Reuters: Technology News
last updated: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 09:17:33 GMT

China regulator in anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft
BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator said on Tuesday it is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp because the firm has not fully disclosed information about its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office application.

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BBC News - Technology
last updated: Mon, 28 Jul 2014 11:52:33 GMT

Police placing ads on piracy sites
The City of London police has started placing banner advertisements on websites believed to be offering pirated content illegally.

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PC World - News RSS feed
last updated: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 11:13:02 +1000

Huawei's smartphones shipments rise on international sales
Huawei Technologies shipped 62 percent more smartphones in the first half of 2014 than the same period last year, with shipments to some countries outside its home market of China doubling or even tripling.

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Tech News Headlines - Yahoo News
last updated: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 06:10:21 -0400

China regulator in anti-monopoly probe of Microsoft

A employee stands in the Microsoft booth during the 2014 Computex exhibition at the TWTC Nangang exhibition hall in TaipeiBy Paul Carsten BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese regulator said on Tuesday it is conducting an anti-monopoly investigation into Microsoft Corp because the firm has not fully disclosed information about its Windows operating system and Microsoft Office software. China's State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) was investigating a Microsoft vice president and senior managers, and has made copies of the firm's financial statements and contracts, the SAIC said on its website. Microsoft is one of the biggest U.S. companies to fall under the eye of Chinese regulators as they ramp up their oversight in an apparent attempt to protect local companies and customers.


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The Cloud: What you need to know
ALMOST all of us have one but we don’t have a clue how it works or how to get into it. This is everything you never understood about ‘the cloud’.

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CNET News.com
last updated: Fri, 21 Mar 2014 18:41:00 PDT

Mom tries to Facebook-shame daughter, gets pizza on face
A mother makes her daughter pose for a picture to prove that it will travel far and wide on the Web. She ends up getting prank calls, pizza deliveries, and a lesson for herself.

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NSA's reported Huawei hack gives glimpse of agency's role in 'cyber Cold War'
The latest report based on leaks by Edward Snowden has it that the NSA hacked into the servers of a Chinese router company that had itself been accused by the US of potentially aiding government espionage.

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Twitter battle in Turkey heats up, spreads to YouTube -- reports
The fight over a Twitter ban in the country intensifies, as the government reportedly blocks a workaround, the White House weighs in, and Google refuses to yank YouTube vids critical of the prime minister.

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Apple rumor claims all-new, 12-inch MacBook Air
The MacBook is getting a makeover sooner rather than later -- if chatter from China is accurate.

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Businesses of the future...with Samsung devices, of course (pictures)
The Korean electronics giant operates a showroom -- called the Executive Briefing Center -- at its North American headquarters in New Jersey to show potential business customers what Samsung technology they can use to change their operations.

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2048 starts easy; gets hard. Here's how to make it easy again
The Threes-like puzzle game sucks you in by making it seem easy to hit the magic number. Turns out, though, that it actually is easy -- if you understand the game's logic.

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Samsung shows business customers how to be high tech
The Korean electronics giant operates a showroom in New Jersey to demonstrate technology it has for hotels, financial firms, retailers, and other businesses.

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Automating your 2048 game
2048 may be deceptively difficult in its later stages, but the early portion of the game can be played mindlessly by mashing the left and up arrow keys and building into a corner.

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Google speeds WebP image format, brings animation support to Chrome
Other browser makers are unmoved by file-size advantages of the image format, but Google is pressing ahead. And it's saving terabytes of network usage a day on its own sites.

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Obama talks spying with Facebook's Zuckerberg, Google's Schmidt
Zuckerberg and Obama "had an honest talk about government intrusion on the Internet," says Facebook -- just days after the CEO posted an indignant statement on his Facebook page.

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Apple considering a Spotify rival and iTunes Android app
The company is in talks to launch an on-demand streaming music service in order to battle US declines in iTunes downloads, according to Billboard.

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Get your body into VR games
Gesture-control armband Myo by Thalmic Labs has found a way for gamers to go from hands on to hands in. When paired with virtual-reality headset Oculus Rift, gamers can see and use their hands in games. CNET got a demo of the combo in action.

