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Tag Archives: culture

Here are 10 products to look out for on Amazon Prime Day – Mashable

Mashable Here are 10 products to look out for on Amazon Prime Day Mashable Samsung's Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+ are both Mashable Choice Winners and still stand as great Android phones. Both models feature a terrific main camera that can handle low light photos in a snap. They have an Infinity Display and mostly glass build ... and more »

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There’s now just one Blockbuster remaining in the US

And then there was one. With the impending closures of Blockbuster locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska, just one single store will remain in the country,  Anchorage Daily News reported yesterday . The two locations in Alaska will officially close their respective doors on July 16, leaving just one location in Bend, Ore. “…it is sad to say goodbye to our dedicated customers,” Blockbuster Alaska General Manager Kevin Daymude said in a Facebook post announcing the closures . “Both the district manager and I have been with the company since 1991 and have had great memories throughout our career. Thank you for sticking by us throughout all these years. I can’t tell you how much it means to us.” Following the initial closures on the 16th, the locations will reopen on the 17th through the end of August for an inventory sale. But, as for the “Cinderella Man” memorabilia John Oliver gifted the Anchorage location  earlier this summer, Daymude told Anchorage Daily News that it is likely to return to its original owner. The movie rental chain opened its first store in Dallas in 1985* and swelled to a booming 9,000 locations by 2004 . But, with the introduction of streaming services and a general change in consumers’ viewing habits, the company has been closing locations in the last decade and announced in 2013 the imminent closing of its remaining locations. It’s hard to say with certainty why Blockbuster has persisted in Alaska over the years despite its relative extinction in the rest of the United States, though some point to spotty and expensive internet connections. Or maybe it’s just the nostalgia. District Manager Kelli Vey told Anchorage Daily News that the stores saw a lot of selfies — but not nearly as many sales. “I wish they would come in and buy something,” Vey told the paper.

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A new hope: AI for news media

Jarno M. Koponen Contributor Jarno M. Koponen is working on intelligent systems and human-centered personalization. He currently is product lead at Yle, one of the leading media houses in the Nordics. More posts by this contributor AI on your lock screen The next AI is no AI To put it mildly, news media has been on the sidelines in AI development. As a consequence, in the age of AI-powered personalized interfaces, the news organizations don’t anymore get to define what’s real news, or, even more importantly, what’s truthful or trustworthy. Today, social media platforms, search engines and content aggregators control user flows to the media content and affect directly what kind of news content is created. As a result, the future of news media isn’t anymore in its own hands. Case closed? The (Death) Valley of news digitalization There’s a history: News media hasn’t been quick or innovative enough to become a change maker in the digital world. Historically, news used to be the signal that attracted and guided people (and advertisers) in its own right. The internet and the exponential explosion of available information online changed that for good. In the early internet, the portals channeled people to the content in which they were interested

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Datadog launches Watchdog to help you monitor your cloud apps

Your typical cloud monitoring service integrates with dozens of service and provides you a pretty dashboard and some automation to help you keep tabs on how your applications are doing. Datadog has long done that but today, it is adding a new service called Watchdog, which uses machine learning to automatically detect anomalies for you. The company notes that a traditional monitoring setup involves defining your parameters based on how you expect the application to behave and then set up dashboards and alerts to monitor them. Given the complexity of modern cloud applications, that approach has its limits, so an additional layer of automation becomes necessary. That’s where Watchdog comes in. The service observes all of the performance data it can get its paws on, learns what’s normal, and then provides alerts when something unusual happens and — ideally — provides insights into where exactly the issue started. “Watchdog builds upon our years of research and training of algorithms on our customers data sets. This technology is unique in that it not only identifies an issue programmatically, but also points users to probable root causes to kick off an investigation,” Datadog’s head of data science Homin Lee notes in today’s announcement. The service is now available to all Datadog customers in its Enterprise APM plan. Through luck and grit, Datadog is fusing the culture of developers and operations

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Everything we know about Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9 – Mashable

