Spent the Day Picking out the New Stuff for the Bathroom

We went to about three or four places before we found all the stuff we wanted. Beth picked out the new shower doors in Essex county NJ and I was pretty happy that she finally found a place which had the thing that she wanted. She kept telling me what it was supposed to look like, but of course you really do not understand what she is looking for at the first. I did not have a real clue what she meant until I actually saw the thing she was looking for. The place we found it was called Glass Plus it is in Vauxhall NJ. Read more

Scientists Want Your Slips of the Tongue

Facepalm

You know that feeling when you’re halfway through a sentence and can’t think of the next word you need? It’s a word you know, but you can’t quite bring it to mind. There’s a name for that phenomenon…what is it, again?

Oh right, the “tip of the tongue.”

Everyday failures in our speech, like forgetting a word or saying the wrong one, are great fodder for scientists who want to understand language. But they’re hard to study in the lab, because you can’t force someone to make a mistake. Most of the time, we speak just fine.

So University of Kansas psychologist Michael Vitevitch has created an online tool for anyone, anytime, to record their speech errors. It’s like an ongoing goof diary for the public. And he hopes that if enough people use it, the data collected will be useful to the researchers who want to learn more about our minds.

“Most things break at their weak points,” Vitevitch says, “and the systems involved in language processing are no different.” The errors we make in speaking reveal where the weakest links are in the process of turning thoughts into sounds. For example, one of those weak points is getting from the meaning of a word to the word itself—when we can’t make the leap, we have a tip-of-the-tongue problem.

This is the most fascinating type of error to Vitevitch. “You know a word and have used it in the past, but now that you need it, it stays just out of reach,” he says. These errors “are very telling about how faulty and transient our memory can be.” But they aren’t the only mistakes his new online tool will track.

The tool is called SpEDi, for “Speech Error Diary.” It collects three categories of mistakes: words that are misspoken, words that are misheard, and words on the tip of your tongue. Vitevitch describes how SpEDi works in Frontiers of Science.

New visitors to the SpEDi website will be prompted to register. They’ll create a profile that includes details like their education level and what languages they speak. (Errors by multilingual people are especially interesting, Vitevitch says. Rather than making the leap from one word-idea to one word-form, they have to choose between multiple forms.) Then, anytime users make one of these errors—or hear someone else screw up—they can record it.

They’ll be prompted to describe the error in detail. There’s more than one way to misspeak, of course. There’s the malapropism, where you use a word that sounds similar to the one you want but has a totally different meaning (as in the recent headline about the amphibious pitcher). There’s swapping sounds in adjacent words (if you swap the first letters, it’s a spoonerism, named for a certain Reverend Spooner who allegedly made a lot of them). There’s blending two words into one.

If you mishear the lyrics of a song, it’s a mondegreen.* There are whole websites devoted to funny examples of these, but SpEDi is also interested in the non-musical (and unfunny) misheard words. And if you have a tip-of-the-tongue problem, the website will ask for the details of the missing word—even if you haven’t found it yet.

The website also gently asks if you’re sure this word exists. On a seven-point scale, “How certain are you that you will be able to recall this word?” Finally, a space for additional notes lets you record “that the error occurred in a noisy environment,” Vitevitch notes in his paper, or “that an alcoholic beverage had been consumed shortly before the error was made.”

Vitevitch is spreading the word about SpEDi on social media and to other language researchers. Anyone who registers for the site can download all the raw data it’s gathered so far, and use that data for their own research if they want. By opening up the diary to everyone, and leaving it open indefinitely, Vitevitch hopes to build a research tool that’s truly useful.

“I hope people will see that they don’t need to have a PhD to be involved in and contribute to science,” Vitevitch says. For this particular experiment, they only need to be people who have made a mistake. And we all make mistakes.

“Back in college I called my current girlfriend the name of my previous girlfriend,” Vitevitch recalls. “You only make that error once.”

 

Beyond Tupac Can Hologram Concerts Take Off?

