Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Scout - The iPhone Flirting App Under Fire

Skout is a fast-growing, free flirting app for iPhone. Recentry it has come under fire, after it was discovered that a 3rd child was raped by a man posing as a teenager in the app's separate section for 13 to 17 year olds.
The NY Times reports:
In one case, a 24-year-old man was accused of raping a 12-year-old girl in Escondido, Calif. In the second, a 15-year-old girl said she had been raped by a 37-year-old man she met using Skout. In the third, a 21-year-old man in Waukesha, Wis., is facing charges that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old boy.
It seems like this is only happening when users opt into using the GPS feature of the application, which allows them to find users nearby.
Mr. Christian Wiklund, Skout's Founder has expressed his desire to help the police with any investigations they undertake, to which we commend him. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

eHarmony Passwords Leaked [Security]

In addition to the recent leakage reported by LinkedIn, eHarmony is now reporting that passwords may have been accessed. eHarmony posted the below statement on their blog this evening:
The security of our customers' information is extremely important to us, and we do not take this situation lightly.
After investigating reports of compromised passwords, we have found that a small fraction of our user base has been affected. We are continuing to investigate but would like to provide the following actions we are taking to protect our members.
As a precaution, we have reset affected members passwords.
Those members will receive an email with instructions on how to reset their passwords.
We recommend all members to practice these robust password security tips:
• Create a strong password of at least 8 characters, composed of lowercase and uppercase letters, numbers and symbols
• Create different passwords for each of the Internet sites you use
• Change your passwords every few months
Please be assured that eHarmony uses robust security measures, including password hashing and data encryption, to protect our members' personal information. We also protect our networks with state-of-the-art firewalls, load balancers, SSL and other sophisticated security approaches.
We deeply regret any inconvenience this causes any of our users.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Professors from UCLA think that eHarmony is cheating customers

Many still believe that online dating is the future of romance, but unfortunately, some people are still not on board of that train. A pair of UCLA professors, who think that eHarmony—a dating site which prides itself on its scientific approach—is cheating its users.

LA Weekly reports that Benjamin Karney and Thomas Bradbury, a pair of scientists who have been researching relationships, have spoken out against eHarmony. The site, of course, claims that it is "scientifically proven to predict happier, healthier long-term relationships." The pair of scientists have problems with that claim. Karney said to LA Weekly:
"They say, 'We will find your soulmate for you.' That's a pretty drastic claim. As opposed to what they're really doing, which is, 'We've screened out the freaks.' That could be their tagline — eHarmony: No freaks here."
But as it stands, that's not how eHarmony sells itself. In turn, the researchers believe people aren't getting a fair deal. Bradbury explains:
"You do know that the American public has gotten hoodwinked since there was a product to be sold... The risks associated with the badness of these instruments and these devices in these sites have no long-term cost; it's just money out of someone's pocket. People are getting duped..."
The problem boils down to the fact that, however eHarmony attempts to match people up using algorithms, it just doesn't work very well. Predictors of long-term relationship happiness are difficult to quantify, especially using information available to a dating website.
So, while online dating sites might provide a means of meeting new people—which is great!—don't believe their scientific hype. [LA Weekly]

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Nike Fuelband

Here we have a few activities and the respective calories / Nikefuel you get for performing them:

  • Brushing Your Teeth:: 17 Calories, 47 Nikefuel
  • Eating Pizza: 8 Calories, 23 Nikefuel
  • Washing Dishes: 30 Calories, 86 Nikefuel
  • Sending a Text: 0 Calories, 1 Nikefuel
  • Shaking My Arm Up and Down for 30 Seconds: 9 calories, 26 Nikefuel
  • Smoking a Cigarette: 8 Calories, 21 Nikefuel*
  • Walking Up 4 Flights of Stairs: 7 calories, 19 Nikefuel
  • Taking a Shower: 60 Calories, 169 Nikefuel
  • Using the Restroom (#1): 2 Calories, 6 Nikefuel
  • Using the Restroom (#2): 10 Calories, 31 Nikefuel
  • Sleeping: 25 Calories, 79 Nikefuel
  • Masturbating: 82 Calories, 231 Nikefuel
  • Having Sex: 179 Calories, 514 Nikefuel
  • A Night Out Drinking: 463 Calories, 1303 Nikefuel
  • A Night Out I Don't Remember: 1129 Calories, 3320 Nikefuel
  • Being Hungover: 102 Calories, 292 Nikefuel

