Pinterest May Start To Act Like Facebook, If You’re Not Careful

Pinterest is unveiling some changes that will make it behave a lot more like Facebook, that is, if users choose to opt in.

Beginning on October 19, Pinterest will use information gleaned from your browsing history and from its advertising partners to recommend products to Pinterest users.

Pinterest will now be using Facebook’s tactics for collecting data, but not its methods. If you don’t want to be part of the new program, you’ve got a month to let Pinterest know. On your Settings page, simply toggle all the relevant permissions to “no.”

Just turn those red toggles from "yes" to "no."

With the new changes to the privacy policy, Pinterest will have the ability to show you Promoted Pins based on your gender, your recent Internet history, and anything Pinterest’s ad partners happen to already know about you. It will collect log data, cookies from recent sites, and the devices you visited them on.

Previously, Pinterest prided itself on predominantly using your interests to advertise to you in the form of Promoted Pins: ostensibly relevant images that brands pay to put in your dashboard. Pinterest wants to show you products and experiences you’ve already indicated you’re interested in by pinning similar things in the past.

See also: Behind Pinterest’s Crackdown On Paid Pins: Stopping Visual Pollution

Earlier this year, Pinterest made a major effort to crack down on “paid to pin” programs, in which users are incentivized through cash, contest entries, or any other reason to pin a photo to their boards that otherwise doesn’t mesh with their interests. That’s because the primary information Pinterest has about users is what they’re pinning.

Apu Gupta, CEO of Pinterest analytical service Curalate, told ReadWrite how Pinterest’s audience targeting can differentiate from traditional advertising:

“In a traditional demographic based ad, I might give you an ad for camping equipment because you’re 25 to 35 and male. But on Pinterest, I’d advertise it because you’re pinning a lot of camping equipment. I don’t care that you’re actually 55. I know you’ll be a buyer.”

See also: How Pinterest Is Slowly Learning How To Make Money

It doesn’t seem like outside data logs and cookies could be more accurate than what you’re pinning. Some people use shared computers; others may access sites for business as well as pleasure, sites that don’t 100% reflect their favorite things.

However, this change isn’t for Pinterest’s benefit. It’s for Pinterest’s advertisers:

“We want to help advertisers better understand how their Promoted Pins are doing,” wrote Julie Park, head of partnerships. “For example, an advertiser may want to know how often their ads are showing on Pinterest or how many people bought a product after clicking on a Promoted Pin. In the future, we’ll report that info to them.”

If you don’t care about making it easier for advertisers to sell you stuff, Pinterest has been remarkably transparent, offering a full month for users to leave the program. 

Photo via Pinterest blog

Source: ReadWrite

Why the next version of Windows is Windows 10 and not 9

Microsoft revealed information about the next version of Windows today and one of the big surprises is that the next version of Windows will be Windows 10 and not Windows 9. Windows 8, or Windows 8.1 to be precise, is the current version of Windows which succeeded Windows 7. It felt natural to many that […]

The post Why the next version of Windows is Windows 10 and not 9 appeared first on gHacks Technology News.

Source: gHacks Technology News

Linux Foundation Announces Major Network Functions Virtualization Project

Andy Updegrove writes: The Linux Foundation this morning announced the latest addition to its family of major hosted open source initiatives: the Open Platform for NFV Project (OPNFV). Its mission is to develop and maintain a carrier-grade, integrated, open source reference platform for the telecom industry. Importantly, the thirty-eight founding members include not only cloud and service infrastructure vendors, but telecom service providers, developers and end users as well. The announcement of OPNFV highlights three of the most significant trends in IT: virtualization (the NFV part of the name refers to network function virtualization), moving software and services to the cloud, and collaboratively developing complex open source platforms in order to accelerate deployment of new business models while enabling interoperability across a wide range of products and services. The project is also significant for reflecting a growing recognition that open source projects need to incorporate open standards planning into their work programs from the beginning, rather than as an afterthought.

