OkCupid Founder If You Use the Internet Youre the Subject of Hundreds

first_img Laura Entis Register Now » Next Article Privacy Concerns OkCupid Founder: ‘If You Use the Internet, You’re the Subject of Hundreds of Experiments’ Guest Writer Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. 4 min readcenter_img July 29, 2014 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Last month, Facebook revealed that it had manipulated the content in the new feeds of more than 600,000 people to see whether or not the changes would affect people’s emotional state.If you weren’t actively pissed off, chances are you at least found the study – which attempted to manipulate mood by altering the number of positive or negative posts a person would see – creepy. Turns out, most people resent feeling like a lab rat (the clinical language of the study, published in The Proceedings Of The National Academy of Sciences, didn’t help on this count).That’s a shame, says OkCupid co-founder and president Christian Rudder, because if you use the Internet you are going to be the unwitting subject of hundreds of a wide range of experiments. “That’s how websites work,” he wrote in a blog post published Monday.Related: Facebook Basically Shrugs Off User Outrage Over ‘Emotional’ ExperimentFacebook’s tepid defense of its ’emotions’ study was that it was an attempt to improve “user experience.” Rudder goes a step further, arguing that any website that wants to improve its functionality needs to run experiments on its user base. “Most ideas are bad,” he wrote. “Even good ideas could be better. Experiments are how you sort all this out.”Putting his money where his mouth is, Rudder revealed in the blog post that OkCupid has been running experiments on its users for years. In light of the recent Facebook debacle, he chose to publicize the details from “a few of the more interesting” ones (which means this is likely the tip of the iceberg as far as the whole OkCupid-experiments-on-its-users thing goes).In one test, all profile pictures on the site were hidden, which led users to interact more frequently and reveal more details about themselves. In another, profile text was obscured to see how much an individual’s looks impacted his or her perceived personality (turns out, looks matter a lot). And in the third, the dating site informed users that their compatibility rating with other users was either better or worse than the site’s algorithm actually predicted. While these results are mildly interesting, what’s really fascinating is the casual, almost blasé way Rudder delivers the news that not only has his site been experimenting with uninformed users for years, but most other sites are doing the same exact thing.Related: Mushy Marketing Ploy: Pizza Hut Joins OKCupidWhile all three experiments exemplify how easy it is for sites like OkCupid or Facebook (which have a trove of data on users’ personalities, habits, likes and dislikes) to manipulate responses, the third is probably the best example.In that experiment, OkCupid altered the compatibility scores for potential daters, taking pairs of bad matches (an actual 30 percent match) and telling them they were a great match (a 90 match). The research found that if a potential dater was told another user was a good match, he or she was slightly more likely to initiate a message exchange even if the recipient was, in reality, a poor match according to the site’s compatibility metrics.Doctored compatibility ratings seem like as blatant a manipulation as Facebook’s tweaked news feeds, but so far, the public backlash over OkCupid’s experimentation appears far more subdued than it was over Facebook’s.Related: Mozilla’s CEO Resigns in Wake of Criticism Over Stance on Gay MarriageThere lots of possible explanations for this, including the fact that OkCupid didn’t publish its results in a scientific journal, the study was more “legitimately useful to users,” the tone was “self-deprecating” rather than clinical and that OkCupid, as a niche service, is less scary than omnipresent Facebook.That’s not the real issue, though. The real issue is Rudder’s argument that if you use the Internet you are, by default, the subject of a host of experiments. Companies don’t need to get your explicit approval (they just have to sneak a line into their terms and services agreement), and there is no committee that distinguishes between an ethical experiment and an unethical one that has the potential to inflict real damage. Which means morally dubious experiments like Facebook’s probably happen all the time, we just rarely find out about them because companies aren’t obligated to publish their results.If you don’t like it, Rudder is essentially saying, get off the Internet. Despite his “self-deprecating” tone, it’s a troubling message.Related: Tell Us: Will Facebook’s Unethical User Experiment Make You Quit? –shares Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Add to Queuelast_img read more

