Witch hunts make no sense

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They are based on a fallacy: “I am irrationally afraid and persecuting this innocent person will make me feel better.”

Which is expressed by those in power as: “There’s a good reason I’m afraid and punishing this person will make that reason go away.”

Hunting witches never makes things better. Partly because there are no witches.

But mostly because it’s really unlikely that we’re afraid for a good reason (our fear is just about always irrational). And of course, our irrational fear has nothing to do with the person or the group we’re using a scapegoat.

So much more useful and productive to say, “I’m afraid,” and leave it at that.

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

Links for 2015-10-30 [del.icio.us]

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  • UNICEF Circumvents Ad Blocking With Call to Action – WSJ
    “What we think is most interesting is this comes to prove if you have relevant messages with the right context then people are interested in hearing what you have to say,” Mr. Carlberg said.
  • Google Shopping Insights
    A tool from Google to gauge shopping trends
  • How ‘The Rocky Horror Picture Show’ Became an Enduring, $100 Million Brand | Inc.com
    Storytelling is when a brand simply monologues its tale, writes David Berkowitz, CMO with Manhattan branding consultancy MRY, in an Ad Age column called “The Beginning of the End of Storytelling.” Storymaking, on the other hand, means gathering tales about how your brand has become a part of your audience’s true-life experiences. It’s a collaborative process between a brand and its customers.
  • How to win at digital marketing
    Several digital marketing experts us will be: Alex Amado, VP of experience marketing at Adobe; Cammie Croft, deputy executive director of Amnesty International; David Berkowitz, chief marketing officer of MRY; Ellyn Fisher, senior VP public relations & social media for The Advertising Council; Gillea Allison, marketing director of Blue State Digital; Jason Musante, managing director & group executive creative director of Havas Worldwide; Neville Doyle, digital planning director of Colenso BBDO; Rodolfo Salazar, CEO of Ideaworks International; and Susan Lindner, CEO & founder of Emerging Media.

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb Dress Up as Snoopy and Woodstock for Halloween

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Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb entertained fans during their hour of The Today Show Friday. In keeping with their costars’ Peanuts theme, Kathie Lee and Hoda dressed up as Snoopy and Woodstock for the Halloween show.

Hoda Kotb was dressed in white with big mittens for hands and white makeup on her face as Snoopy, the lovable dog from the Peanuts cartoon strip. Kathie Lee Gifford donned lots of yellow in her efforts to portray Woodstock–Snoopy’s feathered friend.

“It’s safe to say we stole the Halloween show, yet again! #KathieLee @hodakotb #HalloweenTODAY #Halloween #HodaKotb,” Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb captioned a photo of their creative costumes on Instagram.

In an attempt to add some excitement to Kathie Lee and Hoda’s day, Regis Philbin swooped in, dressed up as the Red Baron.

Al Roker dressed up as Charlie Brown, and Matt Lauer was Lucy. Savannah Guthrie was Sally, and Meredith Vieira visited The Today Show all decked out as Pigpen.

Did you see any of your favorite Today Show stars dressed up for Halloween on Friday?

Did you especially love the camaraderie between Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb–both as themselves and in their Halloween roles?

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

Comic for October 30, 2015

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Dilbert readers – Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

Selena Gomez Headed to Netflix in “13 Reasons Why”

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Selena Gomez is headed to Netflix. The “Good for You” and “Same Old Love” singer is set to star in a miniseries called 13 Reasons Why.

Based on author Jay Asher’s young adult novel of the same name, 13 Reasons Why “is the story of Hanna Baker, a high schooler who commits suicide. Clay, who has yet to be cast, receives a box of tapes from Hannah, his late classmate and crush after she kills herself. On the tapes, which get passed along to other students based on Hannah’s instructions, Hannah reveals why the 13 reasons why she took her own life.”

In addition to starring in the miniseries, Selena Gomez will also serve as executive producer, along with mom Mandy Teefy and Kristel Laiblin.

This exciting news comes right after Selena Gomez celebrated the release of her latest album. “Revival” already features two hit tracks, and is the most mature work Selena Gomez has ever done.

