Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Virtual Assets Are Not Community Property [Online Dating for Dummies]

Click here to read Virtual Assets Are Not Community Property
A marriage based on a shared love of online gaming is just as valid as a normal one, but as one Chinese woman found out, virtual assets accrued during marital bliss aren't divvied up in the divorce.

According to a story in the Beijing Morning Post, a judge has denied a woman's claim that half of the virtual items gathered during their marriage be turned over to her in the divorce settlement. Allegedly the unnamed couple merged their online gaming accounts when they merged houses, both playing characters under an account in the husband's name.

This is never a good idea, no matter how romantic it may sound.

The couple ran into one of the major problems affecting online gaming husbands and wives. When both are gaming, no one is cleaning the house. The next time you strike up a relationship with a man or woman in an online game and imagine sitting happily across from each other in real life, stealing coy glances over the top of your monitors, try to work in the stench of unwashed dishes, unclean bodies, and over-full cat boxes into the daydream. This will better prepare you for MMO marital bliss.

The Chinese couple did not take those factors into account, and now their splitting up, and the husband is keeping the accounts and all the virtual goodies they've gathered together.

The end of any marriage is tragedy, but when your marriage ends and you wind up with nothing but the virtual clothing on your back it's simply devastating, sort of.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

NYTimes: Online Detectives Can Unmask Mr. or Ms. Wrong

From The New York Times:

Online Detectives Can Unmask Mr. or Ms. Wrong

Never mind whether your date is smart or good-looking. How do you know
you aren't flirting with a felon?

Sent from my iPad

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Man of the Year = Rant of the Year [Voices]

Things Digital

By Nitrozac and Snaggy

Sent with Reeder

Sent from my iPad

Rogers, Fido offering iPhone unlocks for $50

Bringing this up with your local AT&T rep is liable to get you laughed out of the store, but things are a little different up in Canada where one of the major carriers is now offering an unlock service -- for a fee. If you're on Rogers (or its budget subsidiary, Fido) and you're a customer in good standing with an iPhone that you've previously purchased from them and you're not currently in a contract, you can pay $50 Canadian -- that's $50 US, for those of you not up to speed on current conversion rates -- to have Rogers' customer service reps flip a switch that'll cause the phone to magically unlock the next time you restore it while connected to iTunes. Considering the restrictions, they should probably be offering the service for free, but it's a start.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Oculus AI

Oculus AI has been in the news quite often recently and the media has been praising its capabilities left and right. So, out of curiosity I decided to give it a try and see what it has to offer and how accurate it is.

If you’re in the online dating business then you’ll know that uploaded images that don’t follow site policy can affect the integrity of your site and eventually eat away at potential revenues. Oculusai's service is called AIR (Automated Image Rejection) according to the developers, significantly speeds up the image moderation process. All head shot images that are uploaded onto a site are filtered through the AIR service and automatically rejected if they are hard to distinguish i.e. blurred, partly covered or multiple faced images or if they contain known celebrities or scammers.

According to the rejection reasons, stated below, I uploaded an image that fell in two of the categories and I have placed red arrows next to them:

The photo is of my son, which was at an angle greater than 30 degree and his face was partially covered.

The AIR software did approve the image and I am wondering how accurate it is if I purchase it for my site.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Woman Phones Police to Report Stolen Snowman

Click here to read Woman Phones Police to Report Stolen Snowman

'It ain't a nice road but at the end of the day, you don't expect someone to nick your snowman, know what I mean?' It may sound like a line from a Guy Ritchie film, but it really did happen.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dating Sites Used In Divorce Fights

129656-dating-websiteHERALD SUN - Dec 2 - Warring couples are increasingly using dating site as evidence to prove the time-line of a relationship. This could affect the division of assets. In some cases, people who argued they had been still in the relationship and entitled to assets were revealed to have been listed as single on a dating site. An international research shows that in the US social networks such as Facebook are increasingly involved in divorces. The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers found most divorce lawyers saw more cases using social media for evidence of cheating. As Australia has a no-fault divorce system, people did not need to prove reasons such as cheating. But the separation date with de facto or same sex couples can, in certain cases, end up being critical to which court - state or federal - divides the assets.

NASA Finds New Life

Click here to read NASA Finds New LifeHours before their special news conference today, the cat is out of the bag: NASA has discovered a completely new life form that doesn't share the biological building blocks of anything currently living in planet Earth. This changes everything.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Singles Get Motivated To Find Someone Over The Holidays

No one gets the warm and fuzzy feeling from being alone around the holidays. Being single during the holiday season is such a downer and many fall into depression. Enrollment on free dating sites shoots through the roof around Thanksgiving and Christmas and will continue to climb through the beginning of next year.

If you are still single, please visit our dating site and find the love of your life today.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Internet Dating Safety Act - Important News

To comply with the new Internet Dating Safety Act, we have added the following notifications to our confirmation email. This is not only valid for residents of New York, but should be closely observed by everyone using any dating site. After registrations users will receive a list of notifications:

- Act with caution when communicating with strangers

- Never include your last name, email address, home address, phone number, place of work in your profile

- Stop communicating with anyone who pressures you fro personal or financial information

- Before meeting somebody, always tell a friend or family where you are going

- Always provide your own transportation

- Meet in a public place

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

iPhone App Enlarges Your Penis Through Hypnotherapy — REALLY?

Click here to read iPhone App Enlarges Your Penis Through Hypnotherapy—REALLYAfter the iPhone app that fixed erectile dysfunction through sound-waves, here comes another wonder of science: Penis Enlargement. 'Enlarge your penis effortlessly with hypnosis. Do you want to enlarge your penis with the push of a button?' the description says.

