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Facebook Buys Data From Third-Party Brokers To Fill In User Profiles (ibtimes.com) 116

An anonymous reader quotes a report from International Business Times: According to a report from ProPublica, the world's largest social network knows far more about its users than just what they do online. What Facebook can't glean from a user's activity, it's getting from third-party data brokers. ProPublica found the social network is purchasing additional information including personal income, where a person eats out and how many credit cards they keep. That data all comes separate from the unique identifiers that Facebook generates for its users based on interests and online behavior. A separate investigation by ProPublica in which the publication asked users to report categories of interest Facebook assigned to them generated more than 52,000 attributes. The data Facebook pays for from other brokers to round out user profiles isn't disclosed by the company beyond a note that it gets information "from a few different sources." Those sources, according to ProPublica, come from commercial data brokers who have access to information about people that isn't linked directly to online behavior. The social network doesn't disclose those sources because the information isn't collected by Facebook and is publicly available. Facebook does provide a page in its help center that details how to get removed from the lists held by third-party data brokers. However, the process isn't particularly easy. In the case of the Oracle-owned Datalogix, users who want off the list have to send a written request and a copy of a government-issued identification in the mail to Oracle's chief privacy officer. Another data collecting service, Acxiom, requires users provide the last four digits of their social security number to see the information the company has gathered about them.
Sci-Fi

EVE Online's Space Economy Currently Worth $18 Million 88

DavidGilbert99 writes: "According to Eyjólfur Guðmundsson, the lead economist of CCP Games, developer of EVE Online, the total amount of ISK (InterStellar Kredits) in the system at the moment is 600 trillion, which equates to about $18 million in real world money — and the economist believes we could learn a lot from how the economy works in the game. There was a massive battle within the game earlier this year, which CCP estimated destroyed between $300,000 and $330,000 worth of game materials. Guðmundsson said, 'In economics there is a big difference between consumption and loss. In EVE, the war is the consumption of the economy. Even though they are giving money away they are not losing value, they are gaining something instead. People were willing to spend that money [in the Battle of B-R5RB] to get this thrill of participating in this battle.'"
Image

Verizon Charged Marine's Widow an Early Termination Fee 489

In a decision that was reversed as soon as someone with half a brain in their PR department learned about it, Verizon charged a widow a $350 early termination fee. After the death of her marine husband, Michaela Brummund decided to move back to her home town to be with her family. Verizon doesn't offer any coverage in the small town so Michaela tried to cancel her contract, only to be hit with an early termination fee. From the article: "'I called them to cancel. I told them the situation with my husband. I even said I would provide a death certificate,' Michaela said."
Canada

Dead Pigs Used To Investigate Ocean's "Dead Zones" 106

timothy writes "As places to study what happens to corpses, the Atlantic Ocean is both much larger and much more specialized than the famous 'body farm' in Knoxville, TN. But for all kinds of good reasons, sending human bodies into Davy Jones' locker just to see where they float and how they bloat is unpopular. Pigs don't pay taxes, and more importantly, they don't vote. So Canadian scientists have taken to using them as human-body proxies, to study what happens when creatures of similar size and hairlessness (aka, us) end up 86ed and in the drink."

Comment A Clockwork Orange (Score 5, Interesting) 721

from A Clockwork Orange:
Alex: No. No! NO! Stop it! Stop it, please! I beg you! This is sin! This is sin! This is sin! It's a sin, it's a sin, it's a sin!
Dr. Brodsky: Sin? What's all this about sin?
Alex: That! Using Ludwig van like that! He did no harm to anyone. Beethoven just wrote music!
Dr. Branom: Are you referring to the background score?
Alex: Yes.
Dr. Branom: You've heard Beethoven before?
Alex: Yes!
Dr. Brodsky: So, you're keen on music?
Alex: YES!
Dr. Brodsky: Can't be helped. Here's the punishment element perhaps.

Comment Homebrewing with oxygen (Score 5, Interesting) 334

As a homebrewer, I know that oxidation of beer can give it "cardboardy" flavors, so this technology is probably useless for beer.

I'm not sure how long oxidation needs to occur before the off flavors manifest though, so perhaps you could force-oxygenate at pour time.

Sounds like some experiments need to be done...

Comment Re:. . .and the issues are? (Score 2, Informative) 572

I can't answer my iPhone while wearing gloves. That's a glaring deficiency in my book because I wear gloves about 4 months of the year. Even then, I missed a week's worth of calls because the screen didn't register my swipe-to-answer. I'd be happy if I could just double-click the menu button to answer.

Have you looked at these gloves? http://www.180s.com/glovesforaddicts/ They've got a little nub that lets you actually use your phone while wearing them.

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