed by parents later. But even DelGiorno was unclear about how secure the data is.

“I’d have to ask the programmers, I’m not 100% sure,” DelGiorno said when asked whether or not key logs are encrypted on local hard drives. “I know you can’t find it, but I don’t want to say it’s encrypted at this point.” 

“It’s no more dangerous than them sending any email from that computer to another computer,” DelGiorno said. “But I’m not saying [encrypting data sent via email] is a feature we can’t go back and add.”

About 245 law enforcement agencies including sheriff’s departments, police departments, and district attorneys offices have spent thousands in tax dollars to purchase the software and distribute for free to parents, without, apparently, checking the veracity of ComputerCOP’s claims.

See also: New Security Flaws Render Shellshock Patch Ineffective

Apart from the security risk ComputerCOP has posed to an as-yet-unknown number of families, the New York-based company which distributes the software also used false approvals from the ACLU, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the U.S Department of Treasury, which has since issued a fraud alert. DelGiorno told ReadWrite that the company never said the Treasury endorsed the product, rather just said the government body approved the allocation of funding.

The EFF estimates anywhere from hundreds of thousands to one million copies of ComputerCOP were purchased by law enforcement, but because it’s complicated to set up, and doesn’t do what it claims to, many families might not be using it. 

Lead image courtesy of DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office

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PayPal: Give Us Some Credit

Lend PayPal your ears: The eBay-owned payments company doesn’t want to just process your transactions. It wants to fund them, too.

The most visible move it’s making is changing the name of BillMeLater, a provider of consumer credit eBay bought in 2008 for a little under $1 billion, to PayPal Credit.

That minor branding fix is just the tip of a financial iceberg. PayPal is also rapidly expanding PayPal Working Capital, a financing program for small businesses. It is taking PayPal Credit international. And it plans to make PayPal Credit an option for the growing number of mobile-app transactions that its Braintree subsidiary processes.

Credit Matters

The interchange fees charged by banks for credit- and debit-card transactions have long been an annoyance for technolibertarians. (It’s not clear if their objections boil down to anything aside from a preference that they, not fusty banks, get to be the money-making middlemen in all transactions.)

That’s one of the attractions of Bitcoin. The launch of the digital currency-cum-transaction-engine promised a financial fantasy: instantaneous, irreversible digital transactions, bypassing banks and payment processors. 

What that ignores is that the current cumbersome credit-card system has persisted in large measure because it enables people to buy things they can’t pay for with the cash they have on hand. 

It helps to remember that drugstores and grocers used to employ clerks in back rooms to track customers’ accounts and dun them for payments. The few points of interchange credit cards charged seemed like a far better deal. Handling cash, too, has cost and risk, from embezzling employees to fake bills.

Dee Hock, the technological visionary behind Visa, didn’t like to emphasize the lending aspect of credit cards. He didn’t even like the term “credit card,” according to Joe Nocera’s A Piece of the Action. But a key part of why credit cards took off is that consumers could make a purchase now and pay for it up to 30 days later, interest-free; merchants, meanwhile, got paid far faster than they might if they were the ones collecting on the debt.

Yes, all of that sounds slow compared to Bitcoin. But Bitcoin’s digital-cash-upfront approach doesn’t help consumers juggling mortgage payments and waiting for paychecks. The fact is that well-developed credit markets are clearly linked to increased economic activity.

That macroeconomic theory seems to work on the micro scale, too. Steve Allocca, the vice president in charge of PayPal Credit and related products, says that consumers who use a PayPal credit product spend an average of 30 percent more than they would otherwise. 

Even Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin, acknowledged in his first paper describing the Bitcoin protocol that the present-day system “works well enough for most transactions.”

Cash isn’t king. Cash flow is. 

Both A Borrower And A Lender Be

If you look at PayPal’s competitors, the most interesting rivals aren’t the ones trying to duplicate PayPal’s card-processing business, like WePay, Square, and Stripe. 