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There’s little doubt that if Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin or Jim Morrison headlined a concert today, it would be the hottest ticket in town.

It could happen tomorrow.

Entertainment companies are spending big bucks to fit venues with holographic technology capable of resurrecting beloved musicians, comedians and even Jesus Christ. For all the futuristic glitz holograms exude, today’s notable holographic performances are still based on a 19th century parlor trick. However, there are researchers around the world working to bring holographic technology into the 21st century.

Pepper’s Ghost

John Henry Pepper was a British scientist and inventor who’s best known for making a “ghost” appear on stage during an 1862 demonstration at the Polytechnic Institute in London. Pepper fitted an angled pane of glass on stage to reflect a brightly lit actor hiding beneath the stage. The actor’s reflection was refracted through the angled glass and directed onto the stage. As a result, it looked as if a ghost was floating on stage.

It was fitting, then, that 150 years after Pepper’s demonstration, Tupac Shakur appeared on stage at Coachella in much the same way. A Mylar film was placed on the big stage at a 45-degree angle; a high-definition video feed was projected onto a reflective screen, and finally bounced off the Mylar film to create the illusion. Tupac’s head was digitally recreated, then placed atop a body double. Pepper’s Ghost had returned in a big way.

You can see variations of Pepper’s Ghost everywhere: teleprompter screens, Disney’s Haunted Mansion ride and Jimmy Kimmel Live. In fact, the setup is simple enough that you can easily make ghosts appear in your living room with a little effort.

High-Tech Holograms

With the help of scientists around the world, holograms are getting a 21st century makeover. There are labs around the world dedicated to advancing holographic technologies in myriad ways. Take, for instance, the Digital Nature Group in Japan. The DNG team combined femtosecond lasers, mirrors and cameras to produce holograms that you can actually touch. A femtosecond is a quadrillionth of a second, and the team’s laser transmits bursts that last 30 to 270 femtoseconds. The image that results is actually light emitted by the plasma created when the laser ionizes the air.

The result is a holographic image that feels a bit like sandpaper or a static shock. However, an incredibly small image is produced. The DNG team is working on producing larger images with lasers, but the proof-of-concept study means all sorts of science-fiction computer displays may someday be possible. Think back to the move “Minority Report,” and you can get a sense of the type of holographic, tangible display that might be possible.

Commercial Tech

In the meantime, profit-seeking companies are buying up licenses to resurrect our favorite celebrities to put on timeless performances. Alkiviades David, founder of Hologram USA, bought the patent for the technology that created the Tupac hologram. He plans to put on shows featuring Ray Charles, Richard Prior and Liberace to name a few. Even living artists are embracing holograms to perform multiple live shows simultaneously, like Mariah Carey did in Europe a few years ago.

The trick now is to digitally reproduce dead icons in a way that is indistinguishable from the real person, as Vulture reports:

It’s entirely possible, even probable, that, at some point, David’s technology will be fully able to create and project a celebrity digital likeness that’s indistinguishable from the real thing, one that moves fluidly and organically and delivers unerringly consistent performances.

For now, holographic performances are still a 150-year-old illusion that’s yet to hit the big-time.

Electronics-Sniffing Dogs Help Solve Cybercrimes

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A dog’s nose knows best, even in the digital age.

By now you’ve probably heard about the downfall of former Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, who has said he will plea guilty to having paid minors for sex and having obtained child pornography. But an interesting factoid of the case is that justice was served thanks to dogs trained to sniff out electronics. From iPads to tiny memory cards, these dogs with a rare talent are finding themselves in high demand in an era rife with cyber crime.

Follow Your Nose

There are just three dogs in the United States trained to find electronic components with their noses. Bear, an electronics-sniffing black lab, helped officers locate 16 smartphones, 10 flash drives and six laptops during an 11-hour search last month of Fogle’s home. How are dogs able to find what to the rest of us has no smell whatsoever?

