10 things we didn’t know a week ago [Week 10]
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Source: The Guardian
Google is helping to fuel a dramatic surge in ivory demand in Asia that is killing African elephants at record levels, a conservation group claimed on Tuesday.
The Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) said there are some 10,000 ads on Google Japan's shopping site that promote the sale of ivory.
Google said in an emailed response: "Ads for products obtained from endangered or threatened species are not allowed on Google. As soon as we detect ads that violate our advertising policies, we remove them."
The EIA said it had written a letter to Google chief executive, Larry Page, on 22 February, urging the company to remove the ads because they violate Google's own policies. It said Google had not responded to the letter or taken down the advertisements.
Source: Wall Street Journal
A Mississippi baby born with the AIDS virus appears to have been cured after being treated with an aggressive regimen of drugs just after her birth 2 years ago, an unusual case that could trigger changes in care for hundreds of thousands of babies born globally each year with HIV.
The findings, reported Sunday by researchers, mark only the second documented case of a patient being cured of infection with the human immune-deficiency virus.
Researchers do warn to to expect any cures any time soon for current patients though!
"HBO placed this wonderful ad in Monday's New York Times, with the shadow of a dragon looming over two pages of fake stories.
It's a shame they couldn't advertise over a real spread - and while the non-Times fonts surely make the editors breathe easier, it takes away from the effect just a little.
But still a fun execution"
"Tesco - the company that runs a chain of grocery stores across Great Britain - uses digital armbands to track the performance of its warehouse staff.
A former Tesco employee told The Independent newspaper that the armbands provide a score of 100 if a task is completed within a given time frame, but a score of 200 if it's completed twice that fast. "The guys who made the scores were sweating buckets and throwing stuff around the place," he told the paper.
Tesco representatives said the devices allow users to switch into a "break mode" for up to 25 minutes a day. But that anonymous employee claimed that using the toilet without logging the trip as a break would result in a surprisingly low score, even if the task was finished within the allotted time."
"Digiday asked media buyers and marketers what they actually pay for some of some of the Internet's most prominent ad placements. Prices vary, of course, based on the nature of specific deals and arrangements, but these are the anecdotal figures they reported. They are estimated averages and don't reflect the price of every ad buy."
Unexpected highs and lows. For the #stats file.
The Pentagon's blue-sky researchers are funding a project that uses crowdsourcing to improve how machines analyze our speech. Even more radical: Darpa wants to make systems so accurate, you'll be able to easily record, transcribe and recall all the conversations you ever have. [...]
The idea is that business meetings or even conversations with your friends and family could be stored in archives and easily searched. The stored recordings could be held in servers, owned either by individuals or their employers. Lease is still playing with the idea - one with huge implications for how we interact
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald
"According to a recent Nokia survey, Londoners check their mobile phones about 150 times a day. That's once every 6.5 minutes while awake."
HTML5 allows for local storage of data on your computer. There is a clear limit per domain with the specifications forbidding subdomains to store more data. But modern browsers don't guard against this so sub1.example.com can store 5MB, sub2.example.com can store 5MB, sub3.... Etc.
"[...] cleverly coded websites effectively have unlimited storage space on their visitor's computer.
I wrote http://www.filldisk.com as a proof-of-concept to include with the bug reports I filed"
Nielsen, one of the few companies to measure teens' online behavior, can track only Web usage for this youngest demographic. The analytics firm told CNET that Instagram was the top photography Web site among U.S. teens ages 12 to 17, with 1.3 million teens visiting the site during December 2012. By the analytics firm's count, roughly one in 10 online teens in the U.S. visited Instagram in a browser during the month.
Anecdotally, the evidence overwhelmingly points to Instagram as the preferred social network of tweens and teens.
Source: LA Times
European Union antitrust officials on Wednesday hit Microsoft Corp. with a $731-million fine for failing to live up to a promise to allow Windows users to easily choose a Web browser other than Internet Explorer.
That promise was part of a 2009 settlement of a European Commission investigation into allegations that Microsoft abused its dominant position in desktop software by tying Internet Explorer to Windows.
Microsoft agreed to include a browser choice screen in Windows. But the commission's competition directorate said Wednesday that Microsoft failed to offer that screen in a Windows 7 service pack software update from May 2011 to July 2012, in violation of the agreement.
Don't forget that Google has been called back to explain its lack of action where it comes to Europe's concerns on personal data collection. Interesting.
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