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Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?

theregister.com
  • After switching from tracking-based ads to contextual ads, Dutch media company NPO saw an increase in ad revenue.
  • They switched in January, and since then the increase (monthly, over last year’s results from the same months) was - 61%, 76%, 18%, 8%, and 19%.
  • Additionally, NPO introduced a consent form that allowed users to reject 3rd party tracking, and 90% of visitors rejected it.
  • A big issue with targeted ads is real-time bidding (RTB), it forces publishers to give a cut of revenue to ad agencies - one expert calls it a cancer that’s eating the media.
  • Contextual ads are simply keyword-related ads (ie if you read about cars, you get car ads), they don’t track users, and they allow publishers to keep more profits.

At 19, am I too young for cannabis? Choosing the ‘right’ minimum legal age for legalized non-medical cannabis

blogs.biomedcentral.com
  • Looking at Canadians who’d started using Cannabis at different ages, and the difference among them, scientists conclude that 19 is a good age for legal weed.
  • Canada legalized early, and they started with 18, but the new study shows a big difference in life outcomes when people start smoking a bit later.
  • Interestingly, life outcomes were better when people started smoking at 19, worse when they started at 18, and similar to those that started between 20-25.
  • These findings should be used to inform decisions by policymakers around the world who want to legalize in their countries.

COVID-19 is a “Perfect Storm” for Conspiracy Theories

inverse.com
  • Last year, when there were measles outbreaks due to anti vaxxers in the USA, scientists collected huge amounts of data and are now sharing their analysis of it.
  • The results are that during last year’s measles outbreaks, anti-vaccine and no-vaccine communities grew by 300% and 100% respectively.
  • What’s most interesting, people that are undecided are reached by conspiracy theory pages much faster than they can be reached by official, verified public health pages.
  • Even more, their strategies for pulling in undecided social media users are much better than the public health strategy of just plainly stating facts.
  • These insights should be used to inform new policies for fighting back against disinformation in the name of profit and / or political gain.

Finnish basic income pilot improved wellbeing, study finds

theguardian.com
  • Strictly speaking, it wasn’t a universal income scheme, because the trial recruited people from a restricted group, and the income wasn’t enough to live on.
  • Study authors interviewed 81 participants, and the results could support arguments for, as well as against introducing basic income on a global scale.
  • However, the biggest upside was that basic income receivers were living more peacefully for the 2-year trial period.
  • The trial overall resulted in better mental wellbeing, greater life satisfaction and higher confidence, and was most beneficial for entrepreneurs and artists.
  • What’s interesting, some people used this as an opportunity to help others in their society by doing voluntary unpaid work.

Google expects its staff to work from home until 2021 and it's not alone

zdnet.com
  • Reports show that tech giants (Google and Facebook), as well as a lot of small and medium businesses are making remote work the new norm.
  • Surveys show that a lot of workers support the idea of working from home indefinitely, younger people are more willing to do so than older workers.
  • Surveys of IT managers show that in their mind, this situation has created a more positive view of remote workplaces, so they’re rethinking how they do things.
  • As one expert says, one of the biggest holdbacks of remote work is trust.
  • However, counting workers at the office is not management, it’s baby-sitting, so the solution is better education for managers.

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