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Category Archives: E-Commerce

FTC Alleges Amazon Unlawfully Billed Parents for Millions of Dollars In Children’s Unauthorized In-App Charges

News release: “Amazon.com, Inc. has billed parents and other account holders for millions of dollars in unauthorized in-app charges incurred by children, according to a Federal Trade Commission complaint filed today in federal court. The FTC’s lawsuit seeks a court order requiring refunds to consumers for the unauthorized charges and permanently banning the company from billing parents andContinue Reading

For Many Americans, Stress Takes A Toll On Health And Family

NPR – “Stress is part of the human condition, unavoidable and even necessary to a degree. But too much stress can be toxic — even disabling. And there’s a lot of toxic stress out there A national poll done by NPR with our partners at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health finds that more thanContinue Reading

Facebook Experiments Had Few Limits – WSJ

Follow up to previous posting - Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment – Study, via WSJ.com - Facebook Experiments Had Few Limits, Data Science Lab Conducted Tests on Users With Little Oversight: Reed Albergotti – “Since its creation in 2007, Facebook’s Data Science group has run hundreds of tests. One published study deconstructed howContinue Reading

Government Surveillance and Internet Search Behavior

Marthews, Alex and Tucker, Catherine, Government Surveillance and Internet Search Behavior (March 24, 2014). Available or download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2412564 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2412564 “This paper uses data from Google Trends on search terms from before and after the surveillance revelations of June 2013 to analyze whether Google users’ search behavior shifted as a result of an exogenous shock inContinue Reading

Digital Life in 2025 – Net Threats

Pew Research Center: “As Internet experts look to the future of the Web, they have a number of concerns. This is not to say they are pessimistic: The majority of respondents to this 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing say they hope that by 2025 there will not be significant changes for the worse andContinue Reading

California removes ban on alternative currencies – Computerworld

Jeremy Kirk – “A new California law removes a ban on using currencies other than the U.S. dollar, which is intended to accommodate the growing use of alternative payment methods such as bitcoin. The law, signed by state Governor Jerry Brown on Saturday, is likely to boost confidence around bitcoin, as regulators and tax authorities worldwideContinue Reading

Ebooks v paper – An Essay

Julian Baggini, Financial Times – [snipped] “E-reading is certainly on the rise. The Pew Research Center reports that, as recently as 2010, hardly anyone in the US had an e-reader or tablet. Now half do. The proportion of the population who have read an ebook in the past year rose from 17 per cent inContinue Reading

Houston, We Have A Public Domain Problem – Commentary

Parker Higgins is an activist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “I received a bogus copyright takedown notice for using public domain audio on SoundCloud yesterday. The sound in question—the famous “Houston, we have a problem” snippet of the Apollo 13 mission—is incontrovertibly available to all, for any use, without copyright restrictions. The fact that it’sContinue Reading

Facebook tinkered with users’ feeds for a massive psychology experiment – Study

William Hughes: “Scientists at Facebook have published a paper showing that they manipulated the content seen by more than 600,000 users in an attempt to determine whether this would affect their emotional state. The paper, “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks,” was published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences. It shows how Facebook data scientistsContinue Reading

Internet of Things: Connected Home – Survey

“Fortinet® – a global leader in high-performance network security released the results of a global survey that probes home owners about key issues pertaining to the Internet of Things (IoT). Independently administered throughout 11 countries, the survey titled, “Internet of Things: Connected Home,” gives a global perspective about the Internet of Things, what security andContinue Reading

No drone package deliveries in Amazon’s future?

“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today published a Federal Register notice on its interpretation of the statutory special rules for model aircraft in the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012. The guidance comes after recent incidents involving the reckless use of unmanned model aircraft near airports and involving large crowds of people. ComplianceContinue Reading

Gallup – Americans Say Social Media Have Little Sway on Purchases

“A clear majority of Americans say social media have no effect at all on their purchasing decisions. Although many companies run aggressive marketing campaigns on social media, 62% in the U.S. say Facebook and Twitter, among other sites, do not have any influence on their decisions to purchase products.  Despite tremendous numbers of Americans usingContinue Reading