Monday, November 22, 2010

More Married Women Are Having Affairs

In a recent nationwide survey conducted by Relate showed that 34% of women have admitted to being unfaithful, compared with 32% of men. Paula Hall, a sex and relationships counsellor, says: 'Traditionally we believe a woman who has an affair is looking for emotional intimacy, whereas men are looking for sex. But that's absolutely outdated. The automatic place to turn to is the internet and recently dating sites for cheaters have seen a dramatic increase in subscription base.

Similar Traits Don't Always Lead To 'Happily Ever After'

Two years ago, Dyrenforth, a professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, examined data that had been collected by demographers in Australia, Germany and Britain. In all, 11,625 married couples were included in the study. The traits Dyrenforth looked at were extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience - often referred to as 'The Big Five' by psychologists. She found that people with high levels of all those characteristics were more likely to be happy with life in general and with their relationships. Emotional stability seemed to be a crucial component for personal happiness. People who have spouses with high levels of agreeableness, conscientiousness and emotional stability were more likely to be happy in their relationships and with life as a whole. As for sharing common characteristics? It didn't seem to matter much.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Speed Dating Business For Sale

Forsale pictureOPW - Nov 19 - One of the leading speed-dating businesses in New York is for sale for $230K. There are ~1,000 events run to date, targeting single professionals between 20 and 55. To date the business has had 35,000 registrations from 25,000 members, with some singles attending more than 50 events. Over the past 6 years, the number of attendees has increased by 65% YOY. This business model can be expanded to other cities and has been already expanded to Chicago recently. Website for Chicago city is separate and included in the sale. Click here for more details.

Most Visited Online Destinations In Argentina

Comscore logo new
PRESS RELEASE - Nov 18 - According to latest comScore report, the Microsoft Sites are the most-visited Internet properties in Argentina, reaching 95% of all Internet users. Google Sites ranked as #2 with 11.6M unique visitors, followed by Facebook with 10.7M visitors. Local property Grupo Clarín ranked as the 5th largest destination in the country with 6.1M visitors, up 21%. Note from Fernando Ardenghi, an Academic from Argentina: Grupo Clarín owns the online dating site 'Te Busco' and Grupo La Nacion (ranked as #10 most visited site) owns the online dating site 'Zonacitas'. Both are free dating site.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Can Facebook Get You Fired?

(CNN) - Rants about your boss or your job may have once been reserved for during after-work drinks at a bar, but employee gripes are now being voiced in the social media sphere.

Workplace complaints posted on popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace could get you fired. But one federal agency has taken an unusual step to protect one complaining worker.

The National Labor Relations Board issued a complaint against a Connecticut ambulance service company after it fired a worker for posting unflattering and sometimes vulgar comments about her boss on Facebook.

The organization accused the company of illegally terminating Dawnmarie Souza and denying her access to union representation during an investigatory review. The federal agency is arguing that Souza's criticism of her boss on Facebook is generally "a protected concerted activity."

But workers should still be wary about what they post on social media sites. About a quarter of employers surveyed by the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics in 2009 had disciplined an employee for improper activities on social networking sites. If a worker posts something negative, and a manager finds it, he or she can legally be fired, some employment attorneys say.

CNN asked experts on social media etiquette in the workplace: How can you engage in online forums without losing your job?

1. Think before you post

Imagine if the comment you posted or tweeted will appear in the local newspaper the next day, says Tyson B. Snow, an employment attorney at Manning Curtis Bradshaw & Bednar LLC in Utah. While that rule of thumb may sound extreme, Snow says it is a safe way to manage your content.

On a social media site, the audience is unlimited, and the content is permanent. An employee may post one photo and quickly remove it, but someone could still archive the page or make a copy, he says.

2. Be picky about who you friend

Only allow people you trust into your social network, says Shanti Atkins, president of ELT Inc., an ethics and compliance training company. Instead of casually accepting all the co-workers or managers who ask to friend you, be selective about who you allow to view your posts.

Atkins says employees may forget who they let into their network and that could lead to problems later on.

3. Do it on your own time and computer

Try to limit your Facebook and Twitter activity to your personal computer, several experts say. If you engage in problematic activity on the company property and time, this can provide the managers more leverage, say several workplace experts.

Many employers and workplaces already ban the sites at the workplace to prevent social media spats from becoming an issue.

4. Watch what you post at home

Many workers are unaware that mentioning their company in a negative light on the internet -- even if it's done on personal time at home -- could lead to disciplinary measures, says John Lusher, a social media consultant. He says many organizations have departments that monitor social media comments and photographs that pertain to the company.

5. Keep the dialogue positive

Social media can be a great way to foster conversations about an employee's recent promotion or a company event, says Josh Whitford, president of Echelon Media, a company that specializes in social media. But, he says, certain topics such as trade secrets should never be disclosed online.

6. Figure out privacy settings

Social media privacy settings may be tricky, but take the time to consider all the different settings, says Shanti Atkins, at ELT Inc. She suggests implementing filters and grouping co-workers and bosses so that certain information does not reach everyone.

7. Learn your employee rights

Employees need to make the effort to understand corporate policy regarding the use social media at work and at home, says Tyson Snow, an employment attorney. However, most companies don't have such policies in place. Only 10 percent of companies had specific polices to deal with social networking sites, according to The Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics

Google Battles to Keep Talent


Google Inc. is fighting off Facebook Inc. and other fast-growing Internet firms that are poaching its staff, a reversal for a company that has long been one of Silicon Valley's hottest job destinations.

