Facebook’s Testing Out a New Tool to Help You Connect with Like-Minded Users

Facebook’s Testing Out a New Tool to Help You Connect with Like-Minded Users | Social Media Today

Facebook’s always looking to boost sharing and interaction on the platform – as The Social Network has noted previously:

Our top priority is keeping you connected to the people, places and things you want to be connected to — starting with the people you are friends with on Facebook.”

Not only does this encourage more engagement (which is a crucial measure for social platform success), but more sharing means more data, and more data means better ad targeting. Facebook needs to facilitate connection in order to fuel their whole business model.

Which is why their latest test makes sense.

According to TechCrunch, Facebook’s rolling out a new “Discover People” option which will enable users to connect with others who are interested in similar things as they are, including upcoming events, people who work at the same company or even those who simply live nearby. The new feature was initially tested in Australia and New Zealand but it’s now in the process of being rolled out more widely.

The new option will be available within the options menu (the three lines) – some users will have access already.

Once selected, you’re prompted to update your profile bio and photo to ensure it’s accurate and up to date. Below that, you’re shown a list of all the events for which you’ve registered an interest in attending – when you click into any of these, you’re shown a listing of other people who will be heading along, and you can click onto any profile for more information.

As you can see, clicking on a profile will show you not only who each attendee is, but also any things you have in common with them, helping facilitate connection.

And as noted, in addition to events, you can also see a listing of work colleagues and people who live in the same area, further adding to the connective capacity of the tool.

It’s an interesting option, and it certainly adds something to the Facebook mix – but is connecting with strangers something Facebook users will warm to?

In the case of events – particularly business related functions – the tool makes some sense, and LinkedIn actually offers similar in their new platform prompts, introduced as part of their recent redesign.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

Best gap year tech: from Torino to Tokyo, these gadgets will help you have a great time

If you’re planning a gap year or packing for the trip of a lifetime, you’ll want to cram as many creature comforts into your backpack as possible, not to mention some tech on which to record and share some phenomenal views and bragging rights. We’re rounded up some near-essentials (aside from a huge backpack and warm coat) to make travelling easier and more exciting, whether you’re trekking through jungles and camping in the wild or catching trains and seeing the sights of Europe. Just don’t forget your toothbrush.

Sure, you’ll need a massive rucksack for lugging your worldly possessions from hostel to hostel, but it won’t be much use for sightseeing in a busy metropolis. Thankfully, there’s the Wolffepack that comes in many forms, including the ‘Capture’ for photographers that keeps all your tech, money and passport safe and sound.

Designed to allow users to reach into their bag without the hassle of unstrapping and taking it off, the backpacks all come with a  clever ‘orbital trapeze’ system that allows a wearer to swing the pack from their back to their front effortlessly. While this is a time saver, it’s also great if you want to keep your bag where you can see it on a sketchy street or busy train.

The Capture holds 26 litres and comes with a removable camera pod, three compartments, tripod clip, laptop sleeves and waterproof rain cover. With Carbon fibre, Kevlar and Dyneema cords, it’s also built to withstand the wildest of adventures.

GoPro HERO5 Action Camera

While serious photographers seldom travel without an SLR, the GoPro is brilliant for people on the go and perfect for recording bike rides and scenes you’ll want to remember in years to come. The HERO5 Black is dubbed the ‘best GoPro ever’ and supports video resolutions up to 4K at 30 frames per second, video stabilisation and stereo audio recording, as well as professional quality 12MP photos.

A simple one button control and two-inch touch display makes operating it a breeze and it’s waterproof without a housing up to 33 feet – great for recording a white water rapids ride or trip to a waterfall. Once users have recorded their envy-enduring footage, the HERO5 can auto-upload their photos and videos to the cloud for safe keeping and share it easily online. It makes bragging easy.