For some insight, we can look to Jack Hubball, a chemist who discovers the chemical compounds that dogs are eventually trained to find. He identified the so-called accerlerants (gasoline, diesel, kerosene, etc.) dogs should focus on to sniff out arson, and helped train dogs to find narcotics and bombs.

To fight computer crimes, Hubball tested circuit boards, flash drives and other electronics components to isolate a single common chemical in each device, which police are keeping under wraps. After isolating the chemical, it was a matter of homing dogs’ sniffers onto the telltale compound, as Bloomberg reported:

After months of training, the dogs were able to detect the odor of the chemical in people’s hands, concrete blocks, metal boxes and clothing. The dogs also had to ignore distracting smells such as food and coffee.

The dogs have since been involved in numerous child pornography warrants, as well as other investigations where electronic documents were key evidence. After helping with the Fogle investigation, Bear’s trainer says he’s received some 30 inquiries from police who want to buy their own electronics-sniffing dog, the International Business Times reports.

Super Sniffers

Apart from electronics, dogs are putting their noses to work in a multitude of disciplines – from fighting crime to diagnosing diseases. In one of the largest studies of its kind, dogs detected the presence of prostate cancer with 98 percent accuracy in the urine of 600 test patients. Dogs can also detect lung cancer simply by sniffing patients’ breath. Dogs have been used to sniff out bed bugs, explosives, dead bodies, contamination in water and more.

In other words, if something smells fishy, it may be time to call on man’s best friend to lend a helping hand — or snout.

 

Satellite Internet Performance

In metropolitan areas, it’s pretty easy to get cable internet. With so many internet service providers vying for our business, for most of us, we just have to decide who gives us the best value for our money. Of course, in the city, many seldom need to worry much about the performance of cable internet. Cable internet is easy to acquire and it’s blazing fast. That’s all there needs to be said about cable internet. An estimated 70% to 80% of American households have internet access. Over 65% of that estimate have high-speed broadband internet and only 6% (approximately 93 million Americans) still use dial-up. Regardless of performance, people using dial-up do so because it is cost-effective and easy to set up.

It should be noted that among the 93 million still using dial-up are internet users living in smaller rural towns, far removed from the more metropolitan areas of their state, and must resort to using dial-up because of limited options. Internet service providers of cable and DSL do not cater to remote areas due to distance and cost. And due to the frustrations that dial-up users have dealt with (disconnects and slow data transfer speeds), many are turning to satellite internet as a service provider of high-speed internet capable of delivering speeds as fast as traditional cable and DSL. However, satellite internet performance remains one of the few questions that many consumers looking to invest in satellite internet have about this alternative internet service. The fact that it requires a satellite dish that transmits data to and from a network center via satellite is cause for some to question how well the service performs.

Skeptics should rest assured that satellite internet is as viable and reliable an option as other conventional systems. The great advantage is that satellite internet coverage is available anywhere in the world with a dish in broadband speed and makes relying on an available cable line non-existent no matter where you are. Satellite internet can actually provide high-speed internet at a maximum of 5.0 mbps with the best plan, which makes it on par with the fastest cable or DSL internet. However, a performance drawback to satellite is latency issues that result from transmitting data 50,000 miles between a computer, satellite, and network center. This may limit performance on Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Voice over IP (VoIP) applications, and other time-sensitive applications such as real-time trading.

Like any internet service, there are advantages and disadvantages specific to each and satellite internet is no more or less reliable than the others. It simply is more efficient and a dependable alternative to the small percentage of people in rural areas as well as to urbanites who want high-speed satellite internet without the restrictions of cable lines. For those interested and looking for a satellite internet service provider that guarantees the satisfactory performance of its product and serviceFree Reprint Articles, visit HughesNet.

Recipe for Trouble The Internet

We all know the power of the internet. If you are starting a new business, the internet can be your best friend. It can also be your worst enemy. There are two quotes about the internet that you should keep in mind. The first is “You can’t take something off the Internet—it’s like taking pee out of a pool” (Author Unknown). The second is “Information on the Internet is subject to the same rules and regulations as conversation at a bar” (George Lundberg).