They’re companies you may not have heard of. Like Klarna, a primarily European business that lets customers pay after receiving an invoice—as Swedish and German consumers prefer—or over time. Or the soon-to-launch Affirm, a company started by PayPal cofounder Max Levchin, which promises to let buyers split payments over time.

Besides the renamed BillMeLater, PayPal also offers options like Pay After Delivery, which allows buyers to schedule a payment for 14 days out. It doesn’t charge fees but it requires use of a linked bank account, which makes the transaction far more profitable for PayPal.

A couple of weeks ago, eBay announced that it will take over the cobranded credit-card line it issues with GE Capital—giving it one more way of extending credit to consumers.

In March, PayPal’s then-president, David Marcus, told me about a bridal shop to which PayPal was loaning money to buy more inventory. That shop then lets brides pay for their dresses over time with BillMeLater. Marcus may be gone, but that vision of lending money on both sides—greasing the rails of commerce with credit—remains and is animating PayPal’s latest moves.

PayPal Working Capital has lent $150 million to date, says Darrell Esch, the company’s executive in charge of small-business lending, and is making $1 million in loans a day. So far 20,000 PayPal merchants have taken loans—approximately 10 percent of those who have been offered them. (Square has a very similar program, Square Capital, which it offers to retail merchants who use its card-swiping app.)

PayPal’s Worst Enemy

PayPal has many risks here. The chief risk is risk itself—the possibility that it will lend out money and not get paid back, whether by consumers or small businesses. 

Against that risk, it is wielding a decade-plus of data on consumers’ purchases and merchants’ sales, which Allocca says will let it make faster and better credit decisions than it might using credit scores and other traditional sources of data used by banks.

The other risk is complexity, the cruft of dozens of product launches, brand extensions, and acquisitions. ReadWrite has long noted PayPal’s cultural problem with imperial overreach. It wants to be in every niche within the payments world, and it seems to want that more than having a straightforward mission executed with a simple set of tools.

Marcus, who left PayPal in June for Facebook, departed with an unfinished effort to cut back on the company’s sprawling product lines. It’s not clear who’s wielding that ax now, since PayPal has yet to replace him. (eBay CEO John Donahoe is running PayPal directly on an interim basis.)

Here, the move to rename BillMeLater takes on more than just symbolic importance. PayPal Credit makes sense as part of PayPal’s core product—a flexible credit line joined at the hip with PayPal’s stored-value account. If PayPal can roll all of its cobranded cards and financing offers into one coherent product, it stands a far better chance of fending off Klarna, Affirm, and its other eager competitors.

It also points to how PayPal might make money in a Bitcoin future. Bitcoin may well drive down transaction costs over time. But digital cash won’t answer consumers’ and businesses’ need to pay for some purchases over time. It may be that moving money from point A to point B may not be PayPal’s long-term destiny. Fronting the cash to make commerce happen may be.

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Google’s improved screening measures give rise to SEO-related complaints – Asahi Shimbun


MyHostNews.com (press release)
Google's improved screening measures give rise to SEO-related complaints
Asahi Shimbun
Search engine optimization (SEO) firms are the new must-have, promising to improve a company's website ranking, but many of their clientele are running afoul of Google Inc.'s rules on determining the popularity of search results. According to the
12 Free SEO Tools You Can't Afford Not To Be UsingBusiness 2 Community
3 Ways To Safely Diversify Your SEO StrategySearch Engine People (blog)
How Can You Support Your Brand With Your SEO Strategy?Promotion World (press release)
MyHostNews.com (press release) -JOSIC: News, Sports, Style, Culture & Technology
all 27 news articles »

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Hyungsik, Seo Kang Jun, and Nam Ji Hyun give each other eye contact in … – allkpop


allkpop
Hyungsik, Seo Kang Jun, and Nam Ji Hyun give each other eye contact in
allkpop
Hyungsik plays the role of troublemaker Cha Dal Bong, Nam Ji Hyun plays the role of honest and positive Kang Seo Wool, and Seo Kang Jun plays the role of well-mannered and handsome Yoon Eun Ho. The trio politely greeted each other and kicked off …

View full post on SEO – Google News

Give Your iPhone Camera DSLR-Like Superpowers

Guest author Chris McConnell is an opinionated, entrepreneurial-minded designer and writer who founded DailyTekk and Climbur.

