Readers Digest Considering Name Change

first_imgLeader’s DigestReader’s NastEveryday, Inc.The House that Rachael BuiltPurpose DrivenPleasantville PublishingEscape From Condé NastMary Berner OmnimediaFDA Along with its coverage of the Reader’s Digest Association’s mega deal with a mega church to produce a magazine and a social networking site RDA calls a “Facebook for Christians,” the New York Times reports that RDA CEO Mary Berner is “casting about” for a new name for the company.We’ve heard rumblings about this since as early as September. It appears that even Berner—who has been somewhat of a lightning rod since coming over to Pleasantville from Condé Nast—is having a tough time deciding on one.So, in the spirit of community, I thought it’d be fun—and useful!—to collectively brainstorm new names for Reader’s Digest. Here are some suggestions from the FOLIO: staff. Feel free to add yours in the comments section below.last_img read more

Amazon granted patent for surveillance drones service

first_imgA new patent shows how drones can keep an eye out on a home while making deliveries.  CNET For years, Amazon has shown off how it’ll use drones to deliver items to customers, and it’s even developed a super-quiet drone for neighborhood deliveries. The company has a new patent that’ll give these flying robots a second use: surveillance. Amazon received a patent for what it calls “Image creation using geo-fence data” from the US Patent and Trademark Office in early June. The application explains that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, could be used to provide a secondary service of checking on an individual’s property while the robots are out doing deliveries.Surveillance drones patent figureAn image from the Amazon patent shows how drones will deliver and provide surveillance. US Patent and Trademark Office/Amazon As part of this service, customers can receive images or videos from the drones overlooking the property. UAVs would only be allowed to record the property of the individuals who consented and not those of their neighbors. “We take customer privacy very seriously,” John Tagle, senior PR manager for Amazon, said in an email Friday. “Some reports have suggested that this technology would spy or gather data on homes without authorization — to be clear, that’s not what the patent says. The patent clearly states that it would be an opt-in service available to customers who authorize monitoring of their home.”One company you might think would be worried about this is Sunflower Labs, a startup developing home security drones. But Chief Executive Alex Pachikov says he’s happy with Amazon’s patent.”I am actually very excited to see this,” Pachikov said. “We’ve long believed that drones are ideally suited for security, and while Amazon’s approach is different from ours, we are happy to see this market validated.”Like many patents granted to tech companies, there’s no telling if this drone security service will actually see the light of day. So far, Amazon’s plans for drones and autonomous vehicles are for deliveries sometime in the future. CNET reporter Stephen Shankland contributed to this report.Originally published June 21, 7:50 a.m. PT.Update, 9:16 a.m. PT: Adds Amazon comment. Update, June 23: Adds comment from Sunflower Labs. Share your voice Tags Comments 5 Patents Amazon Drones Smart Home Security Security Cameraslast_img read more

Researchers use Facebook to dispel notion that social contagion is like biological

