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Control over personal info nearly dead, Pew survey respondents say

PCworld

Internet companies have run amok with our personal data, and people aren’t entirely sure what to do about it, judging from the results of a new survey.

More than 90 percent of Americans feel they’ve lost control over how their personal information is collected and used by companies, particularly for advertising purposes, according to the results of a survey by the Pew Research Center, published Wednesday.

Eighty percent expressed concern over how third parties like advertisers accessed the data they share on social media sites. Pew did not gather the names of which sites specifically respondents meant, but you could likely venture a guess.

The survey, which polled 607 adults online, was the Washington, D.C.-based think tank’s first in a series to tackle Americans’ views toward surveilance 100042486 medium Control over personal info nearly dead, Pew survey respondents sayprivacy after the leaks around government surveillance made by Edward Snowden last year.

The majority of respondents did indeed say that people should be concerned about whether the government is listening in on their phone calls, or viewing their online communications and other sensitive data.

But beyond government surveillance, the findings also reflect people’s attitudes amid the increasing sophistication by which Internet companies leverage people’s data for advertising.

“It’s a bundle of concerns,” said Lee Rainie, one of Pew’s lead researchers on the project, in an interview. “It’s partly surveillance, it’s partly tracking, and this generalized sense that I’m losing control of my identity and my data,” he said.

The constant flood of stories related to data breaches, whether it’s at Target, Snapchat, or P.F. Chang’s, don’t help either.

But voicing concern about the level of access companies, governments and other groups have to data is one thing; taking action in response is another.

Some respondents said they have taken actions to protect their privacy, like using a pseudonym, but a majority of respondents agreed that achieving anonymity online is not possible.

People’s concerns around privacy might be part of the trade-off in using a free service. Some 55 percent of respondents said they were willing to share “some information about myself with companies in order to use online services for free.”

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CES 2014: a look back at what mattered

TechHive

Innovation certainly was on display at CES 2014—4K HDTV hardware reached affordable prices, there was a tsunami of wearable fitness and health tech, 3D printers popped up everywhere, and smart cars made their mark, just to name a few of the major trends we spotted.

Our team patrolled the International CES show floor all week at searching for the devices and services you need to know about. In the process, we chose 10 winners for our Best of CES awards.

We also had our usual fun selecting other gear, trends, and innovations that caught our interest, which we showed you in our Picks slideshow. And we poked some gentle fun at some of the weird items displayed at this giant trade show in our Pans slideshow.

Here are some of our comprehensive slideshows about International CES 2014…

World Tech Update – 12/12/13

IDG News Service

Coming up on WTU this week Instagram announces a new direct messaging service, a robot fights crime and PC World offers its top 5 products of the year.

PCWorld Magazine Goes Entirely Digital

Business Wire

More Than 119,000 Print Subscribers Sign Up for Interactive Electronic Edition of the Premiere PC-Focused Publication

SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–September 30, 2013– IDG Consumer & SMB has unveiled the new PCWorld – the first of its all-digital magazines, including its Enhanced Edition, specifically tuned for tablets including iPad, Kindle Fire, and Android. August marked the final print edition of the magazine, and subscriptions to the interactive version have already exceeded 119,000. Based on the latest digital magazine subscriber rankings from the Alliance for Audited Media, PCWorld is number 10 in U.S. consumer magazines — ahead of Star magazine.

The first issue of the PCWorld Enhanced Edition featured a sleeker layout with more than 200 pages of new features. Among these are:an easy-to-read larger typeface, 360-degree interactive photos, animated infographics, and high-definition videos. The cover story focuses on Windows 8.1 and includes a review and a video upgrade tutorial. An article on 3D printing is accompanied by a video explaining how the technology works. In addition to the Enhanced Edition, each issue is also available in Replica, a PDF-like edition.

After PCWorld’s final print issue in July, readers were given the option to transfer their subscriptions to the new digital format, request a refund, or receive Macworld magazine for the remainder of their subscriptions. Of those who responded to the request, 90% chose to switch to the digital edition, pushing the total number of paid digital subscribers to more than 119,000. This demonstrates that PCWorld’s audience welcomes the new highly visual, multimedia format.

