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Category Archives: E-Commerce

FAA looks to ease drone flight rules

FCW.com: “The Federal Aviation Administration will give commercial drones more freedom to operate over people and grant longer flight times under proposed new rules. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced the proposals at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting on Jan. 14. The initiatives include a draft rule proposal to allow drones to fly at night and over people without requiring operators to get a waiver, if certain conditions are met. It is unclear when the new rules will appear in the Federal Register and how the commenting process will be managed because the Department of Transportation is currently operating in shutdown mode due to the partial lapse in appropriations. Chao only said the proposals are available in draft form on the FAA website and will be published “as soon as possible.” Chao also said that three drone flight research operators were selected as FAA traffic control test sites: Northern Plains UAS Test Site in North Dakota, Nevada’s Unmanned Aircraft System Test Site and the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership at Virginia Tech University…”

Pew Report – Facebook Algorithms and Personal Data

“About half of Facebook users say they are not comfortable when they see how the platform categorizes them, and 27% maintain the site’s classifications do not accurately represent them. Most commercial sites, from social media platforms to news outlets to online retailers, collect a wide variety of data about their users’ behaviors. Platforms use this… Continue Reading

Once-revolutionary smartphone is losing its power to amaze and maybe its singular hold on our lives

WSJ [paywall] The Big Hangup: Why the Future Is Not Just Your Phone The once-revolutionary smartphone is losing its power to amaze—and maybe its singular hold on our live: “Steve Jobs took to a stage a dozen years ago this week to introduce a revolutionary new product to the world: the first Apple iPhone. That… Continue Reading

Fakespot determines the trustworthiness of reviews using artificial intelligence

“Growing suspicious of online reviews? So were we. Fakespot provides consumers with a new way of filtering product reviews to find out what real users are saying about the products you want to buy. Our proprietary technology analyzes millions of product reviews, looking for suspicious patterns and incentivized reviews. We then weed out the reviews… Continue Reading

Devices That Will Invade Your Life in 2019 (and What’s Overhyped)

The New York Times – A.I. that responds to your voice. Next-generation wireless networks. If this year’s biggest consumer technology trends have a familiar ring, there’s a reason for that. “But as is often the case, there will also be plenty of talk in the coming week about overly optimistic tech that you would do… Continue Reading

Economists calculate the true value of Facebook to its users in new study

Corrigan JR, Alhabash S, Rousu M, Cash SB (2018) How much is social media worth? Estimating the value of Facebook by paying users to stop using it. PLoS ONE 13(12): e0207101. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0207101 “Facebook, the online social network, has more than 2 billion global users. Because those users do not pay for the service, its benefits… Continue Reading

How Apps on Android Share Data with Facebook – Report

Privacy International: “Previous research has shown how 42.55 percent of free apps on the Google Play store could share data with Facebook, making Facebook the second most prevalent third-party tracker after Google’s parent company Alphabet. In this report, Privacy International illustrates what this data sharing looks like in practice, particularly for people who do not… Continue Reading

How Much of the Internet Is Fake? Turns Out, a Lot of It, Actually

New York Magazine, The Intelligencer: “How much of the internet is fake? Studies generally suggest that, year after year, less than 60 percent of web traffic is human; some years, according to some researchers, a healthy majority of it is bot. For a period of time in 2013, the Times reported this year, a full… Continue Reading

DC slaps Facebook with latest suit targeting privacy lapses

WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia has fired the latest legal salvo against Facebook with a lawsuit seeking to punish the social networking company for allowing data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica to improperly access data from as many as 87 million users . “The complaint filed Wednesday by Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine alleges… Continue Reading

The 21 (and Counting) Biggest Facebook Scandals of 2018

Wired: “Every January, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg announces a personal challenge he will undertake in the year ahead. In 2016, he committed to running 365 miles before the year was up. In 2017, he milked cows and rode tractors as part of his resolution to meet more people outside the Silicon Valley bubble. Last January,… Continue Reading

As Facebook Raised a Privacy Wall, It Carved an Opening for Tech Giants

The New York Times: “For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews. The special arrangements are detailed in hundreds of pages of Facebook documents obtained… Continue Reading

Bookstore’s viral tweet calls out shoppers who buy on Amazon

Business Insider: The Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia, called out shoppers for “showrooming” in a viral tweet. It said that customers have been coming in and taking pictures of books, then buying them on Amazon. It said some are even bragging about doing it. Showrooming is still a problem for small, independent retailers without an… Continue Reading