Apple Discontinues Aperture

Aperture appApple has announced that it is ceasing development of its Aperture and iPhoto apps. Instead, Apple will be replacing them with its new Photos app (that was announced during its Worldwide Developers Conference).

Jim Dalrymple, at The Loop was given the following statement from Apple:

With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.

The Aperture Blog notes that Apple has said they will provide an update so that Aperture will still work with OS X Yosemite. This will give Aperture users some time to make a decision about where to move their photos to.

New Media Show #52 David Plotz Editor in Chief Slate.com

Rob and Todd have a great conversations with David Plotz Editor in Chief of Slate.com we talk about their new media / podcast strategy. Rob and Todd also talk about signing exclusive deals and the plus and minuses. We cover some recent news in the podcasting space as well that has been called into question.

Contact the show: Rob or Todd @ newmediashow.com

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Were you Part of Facebook’s Psychology Experiment?

FacebookMuch has been said about how Facebook utilizes the information that its users choose to post. There have been many blogs regarding privacy issues (especially when Facebook makes changes to it). People are aware that their photos or posts could be included in Facebook advertising. Were you aware that Facebook can also use your data for psychology experiments?

Scientists at Facebook published a paper that appears in the current issue of The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. The paper is titled “Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks”.

The psychological experiment on Facebook took place for 1 week (January 11 – 18, 2012). Participants were randomly selected based on their User ID. There were about 155,000 participants who posted at least one status update during the experimental period.

The experiment manipulated the extent to which people were exposed to emotional content in their News Feed. The scientists were looking for something they refer to as “emotional contagion”. By this, they meant that they were watching for signs that emotional states can be transferred from one person to another without direct interaction between people (and in absence of nonverbal cues). What they discovered is that “emotional contagion” really can happen. From the abstract:

When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts. When negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks.

It is a very interesting finding. Unfortunately, it was discovered as a result of scientists secretly manipulating some Facebook user’s emotions by tweaking whether they were shown positive or negative posts during the experimental period. It feels like a really horrible thing to do to random people who have no idea they were being used as a “guinea pig” in a psychological experiment.

If you are on Facebook, then you have agreed to be part of experiments like this one when you clicked that you agree to the Facebook Data Use Policy. Part of it says that potential uses of your data include “internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research, and service improvement”.

The scientists stayed within those boundaries to do the experiment. They used machine analysis to select positive and negative posts. This enabled the experiment to be done without having human researchers read user data that contained personal information. I cannot help but wonder how many other psychological experiments have happened on Facebook (or if more will happen in the future).

Transformers: Age of Extinction

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Transformers: Age of Extinction wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t in the mood for any kind of thinkin’ movies, and this one def’ isn’t that. It was fun and full of eye candy and explosions and more explosions and carnage and explosions. Don’t forget the slow mo close-up of a girl w the sun setting behind her. But they did a better job on the Transformers’ faces this time. Like, you know, they had them. The story was fine, we got some new characters, some old, of course Optimus Prime is front and center, but the Dinobots didn’t show up until almost the end.

I always get the feeling, watching these movies, that someone was only just “aware” of the original Transformers. There will be a name or car or ship that’s from the originals but it’s just not quite right. It’s like someone just saw a couple clips from the old shows and went “Yeah, put that in there.. I dunno.. I heard someone was called Prowl, I guess? Use that for one of the guys, I don’t care if he’s good or bad, whatever.” I’m not asking for a lot here, just get the characters and what they turn into right.

So am I recommending this movie after all that? Sure. If you want a good, fun, shiny movie to watch, it’s that. Just make sure you go to the bathroom ahead of time because, yes, it IS almost three hours long. I think if you get there just as the movie is starting, it’s fine. The nonstop action keeps things moving along. But throw in the 20 mins of previews and whatever commercials before that (depending how early you get there), it does start to seem like you’ve been in your seat forever. It could have been chopped down a little, because let’s face it, we don’t really need three hours of Michael Bay in any one sitting.

GNC #959 Supreme Court Rulings!

I share a sea story on the show tonight, based on a video I saw this evening shared with me by my oldest daughter.. Hope you enjoy it. Supreme Court makes major rulings plus I get deep into a pile of tech stories and update you on my Transformation.