Japanese Truck Driver Playing Pokémon Go Kills Pedestrian

first_img Flowers are laid near the scene where a passer-by was killed after being hit by a driver playing ‘Pokemon Go’ while driving in Tokushima, Japan. Next Article The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List Add to Queue This story originally appeared on Reuters Pokémon –shares August 25, 2016 2 min read Japanese Truck Driver Playing Pokémon Go Kills Pedestrian A Japanese truck driver playing Pokémon Go while driving hit two women, killing one and injuring the other, in Japan’s first death related to the Nintendo Co. craze.The driver said he had been distracted by the game after his arrest for negligent driving following the accident on Wednesday evening, a spokesman for the Tokushima prefectural police said.”The driver is still in custody. No decision has been made yet on whether to proceed with a prosecution,” he addedA spokesman for Niantic Inc., which developed Pokémon Go jointly with Nintendo affiliate Pokémon Company, said the company had added a pop-up to the Pokémon Go screen when it detected an increase in speed asking for confirmation the user was not driving.He didn’t say whether the developer would take further steps to guard against accidents.A spokesman for Nintendo offered condolences to the family of the dead woman.”Pokémon Company and Niantic endeavor to create an environment where people can play the game safely and we will continue to do that,” he added when asked whether the company would take any new measures to guard against accidents.The popularity of augmented-reality Pokémon Go around the world has generated crowds of people in parks and other public places as user search for monsters, but has also been blamed for injuries and robberies of distracted users.Signs at parks and other places in Japan have asked users to avoid creating a nuisance.Pokémon incidents elsewhere have spurned warnings from authorities for users to play responsibly.In Taiwan on Sunday Pokémon Go monster hunters caused a stampede in Taipei blocking streets in the capital. Police there have increased fines on scooter riders found playing the game in traffic.News reports in July claimed that a Guatemalan teenager was the first Pokémon fatality after he was shot breaking into a house while playing the game.Also in July, Pokémon Go players were robbed of their smartphones at gunpoint in a north London park in Britain, while four teens in Missouri in the U.S. used the game to target around a dozen people into armed robberies.(Reporting by Tim Kelly; Editing by Nick Macfie) Image credit: Kyodo via Reuters Reuters Apply Now »last_img read more

Blood pressure medication associated with increased risk of diverticulosis

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 3 2019A type of blood pressure lowering medication, called a calcium-channel blocker, may be linked with an increased risk of a type of bowel condition called diverticulosis.This condition causes small bulges or pouches to appear in the lining of the intestine. Particularly affecting the elderly (as many as 65 per cent of over 85s may be affected), diverticulosis can in some cases can lead to a medical emergency if the pouches become infected or burst.The new early-stage research finding comes from a team of scientists led by Imperial College London, who investigated the effectiveness and side effects of three common blood pressure medications: ACE-inhibitors, beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers.High blood pressure affects one in ten adults across the globe, and increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. The most common treatments for high blood pressure are lifestyle changes and medications.However, despite the three main medications being taken by millions, investigating their potential side effects (as well as studying their effectiveness for treating other diseases), can be difficult and often involves lengthy and expensive clinical trials.To overcome this problem, the research team, led by Imperial’s School of Public Health, used genetic analyses to study the effects of the drugs.By investigating versions of genes that mimic the effects of these drugs, the team were able to study the drugs’ effectiveness – and their potential side effects.First, the researchers, who published their work in the journal Circulation, identified the proteins targeted by the drugs, and which help lower blood pressure. Next, they analyzed genetic data from around 750,000 people and identified the so-called genetic variants that code for these proteins.The team, who included researchers from LMU Munich, then studied whether these gene variants – which cause increased production of these proteins – were linked to an increased or decreased risk of other diseases.Related StoriesCarbohydrate plays important role in regulating blood pressure, research suggestsScientists turn type A blood into universal type O, potentially doubling blood transfusion stocksHealthy blood vessels could help stave off cognitive declineThe good news was that, as expected, these so-called genetic variants (which coded for proteins involved in lowering blood pressure) were linked to lower heart disease and stroke risk.However after assessing the risk of around 900 different diseases – using data from the UK Biobank study – the team found that the versions of genes related to the effects of a particular type of calcium channel blocker – the non-dihydropyridine class, were linked to an increased the risk of a bowel condition called diverticulosis.The team compared their findings with further genetic data, and supported the potential link with an increased risk of the bowel condition.The link now needs further investigation with larger trials, explains Dr Dipender Gill, co-lead author of the research from Imperial’s School of Public Health: Dr Gill cautions the findings should not change current prescribing guidelines and that people should not stop taking their medication unless first consulting their doctor.He added: “These findings should not change clinical practice, but instead should act as a catalyst for further research.” Source:Imperial College London Dr Joanna Tzoulaki, senior author from Imperial’s School of Public Health added: The study of genetic variants that mimic the effect of drugs is evolving as a powerful concept to help prioritize clinical trials and design clinical trials more likely to be successful”. This is the first time that this class of blood pressure drug has been associated with diverticulosis. We’re not sure of the underlying mechanism – although it may relate to effects on the function of intestine muscles, which perform contractions to transport food through the gut.”last_img read more

