‘In the world of growth hacking, users are a metric, not people. Every action a user took gave Facebook a better understanding of that user–and of that user’s friends–enabling the company to make tiny “improvements” in the user experience every day, which is to say it got better at manipulating the attention of users. Any advertiser could buy access to that attention. The Russians took full advantage.
The Vespa technique works by comparing the details of a transiting planet signal — specifically its duration, depth and shape — against simulated planetary and false positive signals to indicate the type of signal the candidate most likely is. At the same time, Vespa factors in the projected distribution and frequency of star types in the galaxy from which the signal originated to determine the chances that a planet with the characteristics being analyzed would exist.
The evidence is that a contributor who is down-voted produces lower quality content in future that is valued even less by others on the network. What’s more, people are more likely to down-vote others after they have been down voted themselves. The result is a vicious spiral of increasingly negative behaviour that is exactly the opposite of the intended effect.
One of the most common questions I get asked is how to get started with data visualisations. Beyond following blogs, you need to practise – and to practise, you need to understand the tools available. In this article, I want to introduce you to 20 different tools for creating visualisations: from simple charts to complex graphs, maps and infographics. Almost everything here is available for free, and some you have probably installed already.
This paternalistic view isn’t abstract. Facebook studies this because the more its engineers understand about self-censorship, the more precisely they can fine-tune their system to minimize self-censorship’s prevalence. This goal—designing Facebook to decrease self-censorship—is explicit in the paper.
So Facebook considers your thoughtful discretion about what to post as bad, because it withholds value from Facebook and from other users. Facebook monitors those unposted thoughts to better understand them, in order to build a system that minimizes this deliberate behavior.
The social network may start collecting data on minute user interactions with its content, such as how long a user’s cursor hovers over a certain part of its website, or whether a user’s newsfeed is visible at a given moment on the screen of his or her mobile phone, Facebook analytics chief Ken Rudin said Tuesday during an interview.
As the head of analytics, Mr. Rudin is preparing the company’s infrastructure for a massive increase in the volume of its data.
So Lee wrote “FBStalker,” a Python script he and Werrett debuted Thursday at the Hack in the Box security conference in Kuala Lumpur. In its current form, FBStalker runs in the Chrome browser on OS X, entering queries into Facebook’s Graph Search and pulling data. They used FBStalker in the attack against the man in Hong Kong.
Even if a person’s profile is locked down to strangers, their friends’ open profiles can be examined, giving an indication, for example, who the person may be close with. FBStalker uses Graph Search to find photos in which two people are tagged in, comments on profiles and more.
Beyond that, once an entire corpus of work has been analysed in this way, it becomes possible to compare them in unprecedented depth and detail. For example, Mohammad has analysed all of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales and arranged them in order of negative word density. The darkest turns out to be a tale called Gambling Hansel.
Storage and data-mining have come a long way in the past 35 years, Felten notes, and metadata is uniquely easy to analyze—unlike the complicated data of a call itself, with variations in language, voice, and conversation style. “This newfound data storage capacity has led to new ways of exploiting the digital record,” writes Felten. “Sophisticated computing tools permit the analysis of large datasets to identify embedded patterns and relationships, including personal details, habits, and behaviors.”
I remember Ed Felton as being one of the leading researchers who uncovered the Sony rootkit fiasco. Many years ago Sony included a rootkit installer that would install whenever someone played one of their CDs on a Windows PC. Felton’s blog at the time covered that situation well.
Most European nations have long had stronger privacy laws than those in the United States. As a result U.S. Internet companies doing business there–incluiding Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, and AOL–have signed on to so-called “safe harbor” principles, promising a European level of privacy protection. Now, of course, it appears they’ve also been providing gobs of data about some overseas customers to the U.S. National Security Agency (see “NSA Surveillance Reflects a Broader Interpretation of the Patriot Act”).
Among other fallout, it’s reasonable now to expect E.U. regulators and customers to go nuclear–and U.S. companies to face tough sledding ahead.