Technology

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Are Facebook’s 8 Billion Views the Result of Freebooting?

Mark Zuckerberg recently revealed that Facebook is now generating 8 billion videos views a day from only 500 million people, and if you are proficient with numbers, you will notice that these figures don’t quite stack up. Most people scroll down their Facebook timeline with the mute button on their device while navigating away from auto-playing videos and are blissfully unaware that after only 3 seconds this is classed as a view and allows advertising income to be gained from the video.

Over on YouTube, a video has to be playing for 30 seconds for the view count to be recorded. Many are starting to notice that there is a billion dollar industry emerging known as “freebooting” where people can steal YouTube content and promote via Facebook creating unreal view counts and forced virility as Facebook videos are automatically prioritised over YouTube videos.

However, a video is currently going viral and receiving widespread support after pointing out the struggles for content creators suggesting that Facebook is purposely “rigging” their algorithm for their own personal gain.

Very often the original creator of video content will obtain a few views from their own YouTube channel whereas the video can achieve millions of views on Facebook, which generates advertising income for the social media behemoth rather than the content creator(s) who rely on revenue for advertisements.

Primarily the content creators are not receiving money or recognition from these videos whereas Facebook and the video stealing accomplice receive the returns.

YouTube’s copyright infringement system seems to be quite stringent by comparison, and it seems clear that Facebook’s is turning a blind eye to protect their cash cow while the video stealer appears to get away with a lucrative swag bag every time with no threat or fear of any consequences.

(more…)

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Tech or Treat! Technology Brings Halloween Into the 21st Century


You might be a high-flyer with a mountain of emails to wade through and countless meetings to attend this week, but in the back of your mind is the impending doom that you need to think of something original for Halloween or lose your cool parent status forever in this modern nightmarish tale.

I am always fascinated by how people use a combination of innovative ideas and technology to bring something a little different to age-old traditions. The pressure for families to outdo their neighbours by adding something unique to their annual Halloween celebrations and deliver the ultimate scare factor is here once again.

The days of simply carving a traditional pattern to your pumpkin are gone, and there are now a wealth of patterns and stencils available online to ensure you secure the cool factor with your friends and family. However, the latest hair-raising trend of ghost droning has raised the stakes for anyone wanting to bring All Hallows’ Eve into the 21st century.

Tech fans have created a fusion of old and new methods to deliver the ultimate fright night by adding traditional scary costumes to drones that were originally designed for aerial filming. Those who have a fear of clowns might want to stay indoors next Saturday if these videos by @djlilraz are an early indication of what to expect.

Who are you gonna call when an apparition of a terrifying flying clown haunts your neighbourhood?

Technology is also on hand to ensure you do not find yourself in the ghastly position of arriving at a party in the same costume as one of the other guests. Google Frightgeist helpfully allows you to to see what costumes are trending in your neighbourhood obtained from Google Trends 3-billion searches. Predictably Harley Quinn and anything Star Wars related will be incredibly popular this year as fans get their geek on.

The ubiquitous selfie and the sticks that accompany them will be hitting the streets in full force, and there are a few apps such as Vampire Me that allow you to capture your inner bloodsucking vampire. However, the fact vampires do not have a reflection seems to have been conveniently left out of the app description.

When it comes to the afterlife, vampires might seem a little lame to zombie obsessed millienials but thankfully there is no shortage of apps for fans of the Walking Dead to quite literally zombify yourself for the ultimate Halloween selfie.

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Meanwhile, GhostCam allows you to spice up your photos by placing ghostly figures in the background to add a little authenticity to those late night spooky stories.

Scare Cam allows you to trick your friends into performing an eye test only to flash a scary pic on-screen and film their reaction to share their lack of nerve on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

If you wanted to add a 21st-century angle to the spooky stories around a campfire, there are a wealth of ghost story podcasts available on Stitcher that will certainly be responsible for a few sleepless nights. Meanwhile gamers might prefer to enter the world of Silent Hill with the lights off or sample one of the many scary titles at their disposal.

Halloween might be an ancient tradition, but it’s our love of technology that will ensure this year’s parties bring something a little different to the table. Although these are days of selfies, flying drones, mobile apps and online trends. The truth is these are also just more tools at our disposal to up our game this Halloween.

As a society, we have evolved so much over the last 2,000 years and yet fundamentally we are exactly the same trying to scare each other with the same old ghost stories whether it be by a campfire or via a podcast.

However, if you feel that the whole day is complete nonsense, you can point your telescope to the skies and watch an asteroid larger than the Empire State building hurtling past the earth aptly named ‘Spooky

It seems that when the darkness falls across the land, it’s technology that will be bringing people together whatever you choose to do on October 31st.

 

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iBeacons and Meerkat App Bring Human Element to SXSW

Over 100,000 attendees are expected at South by Southwest (SXSW) where the annual event offers a smorgasbord of music, film and interactive technology in Austin, Texas from March 13-22.

However, the big news is how once again technology is rapidly invading event space as the organisers of SXSW have teamed up with Eventbase to place over 1,000 Gimbal’s series 21 iBeacons in 265 of the events official venues to offer tracking and communication via the official mobile app, which is also the largest deployment of iBeacons for an event.

Typically this form of technology interacts with your mobile phone when you enter or leave an area and send messages depending on your interests along with any promotions that can be pushed to visitors, but this latest event partnership is concentrating on using beacons to offer a human element that will allow visitors to network effectively.

Finally it seems that there is a realisation that there is more to iBeacon technology than retail marketing or advertising which is refreshing as nothing frustrates people more than receiving unsubtle and intrusive messages telling us to buy more stuff that only annoy the recipient.

We have a low tolerance of being used as a walking billboard, but location-based interactions with other visitors are something that could revolutionise the event space. For example, imagine checking into a conference and instantly be able to see exactly who else is in the room and filter through the results based on profile tags that allow you to network effortlessly with other visitors. (more…)

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Popcorn Time – Netflix for Pirates, Torrents For Dummies…

We all know that the traditional method of watching TV is dying; busy lifestyles determine what we want to watch and when we want to watch it. This change in attitude from viewers has seen services such as Netflix flourish and maybe even see the downloading of content via torrents slightly decline.

Do you really want the hassle of downloading illegally and the cumbersome process of transferring your dodgy files by plugging your device via a USB cable, when for only £5.99 a month you can view as much as you want  and not be labelled a thief in the online community by your fellow digital natives.

The only downside is that it can take a while for up-to-date content to make it across to whatever service you subscribe to. However, Popcorn Time has arrived on the scene and this new open source BitTorrent-powered movie streaming app for downloading and watching movies, can probably be best described as Netflix for Pirates or even Torrents for Dummies. (more…)