I’ve got a problem. I love the camera on my iPhone. It’s become an appendage—like an arm, or hand. If it was amputated from my life I’d feel like I’d truly lost a part of me. I use it all the time. Maybe too much (no one wants to be that guy that gets a picture of the moment but misses the actual thing, but hey, I can’t help it and neither can you).

The thing is, I wish my iPhone’s camera could do more. It’s not a Apple vs Samsung vs Nokia type of thing. I’m talking about features that you don’t find on phones in general. DSLR-like features. I love the convenience of having a great camera in my pocket at all times, but it’s missing the power and the feel of a full-featured DSLR.

I found a few upgrades that can give an iPhone DSLR-like superpowers. Now plant the phrase, “Whoa, that exists?!” somewhere convenient in your brain, because you’re going to be accessing it a lot in the next few minutes.

Sony QX100 Smart Lens

Though it might look like a DSLR lens without a body, in reality the Sony QZ100 Smart Lens ($448) a full-fledged camera that uses your iPhone as a viewport. When combined with an iPhone via an included attachment, it’s possible to use in a traditional camera-like fashion: point and shoot.

But the real fun happens when the two items are detached. You can mount the solo Smart Lens on a tripod (perfect for lining up those professional selfies) or hold it in one hand with your iPhone in the other (perfect for hard-to-reach angles). The QX communicates with your phone via NFC or Wi-Fi (it actually creates its own hotspot).

Sony’s app will let you adjust white balance and exposure settings and control the zoom, among other things. While an iPhone 5S sports an 8 megapixel sensor, the QX packs a whopping 20 megapixels—more than double the iPhone’s out-of-box capabilities.

Olloclip Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens

I don’t know about you, but I’ve passed up many a cool subject because I knew my phone’s built-in zoom wasn’t up to the challenge. (That, or the photo would be so grainy I might as well take a picture of some sand.)

If you wanted to equip your iPhone with a more capable zoom without adding a ton of extra bulk, you’d look for something like the Olloclip Telephoto + Circular Polarizing Lens ($100). It may look small (and it is), but it will give you 2x optical magnification. Sure, it’s not something the paparazzi will use, but it might give you just the extra oomph you are looking for.

iPhone SLR Mount

You sometimes hear experts say that a camera is only as good as its lens. That’s why you can have an older camera body with a great lens on it and still take award-winning photos—and why a newbie with a brand new DSLR and stock lens might not have any good photos.

Going by this rule, the best way to upgrade your iPhone’s camera is to attach a huge beast of a lens—a full-fledged SLR. This is actually possible thanks to the iPhone SLR Mount ($175), which comes in both Canon and Nikon flavors.

ProCam App

Taking a break from the hardware front for a moment, let me tell you about ProCam (99 cents), an app that adds a familiar-looking DSLR-like interface to your iPhone screen when taking photos.

But the app is more than a looker—it actually lets you control things like focus and exposure, white balance, saturation and more. You can also control JPEG compression or opt for saving images in true lossless TIFF format. Another neat feature is the level mode which uses your phone’s gyroscope to auto-straighten the viewfinder in realtime.

iPhone Viewfinder

Those of you old enough to remember (and excluding all you pros)—have you ever found yourself missing the old viewfinder you used to use to line up shots? You know, the eyepiece you actually held up to your face to peer through? There was something professional about it. It made you concentrate.

Though you’ve probably never pictured it before, you actually can buy a physical viewfinder to stick on your iPhone. It’s simply called the iPhone Viewfinder ($30) and it uses a screw-on suction pad to vacuum onto your phone screen. Used in conjunction with the Daylight Viewfinder app, this is a great way to spice up your iPhotography experience.

