Tag Archives | Facebook

Are Social Networking Websites Doomed?

social networkingSocial networking was supposed to gradually take over more and more aspects of our lives, but instead it may peter out into a sea of old people “liking” promotional posts from corporations.

The answer to the question of what will be the next Facebook could be “nothing”, as younger people appear to be abandoning social networking sites for messaging apps like SnapChat, which doesn’t involve profiles, personal data, companies’ “sponsored stories”, or their parents. Via Buzzfeed:

Facebook is the “most important” social media site for about 10% fewer teenagers than it was a year ago, according to a new PiperJaffray survey of over 5,000 teenagers. The teens surveyed are less interested in Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Flickr, and Tumblr too.

This suggests something bigger than a shift away from Facebook; it hints at what could be the beginning of an across-the-board teen rejection of traditional social networking as a whole.

This data measures sentiment, not usage stats.

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NYPD’s New Facial Recognition Unit Using Instagram And Facebook Photos To Identify Suspects

Social networking sites are a great way to meet and connect with new people, such as cops. DNAinfo New York writes:

Police are searching for suspects’ photos on Instagram and Facebook, then running them through the NYPD’s new Facial Recognition Unit to put a face to a name, DNAinfo New York has learned.

Detectives are now breaking cases across the city thanks to the futuristic technology that marries mug shots of known criminals with pictures gleaned from social media, surveillance cameras and anywhere else cops can find images.

[An] official explained how the new technology worked after a recent street robbery where a woman reported her jewelry stolen by her gal pal’s boyfriend. She did not know his name, only that he was likely in photos on his girlfriend’s Facebook page. “We did not have his name, but we found a photo and the Facial Recognition Unit got a hit.”

The new investigative entity was formally launched late last year, with eight cops working in teams of four manning the operations.

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How Your Social Media Score Will Shape Your Life Options

On the intertwining of social capital and literal capital, the Economist reveals:

Facebook data already inform lending decisions at Kreditech, a start-up that makes loans in Germany, Poland and Spain. Applicants are asked to provide access for a limited time to their account on Facebook or another social network. Much is revealed by your friends, says Alexander Graubner-Müller, one of the firm’s founders. An applicant whose friends appear to have well-paid jobs and live in nice neighbourhoods is more likely to secure a loan. An applicant with a friend who has defaulted on a Kreditech loan is more likely to be rejected.

An online bank that opens in America this month will use Facebook data to adjust account holders’ credit-card interest rates. Based in New York, Movenbank will monitor messages on Facebook and cut interest rates for those who talk up the bank to friends. If any join, the referrer’s interest rate will drop further.

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Your Facebook ‘Likes’ Reveal Far More Than You Realize

Algorithmic analysis of what you have “liked” gives everything away—your IQ, personality traits, drug usage, and even whether your parents divorced during your childhood, the Washington Post reports:

A Cambridge University study published Monday shows off how the researchers were able to figure out personal traits of individuals based on what 58,000 Facebook users decided to “like” on sites around the Web.

The researchers found that they could, for example, correctly distinguish between gay and straight men on the site 88 percent of the time by analyzing the TV shows and movies they liked. Similarly, they could differentiate between drug users and non-drug users with about 65 percent accuracy based on their expressed public preferences. The study even included “like” predictors that could tell whether users’ parents had separated when they were young versus whether they had not.

Researcher [said] that they hope this raises users’ awareness about the kind of information they may not realize they’re sharing with a wider audience.

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Eunuchs of the Universe: Tom Wolfe on Wall Street Today

Well Newsweek may be dead, but its Daily Beast reincarnation is actually publishing some interesting articles, not least this one in which “Tom Wolfe draws up a sterling indictment of our unscrupulous financial culture. Twenty-five years after Bonfire of the Vanities, the author returns to Wall Street to see what happened to the Masters of the Universe”:

Come join us as we go back seven months to the apex of the history of American capitalism in the 21st century. We find ourselves in a swarm of fellow starstruck souls outside the Sheraton Hotel on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan, churning, squirming.

To slip past a battalion of cops and a platoon of security operatives in gray suits with small white techno-polyps in their ears attached to coils of white intercom cord trying to keep us under control… as we all but trample the raggedy, homeless-looking ranks of the television crews and every other laggard in our way.

