Facebook Adjusts Algorithm To Target Consumers With Feed Advertising

Facebook once stated that there would never be direct advertising in Facebook user’s feeds. It turns out that this is not quite true. After the company went public it has been finding ways to “sneak” advertising into our Facebook feeds.

Disguised as the “Suggested Post”, ads have been rolling into our feeds for quite some time. Also, using the “Promote This Post” feature is Facebook’s way of letting you pay to have your posts show up in more and targeted user’s feeds.

Now, it looks as though Facebook will start serving ads directly into your feed even further. This past Friday the social media giant stated that they have adjusted their algorithm to make sure that only ads that they will find most useful will be served to their feeds. The only drawback to it is that you have to have actually “hidden” posts from your feed previously or this algorithm tweak will not affect what ads you are seeing in your news feed.

So, basically, if you saw an a “Godaddy Suggested Post” in your news feed and actually clicked the right arrow and selected “Hide From Feed”, only then would Facebook’s algorithm stop serving those ads. If you ignored it, you are very likely to see more.

“For marketers, this means we are showing ads to the people who might want to see them the most,” the company wrote in a blog post. “For example, if someone always hides ads for electronics, we will reduce the number of those types of ads that we show to them.”

Facebook looks to calm the advertisers before they start seeing the odd placement of ads in the weeks to come.

“This means that some marketers may see some variation in the distribution of their ads in the coming weeks,” the blog post reads. “Our goal is to make sure we deliver the most relevant ads, which should mean the right people are seeing a specific ad campaign. This is ultimately better for marketers, because it means their messages are reaching the people most interested in what they have to offer.”

Brand marketers that use Facebook to reach their consumers are definitely up in arms as they feel that Facebook adjusted its algorithm to force marketers to pay to reach consumers who have already followed their brand on. A group survey showed that users viewing organic posts from brands they had followed was down by over 38% after Facebook implemented their new algorithm in September of 2012.

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Hackers Break Into Data Firm And Sell Info To ID Thieves

SSNDOB (hacker helmd identity theft service) compromised several servers at major US data brokers. The hacked into some major data aggregators at LexisNexis and Dun & Bradstreet, just to name a couple.

More than 4 million Americans could have their identities compromised as the customers of SSNDOB paid to look up their Social Security numbers, birthdays, driving records, and used that information to obtain background reports.

SSNDOB got its information from a small botnet that it operates. That botnet appears to have access to compromised servers at some of the largest data brokers in the United States. Some of these data brokers include LexisNexis, Dun & Bradstreet, and Kroll Background America. Another real danger is that none of the 46 top anti-malware tools detected the malicious software.

LexisNexis currently maintains one of the world’s largest legal and public record databases. Kroll/Hireright uses their services for running employment background, drug, and health screening services. Dun & Bradstreet are a credit/purchase data holder.

“All three victim companies said they are working with federal authorities and third-party forensics firms in the early stages of determining how far the breaches extend, and whether indeed any sensitive information was accessed and exfiltrated from their networks,” Krebs said. – expose.su

After examination of SSNDOB’s records Krebs stated that they have sold mor than 1.02 million social security numbers and close to 3.1 million records regarding date of birth.

The hacker group/organization sells records for anywhere from 50 cents to $2.50 per record and $5 to $15 for background check records. There is evidence that some of the users that pay for this service are in fact identity theft services. The FBI investigation is on-going.

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Microsoft To Launch The Surface 2 On September 23rd – Pricing & Specs

he second generation of the Microsoft Surface tablet will be launched tomorrow (September 23rd) at an invitation only event in New York City.

Over the past month there have been many leaks as to what consumers can expect from the new Surface 2. Microsoft has neither confirmed or denied the leaked information leading people to speculate that the leaks are “on target” for what’s to come in the new generation.

As far as the look goes, there will not be anything new to brag about. It will be the same 10.6 inch screen and VaporMg casing. It will also have the same snap-on keyboard compatibility as the current Surface.

The new Surface will have exact same number of USB ports as its predecessor and will be a wifi only device.  There will be no 4G LTE support in this release. It will have a Tegra 4 processor, but the new Surface Pro (2nd gen) will have an i5 Haswell processor and get 7-8 hours of life out of the battery. The display will feature the Clear Type full HD display.

One of the more anticipated features rumored to be part of the new generation is the docking station which Microsoft had said that they were not going to release for the Surface. Granted it will only be compatible for the Surface Pro and Surface Pro 2 models. You can expect it to include on USB 3 port as well as 2 USB 2 ports built into the dock.

The new Surface Power Cover is another peripheral that has got users excited is the Surface Power Cover. This new cover will be thicker and tougher and will also have a built in battery which will extend the battery life by an undisclosed amount. You can expect them to be showing this off during the announcement tomorrow.

