October 10, 2019

News ⚡ — Wednesday, October 9

Google to use AI to optimize when users see ads. Tile’s latest trackers are smaller and have a three-year battery life. An e-cyclist was banned from racing for using an illegally acquired super bike.

1. 🤖 Google will use AI to optimize how often users see ads
Google says it’s investigating ways to preserve users’ privacy without impacting their display ads experiences, in part through AI and machine learning. In a blog post this morning, the company announced it’ll soon introduce an ad frequency feature in Display & Video 360 — its end-to-end programmatic ad campaign management platform — that’ll tap AI to help advertisers “[respect] user privacy” when third-party cookies aren’t present.

Google explains that the tool, which it plans to bring to display offerings in Google Ads in the near future, will leverage traffic patterns where a third-party cookie is available and analyze them at an aggregated level across Google Ad Manager publishers to generate predictive models. This will enable it to estimate how likely it is that users visit different publishers serving the same ads through Google Ad Manager, and to optimize how often those ads should be shown to users who lack third-party cookies.

2. 🔥 Tile’s latest trackers are ultra small and have three years of battery life
Tile has introduced a new family of Bluetooth trackers today and alongside their popular Mate and Pro devices, the company introduced what will definitely be its most popular models yet, the Sticker and the Slim. The Sticker is a coin-like tracker that can easily attach to anything and has three years of battery life, a loud ringer, and 150 feet of range. The new Slim is a credit card-sized model that can slip into a card slot to keep track of things like wallets or passports and its thin profile also makes it perfect for laptops and tablets. The Slim has the same three year battery life with a louder ring and both devices are waterproof.

3. 🚲 An e-cyclist was banned from racing after using concept bike acquired through “nefarious” means
Zwift is a platform that gamifies riding a stationary bike, and was used for the first-ever British virtual racing national championship. British e-cycler and YouTuber Cameron Jeffers, used the supercharged Concept Z1 bike to win.

The bike is normally acquired in-game by climbing 50,000 meters, which normally takes months, but Jeffers found a way to trick Zwift into thinking he did so. Although he initially only wanted it for cosmetic reasons, he eventually went into the championship race fully approved as British Cycling didn’t introduce its official e-racing regulations until months after Jeffers obtained the Concept Z1.

4. 💵 Giants prospect posts paystub on Twitter to shine light on minor-league wages
Giants minor league pitcher Tyler Cyr revealed that in past offseasons he has worked as a landscaper, a Lululemon clerk and a server to make extra money. Also, by his calculations, he has had to pay to play minor-league ball every year except 2018, when he was rehabbing an arm injury at the Giants’ complex in Scottsdale.

Minor-league salaries start at about $1,200 a month at the lower levels and rise to a high of roughly $2,700 a month Triple-A. Players who have been to the majors and get sent down make more. Cyr said that for various reasons his financial situation is not as tenuous as most, which partly informed his decision to speak out

5. 🎮 Hearthstone player banned for supporting Hong Kong protesters during live stream
The incident occurred on Sunday, when Ng “Blitzchung” Wai Chung was being interviewed after a Grandmasters match. At the end of the interview, InvenGlobal reports that Blitzchung pulled down his Hong Kong protester-style mask to yell, “Liberate Hong Kong. Revolution of our age!” The stream then quickly cuts to a commercial break.

In its statement, Blizzard cited a competition rule which states that players aren’t allowed to do anything that “brings [them] into public disrepute, offends a portion or group of the public, or otherwise damages [Blizzard’s] image.”

In addition to being banned from competing in Hearthstone tournaments for one year, effective from October 5th, Blitzchung will also no longer be able to take part in the Grandmasters tournament, and will lose any prize money earned during Grandmasters Season 2.

See all our recent News ⚡ updates here.

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