Among the defectors are engineers such as Cedric Beust. The 41-year-old spent six years at Google working on projects like the mobile operating system Android. But by this year, "I was ready for something different and more challenging," he said.

..Mr. Beust's job target list included Facebook, micro-blogging service Twitter Inc. and professional social-networking company LinkedIn Corp. After interviews at several of the firms, Mr. Beust in May joined LinkedIn as a principal software engineer.

Competition for experienced engineers like Mr. Beust is especially strong as Web start-ups ramp up their hiring and poach from established companies like Google.

Facebook and other start-ups have a recruiting tool that Google can no longer claim: They are private companies that haven't yet gone public, and can lure workers with pre-IPO stock. Recruiters say Facebook and others also pay competitively, with average annual salaries for engineers typically starting at $120,000.

"There's a huge shortage of engineers," said Valerie Frederickson, a recruiter in Silicon Valley. She said a recent client of hers who received a master's in engineering this spring from Stanford University got caught in a bidding war between Google, Facebook and others. He got hired with a $125,000 salary, and is now being offered $175,000 by the companies that lost out initially.

Facebook today has about 1,700 employees, up from 1,000 a year ago. Twitter now has 300 employees, up from 99 a year ago. LinkedIn said it started the year with 450 employees and expects to end the year with 900.

"It definitely is a little easier for us right now, compared to a lot of companies'' to recruit, said Colleen McCreary, the chief people officer of online gaming company Zynga Game Network Inc. The San Francisco company said it began the year with 500 employees and now has 1,250, including hires from large firms like Google and Microsoft Corp.

Much of the most recent hiring battles have centered on Facebook and Google. According to data from LinkedIn, 137 Facebook employees previously worked at Google. Among Google's recent departures to Facebook: Lars Rasmussen, co-founder of Google Maps. Google Chrome architect Matthew Papakipos, Android senior product manager Erick Tseng, and top Google ad executive David Fischer also decamped to Facebook earlier this year.

To help attract new recruits and preempt defections, Google Tuesday said it was giving a 10% raise to its more than 23,000 employees. Google Chief Executive Eric Schmidt wrote in an all-hands email, "We want to continue to attract the best people to Google." Google declined to comment Wednesday.

To be sure, Google is also on a hiring spree and increased its work force by 19%, or 3,600 people, over the past year. To acquire some high-profile talent, Google has ramped up acquisitions of start-ups such as social app maker Slide Inc. And while Facebook is a huge draw now, it too has become too large for some employees, who have left to start other projects.

Hiring wars aren't uncommon in Silicon Valley, with mature tech companies long battling with up-and-coming start-ups for workers. A few years ago, Google was snaring workers from Yahoo Inc., Microsoft and others. Now, as Google's growth has slowed, it is finding the tables have turned.

Google is giving its 23,000 employees each a 10% raise, as competition for talent in Silicon Valley heats up. Amir Efrati and Eric Savitz explain how the move signals an escalating war between Google and Facebook, Inc. for top talent.

"Google isn't the hot place to work" and has "become the safe place to work," said Robert Greene, who recruits engineers for start-ups such as Facebook.

Facebook's social-networking technology and smaller size is also appealing, say some job seekers. Software engineer Murali Vajapeyam, 29, who left Oracle Corp. this year, said he interviewed at Google and Facebook.

"Facebook is more interesting," said Mr. Vajapeyam, who didn't land an offer with Facebook and ultimately elected to join a San Francisco software start-up in September.

Google and Facebook's recruiting battles come as the two companies increasingly appear to be moving onto each other's turf. Among other things, Mr. Schmidt has spoken about adding social-networking elements to Google's services.

In recent days, the companies have engaged in a public war of words over data-sharing practices. Google has complained that Facebook is engaging in "data protectionism" by not allow its users to export their friends' email addresses to other websites, including Google's

Like Marriage, Committed Relationships May Protect Against Stress

By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY

Studies have long shown that married people are less susceptible to the effects of stress. Now a new study finds that being in a committed relationship, even without being married, appears to have the same protective effect, according to a study published in the journal Stress.

A research team from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., studied 501 masters of business administration students (348 men and 153 women) and found the romantic bond of being in a committed relationship alters hormones that can buffer against stress.

Participants were asked to take a 90-minute computerized test in which they played games that assessed their economic decision-making. They were told the test was a course requirement and the results would impact their future career placement, so that the test was a potentially stressful experience.

Before and after the test, researchers took saliva samples to measure cortisol and testosterone two hormones that the study says "are particularly sensitive to psychological and social influences." Cortisol is often called the stress hormone. Testosterone can potentially influence responses to take risks.

The study found cortisol concentrations increased for all participants, but the results suggest that single people were more susceptible to psychological stress than those who are married or in a relationship, says study co-author Dario Maestripieri, a University of Chicago professor of comparative human development, evolutionary biology, neurobiology, and psychiatry.

"The magnitude of the increase how much it went up related to whether they were in relationships," he says. "The ones who were married or in relationships had less of an increase. Somehow, they were protected from stress. They were better able to cope. For the ones that were single, cortisol really shot up."

About 40% of men and 53% of women in the study were married or in a relationship.

Men had higher concentrations of testosterone and cortisol than did women, both before and after the test. The research found single men, in general, have higher testosterone than men in stable relationships or who are married.

"We don't know whether it's the result of being single or you have high testosterone and that makes you more likely to be single and less likely to settle down in a stable relationship," Maestripieri says.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Here is How To Steal the Google Logo

Here is how a bunch of clever guys and gals, managed to steal the Google logo

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Would Sleeping With This Girl Count As Threesome?

