By: JAMES VINCENT
Google are experimenting with a new form of advertising, trialling large banners ads that run above search results. This is contrary to a statement made by the company in 2005 promising that they would never run “banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages”.
The search giant has confirmed that the ads are running only as a “very limited test in the US” with additional reports from SearchEngineLandclaiming that for the 30 advertisers involved ads only appear on “less than five per cent of search queries”.
Many have noted that the ads’ introduction contravenes a promise made by Marissa Mayer in 2005 when the Yahoo CEO was then Google’s vice president of search products and user experience.
“There will be no banner ads on the Google homepage or web search results pages. There will not be crazy, flashy, graphical doodads flying and popping up all over the Google site. Ever.”
A Google spokeperson has described these “informative visual elements” as simply the latest progression in content-rich ads, building on services such as Image Extensions (first introduced in June 2013) that pairs text adverts with approved pictures.
The new banner ads, shown in the screenshot below, seem to directly match the user's search query – reducing the likelihood that customers will be annoyed by their introduction whilst allowing companies to reinforce their brand.
However, the experimental ads do push search results further down the page and Google’s reluctance to fully explain the tests may worry users about the ‘slow creep’ of intrusive advertising.
By Lauren Hockenson, Giga Om
Facebook on Thursday announced the final phase of removing an old privacy feature from the social media platform. The feature, which allows users to be hidden from search, will finally be taken away for users who have it enabled.
The feature, called "Who can look up your Timeline by name?" was removed from Privacy settings last year (noted in a December blog post) for those who didn't have it enabled. When enabled, the setting removes the ability for users to access a Timeline profile via search, even when a user puts in the exact name of the person he or she is locating. Now, users that still have that feature enabled will begin to see removal notices from Facebook, indicating that they will be present and visible in Graph Search along with the rest of the Facebook user base.
Facebook says in the blog post that the feature is a vestigial precaution that reaches back before the platform had a sophisticated search algorithm. When Facebook search acted as a mere directory, removing oneself from search made it more difficult for strangers to access a given profile. But now, as Open Graph opens up to search more settings and there is greater visibility of Timelines for friends of friends, the importance of finding a person through search has diminished while controlling the content on any given Timeline has become more important. Facebook says that the feature also caused hiccups in the user experience:
"People told us that they found it confusing when they tried looking for someone who they knew personally and couldn't find them in search results, or when two people were in a Facebook Group and then couldn't find each other through search."Of course, the sunsetting of this feature for those who care about it the most only stresses the importance of checking and updating Facebook privacy settings often. Now, it's more important to consider the content of the Timeline itself: a "private Timeline" is only such when content is marked explicitly "Friends Only." As Facebook continues to make search easier, it's important to keep in mind how these changes impact social media privacy at large.
by Chelsey Wilkins in Beauty
Our royal highness, King Beyonce Knowles-Carter, found herself in quite a hairy (heh) situation while on stage during last night’s stop on the Mrs. Carter World Tour. In the middle of her performance for "Halo," Bey's GLORIOUS blonde wavy tendrils were snatched up by a fan! If you’re anything like us, you’re saying to yourself, "Who dare approach the throne to commit such a maleficence!?!" But Beyhive, before you go summoning Jay-Z and the rest of “La Familia” to initiate a manhunt for this audacious audience member, note that the offender was only a stage fan—as in, an inanimate object.
The same stage fan that helps create Bey’s signature hair-blowing-in-the-wind moments turned its back on its fearless leader, leaving her stuck and unable to whip her hair back and forth in true Sasha Fierce fashion. We’re sure audience members refrained from breathing during this frightening ordeal, praying Beyonce’s mane remained intact and unscathed. All the while, Bey continued performing like the boss chick she is, as body guards and concerned stans standing by removed B’s luxurious locks from the metal hands of this unapologetic machine. The show must go on, right?!
Beyonce, aware of the effects of social media and the hundreds of video cameras in the arena, took to Instagram early this morning to make fun of the situation before anyone else could (of course WE’d never poke fun at the Queen!). After uploading an Insta-video of the near disastrous hair experience, she posted a picture with reworked lyrics for her smash hit “Halo”. The remixed version goes something like this:
“Gravity can’t begiiiiiiiin
To pull me out of the fan again.
I felt my hair was yankiiiiiiiin
From the fan that’s always hatiiiiiiiin
Virgin remy & malasiiiiiaaaaaan”
HILARIOUS, right?! She signed her witty note with the message, “I got snatched ‘2 snaps.’ Goodnight all, B.” Well said, Beyonce. Well said.
by James Hibberd
NBC has locked down judges for the next two cycles of The Voice.
Speculation have run rampant as to who will sit in the red swivel chairs this fall and spring, with major media outlets declaring Shakira will exit the series for good after the singer said told reporters she wasn’t planning to return. There have also been rumors that Usher was finished with the show, too.
And it was all partly true. Shakira and Usher won’t be back … in the fall.
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According to sources close to the negotiations, this fall’s edition will reunite the original lineup: Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine, Blake Shelton and, yes, Cee Lo Green. In addition, Carson Daly will return as host for both cycles.
