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Hate political ads? Skip morning shows

November 19, 2014 Comments off

Hate political ads? Skip morning shows
Source: Center for Public Integrity

If you hate political advertisements, some advice: Give Matt Lauer, Robin Roberts and Charlie Rose the boot.

The nation’s marquee network morning shows — “Good Morning America,” “Today” and “CBS This Morning” — attracted more U.S. Senate race-focused ads during the 2014 midterm elections than any other television programs, according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of data provided by tracking firm Kantar Media/CMAG.

The weekday version of ABC’s “Good Morning America” led all comers, with nearly 30,000 U.S. Senate-focused ads during the 2014 election cycle. “Today” and “CBS This Morning” played host to about 27,000 and 25,000 ads respectively.

Republican candidates and political parties, super PACs and nonprofit groups supporting their races aired slightly more ads than their Democratic counterparts for each show.

About these ads

What’s on TV? Detecting age-related neurodegenerative eye disease using eye movement scanpaths

November 16, 2014 Comments off

What’s on TV? Detecting age-related neurodegenerative eye disease using eye movement scanpaths
Source: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience

Purpose:
We test the hypothesis that age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be detected by examining patterns of eye movement recorded whilst a person naturally watches a movie.

Methods:
Thirty-two elderly people with healthy vision (median age: 70, interquartile range [IQR] 64–75 years) and 44 patients with a clinical diagnosis of glaucoma (median age: 69, IQR 63–77 years) had standard vision examinations including automated perimetry. Disease severity was measured using a standard clinical measure (visual field mean deviation; MD). All study participants viewed three unmodified TV and film clips on a computer set up incorporating the Eyelink 1000 eyetracker (SR Research, Ontario, Canada). Eye movement scanpaths were plotted using novel methods that first filtered the data and then generated saccade density maps. Maps were then subjected to a feature extraction analysis using kernel principal component analysis (KPCA). Features from the KPCA were then classified using a standard machine based classifier trained and tested by a 10-fold cross validation which was repeated 100 times to estimate the confidence interval (CI) of classification sensitivity and specificity.

Results:
Patients had a range of disease severity from early to advanced (median [IQR] right eye and left eye MD was −7 [−13 to −5] dB and −9 [−15 to −4] dB, respectively). Average sensitivity for correctly identifying a glaucoma patient at a fixed specificity of 90% was 79% (95% CI: 58–86%). The area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve was 0.84 (95% CI: 0.82–0.87).

Conclusions:
Huge data from scanpaths of eye movements recorded whilst people freely watch TV type films can be processed into maps that contain a signature of vision loss. In this proof of principle study we have demonstrated that a group of patients with age-related neurodegenerative eye disease can be reasonably well separated from a group of healthy peers by considering these eye movement signatures alone.

Lots of Sizzle, Not Enough Steak in U.S. News Media

November 11, 2014 Comments off

Lots of Sizzle, Not Enough Steak in U.S. News Media (PDF)
Source: Harris Interactive

One might expect that today’s 24-hour news cycle should have room for everything. When the news never stops coming, it stands to reason that there’s sufficient bandwidth to leave no topical stone unturned… in theory. But of course, that doesn’t mean that every sort of story gets the same level of coverage. When provided with several types of news stories and asked which are under-, over-, or appropriately covered, three-fourths of U.S. adults (76%) say celebrity gossip/scandal stories are over-covered, while half (49%) say the same about general entertainment news and 44% believe sports news gets too much coverage. And perhaps the midterms are to blame, but a third of Americans (33%) feel U.S. elections are over-covered in U.S. news media.

Backgrounder: Media Censorship in China

October 30, 2014 Comments off

Backgrounder: Media Censorship in China
Source: Council on Foreign Relations

The Chinese government has long kept tight reins on both traditional and new media to avoid potential subversion of its authority. Its tactics often entail strict media controls using monitoring systems and firewalls, shuttering publications or websites, and jailing dissident journalists, bloggers, and activists. The severity of media censorship grabbed headlines in early January 2013 when Southern Weekly, a liberal-leaning paper based in Guangzhou, staged a week-long confrontation with the government after local propaganda authorities rewrote a front-page pro-reform editorial. Google’s battle with the Chinese government over Internet censorship in China, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s awarding of the 2010 Peace Prize to jailed Chinese activist Liu Xiaobo, have also increased international attention to media censorship in the country. At the same time, the country’s burgeoning economy has allowed for greater diversity in China’s media coverage, and experts say the growing Chinese demand for information is testing the regime’s control.

U.S. Digital Video Benchmark: Adobe Digital Index Q2 2014

October 23, 2014 Comments off

U.S. Digital Video Benchmark: Adobe Digital Index Q2 2014 (PDF)
Source: Adobe

Key Insights

New record for total online video consumption

  • 38.2 billion−Online video (free access) achieves a record number of videos watched, up 43% year-overyear (YOY) to 38.2 billion.
  • Smartphones overtake tablets−Device preference swings back toward smartphones, with share of access via phones up 59%. (Q2 ‘13 versus Q2 ’14)
  • 25.8% ad growth−Ad growth follows as viewers now watch more than two ads per video start, a 25.8% growth YOY. (Q2 ‘13 through Q2 ’14)

Online TV growth accelerates in 2014

  • 388% YOY growth for online TV video consumption
  • 85% unique visitor growth−2014 has seen a surge in monthly unique viewership growing 85% over the past six months, up 146% YOY.

Political Polarization & Media Habits

October 22, 2014 Comments off

Political Polarization & Media Habits
Source: Pew Research Journalism Project

When it comes to getting news about politics and government, liberals and conservatives inhabit different worlds. There is little overlap in the news sources they turn to and trust. And whether discussing politics online or with friends, they are more likely than others to interact with like-minded individuals, according to a new Pew Research Center study.

Familiar Franchises Top Gamers’ Wish Lists for Holiday 2014

October 21, 2014 Comments off

Familiar Franchises Top Gamers’ Wish Lists for Holiday 2014
Source: Nielsen

Fall is here, and the falling temperatures remind us that the holidays are fast approaching! So what are topping people’s wish lists this year? For gamers, it depends on the device.

“Destiny” recently took the gaming world by storm when it was released last month, and now it tops the list of the most coveted games on the PS4. Meanwhile, perennial crowd-pleaser “Call of Duty” holds the top spot for Xbox One with “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” and “The Sims 4,” the new entry to one of the biggest franchises of PC gaming in recent years, tops the list for computer gamers. The two new versions of Nintendo’s popular fighting franchise “Super Smash Bros.” top the lists for Wii U and 3DS. Finally, the building block empire of “Minecraft” tops the list of titles for Vita.

The No. 1 coveted games illustrate a trend we see among the top 10 anticipated games across devices: People like what they know. Apart from “Destiny,” the only other new properties in the top 10 for any of the six platforms examined were “Watch Dogs,” the fifth most anticipated title on Wii U (the title released earlier this year for PCs and PS and Xbox platforms, but is releasing in November for Wii U), and “Freedom Wars,” the sixth most coveted title on Vita. Even “Akiba’s Trip: Undead & Undressed” (the third most wanted Vita game) is technically a sequel, though the original title released only in Japan.

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