Facebook hits the brakes on creepy project to access your patient data from hospitals

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Facebook has been in recent talks with several high profile US hospitals in an attempt to glean anonymized patient data for a now-defunct project. The company aimed to collect obscured personal details — including illness and prescription info — in an attempt to match it with user data it collected by the social network. The goal, reportedly, was to help hospitals figure out which patients might need special care or treatment, according to CNBC. The news comes amid growing concerns that the social network isn’t taking the steps needed to secure its users from over-zealous third parties — and often…

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‘Rev Heads Rally’ is a New Kart Racing Game from the Makers of ‘Faily Brakes’

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Developer Spunge Games has spent the past couple of years making spin-offs and updates that all stem from their endless driver/crasher Faily Brakes, but they’ve now announced a brand new project outside of the Faily world. It’s called Rev Heads Rally and Spunge describes it as “A combative racer that plays homage to Mario Kart – but with real physics and dynamic crashes along with real-time multiplayer and an exciting AR mode.” Hey, I’m sold on that quick pitch! Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a video is just a ton of pictures in motion, so that’s, like, millions of words worth or something. Basically what I’m trying to say is watch this teaser for Rev Heads Rally to see what it’s like in action.

Rev Heads Rally is shooting for a simple control scheme with auto-acceleration and touching either side of the screen to steer, with buttons available for boosting and activating your power-up items. The release date is pegged for the end of April, but until then you can find a bit more information (with apparently even more to come in the coming days) as well as some discussion about Rev Heads Rally in our forums, and look for this one towards the end of next month.

TouchArcade

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YouTube Aims to Put the Brakes on Online Conspiracies

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YouTube intends to ramp up its efforts to combat conspiracy mongers, perhaps in response to the rash of conspiracy videos that trended following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month. Among other things, YouTube will supply links to relevant Wikipedia pages and other credible websites to provide viewers with a counter narrative, according to CEO Susan Wojcicki, who revealed the plans earlier this week during a panel discussion at SXSW. YouTube plans to roll out additional features over the next few months.
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Facebook pumps the brakes on its secondary News Feed, ‘Explore’

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One of the largest changes to Facebook’s News Feed in recent years is finally getting the axe it deserves. Last October, The Guardian first reported that Facebook intended to split its algorithmic News Feed into two: one for non-promoted posts from Pages and publishers (called “Explore”), and one for your friends and family. In a blog post, Facebook’s head of News Feed, Adam Mosseri, said the experiment was motivated by “consistent feedback” that people wanted to see more from friends and family and less from media organizations and businesses. The change, predictably, didn’t go over so well in the six countries…

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‘Faily Brakes’ Goes Full ’80s in Huge New Update Celebrating Game’s 2nd Birthday

Our old friend Phil Faily is getting ready to enter the terrible twos as this week marks the second anniversary of Spunge Games releasing their hilarious endless driver/crash simulator Faily Brakes [Free] into the App Store. To mark this momentous occasion Spunge has released a huge update to the game adding all sorts of new goodies. The biggest of which is a brand new theme and environment to careen through called Retro Future. Here, you’ll be surrounded by neon-soaked hazards and a catchy synth soundtrack, and there’s several new 80s-styled vehicles to drive too. The Retro Future environment also features new dynamic elements like moving hazards and underground tunnels you can drive through. The new environment as well as one of the new vehicles come included for free in the update, with two additional vehicles and two character costumes available in a $ 1.99 IAP.

This update also includes new “secret” limited time cars which can be found in the new level in the game, and a completely revamped menu system which allows you to outfit your characters, choose vehicles, and choose environments all from the same screen. Faily Brakes has always been among my favorite endless high score chasers, and it’s only gotten better over the course of two years thanks to numerous content updates like today’s. It’s one of those games that’s equally fun to do well in or totally fail and enjoy watching yourself crash like an idiot. If you haven’t checked it out before, let this 2nd anniversary update be your reason for downloading Faily Brakes for free and taking it for a spin.

