Posts Tagged ‘Still’

Raspberry Pi Microcomputer Still Selling Like Hot Cakes

pi-kano Sales of low cost microcomputer have now passed 3.8 million, according to the Pi Foundation. Read More

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Best Xbox One Games Still Coming in 2014

Best Xbox One Games Still Coming in 2014
It's hard to believe that the Xbox One, Microsoft's next-generation gaming console has been on store shelves and ready for users to purchase for an entire year. It feels like just yesterday, Microsoft was building a tent on its Redmond campus and …
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10 Crazy Facts You Just Have To Accept To Enjoy The Xbox One
A relative latecomer to the game (and to games) is Microsoft, who hit the ground running with the first Xbox in the early noughties and became serious contenders with the follow-up 360. Now the confusingly titled Xbox One is battling for supremacy …
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GTA 5 PC, PS4 and Xbox One Latest Updates Are Announced
"Grand Theft Auto V for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC will feature a range of major visual and technical upgrades to make Los Santos and Blaine County more immersive than ever," the official statement from the studio's website reads. "In addition to …
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Facebook Issues New Experiment Guidelines, But It’s Still Lousy Science

The social network doubles down on the results of its controversial — and flawed — study.

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File

Following the intense backlash to its recent user experiment, yesterday Facebook announced improved guidelines for research at the company, saying it would subject new studies involving special groups of people or topics considered deeply personal (think emotions) to more extensive review within the company. Further, the company will improve training for employees and keep its research site up-to-date with the company's latest academic publications. These aren't particularly bold steps for the company, but they are welcome ones.

But lost amid the furor over the study's ethics was why, exactly, the company conducted the experiment in the first place. As yesterday's statement makes clear, the company wanted to investigate the notion that Facebook makes us unhappy. Is it true that the ostensibly happy world of Facebook could have a negative effect on our psyche? That positive posts from friends might actually make us feel bad? It's certainly plausible, and many studies suggest this. Sometimes we might feel left out, or like we're not nearly as popular or accomplished or well-traveled as our friends. So Facebook decided to put these notions to the test—to help put them to bed.

And, indeed, as yesterday's statement notes, the experiment finds that “people respond positively to positive posts from their friends,” not negatively. The lead author of the experiment, Adam Kramer, put it more bluntly: “We found the exact opposite to … the conventional wisdom. Seeing a certain kind of emotion (positive) encourages it rather than suppresses” it.

Unfortunately for us readers, the study seems almost designed to produce that very conclusion. Rather than rely on private reports of how Facebook makes them feel, Facebook instead relied on status updates as an indicator of how people feel. But as common sense (and much research, including Facebook's own research) would indicate, status updates are a biased representation of how we feel. In particular, the social science implies that when positive posts on Facebook make us feel bad, we won't broadcast those feelings to our friends—we'll keep them to ourselves.

Some of the basic science of status updates should have given Facebook's researchers pause about their methods. We tend to post when we're more emotionally aroused, so high-arousal emotions like anger, anxiety, and excitement will tend to be shared (and spread). But we tend not to post low-arousal emotions, like feeling sad, lonely, left out, or peaceful. This means using status updates as a measure of how we feel will undercount these low-arousal emotions. The sentiment analysis algorithm Facebook used may also be biased against these low-arousal negative emotions.

The problem is, sadness, loneliness and feeling left out are precisely some of the emotional consequences Facebook is trying to rebut, which means the social network's study may have preordained its own conclusions.

In the end, it's hard to know what to make of the methodological holes in Facebook's study—you'd hope that Facebook, above all, would understand the limits of status updates as a window into the human experience. There's no reason to believe Facebook meant to publish biased research, but it should have bent over backwards to convince us consumers of the research that the study is truly and fully impartial. This, Facebook did not do—and as a result, they have lost trust, not gained it.

Galen Panger is a Ph.D. candidate in the School of Information at the University of California, Berkeley. He recently wrote, “Why the Facebook Experiment is Lousy Social Science.” Send him an email or tweet with your thoughts and comments.