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Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot

iOS 8 Bug Causes “Reset All Settings” to Erase iCloud Drive Documents

iOS 8 Bug Causes "Reset All Settings" to Erase iCloud Drive Documents

It looks like there’s another bug in iOS 8. This one was found by MacRumors forum members and causes you to lose all your documents in iCloud Drive.

The bug creeps up when you select Settings > General > Reset > Reset All Settings. Typically, this is just supposed to reset your network settings to give your iOS device a clean slate to work with, but it turns out it’s also deleting all your files from iCloud Drive. It really seems like iCloud Drive just isn’t ready for prime time here, but if you did already enable it, make sure you don’t tap that "Reset All Settings" option.

Bug in iOS 8’s ‘Reset All Settings’ Option Also Erases iCloud Drive Documents | MacRumors

Source: Lifehacker

Google releases, open sources tools for linear optimization

Google has built a linear optimization add-on for its Google Drive spreadsheet application, as well as an associated API for developers. It also open sourced the underlying code via a project called “Glop.” As the company explains in a blog post, “Any time you have a set […]

Google releases, open sources tools for linear optimization originally published by Gigaom, © copyright 2014.

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Source: Gigaom

Sortd Gives You A List Based Interface To Organize Emails [Chrome]

We will never stop looking for new and better ways to manage our email. We have everything from folders, tags, email rules, sophisticated desktop email clients, to color coded labels and yet email is still a formidable part of everyday life. Sortd Smart Skin for Gmail is a Chrome extension that takes a rather fresh approach […]

Read Sortd Gives You A List Based Interface To Organize Emails [Chrome] by on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Source: AddictiveTips

Automatically Mute The Audio Playing In All Inactive Tabs In Chrome

One of the recent versions of Chrome added something absolutely wonderful to the browser; a sound indicator in the tab that tells you which tab is playing any sort of audio. This feature doesn’t just work for YouTube videos or other embedded media players but also for those annoying video ads that play on their […]

Read Automatically Mute The Audio Playing In All Inactive Tabs In Chrome by on AddictiveTips – Tech tips to make you smarter

Source: AddictiveTips

Kill women who have abortions, says National Review reporter

Kevin Williams has "hanging more in mind" than letting ‘em off with life imprisonment. I told you these guys were going off the deep end; the big question now, though, is where his tweet was copied and pasted from.

Source: Boing Boing

Smart yoga mat helps you perfect your poses


Yoga can be a great way to stay healthy, but it’s hard to refine your technique at those times you can’t see an instructor. SmartMat may have a solution for when you’re stuck at home, though. Its self-titled smart yoga mat gives you feedback on poses by sending pressure data to an app on your Android or iOS device. On a basic level, it helps you perfect your poses by suggesting corrections to your alignment and balance; you can also teach yourself new moves through downloadable lessons, and there’s a "Zen mode" if you’d prefer to enjoy the moment and get feedback later.

If you like the idea of a mat that doubles as a tutor, you can pledge $247 or higher to SmartMat’s crowdfunding project to set aside a unit for yourself. Otherwise, you’ll pay $447 to get the mat when it ships next summer. That’s a long time to wait and a lot of money to spend, but this fitness gear might pay for itself if it lets you skip the occasional yoga class without feeling guilty.

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Source: Indiegogo, SmartMat

Source: Engadget Full RSS Feed

I Ditched My iPhone and Spent the Summer With Android

I Ditched My iPhone and Spent the Summer With Android

For five straight years, I spent an inordinate amount of time staring at the screen of an iPhone. I’m not alone in that, but I am usually quick to buy new models and even quicker to download new operating system updates. Perhaps I’m a little too quick, because earlier this year, my enthusiasm got the best of me.

Back in June, I bricked my iPhone. I had installed the beta version of iOS 8, because I was so eager to check out the new features. I knew the risks going in; betas are inherently unstable. And sure enough, within a couple of weeks, an iCloud-related bug did me in for good. My phone would prompt me to sign into iCloud every 10 seconds or so. When I went to settings to turn iCloud off, the phone would crash. It was an infinite loop of frustration, but that’s what you get for turning your phone into a test bed.

