Facebook Tool to Detect Unauthorised Video Posts

Soon it would not be easy to “steal” videos from Facebook as the social networking giant is introducing a video-matching tool designed to quickly identify videos that are duplicates of those already uploaded directly by their creators.

Facebook has been facing flak from top web-video creators who say it fails to prevent their videos from being posted without permission.

Facebook is working with a group of video creators on the initiative – including the multi-channel network Fullscreen, viral-video specialist Jukin Media, and Zefr, which helps marketers track videos online, Wall Street Journal reported Facebook as saying in a blog post.

“This technology is tailored to our platform, and will allow these creators to identify matches of their videos on Facebook across pages, profiles, groups, and geographies,” Facebook said in its post.

“Our matching tool will evaluate millions of video uploads quickly and accurately, and when matches are surfaced, publishers will be able to report them to us for removal,” it added.

Until now, Facebook has relied on technology partner Audible Magic to help it identify unauthorised video content through audio fingerprinting.

But that effort has not been effective in quelling the recent chorus of complaints.

Facebook is locked in a battle with YouTube for web-video supremacy. The latter uses Google’s Content ID software, which finds videos posted without permission and flags them automatically.

The Facebook tool, in contrast puts the burden of finding violations on the creators.

Creators will have access to a web-based dashboard that will allow them to identify videos they would like to monitor.

If the system finds a matching video on Facebook, the creator has the option of reporting the clips to the company.

Besides helping to identify duplicate videos, Facebook said it is continuing to improve its policies aimed at consumers who repeatedly post videos without permission.

Oracle Launches New Enterprise-Grade Flash Storage System

Enterprise IT-solution provider Oracle on Monday launched a new enterprise grade flash storage system that it claims will deliver superior performance than existing technology, capacity scaling and quicker responses while handling mixed workloads.

Called All Flash FS1, the new storage system can work faster in mixed workload scenarios like handling online transaction processing (OLTP) and high-speed data backup in an enterprise storage area network (SAN) environment as well as in private or public cloud storage systems.

While OLTP is a class of information systems that facilitate and manage transaction-oriented applications, SAN is a dedicated network that provides access to consolidated, block level data storage.

“It delivers input-output prioritisation based on business value and can scale to nearly 1 petabyte (PB) of raw flash capacity,” the company said in a statement.

“High latency has impacted customers on shared storage platforms for years, slowing down OLTP response times and preventing mixed workloads from running at full speed. Customers are looking to flash to address these issues. Our new storage system will take of these specific problems,” said Mike Workman, senior vice president, flash storage systems, Oracle.

Latency is a time interval between the stimulation and response which in the IT world can be treated as input and output.

Flipkart Customers to Now Get Refunds Within 24 Hours

E-commerce major Flipkart on Monday launched its instant refund mechanism facility, a move that will help its customers get refunds as early as within 24 hours of returning the product. Previously, the refund process used to take three to five business days.

“Continuing the innovation journey by announcing this newly launched payment mechanism, Flipkartaims to ensure that refunds for Cash on Deliver (CoD) orders are credited back to customers instantly, as soon as the product reaches the Flipkart hub,” Flipkart said in a statement.

The instant refund will be completed using Immediate Payments System (IMPS) transfers, it said adding that the CoD IMPS return facility is currently active for banks having IMPS transaction capability.

Entitled customers will be regularly notified about the status of their refund via SMS and emails, it said.

“Our return procedure is already one of the fastest in the country. In the last two months, we have extended this further by piloting the IMPS refunds programme, which has seen positive adoption and traction from our end users,” Flipkart Chief Product Officer Punit Soni said.

An instant, hassle-free refund experience, combined with consistent and accurate communication to the customer is definitely going to be a breakthrough, and a way forward for all future payment innovations, he added.

“We strongly feel that enabling our fast-growing product IMPS with Flipkart’s quicker refund strategy will create a benchmark experience to customers,” National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) COO Dilip Asbe said.

Transactions on IMPS can be accessed and initiated across different channels like mobile phones, PCs, NUUP, ATM and at bank branches.

More than 12 million successful transactions are been processed every month, Asbe said.

China intensifies Internet censorship ahead of military parade

As China prepares to celebrate a new national holiday, the country has been tightening its grip over the Internet by squelching online rumors, and cracking down on tools that can circumvent its censorship.

On Sunday, China’s Ministry of Public Security said it punished 197 people for allegedly spreading misinformation over local social media and messaging services.

The rumors covered controversial topics including the financial woes of the Shanghai stock market and the recent explosion in the Chinese city of Tianjin. One rumor, for instance, claimed that more than 1,300 people had died in the blast at Tianjin, when the official toll puts the figure at over 140.

The suspects involved deliberately attempted to mislead the public and create panic, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

The crackdown comes as the country is about to celebrate a new holiday on Sept. 3, which will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory in World War II. In Beijing, the government will be holding a large military parade.