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Nokia: We're still HERE on Windows Phone

Nokia: We're still HERE on Windows Phone
"We haven't stopped developing for Windows Phone, but we are discussing with Microsoft how to proceed. At the end, whether as a HERE app or not, your location experience on Windows Phone will improve. By the way, we updated the maps on Windows …
Read more on ZDNet

Best Windows Phone note taking apps for your Lumia
nokia-lumia-520-utility-apps Using the latest Nokia Lumia smartphones with Windows Phone 8.1, everyday tasks become a doodle. By utilising one of the many great note-taking apps on the Windows Phone Store, you can document presentations, lectures, …

Windows 10 to replace Windows Phone
Microsoft today announced that Windows 10 will replace Windows Phone as the mobile operating system for smartphones running the Windows. Speaking at a press conference for the announcement of Windows 10 – Microsoft's next operating system – a …
Read more on TrustedReviews

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Yahoo’s old web directory still exists, but not for long

Way before Yahoo launched Search, it offered people from a different era a more primitive way to find websites: a web directory. While the advent of sophisticated search engines likely means you haven’t seen that directory in a decade or so…

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‘Super Smash Bros.’ is finally in your pocket, and it’s still fantastic

The latest Super Smash Bros. game features just about everything you would expect from the series. The roster of characters is absurdly huge, featuring everyone from series mainstays like Mario and Link to new characters like Pac-Man and even the ghostly trainer from Wii Fit. You’ll be fighting across stages pulled from Nintendo’s rich history, including a green-hued stage that looks like a GameBoy and Mario Kart‘s infamous Rainbow Road. There’s a whole bunch of modes to play through, both solo and with friends, and at the end of the game you still fight that weird giant hand.

But the newest Smash Bros. differs from past games in one key regard: it’s on a handheld device for the very first time (a Wii U version is expected later this…

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The new ‘Star Wars’ is still waiting on its DroneShield

Drone pilots have been capturing photos and video from above the scenes of the new Star Wars Episode VIIrevealinghalf-built Millennium Falcon and a black X-Wing fighter parked in the verdant English countryside about 50 miles outside London. Those leaks might have been prevented, Motherboard reports, if only Pinewood Studios had received its DroneShield on time.

The DroneShield is an early detection system that relies on “common drone acoustic signatures,” according to the company, sussing out hobbyist drones that are too small to be picked up by radar. The system sends a text message or email alert when a drone is nearby, which would theoretically give Pinewood Studios enough time to pull a tarp over the Millenium Falcon. (That…

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Japan still doesn't care about Xbox

Japan still doesn't care about Xbox
The Xbox brand has always been exceptionally weak in Japan, where consoles from local companies Sony and Nintendo traditionally perform much better than Microsoft's hardware efforts. But the recent launch of the Xbox One in the country has been …
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This Week on Xbox Live [XBLA & DwG]
Halo: Reach also hits Xbox 360 from today, as the latest free Game with Gold, while there are deals aplenty to be had, including the wonderfully endearing Valiant Hearts: The Great War. There's new GRID Autosport content, new Rocksmith 2014 songs and …
Read more on XboxAchievements

Resident Evil Revelations 2 will release episodically on Xbox in 2015
Capcom has announced that it will release Resident Evil Revelations 2 on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in early 2015. At least, that's when it will begin releasing the game. Breaking from franchise tradition, the sequel will adopt an episodic release format …
Read more on XBLA Fans

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Lip reading is still too hard for computers

Reading lips is a skill usually reserved for fictional spies or the hearing impaired, but researchers have spent years trying to gift the talent to computers, too. A device capable of automated lip-reading would certainly be a game changer, raising…

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BLU Products’ candy-toned Android phones are still cheap and unlocked

It might take a while before BLU Products (makers of affordable and unlocked phones for North America) comes out with Windows Phone devices like it promised. Until then, we’ll likely see it launch more Android phones first — like these four KitKat…

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