Check Out This Music Video From BG Singer Gergana

Do you remember when foreign music videos used to take place in dance clubs around the United States? Now they take place on Social Networks. Case in point: The above video features Bulgarian singer Gergana as she spends a hot Friday night surfing Facebook, no joke.
Sample lyrics, in English:
“You’re looking for me (all) night and day on Facebook.”
“You look cute on your picture, do you look the same in reality?”
“You like my (Facebook) profile – yes, but I lied there.”
And while it doesn’t reference the “Poke” feature in creative ways like some other videos we’ve covered, the song is actually called “Facebook” and un-ironically revolves around a flirtatious work romance taking place on the social network.

Is MySpace About to Get Shut Down?

Click here to read Is MySpace About to Get Shut Down?

How bad is the situation for MySpace right now? Pretty bad: Not only is the social networking site losing tons of money, but the chief operating officer of its parent company wants it to rebound 'in quarters, not in years.'

Google Settles Suit Over Buzz And Privacy

Google informed users of its Gmail service Tuesday evening that it had settled a class action lawsuit brought against it by some users who were upset by the way the company rolled out its Buzz social networking service.
You may remember it. Last February the company announced the service to its millions of Gmail users, who then discovered that their network of Buzz friends was created from their list of Gmail contacts. People they corresponded with, but who were not necessarily friends, were suddenly grouped together, and in some cases the contact lists were made public. A considerable amount of consternation resulted. Google quickly retreated .
But the settlement of the lawsuit wont result in any monetary compensation for Gmail users. Instead, Google is putting $8.5 million into an independent fund that it says will be used to support organizations promoting education about privacy on the Web. Google said: We will also do more to educate people about privacy controls specific to Buzz. The more people know about privacy online, the better their online experience will be.
Anyone who wants to object to the settlement must do so with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose before Jan. 10. No word yet on how much the lawyers will get.
(c) 2010 The New York Times Company

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Muddy Matches: Dating Site For Farmers

Muddymatches logo BBC.CO.UK - Nov 1 - Muddy Matches, the online dating and social networking site for country people, now has ~50K members. The site has had many success stories, from two people who had always lived in the same village but only found out that each was single through this service.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Facebook In Privacy Breach

