Archive for June, 2013

Zynga Co-Founder Signs On as Board Adviser at Bee Cave Games

June 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Eric Schiermeyer, founding team member of social gaming company Zynga, announced Friday he will act as adviser to the board of directors at Bee Cave Games. The position comes on the heels of Schiermeyer’s investment in the company (the amount was not disclosed). Schiermeyer, will still hold his position at Zynga. as Tech Crunch points out, is no longer with Zynga, hence the title ambiguity on his LinkedIn profile . Schiermeyer, who was once SVP of product at Zynga, is now listed as “guru of growth” on CrunchBase and simply “founder” on his LinkedIn profile. He was one of the original team members to work on Zynga Poker, one of the company’s most successful and widely played social games to date. So joining Bee Cave Games, a startup that works predominantly on casino-style games, makes sense for a guy with Schiermeyer’s background. Schiermeyer also worked with Erik Bethke, CEO of Bee Cave Games, during Bethke’s time at Zynga. The two worked together scaling growth upward on Mafia Wars, another one of Zynga’s more popular games. Schiermeyer’s investment and adviser position comes at an interesting time for Zynga, as the company positions itself in the long term to move into online real-money gaming .

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Facebook Restricts Ads on Controversial Sites

June 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

In the wake of protests over violent content on its site Facebook announced on Friday that it will remove ads on pages or groups that contain “any violent, graphic or sexual content.” Starting Monday, Facebook will review pages for controversial content. While this content may not technically violate Facebook’s community standards policy, if the company marks it as offensive, it will not serve ads from brands on the right-hand column of these pages. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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After Spat Over Apps and Privacy, Bitdefender and Airpush (Mostly) Hug It Out

June 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Sergey Nivens / Shutterstock.com You have a lot of personal information on your phone, and widespread mobile Internet access has given rise to a security industry that tries to warn against privacy-invading software via installable apps. So, it was with great interest that I opened a recent email from one of those mobile security companies, Bitdefender, with the subject line “New Android app tells which apps spy on you.” After some back and forth, I acquired a list of Google Play games that one of Bitdefender’s apps, Clueful, claimed were “high risk.” What did “high risk” mean? To Clueful, apps put users at risk when they leak information like email addresses or phone numbers, and insert advertisements into the push notification bar or Android home screen. And all five of the games it red-flagged had one thing in common: The ad network Airpush. As you might expect, Airpush had a thing or two to say about that. Several Airpush and Bitdefender execs talked earlier this week, and (sorry, drama fans) appear to be on happy, even cooperative, terms after the fact. Airpush’s marketing VP, Cameron Peebles, said their discussions were “so productive that we are going to continue to work together” on public awareness campaigns about ads and privacy. So, what happened? According to sources at both companies, an older version of Airpush’s SDK did not include the option to opt out of a feature that would pass users’ email addresses and phone numbers to an advertiser’s landing page when they tapped on an ad. Clueful saw this behavior and reported it as “leaking” that info, but Airpush insisted the info was never stored on its servers. It only left the device when users chose to submit a registration form to the advertisers. In any case, that feature was only used by “less than half a percent” of advertisers, Airpush CEO Asher Delug said. Although some apps with the old SDK — the ones Clueful caught — are still in the wild, the email/phone-sending feature has also been “deprovisioned on the advertiser side,” Delug added. On Bitdefender’s side, the fact that Airpush’s newer SDKs provide the choice of opting in or opting out of any data collection seems to have satisfied its security team. With dozens of other ad networks out there, Chief Security Researcher Catalin Cosoi said, Bitdefender will be focusing more on how much choice consumers are given about data collection. Cosoi said the fact that all five of the high-risk apps were on the Airpush network was a coincidence. That said, Clueful will continue to label some Airpush-using apps as “high risk” if they use that old SDK or if they tap into some of the still-currently-offered Airpush advertising features. Ads that appear in push notifications or the home screen are still a problem, as far as Bitdefender is concerned. Delug said those sorts of ads are still okay because it’s possible for users to permanently opt out of them, and they are popular among Airpush’s clients.

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NSA Data Center (Comic)

June 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

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Michael Pena, Djimon Hounsou, Dougray Scott On ‘The Vatican Tapes’

June 28, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

Michael Pena, Djimon Hounsou and Dougray Scott are starring in Lakeshore Entertainment’s demonic possession drama “The Vatican Tapes.” Kathleen Robertson, Peter Andersson, Olivia Dudley, John Patrick Amedori and Alex Sparrow also star with Lionsgate on board to release the film domestically. Lakeshore’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing with Chris Cowles. Lakeshore and Sierra-Affinity... Read more

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U.S. Cellular Sells Most of Its Mississippi Valley Spectrum to T-Mobile for $308 Million

June 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

U.S. Cellular Corp. agreed to sell most of its Mississippi Valley spectrum license to T-Mobile US Inc. for $308 million as part of an ongoing effort to divest non-strategic assets. Wireless-services provider U.S. Cellular said it is selling the majority of its Mississippi Valley 10-megahertz, regional economic area advanced wireless services spectrum license to T-Mobile. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Apps for Kids Are Data Magnets; FTC Rules to Kick In

June 28, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

While 7-year-old Eros ViDemantay played with a kid’s app on his father’s phone, tracing an elephant, behind the scenes a startup company backed by Google Inc. was collecting information from the device — including its email address and a list of other apps installed on his phone. “My jaw dropped,” says Lee ViDemantay, Eros’s father and a fifth-grade teacher at the Los Angeles Unified School District. “Why do they need to know all that?” The app, called How to Draw — Easy Lessons, also sent two of the phone’s main ID numbers. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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Mormon-Owned NBC Salt Lake City Station to Broadcast ‘SNL’ This Fall

June 28, 2013  |  Variety  |  No Comments

KSL-TV, the NBC affiliate in Salt Lake City owned by the Mormon church, will finally air new episodes of “Saturday Night Live” starting this fall. KSL will debut new “SNL” episodes starting Sept. 28 at 10:30 p.m. with the show’s 39th season, the station announced via a Facebook post. The station has aired “Saturday Night... Read more

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Brand Innovation: The Best Category Killer

Brand Innovation: The Best Category Killer

June 28, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

A recent Wall Street Journal headline stopped me in my tracks: “Is Innovation Killing the Soap Business?” When I put this story down, I was even more confounded. Could it really be that doing right by consumers was causing such consternation among laundry detergent manufacturers? Apparently so, but only because there seems to be a misunderstanding about innovation. The complaint is that Procter & Gamble (P&G) changed consumer usage behavior for the worse with its innovative Tide Pods product. Each Pod is a so-called “unit dose” capsule, or a premeasured amount of detergent per load. By eliminating the need to pour,

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Why Blogging Still Matters

Why Blogging Still Matters

June 28, 2013  |  Blog  |  No Comments

It’s been a little while since the last time that I had a chance to write another post over here in this blog, so I guess it’s now time for another experiment then. No, I know what you may be thinking, but I am not going to stop blogging nor give up on writing for that matter. I still feel it is one of the very few pleasures out there on the Social Web, and still rather relevant, apparently. If I could, I would spend the whole day blogging away like crazy the several hundreds of ideas and drafts I

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