It's Your Data: Why Facebook Should Pay You
Facebook is seeking to raise $5 billion in cash by becoming a publicly traded company. But that money would not exist without your personal data. So do you deserve a cut?
What's the Latest Development?
Facebook is seeking to raise $5 billion in cash by becoming a publicly traded company, an action the social networking firm is expected to take by this spring. Over 70 percent of the company's profits currently come from advertising revenue, which is tailored to match your tastes thanks to all the personal data you supply Facebook. And how nice of you to offer it all for free. Facebook, which could be valued as much as $100 billion after its IPO, would not be anywhere without its 800 million users, of which you are likely one. Do you deserve a cut?
What's the Big Idea?
What makes Facebook different than other businesses which profit from their customers' contributions, such as cafés that attract customers by allowing patrons to linger? Cafés don't solicit personal information to sell to advertisers. Facebook's value comes entirely from its users and as revenue streams flow directly to the relatively few people who work at the company, society 'distorts and divides', says Jaron Lanier, an 'innovator in residence' at the University of Southern CA. He proposes a two-way revenue stream that benefits customers.
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It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.
In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.
Image from the study.
As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.
Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.
"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.
It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.
Image by authors of the study.
Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.
The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.
“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
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