WSJ(10/18) Facebook In Privacy Breach
Publication Date 10/18/2010

Source: Dow Jones News Service
WSJ(10/18) Facebook In Privacy Breach

Many of the most popular applications, or "apps," on the social-networking site Facebook Inc. have been transmitting identifying information -- in effect, providing access to people's names and, in some cases, their friends' names -- to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, a Wall Street Journal investigation has found.
The issue affects tens of millions of Facebook app users, including people who set their profiles to be completely private. The practice breaks Facebook's rules, and renews questions about its ability to keep identifiable information about its users' activities secure.
The problem has ties to the growing field of companies that build detailed databases on people in order to track them online -- a practice the Journal has been examining in its What They Know series. It's unclear how long the breach was in place. On Sunday, a Facebook spokesman said it is taking steps to " dramatically limit" the exposure of users' personal information.
"A Facebook user ID may be inadvertently shared by a user's Internet browser or by an application," the spokesman said. Knowledge of an ID "does not permit access to anyone's private information on Facebook," he said, adding that the company would introduce new technology to contain the problem identified by the Journal.
"Our technical systems have always been complemented by strong policy enforcement, and we will continue to rely on both to keep people in control of their information," the Facebook official said.
"Apps" are pieces of software that let Facebook's 500 million users play games or share common interests with one another. The Journal found that all of the 10 most popular apps on Facebook were transmitting users' IDs to outside companies.
The apps, ranked by research company Inside Network Inc. (based on monthly users), include Zynga Game Network Inc.'s FarmVille, with 59 million users, and Texas HoldEm Poker and FrontierVille. Three of the top 10 apps, including FarmVille, also have been transmitting personal information about a user's friends to outside companies.
Most apps aren't made by Facebook, but by independent software developers. Several apps became unavailable to Facebook users after the Journal informed Facebook that the apps were transmitting personal information; the specific reason for their unavailability remains unclear.
The information being transmitted is one of Facebook's basic building blocks: the unique "Facebook ID" number assigned to every user on the site. Since a Facebook user ID is a public part of any Facebook profile, anyone can use an ID number to look up a person's name, using a standard Web browser, even if that person has set all of his or her Facebook information to be private. For other users, the Facebook ID reveals information they have set to share with " everyone," including age, residence, occupation and photos.
The apps reviewed by the Journal were sending Facebook ID numbers to at least 25 advertising and data firms, several of which build profiles of Internet users by tracking their online activities.
Defenders of online tracking argue that this kind of surveillance is benign because it is conducted anonymously. In this case, however, the Journal found that one data-gathering firm, RapLeaf Inc., had linked Facebook user ID information obtained from apps to its own database of Internet users, which it sells. RapLeaf also transmitted the Facebook IDs it obtained to a dozen other firms, the Journal found.
RapLeaf said that transmission was unintentional. "We didn't do it on purpose, " said Joel Jewitt, vice president of business development for RapLeaf.
Facebook said it previously has "taken steps . . . to significantly limit Rapleaf's ability to use any Facebook-related data."
Facebook prohibits app makers from transferring data about users to outside advertising and data companies, even if a user agrees. The Journal's findings shed light on the challenge of policing those rules for the 550,000 apps on its site.
The Journal's findings are the latest challenge for Facebook, which has been criticized in recent years for modifying its privacy rules to expose more of a user's information. This past spring, the Journal found that Facebook was transmitting the ID numbers to advertising companies, under some circumstances, when a user clicked on an ad. Facebook subsequently discontinued the practice.
"This is an even more complicated technical challenge than a similar issue we successfully addressed last spring on," a Facebook spokesman said, "but one that we are committed to addressing."
The privacy issue follows Facebook's effort just this month to give its users more control over its apps; privacy activists had cited as a potential hole in users' ability to control who sees their information. On Oct. 6, Facebook created a control panel that lets users see which apps are accessing which categories of information about them. It indicates, for example, when an application accesses a users' "basic information" (including a user ID and name) . However, it doesn't detail what information friends' applications have accessed about a user.
Facebook apps transform Facebook into a hub for all kinds of activity, from playing games to setting up a family tree. Apps are considered an important way for Facebook to extend the usefulness of its network. The company says 70% of users use apps each month.
Applications are also a growing source of revenue beyond advertising for Facebook itself, which sells its own virtual currency that can be used to pay for games.
Following an investigation by the Canadian Privacy Commissioner, Facebook in June limited applications to accessing only the public parts of a user's profile, unless the user grants additional permission. (Canadian officials later expressed satisfaction with Facebook's steps.) Previously, applications could tap any data the user had access to, including detailed profiles and information about a user's friends.
It's not clear if developers of many of the apps transmitting Facebook ID numbers even knew that their apps were doing so. The apps were using a common Web standard, known as a "referrer," which passes on the address of the last page viewed when a user clicks on a link. On Facebook and other social- networking sites, referrers can expose a user's identity.
The company says it has disabled thousands of applications at times for violating its policies. It's unclear how many, if any, of those cases involved passing user information to marketing companies.
Facebook also appeared to have shut down some applications the Journal found to be transmitting user IDs, including several created by LOLapps Media Inc., a San Francisco company backed with $4 million in venture capital. LOLapp's applications include Gift Creator, with 3.5 million monthly active users, Quiz Creator, with 1.4 million monthly active users, Colorful Butterflies and Best Friends Gifts.
Since Friday, users attempting to access to those applications received either an error message or were reverted to Facebook's home screen.
"We have taken immediate action to disable all applications that violate our terms," a Facebook spokesman said.
A spokeswoman for LOLapps Media declined to comment.
The applications transmitting Facebook IDs may have breached their own privacy policies, as well as industry standards, which say sites shouldn't share and advertisers shouldn't collect personally identifiable information without users' permission. Zynga, for example, says in its privacy policy that it "does not provide any Personally Identifiable Information to third-party advertising companies."
A Zynga spokeswoman said, "Zynga has a strict policy of not passing personally identifiable information to any third parties. We look forward to working with Facebook to refine how web technologies work to keep people in control of their information."
The most expansive use of Facebook user information uncovered by the Journal involved RapLeaf. The San Francisco company compiles and sells profiles of individuals based in part on their online activities.
The Journal found that some LOLapps applications, as well as the Family Tree application, were transmitting users' Facebook ID numbers to RapLeaf. RapLeaf then linked those ID numbers to dossiers it had previously assembled on those individuals, according to RapLeaf. RapLeaf then embedded that information in an Internet-tracking file known as a "cookie."
RapLeaf says it strips out the user's name when it embeds the information in the cookie and shares that information for ad targeting. However, The Wall Street Journal found that RapLeaf transmitted Facebook user IDs to a dozen other advertising and data firms, including Google Inc.'s Invite Media.
All 12 companies said that they didn't collect, store or use the information.
Ilya Nikolayev, chief executive of Familybuilder, maker of the Family Tree application, said in an email, "It is Familybuilder's corporate policy to keep any actual, potential, current or prior business partnerships, relationships, customer details, and any similar information confidential. As this story relates to a company other than Familybuilder, we have nothing further to contribute."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Facial Recognition Tech Startup Raises $4.3M From Yandex And Others

Just stop for a second and think of the endless possibilities such software will bring to the dating industry. With face recognition we will no longer have scammers and spammer plaguing the dating sites and lurking in the shadows seeking their next pray.

Yandex, operator of Russia’s largest search engine, has invested in Tel-Aviv based facial recognition technology startup, marking its first investment in an Israeli company. In total, has raised $4.3 million in Series B funding in a round led by previous investor Rhodium.

The news was first reported by TheMarker (in Hebrew) but we’ve confirmed the news with a Yandex representative, who declined to say how much it is investing in the startup.

Yandex did say they and are working on a “large joint project”, but failed to specify what that initiative entails exactly. Finally, Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh has joined the startup’s board of directors., founded in 2007, has developed a number of face recognition apps for Facebook (PhotoTagger and Photo Finder; the latter is currently in private alpha mode).

Last May, the company said its technology had helped users scan over 7 billion photos, and moved to launch a developer community and open API, providing third-party devs access to their core facial recognition technology.

One of the startup’s closest competitors, Polar Rose, was reportedly acquired by Apple for about $29 million.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

OKCupid Analysis Reveals Interests Of Different Races

MASHABLE - Sep 8 - According to OKCupid's blog, OKTrends, the website took 526,000 of its members’ profiles and split them into groups based on race. It then highlighted popular and unique words and phrases within each group to create the below graphics, which apparently reveal the inner desires of the various denizens of OKCupid.