It was also an opportunity: I snatched an Android phone out of Gizmodo’s gadget closet. More specifically, I grabbed the HTC One M8, a Gizmodo favorite. It would be three months before the new iPhone came out, and I certainly wasn’t going to switch to a Razr. I was going to have to survive on Android.

If you’re thinking about making the jump from iPhone to Android and don’t have much experience with the latter, my experience might help you decide. Or at least give you something to yell about.

I Ditched My iPhone and Spent the Summer With Android

The switch

My experience started off on a sour note. Remember the iMessage bug that was infuriating people who switched from iPhone to Android earlier this year? Well, Apple still hasn’t fixed it.

The night that I swapped my SIM card from my crippled iPhone 5 into my sparkling HTC One, I was up to not much. The next day was a quiet one at work, but by the next evening, I was kind of wondering why I hadn’t received any text messages. After about 30 seconds of Google searches I realized that what was going on. If you don’t turn off iMessage before switching phones, Apple’s servers think that you’re still using iMessage, and if your iPhone friends text you through iMessage, that message will disappear into the darkness, never to be seen again. It would be weeks before my texts were sent through the right channels. So my first bit of advice for potential switchers would be to save yourself from iMessage purgatory.

The Android challenge

As a coworker would later point out to me, I did everything I could to make my Android device look like an iOS device. It wasn’t intentional; it was force of habit. I arranged the app icons in perfect little rows, and set up the dock so that it looked just like the dock that iOS gives you. The takeaway, I guess, is that if you’re worried about losing the look and feel of iOS at the most basic level, don’t! Android’s customizability means it can feel just like iOS. In fact, there are skins you can download to make it look exactly like iOS.

That much customizability took some getting used to; I found myself ignoring helpful Android features, like the back button, while reaching for spots on the screen where would have been buttons in iOS.

I Ditched My iPhone and Spent the Summer With Android

Finally, I got a launcher of my own. Although I tried a few different ones, I ended up spending the most time with Nova. I didn’t get too deep into the customizing the HTC One, though, which is why I opted not to upgrade to Nova Prime for $4. For me, the upgrades that Nova gave to the interface—namely the nice carousel effect when navigating through apps—made the phone more fun to use. I also liked the extra latitude with arranging icons and making folders. It really made Android feel more dynamic.

This is when I really started to shed my iOS biases. My thumb started finding the right spots on the screen, and I really started to enjoy using the phone.

Everything was magical—sorta

For a few weeks, everything was magical. The HTC One itself is a beautiful piece of hardware. Once I got more used to the Android software, I marveled at the device’s design. It was a huge improvement over the iPhone 5, which I admittedly do not like very much. And the big screen! I never knew I wanted so much screen until it was staring me in the face. While it did feel a little bulgy in my pocket, it was a pleasure to read on a surface of that size.

I warmed up to Android itself quite a bit, too. It’s just dripping with utility. The notification center, for one, was one of the places where I spent a lot of my time. While it wasn’t as glossy as Apple’s notification center, it was three times more useful. Especially useful was the control panel behind it that gave quick and easy access to settings like Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth connections. Apple attempted its own version of this with the Control Center, and while it looks nice, it doesn’t work very well.

I Ditched My iPhone and Spent the Summer With Android

There are a whole host of individual features I liked better on the Android—the widgets, the launcher, and the gestures, to name a few. But more than that, even, I loved seeing some Google products in their native environment. For instance, voice control works remarkably well, so I found myself talking to my phone more. I also found myself using Google Now on a daily basis. Yes, it’s available through the Google app on iOS. But it’s worlds better on Android.

Any smartphone has features and drawbacks, though. While I enjoyed the flexibility and depth of what Android could do, there were just as many little things that frustrated me. Hooray for trade-offs.

