Foursquare Could Become a Successful B2B Big Data Provider By Using Its Own Location Data...

Foursquare has already made its name in the world of social media as one of the platforms used to “check in” and share info with friends and family, but the startup-turned-tech giant is now trying its hand at processing big data itself. According to reports from Tech Crunch and WebProNews.com, Foursquare is now entering the B2B world and hopes to focus more on processing and analyzing location data — which its sharing platform has been calculating and storing for users who want to “check in” at certain places and share their locations with friends on other social media sites. In the past, social media marketing has never been a successful pathway for the B2B marketplace. Recent surveys show that about 84% of B2B marketers use some form of social media, and the average number of social media outlets used by a marketing team hovers around six, but the majority of B2B buyers still claim that they aren’t influenced by social media at all when researching a product. Foursquare’s approach for connecting social media and B2B will be very different from the traditional marketing approach, however. The tech company has created a Location Cloud, which stores and analyzes huge amounts of “location data” entered by individual users on the sharing platform. The Location Cloud is divided up into three main categories (Connect, Build, Analyze) and is intended to help marketers and big companies better understand their customers through analyses of location data check ins. “Understand business and local trends like never before through Foursquare proprietary data and our larger panel of foot traffic signals,” Foursquare advertises to potential Location Cloud clients. In the meantime, Foursquare is continuing to expand its user features, such as Places by Foursquare and Pinpoint, with the goal of incorporating more...

Adult Dating Site’s Users Find Their Private Lives Exposed on the Internet in Data Breach...

After hackers breached one of the Internet’s largest adult dating sites, nearly four million users are finding their so-called “private” lives exposed. According to the UK’s Channel 4 News, the stolen data of 3.9 million Adult FriendFinder accounts includes information like users’ sexual preferences and sexual orientations; it even lists which users might be seeking extramarital affairs. The hackers also exposed users’ email addresses, dates of birth, postal codes and unique IP addresses. Some of the members whose information was leaked had even asked Adult FriendFinder to delete their accounts — but their information stayed in the sites’ databases even after they stopped using the dating service. “I deleted my account, so I thought the information had gone,” said Shaun Harper, one of the victims of the hack whose information was exposed. “These sites are meant to be secure.” Adult FriendFinder has about 64 million members across the globe and bills itself as a “thriving sex community” where users can “hook up, find sex or meet someone hot now.” As soon as a user signs up, he or she discloses sensitive sexual information with the site. Websites like Adult FriendFinder, that contain data on tens of millions of people, are popular targets for hackers looking to trade in this data for a profit on the so-called “dark web,” Channel 4 News reported. Hackers aren’t just targeting online dating sites — the U.S. federal government alone has seen a shocking 680% jump in the number of cyber security breaches it has seen over the last six years. Charlie McMurdie, a cybercrime specialist for PwC and former head of the London Metropolitan Police’s electronic crime unit, says hackers typically target government officials in an effort to blackmail them. “Where you’ve got names, dates of birth, ZIP...

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Prompts Concerns Over Environmental Violations May27

Santa Barbara Oil Spill Prompts Concerns Over Environmental Violations...

About five years after the Deepwater Horizon spill sent millions of barrels of crude oil gushing up from the sea-floor into the Gulf of Mexico, another offshore drilling mishap is spewing more than 100,000 barrels of the black stuff onto the California coastline and into the ocean. And now, according to CNN, the Santa Barbara oil spill that resulted in a state-issued emergency has earned the ire of environmentalists, the public, the California state government and the federal government alike. On Friday, May 22, the U.S. Department of Transportation ordered Texas-based oil company Plains All American — whose ruptured oil pipeline caused the spill — to halt its operations and make safety repairs on the pipeline. The California attorney general’s office is also opening up an investigation into the causes of the spill, which has had a devastating impact on the Santa Barbara Channel’s rich, diverse ecosystem. “California’s coastline is one of the state’s most precious natural treasures,” Attorney General Kamala D. Harris said. “This oil spill has scarred the scenic Santa Barbara coast, natural habitats and wildlife. My office is working closely with our state and federal partners on an investigation of this conduct to ensure we hold responsible parties accountable.” A great number of species call the Santa Barbara Channel — sometimes called the “Galapogos of the North” for its unparalleled ecological wealth — home. Porpoises, dolphins, seals and sea lions all make their habitat here; blue and humpback whales, along with a range of sea birds, settle here on their migratory paths. Off the coast, the channel houses towering kelp forests inhabited by a myriad of aquatic life. As a result, environmentalists have called the Santa Barbara spill a “wake-up call,” CNN reported. In addition to calling upon the federal and...

A Month After “Mobilegeddon,” It Appears SEO Fears Were Overblown...

It’s now been a month since Google updated its ranking algorithms to prioritize mobile-friendly sites in results for searches made on mobile devices. Up until the rollout, professionals in the web design and search engine optimization industries were in a near-frenzy trying to predict the outcomes of the change and prevent their clients from being affected by “Mobilegeddon.” But by all indications, the impact of the rollout has been far from apocalyptic. “This algorithm update was less interesting than a replay of the Mayweather-Pacquiao bout or the release of another Greatest Hits Album from Queen,” Conrad Saam wrote wryly for major industry site Search Engine Land May 20. Saam and his team did a small-scale study using data from 69 websites (all law firms) and tens of thousands of sessions to back up that assessment with figures. Of those websites, 12 were not mobile friendly, while the rest were. They gathered traffic data for the sites and ran two statistical analyses on it. In the first analysis, the difference in traffic was not statistically significant. In the second analysis, the group that wasn’t mobile friendly actually slightly outperformed the mobile-compatible group, by around 2%. What This Means for Mobile The underwhelming impact of Google’s mobile-friendly update, however, shouldn’t be seen as an excuse for businesses to avoid optimizing their sites for mobile visitors. It’s estimated that about 50% of people who own mobile phones use them as their primary source of Internet access, and Google announced just this month that mobile searches have officially surpassed desktop searches. That means that even if businesses don’t see a major drop in traffic because of an SEO penalty, they still risk alienating prospective customers coming to their sites via mobile devices. That, in turn, could hit conversion...

Clinton-era Internet Law Inadvertently Caused Massive, Potentially Devastating Computer Bug...

Saying the Internet has grown “a lot” since its inventors created it some 20 years ago would be a gross understatement. Tim Berners-Lee built the first web page on August 6, 1991, and dedicated it to providing info on the World Wide Web project. Today, there are 4.49 billion web pages in the world today, many of which hold and protect vital information. Now, like most things that have been around for more than 20 years, some of the Internet’s skeletons are beginning to come out of its closet and cause problems. One of these skeletons is a Clinton-era law that’s exposing private online messages to hackers. Computer researchers recently announced that the discovery of “LogJam,” a massive weakness in Internet software that allows hackers to spy on people’s online communications. LogJam affects thousands of websites, and every browser. Basically, it’s not safe to log into email, bank accounts, or even Facebook on public WiFi or a virtual private network (VPN). The issue began back in the 1990s. The Clinton administration wanted to control who had permission to encrypt data, a method of translating information into a secret code to keep it safe and private as it travels across the web to its destination, where it gets unencrypted. The intention was to keep encryption tools out of the hands of foreign governments, and in U.S. law enforcement’s. Essentially, it considered strong encryption software a potential weapon, and restricted its exportation. Consequently, American companies had to sell two versions: weak and strong. Although the ban has more or less been lifted, the weak encryption software from decades ago is still buried in the code of computers and software everywhere. It’s this weak encryption coding that LogJam takes advantage of. The bug allows one computer to...