Nominations Open For The 2nd Annual iDate Awards

Idate awards logo MARKETWIRE - Sep 8 - The iDate Awards highlights both the people and companies who exemplify the best and most innovative aspects of the Internet Dating and Matchmaking Industry. The Award ceremony takes place on the night of January 20, 2011, during the Internet Dating Conference. iDate2011 takes place at the Miami Beach Convention Center from January 19 - 21, 2011. Nominations are now open to the public for submission at

Here are the categories:

Best Dating Site
Best Dating Site Design
Best Software Provider
Best Mobile Dating Site
Best Matchmaker
Most Innovative Company
Best New Technology
Best Payment System
Best Affiliate Program
Best Marketing Campaign
Best Up and Coming Dating Site

The awards are organized by the Internet Dating Conference and Online Personals Watch.

Mark Brooks: The awards ceremony will happen in January at the Miami Internet Dating Conference.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Man Replaces Ex-Girlfriend With Silicone Clone [Sex Toys]

Click here to read Man Replaces Ex-Girlfriend With Silicone CloneSome men buy sophisticated, ultra-realistic sex dolls choosing face models, body types, bust sizes, and even adding sensors that make them moan. This is the first time, however, that I've heard of a man cloning his ex-girlfriend in silicone. More »

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Future of Screens, Circa 2014

Click here to read The Future of Screens, Circa 2014The ever-impressive Swedish interface gurus The Astonishing Tribe just posted a new video envisioning what kinds of screens we'll be using in the year 2014. They stretch fluidly and share seamlessly, and I want to use them right now. More »

Monday, August 30, 2010

Online Dating Matches Don't Come As Advertised

Online dating facts picture
People are way harsher online than they are in real life. The sexes have one thing in common -- they both lie. 24% of men and 13% of women lie about their age. Men are on average 2 inches shorter than they say in their profiles, while women are an inch shorter. About 50% of daters fib about their weight. Almost everyone exaggerates their income by 20%

Friday, August 20, 2010

Stripping ChatRoulette Girl Turns Into a Demon

Watch all these guys, looking idiotic at the sight of this pretty girl stripping for them, until she turns into she-devil. This is kinda of scary.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Trafford Council Pays For Dating For Those In Its Care

Trafford council
BBC.CO.UK - Aug 16 - A Greater Manchester council has admitted people in its
social service care are allowed to buy internet dating subscriptions out of public funds. It comes after a Sunday Telegraph investigation found money from other UK councils was being used to hire sex workers for people in social care. Trafford Council said the personal budgets were usually used to pay for care assistants or to buy equipment. Dating website subscriptions would also be an acceptable expense, it said. Thousands of people in the UK use personal health budgets to buy services with cash allocated to them by local authorities. 9RD2QXQXAUX9

Dating Site Marks 10 Years With Ad Campaign

Eharmony-articleInline NY TIMES - Aug 15 - eHarmony turns 10 on Monday, and it is celebrating
the anniversary with an advertising campaign called “Love Begins Here.”
The campaign features couples who met on the site and a message that
singles can still find meaningful relationships. Nearly 100 people,
mostly couples, participated in the eight-day shoot in Los Angeles. The
participants were not paid to appear in the spots. The new campaign is a
change in the creative direction of eHarmony. Instead of having couples
talk about how they met or why they like the service, eHarmony chose to
let music and images tell their stories. The company plans to spend $25
- $30M in online and offline advertising for the campaign through the
rest of the year. Read the full article in the NYT >>

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Because Asking A Girl To Marry You In A Photo Booth Is Way More Romantic Than In Front Of Your Computer [Photobooth]

Here's a picture of a guy proposing to his girlfriend in a photo-booth. It makes us bubble inside and we never bubble inside. Just look at her, she goes from a simple smile to pure elated joy in under 4 pictures.

A MacBook wouldn't have captured the same charm.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Dating Sites Boom In Sweden

Swedish flag
SWEDISH WIRE - Aug 9 - Outside the US and the UK, the Nordic countries
are the strongest markets for online dating, according to Johan Siwers,
managing director for New competitors seem to be popping up
every day. More than three million Swedes have tried net dating, making
up a third of the total population of nine million. FULL ARTICLE @ SWEDISH WIRE

Try your luck at Personals

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

$100,000 Matchmaker

TIME - Aug 2 - In this economy, it seems unthinkable that people would pay up to
six figures just to find a mate. And yet expensive matchmakers are
reporting that business is up these days. Janis Spindel, who charges clients between $50,000 and $500,000 a year to find the 'woman of their dreams,' says membership jumped 41% in 2009 from the year before and is up 46% so far this year. Premier Match, a New York City–based agency where annual membership costs a min of $5,500, logged $1.5M in sales last year, a 30% increase from the previous year. Matchmaking agencies advertise different strengths to attract high-end clients. Barbie Adler, CEO of Selective Search, worked in executive recruitment before she started her agency in Chicago 10 years
ago. 'My experience has been crucial to looking beyond a résumé to make a good match,' she says. Indeed, clients are willing to part with a minimum of $15,000 for Adler to work with them. Other firms take a scientific approach. The British firm Seventy Thirty, which charges its clients a min of $15,000, has a team made up exclusively of psychologists.,8599,2007394,00.html?xid=rss-topstories The First Location Based Dating Service For The Android

Skout logo PR WEB - Aug 2 - has just revealed their location based
dating service is now available to those on the Android platform.
Though SKOUT already boasts more than 1M members, this new partnership
opens up the floodgates to over 8M new potential users. Skout operates
like a GPS for singles by connecting like-minded members to each other based on proximity, giving them the opportunity to flirt and meet up in real time.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Porn Industry Aroused by FaceTime Possibilities

You will not be surprised that the porn industry is all over the iPhone 4 -- and the latest business opportunity is, almost inevitably, FaceTime. With the recent jailbreak, which will allow you to install My3G and use FaceTime over 3G networks, this would be a definite plus.

