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Privacy

Grocery Store "Smart Shelves" Will Identify Customers, Show Targeted Ads 274

cagraham writes "Snack company Mondelez International (maker of Oreos, Trident, Cadbury eggs) will introduce so-called 'smart shelves' into store checkout aisles beginning 2015. The shelves will use Microsoft's Kinect software, in addition to other tech, to identify shoppers age and sex, and will then use that info to deliver demographically tailored advertisements. The shelves will be able to track engagement, monitor how long customer's watch each ad, and offer discounts if a customer is considering a purchase (weight sensors will tell the machine if you pick up a product). Mondelez says the software will only use and collect aggregate data, and will not record any video or photos."
Facebook

Facebook Announces App Center 81

An anonymous reader writes "Facebook today announced the App Center. Whether you're a Facebook user or a third-party developer, think of it like the Apple App Store or the Google Play store, but for Facebook. That's right: while in-app purchases have existed for a while, Facebook will now give developers the option to offer paid apps (users will pay a flat fee to use an app on facebook.com)."
Image

Coming to an Ice Cream Shop Near You: Soft Serve Beer Screenshot-sm 157

Cazekiel writes "Sticking a mug in your freezer to ensure a cold beer may be made obsolete, if the Japanese brewing giant Kirin has anything to do about it. How? Kirin came up with a way to create frozen beer foam, dispensed the way you would a soft-serve ice cream cone. Gizmag gives us the details: 'To make the topping, regular Ichiban beer is frozen to -5 degrees Celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit) while air is continuously blown into it. It's kind of like when a child makes bubbles in their drink, except inside a blast freezer. Once the topping is placed onto regular, unfrozen beer though, it acts as an insulating lid and keeps the drink cold for 30 minutes.'" Might make flavorless rice lagers easier to go down, but what about real beer? A hefeweizen under an ice cap on a warm summer afternoon? How about an entire glass full of frozen chocolate stout?
DRM

New SimCity To Require Constant Internet Connection 418

eldavojohn writes "According to Lead designer Stone Librande, it has been confirmed that the next installment of SimCity will require a constant internet connection. Perhaps as a form of DRM, the 2013 edition looks like it will be the first to include online play but will also require you to constantly be connected to Origin to play — even if that wasn't your point of purchase. Add SimCity to the growing list." Update: 03/29 02:09 GMT by S : An online connection will be needed to start the game, but you won't be kicked out if your connection dies.
Google

Google Offering Cash For Your Cache 152

pigrabbitbear writes "The gradual transformation of the web into an ultra-personalized, corporate-owned social space in the cloud has raised more than a few legitimate concerns about data privacy. Google, for obvious reasons, has always been one of the top cheerleaders for this metamorphosis. Touting a fresh new privacy policy that allows data about you from all of their services to coalesce, they've recently been particularly bullish about rendering that increasingly realistic digital portrait of you that lies stuffed away in their servers. It has led us again to question: How much are we comfortable with our machines knowing about us? How much is our privacy really worth? With their new program, Google is now asking those questions quite directly, and preceding them with dollar signs. Are we all on the verge of making our own information age Faustian bargains?"
Firefox

Adblock Plus To Offer 'Acceptable Ads' Option 373

Many readers have submitted news of a week-old announcement from Wladimir Palant, creator of Adblock Plus, about a change to the addon that will allow unobtrusive ads to be displayed. The change has been controversial because most people who run the addon strongly dislike seeing any ads. Palant hastens to point out that this is a toggle-able option, and by changing one setting, users can resume ad-less website viewing. Many are upset, however, that the setting defaults to allowing the display of "acceptable" advertisements. The description of "acceptable" ads includes the following criteria: "Static advertisements only (no animations, sounds or similar); Preferably text only, no attention-grabbing images; At most one script that will delay page load (in particular, only a single DNS request)."
Graphics

