Archive for March, 2013

Facebook’s Gay Marriage Map

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

If you’re a certain kind of person, with a certain kind of circle of friends , you are completely aware that a whole lot of Facebook users changed their profile picture this week. That’s the result of a very effective viral campaign , kicked off by the Human Rights Campaign, to show support for gay marriage as the issue came before the Supreme Court. But just how effective? Facebook has taken a stab at crunching some numbers , and come up this conclusion: On Tuesday, the day after the campaign started, an extra 2.7 million U.S. Facebook users changed their profile. That’s about 120 percent more than you’d see an average day. Other data points, via Facebook researcher Eytan Bakshy: *Your age influenced how likely you to change your profile picture, and 30-year-olds were most likely to swap out images — perhaps as many as 3.5 percent of them. *Women (2.3 percent) were slightly more likely to change their profile pictures then men (2.1 percent). *Not surprisingly, people in college towns and in many urban areas were more likely to make the switch. But not every big city: Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City showed lower switch rates than San Francisco and Washington D.C. Here’s a map which gives you a sense of Facebook’s best guess of how this broke down geographically, by county: The brighter the color, the more switchers. (And if you’re wondering about the bright mark in northern Minnesota, that’s likely because St. Louis County is lightly populated except for Duluth, which is both a college town and a city that likes to refer to itself as “ the little San Francisco “.) Click to enlarge:

Read More

TV Analysis: After Barbara Walters, Who Will Stir the TV-News Biz?

March 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

By the end of May 2014, the cultural behemoth known as “TV News” will no longer include Barbara Walters, arguably its best known link to the medium’s earliest days.

Read More

Lazaridis Won’t Dump His Shares — Unlike a Certain Other Former BlackBerry Co-CEO

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Mike Lazaridis, co-founder and former co-CEO of BlackBerry, will step down from the smartphone maker’s board on May 1 , and he’s taking his shares with him. Asked Thursday if he planned to divest his BlackBerry stake, which amounts to nearly six percent of the company’s outstanding shares, Lazaridis said he’s going to hold on to them for the time being. “I’m really proud of what we built together at RIM, and I believe I’m leaving it in good hands, and remain one of its largest shareholders,” he told Reuters . Lazaridis’s decision to hold on to his BlackBerry shares is the bi-polar opposite of the one made by his colleague and former co-CEO Jim Balsillie. Balsillie, who was also once one of BlackBerry’s largest individual shareholders, dumped his entire stake in the company a few months ago in a move that was viewed by some as a vote of no confidence in its comeback plan.

Read More

Play Ball! Free MLB Streams On Twitter, Facebook (And AllThingsD).

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

MLB Advanced Media, pro baseball’s digital arm, continues to find interesting ways to promote its popular subscription service . Here’s the latest: Free streaming across Facebook, Twitter and the Web. Even here! You can watch today’s spring training game between the New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals for free just about anywhere you can point a browser, either on a desktop machine or an iPhone or Android. MLB.com is handing out embed codes so people like us can stream the game from our pages, and you can also check it out live on Facebook or Twitter . Baseball has been playing with free Facebook streams for a couple years now; in the past, MLB.com boss Bob Bowman has said the idea has been “de minimus” as a conversion tool to his paid product, but he must think there’s some promotional benefit to doing stuff like this on a site with a billion users, because he keeps doing it. Twitter is more interesting, simply because Twitter seems to be more and more interested in seeing what it can do as a video platform (for example: its upcoming music app, which will play music videos from Vevo ). Two years ago MLB.com streamed a minor-league all-star game on Twitter, but I believe this is the first time the league has used Twitter to show a game with real pros. My hunch is we’ll see more of this stuff in the near future. Oh yes: And starting around 2 pm ET, you should be able to see the game below. Meanwhile, if you want to see Bowman live, head to our D: Dive into Mobile event next month in New York. Registration info here .

Read More

Twitter Engineering SVP Joins Board at Mobile Payments Company Braintree

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Twitter SVP of engineering Chris Fry has joined the board of directors at mobile payments platform Braintree, the company announced on Friday. Braintree provides the backend infrastructure powering a large number of sites, including Fab, Uber, Airbnb and others, and is doing north of $8 billion in payments volume on its platform annually. Fry, who was chosen specifically for his infrastructure background, joins the likes of NEA, Accel Partners, Braintree CEO Bill Ready and Nigel Morris of Capital One on the company’s board.