It has been discussed in other articles, it is very important to have consistent communication with the people that are involved in your business (employees, investors, etc.). It is just as important, however, to pay attention to what EVERYONE is saying about your business. This includes customers, vendors, and anyone that comes into contact with you business. If someone has a grudge against you or your business, the internet is one avenue they can use to create some big time trouble or make you the greatest thing since sliced bread. The key is to pay attention to what is going on out there on the World Wide Web.

If someone does decide to go after you or your business on the internet, you may have a serious problem. After all, how do you get “pee out of a pool?” Well, you can’t get rid of it totally, but you certainly can dilute it. Writing articles and using key word strategies with positive information about you and your business can help to make sure the negative information is buried as deep as possible is one solution (and possibly the only solution). There are people who are experts in this kind of clean-up and depending on the severity of the problem; you might consider using their services.

Also remember that anything discussed on the internet can be read by anyone—friend or foe. Make sure you have policies in place about what can be discussed on the internet and who is authorized to post “official” business information. Make sure anything that is posted is carefully proofread since one carefully placed typo or less than carefully worded phrase can cause big problems. (Consider a remolded bathroom versus a remodeled bathroom or, from a church bulletin, “Our Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 8th and 9th”—Yikes!). Don’t depend on spell checker and remember that it is very difficult to proofread your own writing. Whenever possible, have someone else read anything that is going to be published in any format.

Pay attention and be ready in case your friendly internet suddenly turns against you

Satellite Internet Performance

In metropolitan areas, it’s pretty easy to get cable internet. With so many internet service providers vying for our business, for most of us, we just have to decide who gives us the best value for our money. Of course, in the city, many seldom need to worry much about the performance of cable internet. Cable internet is easy to acquire and it’s blazing fast. That’s all there needs to be said about cable internet. An estimated 70% to 80% of American households have internet access. Over 65% of that estimate have high-speed broadband internet and only 6% (approximately 93 million Americans) still use dial-up. Regardless of performance, people using dial-up do so because it is cost-effective and easy to set up.

It should be noted that among the 93 million still using dial-up are internet users living in smaller rural towns, far removed from the more metropolitan areas of their state, and must resort to using dial-up because of limited options. Internet service providers of cable and DSL do not cater to remote areas due to distance and cost. And due to the frustrations that dial-up users have dealt with (disconnects and slow data transfer speeds), many are turning to satellite internet as a service provider of high-speed internet capable of delivering speeds as fast as traditional cable and DSL. However, satellite internet performance remains one of the few questions that many consumers looking to invest in satellite internet have about this alternative internet service. The fact that it requires a satellite dish that transmits data to and from a network center via satellite is cause for some to question how well the service performs.

Skeptics should rest assured that satellite internet is as viable and reliable an option as other conventional systems. The great advantage is that satellite internet coverage is available anywhere in the world with a dish in broadband speed and makes relying on an available cable line non-existent no matter where you are. Satellite internet can actually provide high-speed internet at a maximum of 5.0 mbps with the best plan, which makes it on par with the fastest cable or DSL internet. However, a performance drawback to satellite is latency issues that result from transmitting data 50,000 miles between a computer, satellite, and network center. This may limit performance on Virtual Private Networks (VPN), Voice over IP (VoIP) applications, and other time-sensitive applications such as real-time trading.

Like any internet service, there are advantages and disadvantages specific to each and satellite internet is no more or less reliable than the others. It simply is more efficient and a dependable alternative to the small percentage of people in rural areas as well as to urbanites who want high-speed satellite internet without the restrictions of cable lines. For those interested and looking for a satellite internet service provider that guarantees the satisfactory performance of its product and serviceFeature Articles, visit HughesNet.

