After weeks of rumors, Penton Media announced today that it is buying Lebhar-Friedman’s flagship title, Nation’s Restaurant News.Randall Friedman, publisher of Nation’s Restaurant News, is joining Penton as market leader of the Penton Restaurant Group, which will include Nation’s Restaurant News as well as Penton’s own Restaurant Hospitality and Food Management. Nation’s Restaurant News will be located in Penton’s New York City headquarters, while Restaurant Hospitality and Food Management will continue to operate out of Cleveland. The NRN sale, as well as the reported shopping of Lebhar’s Dowden Health Media, is seen as part of a plan to pay back GE Capital, which financed Lebhar’s estimated $40 million acquisition of Dowden Health Media in 2005. In 2006, Dowden Health Media founder Carroll Dowden bought back the consumer magazine division of Dowden Health Media (which included four regional titles with combined revenue of under $10 million). Last year, Lebhar-Friedman sold Dowden Professional Publications to Quadrant HealthCom Inc.With the sale of NRN, Lebhar-Friedman retains four retail-focused publications: Home Channel News, Chain Store Age, Retailing Today and Drug Store News.
Still, Flo Health is conducting an audit about the data privacy issue and is looking at the use of all external analytics tools, not just the one created by Facebook. The company also released updates to its period and ovulation tracker app for Android and iPhone users so it won’t send data about a user’s activity to third-party analytics services. The Journal, which tested more than 70 popular smartphone apps, discovered that personal data was being sent to Facebook by using software that allowed them to track this online activity. Kristopher Micinski, a visiting professor of computer science at Haverford College, said in an e-mail that a lot of apps send their information to Facebook. “Implicitly, apps often include ads, and those ad networks often connect you to Facebook even if the app doesn’t talk to Facebook directly,” he said. “These large ad networks are all interconnected and share data.”That’s why someone who uses a wedding planning app, for example, will start seeing ads on Facebook for wedding venues, he said. Some politicians, though, want more answers. On Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed two state agencies — the New York Department of State and the Department of Financial Services — to look into the report that Facebook was gathering personal data from apps. He also called for action from federal regulators.”According to the report, a wide range of apps are sending highly personal data to the social media giant apparently without users’ consent and even when users are not logged in through Facebook,” Cuomo said in statement. “This practice, which in some cases clearly violates Facebook’s own business terms, is an outrageous abuse of privacy.”CNET’s Laura Hautala contributed to this report. Originally published at 10:52 a.m.Update, 12:33 p.m.: Includes statements from Flo Health, a Haverford College professor and the New York governor. Tags Now playing: Watch this: Did Facebook cross a line with its iOS research app? Mark Zuckerberg Facebook Share your voice 5 Comments Internet Services Tech Industry Facebook CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. James Martin/CNET Facebook might know your heart rate even if you’re not on the social network. At least 11 popular apps sent personal data to Facebook, including information about when a user was having her period or what real estate listings a person viewed, according to testing from The Wall Street Journal. Using Facebook software built into these apps, developers were able to record a user’s activity and then hand over this information to the world’s largest social network even if the user didn’t log into the app via Facebook or isn’t a member of the social network. Heart-rate app Instant Heart Rate: HR Monitor reportedly sent a user’s heart rate to Facebook. The tech giant also reportedly knew when a user got her period because she recorded it in Flo Health’s Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker app. Realtor.com sent Facebook information about the real estate listings a user viewed, according to the Journal. Users often don’t know that the app developer is sending this data to Facebook because there isn’t a “prominent or specific disclosure.”The revelation on Friday is the latest among a series of privacy concerns that have rocked Facebook, which could face more government regulation. It also highlights the trove of data Facebook collects from other apps that have tens of millions of users.The software built into the apps includes an analytics tool made by Facebook that allows developers to see data about users’ activities and target those users with Facebook ads. A common practice?A Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement that sharing information across apps is “is how mobile advertising works and is industry standard practice.””The issue is how apps use information for online advertising. At Facebook, we require app developers to be clear with their users about the information they are sharing with us, and we prohibit app developers from sending us sensitive data,” she said in a statement. “We also take steps to detect and remove data that should not be shared with us.”Some of the data shared appeared to violate Facebook’s business terms, which tell developers not to send “health, financial information or other categories of sensitive information.” Facebook said it uses data from apps to improve the ad experiences for its users and advertisers.Kate Romanovskaia, a spokeswoman for Flo Health, said the use of analytics tools is “common practice” for all app developers.The company uses Facebook’s analytics tool “to study user behavior, provide users with the best possible experience and develop a product,” she said. 2:09
Benjamin Arthur for NPRSuspicious travel companions: Bacteria can survive for days on surfaces inside a plane. But that doesn’t mean you have to take these critters home with you.If you want to cut your risk of catching the flu on your next flight, pick a window seat and stay put.That’s a key take-home message of a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“I have always chosen window seats,” says Vicki Hertzberg, a biostatistician at Emory University, who co-led the research with scientists at The Boeing Co. “But after this study, I have stopped moving around as much on flights.”People in window seats come into contact with fewer passengers, Hertzberg and her team found, because they leave their seats less often than those sitting near the aisle. And they are farther away from the action in the aisle, with its potentially coughing and otherwise germy passersby.“So the window seats are a little less risky than the aisle seats,” Hertzberg says.The finding comes from an effort to model how pathogens spread through the air in planes. To do that, Hertzberg and her colleagues created what she calls “Fantasy Flights.”