We put a ton of trust in technology everyday, but are you confident enough in two-factor authentication to give out any of your passwords? Christopher Mims of The Wall Street Journal is. In a post on the site proclaiming that passwords are “finally dying,” Mims extolls the virtues of the secure login method immediately after giving out his Twitter password. He says that he’s confident he won’t be hacked because, among other reasons, the second authentication step (a text message containing a numerical code that’s sent to the user’s cellphone, or an app that generates a code should you be outside of cellular data range) is apparently difficult to intrude upon
We all know activity on the Internet on a daily basis moves at lightening speed, but there’s something about having the numbers in front of you that makes it just a little bit more fascinating. This infographic looks at what happens in just one minute on social web.
Facebook has a lot of data about its users, and it also has a data science division dedicated to transforming all that data into interesting information. Earlier this year, the company publicized a series of studies around the topic of love. While many of the results match up well with our expectations (e.g., people tend to marry within their religion), not all of them were so obvious. Here are some things Facebook has learned from looking at your relationship status.
“I have a weird question for you,” I stammered, sitting in a hotel room across from Matias Duarte and Jon Wiley, the Google design leads for Android and Search, respectively. As a reporter, you tend to ask a lot of stupid sounding questions, and it’s generally no big deal. But I was about to ask an extremely stupid sounding question—the type of question that, just by breathing it into the air, might out me as actually stupid, tainting every future conversation we’d have to come.
Twitter’s real-time stream made it the de facto place to discuss world events. But Facebook’s VP Of Media Partnerships believes his company has two big advantages in the battle to be the digital water cooler: audience size and real identity.
It will need a lot more than that to wrestle public discussion away from Twitter, though. So Justin Osofsky tells me Facebook is pouring resources into its new Public Content Solutions team, hiring TV execs, acquiring startups that analyze real-time event chatter, and building new APIs so news outlets can visualize its data and remind us where to discuss world events.
Several of these efforts have come to fruition through new partnerships. For instance, Facebook just announced that NBC’s The Today Show will show Facebook trending topics on a giant in-studio touch screen. The show’s hosts can tap and swipe the screen to show Facebook posts of people discussing the topics.
The Discovery Channel will also use Facebook’s new Hashtag Counter API to let fans of car-racing show Street Outlaws vote for their favorite teams by posting to Facebook with the corresponding hashtag. The results will then be shown in real-time on the show. Facebook partner Spredfast is powering both integrations.
Twitter has removed the profile pictures of several of its users after the company received a takedown notice from World Cup organizer FIFA. The football organization forbids the use of any of its official logos and emblems on social media, including pictures of the World Cup trophy.
If you’re wondering what it would have been like for those 689,000 guinea pigs who had their emotions manipulated by that controversial Facebook News Feed experiment? Well now you can. Sort of.
With more than a hint of sarcasm, one developer has built a FB Mood Manipulator plug-in for the Google Chrome web browser, allowing users to select which emotions they see reflected within status updates.
Using a progressive slider, users choose to see more or less Positive, Emotional, Aggressive and Open posts, with the News Feed automatically updating to account for words that fit the parameters.
Those four emotions were used by Facebook in its emotional contagion study, which found users posted more positively or negatively when exposed to similar emotions within their News Feeds.
The furor surrounding Facebook’s decision to conduct an experiment that secretly manipulated the News Feed of some users to study emotion contagion reached a peak this weekend, with many calling the act creepy at best, and downright unethical at worst.
Although the editor of the study recently admitted to being “a little creeped out” by the way in which the study was conducted, Facebook itself had not offered any detailed comment on the matter — until now.
In a public post on Facebook, one of the co-authors of the study, Adam D. I. Kramer, a member of Facebook’s Core Data Science Team, finally responded to the study’s critics.
"The reason we did this research is because we care about the emotional impact of Facebook and the people that use our product," wrote Kramer. "We felt that it was important to investigate the common worry that seeing friends post positive content leads to people feeling negative or left out. At the same time, we were concerned that exposure to friends’ negativity might lead people to avoid visiting Facebook.