10 Things We Didn't Know A Week Ago [Week 09]

by Ruud Hein March 1st, 2013 

1. The Bra Fitting Algorithm

Source: New York Times

"True&Co's innovation is to put a batch of bras into customers' hands so they can choose what fits best. New customers take a quiz – modeled on the ones in Cosmopolitan magazine that Ms. Lam fondly remembers filling out in high school – to collect the information needed to fit the bra properly. They are then invited to pick three bras in different styles.

True&Co uses an algorithm to pick two additional bras to send out, based on what can be discerned from the customer's choices. So the customer ends up with five bras to try on at home, with no obligation to buy. Most of the company's bras are priced from $45 to $62."

2. Canada's Official National Twitter Account Is Sort Of Free For All

Source: The Guardian

"… the Canadian account is, in contrast, completely unaffiliated with the government, and was set up simply "to represent Canadians, no matter where they live or whatever identities they may hold".

I applied immediately, and was chosen to run the account 21-27 January."

3. Google News Patent Confirms Brand Bias

Source: The Guardian

"Google clearly states it will use third-party surveys to detect the public's preference among various medias – not only their website, but also their "historic" media assets.

According to the patent filing, the evaluation could also include the number of Pulitzer Prizes the organization collected and the age of the publication. That's for the known part.

What lies behind the notion of "human opinion" is a true "quality index" for news sources that is not necessarily correlated to their digital presence. Such factors clearly favors legacy media."

4. France Plans Tax On Collection Of Personal Data

Source: New York Times

"Personal data are the fuel of the digital economy," Edouard Geffray, the agency's secretary general, told the French version of the online magazine Slate. "Given that, it would seem like a natural idea to envision taxing the use of them."

5. Internet In The USA Slowing Down – Fast

Source: The Atlantic

"The United States has gone from being first in terms of Internet speed — as the place where the Internet was invented — to twenty-ninth in the world, and it is still falling."

Excellent article on what it really costs to get all this "free" Internet, who benefits (not the people making the content), and who'll never see any of it.

6. 40 Square Feet Apartments

Source: ABC News

Interesting how both these items are reference poor conditions in rich countries.

"[...] 40 square feet already is the norm for some of the poorest residents in Hong Kong.

[...] overhead photos showing how people live in tiny, cramped Hong Kong apartments to highlight the ongoing housing problems in one of the richest cities in the world. Most of the residents in these urban slums are low-income families, elderly and unemployed. The smallest apartment the SoCO visited was 28 square feet, rented by an unemployed single man."

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7. UK Orders Google, Facebook, Twitter To Take Down Photos Of Alleged Killer

Source: The Guardian

"Police served the three web giants with the injunction that bans the purported identification of Venables and Robert Thompson, who were released with new identities in 2001 after being jailed for the murder of Bulger in Liverpool 20 years ago.

Legal experts said the breach could result in a landmark mass contempt prosecution by the government, following a number of recent cases that brought cyberspace into direct confrontation with the law."

8. Google Summoned To Explain Itself On Lack Of Privacy — Again

Source: The Guardian

"Google representatives are to be summoned to appear before European data protection officials over concerns about the way it collects data on web users.

The US search company will be asked to explain why it has not taken "any precise measures" to change its privacy policy since October 2012, when authorities found it was in breach of European law ."

Google, which owns 93% of search in Europe, seems to find itself in the middle of a staunch legal difference between Europe and the US' ideas on online privacy.

Amazon, eBay, and Google are among US companies fighting against privacy changes in Europe.

9. Brain-to-brain Interface Tested, Found Working

Source: The Guardian

"[...] they have developed a brain-to-brain interface that can transmit information from one rat directly to another, enabling the animal on the receiving end to perform behavioural tasks without training. [...]

The researchers found that the decoder rats could learn to perform the same movements, and successfully complete the task, guided solely by the information they received from the brains of the encoder rats. "

10. Google Adwords? 40% Of Searchers Unaware They're Ads

Source: eConsultancy

"While conducting a research project for an insurance sector client, Bunnyfoot discovered that 81% of users clicked on Google Adwords listings as opposed to natural search results.

Further investigation of this surprising bias revealed that 41 out of the 100 individuals tested did not know that Adwords were paid-for adverts, believing them instead to be the most authoritative links."

Ruud Hein

My paid passion at Search Engine People sees me applying my passions and knowledge to a wide array of problems, ones I usually experience as challenges. People who know me know I love coffee.

Ruud Hein

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