The upcoming October issue will have stories on budget laptops for as little as $430, reviews of HP, Dell, Asus, Acer, Lenovo, and Motorola Moto X products, and an animated illustration of how to get control of a cluttered inbox without complex filters and folders. “Since PCWorld launched in 1983, we have maintained a commitment to news, reviews, and information that readers can use to better understand the latest technologies,” said Randall Grilli, consumer and product marketing manager,IDG Consumer & SMB. “Our goal is to make the print-to-digital transition as smooth as possible. We have reinvented PCWorld to appeal to an audience of early adopters of technology who appreciate digital presentation.”

For details on the new PCWorld digital options, go to http://www.pcworld.com/magazines.

About PCWorld and IDG Consumer & SMB

IDG Consumer & SMB publishes leading tech media brands, including PCWorld, Macworld and TechHive, and offers innovative marketing services to technology vendors. Reaching a combined 20 million early adopters and tech influencers, IDG Consumer & SMB’s brands cover the tech spectrum from PCs, laptops and printers to the newest mobile tech devices and Apple offerings. IDG Consumer & SMB’s marketing services group offers tech-focused custom content through its Content Works division along with high-impact advertising/marketing solutions for a wide array of technology marketers.

IDG Consumer & SMB is a wholly owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world’s leading technology media, events, and research company. Additional information about IDG Consumer & SMB is available at http://www.idgcsmb.com/.

Additional information about IDG, a privately held company, is available at http://www.idg.com.

IDG Consumer & SMB | Howard Sholkin, 508 766-5610 | howard_sholkin@idg.com | SOURCE: IDGConsumer & SMB

Business Wire, Inc.

 

PCWorld Exits Print, and the Era of Computer Magazines Ends

Time

The last of the big general-interest PC magazines is no longer a magazine

The news isn’t shocking. In fact, it’s sort of a shock it didn’t happen several years ago. After slightly more than thirty years in print, PCWorld magazine is ceasing publication, effective with the current issue, to focus on its website and digital editions.

If I have to explain why, you haven’t been paying attention to the media business for the past decade or so. The web has been awfully hard on magazines, and no category has suffered more than computer publications. Both readers and advertisers have largely moved online. Many of them did so years ago — especially the sort of tech-savvy people who once read PC magazines. At the end, PCWorld was about a quarter the size it once was in terms of pages and had lost two-thirds of its readership. I don’t even want to think about what had happened to its profits.

I spent thirteen and a half years writing and editing for PCWorld, from 1994-2008, as an employee of its publisher, IDG. (It was called PC World back in my day, and I still wince slightly every time I type the name without a space.) So you might think I’d consider the news of the magazine’s end to be something akin to a death in the family.

Read more… 

Google News opt-in is not good enough

IDG News Service (Amsterdam Bureau)

AMSTERDAM (06/25/2013) – German publishers will disappear from Google News on Aug. 1 unless they opt in to the service as Google seeks to comply with a new German law. But the publishers said on Monday that this is not good enough, they want a share in Google’s revenue. The law will come into effect on Aug. 1 and gives publishers the exclusive right to commercialize their products or parts thereof, except in the case of single words or very small text snippets.The length of the text snippets however, is not defined in the law, creating a grey area for news aggregators such as Google that republish part of the texts.

European publishers call on European Commission to reject Google’s draft remedies branding them “incapable of restoring competition in web search and search advertising”

Read more… 

TechHive Fuels Up on Car Tech Coverage through Partnership with Edmunds.com

News release


The consumer tech site, from the publisher of PCWorld and Macworld, forges a partnership with car-shopping resource Edmunds.com to expand car tech coverage

SAN FRANCISCO — TechHive, the newest consumer tech media brand from IDG, has struck a partnership with popular car-shopping resource Edmunds.com to expand its car tech coverage and help its audience find their automotive sweet spot.

“Automakers realize that today’s drivers want cars that work well with their personal technology,” notes Jason Snell, SVP, Editorial Director for IDG Consumer & SMB, the division that manages TechHive. “As important as smartphones, tablets, and always-on Internet connections have become to all of us, it’s become far more important for our cars to fit into our digital lives.”

