Material Mike Didn't Get To...

Jan 24, 2014 -- 5:09pm
The Internet:
Researchers at Princeton University's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering predict Facebook will lose 80 percent of its user base by 2017. The study is called "Epidemiological Modeling of Online Social Network Dynamics." Epidemiology uses statistics to analyze the spread of contagious diseases --yes, the research model treats Facebook like a disease that spreads between individuals.
   Media Post's Social Graf blog breaks it down thusly: an individual is "infected" (becomes a user) after exposure to a certain number of other "infected" people, meaning people who are already using the site. The same principle is then applied, in reverse, to the "recovery" phase; someone using Facebook will "recover" (stop using the network) after exposure to a certain number of other non-users, including people who stopped using the network or never joined in the first place.
   The model supposes a bit of herd mentality by suggesting that the probability an individual will stop using a social network increases with the number of people they know who have left it, and the rate of decline can accelerate very quickly into a snowball effect finally resulting in mass desertion.

   The researchers believe "the search query data suggests that Facebook has already reached the peak of its popularity and has entered a decline phase, as evidenced by the downward trend in search frequency after 2012."
   Looking ahead, "Extrapolating the best fit into the future shows that Facebook is expected to undergo rapid decline in the upcoming years, shrinking to 20 percent of its maximum size by December 2014," and eventually "losing 80 percent of its peak user base between 2015 and 2017."

Big Money, Big Problems:
Roughly one-third of the world's largest non-financial companies, including Apple, Microsoft and Google, are hoarding $2.8 trillion in unspent cash, preventing much-needed funds from entering the global economy and stalling our recovery from the 2008 recession. Not satisfied to take this news lying down, Foodbeast carried out a blind taste test and confirmed: The colors don't correspond to flavors in any sort of meaningful or identifiable way. No word on whether Trix or Fruity Pebbles are carrying out the same deception.

You might want to sit down for this: Fruit Loops, despite all those different colors, are all the same flavor.
   That piece of investigative work comes to you courtesy of Foodbeast and Reddit, but the information isn't exactly new: The Straight Dope revealed it back in 1999, but the article has apparently been resurrected to shock a whole new generation of cereal eaters.

Broadcast, cable and video news:
BILL COSBY is coming back to TV.
   As we reported in November, Bill has Bill re-teamed with one of "The Cosby Show" producers and is putting out a family comedy that "would [satisfy] the people who have come to me in public places and said, 'Can't you put something on that I can watch'?"
   His new NBC show would reportedly feature older children and their parents --"a married couple that acts like they love each other, warts and all, children who respect the parenting, and the comedy of people who make mistakes. Warmth and forgiveness."

TV Briefs:
Viacom is planning to launch a new cable TV channel for kids, with the spin that the child's parents can customize what their kids will be able to see --both regularly scheduled programs as well as stuff like Netflix. You'll pay more for the privilege, but also have the option of making the TV shut itself off after a set period as well. The Wall Street Journal says My Nickelodeon Jr will be the first TV channel to get in on the new concept, and also have no commercials.

Looks like love WON'T keep them together. TMZ says The Captain & Tennille are getting divorced. TONI TENNILLE filed the papers in Arizona, claiming their 39-year marriage was (quote), "irretrievable broken." But, DARYL "The Captain" DRAGON said yesterday he doesn't know why Toni wants this, and that they are still living in the same house. One theory is that the couple has medical bills they just can't afford. Daryl is legally blind, and suffers from Parkinson's. Toni blogged in 2011 that Daryl's tremors are so severe that he won't go out in public. So, they might get better health coverage if they are no longer married. The couple have no children.

The New York Yankees have agreed to a 7 year, $155 million dollar contract with Japanese pitcher MASAHIRO TANAKA.

Going Geek-dot-com /Caught in the Web:
Hundreds of million of Internet users in China struggled to get online this week after most of the country's web traffic was mysteriously rerouted to a small building in Wyoming.
   Chinese authorities say the redirection was the result of a glitch in the country's domain system, but analysts believe the Internet traffic ended up in Cheyenne after China's Internet censorship system backfired and redirected traffic to addresses it was supposed to be blocking.
   To get around China's firewall, many Chinese (and expats, too) use services that route Web traffic through a foreign IP address, effectively making it look like the traffic isn't coming from inside China. One of these services, Sophidea, happens to be registered at the very address in Wyoming that bore the brunt of all that traffic.

Checking the Food Chain:
As we mentioned yesterday, Honeybees have been dying in huge numbers since 2006, and a new study finds that a virus may be one cause.
Researchers say the tobacco ringspot virus has mutated quickly and jumped from tobacco plants to soy plants to bees, and the annual increase in honeybee deaths between autumn and winter correlates with an increasing number of infections. The virus exists in pollen, and is likely spread as bees mix saliva, nectar, and pollen to feed their larvae; mites may also be transmitting the virus when they feed on bees. It's just the latest explanation offered for "colony collapse disorder," which has decimated about one-third of commercial honeybee colonies per year since 2006. The study authors and other researchers believe that a number of factors are to blame, including viruses, parasites, and perhaps pesticides, but this is the first known example of bees contracting a virus from pollen. And since five percent of known plant viruses can be transmitted from plant to plant via pollen, researchers think pollen should be monitored for other potential host-jumping viruses.

Your Body:
Hey ladies --your cubie may be as cute they come, but be warned --that office chair could be killing you! Yep, reports a new study shows that post-menopausal women who sit for 11 hours per-day or more run a greater risk of suffering from a heart attack or cancer, no matter how much they work out!

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