Gigaom Research webinar: Marketing and analytics: Disharmony’s not an option

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Originally posted on Gigaom:

Adoption of analytics technology amongst marketing professionals is prolific, perhaps more so than with any other part of the business. You might think, then, that all such analytics implementations are relatively seamless and elegant. The fact remains, however, that integrating marketing applications with analytics systems can be an arduous task, with a range of approaches and corresponding tradeoffs.

As today’s marketing analytics requirements become increasingly cross-channel and real-time, your organization can’t risk crude integration between marketing and analytics assets. Together, these assets must work like a well-oiled machine. So what can you do?  Should you integrate standalone marketing and analytics systems? Use marketing-oriented analytics packages?  Or work with an analytics company that has marketing applications of its own, already integrated with the platform you use for to store and query your analytics data.

In this webinar, our panel will address these topics:

  • What challenges does cross-channel marketing present?
  • How…

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MD5 – What the hell?

Originally posted on Tech Dementia:

DISCLAIMER: This is NOT a boring lecture on the Message Digest Algorithm 5 (dreadful already), but a simple, to the point explanation of the algorithm using interesting diagrams :) [Smile; I want you to laugh when you read this]

So, feel free to pause in between the show, click on the stage if you’re straining your eyes too much; bored?Grab the code!

Now, I’ll divide this rather long explanation intro threebasic sections; the first onewill introduce the topic, the second onewill explain the whole idea of this algorithm to the general public and the third onewill give all the mathematical explanation(s) behind all of this.

*Horns Toot*


Message Digest Algorithm 5, or as it is colloquially called: MD5, is an algorithm used to compress data and give a 128 bit output in such a way, that n bits of data will give you…

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The Wahabi/Deobandi Islamic state’s ideology is grounded in Saudi education

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Originally posted on World Shia Forum:


According to an article published Oct. 21 on Al-Monitor, the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) has issued new regulations for the school systems under its control in Iraq and Syria. The announced purpose of the so-called guidelines, which carried the imprimatur of the group’s  “Amir al-Mu’minin,” presumably leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is to “eradicate ignorance and disseminate Sharia sciences.”

Although the “guidelines” are extreme, controlling, and regressive, some of the key elements in IS educational program are similar to what one finds in Saudi textbooks, especially those that are taught in Saudi public middle and high schools. The ideological foundations of Saudi public school education are based on Wahhabi-Salafi-Hanbali theology.

One key difference focuses on the nation-state. Whereas Saudi education accepts the Saudi and other Arab and Muslim states, with recognized boundaries and national ethos, IS rejects national boundaries within Dar al-Islam, or the Abode of Islam, and individual states…

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CIA Says It Will No Longer Use Vaccine Programs As Cover

May 20, 2014 9:45 AM ET

A doctor gives a polio vaccine to a child at a health clinic in Baghdad last week. The CIA says it banned the use of vaccine programs as cover for spying last year — a practice health officials said had wide repercussions.

Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP/Getty Images

A White House official says the CIA will no longer use vaccine programs as cover for spy operations, answering health experts’ complaints that it had hurt international efforts to fight disease.

The CIA famously used a vaccination program as a ploy to gain information about the possible whereabouts of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. That effort didn’t succeed, and the doctor involved was sentenced to a prison term. But the revelation had immediate effects — particularly in the fight against polio.

As The New York Times reported in 2012, vaccination teams were banned in some areas of Pakistan.

And vaccination workers have been assassinated, the deans from Tulane, Emory, Columbia and other universities wrote in a letter to President Obama dated Jan. 6, 2013. They also compared the use of vaccine programs to the CIA’s early infiltration of the Peace Corps, saying that in both cases, the practice had to be stopped to protect volunteers and gain access where people are most vulnerable to disease.

Homeland Security adviser Lisa Monaco recently sent a letter responding to the deans. She wrote that in August 2013, CIA Director John Brennan issued an order forbidding the use of vaccination programs to gather intelligence or genetic evidence.

From Yahoo News, which obtained a copy of the letter:

“CIA Director John Brennan made the decision himself because he ‘took seriously the concerns raised by the public health community,’ CIA spokesman Todd Ebitz said.

” ‘By publicizing this policy, our objective is to dispel one canard that militant groups have used as justification for cowardly attacks against vaccination providers,’ Ebitz said by email.”

News of the CIA’s revised policy was first reported by Yahoo and The Washington Post, which also noted the timing of the response — more than 16 months have passed since the deans wrote to Obama.

Quoting a “senior administration official,” the Post says it was told that “this was a unique case that required deliberate thought and review on our end before we made such a statement publicly.”

Update at 4:16 p.m. ET. ‘Not Going To Help':

NPR’s Jason Beaubien filed a story about this decision for tonight’s edition of All Things Considered. Here’s an interesting bit from it:

“‘The CIA is not exclusively responsible for the problems we have in getting children vaccinated but it certainly didn’t make it anything easier,’ says Anthony Robbins, the co-editor of the Journal of Public Health Policy. Robbins wrote an editorial denouncing the CIA use of fake vaccination programs back in August of 2012. Even before bin Laden was killed in 2011, the Taliban had banned polio immunization in the parts of Pakistan it controls. The Taliban claimed the polio drops sterilize Pakistani children and vaccinators were American spies.

“The head of one large anti-polio campaign in Pakistan wasn’t happy to hear the CIA’s latest declaration. ‘I don’t think this statement is going to help in anyway,’ says Aziz Memon, who heads Rotary International’s polio eradication effort in Pakistan. He says Pakistanis were starting to forget about the controversy over the fake CIA vaccination campaign and now he expects the issue to blow up in the local media all over again.”


Originally posted on The Church of England in Parliament:

Bishop of RochesterThe Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Revd James Langstaff, co-sponsored amendments 44 and 44a to the Serious Crime Bill, which concerned Female Genital Mutilation. He also contributed to the debate on amendment 44, stressing that the seriousness of harm done to the individual by acts of FGM was too great for it to be allowed in the UK under the principle of tolerance for alternative cultural and religious practices. Baroness Smith of Basildon the lead sponsor of the amendments concluded the debate on amendments 44 and 44a. Following the Ministerial statement reacting to the debate on the amendments Baroness Smith decided ot to press the amendments to a vote on the basis of further discussion before Third Reading.

Read the full transcript here:

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Transphobia in elite sport translates to some women being subject to hormone suppression and genital surgery to fit a gender binary.

Originally posted on zfem:

This is a very intriguing account by Matt Slater, about a type of biological racism practiced by the elite sport community, discriminating against females who have naturally high levels of testosterone typically observed in men. The discrimination extends to public scrutiny, blatant misogyny and transphobia, and pressuring the athlete to undergo invasive and risky surgeries to “feminise” them. It’s a difficult subject, because testosterone definitely plays a role in physical performance, however there is little doubt over the fact that the scrutiny and suspicion that non gender-conforming female athletes are subjected to is damaging and excessive.

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