For next spring, cycle 6, The Voice will then switch back to its current lineup, which has made for a surprisingly successful shakeup this season. NBC is finalizing deals with Shakira and Usher, who will take the stage along with Levine and Shelton.
The addition of Shakira and Usher were so popular with fans that some even urged NBC to add the duo full time. But this strategy will help maintain both variety and continuity next season — the judges are all familiar faces, yet not the same faces all season.
Meanwhile Fox’s singing competition panels are still partly in limbo, with American Idol andThe X Factor having multiple gaps in their judges panels. US Weekly reported that Nicki Minaj will depart Idol next season, which would whittle down the current panel from four to two (Mariah Carey and Keith Urban, the latter today saying he wants to stay on the show), with two more exits potentially to come. Factor has executive producer Simon Cowell and Demi Lovato set to return as judges, but also has two other seats to fill. Factor has to find its panel soon since production on season three needs to start before the end of the month.
Author: Mack Rawden
The other day, Miley Cyrus acquired a unicorn costume. Whether it was through her publicist or an impulse purchase or something she sewed herself is unclear, but like any sensible human being, she put it on once it was in her possession and tweeted out a picture of herself wearing it. Because she’s Miley and Miley just has to be Miley, however, she didn’t stop there. Yesterday, she decided to throw the unicorn suit back on, and after turning on some music and grabbing a camera, she recorded the above video of herself twerking like a madwoman.
Not surprisingly, the clip has attracted an outrageous amount of attention. In fact, it’s somehow gotten people to stop talking about her on again, off again relationship with fiancé Liam Hemsworth, which might have been the point all along. If so, Miley might be a public relations master, or she might just be a woman that understands how much fun twerking in a unicorn costume can be.
Personally, I find the footage pretty endearing. I suppose it’s sort of goofily sexual, but more than that, I just see a girl killing some time and enjoying herself. That being said, my opinion is definitely not universally held. There are some who have watched this clip and been annoyed by how much the singer craves attention and how far she’s willing to go to get it.
What do you think? Let us know by committing!
'Harlem Shake' FAA Investigation: Colorado College Students' Dance In Plane Triggers Federal Inquiry (VIDEO)
"Harlem Shake" videos are all fun and games -- until the Feds get involved.
It seems a version of the popular dance video meme, filmed mid-February by enterprising Colorado College students aboard a Frontier Airlines flight headed for San Diego, has raised a few eyebrows over at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
ABC Denver affiliate KMGH confirmed the investigation with the FAA, which initially started the inquiry after viewing the video on YouTube.
Frontier Airlines spokeswoman Kate O'Malley added to KMGH that "[a]ll safety measures were followed and the seat belt sign was off" at the time the video was filmed.
“They are still looking into it, it’s still open,” FAA spokesman Tony Molinero said of the agency's probe, according to Colorado College student newspaper The Catalyst. “I don’t know where the [investigators] were told about it, but when they saw the video they just decided to look into it because it is better to be safe than sorry.”
For the uninitiated, the meme revolves around one person, typically wearing a helmet and dancing alone for approximately 15 seconds while "Harlem Shake," by New York-based DJ Baauer, plays in the background. When the bass drops, the solitary dancer is joined by a crowd of other dancing people. What's the point? There isn't one.
Colorado College seems to have perfected the art of the "Harlem Shake." The airplane version currently has in excess of 400,000 views on YouTube. Another version, filmed at the campus' Tutt Library, has nearly 200,000 views.
WATCH the "Harlem Shake" video that triggered an FAA inquiry, above. Watch CC's library version, below:
By Kate Kelland
(Reuters) - Scientists from a British cancer charity are teaming up with technology gurus from the likes of Amazon, Facebook and Google to design and develop a mobile game aimed at speeding the search for new cancer drugs.
The project, led by the charity Cancer Research UK, should mean that anyone with a smart phone and five minutes to spare will be able to investigate vital scientific data at the same time as playing a mobile game.
The first step is for 40 computer programmers, gamers, graphic designers and other specialists to take part in a weekend "GameJam" to turn the charity's raw genetic data into a game format for future so-called "citizen scientists".
"We're making great progress in understanding the genetic reasons cancer develops. But the clues to why some drugs will work and some won't are held in data which need to be analyzed by the human eye - and this could take years," said Carlos Caldas at Cancer Research UK's Cambridge Institute.
"By harnessing the collective power of citizen scientists we'll accelerate the discovery of new ways to diagnose and treat cancer much more precisely."
After the GameJam, which runs in London from March 1-3, an agency will build the game concept into reality and the team plans to launch it in mid 2013.
Cancer already kills more than 7.5 million people a year and the number of people with the disease worldwide is expected to surge by more than 75 percent by 2030, according to the World Health Organization's cancer agency IARC.
CRUK's scientists are working hard to identify the genetic faults that drive cancer to try to find new ways of diagnosing and treating patients in a more targeted way based on their genetic profile and that of their tumors.