You can expect the new Surface to be available in mid October. It’s expected that the new Surface will become available for purchase around the same time that Windows 8.1 is available to the general public. It is not known whether Microsoft will be taking pre-orders on the new Surface.

For those looking for some price reductions due to the slow sales of the first generation of the Surface, don’t get too excited. It doesn’t look like Microsoft made any real cuts to the pricing of the new version. Sources say that they are planning to keep selling their RT version along side the new version. They are expected to keep the price of the 1st gen at $350 for the 32GB version with no cover. The 32 GB Surface 2 will be listed at $500 and the 64 GB version is expected to start at $600.

The Surface Pro will continue to start at $800 and the new version will start at $900 for a 64 GB version. There will also be a 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB versions available for the Pro Version. Those models will be priced at $1000, $1300, and $1700 according to sources.

Touch, type, and docking stations will be priced separately. Do keep in mind that the pricing of the device is from leaked sources and might be a little off from what is announced during the launch on September 23rd.

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Apple OS 7 To Release September 18th [VIDEO]

September 18th is the set release date for Apple’s new iOS 7. Apple is very excited about the release of the new OS calling it the “Biggest overhaul to the Apple iOS since the release of the iPhone”. iOS 7 will be available for download on the iPhone 4 and later, iPad Mini and 5th Gen iPad, and the iPod 2 and later.

There will be new fonts, icons, neon color palette and even gesture controls (some are crying out that this is catch-up to Android’s Keylime Pie). The new iOS is an overhaul not only in how it looks, but how it functions as well.

It can learn where and when you commute to keep you posted on traffic details.

“It has a new structure, applied across the whole system, that brings clarity to the entire experience,” Apple wrote on its iOS 7 webpage. “The interface is purposely unobtrusive. Conspicuous ornamentation has been stripped away. Unnecessary bars and buttons have been removed. And in taking away design elements that don’t add value, suddenly there’s greater focus on what matters most: your content.”

Among its new features is the Control Panel which allows you access to your most used apps at the swipe of a finger. It comes with Air-Drop for highspeed shareing with other iOS devices along with a refresh to Safari and the Multi-Task interface.

https://youtu.be/rT_OmTMwvZI

 

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Windows 8.1 Fixes Problems & Adds New Features While Keeping ‘Touch’ The Main Focus

During the Microsoft Keynote in San Fransisco the company offered the preview version of Windows 8.1 which you can download here. There are some sweeping changes to the OS and to the happiness of PC users, upgrades to the user interface. But, if you were hoping for a return to the Windows 7 layout, you will be disappointed. Microsoft’s focus is still very much focused that the touch market. Much of the following upgrades were in response to suggestions (complaints) from users of the intial release of Windows 8.

The Start Menu will be back, in a sense.

In a move towards the touch interface, Windows removed the start button from the new interface. This was one of the biggest complaints about the new OS. While you still won’t get the exact same start button functionality that you did when using Windows 7, it is much improved and is a simple click and type to access applications. At the bottom of the pop-up menu, you will now have the return of the restart/shut down options as well. It would be nice if they would add back the control panel and device manager as well, but this is not in the current update.

Boot To Desktop

For those who primarily use their computer via keyboard and mouse, the 8.0 Touch UI is still a “thorn in the side” of users. 8.1 offers the ability to boot directly to the desktop of the UI making it easier for those on Keyboard and mouse navigation.

X-Box Music Gets More Intuitive

In the 8.0 release Microsoft allowed for the free streaming of more than 30 million songs using the XBox Music app. The new version will have better ability to redesign the player and interface. A left navigation lets the user explore music, songs, artists, and videos. You can now create Pandora-like radio stations entering an artist or song and getting a stream of similar music. This might well become your new “go-to” app for music streaming.

Upgraded Search

Now when searching you will get global results from multiple sources including your SkyDrive and other Apps. When searching for broad internet terms you will get what’s referred to as the “hero screen” which displays images, links and other useful resources regarding your search. This is all done natively in the search interface before taking you to your browser.

Snap Views Flexibility

In 8.1, running simultaneous apps will be easier as you can now resize your current app window and “snap” these views into different locations on your monitor. With a high resolution dual monitor set-up you can now run up to 8 apps simultaneously on the display at once.

Personalization

You can now personalize your device with ease. You can set your start button, preferred desktop, and even your lock screen can pull images directly from your SkyDrive.

Much Improved Camera

You now have a full set of editing tools that you can use to crop, adjust color, correct red eye and more. The new color enhancement feature will let you create rich images right in the camera app.

Windows App Store

The new Windows app store has larger images, better flow and is expected to excite developers who are writing apps for the new OS.

Will these upgrades increase popularity? Only time will tell.

 

 

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