In addition to her music, Selena Gomez has made a name for herself in the acting world. She started at Disney with Wizards of Waverly Place, starred in Spring Breakers, and recently voiced a role in Transylvania 2.

It’s uncertain when Selena Gomez’s Netflix project will premiere.

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

Facebook Beats Privacy Lawsuit Alleging Persistent Tracking

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This is a lawsuit against Facebook alleging that it tracked people visiting websites throughout the web even if they were not logged on to Facebook. As the court describes the allegations, Facebook uses a persistent cookie that tracks a person’s interactions with any page containing a “like” button (regardless of whether or not the person interacts with the like button). Plaintiffs allege common law claims as well as state and federal statutory claims.

Common law claims: The common law claims all fail for Article III lack of standing. Citing to the LaCourt v. Specific Media, Low v. LinkedIn, and In re Google Inc. Cookie Placement cases, the court says that misusing a plaintiff’s information does not create standing even if the plaintiff alleges that the information had some value to them. Plaintiffs do not (and typically cannot) allege that this misuse hampered their own ability to monetize their personal information, and this undermines any harm they suffer. The court says:

That programs may exist to compensate internet users with $5 gift cards in exchange for monitoring their browsing activity is a fact of little assistance to Plaintiffs when they have not also alleged an inability to participate in these programs after Facebook collected their information

Statutory claims: As to the statutory claims, the court says that under Edwards v. First American, a plaintiff can have Article III standing solely by virtue of a violation of plaintiff’s statutory rights (to the extent the relevant statute grants the right to sue and does not require economic damages as a prerequisite). Three statutes that fall into this category are: the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and California Invasion of Privacy Act. Therefore, unlike the common law claims, Plaintiffs have standing under these statutes regardless of any allegation of economic harm. That still doesn’t mean the plaintiffs win, however.

ECPA: As to the Wiretap Act claim, the court says plaintiffs have not alleged that Facebook intercepted the “contents” of any communications, and their allegations are akin to the referer header allegations rejected by the Ninth Circuit in the Zynga case. The court says the SCA claim is also deficient because the term “electronic storage” does not encompass cookies (but rather is directed at the temporary storage of communications such as emails).

CIPA: The court also rejects the CIPA claim, questioning whether Facebook uses a “machine, instrument, or contrivance” to obtain the contents of the communications. The court also says that plaintiffs don’t credibly allege that Facebook obtained the contents of any of the plaintiffs’ communications.


Companies who track logged-out users are not respecting consumer preferences. It’s a good bet that most people, when they log-out, are expressing an implicit preference to not be tracked. Facebook is not famous for respecting user privacy, so it is not terribly surprising that they engaged in this practice. This is the sort of thing you would expect something like an FTC-mandated privacy audit (which Facebook is required to do) to prevent.

At the same time, it’s not surprising to see this lawsuit crash and burn. The communications privacy statutes are arcane and convoluted, and you get the sense sometimes that the courts engage in contortions. But it’s hard to think of an area where plaintiffs face such a wall of adverse precedent as in a case involving cookies and tracking.

Eric’s Comment: the plaintiffs claimed $15B in damages. I wonder if this laughably large number contributed to the judge’s skepticism. Then again, GOBOGH!

Case Citation: In re Facebook Internet Tracking Litigation, 2015 WL 6438744 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 23, 2015)

Related posts:

Disclosing Unique User IDs In URLs Doesn’t Violate ECPA–In re Zynga/Facebook

Judge Koh Puts the Kibosh on LinkedIn Referral ID Class Action — Low v. LinkedIn

The Cookie Crumbles for Amazon Privacy Plaintiffs – Del Vecchio v. Amazon

A Look at the Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011

Flash Cookies Lawsuit Tossed for Lack of Harm–La Court v. Specific Media

Judge Recognizes Loss of Value to PII as Basis of Standing for Data Breach Plaintiff — Claridge v. RockYou

Another Lawsuit over Flash Cookies Fails — Bose v. Interclick

LinkedIn Beats Referrer URL Privacy Class Action on Article III Standing Grounds–Low v. LinkedIn

The Cookie Crumbles for Amazon Privacy Plaintiffs – Del Vecchio v. Amazon

Facebook and Zynga Privacy Litigation Dismissed With Prejudice [Catch up Post]

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

Irina Shayk: Former “Sports Illustrated” Model is New Face of L’Oreal Paris

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Irina Shayk has officially got it made. The former Sports Illustrated model is now the face of L’Oreal Paris.

