Monthly Archives: May 2016

Tesla Becomes Google’s Biggest Threat For Mapping Data 05/31/2016

TeslaTesla racks up about one million miles of driving data every 10 hours, adding to the 780 million miles of driving data stored in the past 18 months.

Sterling Anderson, director of Tesla’s Autopilot program, recently told attendees at the MIT Technology Review EmTech Digital conference that the company can pull data from the sensors inside its customers’ vehicles to see howpeople drive and the road and traffic conditions they experience.

“Today, we pull in 2.6 million miles of data per day from our cars,” he said, admitting that it allows the company to seethings like the position of the car and what lane it drive in. Tesla uses that data to test self-driving features, and even secretly tests new autonomous software by remotely installing it oncustomer vehicles so it can react to real road and traffic conditions, without controlling the vehicle, according to one report.

Telsa is adding autonomous drivingcapabilities to about 70,000 privately owned vehicles without asking permission by updating the software remotely. The driver must opt-in to the updates. The platform, Autopilot, aims to”accelerate the world’s tradition to sustainable transportation” by making transportation resources more efficient and making more effective use of the transportation resources, per Anderson.Google can pull data from its prototypes and General Motors can pull data from cars equipped with OnStar, but Telsa actively continues to build a development hub from its data infrastructure totest and develop technology. Google uses that data to support its self-driving cars as well as its mapping services that now serve a variety of local advertisements.

Autopilot — which launched in 2014 –is not fully autonomous, but it uses 12 ultrasonic sensors that provides a good view of hard and soft objects; radar and four-facing cameras to steer, change lanes and avoid collisions. The sensorsand signals provide Tesla to pull high-resolution data and update the software over the air. Tesla says Autopilot is the predecessor to automation the company plans to release in 2018.

Source: Tesla Becomes Google’s Biggest Threat For Mapping Data 05/31/2016


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Why some countries don’t smile – Business Insider

It’s just that grinning without cause is not a skill Russians possess or feel compelled to cultivate. There’s even a Russian proverb that translates, roughly, to “laughing for no reason is a sign of stupidity.”

Russians’ fondness for the gentle scowl seems even more unusual to expats than its actual, climatic cold. And the cultural difference cuts both ways: Newcomers to America often remark on the novelty of being smiled at by strangers.

So why is this? Why do some societies not encourage casual smiling? I got my answer, or at least part of one, when I stumbled across a new paper by Kuba Krys, a psychologist at the Polish Academy of Sciences. In some countries, smiling might not be a sign of warmth or even respect. It’s evidence that you’re a fool—a tricky fool.

Krys focused on a cultural phenomenon called “uncertainty avoidance.” Cultures that are low on this scale tend to have social systems—courts, health-care systems, safety nets, and so forth—that are unstable. Therefore, people there view the future as unpredictable and uncontrollable.

Smiling is a sign of certainty and confidence, so when people in those countries smile, they might seem odd. Why would you smile when fate is an invisible wolf waiting to shred you? You might, in those “low-UA” countries, even be considered stupid for smiling.Krys also hypothesized that smiling in corrupt countries would be, um, frowned upon.

When everyone’s trying to pull one over on each other, you don’t know if someone’s smiling with good intentions, or because they’re trying to trick you.Journal of Nonverbal BehaviorTo test this theory, Krys had thousands of people in 44 different countries judge a series of eight smiling and non-smiling faces on a scale of honesty and intelligence. He compared their answers to the country’s rankings of uncertainty avoidance from a 2004 study of 62 societies and ratings of corruption.He found that in countries like Germany, Switzerland, China, and Malaysia, smiling faces were rated as significantly more intelligent than non-smiling people. But in Japan, India, Iran, South Korea, and—you guessed it—Russia, the smiling faces were considered significantly less intelligent.

Even after controlling for other factors, like the economy, there was a strong correlation between how unpredictable a society was and the likelihood they would consider smiling unintelligent.

Source: Why some countries don’t smile – Business Insider

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How To Understand And Target Reader Behavior 05/26/2016

In my previous post, I complained about the fact that online publishers show absolutely norestraint in where and when they shove ads in the reader’s face. Rather than continuing my diatribe, let me offer an idea that some publishers may actually find worth pursuing.

Online publishers capture amazing amounts of data about their readers. As a student of consumer behavior, I see a great opportunity to use the data in a novel way: try to identify and categorizepatterns of behaviors, and then use a combination of performance data and possibly some neuromarketing experiments to figure out when and where readers are most likely to be receptive toadvertising.

Before half of you jump up to say that, duh, this is already done and it’s called behavioral targeting, let me clarify the difference in what I am proposing. To myknowledge, the majority of behavioral targeting is data-driven, meaning that it is based on slicing and dicing data to look for patterns. I am proposing a model-driven approach,which begins with a principled description of the moment-by-moment behaviors of readers, and uses this information to guide data collection and analysis.

