Can Native Advertising Be Programmatic?

My editor liked this idea because it contained not one but two ad-world buzzwords. Programmatic content is also a concept that scares us journalists and content creators to death, stinking as it does of robots and the bad old days of content farms.

However, programmatic native advertising has been with us since, arguably, the earliest days of AdWords. This article for Campaign US explores in depth where programmatic makes sense for native advertising, how it’s already being used and whether premium publishers will be able to keep raking in premium rates for native articles on their sites.

Native Programmatic: Apples and Oranges in the Same Basket

How Connectivity Will Improve Autonomous Driving

Evidently, whether self-driving cars will need to be connected to external databases, maps or whatever is a matter of contention. I always thought they would, to access real-time maps, traffic and road info, etc. In the world of research, however, “autonomous” means the vehicle has no need to connect to any external systems. This article examines how real-world autonomous cars will make use of their persistent connections.

Autonomous and Connected: Better Together

I think I deserve props for not using that Reese’s P-butter Cups analogy. : )

Next-gen sensors for autonomous cars

There are three strategies for implementing advanced safety features that will lead to full autonomy: add still more sensors; reduce the number of sensors by combining functions; use advanced processing to make use of sensor data.

Here’s a look at how vendors and tier 1s are doing all of them.

Sensors: Powerful, Cheap and Multipurpose

Mobile Payments Still in Hype Cycle

mobilepayMobile commerce was definitely up over the 2014 holiday shopping season — and for many sites, mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic. (Although I think that tablets, which are used more like laptops, which have replaced desktops, are muddying the stats.)

But, despite all the attention Apple Pay got, few used mobile payments to buy stuff.

Mobile Payments MIA in Black Friday Frenzy

Why Virtual Reality on the Web Is Important (and cool)

VR demo at Mozilla HQ
VR demo at Mozilla HQ

Seems like virtual reality is about to blow up. Mozilla and Google plan to implement browser APIs that will let VR developers make their virtual worlds accessible via the browser. Users still will need headsets, however.

Virtual Reality Comes to the Web — Maybe for Real This Time

Postcard from Detroit

detroitI’m a big fan of the Motor City. If I wasn’t so settled in Berkeley, I’d definitely move there. I occasionally do some lifestyle/culture writing and this was a fun piece.

I didn’t choose the title; Detroit is much cooler than Oakland.

The photo is by Jesse Welter, who leads photo expeditions all over the city.

http://www.oaklandmagazine.com/Oakland-Magazine/October-2014/Detroit-As-An-Oakland-Doppelganger/

Facebook’s Google Ambitions

Last week, Facebook reported Q3 earnings. Revenue exceeds analysts expectations, stock falls, blah blah blah. What was interesting about the call was how much like Google Facebook is sounding, not least of which is its ambition to catalog, well, not all the world’s knowledge, but all the world’s Facebook content — which is coming close to equaling the size of Google’s index.

Facebook Touts Search in Q3 Earnings

Can You Hack a Connected Car?

Security is lagging behind tech when it comes to highly computerized automobiles. Chris Valasek, director of vehicle security research at IOActive, and security expert Charlie Miller recently released a research paper titled “A Survey of Remote Automotive Attack Surfaces” that details all the different fronts on which automotive systems could be hacked. I talked to him about whether there’s really a problem and how bad it could be.

Can You Hack It?