Chelsea Clinton And Marc Mezvinsky Are Bad Match, Says Dating Site

Chelsea clinton marc mezvinsky
ABC NEWS - Jul 30 - Chelsea Clinton will tie the knot with investment
banker Marc Mezvinsky. But will it be a match made in heaven? No, says
the new social networking and niche dating site for singles,
CanDoBetter. Chelsea and Marc are the featured couple this week, and so
far about 6,000 viewers have rated them as incompatible. Only 16%said
they were a perfect match, while 47% thought she could do better and
38% said he should ditch her for a better match. The site is now free,
but soon members will be able to pay a 'minimal' fee and upload photos
of themselves and their partners and get responses from other
members. 'It's a wonderful idea, I love it,' said Mark Brooks, an
online dating analyst for Courtland Brooks. 'From the business perspective, it's brilliant,' he
said. 'You get people talking which is hard to do [these days] with Internet dating. They looked at Hot or Not and have gone one better? I can guarantee it will be knocked off quickly.'
 But Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine, said CanDoBetter's contest is a distorted measurement of
attractiveness.' Attractiveness is not just based on physical looks, but also on personality,' he said. 'In essence, is not a true measure of total attractiveness.'

Meetic's Results For the First Half Of 2010

Meetic's Results For the First Half Of 2010: "

Meetic logoPRESS RELEASE - July 28 - Meetic, the European leader in online dating,
has announces its consolidated half-year results for the six months to
30th June 2010. Revenue for the first half of 2010 totalled €91.4M, up
+36.3% on the same period of 2009. Subscription sales totalled
€92.3M. Revenue for the Q2 2010 totalled €48.0M, up +35.2% on the same
quarter of 2009 and up +10.5% on the first quarter of 2010. This
growth is the result of the major advertising campaigns broadcast over
the period, notably towards the end of the first quarter, and the
completion of the migration of the sites onto the Group’s
European platform in April 2010. Subscriber numbers: 858,008 at 30th
June 2010 versus 829,258 at 31st March 2010, i.e. a net increase of
28,750 subscribers.

See all posts on Meetic


Visa Launches Rightcliq, An Online Shopping Assistant With A Social Twist

Like a good number of startups, payments technology giant Visa too wants to make shopping on the Web more socially interactive, visually appealing and easy to manage.

Today, the company is formally introducing a free Web-based tool dubbed Rightcliq, which it markets as a social e-commerce service.

Essentially, Rightcliq is a browser add-on aimed to enhance and speed up your online shopping experience, by letting you auto-fill personal address and payment card information stored on its servers on merchant checkout forms.

Users can also bundle goods they want to buy online in their personal ‘Wishspace’ – a sort of (nifty) visual wishlist – where one can manage items of interest but also monitor and track history and delivery of purchases.

In addition, the tool lets people involve friends and relatives in their purchasing decisions via email or Facebook, and access special offers from select online merchants like 1-800 flowers and Barnes & Noble directly. All in all, a pretty decent offering.

Worth noting: the launch of Rightcliq comes shortly after Visa completed its $2 billion acquisition of online fraud prevention and payment gateway provider CyberSource, whose global client base includes 300,000 e-retailers.

You can ‘enroll’ here, provided you don’t use an ancient, out-of-date browser like I do (Google Chrome, facepalm).

In all seriousness, I think this is something I could really use, so looking forward to Chrome support and a compatible extension. If I like it, you’ll hear more about it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2.5% of Married People Are Cheating Online

Illicitencounters logo newApproximately 2.5% of the UK married population are now members of an
extramarital dating site called According to a PR Web publication, the typical member is between the ages of 30 to 50, and has been married for ~7 years; adding some truth to the long-dreaded ‘7
Year Itch’ concept. Typically, the percentage of men and women on the site is 55% and 45% respectively.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Apple Purges Erotic Stories From Book Store Bestseller List

Click here to read Apple Purges Erotic Stories From Book Store Bestseller ListYesterday, this was the number one book at the bestseller list of Apple's book store: Blonde and Wet, The Complete Story, followed by Big Sis, both erotic short stories written by English auteur Carl East. Well, not anymore.

Facebook Closing In On Acquiring Check-In Service Hot Potato

Sources close to the deal say that Facebook is in late stage negotiations to buy Hot Potato, the social activity service. The deal is not yet finalized from what we’re hearing, but could be at any moment.

Terms of the deal are likely still be negotiated, but it’s believed that this would largely be a talent acquisition for Facebook. Yes, another one.

Hot Potato raised a small $1.42 million Series A round late last year, so it should not be too expensive for Facebook to buy such a company. It would undoubtedly be much less than the supposed $50 million in cash and stock they paid for FriendFeed last year, for example. Hot Potato’s About page currently lists 8 employees.

Hot Potato actually launched at our Realtime CrunchUp event last November. Since then, they’ve slightly pivoted away from check-ins based around events, and more towards check-ins based on anything you may be doing.

While the service hadn’t yet exploded in usage, the team behind it impressed us with the way they built their application – particularly their mobile app for the iPhone.

As I alluded to above, Facebook has been on the prowl for talent acquisition targets recently. In particular they’re supposedly looking to bulk up the projects under Facebook Director of Product Blake Ross, and on the mobile side of things, we’ve heard. This Hot Potato deal could fulfill either of those — or both.

If the deal is completed, it would be the seventh known company that Facebook has acquired — with five of those deals taking place in the last six months (and a sixth, FriendFeed, happening just about a year ago).