Consider the following example: ReaderR is in his office and has a short window of time to clean up his inbox. As he skims some newsletters to which he subscribes, he clicks a link to an article whose title he finds interesting, whichtakes him to website W. Later that morning, he is sitting at the dentist’s office, bored out of his mind as he waits to be called in. He has already read every issue of Field &Stream and Car and Driver, and doesn’t care for Better Homes & Gardens, so he whips out his smartphone and surfs over to website W just to see if anything elseinteresting catches his eye.

It is my opinion that Reader R is more likely to be receptive to ads in the second scenario, but most data-driven approaches would miss that. A behavior-basedanalysis of this situation might suggest that if you are visiting a website by clicking a link in an email, your behavior is very different than if you check out the URL in the browser.

Source: How To Understand And Target Reader Behavior 05/26/2016

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Digital Tops Top Media List, In Alphabetical Order 05/26/2016

Pure-play digital media companies ranked among the top 30 largest media suppliers in the world, but the list continues to be dominated by media companies that were founded on the basis ofnon-digital media. That’s the finding of an analysis released this morning by Publicis’ Zenith unit, ranking the volume of Madison Avenue’s biggest supply-chain players.

Google parent Alphabet continues to dominate the list at No. 1, but other than Facebook (No. 5) and China’s Baidu (No. 9) “traditional” media suppliers represent the restof the top 10. The other pure-play digital suppliers — Yahoo (No. 15) and Microsoft (No. 17) — have not exactly been ascendant in recent years, although Google’s, Facebook’s andBaidu’s market power have been growing significantly as Madison Avenue reorganizes itself around the biggest-scale suppliers of digital media inventory.

The categorization ofdigital vs. non-digital may be an anachronism itself, as all of the companies on the list are now significant suppliers of digital media inventory too.

“The traditional media owners inour top 30 ranking have been scrambling to scale up their own digital businesses, to various degrees of success,” Jonathan Barnard, Zenith’s head of forecasting, said in a statementreleased with the report. “As digital ad technology — such as programmatic buying — spreads to traditional media, it will further shake up the businesses of traditional media owners, but alsoprovide them with new opportunities for growth.”

Source: Digital Tops Top Media List, In Alphabetical Order 05/26/2016

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What’s Eating Up Campus Bandwidth? [#Infographic] | EdTech Magazine

Smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and game boxes: Name any gadget, and undergrads likely own it. In fact, data from the latest College Explorer report from re:fuel agency shows that the average college student brings seven connected devices to campus.

College and university network professionals, particularly those managing residential networks, must decide whether and how to accommodate the significant amounts of traffic these devices generate, taking into account student expectations, the state of current infrastructure and, of course, budget limitations.

The 2016 State of ResNet Report provides insights into student device usage that can help guide higher ed leaders in their decisions. Published by the Association for College and University Technology Advancement (ACUTA), the report is the result of surveys of higher education IT leaders between November 2015 and January 2016.

According to ACUTA survey data from 2014 onward, desktops and notebooks have replaced tablets as the largest bandwidth consumer on campus. The report attributes this change to the rise of high-bandwidth applications and activities, such as video and music streaming, gaming and online learning.

Still, the report offers good news to higher ed IT professionals: “This year’s data shows that concerns have tapered for all network-enabled devices and their usage to affect bandwidth consumption,” it states.Check out the infographic below to see how bandwidth demand breaks down by device, and then read more about keeping up with connection demands on campus.

Source: What’s Eating Up Campus Bandwidth? [#Infographic] | EdTech Magazine

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Canadian researchers create first holographic, flexible smartphone – Converting Quarterly | Fort Mill, SC

Researchers at the Human Media Lab at Queen’s University (Kingston, ON, Canada) have reportedly developed the world’s first holographic flexible smartphone. The device, dubbed HoloFlex, is capable of rendering 3D images with motion parallax and stereoscopy to multiple simultaneous users without head tracking or glasses.

“HoloFlex offers a completely new way of interacting with your smartphone. It allows for glasses-free interactions with 3D video and images in a way that does not encumber the user.” says Dr. Vertegaal.

HoloFlex features a 1920×1080 full high-definition Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) touchscreen display. Images are rendered into 12-pixel wide circular blocks rendering the full view of the 3D object from a particular viewpoint. These pixel blocks project through a 3D printed flexible microlens array consisting of over 16,000 fisheye lenses. The resulting 160×104 resolution image allows users to inspect a 3D object from any angle simply by rotating the phone.

Source: Canadian researchers create first holographic, flexible smartphone – Converting Quarterly | Fort Mill, SC

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Adobe Banks On Virtual Reality 05/24/2016

Adobe is banking on the growth of virtual reality (VR), expanding both Adobe Primetime and Adobe Marketing Cloud with virtual reality and augmented reality (AR)support.

Both Adobe platforms can now support digital rights management (DRM), ad insertion and playback for virtual and augmented reality videos. Adobe Creative Cloud previously announced VRsupport in April, meaning that Adobe now offers end-to-end VR and AR product support.

