Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Map that shows how tweets are shortest in the Deep South and getting shorter everywhere

Map that shows how tweets are shortest in the Deep South and getting shorter everywhere
Twitter is unique for its brevity - only 140 characters are allowed in any post. But even within those tight linguistic confined, conversation is becoming shorter and shorter.

Two researchers at the University of the Philippines have found that in just three years, tweets have gotten two words shorter - falling from 10 words, on average, to eight.

Interestingly, the length of tweets also varies state-to-state. Twitter users in the Deep South appear to tweet fewer words and characters than anywhere else in the U.S.

Shortening and streamlining language is a trend that has tracked with language through history - and it's been accelerated by Twitter, they say.

Controversially, the authors of the study theorize that race is a factor in this trend.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2502391/The-map-shows-tweets-shortest-Deep-South-getting-shorter-users-speaking-slang.html#ixzz2kRVMyHxH

Friday, November 8, 2013

Google: testing software to track you and record your purchases at stores (on the street)

Google: testing software to track you and record your purchases at stores (on the street)
Tracking people online and showing personalised adverts is already a controversial topic and now Google is set to ruffle feathers further by tracking people in the real world too.

According to reports from tech website Digiday, the search giant is testing a program that would follow users around the high street to see which shops they visit.

Each time a user enters a store of business, Google would be able check to see if that user looked at adverts for that company online beforehand to check the ad's conversion rate.

Recent reports found Google makes around $100 million a day by selling Google Ads to businesses online.

It tracks conversion rates online when either a user clicks directly on an advert, or the user visits the website featured in an advert during its browsing session.

Google can already access certain information about a user through its own apps, such as the mobile Chrome browser, Google Maps, Gmail and Google+.

If users have ‘Location services’ activated and then have one of these apps is open, or running in the background, as they shop on the high street, Google can pinpoint exactly where they are.

The location's accuracy is improved if a customer accesses a company's Wi-Fi, for example.

In a blogpost in October, Google hinted at plans to extend how it tracks people and said: ‘As consumers are increasingly on the go and switching between devices, marketers are telling us they want to see a more complete and accurate picture of how their online advertising drives conversions.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2492355/Google-test-tracker-knows-person-theyre-buying.html#ixzz2k4ZdeKmR

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Social Media: a new study shows that a popular boy band is the most influential tweeter in UK

Social Media: a new study shows that a popular boy band is the most influential tweeter in UK
Every single member of the boyband One Direction are considered more influential in the UK than the Prime Minister, the Mayor of London and a number of other high-profile politicians and journalists, according to a new Twitter index.

Liam Payne, Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson each scored 98 out of a possible 100 in terms of influence, with Zayn Malik in fifth place on 97.

The scores are calculated based on how much other Twitter users retweet and engage with the tweeter and isn’t based purely on how many followers they have.

Prime Minister David Cameron, for example, scored the same amount of points as Zayn Malik but has fewer than 500k followers, compared to the 3 million or more of Piers Morgan behind him in eighth place.

The rest of the top 10 is made up of musician Ed Sheeran, columnist Caitlin Moran and comedian Ricky Gervais.

PeerIndex studied over 10 billion tweets from 150 million people to compile the Twitter 140.

For the ratings, Peerindex focused on whether other people in the UK were responding to, retweeting or engaging with a tweeter.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2483373/One-Direction-tops-Twitter-list-UKs-influential-users--David-Cameron-lagging-7th-place.html#ixzz2jbRH6Tr2

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Video games can make your brain BIGGER

Video games can make your brain BIGGER
Video games can make your brain BIGGER: Playing for 30 minutes a day 'boosts memory, ability to plan and dexterity'

While some people might think getting engrossed in a video game is a waste of time, scientists have found they can increase the size of our brains.

German researchers found video gaming causes increases in the brain regions responsible for spatial orientation, memory formation and strategic planning as well as fine motor skills.

They believe the benefits of video gaming may also prove helpful in therapeutic interventions targeting psychiatric disorders.

In order to examine how video games affect the brain, scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Human Development and Charité University Medicine St. Hedwig-Krankenhaus, asked adults to play Super Mario 64 for 30 minutes a day over a period of two months.

A control group did not play the game and the researchers measured brain volume using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

They found that in comparison to the people who did not play video games, the regular gamers showed increases of grey matter, in which the cell bodies of the nerve cells of the brain are situated.

This growth was seen in the right hippocampus, right prefrontal cortex and the cerebellum.

These parts of the brain are involved in functions such as spatial navigation, memory formation, strategic planning and fine motor skills of the hands and the changes were most noticeable in participants who were eager to play the game.

'While previous studies have shown differences in brain structure of video gamers, the present study can demonstrate the direct causal link between video gaming and a volumetric brain increase,' said study leader Simone Kühn, senior scientist at the Centre for Lifespan Psychology at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development.

'This proves that specific brain regions can be trained by means of video games,' he added.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2483687/Playing-video-games-half-hour-day-make-brain-bigger.html#ixzz2jRBdw4iO

Friday, November 1, 2013

Online Streaming: new trend of attneding a funeral

Online Streaming: new trend of attneding a funeral
Mourning through a monitor: Watching funerals streamed online grows in popularity

More and more undertakers are offering webcams at funeral services so friends and relatives can take part in the ceremony without being there in person.

The increasingly far-flung and global nature of modern society has seen demand for video-streamed services soar.

North East Lincolnshire Council has announced plans to allow funerals to be filmed on a webcam and then broadcast securely.

Council bosses say the services will be sensitively filmed from the rear of the chapel so as not to intrude on personal grief.

Councillor Ray Oxby said: 'We have installed this following feedback from local people about what they want from a modern funeral and in particular to cater for family members that live away and would find it difficult to attend.

'I am sure the improvements will... provide the extra choice and facilities for families and friends to make the final tribute a more fitting one.'

The service was pioneered by a Midcounties Co-operative Funeralcare home in Banbury, Oxfordshire, but undertakers throughout the country are now providing the service.

The first person to use the service was Claire Gledhill, who has relatives in Spain and the U.S. who wanted to pay their respects to her mother Jean McStocker.

Claire, from Banbury, said: 'Using the web link my family in the USA and Tenerife were able to join us at the funeral of our mother.

'It was a wonderful way to embrace our mother, be with each other in our time of mourning and rejoice in a wonderful woman’s life.  It was so important to us to share the ceremony, making it a true family experience.'

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2483147/Mourning-monitor-Watching-funerals-streamed-online-growing-popularity-families-global.html#ixzz2jPeXLJNV