To re-cap, you didn't read it wrong: walking up 4 flights of stairs is the worst exercise you can perform. Just go get drunk with your friends and you should be losing weight in no time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Inside OkCupid Labs: The Modern Matchmakers Of Silicon Valley [Ok Cupid]

Inside the new offices of OkCupid Labs, you won't find beakers. The experiment happens here on the couch, where engineers brainstorm ways they can use data to be the ultimate matchmaker. More »

Monday, February 13, 2012

No Online Dating Site Can Match Up Your Inner Crazy

Source: Gizmodo

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Fake Breakup on

by Layren Goode from AllThingsD

Another day, another dating Web site. But this one doesn’t pair people up for dates — it tells their dates what they did wrong.
Freshly launched offers a way to send email feedback — positive or negative — after a date pulls a “fadeaway” (also known as the “never-call-again move”).
That’s so … wrong, you might be thinking. I tend to agree; If you can sit across from someone for an hour or two and divulge details about your life, you’re likely capable of speaking the words, “I’m sorry, but I’m not super interested.”
But if both parties are seeking more details, provides a template for filling in the blanks.
To determine whether WotWentWrong is harsh or helpful, I staged a breakup, with the help of an accomplice. It began, as these things so often do these days, with a text message: “Hey. I’m going to send you an email. The idea is that I dumped you or you dumped me, okay?”
Okay, so now we’re not speaking, for some reason. But — what went wrong? Ding!
I signed up for and indicated that I wanted to request feedback from “Weston.” There are a variety of request templates, ranging from “Cool” to “Flippant” to “Sincere.” I went with “Philosophical.”
Because, what better way to show someone you’ve moved on and are high on life again than to begin your email with a killer Benjamin Franklin quote?
In addition to the Ben Franklin quote, the body of the email was autofilled with a couple of sentences, and one question: “What went wrong with us?” I had the option to make changes within the template, but I left the letter as it was.
My full name was auto-signed at the conclusion of the note (just in case someone forgets your last name … or first name?)
At the next step, I was asked to rate — on a scale of one to five, five being the highest — how attractive I found my dating partner, whether I thought he was a good dresser, and what his conversation skills were like. Then I sent the email.
While waiting, I decided to also give feedback:
This template is supposed to help people who have a hard time articulating what was so wrong with their date, though the company says an emphasis is placed on “being nice” here.
Was the opt-out related to the person’s lifestyle habits? Was it a physical mismatch? Did the person disrespect you in some way? Is he or she too intense? The dropdown options get pretty specific.
I selected a few, then elaborated on some made-up problems, such as “You make me laugh too hard.”
Then I sent my feedback — but before I sent it, I was asked whether I wanted to throw in a couple positive remarks for good measure.
In the meantime, I got a response to my request for feedback. My problems, as it turns out: I’ve got a great personality and I’m too punctual. And I’m too tall. Also, there was some quote in there from “Billy Madison” — which was almost as deep as my Benjamin Franklin quote.
So there you have it — a trial run on While this particular example didn’t cause any flesh wounds, the app has enough feedback options to certainly shatter someone’s confidence after an already-bad date.
At the same time, in the age of digital dialogue, a site like this offers another way for someone to express things that might not be all that bad, or might help someone out next time.
Of course, the recipient doesn’t have to respond to your request for feedback at all. Which means, then, you’re just that person who asked for it. Through a dating app. One that spells “What” incorrectly. was created by Audrey Melnik, a developer based in Melbourne, Australia. Melnick bootstrapped the site herself, which officially launched yesterday. Currently, WotWentWrong is only available online and not through mobile applications, though users can access the site through a mobile Web browser.
The site is free to use, but don’t let that fool you: Dating sites are excellent at getting very personal — and even valuable — data from users. WotWentWrong plans to create an anonymous stats page, so users can check out the most popular breakup reasons, as well as other potentially useful nuggets of dating data.
Also, there’s unique advertising potential for a site like this, and Melnik is seeking strategic partnerships with dating experts and products. Say, for example, a user gives their dumped date the feedback that they had bad breath. A “suggested products” recommendation of breath-freshener items could appear.
If direct feedback and breath-freshener ads don’t cripple someone’s confidence, then I don’t know what will!