Recipe for Trouble The Internet

We all know the power of the internet. If you are starting a new business, the internet can be your best friend. It can also be your worst enemy. There are two quotes about the internet that you should keep in mind. The first is “You can’t take something off the Internet—it’s like taking pee out of a pool” (Author Unknown). The second is “Information on the Internet is subject to the same rules and regulations as conversation at a bar” (George Lundberg).

It has been discussed in other articles, it is very important to have consistent communication with the people that are involved in your business (employees, investors, etc.). It is just as important, however, to pay attention to what EVERYONE is saying about your business. This includes customers, vendors, and anyone that comes into contact with you business. If someone has a grudge against you or your business, the internet is one avenue they can use to create some big time trouble or make you the greatest thing since sliced bread. The key is to pay attention to what is going on out there on the World Wide Web.

If someone does decide to go after you or your business on the internet, you may have a serious problem. After all, how do you get “pee out of a pool?” Well, you can’t get rid of it totally, but you certainly can dilute it. Writing articles and using key word strategies with positive information about you and your business can help to make sure the negative information is buried as deep as possible is one solution (and possibly the only solution). There are people who are experts in this kind of clean-up and depending on the severity of the problem; you might consider using their services.

Also remember that anything discussed on the internet can be read by anyone—friend or foe. Make sure you have policies in place about what can be discussed on the internet and who is authorized to post “official” business information. Make sure anything that is posted is carefully proofread since one carefully placed typo or less than carefully worded phrase can cause big problems. (Consider a remolded bathroom versus a remodeled bathroom or, from a church bulletin, “Our Spring Council Retreat will be hell May 8th and 9th”—Yikes!). Don’t depend on spell checker and remember that it is very difficult to proofread your own writing. Whenever possibleComputer Technology Articles, have someone else read anything that is going to be published in any format.

Personal Finance Articles, Not Another One How To Change Your Mind About Your Personal Finance NOW

Many personal finance articles have been written on the issue of money.  Can’t say I have been moved to action by many.  First I’d like to say it is ok that you feel down about the current situation about your personal finances.  I give you permission to feel your feeling for the next 24 hours and then pull yourself by your boot straps and let’s what we can do.

There exist many a definition, I want to share with you  my personal finance definition:

Financial freedom is not an event, it is a skill.

I bet right now with the current economic situation you are saying to yourself, “I just wish I could the lotto!”  Boy don’t we all and yet statistics and personal finance facts show that the majority of people who win the lottery, end up broke and worse off before their winnings! Imagine that.  You among the many seeking wealth, riches, fame few people realize that money isn’t the solution to their problems;  the way you think about money is the problem and the solution.

I can almost see you going oh yeah, give me the money and I’ll show you change in mindset!

My favorite entrepreneur of all times, Henry Ford was once asked, “What if you lost everything you own?” He responded without missing a beat: “I’d have it all back and more within 5 years.”

Being a master of your own personal finance is not about what is in the bank; it’s about the ability to acquire the skill that will show you how to produce new streams of income and wealth based on your knowledge and experience.

So before we go any further on this issue let us tackle the real problem here that is impeding your personal finance for good!  Why you might ask?  Well without the mastery of these 5 steps, your desire for your goal for financial success and financial freedom is highly unlikely!  This is why big players in any industry have coaches, Oprah has a life coach, football players and basketball players have coaches and mentors.  Tiger woods after every bad game will go in for coaching and training.  Why?  Those who achieve great financial success do not go it alone.  They always have a team.  Those who achieve great poverty have the do it yourself mentality!

Why is it important to plan personal finances? Well…here are:

5 Steps That Will Guarantee You Become Master Your Personal Finances

1. How do you think about money? Say you come up with an idea to do something. Do you think that will never work?  Are you afraid to follow through?  Are you scared of loosing money or do you see every dollar spent as an investment?

2. How do you manage and invest your time?  The average man has at his disposal  6 discretionary hours.  This is time they can do whatever they want.  No work, no chores etc.  Many will watch T.V., attend pricey sports events, spend money on meals at a restaurant and movies, see where I am going with this? Do you do personal finance budgeting?