Amit Shah directs officers to provide assistance to floodaffected states

first_img Next Amit Shah directs officers to provide assistance to flood-affected statesAfter reviewing the meeting, Shah directed the senior officers to take every possible measure to deal with the situation arising out of South-West Monsoon in the country and to extend all necessary assistance to the flood-affected states.advertisement Asian News International New DelhiJuly 13, 2019UPDATED: July 13, 2019 21:55 IST Union Home Minister Amit Shah while conducting high-level meeting to review current flood situation on Saturday in New Delhi. (Photo credit/ANI)HIGHLIGHTS Amit Shah on Saturday chaired a meeting to review flood situation in various parts of the countryUnion Minister directed the senior officers to take every possible measure to deal with South-West MonsoonHeavy rainfall is expected in Bihar and Assam during the next 48 hoursUnion Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday chaired a high-level meeting to review the current flood situation in different parts of the country and preparedness of the states and Central ministries concerned to deal with the situation.After reviewing the meeting, Shah directed the senior officers to take every possible measure to deal with the situation arising out of South-West Monsoon in the country and to extend all necessary assistance to the flood-affected states.India Metrological Department (IMD) officers told Shah that during the last 3-4 days, Assam and Bihar have received extremely heavy downpour. Heavy rainfall is expected in these two states during the next 48 hours.Director General of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) apprised that 73 NDRF teams have been pre-positioned in vulnerable areas of flood-affected states along with all necessary equipment.These teams are in addition to the teams kept on alert at battalion headquarter and Regional Response Centers (RRC). NDRF teams have also rescued about 750 persons in Assam and Bihar.Central Water Commission (CWC) informed that Brahmaputra, Beki, Jiabharali, Katakhal and Barak rivers in Assam and Kamla, Bagmati, Mahananda, Gandak rivers in Bihar are flowing above a danger mark. Following which, both IMD and CWC are issuing forecast bulletins at regular intervals.Control rooms in MHA, NDRF, IMD and CWC are keeping a close watch on the situation on round the clock basis.Nityanand Rai, Minister of State for Home Affairs said that Shah has directed the Disaster Management Department to stay in touch with the flood-prone states and take up necessary measures and remain alert to deal with floods.ALSO READ | The 5 Trillion Dollar Mission | Budget 2019ALSO READ | Mumbai: 12-year-old boy drowns in pit at Worli Sea LinkALSO WATCH | Did this scooter fall into a rain-filled pothole’ in Mumbai?For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byPrakriti Sharmalast_img read more