“We were working on the study while it was fantasy football time,” she says. “So we started to call it that.”It’s an appropriate name because in essence, the Fantasy Flights work in a similar way to a game of fantasy football: Hertzberg and her team created simulations of people moving around the cabin during a three- to five-hour transcontinental flight.“Then in the simulations, we could make a passenger sick — like the passenger in seat 14C — and see what’s the probability of somebody coming into contact with the sick person,” Hertzberg says.Overall, passengers had the greatest chance of catching the bug when they sat right next to the sick passenger or in the row in front of or behind the sick person.“There was a perimeter around the person with increased risk,” Hertzberg says. “Everywhere else, the risk of getting sick was was minimal.”Hertzberg and her team created the computer simulations by documenting how people moved around the cabins on 10 transcontinental flights, from Atlanta to the West Coast.Their findings are consistent with previous studies looking at how real viruses and bacterial pathogens spread on planes. In general, sitting near a sick person puts you at the highest risk. But the size of the “transmission zone” depends on the specific pathogen and how it transmits.For instance, there’s a chance you could catch tuberculosis when you sit within two rows of someone infected with TB and the flight is longer than eight hours.And for SARS, that transmission zone very likely extends to at least three rows around the sick passenger — or perhaps up to seven rows.Of course, pathogens don’t just spread through the air. They can also land on surfaces — like the armrest or headrest — and survive there for hours, even days.“When you look at most infectious diseases, the overwhelming majority are transmitted when you touch a contaminated surface,” says Dr. Mark Gendreau, who specializes in aviation medicine at Lahey Medical Center in Peabody, Mass. “You grab the doorknob of the airplane bathroom, and then touch your eyes, nose or mouth.”“But we’re not all doomed to get sick after a plane flight,” Gendreau adds. “You can change behaviors when you’re traveling and substantially reduce the risk of catching anything.”First off, keep your hands microbe-free. “I recommend bringing aboard a sanitizing gel with 60 percent alcohol,” he says. “Before you eat or drink, sanitize your hands.”And don’t forget to use the sanitizer after you wash your hands in the bathroom’s sink, Gendreau recommends. The water in airplanes has a dirty track record.In 2004, the Environmental Protection Agency found high levels of fecal bacteria in the drinking water of 15 of the 327 planes it tested. Then in 2009, the agency set forth new guidelines for airlines to test their water. Now the EPA says that water on the airplane is safe to drink if you don’t have a suppressed immune system.But Gendreau still wouldn’t risk it. He wouldn’t even brush his teeth with the water in an airplane bathroom. “I use bottled water,” he says.And if a person is coughing right next to you and the plane isn’t jampacked, maybe just ask for another seat.Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Share
© 2016 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society A Citation: Statistics suggests that unanimous agreement in witnessed events may be sign of an error (2016, March 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-03-statistics-unanimous-agreement-witnessed-events.html Overwhelming evidence? It’s probably a bad thing (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with The University of Adelaide and one with University of Angers has found that the probability of a unanimous agreement in witnessed events is low enough that instances of such are likely a sign of an error. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society A, the researchers suggest their findings could have an impact on fields as diverse as legal proceedings, archaeological assessments and even cryptographic testing. Explore further When a jury is given testimony by many witnesses to a crime, all fingering the same person, the consensus is generally that the police have caught the right person. But, a statistical assessment of such instances by the research team suggests that may not always be the case. They suggest that the opposite may in fact be true, that the more witnesses fingering the same person, the greater likelihood there is that the wrong person has been caught.The reasoning by the team goes along the lines of logic; if 100 people observe an apple sitting on an otherwise bare table and all confirm it was an apple, than there is a strong likelihood that it was an apple sitting there. But, what happens when the observation is not so simple—for example, what if 100 people see a man carrying a bag of money out of a bank after a robbery, and all 100 agree that it was the man police have identified as the robber. That might be a problem because prior research has shown that when asked to identify a person that witnesses have seen for just a few seconds, especially if that person is running away, can be as low as 50 percent correct. When performing Bayesian analysis on such scenarios, the team reports, the numbers grow worse as the number of people unanimously agrees on something they believe they have seen. Put another way, statistically speaking, it is nearly impossible for 100 people to all correctly identify a person in such a situation—thus, if they do, it calls into question the validity of the results.The researchers note that their findings apply to other areas as well—if 100 archeologists agree on the source of a find, for example, the odds are great that there is an error somewhere, because statistics suggests there should be at least some differences in the results. More information: Lachlan J. Gunn et al. Too good to be true: when overwhelming evidence fails to convince, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Science (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rspa.2015.0748AbstractIs it possible for a large sequence of measurements or observations, which support a hypothesis, to counterintuitively decrease our confidence? Can unanimous support be too good to be true? The assumption of independence is often made in good faith; however, rarely is consideration given to whether a systemic failure has occurred. Taking this into account can cause certainty in a hypothesis to decrease as the evidence for it becomes apparently stronger. We perform a probabilistic Bayesian analysis of this effect with examples based on (i) archaeological evidence, (ii) weighing of legal evidence and (iii) cryptographic primality testing. In this paper, we investigate the effects of small error rates in a set of measurements or observations. We find that even with very low systemic failure rates, high confidence is surprisingly difficult to achieve; in particular, we find that certain analyses of cryptographically important numerical tests are highly optimistic, underestimating their false-negative rate by as much as a factor of 280. Credit: George Hodan/Public Domain This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.