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Behind the sounds of Infamous: Second Son
Creating a video game hero with superpowers like smoke and neon means figuring out what they should sound like. Sony took CNET behind the scenes to show us how it created the sound effects for new PS4 game Infamous: Second Son.

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Dolby to put Atmos surround sound on tablets, smartphones
The immersive audio that makes moviegoers feel like they're inside the film rather than just watching it will be available for Dolby partners to incorporate on mobile by the end of the year, Dolby says.

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Runway safety improvements under way at SFO (pictures)
Two of four runways will close as part of federally mandated improvements. CNET takes a look at the technology and gets a tour of SFO's runways.

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San Francisco Airport uses tech to meet runway safety standards
In order to meet a federal directive, the airport will close two runways this summer to install a special concrete material that will bring runaway aircraft quickly to a stop.

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Microsoft revises privacy policy in wake of Hotmail search case
Blowback in handling of corporate espionage case forces Microsoft to promise stronger policies protecting privacy of Hotmail account holders.

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Phil Spencer on Xbox One 'always-on' debacle: 'We could have been more clear'
On the final day of the Game Developers Conference, the head of Microsoft Studios opens up about the Xbox One's tumultuous road to launch and the company's indie game relationship.

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Microsoft: Here's $100 if you drop Windows XP
Hey XP users, time to move on -- Microsoft is saying in no uncertain terms by offering $100 off a new PC.

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The Web out-Picassos itself: Welcome, sticky tape selfies
In the latest and perhaps most tastelessly sweet Internet meme, people are wrapping their faces in sticky tape and snapping the results. Perfect for your 3-year-old this weekend.

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BuzzFeed - Geeky
last updated: Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:20:04 -0400

This Is What Tris Will Look Like In "Insurgent"

Shailene Woodley tells BuzzFeed she insisted her character be wig-free in the second film of the Divergent trilogy. And Theo James calls the movie “so much bigger.”

Lionsgate

Lionsgate

When Insurgent hits theaters in March 2015, viewers won't be seeing the long-haired Tris (Shailene Woodley) they came to know in 2014's Divergent, the first film in the trilogy based on Veronica Roth's novels. Instead, the character will be rocking the blonde pixie cut Woodley sported at 2014's San Diego Comic-Con (above right) this past weekend.

"This is what you'll be seeing," she told BuzzFeed while promoting the Divergent Blu-ray/DVD release. "I talked to the director [Robert Schwentke] because I didn't want to wear a wig. I think wigs always look wiggy, especially in an action movie. We're running so much and doing so much, I think, technically, a wig would have looked quite shitty."

While Tris does get a shoulder-length haircut in the book, the filmmakers decided to embrace the pixie cut Woodley already had — a remnant of The Fault in Our Stars, the cancer drama she filmed between Divergent and Insurgent. "I think it's cool to have a young heroine with short hair," Woodley enthused, calling the overall aesthetic "more modern."

Theo James, who plays Four in the Divergent franchise, sees the style as a constant reminder of how much his character's girlfriend has changed since choosing the Dauntless faction in Divergent. "When I'm looking at Shai on screen, now you get a character progression in a visual way," he told BuzzFeed. "There's a maturity and a difference between the character here and in the first movie."


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These Are Twitter’s Biggest Secrets
What makes us follow, fave, share and—most importantly—keep coming back

When I choose someone new to follow, when I compose a new tweet, when I share and favorite an update, I seldom think about the why. My following sessions would probably seem haphazard to an outsider, and my favoriting technique comes and goes from one strategy to another.

Even so, the way I use Twitter is far less random than I thought. There is science and psychology behind the way we all tweet.

Researchers have discovered trends in the way that we perform every major action on Twitter—favoriting, updating, sharing, and following. And there’s even an interesting bit of psychology behind what makes Twitter so attractive in the first place. Here’s a look at the psychology of Twitter: what makes us follow, favorite, share and keep coming back for more.

Why we love Twitter so much: Rats, levers and psychology

I’ve hit more than my fair share of Twitter wormholes—minutes that turn to hours as I find more and more tweets to read and share. Does that sound familiar to you, too?

I figured there was a psychological reason behind the draw of Twitter. After digging around, sure enough, I came across a perfect explanation of this phenomenon, courtesy of Dr. Marion Underwood, a clinical psychologist at the University of Texas.