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. A comparison of how people who received invitations to join Facebook from four groups of friends responded. Connections between the groups are shown in the squares at the bottom of each column. The less connected those four groups were,the more likely they were to join. These are averages over millions of invitations. Credit: Provided/Kleinberg et al More information: Structural diversity in social contagion, PNAS, Published online before print April 2, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116502109AbstractThe concept of contagion has steadily expanded from its original grounding in epidemic disease to describe a vast array of processes that spread across networks, notably social phenomena such as fads, political opinions, the adoption of new technologies, and financial decisions. Traditional models of social contagion have been based on physical analogies with biological contagion, in which the probability that an individual is affected by the contagion grows monotonically with the size of his or her “contact neighborhood”—the number of affected individuals with whom he or she is in contact. Whereas this contact neighborhood hypothesis has formed the underpinning of essentially all current models, it has been challenging to evaluate it due to the difficulty in obtaining detailed data on individual network neighborhoods during the course of a large-scale contagion process. Here we study this question by analyzing the growth of Facebook, a rare example of a social process with genuinely global adoption. We find that the probability of contagion is tightly controlled by the number of connected components in an individual’s contact neighborhood, rather than by the actual size of the neighborhood. Surprisingly, once this “structural diversity” is controlled for, the size of the contact neighborhood is in fact generally a negative predictor of contagion. More broadly, our analysis shows how data at the size and resolution of the Facebook network make possible the identification of subtle structural signals that go undetected at smaller scales yet hold pivotal predictive roles for the outcomes of social processes.Press release (PhysOrg.com) — Historically, diseases tend to spread most quickly when introduced into a crowded environment. The more neighbors there are, the more easily viruses can hop from person to person. More recently, the same sort of language has been used to describe how social ideas and adoption spreads. Facebook for example, has been described as spreading like a disease. Now however, researchers from Cornell University have shown that users adopting Facebook, tend to do so more predictably when receiving invitations from multiple sources, rather than a lot of requests from members of the same group, which implies that Facebook and its growth, does not actually compare with biological contagion at all. They have published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2012 PhysOrg.com Citation: Researchers use Facebook to dispel notion that social contagion is like biological contagion (2012, April 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-facebook-dispel-notion-social-contagion.htmlcenter_img The research team started out as just Johan Kleinberg and Jon Ugander, researchers at Cornell, but soon grew to four as Lars Backstrom and Cameron Marlow, sociologists working for Facebook signed on. Together the team was able to study actual Facebook data. Specifically, they looked at what happens when a user first joins Facebook; their email contact list is examined and Facebook then offers to send an invitation to everyone on that list who is not already a Facebook member. Facebook also offers to send an invitation to “friend” other Facebook users who have the new user already listed in their contact list. In watching and analyzing the circumstances under which users respond to such requests the researchers found patterns emerging. The most striking of which was the fact that users are more likely to accept such requests if they come from people who reside in social different groups, than if they all came from the same one. An example would be, if a person receives invitations to join Facebook from people they work with, some friends, as well as some from people in their Book of the Month club, they are more likely to join than if they simply receive a bunch of invitations from their regular group of friends. They also found that upon accepting the invites, those that do so as a result of getting invites from a more diverse group tend to spend more time on Facebook, indicating perhaps, that a more diverse group of “friends” is ultimately more interesting.Besides providing practical information for marketers, the results of the teams research help dispel the notion that social acceptance of new ideas or people spreads in much the same way as diseases do through human populations. The team says that a users, rather than responding to requests to join Facebook from a bunch of friends from their normal social clique, tend to be more likely to accept requests to join if they come from a more divergent group, or in other words, people from different groups, even if they don’t know a lot of the people in those other groups. Explore further A Facebook “Neighborhood.” This member has two large, closely interconnected clumps of friends, and a few smaller clumps. Each clump probably represents a different social context — people from work, people from a hobby, and so on. Cornell research shows that many requests from one context are less effective in influencing decisions than requests coming from many directions. Credit: Provided/Kleinberg et al Facebook launches mobile messaging applast_img read more

Pedalling to good health Cyclists to participate in 1st World Bicycle Day

first_imgKolkata: Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) will observe the first-ever World Bicycle Day on Sunday in New Town. The United Nations has declared June 3 as World Bicycle Day this year and it will be celebrated globally. Bicycles are not only an eco-friendly mode of transport but also keeps the cyclists physically fit and mentally alert. It helps to reduce obesity and improves the cardiovascular system.In New Town, the celebration is more significant as it is the only place in India where the Cycle Sharing Scheme has been introduced and it has become extremely popular. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHousing and Urban Development Corporation (HUDCO) under the ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs had awarded the scheme introduced by New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) in the Urban Transport category at a function in New Delhi in April.On Sunday, the World Bicycle Day will be celebrated with HIDCO keeping cycles in front of the golf course off Eco Park to be used by the enthusiasts. The ride is free and cycle lovers can take a ride to popularise cycling. Eco Park has a special zone where people come and do cycling and duo cycling as well and it is extremely popular among visitors. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn the evening, Zoomcar, the company that has introduced the Cycle Sharing Scheme will host a programme at the NKDA football ground where people will be given free rides. They will be given modern cycles fitted with GPS which are used in the Cycle Sharing Scheme. There will be a treasure hunt show for the participants and the winner will be awarded.New Town has graded cycle paths and the Cycle Sharing Scheme is becoming popular. It may be recalled that to popularise cycling, Jagadish Chandra Bose used to come to Presidency College riding a cycle just to show that Indians are equally capable of riding bicycles like the British. At times, he was also accompanied by his wife Abala who was also an expert cyclist.last_img read more