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Insane Sandy Hook Conspiracy Theories

Disinfonauts, you know who these people are. Drown them out. Gawker compiles some of the worst, tasteless sentiment from the fringes of American society:

If you’ve got a certain kind of Facebook friend — an End-the-Fed, mechanical-elves, Monsanto-causes-cancer, Nibiru-fearing cousin, say — you may have already heard the “news” that Newtown shooter Adam Lanza’s father was a key witness in a congressional hearing about a banking scandal. Or the theory that the new Batman movie predicted the shooting. Or that The Hunger Games did. None of these conspiracy theories are true, obviously. But they’re all over the internet.

As usual, it only took a couple of days for the weird online gutter-spaces where the far left, far right, hyper-libertarian and new age kooks all hang out to gurgle out a handful of theories about the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., that ended with 27 deaths. They are, each, stupider than the last, though no less fascinating, in a car-crash way, than they usually are…

[check out the insanity at Gawker]… Read the rest

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Anonymous Plans To Take Down Facebook On Guy Fawkes Day

Remember, remember the Fifth of November? The loose-knit group of people self identifying themselves as Anonymous certainly do. This year it’s not a gunpowder plot, though, just a plan to wreak vengeance on Zynga and Facebook (again – same story last year). Does anyone care, though?

From AnonNews:

Anonymous OP maZYNGA – phase 1 – started now.

JOIN OP : http://youtu.be/OG1ypqhWDQ0 [since blocked]

We did launch phase 1 of operation maZYNGA with release of the confidential documents leaked from the executives of Zynga. On november the fifth we will release the key to the data files. Remember , Remember the 5TH of November.

Download:

http://www.multiupload.nl/DELBKM7I2I mazyngaop_docs.zip (36.41 MB)
http://www.multiupload.nl/WV48I345JM ANON_MA_ZYNGA.7z (412.59 MB)

Transcript:

Zynga customers and Facebook users , We are anonymous . During the last few days anonymous has been targeting Zynga for the outrageous treatment of their employees and their actions against many developers .

We have come to believe that this actions of Zynga will result in massive layoff of a thousand people and legal actions against everyone that speaks to the public about this plan.

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Police Ask Facebook To Shut Down Page Revealing Unmarked Car Locations

Via the Daily Dot, using Facebook as a tool against surveillance:

Police in Australia are upset at Facebook’s refusal to take down a page identifying unmarked police cars. Residents in the state of Victoria are posting pictures, licence plate numbers, and location details of the unmarked vehicles on a page called VIC Undercover Police Cars. It has racked up 26,000 likes since its creation in early September.

Victoria police have asked Facebook to take down the page, claiming it could ruin secret operations and put officers’ lives in danger. The social networking site reportedly denied the request because the pictures are taken on public property, which doesn’t violate Facebook’s Terms of Service.

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UK Government to Use Facebook in “New” National ID Scheme

“Why do you think it’s called a net or a web? Because it’s a trap!” – Alan Parker: The Urban Warrior

The UK Government is set to use already existing online profiles as a means of officially verifying the identity of Her Majesty’s subjects, reports  The Independent :

The Government will announce details this month of a controversial national identity scheme which will allow people to use their mobile phones and social media profiles as official identification documents for accessing public services.

People wishing to apply for services ranging from tax credits to fishing licences and passports will be asked to choose from a list of familiar online log-ins, including those they already use on social media sites, banks, and large retailers such as supermarkets, to prove their identity.

Once they have logged in correctly by computer or mobile phone, the site will send a message to the government agency authenticating that user’s identity.

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Data Centers Revealed As Massively Inefficient Energy Hogs

Google Data Center, The DallesIt’s good to see the New York Times engage in some real investigative reporting for a change. In this piece Frank Glanz uses FOIA requests and other federal and local government records to reveal how data centers have become major pollution centers:

Jeff Rothschild’s machines at Facebook had a problem he knew he had to solve immediately. They were about to melt.

The company had been packing a 40-by-60-foot rental space here with racks of computer servers that were needed to store and process information from members’ accounts. The electricity pouring into the computers was overheating Ethernet sockets and other crucial components.

Thinking fast, Mr. Rothschild, the company’s engineering chief, took some employees on an expedition to buy every fan they could find — “We cleaned out all of the Walgreens in the area,” he said — to blast cool air at the equipment and prevent the Web site from going down.

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