Michael Wayland writes in The Detroit News about a Fiat Chrysler company, “Industrial automation company Comau has produced a three-point-shooting robot to demonstrate if it is nimble enough to sink a basketball, then it is capable of working alongside people in a factory or lab.”
Robots of another kind are plaguing online communications: the bots that patrol the Internet, clicking where programmed to provide a media seller with “evidence” of an ads reach, although it may never have been seen by human eyes. A report issued by The Association of National Advertisers puts the fraud perpetuated by “bots” at an annual rate of $6.3 billion for just digital display and digital video advertising. However, there’s a revolt brewing. Big advertisers and content providers like Unilever are saying they want to pay only for ads that are seen by humans for at least the industry standard of two second, according to P.J Bednarski’s blog for Online Video. Joe Mandese in RealTime Daily reports Conde Nast is “ensuring 100% viewability of video and display ads across the publisher’s assets.”
“October was a record-setting month for newspapers online, with 166 million U.S. adults consuming newspaper content delivered via digital platforms, according to the Newspaper Association of America, citing figures from ComScore,” writes Erik Sass in Media Daily News. That’s a 17% increase over a year ago. The ComScore figures also indicate paywalls, once predicted to be the death of print newspapers are contributing to increased revenue. However, Sass points out those increases are not enough to offset the precipitous drop in total newspaper revenues, which dropped 52.2% percent from 2005 to 2013, $49.4 billion to $23.6 billion. . . . Sass also writes for Social Media Daily “social media seems to have reached saturation in the U.S., where it originated.” That’s from a worldwide survey measuring the percent of Internet users who visit social media at least once a week. But it is hard to say it is a death knell because it does not allow for the growth in U.S. Internet users over the past year. That is, a smaller percentage of a larger number may be a greater absolute number than the larger percentage of a smaller number.
And, the busy Mr. Sass reveals, Social Media Is Literally Addictive according to another study he writes about in The Social Graf. Using criteria similar to those used to diagnose alcoholism, Sass writes, “The new study by researchers at University at Albany-SUNY, titled ‘Craving Facebook? Behavioral addiction to online social networking and its association with emotion regulation deficits’ surveyed 292 undergraduate respondents, ages 18 and up.” He reports the study found, “10% of the total survey group who displayed behaviors matching the profile of ‘disordered social networking use,’ including irritability when unable to access Facebook, cravings to use the social network, and increasing usage as time went on.” Sass “shirtailed” this report with word of the U.S. Navy’s Substance Abuse treating its first “Internet addiction disorder.” They thought it was alcohol but it turned out the patient had been viewing the Internet through Google Glass for 18 hours a day. When the device was taken from him, he displayed signs of addiction.
If addiction is not reason enough to be chary of modern communications, P.J. Bednarski in his VidBlog quotes Michael Price, writing on “Smart TVs” for the Brennan Center for Justice site, “The amount of data this thing collects is staggering, it logs where, when, how, and for how long you use the TV. It sets tracking cookies and beacons designed to detect when you have viewed particular content or a particular email message. It records the apps you use, the Web sites you visit, and how you interact with content. It ignores ‘do-not-track’ requests as a considered matter of policy.” Price also notes Smart TVs have a built-in camera for facial recognition and a microphone that comes with the warning, “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party.”