In a major international study on breast cancer genetics published last year, CRUK researchers said they are now able to classify the disease into 10 subtypes - a finding that could lead to more accurate and tailored treatment in future.
That study also found several completely new genes that drive breast cancer, offering potential targets for new types of drugs.
Yet this type of research generates colossal amounts of data that need to be analyzed, CRUK said as it announced the gaming project. And while advances in technology mean scientists can process data faster than ever, much of it still needs to be analyzed by people rather than machines.
"The human eye can detect subtle changes that machines are not programmed to look for - leading to serendipitous discoveries providing clues to the causes and drivers of the disease," the charity said.
"With the collective power of hundreds of thousands of people across the globe helping our scientists to analyze this data we could drastically speed up research."
Philip Su, engineering site director of Facebook London said his company believes the best way to solve a problem "is to bring smart people together to 'hack' a solution."
"That approach is just as valid in the field of life sciences as it is in software engineering," he said.
(Reporting by Kate Kelland)
Published February 19, 2013 / FoxNews.com
A creepy phone call between two men accused of plotting to kill and castrate Justin Bieber has been released, according to TMZ. The call details how the men planned to use a tie to murder the pop sensation.
2/19/2013 10:31 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
A convicted murderer's terrifying phone call to a hit man -- in which he describes a plot to murder and castrate Justin Bieber and his bodyguard -- has been released.
The phone call -- obtained by KOAT 7 News in Albuquerque, NM -- was placed from a Las Cruces prison last November by Dana Martin, who's currently serving two life sentences for raping and killing a 15-year-old girl.
Martin -- reportedly obsessed with Justin Bieber -- is the first voice on the tape. The person he's calling is Tanner Ruane, the man who's accused of conspiring to carry out the Bieber castration since Martin was behind bars.
Ruane is the nephew of a former Las Cruces inmate named Mark Staake, whom Martin had also allegedly recruited to help carry out the murder following Staake's release last fall.
In the clips released by KOAT, Martin tells Ruane ... "[Mark's] going to kill the pit bulls and you're going to castrate them."
According to police, "pit bulls" was the code word for Bieber and his bodyguard.
In the call, Ruane mentions the "hedge clippers" he was planning to use to carry out the deed.
Martin also describes how to perform the murders using his signature paisley tie -- "Tie it really really tight. Knot it in the front once, really tight, put it in a knot. That cuts off the oxygen, and then tie it in the back again, really tight. That seals the deal."
As we reported, the murders were supposed to go down in New York City soon after this telephone call took place ... while Bieber was in town performing at MSG. Ruane and Staake were subsequently intercepted by police before anything happened.
Read more: http://www.tmz.com/2013/02/19/justin-bieber-murderer-dana-martin-phone-call-prison-castration/#ixzz2LP1nHLqb
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January 29, 2013 in: Chris Brown | By: admin
The story continues to evolve concerning the reported brawl between Chris Brown and singer Frank Ocean. Now an eyewitness to the incident claims that Brown instigated the fight because Ocean refused his handshake and over a particular parking space.
The eyewitness says that it was Brown that threw the first punch, after Brown’s camp originally denied that he was the instigator.
The eyewitness says that Chris Brown attempted to shake Ocean’s hand and ocean simply responded to the gesture with a laugh, which subsequently angered Brown and he retaliated with a punch. According to the witness, it was that punch by Brown that resulted in the brawl.
The Brawl reportedly moved into the studio lobby where both camps continued to fight.
“They managed to break almost everything in the room and scare all of the staff members working,” said the unnamed witness.
According to the updated report, the receptionist was forced to call the police, after which Brown left the scene. Ocean reportedly stayed to talk with police to discuss what happened. The updated report that has been issued through TMZ indicates that Chris Brown has made efforts to contact the police to offer his side of the story.
by Rose Curiel
By now, you've probably heardJustin Timberlake croon about his "Suit & Tie," but did you know the stylish singer also had a hand in creating the bespoke attire he wears in his latest music video?
That's right, J.T. has collaborated with none other than Tom Ford—you know, the designer responsible for suiting up Timberlake and Bradley Cooper at the recent SAG Awards—to create a snazzy selection of eveningwear, shirts, suits, ties and even shoes for his upcoming album, The 20/20 Experience.
And judging by the video, which stars Timberlake sporting a fierce suit by the designer and flashing the Tom Ford label of his tasteful tie, we can expect some seriously dashing style from the pair.
Obsessions: Justin Timberlake's fave socks
This isn't the first time the William Rast designer has teamed up with Ford; the duo worked together to create everything from Timberlake's dapper tux to his grosgrain-trimmed patent loafers at his wedding.
But it appears Ford is doing more than just design for The 20/20 Experience: The multitalented designer, who logged time as a film director for A Single Man, even created the "Suit & Tie" artwork, which features a close-up of (you guessed it!) a Tom Ford tux and bow-tie.
We'll have to wait until the album's March 19 release date to see what else Ford has up his stylish sleeves for Timberlake's album, but we have no doubt this bromance will up the ante for men's suits, ties and overall appearance.
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