With the unique, collaborative editorial partnership, Edmunds.com will bring their auto tech expertise directly to TechHive’s audience to help them get the most out of their devices. TechHive editors will bring their consumer tech expertise to the Edmunds.com audience of car shoppers to help them make the best tech choices. Content produced together will appear on both TechHive.com and Edmunds.com as it’s created, with the first feature length story, Best Tech-Friendly Cars of 2013, slated for this spring.

 For the full release click here

IDG Calls On ‘Hero’ Display Ad Units To Save The Banner

Adexchanger

In the two months since tech publisher IDG finished a major redesign of its PCWorld, Macworld and TechHivesites, the company is ready to expand the centerpiece of that effort: the “Homepage Hero” box.

The box is intended to serve as a front door for each site, displaying a large slot called the “Content Hero,” where editors display the biggest stories for each day, with one section saved for sponsorships sold by the IDG Consumer & SMB division, which operates the sites. The Hero units seems like yet another bid by a publisher to “go beyond” the 728×90 banner ad to attract lucrative brand awareness dollars. But IDG Consumer & SMB CRO Brian Gleason is quick to tell AdExchanger that while the redesign does reduce the number of ad units on a page in favor of the larger, higher priced Hero unit, the format is ultimately being used to complement regular ad spots, not replace them.

“There’s certainly a place for a banner, even today,” Gleason said. “There’s just not a place for nine units on a page. Otherwise, it starts to look like Nascar – a logo placed everywhere. That’s part of the reason we did this — there’s more breathing room for both consumers and advertisers.” Within the past few weeks Microsoft, Intel, Samsung, Brother and TrendMicro have tried out the Hero units, which IDG has claimed to have yielded average click rates of between 2 and 4%

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IDG Consumer & SMB Sees Ad Performance Rise With Redesigned HTML5/Responsive Sites

Business Wire

PCWorld, Macworld, and TechHive, get a big boost in click-through rates with high-impact ad placements

SAN FRANCISCO—   Two months after the launch of redesigned HTML5/responsive websites, IDG Consumer & SMB is seeing encouraging results from its changes to PCWorld.com and Macworld.com, along with newly launched site TechHive.com. Overall, ad placements are delivering an average click-through rate (CTR) around 80% higher than pre-redesign levels.

IDG Consumer & SMB’s sites are also performing well against industry benchmarks. Ad units scheduled as run-of-site are delivering an average 0.38% click-through rate, compared to the tech industry average of 0.11% (MediaMind Global Benchmarks 2012). All three sites have better than average click performance with content and user targeting as well.

“We’re very pleased with these metrics,” notes IDG Consumer & SMB Chief Revenue Officer Brian Gleason. “We focused our redesign efforts on giving users visually-rich and intuitive websites that work across devices. We also wanted to make sure our advertising partners had a prominent place among our content. We’ve hit the mark for both readers and marketers.”

InCaseHero Macworld 0912 300x281 IDG Consumer & SMB Sees Ad Performance Rise With Redesigned HTML5/Responsive Sites         SamsungHero TechHive 0912 300x285 IDG Consumer & SMB Sees Ad Performance Rise With Redesigned HTML5/Responsive Sites

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IDG’s Stab at the ‘Premium’ Banner Ad

Digiday

Banners aren’t going anywhere, but publishers are busy trying to remake them into something more interesting — and that advertisers will pay more for them than the rock-bottom rates available in programmatic ad buying.

For some sites, that means rethinking the page. Gannett, for example, eliminated 47 percent of its ad slots in its September 2012 redesign of USAToday.com. At the same time, IDG Consumer & SMB took a “less is more” approach, removing two to three standard display ads per page. It instead rolled out what it’s calling “the content hero” on TechHive, PCWorld and Macworld. The oddly sized unit, which is 1130 x 500, takes over the site on the homepage and highlights the advertiser’s offering. The unit sits on top of editorial content for the first eight seconds of the user’s visit. It then reduces in size and leaves the brand logo on the site.

“By taking fewer ads, we thought it was risky because eliminating ads means we may lose money,” said Brian Gleason, chief revenue officer at IDG TechNetwork and IDG Consumer & SMB. “But [this] proves larger units, more impactful units that can fit in with the design of a page without taking away from the user experience is being welcomed on both sides.”

Continue reading…