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The Filter Bubble

Why a hyper-personalized Web is bad for you (Q&A) | Geek Gestalt We all like having things tailored to our specific needs and interests. But Eli Pariser thinks we should beware of the substantial risks inherent in the increasing personalization of the Internet. Better known (so far) as the executive director of the progressive political action committee, Eli Pariser is making noise these days as the author of "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You." His new book, which was released yesterday, argues that the latest tools being implemented by the likes of Google and Facebook for making our Internet experiences as individual as possible are taking us down some very unsavory paths. First, of course, Pariser explains the dynamic we all face online today: that no two people's Web searches, even on the same topics, return the same results. Yesterday, Pariser sat down with CNET for a 45 Minutes on IM interview about his book and the problems that come with increasing personalization, and why people should care. How so?

Who Does Facebook Think You Are Searching For? | UPDATE March 28, 2013: Many people have commented here and emailed me that it no longer works for you. I have made an update to fix the bookmarklet for those with Facebook Graph Search. You can get the new bookmarklet here Updated Facebook Friends Ranking Bookmarklet to Work with Graph Search ========================================== UPDATE February 14, 2012: Many people have noted that Facebook has changed stuff in the last several months and so the bookmarklet broke. I have updated it to work on the new filename Facebook is using, and also to match the protocol you are browsing on. Have you ever wondered how Facebook orders your search results? Well Facebook gives explicit numbers to the directed edges (connection going from you to your friend), about how much they think you are looking for this person. To try it out, just drag the image here up to your browser’s bookmark bar. Note: This is really interesting, but may be embarrassing to you. Tested on Chrome, Firefox, and Safari.

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Genevieve Bell : secrets, mensonges et déceptions Par Hubert Guillaud le 20/02/08 | 6 commentaires | 9,840 lectures | Impression A l’occasion de la conférence Lift08 (vidéo), l’ethnologue australienne Genevieve Bell, chercheuse chez Intel, a fait une très intéressante communication sur nos pratiques du mensonge et du secret en ligne. Tous menteurs Sa recherche est partie d’une expérience personnelle : elle s’est surprise un jour à donner une fausse date de naissance sur un site. Intriguée, Genevieve Bell s’est alors intéressée aux données existantes sur le mensonge numérique. Une étude de 2006 a montré par exemple que 45 % des Britanniques qui envoient des SMS mentent en précisant l’endroit où ils se trouvent. Une étude récente évoquée longuement sur Scientific American conclut qu’aucun participant aux sites de rencontres en ligne ne dit la vérité : les hommes se donnent des centimètres supplémentaires, les femmes des kilos en moins. La question est de savoir si les nouvelles technologies facilitent les moyens que nous avons de mentir.

Humanities aren’t a science. Stop treating them like one. | Literally Psyched Will math help determine the Illiad's historic accuracy? Image credit: G. V. There’s a certain allure to the elegance of mathematics, the precision of the hard sciences. Take, for instance, a recent paper that draws conclusions about the relative likelihood that certain stories are originally based in real-world events by looking at the (very complicated) mathematics of social networks. But what is the analysis really doing? I’m skeptical of this kind of approach—and not at all sure that it adds anything to our understanding of, well, anything. Can we apply today's standards to analyzing "War and Peace"? I don’t mean to pick on this single paper. It’s one of the things that irked me about political science and that irks me about psychology—the reliance, insistence, even, on increasingly fancy statistics and data sets to prove any given point, whether it lends itself to that kind of proof or not. Kagan himself analyzes the problem in the context of developmental psychology:

Walking in Ecuador (the Good) Okay, we've established that Ecuador has some challenges when it comes to the pedestrian environment. But what about its successes? As I observed in my jaunts through cities large and small, in many places Ecuador has really done things right. Consider this street in Quito's New Town: Note the street furniture, large trees, and narrow roadway. The bricks are a nice touch also, though I wonder if they present any type of maintenance or accessibility problems. Even better is this street in Banos: What I loved the most about this street (aside from the fact that cars are allowed only half of the space the pedestrians enjoy--take that Ventura Boulevard with your seven travel lanes and narrow sidewalks) was the perfectly proportioned mixed-use buildings on either side. But perhaps most exciting to me were the pedestrian streets like this one that littered the roadway network in Quito's Old Town: And this was only in the cities.

L'opération d'espionnage des Etats-Unis pour manipuler les réseaux sociaux sur Internet (The Guardian) par Nick Fielding, Ian Cobain L’armée américaine est en train de développer un logiciel qui permettra de manipuler discrètement les médias sociaux par la création de faux profils afin d’influencer les conversations sur Internet et diffuser de la propagande pro-américaine. Une société californienne s’est vu attribuer un contrat par le Commandement Central (CentCom) des Etats-Unis, qui supervise les opérations militaires au Moyen Orient et en Asie Centrale, pour le développement d’un service décrit comme « un service de gestion de profils en ligne » qui permettra à un employé de l’armée de contrôler jusqu’à 10 identités différentes situées partout dans le monde. Selon des experts de l’Internet, le projet a été comparé aux tentatives de la Chine de contrôler et limiter la liberté d’expression sur Internet. Centcom a affirmé que n’étaient pas concernés les sites basés aux Etats-Unis, de langue anglaise ou toute autre langue, et a spécifiquement affirmé que les réseaux Facebook et Twitter n’étaient pas visés.

20 choses à savoir sur les navigateurs et Internet IllustrationChristoph Niemann Auteurs/éditeursMin Li Chan, Fritz Holznagel, Michael Krantz Directeur du projetMin Li Chan & The Google Chrome Team ConceptionFiPaul Truong DéveloppementFi Remerciements tout particuliers à au format HTML5 Social Science Statistics Blog 28 April 2013 App Stats: Roberts, Stewart, and Tingley on "Topic models for open ended survey responses with applications to experiments" We hope you can join us this Wednesday, May 1, 2013 for the Applied Statistics Workshop. Molly Roberts, Brandon Stewart, and Dustin Tingley, all from the Department of Government at Harvard University, will give a presentation entitled "Topic models for open ended survey responses with applications to experiments". A light lunch will be served at 12 pm and the talk will begin at 12.15. "Topic models for open ended survey responses with applications to experiments" Molly Roberts, Brandon Stewart, and Dustin Tingley Government Department, Harvard University CGIS K354 (1737 Cambridge St.) Abstract: Despite broad use of surveys and survey experiments by political science, the vast majority of survey analysis deals with responses to options along a scale or from pre-established categories. Posted by Konstantin Kashin at 11:25 PM | Comments (2) 22 April 2013

Fanny Georges, communication médiée par ordinateur: processus de production et de diffusion Graphic Sociology Cairo, Alberto. (2013) The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization. Berkeley: New Riders, a division of Pearson. Overview A functional art is a book in divided into four parts, but really it is easier to understand as only two parts. The second part of the book is a series of interviews with journalists, designers, and artists about graphics and the work required to make good ones. The second is a set of photographs taken of a clay model by Juan Velasco and Fernando Baptista of National Geographic that was used to recreate an ancient dwelling place call Gobekli Tepe that was in what is now Turkey. As a sociologist I am accustomed to reading interviews and am fascinated by the convergence and divergence in the opinions represented. There is a fifth part to the book, too, a DVD of Cairo presenting the material covered in the first three chapters of the book. What does this book do well? Diversity What doesn’t this book do well? Summary References