The type of reinforcement schedule that is the most reinforcing is what’s called an intermittent schedule.

So, you have a rat pushing a lever and he gets rewarded, but not in a predictable way. Many times, that animal pushes that lever and nothing comes, but every once in a while, it gets a great treat. So the rat keeps pressing and pressing and pressing even though there’s not much reinforcement coming because every once in a while, it’s just great.

This hit home for me. Twitter offers these intermittent rewards that keep us coming back. Maybe you’ll check Twitter once and have a notification that someone retweeted you. That’s enough to keep you coming back a handful more times, even if nothing new and rewarding has occurred. We keep pushing the lever, hoping for something great.

The concept makes complete sense for those who wind up checking Twitter multiple times each day (same goes for email, too).

And just as there is psychology behind why we love Twitter so much, there’s science and data behind the many different ways we interact with one another. Here are three of the most interesting studies I’ve come across.

Why we follow: The 15 factors that affect follower growth

What spurs us to follow someone on Twitter? Researchers at Georgia Tech and Michigan combined to study the factors involved in following.

Their study looked at more than 500 Twitter users and a half-million of their tweets and analyzed follower count over a 15-month period—one of the longest timeframes you’ll see in a Twitter study.

The research team worked from a basis of follower growth factors that were made up of variables from social science, linguistics, computer-mediated communication, and network theory. In other words, if there is any reason why someone would follow someone else on Twitter, this study accounted for it.

The factors they came up with boiled down to three categories: social behaviors, message content, and social network structure. Here are the individual factors for each, starting with social behaviors:

  • Tweet volume
  • Burstiness – tweets per hour
  • Interactions – replies, mentions, and favorites
  • Broadcast communication – the ratio of tweets with no @-mention
  • Trustworthiness of the profile – How well is the bio filled out? Is there a URL in the profile? Is there a location listed?

The individual factors for message content:

  • Positive/negative sentiment
  • Informational content – ratio of tweets containing either a URL, RT, MT, HT, or “via”
  • Meformer content – ratio of tweets containing self-referencing pronouns like “I,” “me,” “we,” and “us”
  • Topic focus
  • Retweets – how often your content gets retweeted
  • Hashtag usage
  • TReDIX – Tweet Reading Difficulty Index (based on the frequency of real English words longer than 6 letters)

The individual factors in social network structure:

  • Reciprocity – The number of people you follow who also follow you
  • Attention-status ratio – Total followers compared to total following
  • Network overlap – How similar are the people you follow to those a follower follows

Knowing what’s behind each of these factors, how would you rate them in terms of importance? Which factor helps gain the most followers?

The winner is network overlap.

 

Follower growth stats
Buffer

In the chart above, you’ll see that the effect on follower growth spills to both sides of the x-axis. So not only can you see that network overlap, retweetable content, and a good bio have positive effects on gaining followers, you might also notice that broadcast communication (e.g. tweets with no @-mention), negativity, and hashtags drive follower growth down.

Takeaway: The PsyBlog has a nice recap of the findings from this study, summarizing points of emphasis from the research data. If you want to grow your followers, try these tips:

  1. Avoid negative sentiments
  2. Inform, don’t meform
  3. Boost social proof
  4. Stay on topic
  5. Write well and avoid hashtag abuse
  6. Switch from broadcast to direct tweets

Why we share: A guide to penning the most shareable tweet

I’m sure we’d all love to know what makes for a perfect tweet. Cornell researchers were interested, too.

They conducted a study that examined more than 1.7 million tweet pairs, comparing the differences in language between the two tweets and assigning value based on which style of tweet gains more retweets. Their conclusion:

Helpful wording heuristics include adding more information, making one’slanguage aligned with both community norms and with one’s prior messages, and mimicking news headlines.

If you were looking for an exact formula of a perfect tweet, the researchers didn’t find one. They did, however, offer a large number of best practices to go along with their conclusion above.