TMC files complaint against retd Joint Secy for trying to manipulate Central

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress has lodged a complaint with the Election Commission against a retired officer of the Home ministry, for trying to manipulate the Central Forces in Malda South.State Trinamool Congress president Subrata Bakshi alleged that R K Mitra, a retired joint secretary of the Home minister, is trying to influence the Central forces in Malda South, from where his wife Srirupa Mitra Chowdhury is contesting in the Lok Sabha poll. Bakshi further alleged that during route march, Central force personnel were seen asking voters to cast their votes in favour of BJP, following instructions of Mitra. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHumayun Kabir, expelled Trinamool Congress MLA, will contest from the Murshidabad seat. Kabir, who was a close aide of Adhir Chowdhury, had joined Trinamool from Congress. Later, he was expelled from the party. The BJP has fielded four candidates who have been either expelled or suspended from Trinamool and all are contesting the election. The expelled leaders are Saumitra Khan (Bishnupur), Anupam Hazra (Jadavpur) and Humayun Kabir (Murshidabad), while Arjun Singh, who is contesting from the Barrackpore Lok Sabha seat, has been suspended from the party. Former journalist Rantidev Sengupta will contest from Howrah, while Joy Banerjee will contest from Uluberia. Subhas Sarkar, former vice-president of state BJP, will contest from Bankura.last_img read more

Bracing For New Mobile Security Challenges

first_img 5 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Paul KorzeniowskiWhen employees carry sensitive financial information on their mobile devices, small and midsize businesses will need to adopt new security policies, procedures, and products to keep pace.Cell phones have increasingly become more powerful. Now, many function as mini-PCs, enabling employees to check important information, reach cohorts at crucial moments, and enter vital information instantly. While these functions have been beneficial, the devices themselves have not been easy to manage, and they are about to present small and midsize businesses with new challenges.Cell phones have become quite popular among businesspersons and consumers. As a result, suppliers have been searching for new ways to boost their usage. Recently, the GSMA, the global trade group for the mobile industry, outlined plans so these devices can be used as electronic credit or debit cards.The new feature becomes possible after a couple of enhancements are made to the products. The first is the integration of Near Field Communication (NFC) capabilities, which are basically short-distance wireless communications. Equipment vendors and wireless network service providers see a number of advantages in using NFC rather than other options, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, for short-distance wireless exchanges. NFC, which supports transmission speeds up to 212 Kbps, is inexpensive, costing 10 to 20 times less, and requires one half to one third as much power as alternatives.In addition, the GSMA crafted the Single Wire Protocol interface, which enables handsets to exchange information with devices, such as Point of Sale terminals. With these new features, businesses and individuals can use their cell phone like credit cards or debit cards, purchasing a range of goods and services. The vendor consortium called for these two new features to be integrated into all handsets, starting in the middle of 2009.Trials with these new features are now under way in eight countries, including the United States, and involve nine mobile operators. Most of these projects are in the early deployment stage. However, companies and consumers in Japan have been using the technology for a few years to buy items, and many customers manage their bank accounts via their cell phones. Since such ideas have been slow to catch on in other parts of the world, the GSMA is trying to spur adoption.However, the organization must overcome a number of hurdles. In addition to the handset vendors, support has to come from the credit card and debit card suppliers. MasterCard and Visa have shown interest in the technology, but a great deal of infrastructure has to be added so the major credit card companies can ensure interoperability among NFC cell phones, POS terminals, retailers’ business software, and financial institutions’ systems.Also, the handset vendors have to work with the carriers to determine what types of services will be available and whether or not there will be any additional charges for them. On the Internet, electronic banking and e-commerce do not warrant any additional charges, but it is not clear at this time if that model will hold true with cell phones.Many of those items should be resolved as more of these services become available. Observers think there is no doubt that these services will become popular, with uncertainty centering on when they will work their way into the mainstream. As the market evolves, corporations could outfit their handheld devices so they not only provide employees with access to information but also function as corporate credit cards or debit cards. Also, they may be able to let their suppliers and customers use such features to purchase goods and services.This evolution could create problems for small and midsize businesses. Many companies have been having difficulty keeping tabs on their handheld devices as the variety of devices has increased. With more of them working their way into the company, securing them has become important. How secure will these new features be? Backers note that NFC has a transmission range of only few feet, which makes it difficult — some would say impossible — for intruders to tap into a communications line and steal confidential information.However, the level of security found with these news features is an open question. Chances are that these transmissions will not be encrypted as they move from the handheld device to the register. Also, the likelihood increases that employees will be carrying sensitive financial information on their personal devices, so it will have to be protected. Consequently, small and midsize businesses will need to buy additional security products and put policies and procedures in place so that information will be secure. In sum, the number of payment options will increase, as will the IT department’s responsibilities.See more columns by Paul Korzeniowski.Paul Korzeniowski is a Sudbury, Mass.-based freelance writer who has been writing about networking issues for two decades. His work has appeared in Business 2.0, Entrepreneur, Investor’s Business Daily, Newsweek, and InformationWeek. January 16, 2009 Register Now »last_img read more