Earlier this year, Facebook is believed to have sniffed around both Loopt and Foursquare as potential acquisition targets. Hot Potato is often clumped in with those two as a location-based service. But, as I said, the latest revamp moved the service away from location check-ins (though location is still a central part), and more toward general check-ins — a space which is currently heating up quite a bit. (Still, I’ll chalk this up to up to the Great Location Land Rush of 2010, if it goes down.)

But again, this would seem to be a pure talent buy. If the deal is finalized, you can probably expect Hot Potato, the service, to be shut down at some point in the future.

Eric Schmidt: The World Doesn’t Need A Copy Of The Same Thing

By this point everyone knows that Google is trying to create a Facebook-type social networking service. It’s been confirmed by Quora’s Adam D’ Angelo, given an ETA by a source internal to Google, and a name, “Google Me” by Kevin Rose.

And now the The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is trying to get a piece of the Facebook pie, the filling of which is primarily composed of social games, hence the rumored discussions with the newly acquired Playdom, and EA, not to mention Google’s recent $100 million investment in Zynga.
At this point just about the only person who is still in denial of the existence of Google Me is Eric Schmidt. Schmidt, when asked by the WSJ whether hypothetically Google would create a service which resembled Facebook’s replied, “The world doesn’t need a copy of the same thing.”

Schmidt went on to state that Facebook was actually good for Google because “Facebook users use more Google products than any other users” which is a valid yet somewhat misleading statement, as the 500 million strong population of Facebook is greater than the United States.

Schmidt also referenced TechCrunch's scoop on Google’s hooking up with Zynga, proclaiming “we haven’t announced it” but “you can expect a partnership with Zynga.”

Schmidt’s “The world doesn’t need a copy of the same thing” attitude might have served Google well earlier this year when its reported “Twitter killer” Google Buzz did not actually kill Twitter.
Facebook did not comment directly on Google’s foray into social, but politely rejoindered that it is looking “forward to seeing what others have to offer” all the while keeping much of its own platform closed to Google searches.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Anna Fermanova Is America's New Sexy Russian Spy

Click here to read Anna Fermanova Is America's New Sexy Russian SpyMere weeks after America banished sexy Russian spy Anna Chapman, another has surfaced: 24-year-old Anna Fermanova is accused of smuggling military technology to Moscow. She has a belly ring and poses in bikinis on Facebook. Meet America's new sexy spy.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hearst’s Kaboodle Gets Into Social Commerce With Flash Sales Site PopPicks

from TechCrunch by Leena Rao

Social shopping site Kaboodle, which was acquired by Hearst Interactive Group in 2007 for $30 million or so, is trying its hand at social commerce with new community-driven flash sales site PopPicks.

PopPicks, which is members-only, partners with a retailer each week to feature a collection of products. The Kaboodle community is then invited to vote for the products they like best. After four days of voting, the most liked products are made available to Kaboodle members at an steeply discounted prices for four days or until the inventory is sold out.

While Kaboodle is a little late to the online sample sale game, with the element of voting, PopPicks has a slightly different take on the flash-sales model that Gilt Groupe, Ideeli, Hautelook, Beyond The Rack and others have seen success with. The ability to vote on what clothes go on sale could be a compelling feature to the flash-sales market. Initially, PopPicks will feature primarily fashion apparel and accessories and will eventually broaden its offering to include retail brands in home, beauty and gadgets.

Kaboodle, which underwent a realtime makeover earlier this year, has over 1 million registered users. Launched in 2005, Kaboodle faces competition from ThisNext, and Sugar’s ShopStyle.

Queer Eye-Phone: Gay Social Network Fabulis Gets An App

from TechCrunch by MG Siegler

Since its public beta launch in April, fabulis has been growing quickly. The gay mens’ social network now has over 51,000 members — up 40 percent in the last 30 days alone. And they’re taking that growth mobile, with the launch of a new iPhone app today.

The app offers all the best parts of the website, but extends upon them by utilizing the location element that the iPhone offers. The default view of the app is the “nearby” tab which shows fabulius members, known as “fabbits,” that are close to your actual location. If you find someone nearby that you want to engage with, you can chat with the click of a button.

There’s also a “shake-it” functionality, which launches a fabulis slot machine. This returns you a random fabulis member nearby who you may or may not know, and allows you to view their profile and chat with them.

The other major functionality of the app is the Plans area. This gives you access to what fabulis says is the largest directory of gay-related events in the world — over 71,000 events, with thousands more being added each day. And again, thanks to the use of the iPhone’s GPS, you can sort by events that are close to your location.

And, of course, there is a way to view your messages, and look at other fabbits’ profiles in the app.

Some other stats from fabulis:

  • Registered users spend 10 minutes per visit to the site currently
  • There have been over 300 million fabulis bits (their virtual currency) spent by members so far
  • 67 percent of members are in the U.S., with the UK coming in second with 9%

It’s hard to top CEO Jason Goldberg’s quote that fabulis for the iPhone “is like carrying the big gay world around in your pocket,” so I won’t even try.

You can find the fabulis iPhone app in the App Store here. It’s a free download.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lyudmila Bouzinova Is Too Hot For Apple [Apple]

Click here to read Lyudmila Bouzinova Is Too Hot For AppleWell, she does have a kind of pretty mouth—but is this image really too sexy for public consumption? According to Apple it is, as the app containing this photo was pulled for being "objectionable."

The app developer's rejection email stated that Apple found his tool contains "content that is objectionable for certain age groups" even though lovely Lyudmila isn't showing anything other than her shoulders and the thing going into her mouth there is clearly only a finger.

Once the photo of America's Next Top Model contestant Lyudmila was removed, the 'Mirror App' was successfully reinstated.