Online Reputation Management Blog

Google vs. Facebook: Who Will Come Out on Top in the Mobile Ad Market?

smartphone with social media bubbles (like, tweet, friend, share
The mobile advertising market is fiercely competitive, with Google and Facebook both vying for the attention of consumers. While Google is currently winning the mobile advertising battle, it seems that Facebook may be winning the war.

According to a report published at The Information by senior tech Amir Efrati, Google is at risk of losing precious mobile advertising to Facebook.

Google generates more than twice as much revenue as Facebook in regards to mobile advertising — thanks to search — however, in terms of graphical and video ads viewed on mobile devices, Facebook comes out on top, generating three times as much revenue than Google. In fact, Google’s share of these ads is decreasing.

The inability to track the efficacy of ads across various mobile devices seems to be Google’s greatest hurdle, meaning it’s difficult for Google to prove a sale was made due to a user seeing on its mobile advertisements.

On the other hand, Facebook’s mobile advertising platform seems to be more comprehensive, since it is able to determine if a user views an app on Facebook’s mobile ad and purchases that product on their laptop because of it. Facebook uses cookies — indicators that link a user’s web browser to their smartphone — to gather data about its users.

This is unsurprisingly, considering an estimated 50% of mobile phone owners use their smartphone as their primary internet source.

While Google also collects cookies, it fails to distribute them across its ad products. Data from Google’s search engine isn’t combined with data from Google DoubleClick, which is used to track Google’s ads on non-Google sites. On top of that, Google also has no way of determining whether or not a user has purchased the product they’re already seeing an ad for.

Google seems to be leery of getting flack for using the information they collect on users. The company’s own employees have said that limited ad tracking is a direct result of concerns with government regulations. Though the choice to not integrate Google’s ad products may have been made by its executive some time ago, the exact reasons have not been made clear.

Intel Is Changing How It Does Things

Intel, the world’s largest manufacturer of computer chips, once sold standard forms of its x-86 processors by the millions, but half of the chips it’ll sell to public clouds — an increasingly vital part of its sales — will be completely customized.

“We have never said no to a custom solution,” said Diane Bryant, the head of Intel’s data center business. “We get orders from the tens of thousands to the hundreds of thousands.”

Public clouds are computer systems accessible to anyone. For example, Amazon Web Services, Google Compute, and Microsoft Azure are all public clouds that frequently sell their computer power or data storage. One recent study also found that about 60% of businesses also use services like public clouds to perform IT-related operations as well.

Since these public clouds are reaching millions of people, they need to work as well as is possible, which is why there’s such a high demand for custom chips, Bryant explains.

“[These companies] are running a million servers, so floor space, power, cooling, people — you want to optimize everything,” she said. “The name of the game is customization.”

Case in point, eBay wanted to install a hyper-efficient cooling system, and so it asked Intel to make chips that had a superior thermal tolerance, which allowed them to be worked even harder.

Though there’s an obvious demand for custom chips, it seems a little odd for Intel to suddenly start taking so many custom jobs. After all, it made heaps of profit churning out tens of millions of cookie-cutter chips. Why even bother with custom chips?

For two reasons, it seems. First, Intel’s chip fabrication plants have become so automated that creating custom chips is not as laborious as it sounds. All it takes to leave out a core or change some other property of the chip is to input a few new commands into the machine. Second, it’s because there’s profit to be made there. Clients are willing to pay extra for a special run, or pay an engineering fee.

“As the dependency on technology increases, you have more workloads going across greater amounts of infrastructure,” said Bryant. “The name of the game is customization.”

One Giant Leap for Artificial Intelligence?: MIT Model Seeks to Make Computers Think Like Humans

Chocolate chip cookie on white

Since their invention, computers have always done what the human brain can’t.

That’s why computers are best at handling massive sets of data and information and categorizing them into huge clusters. When it comes to picking apart minute details and looking at small sets of data, however, the human brain is more adept than a computer.

However, that could soon change with a new machine-learning algorithm that recently came out of MIT.

According to a December 8 Popular Science article, the MIT Model allows computers to group data points together based upon the data’s similarities to one another. The algorithm then creates a “prototype” from the different categories of data that includes features that are similar among all the pieces of data.