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Premium Social: How to Hit the Brakes on the 65km-Per-Year Scroll

The following is a guest contributed post from Ben Le Tourneau, Integrated Director, The Operators.

How far do you scroll on your phone in any given day? Recent findings suggest it may be more than you realize.

Today, the average smartphone user is said to scroll some 178 metres every 24 hours on their device – or to put it another way, that’s 65km per year of thumb dragging through a seemingly infinite catalogue of content. That’s more than most people run.

For “power users”, that number can stretch to a whopping 101km per year – a hundred thousand metres of status updates, tweets, photos, emails, event invites, whatsapp messages, news stories, and, occasionally, advertisements.

Social advertising has grown in prominence over recent years – it’s clearly where audiences live, and access to engagement analysis makes for a welcome change to the unknown quantity that is traditional above the line channels. And brands are taking notice – it was a few short months ago that Adidas turned its back on TV commercials, preferring instead to focus on online strategy with a $ 4.25b target. Online, and particularly social media, has taken over.

But how can social advertising stand out from such a cacophonous environment? The answer – and arguably the future of online advertising itself – is to be found in Premium Social.

“Premium Social” is how we refer to high-end, high-quality, high-volume images and video, developed specifically for social media with a budget perhaps more constricted than that of a standard campaign – but content that nevertheless aspires to the same production values and approach as a typical television advertisement.

To get more granular – it’s content that catches the eye, using the restrictions of the format and channels it’s hosted on to its benefit, rather than resigning to them as inflexible limitations. It’s exciting, concise visuals that jump out from the online milieu, causing people to stop that seemingly never-ending scroll. It’s the top-quality production values condensed and filtered to a format that Generation Z are really paying attention to.

We’re living in the age where attention spans are shorter than ever. You need to battle against the colossal temptation of the continued scroll: your need to elicit a reaction and a sense of brand awareness in the momentary 5-inch swipe past your Instagram ad. A static image thrown together in Photoshop isn’t going to cut it (and isn’t even preferred by some social platform’s algorithms).

Content premium in nature is the only route to success.

At The Operators Creative, we’ve been working to perfect the art and approach to creating Premium Social alongside agencies such as Poke London, BMB and INITIALS for brands like Heineken, Samsung and Monkey Shoulder.

We love to use social spaces creatively and engagingly, looking for unique ways to entice audiences with the high-quality visuals they’re accustomed to on the big screen, but formatted to their phone. Techniques spread the gamut from beer ads with depth and animated backgrounds to playful VFX living room trickery and stop-motion cocktail recipes. It’s all about mixed media – from shooting to digital wizardry in post.

But it’s about more than good ideas. Online creative is high volume by nature – television is one format and one alone; social is Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and a great deal more. Pair that with the need for premium quality, and you’re looking at a new kind of challenge.

The key is to be found in production agility. Yes, you need a team experienced in shooting, direction, post, timing, and even sound production (Facebook videos now automatically come with sound, after all) but also a team that fully understands the process, that knows you’re delivering to vertical, to square, to landscape – and that knows these demands might change. If a client wants to add Snapchat to the mix in the eleventh hour, do you want to go and reshoot? Or do you want to consider the possibilities, shoot in preparation, and build a process that allows for easy manipulation of end results?

Premium Social is exciting – it’s still new, and there are very little rules, but creatives need to bend traditional processes by being nimble, smart, and creative. Creative outfits that aren’t prepared for this eventuality are the ones that will fall behind in 2018.

The landscape has changed. Two years ago, brands would balk at the very thought of spending £100k on a social campaign. Now they’re funneling that same money into the social channels we scroll through every day.

Thankfully, high-quality and high-volume mixed media content that works across multiple platforms, both online and out of home, can co-exist: 2018’s successful agencies will be those that learn to have their cake and eat it.

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