Read More

Many U.S. Businesses in China Cite Data Theft

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

More than a quarter of U.S. businesses in China said in a new survey that proprietary data was stolen from their China operations, highlighting a growing trade irritant between Washington and Beijing. The survey of U.S. business executives released Friday by the American Chamber of Commerce in China showed that 26 percent had seen data or trade secrets stolen over an unspecified time period. More than 40 percent said they saw the risk of a data breach in their China operations rising. The chamber hasn’t previously released survey results related to data theft. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

Read More

TV Review: ‘Mad Men’

March 29, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

At first blush, the roster of spoiler no-no’s from exec producer Matthew Weiner accompanying the two-hour “Mad Men” premiere appeared so daunting that about all one could safely say is, “It’s in color.” After some thought, though, it gives away little to reveal the sixth-season opener provides a rather ambitious meditation on nothing less than... Read more

Read More

HuffPost Live Thrives on Tape

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Late last summer, Huffington Post launched a streaming video news service , backed by 100 employees, lots of cash and a heap of hype. So how’s it going? Pretty good, says HuffPost Live boss Roy Sekoff. Especially if you choose to look at HuffPost Live as a video clip generator: Sekoff says his service is set to serve up 48 million streams this month, up from 17 million in November. The vast majority of those views don’t come from people who are watching HuffPost Live itself, but are finding embedded videos on AOL and HuffPo pages, like this story about Sasha and Malia Obama’s spring break plans . If you’re looking at HuffPost Live as a standalone news “channel” a la CNN or Fox News, it has a much more modest reach: A bit more than 2 million viewers a month, and a live audience that wouldn’t register by TV standards. Sekoff says its concurrent viewership tops out around 40,000 people. But those patterns are standard for the Web right now. Just about everyone who does live video, including AllThingsD ’s corporate cousins at The Wall Street Journal, gets almost all of its viewership after the fact, on demand. It’s possible that all of that changes if and when we get True Convergence Of All Devices All The Time.

Read More

Google’s Mobile Game Ingress Finds a Passionate Following

March 29, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sometimes, Google seems like a wanton withholder of things that are good and useful ( see: Google Reader ). Sometimes, the company seems to be chasing the competition ( see: Google Shopping Express ). But here’s something totally fanciful and weird that Google is devoting substantial resources to: A mobile augmented reality game called Ingress . Since launching in November, Ingress has developed a passionate following that begs on Google+ for invites, trades intelligence on Reddit and meets to go on real-world quests together. “It’s like the real-world socializing of Foursquare merged with World of Warcraft,” explained Ingress creator John Hanke in a recent interview. John Hanke Hanke and his team — an internal division of Google called Niantic Labs — clearly have a lot of very geeky fun. They’ve devised an alternate reality where players divide themselves into two teams and then work to connect together virtual portals situated on actual local landmarks. Hack a portal and connect it to two other ones, and your team gets control of the land area within that triangle. Ingress players wander around with their Android phones running the app, making plays for portals and coordinating their attacks. They look for clues and codes from videos and other content put out by Niantic . Hanke said Ingress was pitched to Google CEO Larry Page as “a bet to invent experiences for mobile devices today and the future.” He said that — for the time being — Niantic’s efforts to explore the future of location-based gaming are exempt from efforts to focus the company. Hanke explained, “With things like Android and Glass, all these technologies are sitting around Google. There’s a lot of latent capability. We’re like kids in a candy store.” Thomas Hofmann/Google+ Ingress fan art Ingress isn’t a success yet, though it has had promising growth. The app has been downloaded more than 500,000 times and players are evenly split between the U.S. and the rest of the world, said a Google spokeswoman. The team building the technology, gameplay and content consists of “a couple dozen people,” she said

Read More
Is Reddit broken?

Is Reddit broken?

March 29, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

In the history of “content,” from “Antigone” to the Harlem Shake, there’s never been a more efficient machine for unearthing stuff people want to consume than Reddit. What shows up on Reddit’s front page isn’t always good or smart, but it’s always interesting to a huge number of people. The front page of Reddit is the ultimate in democratized content, the polar opposite of the grave, godlike food critic, the radio DJ on the record company’s payroll, or even the robot that games a search engine’s algorithm (for the most part). But if Reddit is so efficient at separating the wheat

Read More