3. How do you leverage the talents and life experiences you ALREADY POSSESS?
Most people see their experiences as failures.  They only talk of how they tried to do something as failed.  Thomas Edison failed more than I care to count, and yet he persisted to light the whole world. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up. Thomas A. Edison

4. Do you have a mentor and coach with a proven personal finance curriculum? This is the true measure of your desire for financial freedom.  This is where you literally put your money where your mouth is, can’t afford a mentor you say?  Well what was the last book you read? Gossip magazines do not count as literature sorry :!

5. What do you think is “risky,” and what do you think is “safe and secure”?  Most people never break into the realm of the 5% wealthy group who own 95% of  the worlds resources because they want to play it safe.  They want the money, the fame, the accolades but they feel they should not have to go through the process of creating this wealth.  No wonder the internet and other places are full of scams and get rich quick opportunities.  Remember this success does not  happen overnight, but one night success does happen.  Someone once said to meFree Articles, it takes 3 years to be an overnight success!

Health Care and Long Term Care The Internet and the Texas Legislature Can Help

Many Americans are now turning to the Internet as a de facto second opinion when it comes to their health, according to a just-released Pew study. In fact, “81% of U.S. adults use the Internet and 59% say they have looked online for health information in the past year.”

With the Internet such a prominent part of our daily lives, this should come as no surprise. Online resources are just one of many ways that people access information about their health, though consulting a physician is still considered very important. But online, one can find much more than a simple diagnosis. AARP Health is just one example, with support groups, webinars, health information, and information on health issues that specifically affect older Americans, such as Medicare and the new health care law.

In Texas–where we have 3 million Medicare beneficiaries, an estimated 5 million family caregivers, and about 100,000 residents in skilled nursing facilities–this provides a very useful set of tools.

These days it’s much easier to find a skilled nursing or assisted living facility. Quality is still an issue that needs to be tackled–and as such it is a major focus of our legislative work in Texas this session. With sources like Nursing Home Compare from Medicare.gov or the Department of Aging and Disability Services’ Quality Reporting System, homes and facilities are compared and rated so that the quality of service is right at your fingertips. When it comes to finding the right place for your loved one, nothing could be more important.

More and more people go online to find information these days, and many baby boomers are quite savvy at it. It’s become easier for people to access useful resources about their health: be it for diagnosis, opinion, support, or even to find a physician or facility. This doesn’t have to be a bad thing. People should be able to do some quick comparisons online. But it’s important to differentiate between sources that are reliable and those that aren’t. The web is a vast resource, full of good information, but it’s good to be careful and check multiple sources.

When it comes to your health, the Internet is only one of several resources. It can provide useful background, but always consult a physician for serious concerns.

Of course, the web isn’t only a resource for information and diagnoses. It can be a source of strength and support as well. According to surveys conducted by Pew, a growing number of people use the internet in a more social way. One reason it may be so catching for older adults is the ability to connect with people who may share in their struggles – as this group is much more likely to live with a chronic condition. In addition, a growing number of caregivers use it to connect and better provide for those they care for,

Increased internet access led to a rise in racial hate crimes in the early 2000s

New research from Carlson School of Management Professor Jason Chan and NYU Stern Professors Anindya Ghose and Robert Seamans finds that broadband availability increased the incidence of racial hate crimes committed by lone-wolf perpetrators in the United States during the period 2001-2008. The addition of a single broadband provider led to as much as a 20 percent rise in racial hate crimes in areas where racial tensions were especially high.

Their study, the first of its kind to document the relationship between the Internet and hate crimes, sourced data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Communications Commission, the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to FBI data, almost two-thirds of reported hate crimes arose from racial bias, making it by far the most typical form of bias-motivated crime in the U.S.

