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

Malware Mischief

Researchers Develop ‘Visual Malware’ for Android

unhappy android

Via Gizmodo we have learned of PlaceRaider, the scariest damn Android malware you never want hiding on your cuddly old pal, the full-featured smartphone.

Researchers at the US Naval Surface Warfare Center created PlaceRaider and have dubbed it “visual malware.” It was developed as a proof of concept but would also be a great idea to sell to producers seeking spy gadget ideas for the next James Bond film, because PlaceRaider hints at the future of covert surveillance: Read More

Privacy Police

Comcast and Road Runner Customers Love Uploading Their Stuff to The Pirate Bay

User names of 10 top BitTorrent seeders. (Screengrab)

There is no safe way to upload your stuff to The Pirate Bay without taking pains to conceal your IP address. Many who are addicted to torrents know this–unless, apparently, they’re Americans who get their Internet from Comcast or Road Runner.

Torrent Freak reports that researchers from multiple institutions have been logging data from BitTorrent network users for a while. On the surface, their intentions don’t seem nefarious: Read More