Telenav, the company behind the intelligent navigation and Advanced Driver Assistance Solutions (ADAS) found in many cars, and whose products are used in cars made by, among others, Ford, GM, and Toyota, is poised to bring yet another “solution” to your car’s in-dash nav and media screen: Car Spam or, as they call it, In-Car Advertising.
In an inexplicable move, Facebook is now facilitating and allowing its advertisers to use racial profiling in targeting their ads. They say it’s so that advertisers have the ability to exclude race groups as they test their marketing.
Facebook announced yesterday that in response to a report that Facebook commissioned, which found that 70 million Americans (and almost 200 million people worldwide) use adblockers, Facebook advertising code is now being designed to get around advertising blockers. So far these changes only affect the desktop version (i.e. what you see with your web browser), and not the mobile version of Facebook.
If you have noticed that ads from Facebook (not for Facebook, from Facebook) are now showing up in apps on your phone or tablet, you’re not alone. Facebook announced the ‘Audience Network’ (FAN) in 2014, which is a way for advertisers on Facebook to extend their reach (and their ads) into non-Facebook apps, and it seems that more and more app-makers are serving up these ads in their apps in order to generate advertising revenue.
Google announced yesterday that they have started putting sponsored images in their Google image search results. By allowing Adwords advertisers to put image ads in the Google image search results, Google says that it is a new way “to be there and be useful for mobile shoppers.”
We’ve all seen them – there are all sorts of ads for scams on Facebook, and all sorts of scammy ads and false advertising on Facebook (such as the ones suggesting a famous actress such as Betty White or Judi Dench has died). In fact, for many of us, not a day goes by that we don’t see some ridiculous ad on Facebook and think “How can Facebook let them get away with that ad?” In part it’s because Facebook relies on people reporting scammy ads to Facebook. So here’s how to report ads on Facebook.
If you have been on any website that has Adsense ads by Google on it (including this one), you may have noticed that Google is running its own ads for Gmail for Work and Gmail for Business. The ads show small businesses with cute domains, such as “gizmocam.com” and “puppyscrubber.com”. Shockingly, apparently nobody at Google thought to feature only domains registered to them; leading to a windfall for scammers who snapped up the domains and put ad links on them (these sorts of sites are known as ‘link farms’ or ‘linkfarms’).
Behavioral advertising, also known as behavioral targeting or behavioral marketing, is when an advertiser or advertising server hooks into the data that is stored by your browser or app, to serve you interested based ads. These things tell the advertisers and networks things such as what searches you recently conducted, what sites you visited, etc.. Behavioral advertising is increasingly being used by advertisers and their publishers (Facebook just announced they are using behavioral advertising), and consumers are becoming increasingly concerned for their privacy. So how can you opt-out of behavioral advertising?
Facebook says that they are “improving Facebook ads” – but for whom? For themselves, of course, because remember, you are not Facebook’s customer – you are their commodity. This new development means that Facebook is now using what is known as ‘behavioral advertising’ (when it’s on their website), or ‘remarketing’ (if their ads are following you around). Basically Facebook is using your data from your browser use – and your mobile app use – when you are not on Facebook – to target ads to you.
Efforts to ban texting while driving don’t work. Heartfelt pleas from heartbroken parents whose children have died while driving and texting while in traffic don’t work. So maybe putting up billboards with pictures of drivers who are caught driving while texting while in traffic will work. At least, that’s the hope of Brian Singer, the founder of the TWIT Spotting site.
While this year’s Superbowl ads did not disappoint, one of the clear winners was the Dodge Ram truck commercial which pays homage to farmers. Perhaps the most poignant part of the ad was the recording of Paul Harvey’s 1978 speech called, “So God Made a Farmer.” It got some wondering as to where to listen to all of Paul Harvey’s Rest of the Story shows online? Well the good news is that, even though Paul Harvey died in 2009, his voice and stories do indeed live on.
You knew that Facebook uses you in their advertising, right? Those sidebar advertisements (so called “sponsored stories”) where you often see your friends featured – “So and so likes this advertiser” – they do that with your likeness too. We have often ranted about it – now someone is doing something about it: In the case of Fraley v. Facebook plaintiff Fraley and others are suing Facebook in a class action suit, and the Federal court has approved Fraley versus Facebook moving forward. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh agreed that there was a chance that the plaintiffs could win their case based on claims that Facebook has committed fraud, and violated California law with unauthorized use of their image and name, in using Facebook friends’ images and names in advertising displayed in the Facebook sidebar.
Amazon has announced a new, cheaper, reduced-price Amazon Kindle. The new ad-supported Kindle with Special Offers, as it is known, is identical in hardware to the wifi Kindle – in fact it is a wi-fi Kindle, only it displays advertising along the bottom of the home screen, along with “sponsored screensavers” (which users get to help pick using Amazon’s ‘Hot or Not’ style Admash. In exchange for letting Amazon have your eyeballs in this distinctly Google-esque manner, you get your wireless Kindle with ads for $25.00 less – $114.00 instead of $139.00. Worth it?
At this point in your Internet life, it should hopefully come as no great shock that Google watches just about everything you do on the Internet, and one way that they do that is with the cookies that they’ve planted in your browser (in fact if you use both Google and Facebook, it’s a good bet that very little that you do online isn’t being tracked by one or the other, if not both). This includes a tracking cookie that Google has ‘helpfully’ given you for Google ads (that advertising by Google that is known as Adsense to website visitors and publishers, and Adwords to the advertisers who advertise in those ads by Google). based on what they perceive to be your preferences. Interestingly, Google also gives you a way to modify the information in that cookie, so that Google can show you more advertising that you ‘want’ (for some value of want).
In addition to the new iPhone 4 being announced this week, Apple released a new free update to its web browser, Safari. The new Safari 5, for both Mac and Windows, offers a few new features, but none as interesting – or as controversial – as the new Safari “Reader” view or, if you will, Reader function. The new Safari 5 Reader button instantly strips out nearly everything on the page that isn’t part of the article you are reading – ads, external links, pop-ups – everything – and gives you a view of whatever you are reading that has only the content text, and any attendant images or videos.