Let me start with stability. Almost immediately, I noticed bugs in Android apps. Some of the them were only slightly annoying. Others bordered on absurdity. For example, one day I headed into the office and tried listening to a Spotify playlist. My Android-powered Spotify app had other designs. It would play the first 10 seconds or so of a song before skipping to a completely random song. That song would play for 10 seconds and then it would skip again. The buggy app rendered the service—which I pay for—completely unusable. Resetting the phone didn’t help, but somehow, everything was back to normal, a day later.

That’s just one example. And as I understand it, Spotify is notoriously buggy. Either way, I’d never had such an involuntary song-skipping bonanza on my iPhone. Other bugs weren’t so debilitating, but they were annoying. I lost many promising games of 2048, for instance, thanks to a bug that would suddenly turn my touchscreen into a schizophrenic mess. I’d swipe left, and the screen would think I’d swiped right. When you’re playing a gesture-based game, this is indeed very annoying.

That’s not to say that you won’t find the occasional hiccup in an iOS app. Of course you do. But anecdotally, I experienced more of them in my three months of Android than I did in as many years of iPhone.

The other major issue I struggled with was latency, but that obviously can vary from device to device. The Nova launcher is known for its responsiveness, but adding a layer over the operating system probably doesn’t help with speed. It’s a tiny complaint, but it really drove me crazy. When it takes a couple beats longer to do something you do very frequently, that time (and frustration) adds up. Benchmark tests have actually shown that the iPhone screen is twice as responsive as its Android competitors.

I’m also willing to concede that some of my problems weren’t really Android problems as much as they were simply smartphone problems that manifested themselves differently on the Google-built software than they did on the Apple-built software. Any phone will slow down if you put enough pressure on it, and bugs pop up in a lot of apps. That’s just how hardware and software work. As iCloud continues to teach us, the iPhone is hardly invincible. That’s the reason I decided to switch to Android to begin with!

The humble return

My grievances with Android—not to mention my being simply accustomed to using an iPhone—added up over the course of the summer. By the time new iPhones came around, I couldn’t wait to switch back. Rumors told me that the iPhone 6 would be amazing, but in my head, just going back to iOS was like going home again.

In reality, it was more like going to a torture facility. That torture facility is called the Apple Store. Long short, it took three visits and probably six hours of wait time to get a functional phone. Some homecoming.

It’s been about a couple weeks now. My iPhone 5 feels tiny in my hand—I scrapped my original plan to upgrade to the iPhone 6; it’s nice and all that, but upgrading isn’t always a sensible optionand iOS feels surprisingly basic. It’s also not as familiar as I remember it. I find myself trying to do Android things on an iPhone now. It’s silly, really.

Oh, and that iCloud bug that prompted the switch to begin with? It came back when I recently upgraded to iOS 8.

I Ditched My iPhone and Spent the Summer With Android

To be perfectly honest, the whole experience of switching back and forth between Android and iPhone left me with a little bit of whiplash. I spent my whole summer struggling to use a new a new device, and now it looks like I’ll spend half the fall remembering how to use the old one. And you know what? The two smartphone experiences aren’t even that different.

If it’s a sensible option, I’d actually encourage everyone to try out their platform of choice’s competitor at least for a while. So long as you remember to turn off iMessage before you do it, switching from iPhone to Android is easy enough. Most of your data should transfer seamlessly. Almost everything that matters is in the cloud at this point, anyway, and will travel with you. The switch back was also easy, though I decided not to fumble with getting all of my data back onto my iPhone. Regardless, you might be surprised to find that the other operating systems suits your preferences better. And at the end of the day, I do think it comes down to personal preference.

For now, I’ll stick with my iPhone 5, albeit begrudgingly. When it makes sense to upgrade, I will, and I’ll do so based on what the market has to offer then. Until then, don’t count me as a solider in the Android army just yet. But I’m most definitely an ally.

I Ditched My iPhone and Spent the Summer With Android

Image by Sam Woolley and Jim Cooke / Photos by Michael Hession

Source: Gizmodo