China has a long history of censoring any content deemed offensive or controversial, especially when it relates to government affairs. This has involved blocking foreign websites such as Facebook and Twitter, in addition to arresting suspects involved in alleged rumor-mongering.

A year ago, China even began blocking access to all Google services, just days before the 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests, a topic considered taboo in the country.

Internet users can still circumvent China’s censorship through special software tools, but lately, the government has also been trying to crack down on the coding that can run these services.

GoAgent and Shadowsocks, two of these tools, have been removed from GitHub, a software development platform popular among developers.

It’s unclear why GoAgent was taken down. But as for Shadowsocks, the Chinese developer behind it was forced to delete the code from GitHub, following a visit from local police.

“I have no choice but to obey,” the developer “clowwindy” said in a posting on GitHub, which was later deleted.

Shadowsocks was a popular censorship circumvention tool, according to GreatFire.org, an activist watchdog group that seeks to end China’s Internet censorship. The tool was both free and open source, helping to make it widely used, GreatFire.org said in an email.

But even as the Shadowsocks code was deleted, other developers have made it available again, and posted it to GitHub.

A developer of the original Shadowsocks code was contacted, but declined to comment, except to say: “I believe people will take over this project and it will continue without me.”

Twitter Sets Modest Goals to Diversify Its Workforce

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Twitter is setting modest goals to diversify its workforce while it fights a proposed class-action lawsuit that says the online messaging service discriminates against its female employees.

The hiring targets were released Friday along with data showing that Twitter primarily employs white and Asian men in high-paying technology jobs, like most of its industry peers.

Twitter is aiming to fill 16 percent of its technology jobs with women next year, up from 13 percent currently. The San Francisco company also wants women to make up 25 percent of its leadership roles, from 22 percent now, and is promising to hire more blacks and Hispanics.

Former Twitter engineer Tina Huang filed a lawsuit in March attacking the company’s treatment of women. The complaint says Twitter has a history of bypassing qualified women for promotions. Twitter has denied the allegations.

Based on a total workforce of about 4,100 people, Twitter currently employs about 1,400 women, or 34 percent of its total payroll. The company wants 35 percent of its total workforce to be comprised of women next year.

“We’re holding ourselves accountable to these measurable goals, as should you,” Twitter executive Janet Van Huysse wrote in a blog post.

Other major technology companies, including Google, Facebook and Apple, also are trying to lessen their long-time dependence on white and Asian men to fill programming jobs that typically pay $100,000 (roughly Rs. 66 lakhs) to $300,000 (roughly Rs. 1.9 crores).

Unlike Twitter, not all tech companies have established a concrete number of women, blacks and Hispanics that they are hoping to employ, nor when their workforce might look more like the overall population.

The composition of most big tech employers didn’t significantly change in the first year since they began acknowledging their diversity problems under pressure from a coalition led by civil rights leader Jesse Jackson.

Twitter has other pressing issues besides addressing a lack of worker diversity. The company still isn’t making money more than nine years since its first tweet was sent and is still looking for a new CEO to accelerate its user growth. Co-founder Jack Dorsey has been serving as interim CEO since Dick Costolostepped down from the top job in July.

Meanwhile, Twitter’s stock has shed nearly half its value during the past four months as investors have lost faith in the company. The shares gained 37 cents Friday to close at $26.83, slightly above its initial public offering price of $26 (roughly Rs. 1700) in November 2013.

Secure your fortress with the Internet of Things

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A man’s home is his castle. Unfortunately, moats and drawbridges are no longer strong options for most homeowners looking to protect themselves. Security means defending not against barbarians at the gates but against thieves staking out your home and trying to sneak in undetected, often when you’re away.

Fortunately, modern households have a new resource to deter thieves and detect trouble before it happens: the Internet of Things. Here’s how you can use simple appliances – or elements of your home itself – as focal points in a home security strategy.

DIY Alarm Systems

If your home isn’t already wired for security with door sensors, window sensors, and motion detectors, you can now easily add them without having to rip open the walls. Do-it-yourself alarm kits let you attach battery-powered, wireless sensors anywhere there’s a risk of unauthorized entry. These devices connect to your existing wireless network and can send real-time notifications to you when a sensor is tripped, via an email, text message, or mobile app. Check out Viper and SimpliSafe for a few examples of solid starter security systems.

Surveillance Cameras

Whether you want to keep tabs on who’s at the front door or just want to keep an eye on the pets while you’re away, a wide range of security and surveillance cameras can now fit the bill. Just configure the camera on your network, place it on a shelf or attach it to the wall, and aim it where you want it to watch. Most cameras can be set to record only when they detect motion, and numerous cameras, like the D-Link DCS-2136L, can store their video feed on a Network Attached Storage device that’s part of your home network. Using a tool like QNAP’s TS-451 NAS gives you access to the Surveillance Station feature, which can be paired with QNAP’s VMobile app to turn your mobile device into a full-fledged security monitoring station. The TS-451 can monitor up to 24 IP cameras simultaneously (camera licenses additional) – either real-time or recorded video. It is compatible with thousands of IP cameras from over 80 major manufacturers.