Cat S30 smartphone

You may be surgically attached to your iPhone or top-of-the-range Android in the city, but we all know dropping these handsets can prove to be an expensive mistake. Instead, why not invest in the Cat S30 handset. Built to be work in extreme environments, the water, dust and shockproof smartphone is designed to survive a 1.8-metre drop test and has an easy grip design as well as 12 hours talk time and up to 19 days standby – perfect if you’re staying in the back-of-beyond (or have mislaid your charger).

Price: £239.99 | Buy Cat S30 smartphone

Griffin Survivor Extreme

A tablet is a godsend when you’re pushed for space, working as a map, address book, novel, games console and internet café if you’re lucky. But they can be delicate, making a ruggedized case a sensible investment. Griffin Technology makes an array of ‘Survivor’ cases for different models, including the iPad Air 2 (pictured) to protect their backs and screens.

The new ‘Survivor Extreme’ is built to enable the iPad4 mini to survive drops onto concrete of up to 6.6-feet, cushioning falls within the impact-resistant shell. Its slide on design all but eliminates the air gap between touchscreen and the screen guard for extra protection, while its sealed shell protects the device from mud and water.

Price: £69 | Buy Griffin Survivor Extreme

ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles

Whether you’re trekking at high altitudes or staying in a drafty hostel, your toes can get chilly, especially once the sun has set. ThermaCELL ProFLEx Heavy Duty Heated Insoles heat up a user’s feet and can be controlled using a smartphone with a Bluetooth connection. The accompanying app lets users warm their feet to a chosen temperature. When this is reached, the insoles temporarily turn off before switching on again.

They’re cushioned to make walking boots more comfortable and include removable, replaceable extended life batteries so users can swap them out without having to wrangle their insoles out of their shoes or boots. One charge taking just two hours provides up to 8.5 hours of warmth. There are Bluetooth Pocket Warmers too for people who want heat on demand in a more flexible package.

 

 

[Source:- T3]

Pinterest Announces Search Ads to Help Businesses Tap Into User Interests

Pinterest Announces Search Ads to Help Businesses Tap Into User Interests | Social Media Today

In their latest effort to transform their platform into a fully-fledged e-commerce machine, Pinterest has announced a new search ads offering, giving marketers the chance to tap into the more than two billion searches conducted on the platform every month.

Pinterest Announces Search Ads to Help Businesses Tap Into User Interests | Social Media TodayOf course, two billion, in the wider scheme of things, is not much – Facebook sees 1.5 billion searches per day – but what’s most interesting to note about Pinterest is the reason why people use it, what inspires people to search for Pins.

You see, what Pinterest lacks in volume, it makes up for in intent. As highlighted by this slide from the 2016 Mary Meeker Internet Trends report, Pinterest has surged ahead of other social platforms in terms of purchase intent and shopping potential.

So while Pinners may not be searching as much, when they do search, they’re doing so with an intent to buy – in fact, Pinterest’s own research has shown that 93% of active Pinners use the platform to plan for purchases, while 87% have purchased something because of Pinterest.

The reach may be smaller, but the potential is still significant.

Pinterest’s search ads function much as you’d expect – when a user conducts a search for a key term (or key terms) you’ve targeted, your Promoted Pins show up, similar to how you would use Google search ads.

The new system will also work in a similar structure to other search offerings:

We’re rolling out a full suite of features, including Keyword and Shopping Campaigns that are shown in search results, along with powerful new targeting and reporting options.” 

Pinterest also notes that the majority of their two billion monthly searches are for products and services, while 97% of their top searches are non-branded, providing expanded opportunity for businesses to reach browsing buyers.

Given user behavior, the addition of search ads is a logical move for Pinterest – though the platform has seen some criticism of late for moving to slow to implement new ad options. Pinterest has been working to improve this, rolling out a range of new tools in the past twelve months, including improved buyable pins, advanced image search capabilities, remarketing and custom audience tools, video Pins and an entirely re-designed mobile app experience.