Using a large-scale data set from 2001-2008, the authors show:

  • An increase in the number of broadband providers led to an increase in racial hate crimes, particularly among lone-wolf perpetrators.
  • The addition of one broadband provider in every county in the U.S. would have caused 865 additional incidents of racially driven crimes on an annual basis.
  • Yet the Internet’s impact on hate crime was not uniform and was predominantly present in areas with higher levels of racism, identified by the amount of racial segregation present and the proportion of racially charged search terms used.
  • Greater Internet access did not cause an increase in the formation of off-line hate groups. However, it may have enhanced the efficiency with which extremists could spread hate ideology and spur like-minded individuals to carry out lone-wolf attacks.

Furthermore, the authors consider the effectiveness of current Internet regulations and reflect on future policy implications. “Technologically driven solutions fall short in addressing an issue that is inherently social in nature,” argues Professor Ghose. “Instead of engaging in a technological rat race with extremists, we should consider incorporating critical literacies — including digital media, anti-racism and social justice — into school curricula as an alternative strategy.”

“The positive relationship between broadband providers and the number of hate crimes is mainly found in places that have high levels of racism,” says Professor Chan. “The likely reason behind this is the Internet facilitates this specialization of interest. That is to say users will search out content online that is congruent to their beliefs or preferences and are not as likely to look up content that is counter to what they believe in.”

Why Advertisers Should Work With an Agency Trading Desk

Many advertisers chose to manage programmatic buying in-house, but outsourcing to an agency trading desk can be a better option for small and midsized advertisers. Here are five reasons why:

1. Skill is important when it comes to programmatic media buying. Agency trading desks (ATDs) are specialists because programmatic media buying is their primary focus. They’re constantly running campaigns for multiple clients and handling a consistent influx of media spend. Furthermore, they focus on serving similar clients, enabling them to become experts at campaign management for a specific industry (e.g., pharmaceutical, automotive). The ATD’s insight into the success and failure of other industry players ensures that their clients keep up with the competition and learn collectively from others’ mistakes.

2. ATDs can expertly run campaigns across multiple platforms (demand-side platforms and other related technologies) at scale. Successfully managing a large number of campaigns across platforms isn’t a piece of cake. In addition to a main demand-side platform (DSP), the ATD may have several specialists DSPs that serve as niche retargeting platforms by excelling at techniques like CRM or trigger email. The ATD will also have a couple audience data management platforms in their stack. It will use an ad server for the purpose of serving complex creatives, working with rich media and HTML5 creatives, and even for executing custom ad formats. An ad server can also be used to collect attribution-based data for reporting purposes. The ATD will need to bring performance data together on a reporting or performance aggregation platform. Operating multiple types of technologies in tandem requires knowledge about how to connect these ad technologies effectively for different types of clients.

3. ATDs benefit from the ownership and use of historical bidding data. (This is, of course, assuming that the ATD uses a DSP that allows it to collect bidding data.) When running repeat campaigns for the same customers, ATDs can use historical data to improve performance. This becomes really handy if an ATD is working with a customer who has campaigns that are conversion focused.

If you’re training an algorithm, a certain number of positive actions are required to create an example group for the algorithm to learn, train and build a bidding model. Usually, you’ll need to accumulate at least 100 positive actions or conversions for the algorithm to learn. For a small advertiser, 100 conversions is a big number. Hence, if the ATD is accumulating historical bidding data, it’s laying the groundwork for more efficient algorithm training and launching campaign optimization algorithms that are conversion focused.

4. A small advertiser with $5,000 for display ads can accumulate some data, but it will be minuscule compared to what an ATD accumulates across its entire client base. By managing multiple clients and aggregate budgets, an ATD learns the best places to buy and direct buy. It can also conduct better buys by leveraging different clients across an industry to achieve economies of scale. With more money to bargain with, the ATD simply has more power to reach the places a small advertiser can’t alone.