Smart Locks

YouTube is littered with videos of people who’ve figured out how to pick a standard door lock in a matter of seconds, making key-based security nearly worthless. Enter the smart lock, a technology which brings the medieval lock into the digital age at last. Smart locks from companies like Goji and August let you decide who gets in and who doesn’t – and even when they can come in – via a smartphone app. Instead of turning a key, authorized users tap a button on their phone to unlock the door – and some can even automatically unlock when an authorized visitor approaches the house.

Automated Lights and Appliances

One standby of any home security strategy is to leave some lights on when you’re away from home for an extended period, but old-school light timers are cumbersome and difficult to program. These tools have received an upgrade in recent years, as well. Products like the Belkin WeMo let you turn lights and other appliances like your television on and off through a device that attaches to any wall socket. A mobile app lets you control the lights manually even if you’re on the other side of the world, or set up schedules to automate things.

istock 000039089378large
A man’s home is his castle. Unfortunately, moats and drawbridges are no longer strong options for most homeowners looking to protect themselves. Security means defending not against barbarians at the gates but against thieves staking out your home and trying to sneak in undetected, often when you’re away.

Fortunately, modern households have a new resource to deter thieves and detect trouble before it happens: the Internet of Things. Here’s how you can use simple appliances – or elements of your home itself – as focal points in a home security strategy.

DIY Alarm Systems

If your home isn’t already wired for security with door sensors, window sensors, and motion detectors, you can now easily add them without having to rip open the walls. Do-it-yourself alarm kits let you attach battery-powered, wireless sensors anywhere there’s a risk of unauthorized entry. These devices connect to your existing wireless network and can send real-time notifications to you when a sensor is tripped, via an email, text message, or mobile app. Check out Viper and SimpliSafe for a few examples of solid starter security systems.

Surveillance Cameras

Whether you want to keep tabs on who’s at the front door or just want to keep an eye on the pets while you’re away, a wide range of security and surveillance cameras can now fit the bill. Just configure the camera on your network, place it on a shelf or attach it to the wall, and aim it where you want it to watch. Most cameras can be set to record only when they detect motion, and numerous cameras, like the D-Link DCS-2136L, can store their video feed on a Network Attached Storage device that’s part of your home network. Using a tool like QNAP’s TS-451 NAS gives you access to the Surveillance Station feature, which can be paired with QNAP’s VMobile app to turn your mobile device into a full-fledged security monitoring station. The TS-451 can monitor up to 24 IP cameras simultaneously (camera licenses additional) – either real-time or recorded video. It is compatible with thousands of IP cameras from over 80 major manufacturers.

Smart Locks

YouTube is littered with videos of people who’ve figured out how to pick a standard door lock in a matter of seconds, making key-based security nearly worthless. Enter the smart lock, a technology which brings the medieval lock into the digital age at last. Smart locks from companies like Goji and August let you decide who gets in and who doesn’t – and even when they can come in – via a smartphone app. Instead of turning a key, authorized users tap a button on their phone to unlock the door – and some can even automatically unlock when an authorized visitor approaches the house.

Automated Lights and Appliances

One standby of any home security strategy is to leave some lights on when you’re away from home for an extended period, but old-school light timers are cumbersome and difficult to program. These tools have received an upgrade in recent years, as well. Products like the Belkin WeMo let you turn lights and other appliances like your television on and off through a device that attaches to any wall socket. A mobile app lets you control the lights manually even if you’re on the other side of the world, or set up schedules to automate things.

 

Facebook, Twitter Urged to Reconsider Autoplay

British MPs have urged social networking sites Twitter and Facebook to reconsider autoplaying videos following an incident where a US reporter along with her cameraman were shot to death while doing a live broadcast, a media report said Friday.

Many users were confronted with the video without choosing to when it was shared into their feeds – where the killer is seen shooting at his two colleagues – thanks to autoplay feature.

A parliamentary group has suggested that the firms should ensure that users are warned about graphic content before it plays, BBC reported.

The chair of the cross-party Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum (Pictfor), Matt Warman, said that both social media sites should automatically sift for such content.

“Social media, just like traditional media, should consider how shocking other content can be, and make sure consumers are warned appropriately,” Warman said.

“For victims, friends and families it’s important to make sure thata users know what they’re about to see and have a reasonable opportunity to stop it,” Warman, a Conservative Party member, added.

He said that while users can change their own settings to stop videos auto-playing, Facebook andTwitter “need to be aware that one size does not fit all”.

“Many people who are ordinarily happy that videos play will have seen shocking footage by accident, without warning of its graphic nature,” he added.

Shortly after the murders of two US journalists as they carried out a live broadcast on August 26, it emerged that the suspected gunman had posted his own footage on both Twitter and Facebook.

Those posts were then retweeted and shared by other users.