Images courtesy of the manufacturers

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LinkedIn’s Latest Lawsuit Is A Great Reminder Of How We Give Up Our Own Privacy

On Friday, a judge ruled that LinkedIn must face a lawsuit brought by customers who claim LinkedIn accessed their external email accounts like Gmail and Yahoo in order to bombard their contacts with unwanted LinkedIn invites. 

You’d need to read LinkedIn’s terms of service closely to learn that when you give LinkedIn access to your email accounts, the company pulls data from your emails to recruit new members. And you’d have to read through a lot of verbiage to discover that LinkedIn warns you that it will send out invites that look like they’re from you. Nowhere does it explicitly warn you that LinkedIn will follow up with repeated invites, making you look like a needy friend.

(Oh, you didn’t even bother to read the terms of service? Well, then those spammy invites your friends received in their email are all on you.)

This is the crux of a lawsuit brought by a group of users that raises questions about how much data companies can collect, and what they do with that information. U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh said Friday in her ruling that LinkedIn members who sued the company can pursue damages, as they try to expand their case to include other users, Bloomberg reported

Koh rejected some wild conspiracy-theory claims LinkedIn members advanced that the company was somehow “hacking” into their email accounts, finding they’d consented to give it access.

“We will continue to contest the remaining claims, as we believe they have no merit,” a LinkedIn spokesperson told ReadWrite.

Giving Up Our Privacy, One Click At A Time

And yet there is merit to the idea that something is happening when we use online services like LinkedIn that puts our digital lives out of our control.

The suit hangs on the fact that LinkedIn users consent once to sending an email. The plaintiffs allege that LinkedIn then sends numerous follow-up invitations to people’s contacts, a practice Koh said in her ruling was grounds to move forward with the lawsuit.

Soon, a lawsuit like this one might be a dinosaur.

An increasing trend is for corporations to erode not just our privacy, but our right to protest these invasions, by taking advantage of terms of service—implied contracts with customers—to shield them from lawsuits like this.

Instead, they rewrite their terms to favor procedures like mandatory arbitration, a process which many legal advocates believe favor corporations. Dropbox made this change in February (though it allows users to opt out of the change).

Two Supreme Court decisions in 2011 and 2013 have made it possible for companies to quietly revise the terms of service users rarely read, in an effort to forestall any consequences for abusing user privacy, like those alleged in the LinkedIn suit.

As Lina Khan of the Washington Monthly notes

The decisions culminate a thirty-year trend during which the judiciary, including initially some prominent liberal jurists, has moved to eliminate courts as a means for ordinary Americans to uphold their rights against companies. The result is a world where corporations can evade accountability and effectively skirt swaths of law, pushing their growing power over their consumers and employees past a tipping point.

This could theoretically put us in a world where Facebook could quietly change its terms of service to make the private information of its more than one billion users public—and there’d be almost nothing you could do about it, save quit in a huff.

It’s easy to lecture people about how important it is read the fine print you’re consenting to before sharing your private data. But we have lives to live, work to do, and families to see—all higher priorities than wading through Internet legalese.

And it’s not like we have any choice about these terms if we want to use a popular website. There’s no negotiating terms—only abject surrender.

I know I’m guilty of agreeing to terms of an app or website that I haven’t fully read. 

But cases like LinkedIn’s contact-email lawsuit serve as a reminder for all: The scales are tipped against us when it comes to protecting our privacy. We constantly trade convenience for control over our own online lives. And soon, we may have no recourse.

Image by Isengardt 

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Facebook To Give Users More Control Over The Ads They See by @mattsouthern

In an announcement made today, Facebook is taking a cue from its users and taking two major steps to make ads better. In the first step, Facebook will be introducing interest-based advertising to users in the US: When we ask people about our ads, one of the top things they tell us is that they want to see ads that are more relevant to their interests. Today, we learn about your interests primarily from the things you do on Facebook, such as Pages you like. So, for example, if you’re in the market for a new TV and start shopping […]

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