5. An ATD has tags all over the place, which is incredibly useful for collecting audience data and retargeting. For example, if an ATD has 10 different automotive clients, it will collect a similar audience for these similar companies. If it collects a wide variety of different, smaller variables, it can start to describe micro populations within the larger automotive audience. A smart ATD will make sure its data is fed into a powerful data management platform that will make it easy to conduct lookalike audience modeling and find new, targetable audience segments. Running many campaigns is a valuable experience for ATDs. It’s an opportunity to learn as much as possible about targetable audiences. This information can help ATDs create and improve audience segments. (Individual advertisers would rarely achieve the necessary volume or scale.)

Ultimately, a smaller advertiser will find that an ATD can offer a lot when it comes to programmatic media buying.

Ivan Roubtsov  is the director of marketing at Quebec, Montreal-based AdGearOpens in a new window, a digital advertising technology company providing software and services for the digital media industry

Did ISIS Sympathizers Create Fake Facebook Page for U.S. Cop

An unknown individual used a retired Colorado state trooper’s identity to set up a fake Facebook account and friend both real cops and apparent ISIS sympathizers, officials revealed in a recent internal bulletin.

“[We assess] with high confidence that it was designed under false pretenses to gather information regarding law enforcement members,” said the bulletin from the Colorado Information Analysis Center, a division of the state’s Department of Public Safety.

Authorities said the account was created Oct. 12, and CIAC contacted the retired trooper the next day. He said he was unaware of the account.

Some of the individuals who accepted friend requests from the account were current law enforcement officers. Others “appear to be sympathizers of [ISIS],” said the bulletin. “Some individuals are possibly members with radical Islamic ideology and anti-Semitic beliefs who have gruesome pictures of beheadings and killings on this social media site.”

Imagery from a Facebook account that friended a fake Facebook account established using the identity of a retired Colorado state trooper. CIAC

The bulletin showed some of the photos posted by the apparent jihadis, and warned police officers that terrorists might try to harvest their personal information via social media in order to launch an attack.

“International terrorist organizations and criminal domestic groups continue to violently target law enforcement and military members in the United States,” the bulletin said. “They seek to exploit their personal information on social media.”

CIAC reminded officers to be careful with their social media and with “whom they allow into their digital community. Please review the requester’s entire profile and avoid relying on mutual friends to assess the legitimacy of the requestor.”

Capt. J.P. Burt, director of CIAC, told NBC News that the incident was both instructive and disconcerting.

“Luckily, we caught it [the fake account] very early, but it’s scary,” said Burt, who thinks the intrusion was a sign of broader efforts to exploit “gaps and weaknesses” among law enforcement and the military.

Burt would not identify the victim, elaborate on who could be responsible or say whether the account was created in the U.S. But he said that amid rapid changes in technology, the intrusion served as a warning to everyone from cops to the public at large not to “take friend requests or e-mail at face value.”

“We as a society have to be responsible and not believe everything we see on the Internet,” Burt said. “You have to vet it.”

The FBI would not comment on the fake Facebook page, but a spokesperson said the page was the kind of threat the FBI usually investigates.

A senior U.S. intelligence official said “Facebook Phishing” is a tactic that had previously been employed by terror groups, but had not yet been used by ISIS.

Cybersecurity consultant Suzanne Vautrinot, a retired Air Force major general who formerly headed the service’s Cyber Command, said she was familiar with this form of cyber spoofing from criminals, but not terror groups.

Vautrinot said the technique may proliferate. “It’s a fact of life that it’s difficult to find, but particularly difficult to prevent,” she said. “Because it’s so successful, it will be widely used. It doesn’t take a lot of brain power.”

On Friday, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released video showing how enemies of the U.S. can use social media to gather intelligence on individuals and ultimately defense contractors and the intelligence community.

Earlier this month, federal prosecutors charged a hacker living in Malaysia with giving ISIS more than a thousand names of Americans, including diplomats and local government officials, for a kill list. Ardit Ferizi, originally from Kosovo, had culled the names from 100,000 identities stolen from the Phoenix server of an unnamed U.S. retailer.