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No. 1 social networking website Facebook is modifying its advertising campaign, trying to give users better control over the ads they see. The do-not-track setting in Web browsers will no longer be applicable, and will display ads based on all websites visited by users on their PCs and mobile devices.
Facebook users currently see ads based on Facebook activity, including pages liked and the type of content shared. Users will be able to learn why certain ads are being displayed when they are logged into the site.
"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," a Facebook blog post said. "Today, we learn about your interests primarily from the things you do on Facebook, such as pages you like. Starting soon in the US, we will also include information from some of the websites and apps you use. This is a type of interest-based advertising, and many companies already do this."
Rupert Murdoch's News Corp is urging Google to bring in anti-piracy algorithms as default in its search results, according to a report.
CEO of News Corp, Robert Thomson, has said that piracy is having an effect on the company's monopoly over Game of Thrones - as Australians are pirating the show as soon as it comes out instead of subscribing to subsidiary Foxtel.
Speaking with the Australian, Thomson said that for Google to have a "sophisticated algorithm that knows exactly where you are and what you're doing and maintains ignorance on piracy is an untenable contradiction."
Rail carrier Amtrak is currently investigating how to provide faster, more reliable Wi-Fi access on its trains, which currently relies on cellular broadband technology. The first implantation will be a Wi-Fi network along tracks in the 457-mile stretch of the northeast corridor, aiming for a speed boost from 10Mbps up to 25 Mbps.
Amtrak is now accepting proof-of-concept bids, but doesn't have additional details about the future Wi-Fi project.
"We know that our customers want a consistently reliable and fast on-board Wi-Fi experience - something we cannot guarantee today on our busiest trains when hundreds of customers want to go online at the same time - and we want to make that possible," said Matt Hardison, Amtrak Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, in a press statement.
It shouldn't be any trouble, but sometimes setting up an internet connection can be - but now one British company wants to offer 4G speeds not just on mobile but in the home, too, wirelessly and affordably.
Launched by UK Broadband, Relish doesn't need a fixed line to work - potentially cutting costs for consumers who may not want all the extra bits and pieces, just quick internet access. Relish promises it can provide speeds of 65Mbps.
Relish has also said that customers will enjoy unlimited data and will be capable of delivering quality speeds at all times. It won't need to be set up by an engineer and the contracts are rolling.
America's Secret Service is on the hunt for software that can differentiate between tone on social media - including registering sarcasm.
In a work order posted this week, the agency is revealed to be searching for software able to monitor users in real-time, as well as collecting data - including the emotions of web users, and in multiple languages.
The work order claims it's important the software has the "ability to detect sarcasm and false positives."
Facebook's security infrastructure head has claimed his entire team wear "tinfoil hats" when it comes to privacy and promised end-to-end encryption that would kill government snooping on the social network.
Gregg Stefancik told journalists on a trip to Australia that Facebook is thoroughly rehashing its communications, with a view to making them secure. He said the company isn't there quite yet, however, encryption is a priority.
"We've prioritized encrypting the traffic that is most sensitive at Facebook, and we're working aggressively to get to the point where we can tell you we'll have it all encrypted between datacentres," Stefancik said.
A transformation is currently underway that will lead the Internet of Things (IoT) to grow from $1.9 trillion in 2013 up to $7.1 trillion in 2020. Consumers are becoming more familiar with IoT, as homes, cars, and other products utilize full-time connectivity to offer enhanced services. Not surprisingly, developed regions garner 90 percent of installed units, and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.5 percent is expected through 2020.
Overally, the IoT industry was boosted by venture capitalists in 2013 to the tune of $1 billion, according to CB Insights. However, as the industry grows in the years to come, business security will also be forced to evolve, with new 'bring your own device' employees posing a continued danger in the workplace.
"Businesses are taking the necessary steps to gain a deeper understanding of IoT and the overall value," said Vernon Turner, an IDC senior vice president, in a press statement. "Technology vendors are evolving their solutions in a supply-driven market that's edging toward becoming a more demand-driven market."
Turkey has at last gained access to YouTube again, following a months long ban on the video website after eruptions of protest saw the government seeking to quell dissent.
In an almost typical example of the infamous Streisand Effect, attempts at censorship actually fueled further dissent. Turkey's constitutional court ruled last week that the YouTube ban was in violation of the country's freedom of expression laws, despite insistence from officials that the website still held offensive content.
As The Verge reports, many of the web's savvier users were able to find their way around the ban, and Google itself lent itself to the dissent.
Online cyberbullying has greatly increased year-over-year, with 27 percent of youth witnessing cyberbullying, and the number increased greatly up to 87 percent this year, according to McAfee "2014 Teens and the Screen Study: Exploring Online Privacy, Social Networking and Cyberbullying" report.
A further investigation into cyberbullying, found that 72 percent was caused by appearance; 26 percent due to race or religion; and 22 percent due to sexuality. The rising popularity of social networking websites has made it even easier for members to harass one another on the Internet - and wide adoption of smartphones and tablets only intensifies the problem.
Here is what Michelle Dennedy, McAfee chief privacy officer, said in a press release: "Parents must discuss online activity with their children to better ensure their safety and security offline. Whether a child is a victim or an instigator of cruel behavior such as cyberbullying, the negative behavior can deeply affect their identity and their reputation. By uncovering our youth's online behavior activities, parents, guardians, teachers and coaches can be more aware of cruel behavior that can potentially take place offline. As a result of closely monitoring online activities, hopefully we all can do our part to provide appropriate assistance and help eradicate cyberbullying."
Infamous "dark net" drugs trading website the Silk Road could have actually prevented violence, according to an unpublished study from researchers at the University of Manchester and University of Lausanne.
Because the volume of trade on the silk road was actually between drug dealers, there could have been a positive effect in both reducing street violence and raising the quality of products.
As the Verge reports, the Silk Road was bringing in over $89 million in sales yearly before it was shut down, up from an earlier estimate of $14.4 million roughly one year earlier, or a 600 percent annual increase. The researchers got some pretty up to date statistics as they'd gone over all listings just two weeks prior to the site closing - and of that revenue, a hefty 45 percent chunk was between dealers.
This potentially had a "paradigm shifting" effect on the drugs trade. Thanks to some baked in features on the site, including a feedback system, traders actually were encouraged to act with civility to one another.
"With Silk Road functioning to considerable degree at the wholesale/broker market level, its virtual location should reduce violence, intimidation and territorialism," the paper says.