Following up from news a couple of weeks ago about Facebook manipulating its users, this week news abounds regarding a dating agency that has been conducting some experiments on its users.
The New York Times reports that the online dating agency OK Cupid has been manipulating the data it gives to its clients, to find out how compatibility and looks effect the dating process. The company conducted 3 different experiments, in one it hid profile pictures, in another, it hid profile text to see how it affected personality ratings, and in a third, it told some hopeful daters that they were a better or worse potential match with someone than the company’s software actually determined.
Whilst reading Animal Farm in school, my English teacher at the time had a reasonably poor memory, and as a result we would reread chapters several times, and we never actually finished the book. I did however get to see a (very impressive one-man) theatre production of the book, and I have seen the 1999 film – who’s idea was it to have a happy ending!
JibJab always cram so much into their year reviews. Here are some of the things I picked out… there was the Egyptian uprising, the US shut-down, government spying (on the public and other governments/countries), YouTube’s most watched videoWhat Does the Fox Say? Toronto’s ‘unconventional’ mayor, the ISS got damaged (or maybe it was a reference to the film Gravity), there was a change of pope, the Philippines typhoon, gay marriage became accepted, there was a royal baby, Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, the release of the iPhone 5S, 5C and iOS 7, Miley Cyrus wrecking ball, Jeff Bezos buys the Washington Post, famous deaths including Thatcher and Mandela, Blockbuster’s final shut down and the Harlem Shake craze.
It’s that time of year again when our content starts to become more fun. To continue the tradition of the last two years, I am going to take a look at which videos attracted the most attention on YouTube over the last year in the UK. Scroll to the end for the global list.
Sneaking in at number 10 this year is Learn the Alphabet with Peppa Pig! a video which teaches the alphabet the help of a family of pigs. Interestingly the video has a very high percentage of dislikes – around 10,500 likes to 9,000 dislikes. If you have forgotten the alphabet and want a quick refresher, I recommend you check out the UK’s 10th most visited video of 2013.
Just imagine that you buy something over the Internet and it never arrives. It happened to me once with a folding bike, and I lost my money. But at least if you use PayPal you have some chance to get your money back. Oh the benefits of hindsight!
So you buy something from a company over the Internet. The object does not turn up. You call the company, no answer, you write to them repeatedly, send them emails, try all the numbers you can find but nobody responds.
What do you do? You go on a review site and you tell the story. Well that is a dangerous game!
I have just downloaded and taken a quick look at the new Mozilla add-on called Lightbeam.
I am an UBUNTU user myself, so I don’t know if this will work for other systems, but I would like you to help me decide if it’s an interesting tool either way.
I have always heard that companies share your information. So you go on one site and they share your habits with other organizations. Well Lightbeam shows you who they are sharing your information with.
One thing that I should say is that I do not know what the information they are sharing actually is. If anyone does know I would love to hear. So that is job number one for you down in the comments below.
It is often said that the Internet has democratized the world. Maybe not in terms of governance, as we all know various governmental organizations collect huge amounts of data about our web use, but in terms of information.
When I was a teacher I saw many students relying on Wikipedia for information. I do the same myself of course, but I am at least wary about the accuracy of the information. They were not, and were shocked when I suggested to them that maybe all that is written is not true.
One worrying aspect is that the more critical a person is the more they are likely to distrust newspaper and TV reporting. This leads to more trust being put into Internet communication. The younger the user the more likely they are to get their news and information through digital media, but the more likely they are to trust it too, and this has consequences.