Documents obtained by TechCrunch in late 2015 showed that Pinterest’s aim is to be generating more than $2.8 billion in revenue by 2018, and they still have some way to go before reaching that goal, with CEO Ben Silberman recently confirming that their 2016 revenue would be in the vicinity of $300 million.

Given their stated goal, the platform will need to roll out a heap more tools and updates this year, though they do have some impressive features in the works, including advanced image recognition and virtual placement tools.

Search is another addition to this, and while it may seem small, it could be a big winner for your business.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

Eyetracking data can improve language technology and help readers

Image result for Eye Tracking data can improve language technology and help readers

New research from the University of Copenhagen shows that recordings of gaze data — within a few seconds — can reveal whether a word causes a reader problems. This insight could be used to alleviate reading problems with software that offer translations of difficult words or suggest easier texts as soon as readers experience problems. The technology may thus have a significant impact on the educational system, particularly because gaze data can now be recorded with ordinary mobile phones and tablets.

When we read a text, our eyes fixate repeatedly on words or sentences that we find difficult. This becomes clear when a computer is fitted with eyetracking technology which records eye movements. Linguists have for a long time used the technology to study what happens in our minds when we read in order to develop general models of e.g. text difficulty. However, these types of studies require a lot of data and resources because researchers must test representative groups of words on as many readers as possible in order to say how certain types of words affect readers in general.

PhD Sigrid Klerke has adopted a different approach: rather than attempting to construct a general model that comprises many people and many types of texts, she has developed a model that is tailored to the individual reader; the model is based on the reader’s eye movements the moment he or she reads a random text:

“Based on a few seconds of recorded gaze data from the eyetracking system, my model can assess whether the word you are looking at right now is a word that you find difficult. This information could, for example, be used to automatically suggest an explanatory note or a translation. The model has thus learned to note when you fixate on text in a characteristic pattern which we could not have described in advance,” explains PhD Sigrid Klerke who has just defended her PhD thesis ‘Glimpsed — improving natural language processing with gaze data’ on how gaze data can be used to improve technology such as machine translation and automatic text simplification.

Resource-efficient technology

Compared to other types of language technology, Sigrid Klerke’s system has the advantage that it does not require textual annotation:

“Within my field, language technology, we spend surprisingly many resources on hiring language experts to annotate texts as an important part of developing these technologies — e.g. by adding information about which part of speech a word belongs to or about which words can be omitted. But the reader’s gaze may be seen as a kind of annotation in real time, containing information that we just are beginning to understand how to use. Also, it is much faster getting someone to simply read a text than hiring experts to annotate the same text. What we do with our eyes when reading is by no means chance,” says Sigrid Klerke and adds:

“No matter which text the system encounters, it will be able to assess how difficult the reader finds the text. It does not even have to consider which words the text contains, but can rely solely on the feedback from the reader’s gaze. This means that we do not have to pay experts to annotate the texts or depend on general models of textual difficulty. Instead we utilize all the data that are generated while people are reading to make reading easier. As far as I know, this has never been done before.”

Education software and Google Translate

An eyetracking-based reading support system as the one Sigrid Klerke has made possible will be in high demand among a number of commercial players. And within the education system, there will be a number of obvious applications:

“Inasmuch as eyetracking now can be built into mobile phones and tablets, it will be fairly easy to also install software that can assist learners when they are reading -for instance by adjusting the text’s difficulty or suggesting texts which contain a certain type of words that the learner finds difficult and therefore needs to practice,” suggests Sigrid Klerke.

“When Google and other major companies can begin to access user gaze data via mobile phones and tablets, they can use the feedback to improve their systems; if, for instance, a sufficient number of Danes fixate in the same pattern on the same word in a text Google Translate has translated from English into Danish, this information may automatically be fed into their translation systems as an indication that the translation might be faulty. Google has so many users that this will generate astonishing amounts of useful data.”

Sigrid Klerke also believes that eyetracking software could be used to prove that a person has read a document that she is obligated to read, and this will be of legal interest.