But is she “worth it?”

According to Instagram, she’s well worth it.

“Speaking of hair envy 
      <div class= October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

3rd Edition of SEO for Dummies is the Perfect SEO Companion

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3rd Edition of SEO for Dummies is the Perfect SEO Companion was originally published on BruceClay.com, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Remember me? Who can forget the fresh face we met in 2009, so eager to make us coffee and protect us from evil villains.

SEO for Dummies 2009

The first edition instantly became a reliable reference guide for us and that lasted until 2012 when it grew in ways that strengthened our reliance on it. The second edition of “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” proved that it was more than just a helper, but an expert in SEO that deserved to be served coffee instead of making it for us.

SEO for Dummies being served coffee

Three years has passed since the second edition and the SEO world has changed drastically. More than ever, digital marketers need a reference guide that’s accessible, reliable, and reflects the latest updates in the industry. That’s what they’re getting in the freshly released third edition. Basically, the book is the perfect companion for any business owner, digital marketer, or anyone responsible to drive traffic to a site. This Halloween season, it also proved the perfect companion for Darth Vader, Tinkerbell, Minnie Mouse and more as the book got into various characters:

The book wasn’t the only one in character … we all take Halloween pretty seriously, too.

Your SEO Companion is Here

It’s hard to find the perfect companion, someone who knows what you’re going through and supports you along the way. Harder yet is to find someone who will grow and change with you over time.

But when the third edition of the “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies” book arrived at our office, our hearts jumped! Our dear companion is everything we remember it to be, plus a whole lot more.

Sure, it can still teach us the fundamentals of SEO, but it’s grown so much since then! It can also walk us through today’s hottest subjects, including mobile, advancements in search engine algorithms, and the latest internet marketing technologies that pertain to SEO.

The Spooky Side of SEO

One of the scariest things about the SEO industry is that it’s changing at such a rapid pace. It can feel quite lonely without a companion you can trust. The good news is that you’re not alone. “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One Dummies 3rd Edition” can be your trusted friend ━ it’s there to guide you on all things SEO in a way that’s easy to understand.

Get Your SEO Companion

The 3rd edition of “Search Engine Optimization All-in-One for Dummies,” is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Buy a copy today, or better yet, buy it for your office or the business owner or marketer in your life.

Everyone needs an SEO companion; be sure to get the right one. You can also learn more about Bruce Clay’s nearly 800-page SEO reference guide and take a sneak peek inside the book.

October 31st 2015 SEO

Amazon Local Is Shutting Down In December

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Amazon launched Amazon Local in 2001 as the daily deals boom was in full swing. It initially featured deals from LivingSocial, which Amazon had invested in.

Even LivingSocial itself has recently moved away from the space, and Amazon is following suit. The company announced on the Amazon Local homepage (via TechCrunch) that it will shut down in December.

The message says:

On December 18, 2015, Amazon Local will stop selling daily deals at local.amazon.com and on the Amazon Local app.

All purchased vouchers will not be affected by this change and remain valid according to their terms. Learn more.

From October 30, 2015 until December 18, 2015 you can continue to purchase deals at Amazon Local as usual.

TechCrunch shares a comment from the company:

Effective December 18, 2015, we will stop selling Amazon Local daily deals. We’ve learned a great deal from the daily deals business and will look for ways to apply these lessons in the future as we continue to innovate on behalf of our customers and merchants.

The deals space is clearly not the powerful force it once appeared to be. Groupon, the poster child of deals, has dropped from over $26 a share four years ago to less than $4 a share.

Image via Amazon

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized

Snapchat’s First Sponsored Lens Features “Peanuts” & A Candy Corn Stream

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Snapchatters will have the chance to add Snoopy, Charlie Brown and other Peanuts characters to their selfies in sponsored promotion by Fox Studios.

Please visit Marketing Land for the full article.

October 31st 2015 Uncategorized