Facebook Experiments Had Few Limits – Now here’s a surprise (not): Facebook seems to think it can do whatever the hell it wants to its users, because you’ve signed a TOS (which apparently now says your data can be used for research). the Data Science group has basically worked with few to no boundaries, and according to one scientist who spent a year with the group said, “Tests were run so often, he said, that some data scientists worried that the same users, who were anonymous, might be used in more than one experiment, tainting the results.” Supposedly there are “stricture guidelines” now, though. Suuuuure there are. And people think Amazon is evil?!
Thousands of Facebook Inc. users received an unsettling message two years ago: They were being locked out of the social network because Facebook believed they were robots or using fake names. To get back in, the users had to prove they were real.
In fact, Facebook knew most of the users were legitimate. The message was a test designed to help improve Facebook’s antifraud measures. In the end, no users lost access permanently.
The experiment was the work of Facebook’s Data Science team, a group of about three dozen researchers with unique access to one of the world’s richest data troves: the movements, musings and emotions of Facebook’s 1.3 billion users. –Wall Street Journal
Here’s what you need to know about the new Canadian anti-spam law that is freaking everyone out – As of July 1, 2014, Canada has the world’s strictest anti-spam law, and because marketing technologies are aimed at breaking down, rather than reinforcing international borders, this law will affect any spam sent to a Canadian, no matter where the sender resides. Fines of $1M for individuals and $10M for businesses sound pretty frightening, although corporations and attorneys are already protesting the new law. Moreover, social media seems to be exempt, and the government appears to be most interested in big offenders. Still, it’s going to be interesting to see what happens with this legislation, both inside and outside Canada.
But my company is not even based in Canada! Will I get fined anyways?
Good point. The government says the law applies to anyone who sends spam to someone in Canada, but enforcing that is another matter. The agency will have its hands full just trying to apply the law in the first place, let alone tangling with complicated cross-border issues.
What Canada will do is try and work with other governments to go after the worst of the worst, which is what it does when it comes to telemarketers. In Canada’s own words: “[We will ] share information with the government of a foreign state if the information is relevant to an investigation or proceeding in respect of a contravention of the laws of a foreign state that is substantially similar to the conduct prohibited by this Canadian law.” –Gigaom
World Book Night U.S. calls it quits – Despite some of the best publicity in the event’s history, 2014 Book Night US will be the last for now, with employees remaining on a volunteer basis until September to wrap up operations and meet the event’s remaining obligations. If you are unfamiliar with World Book Night, it’s an annual event held on a single day in April, where the goal is to spread the love of reading by giving away books. This year, about half a million books were distributed. Apparently the company even applied for grants, and was not successful in securing adequate funding for another year of operation. World Book Night US’s Chairman also happens to be Hachette CEO Michael Pietsch.
The problem in the U.S. was the cost of, production, organization and distribution. “The expenses of running World Book Night U.S., even given the significant financial and time commitment from publishers, writers, booksellers, librarians, printers, distributors, and shippers, are too high to sustain without additional outside funding,” executive director Carl Lennertz wrote in a statement. –Los Angeles Times
Are Categories Like Immigrant Fiction and ‘New American’ Fiction Valid or Worthwhile? – Pankaj Mishra and Francine Prose debate the value and validity of categorical labels like “immigrant fiction.” Prose says that initially she was opposed to the idea of categories, but then began to contemplate the issue from the perspective of how books connect to each other within a loose relationship that allows readers to choose one book on the basis of their experience of something similar. As long as those connections are not essentialized: “When categories get less interesting is when the category becomes the whole point — the substance and the basis of how a book is read.”
This is an experience very familiar to genre readers. However, categories can also ghettoize, as Mishra cautions:
Writers like Gary Shteyngart (Russia), Aleksandar Hemon (Bosnia), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Nigeria), Yiyun Li (China), Junot Díaz (the Dominican Republic) and Dinaw Mengestu (Ethiopia) have bypassed the old lines of connection between Europe and America. The ethnic and linguistic communities they belong to are spread across the United States rather than concentrated in the East and the Midwest. They may have grown up speaking Mandarin, Igboand Spanish at home; some of them fled disorderly societies and despotic regimes. But their advantages of class or education — and renewable intimacy with the mother country in the age of the Internet and cheap air travel — clearly mark them out from the huddled immigrant masses of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. –New York Times
isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnÊ¼t know, didnÊ¼t think about, or didnÊ¼t feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!