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Aereo: “Our Work is Not Done”

Aereo logoBy now, you have probably heard about the Supreme Court’s decision on the case called American Broadcasting Companies v. Aereo. In short, the Justices voted 6 to 3 in favor of the broadcast industry. Justice Breyer’s opinion was supported by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Ginsburg, Kagen, Kennedy, and Sotomayor. The Justices who dissented were Justices Scalia, Alito, and Thomas.

Within seconds after the decision was revealed, rage swept across the internet. The “Court of Public Opinion” clearly feels that the SCOTUS decision stinks. Those hoped to finally being able to “cut the cord” and get rid of their cable bill forever are not going to see that happen through Aereo right now.

In plain English, this is a case about copyright (at least, that’s how SCOTUS sees it). The basic idea is that if you make a work – such as a television show – you can get a copyright. No one else is allowed to “publicly preform” that work unless they pay you. Aereo doesn’t pay the copyright owners, so SCOTUS decided that what Aereo was providing was illegal.

The Justices did not choose to make a decision about some related, and important, concepts. They didn’t specify how the copyright laws apply to services that aren’t exactly like the cable companies. They felt that their decision regarding Aereo did not call into question of the legality regarding cloud computing. Personally, I think that Justices’ lack of clarifying about these concepts is going to lead to more lawsuits as companies fight about where the real boundary is between legal and illegal.

Aereo released a statement from CEO and Founder Chet Kanojia regarding the SCOTUS decision. Here are some key points from the statement:

“…Consumer access to free-to-air broadcast television is an essential part of our country’s fabric. Using an antenna to access free-to-air broadcast television is still meaningful for more than 60 million Americans across the United States. And when new technology enables consumers to use a smarter, easier to use antenna, consumers and the marketplace win. Free-to-air broadcast television should not be available only to those wh can afford to pay for the cable or satellite bundle.”

“…We are disappointed in the outcome, but our work is not done. We will continue to fight for our consumers and fight to create innovative technologies that have a meaningful and positive impact on our world.”

Diablo III Auction House Closes Forever

Diablo III LogoThose of you who still have unsold items sitting in the Diablo III Auction House have a very short time in which to collect them. Back in March of 2014, Blizzard Entertainment announced hat they would be closing both the gold Auction House and the real-money Auction House. Both will be closed forever on June 24, 2014.

Players have had a lot of time to remove their items from either Auction House. Blizzard has done a very effective job of making it clear that the Auction Houses are about to close. They posted it on the log in screen for Diablo III many times. Several different Blizzard Twitter accounts have sent out Tweets about it. Even Tyrael (@AspectofWisdom) reminded players about it!

Those who had items left in either Auction House got an email a few days ago that reminded them to go get their stuff before it disappeared. The email included instructions about how to go about collecting the items.

Despite all the warnings about the impending closure of both Auction Houses (which Blizzard started sending out in March) there are going to be people will be completely shocked and surprised when they realize sometime tomorrow that can no longer retrieve the items that they left in the Auction House. The items that they ignored, and left to gather virtual dust in the Auction House, suddenly become incredibly meaningful to them. I am expecting a lot of complaining by disgruntled, procrastinating, players all over social media tomorrow.

D-Link expands home automation line with motion sensor

DCH-S150 FrontHome automation, or the “internet of things” is one of the fastest growing fields in technology. It seems everyone is getting into the market, from electronics makers to retail stores — you can even buy certain product lines at Staples and Lowes now.

The latest to jump into the market is D-Link, most famous for its routers and switches. Not long ago, the company released the Wi-Fi Smart Plug, which allows for easy remote control of items such as lamps and more. Now, to compliment that, comes a new motion sensor called the DCH-S150.

“The compact motion sensor plugs into an open power outlet and alerts users of activity at home with a push or text notification as soon as it detects motion. Whether you want to know when the kids get in from school, make sure the puppy goes outside during the day, or receive an alert when the garage door opens, the Wi-Fi Motion sensor makes it simple to stay aware of what’s happening at home”, the company states in its announcement.

The motion sensor is on sale now from both the D-Link site, as well as other locations such as Amazon. It retails for $39.99.