MIT’s press release on the MIT Model explains the way this model works by using a typical voter population in an election as an example.

“A plurality of the voters might be registered as Democrats, but a plurality of Republicans may have voted in the last primary,” MIT’s press release explains. “The conventional algorithm might then describe the typical voter as a registered Democrat who voted in the last Republican primary. The prototype constraint makes that kind of result very unlikely, since no single voter would match its characterization.”

The MIT Model could also help computers independently ward off spam and viruses, which currently affect about nine out of every 1,000 computers today, by better categorizing abnormal pieces of data and picking them out from the bigger picture of data on the computer’s system.

And, believe it or not, the MIT Model has been proven to be successful at helping computers interpret data more like we do. Under the traditional topic model algorithm, computers asked to find cooking recipes would bring back a random list of ingredients, while computers with the MIT Model were more likely to deliver results that more closely resembled recipes, according to Popular Science.

However, the MIT Model isn’t the perfect algorithm just yet — so it might still be some time before our computers can interpret data on a small scale as well as we can.

Bitcoin Seeks Mainstream Appeal with First College Bowl Appearance in St. Petersburg

BitcoinAlthough Bitcoin has faced several high profile public relations challenges this year, Bitcoin, a decentralized, peer-to-peer virtual currency which can be exchanged for traditional currencies such as the U.S. dollar, or used to purchase goods or services online, has set out to emerge from the shadows of the cryptocurrency market into the mainstream of one of America’s most popular college sports with sponsorship of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl later this month.

Bitcoin backers are hoping to score a big public relations and marketing win with its sponsorship one of college football’s marquee matchups.  BitPay, a leading business solutions company for the Bitcoin digital currency, is the new title sponsor for the annual college football postseason game that will be played in St. Petersburg, Florida for three years through the 2016 game.  Bitcoin currency users will have the opportunity to purchase tickets with Bitcoin to see how the digital currency works.

Over the past year, Bitcoin, has seen its reputation tarnished by the high profile failure and subsequent bankruptcy of Mt. Gox, a Bitcoin exchange in Japan, the alleged use of Bitcoin in a Ponzi scheme that attracted the attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the unwanted attention of the FBI and U.S. Treasury Department, amid concerns of potential money laundering and the virtual currency’s potential as a conduit for illegal online activities.

Despite these well-publicized setbacks, Bitcoin advocates tout its potential as an efficient, secure and affordable alternative to traditional cash or card transactions and expect the event sponsorship will be a very positive showcase for the alternative currency.

Although some financial institutions have been resistant to Bitcoin, well-known merchants like Overstock, Expedia, Dell and others have begun accepting Bitcoin and the future looks bright for the virtual currency. PayPal, one of the most popular payment processing companies globally, recently announced it is working closely with a number of prominent Bitcoin payment processing companies to make it easier to transact business online.

The buzz over Bitcoin is also giving birth to enterprising servicing and transaction processing companies that have staked their future on the alternative currency, and investing in creative ways to burnish the image of Bitcoin and highlight its potential as a mainstream method of payment.

Atlanta-based BitPay is hoping its bowl game sponsorship will further promote interest in the digital currency and increase awareness across the country with its prime-time TV slot.  The bowl game will be an exciting opportunity to enable fans to use Bitcoin in a fun, collegiate sports environment. With nearly 35,000 merchants on its platform, including Newegg, TigerDirect, Zynga, ESPN, Virgin Galactic and the Sacramento Kings, BitPay has led the Bitcoin economy by allowing businesses around the world to easily accept Bitcoin.

As tens of thousands of football fans make their way into the Tampa-St. Pete area over the next couple of weeks in anticipation of the Bitcoin St. Petersburg Bowl, BitPay executives expect the attention brought to Bitcoin by the sponsorship of the college bowl game will engage their target demographic around the Bitcoin ecosystem, enhance Bitcoin’s reputation and relevancy and further boost Bitcoin’s ascension into the mainstream.

The 2014 game will feature the University of Central Florida from the American Athletic Conference and NC State from the Atlantic Coast Conference and will be played on Friday, December 26, at 8 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg and air on ESPN.