Virtual reality and augmented reality differ by the degree of real-life pictures used in the creation ofthe experience. Augmented reality developers can include a blending of real-life and virtual images, allowing consumers to interact with the two and distinguish virtual from real life. Virtual realityleaves the real world behind and immerses the consumer into a completely virtual world and experience.

Adobe currently only supports virtual reality viewing on Samsung Gear and GoogleCardboard devices, but has announced intentions to soon support both Oculus Rift and HTC Vive as well.

Additional features include compatibility with Adobe Analytics to measure user engagementwith virtual content. Adobe also supports both cinema virtual environments, such as traditional television or film clips, and immersive 360-degree experiences.

Source: Adobe Banks On Virtual Reality 05/24/2016

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Adobe launches Spark ‘visual storytelling’ web app, updates companion iOS apps | ZDNet

Adobe has provided free iOS apps for creating visually rich social media posts, web-based stories and animated videos for a while, in the shape of Adobe Post, Slate and Voice respectively. The creative software giant has now updated these mobile apps and integrated them with a new web app called Adobe Spark, renaming the iOS offerings Spark Post, Spark Page and Spark Video.

According to Aubrey Cattell, head of next-generation products at Adobe, “Standing out on social media, creating engaging visual content — that’s pretty hard. Most people know what they want to achieve, but they lack the design skills, and the time, to create beautiful content that’ll look good on any device. That in turn makes it hard for them to stand out online and drive deeper engagement with their audience.”

You can use the new Spark web app to create all three types of content — social posts/graphics, web stories and animated videos — on desktops, laptops or any other platform that can run a browser. You can log into Spark via Facebook or Google, or with your Adobe ID, whereupon your projects will sync between devices

Source: Adobe launches Spark ‘visual storytelling’ web app, updates companion iOS apps | ZDNet

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Top 9 Takeaways from 2016 Digital Magazine Dashboard – Publishing Executive

Magazines and newspapers are continuing to evolve, and digital magazines are no exception. Developments like Adobe allowing easier chunking of paid information and a new, if shaky, trend for magazines to institute paywalls are changing the value and the position of digital magazines.

As Next Steps Marketing does with every six-month audited period, we’ve created the Digital Magazine Dashboard to review and compare publishers, newsstand platforms, and different time periods. Below are the top 9 takeaways from this six-month period ending December 31, 2015, and compared to a year ago. We use BPA and AAM data to create this comparison of top digital titles.

1. Digital as % of total circulation holds steady. Total digital circulation as a proportion of total circulation is more or less steady, at 6.5%, compared to 6.7% last period. That’s a 2.8% decrease over a year ago.

2. Top 10 magazines are 90% consumer. The Top 10 titles with the most digital circulation have between 57.1% and 12.7% of their circulation in digital. All but one of the titles is a consumer-based title, with IEEE Spectrum being the B2B exception. The top three in digital circulation: NYLON with 57.1%, IEEE with 49.4% and Backpacker with 31.3%.The top five magazines with the largest total circulation growth year-over-year.

3. Sponsored subscriptions declined by almost 1/3. Sponsored subs, which took off like a bullet a year ago, have seen a steep decline over this year. While digital subscriptions have held their own, losing 1.4% over the past year, sponsored subs, dropped 27.5% over the past year and are back down to the 2013 numbers.

4. Without sponsored, digital circulation increased. Once you take out sponsored subscriptions, our Top 30 titles saw a 4.1% increase overall in total digital circulation. Five new additions entered the Top 30 pie: New York magazine and Bloomberg’s Business Week, Hot Rod, Vanity Fair, and Family Circle.

Source: Top 9 Takeaways from 2016 Digital Magazine Dashboard – Publishing Executive

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Press Release: National Geographic Kids and Put Me in the Story Offer New Personalized Books – Book Business

NAPERVILLE, Ill. — May 16, 2016 — Put Me In The Story, the #1 personalized books site in the United States, is partnering with National Geographic Kids to create two personalized educational books for kids National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs and National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals, available now on

“Put Me In The Story is an ideal partnership, offering a new and creative way for kids to interact with our content,” said Erica Green, vice president and editorial director at National Geographic Kids Books.

In National Geographic Little Kids Book of Dinosaurs and National Geographic Little Kids Book of Animals, children will learn about their favorite animals and dinosaurs and be asked direct questions to help them connect, relate to, and learn about each creature.

“We are delighted to begin this partnership with National Geographic Kids,” said Dominique Raccah, CEO and publisher of Sourcebooks, Inc., which created Put Me In The Story. “Their dedication to the education of children is something we treasure. Together, we have created books that will ignite children’s curiosity and fascination with animals, nature, and the world through reading.

”Each book can be personalized with a child’s name on the cover and throughout the book, photos, and a dedication message. Plus, at the end, kids can fill out a personalized activities section about their favorite animals or dinosaurs.

Source: Press Release: National Geographic Kids and Put Me in the Story Offer New Personalized Books – Book Business

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