 

[Source:- SD]

New computer program can help uncover hidden genomic alterations that drive cancers

New computer program can help uncover hidden genomic alterations that drive cancers

To better characterize the functional context of genomic variations in cancer, researchers developed a new computer algorithm called REVEALER. Credit: UC San Diego Health

Cancer is rarely the result of a single mutation in a single gene. Rather, tumors arise from the complex interplay between any number of mutually exclusive abnormal changes in the genome, the combinations of which can be unique to each individual patient. To better characterize the functional context of genomic variations in cancer, researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the Broad Institute developed a new computer algorithm they call REVEALER.

This tool, described in a paper published April 18 in Nature Biotechnology, is designed to help researchers identify groups of genetic variations that together associate with a particular way cancer cells get activated, or how they respond to certain treatments. REVEALER is available for free to the global scientific community via the bioinformatics software portal GenePattern.org .

“This computational analysis method effectively uncovers the functional context of genomic alterations, such as gene mutations, amplifications, or deletions, that drive tumor formation,” said senior author Pablo Tamayo, PhD, professor and co-director of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center Genomics and Computational Biology Shared Resource.

Tamayo and team tested REVEALER using The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA), the National Institutes of Health’s database of genomic information from more than 500 human tumors representing many cancer types. REVEALER revealed gene alterations associated with the activation of several cellular processes known to play a role in tumor development and response to certain drugs. Some of these gene mutations were already known, but others were new. For example, the researchers discovered new activating genomic abnormalities for beta-catenin, a cancer-promoting protein, and for the oxidative stress response that some cancers hijack to increase their viability.

REVEALER is a powerful approach but requires as input high-quality genomic data and a significant number of cancer samples, which can be a challenge, Tamayo says. But REVEALER is more sensitive at detecting similarities between different types of genomic features and less dependent on simplifying statistical assumptions, compared to other methods, he says.

“This study demonstrates the potential of combining functional profiling of cells with the characterizations of cancer genomes via next generation sequencing,” said co-senior author Jill P. Mesirov, PhD, professor and associate vice chancellor for computational health sciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine.

 

[Source:- Phys.org]

Your Old USB Flash Drive Could Help Fight North Korean Repression

A tiny USB memory stick is unlikely to bring down Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, but thousands upon thousands of them just might help enlighten the North Korean people to the freedoms enjoyed by the outside world, according to human-rights activists.

The New York-based Human Rights Foundation and Forum 280, a Silicon Valley nonprofit, have teamed up to launch a program that will collect donated USB flash drives, load them with content ranging from “South Korean soap operas to Hollywood films to Korean-language versions of Wikipedia to interviews with North Korean defectors,” and smuggle them into the North for ordinary North Koreans to enjoy.

The goal of the initiative, dubbed “Flash Drives for Freedom,” is to turn our dust-collecting electronic has-beens into a cheap conduit of information for some of the nearly 25 million inhabitants living under what the West considers one of the world’s most oppressive regimes.

“In the world’s most closed society, flash drives are valuable tools of education and discovery,” the program’s website says. “In a society without Internet, with total government censorship, and with no independent media, North Koreans rely on these little pieces of plastic. Filled with films, books, and explainers, they are windows to the outside world.”

U.S. Warns of ‘Serious Consequences’ in Response to N. Korea Rocket Launch 2:51

Organizers say the pre-loaded memory sticks would be given to North Korean refugee-led organizations, which would then work to smuggle them into the North.

Few North Koreans have access to a Mac or PC, so they won’t be plugging the flash drive into a traditional desktop computer, according to Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein. But many do have Notels, which are portable media players made in China that have USB and SD ports. And cheap tablets and smartphones with USB ports are also becoming popular, Gladstein said.

HRF hopes the program will raise the world’s awareness of the hardships faced by North Koreans, as well provide North Koreans with a taste of life beyond their borders.

“Obviously, one flash drive is not going to depose Kim Jongng-un, Gladstein told NBC News, “but it could change the life of a North Korean.”

 

[Source:- NBC]