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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 5 declined, 0 accepted (5 total, 0.00% accepted)

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Submission + - Service data mining photos shared online for brands. (

RJFerret writes: The company Ditto is pitching its service to data mine brands displayed in photos shared on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tumbler, providing data on "who is using or wearing a brand and how influential they are within their network", where they use certain brands compared to competitors, and promises to reveal "an interest-graph for each person, and for the network of people who use your product. This interest-graph informs how to target and engage the most influential users of your product." Additionally, "social photos are like a 24/7 focus group. We found that Gatorade wasn’t just consumed during exercise, but by teens during meals." Singularity Hub indicates they are also using "emotion recognition algorithms to report what the people in the photograph are most likely feeling."

It makes me glad my various social spheres share discretely via Google+, does awareness of these types of activities alter your inclination to share or display brand items publicly?

The Military

Submission + - Zeus "Ray Gun" Strikes Down Unexploded Ord

RJFerret writes: As reported in The Economist, mounted in the back of a Humvee is a "directed-energy weapon" (laser gun to the rest of us) to allow detonating unexploded ordnance from 300 meters away, in lieu of using rocket propelled grenades or exposing troops to sniper fire. More science-fiction becoming reality in one "undisclosed theater of war".

Submission + - Google's Lively going to be lifeless

RJFerret writes: Half a year of Google's Lively was enough. They have announced in their blog that they are pulling the virtual plug come end of December (they encourage taking screenshots and videos to capture users' hard work). This news despite Slashdot's recent coverage of an interview suggesting plans to open Lively to developers and a future roadmap, our previous comments were only so favorable after we talked about the launch. So apparently bringing 3D environments into a browser is not as marketable as they hoped? Or is this also a sign that environments such as Second Life might have limited application despite their continuing growth? Or might they be turning their attention to core business as the blog post declares, or possibly planning Google Life instead?

Submission + - Tennis balls are faster than our brains...

RJFerret writes: As reported in BBC News Health from an article in Current Biology (pay for article), tennis line judges are foiled by their brain's perception, calling in balls "out" incorrectly more often. In studying video of 4000 random calls, of 83 incorrect, 70 of those were called out. Is it "gaming" umpires brains to exploit this perceptual bias via technological challenge systems if players use them more when balls are called "out"?

It is easier to change the specification to fit the program than vice versa.