Unreal Engine 3 Running In Flash 138

Eraesr writes with news that Epic Games has added Unreal Engine 3 support for Adobe Flash Player. This comes alongside news that Flash Player 11 has been released, an update that added Stage3D, "a set of low-level GPU-accelerated APIs enabling advanced 2D and 3D capabilities across multiple screens and devices." "With its new hardware-accelerated Stage 3D APIs, Flash Player 11 allows 1,000 times faster 2D and 3D graphics rendering performance over Flash Player 10. Developers can now animate millions of objects with smooth 60 frames per second rendering and deliver console-quality games on Mac OS, Windows and connected televisions. 'With UE3 and Flash, games built for high-end consoles can now run on the Web or as Facebook apps, reaching an enormous user base,' said Sweeney. 'This totally changes the playing field for game developers who want to widely deploy and monetize their games.'"
Cellphones

Google Wallet Launches With $10 Credit 170

Following up on our digital wallet discussion yesterday, CWmike writes "Google officially launched its Google Wallet application today for NFC-ready Sprint Nexus S 4G phone users. The application launches initially for Citi MasterCard credit card holders, but Google also said today that Visa, Discover and American Express will be able to add their cards to future versions of Google Wallet. The application, first announced in May, was described in an official blog post. Visa said in a separate statement that it has licensed Google to use Visa's PayWave technology, used in 'hundreds of thousands' of terminals worldwide. But Visa didn't describe a timeline for when that function would be enabled. Google said it will allow users to add any bank card to a Google Prepaid Card and they will receive $10 to try the service." Reviews of the service are popping up, and many seem to say the same thing; when it works, it's great, but your real wallet isn't going anywhere.
Biotech

Japanese Scientist Creates Meat Substitute From Sewage Screenshot-sm 417

An anonymous reader writes "Hold on to your hamburgers — Japanese scientist Mitsyuki Ikeda at the Environmental Assessment Center in Okayama has invented an artificial meat substitute made from human feces. The unseemly meal is made by extracting protein and lipids from 'sewage mud.' The lipids are then combined with a reaction enhancer and whipped into 'meat' in an exploder. Ikeda makes the 'meat' more palatable by adding things like soy protein."
Google

Google Wallet: the End of Anonymous Shopping 253

jfruhlinger writes "Google today announced Google Wallet, an NFC-based payment system that will allow people to pay for purchases just by waving their phone across a reader. It's the beginning of a future where commercial transactions are 'frictionless' and convenient — but it's a future where every transaction can be tracked and data-mined, as Dan Tynan points out. Stores can user information about your Doritos purchases to rearrange their wares; Google could push coupons via its new Google Offers service; your health insurance company might be interested in your sodium intake."
Google

An IP Address For Every Light Bulb 457

An anonymous reader writes "Yesterday NXP and Green Wave Reality announced to the world that they plan to give every lightbulb an IPV6 address. Hot on the heels of Google's 900 mhz announcement, Green Wave Reality already has iPhone / Android / and Web-based support. Looks like the lighting wars have started."
Businesses

Facebook To Be 'Biggest Bank' By 2015 301

angry tapir writes "The explosion of social networking commerce will lead to the unlikely candidate of Facebook becoming the world's biggest bank by the middle of the decade, according to a technology observer and entrepreneur. People who don't have a Facebook account should get one or risk having a financial profile created for them says founder and president of Metal International, Ken Rutkowski."
Advertising

Amazon To Offer Ad-Supported Kindle 210

awyeah writes "Amazon will soon be offering a discounted, ad-supported Wi-Fi Kindle called 'Kindle with Special Offers.' The price will be $114, a $25 discount from the $139 wifi-only device. Note that the advertisements will not appear during reading, only on the screen saver and home page. Will that be enough of a discount to get readers to purchase an ad-supported device?"
Portables (Games)

Zynga Aiming To Conquer Mobile Next 42

donniebaseball23 writes "Zynga's presence in mobile gaming is nowhere near its dominance of social gaming on Facebook, but according to chief designer Brian Reynolds, Zynga's looking to change that. '[Mobile] is something that we actively care about, think about. It's the major place where we think the future is,' Reynolds said, adding, 'The reason that Zynga isn't ginormous on mobile yet is because the friction of social networking is still high on mobile.'"
Facebook

Facebook Offers Easy Commenting Alternative 132

Spice Consumer writes "Facebook has just unveiled a 'new system (that) lets website owners replace their current commenting system with Facebook's simply by dropping in a few lines of JavaScript.' How widely adopted this new system becomes could greatly affect Facebook's already entrenched position on the web and further compromise individual users' privacy."

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