Mashable Everything we know about Samsung's Galaxy Note 9 Mashable Samsung is expected to announce the Galaxy Note 9 on August 9 in Brooklyn, New York, and guess what? The phone is probably going to look a lot like the Galaxy Note 8. Newly leaked images suggest Samsung's next flagship Android phone won't come ... and more »

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Facebook under fresh political pressure as UK watchdog calls for “ethical pause” of ad ops

The UK’s privacy watchdog revealed yesterday that it intends to fine Facebook the maximum possible  (£500k) under the country’s 1998 data protection regime for breaches related to the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. But that’s just the tip of the regulatory missiles now being directed at the platform and its ad-targeting methods — and indeed, at the wider big data economy’s corrosive undermining of individuals’ rights. Alongside yesterday’s  update on its investigation into the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data scandal, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has published a policy  report  — entitled Democracy Disrupted? Personal information and political influence — in which it sets out a series of policy recommendations related to how personal information is used in modern political campaigns. In the report it calls directly for an “ethical pause” around the use of microtargeting ad tools for political campaigning — to “allow the key players — government, parliament, regulators, political parties, online platforms and citizens — to reflect on their responsibilities in respect of the use of personal information in the era of big data before there is a greater expansion in the use of new technologies”. The watchdog writes emphasis ours: Rapid social and technological developments in the use of big data mean that there is limited knowledge of – or transparency around – the ‘behind the scenes’ data processing techniques (including algorithms, analysis, data matching and profiling) being used by organisations and businesses to micro-target individuals. What is clear is that these tools can have a significant impact on people’s privacy. It is important that there is greater and genuine transparency about the use of such techniques to ensure that people have control over their own data and that the law is upheld. When the purpose for using these techniques is related to the democratic process, the case for high standards of transparency is very strong. Engagement with the electorate is vital to the democratic process; it is therefore understandable that political campaigns are exploring the potential of advanced data analysis tools to help win votes. The public have the right to expect that this takes place in accordance with the law as it relates to data protection and electronic marketing. Without a high level of transparency – and therefore trust amongst citizens that their data is being used appropriately – we are at risk of developing a system of voter surveillance by default

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UK’s Information Commissioner will fine Facebook the maximum £500K over Cambridge Analytica breach

Facebook continues to face fallout over the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which revealed how user data was stealthily obtained by way of quizzes and then appropriated for other purposes, such as targeted political advertising. Today, the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) announced that it would be issuing the social network with its maximum fine, £500,000 ($662,000) after it concluded that it “contravened the law” — specifically the 1998 Data Protection Act — “by failing to safeguard people’s information.” The ICO is clear that Facebook effectively broke the law by failing to keep users data safe, when their systems allowed Dr Aleksandr Kogan, who developed an app, called “This is your digital life” on behalf of Cambridge Analytica, to scrape the data of up to 87 million Facebook users. This included accessing all of the friends data of the individual accounts that had engaged with Dr Kogan’s app. The ICO’s inquiry first started in May 2017 in the wake of the Brexit vote and questions over how parties could have manipulated the outcome using targeted digital campaigns. Damian Collins, the MP who is the chair of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee that has been undertaking the investigation, has as a result of this said that the DCMS will now demand more information from Facebook, including which other apps might have also been involved, or used in a similar way by others, as well as what potential links all of this activity might have had to Russia. He’s also gearing up to demand a full, independent investigation of the company, rather than the internal audit that Facebook so far has provided. A full statement from Collins is below. The fine, and the follow-up questions that U.K. government officials are now asking, are a signal that Facebook — after months of grilling on both sides of the Atlantic amid a wider investigation — is not yet off the hook in the U.K. This will come as good news to those who watched the hearings (and non-hearings ) in Washington, London and European Parliament and felt that Facebook and others walked away relatively unscathed . The reverberations are also being felt in other parts of the world. In Australia, a group earlier today announced that it was forming a class action lawsuit against Facebook for breaching data privacy as well.

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