  • It helps to ask people to share
  • Informativeness helps
  • Sound like your community
  • Imitate headlines
  • Refer to other people but not to your audience (“he” and “she” rather than “you”)
  • Generality helps (“a” and “an” rather than “the”)
  • The easier to read, the better

Perhaps best of all, the research team put together a tool based on their findings that can help you perfect your posts. Enter two similar tweets into the Retweeted More tool, and you’ll get an algorithmic answer about which is better.

(Ready for some practice? See how you fare against the algorithm by taking this25-question test–see if you can pick the tweets that got shared more.)

Takeaway: Take inspiration from headlines and from your past successful tweets (your Buffer analytics can help with this) to write a tweet that is optimized for sharing. Try out the Retweeted More tool to test different versions.

(If you’re curious what we’ve found works best for retweets, check out the recap from our Twitter webinar.)

Why we favorite: Reaction & function

A study published by the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence sought to put our myriad favoriting methods into categories. They quizzed a group of more than 600 Twitter users by asking two questions:

  1. Explain why you tend to favorite tweets.
  2. Explain the reasons for your most recent favorited tweet.

They received more than 331 answers to these questions and placed each answer into one or more categories. Here’s the full taxonomy of categories they used to classify favorites.

AAAI
AAAI

 

 

What’s interesting about the way these 331 answers fell is that there came about two distinct use cases for favorites. The research found that people favorite a tweet for one of two reasons:

  • Reaction/response
  • Function/purpose

The psychology here is quite interesting. Reactions and responses occur directly due to the content of the tweet or the author of the tweet. We favorite what we like. We favorite our friends and family (and, if I’m being honest, celebrities). When we favorite for utility, we’re seeking to fulfill a goal or a purpose. We favorite to bookmark. We favorite to communicate.

(If you’ve ever favorited something you agree with, your favorite would fall into the function/purpose category. According to the study’s authors, favoriting as agreeing is intended for the author; liking for the person doing the favoriting.)

Takeaway: Classifying favorites is nothing new; we all seem to have a method of favoriting tweets. The research shows, at least, that our method isn’t necessarily unique to us. For every user who favorites their friends, there’s a user who’s favoriting for bookmarks.

Do these insights ring true to you?

Psychology shows us how Twitter can be so addicting: We crave a great experience each time we pull the Twitter lever, and it keeps us coming back for more.

Research and data reveal a bit into the way that we use Twitter. We follow based on our network, we retweet based on tried-and-true formulas, and we favorite for reaction or function.

Kevan is a content crafter at Buffer, the super simple social media management tool. His social media and productivity tips have appeared in Fast Company and Lifehacker, and he’s always on the lookout for a good headline pun. Connect with him on Twitter .

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Twitter / liamalexander
last updated: Mon, 08 Oct 2012 07:22:42 +0000

liamalexander: My daily stats: 12 new followers, 9 new unfollowers via http://t.co/hROlspGI
liamalexander: My daily stats: 12 new followers, 9 new unfollowers via http://t.co/hROlspGI

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Twitter / Favorites from liamalexander
last updated: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 22:44:57 +0000

alanjonesUK: RT @PopSci: Scientists finally have some answers about the mysterious "dark matter" in the human genome: http://t.co/Gm4Fh0B6
alanjonesUK: RT @PopSci: Scientists finally have some answers about the mysterious "dark matter" in the human genome: http://t.co/Gm4Fh0B6

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Ask the Guru
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Captain marketing phone number - We are a SEO, SEM, and online advertising firm based in Los Angeles. Our experts specialize in search engine optimization, Intern

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Stumble
last updated: Fri, 25 Feb 2011 22:09:15 +0000
The Next Web
last updated:

Flipkart raises $1 billion to strengthen its bid to own India’s e-commerce space
flipkart 2
It’s turning into quite a year for Flipkart. Today the e-commerce company from India has confirmed the much-reported rumor that it has raised $1 billion in fresh investment, as it eyes new verticals, expand its operations and stave off challenges from Amazon and eBay. The round reportedly includes participation from existing investors Tiger Global, Yuri Milner’s DST Global group, Accel Partners, ICONIQ Capital, Morgan Stanley Investment Management and Sofina. Prior to today’s announcement, Flipkart had taken just over $700 million from investors. The company most recently raised $210 million back in May, just after it acquired fashion-focused rival Myntra for an undisclosed fee which was said to...

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