Bots Raise Their Heads Again on Facebook

Bots Raise Their Heads Again on Facebook - New York Times

Photo: Kimihiro Hoshino/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

“The company, called Limited Run, helps bands and record labels sell music and merchandise online. It bought advertisements for itself on Facebook this spring. It wanted to know who was clicking, so it built its own analytics tool. It discovered that only one in five clicks seemed to be from human beings. The rest, it said, came from bots, which, in essence, are bits of software performing automated tasks.” (Somini Sengupta, NYTimes.com Bits)

‘Big Data’ Emerges as Key Theme at South by Southwest Interactive

‘Big Data’ Emerges as Key Theme at South by Southwest Interactive - Chronicle of Higher Education“Mr. Lanier, who is a scholar-at-large at Microsoft Research, suggested that companies like Facebook, which rely on selling information about their users’ behavior to advertisers, should find some way to compensate people for their posts. “People have to make money from what they do on there,” he said, noting that as computers replace many other kinds of jobs, more people will need to make money in information industries. ‘Facebook could evolve into something that helps people make a living,’ he added. ‘Capitalism won’t survive unless it does.’ ” (Jeffrey R. Young, Chronicle of Higher Education)

What your online friends reveal about where you are

What your online friends reveal about where you are - NewScientist

Image: William Andrew/Getty

“YOU’VE set your Facebook account to ‘friends only’, your Tweets are protected and you wouldn’t dream of setting a virtual foot near location-sharing services like Foursquare – in other words, you can feel pretty safe online, right? Wrong. We all unwittingly leak vital information through friends.

‘You can actually infer a lot of things about people, even though they are pretty careful about how they manage their online behaviour,’ says Adam Sadilek of the University of Rochester in New York. He has developed a system for predicting a Twitter user’s location by looking at where their friends are. The tool can correctly place a user within a 100-metre radius with up to 85 per cent accuracy.” (Jacob Aron, NewScientist)

Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do

Digital Divide and Social Media: Connectivity Doesn’t End the Digital Divide, Skills Do - Scientific American

‘No Technology’ by Sammy0716 on Flickr

“The notion of being social on the Web is constantly evolving since we are connected not only via computers but also via mobile phones or handheld devices. The web is getting more powerful and social: new messaging services emerge each month; streamed media is becoming real even for the non-technical consumer; Google reshapes its services like a child rearranging building blocks; new ideas in federated rather than centralized systems are being explored, and more. The frequent change in layouts, privacy settings and interaction tools indicate that online dynamics require new classes of knowledge and skills to adopt such major changes on Facebook, Google, Twitter and other places in order to navigate and socialize online.

What is important to emphasize is that these digital divides, that go far beyond the pure infrastructure issues, need to become a key focus of engagement for profit and nonprofit organizations as they continue their missions to develop programs for social and digital inclusion.” (Danica Radovanovic, Scientific American)

New voting tech innovations for 2012

New voting tech innovations for 2012

AP Photo

“In Oregon, where disabled residents used iPads to cast ballots during a pilot test for the special election earlier this month, officials say they are ready to deploy the tablets again in January […] There are also new programs on tap for the back end — in Long Beach, Calif., for example, officials will track the city’s polls and their contents with radio frequency identification chips, a kind of high-tech barcode. Throughout election night, the location of the polls and whether the results there have been reported will light up on a bingo-type board and show if the ballot boxes are securely in transit or scanned and at the dropbox center, City of Long Beach clerk Larry Herrera said.” (Mackenzie Weinger, Politico)

Separating You and Me? 4.74 Degrees

Pic: Wikipedia User:Dannie-walker

“Jon Kleinberg, a computer science professor at Cornell and a faculty adviser to an author of the new study, said some links might be more meaningful than others. He offered the example of a man wanted for a crime. A random Facebook user might discover that she took a class with someone who rented an apartment from someone who grew up with the suspect. They may all be connected as Facebook ‘friends.’ ” (John Markoff and Somini Sengupta, NYTimes.com)