Campus Crackdown

University Demands Students, Faculty Submit Invasive Sexual History Survey

Clemson University are requiring that students and faculty give up personal information to a third-party site (Wikipedia).

Students and faculty at Clemson University in South Carolina recently opened their emails to find that they must complete a sexual history survey or face disciplinary action.

The survey — which asks invasive questions such as, “How many times have you had sex (including oral) in the last three months?” and “With how many different people have you had sex (including oral) in the last three months?” — is part of an hour long Title IX training course that must be completed by November 1 to avoid violation of the Code of Conduct, according to Campus Reform. Read More

Big Data

Disney World’s New Smart Wristbands Track Visitors’ Every Move

Dataworld. (Wikimedia Commons)

Previously, Disney resort guests were given credit card-sized access cards that allowed them entry to both their rooms and the parks and even enabled them to charge anything to their Disney accounts.

The rubbery MagicBands that replaced the access cards do all of the above and much more. They actually give Disney the ability to collect big data regarding their guests and their experiences, according to BMW’s Reform. Read More

Mad Data Science

OkCupid Brags About Manipulating Online Daters in Secret Tests

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 2.19.30 PM

After all of the furor over Facebook’s invasive experiments on users’ news feeds, other startups running the same plays had to be thinking: “What do we do now?” In the case of OkCupid, their version of ass-covering is to come out loud and proud about the games they’ve been playing with their users’ hearts.

OkCupid posted a snarky, image-loaded essay on their blog today called “We Experiment On Human Beings!” where they make a list of hijinxes they’ve pulled on their users without them knowing, all in the name of science. In the post, OkCupid cofounder Christian Rudder points to how offended people were that Facebook published a research report based on manipulating users’ news feeds. Read More


Booting Up: Wish Your Cellphone a Happy 40th Birthday

(Photo: Time to junk it).

It should probably come as no surprise to you that Facebook has employees whose job it is to read private messages that have been flagged as inappropriate, particularly if they contain malicious URLs or child porn. [BuzzFeed]

Zynga’s first big real-money casino games, ZyngaPlusPoker and ZyngaPlusCasino, are launching this week in the U.K. At least you’ll have the potential to win actual dollars instead of spending them on virtual crops? [AllThingsD]

Apple is finally beginning iPhone production this quarter so calm down ya fanboys. [Wall Street Journal]

If you live in California, you may soon be able to know exactly what personal information your telecom company collects on you. [Ars Technica]

Happy 40th birthday to the cellphone. Oh, how far we’ve come. [The Verge]

Silicon Alley U

Columbia Gets in on the Action, as the City Coughs Up $15M. for a Third Tech Campus

Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Bollinger. (Photo: NYC Mayor's Office Instagram

This morning, the right honorable Mayor Bloomberg ventured north to the Columbia campus for what was teased on Twitter as a “big announcement.” It turns out that Columbia will not be left out while Cornell-Technion and NYU Polytechnic rake in all the glory, because the Lions are getting their very own tech project, the Institute for Data Sciences and Engineering.

Sound familiar? That’s probably because the project is what the university originally pitched, way back in October, for its very own applied sciences campus. For those keeping score at home, that brings the city’s total up to three tech campuses. Are you excited for science yet? Read More

Data Dating

Data Porn: New York’s Missed Connections By The Numbers

Lust train

For the tech set, there is nothing sexier than a good graph. Big data is a big deal, with venture capitalists dedicating entire funds to it. So when Betabeat found the Center for Missed Connections, it was love at first (web)site. The CMC is run by Ingrid Burrington and relies on posts from Craigslist Missed Connections in New York City to understand the longing that pulsates through the Big Apple.

You can see the amorous exchanges filtered by location—gym, coffee shop, laundromat or church. There is a terrific breakdown of which subway is most likely to result in a missed connection. No doubt the WiFi on the L train is helping love struck strap hangers to get their posts up while the memory is still fresh. Read More