My Five #218

Monopoly, Mario and Michael Jackson faking that he knows how to fly a jetpack. Multiple childhood memories destroyed in this week’s #MyFive.

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Five things worth sharing from the last week or so, brought to you by a different member of the Browser Media team every Friday.

This week’s My Five is by Vic.

1. Joe Public gets to choose the next terrible Monopoly token

Last time this happened, the good old trusty iron token that nobody ever wanted to be was replaced by a cat. Pfft – boring!

Now, you can choose from another shortlist of mostly boring, uninspired things to add as a token to the board, including:

  • A money clip (everyone has money clips)
  • A range of emojis, including the one I hate most, laughy cry face
  • A hashtag
  • A pile of burning logs
  • Sliced bread
  • A wide range of different shoes

Monopoly - Do not let it be this - My Five 218 - Browser Media

I think we’re looking at an emoji landslide vote on this (though I am team tortoise, personally).

Go team tortoise

Vote here, if you can be bothered:

2. EU Privacy Law changes set to shake up online advertising

Remember the EU cookie policy that everyone totally didn’t bother with for ages because nobody was ever punished for ignoring it? Well, it’s going to be updated to make it easier for users to protect their privacy online. As part of the proposal, the new rules would give users more control over their settings, including the ability to accept or refuse the tracking of cookies. If passed, this will be a serious kick in the nuts for advertisers, including companies like Facebook and Google, who collect a lot of data on their users.

Basically, targeted ads (often the ones that work based on third party cookies that follow you about after you’ve left a website to convince you to buy the shoes you just looked at) are now going to have stricter opt in rules, meaning that revenue generated by things like display remarketing could be severely impacted.

In addition to this, the EU want to roll out new legislation to further protect user privacy online – and a number of tech giants are probably getting nervous just thinking about it.

According to eMarketer:

“Stricter rules on cookies are just one part of the proposal. According to the EU, more than nine in 10 Europeans said it’s important that their emails and online messages remain private. Existing privacy rules only apply to telecom providers. But the new proposal aims to extend that to other services, including iMessage, Facebook Messenger, Skype, Gmail and WhatsApp.

“Privacy will be “guaranteed for both content and metadata derived from electronic communications,” the EU states. Therefore, if a user doesn’t give their consent, it would have to be anonymized or deleted.”

It may scare you to know that as it stands, Gmail (Google) is permitted by default to have a nosey of your emails in order to serve you ads that it deems to be relevant to your interests.

Google seems to think I spent too much at Christmas and am now in need of some delicious debt

With ad blockers also becoming more and more popular, could this be the end for targeted advertising online?

3. Facebook videos ruined for users with mid-roll ads

According to several sources, Facebook will soon be offering mid-roll ads to publishers in an attempt to cash in when users interact with their videos. And get this: the ad in the video, which will start playing after the user has been viewing for 20 seconds, can be up to 15 seconds long. It’s also rumoured that this ad format will be available for all videos that are longer than 90 seconds in duration, and that publishers would receive 55% of revenue from mid-roll ad sales.

Facebook tested mid-roll ads on Facebook Live last year. Only time will tell if this approach to monetise video content on the platform will be a good thing for users.*

*It won’t

4. Bringing the future to you… today!

Last week CES 2017, the biggest consumer electronics show in the world, showcased some pretty amazing (and some not so amazing) inventions designed to make our lives easier and more enjoyable – all thanks to tech.

Following on from the buzz generated by CES, BBC Technology will be looking at ways that technology will transform lives in ‘Tomorrow’s cities’ over the next four weeks.

The article that caught my eye was about jetpacks being a feasible way of getting about.  Congestion is a huge problem on and below ground in big cities, and so it makes sense to fill up the space above it.

I remember thinking it looked really naff when Michael Jackson jetpacked about at the end of one of his concerts when I was a kid (AND I just found out it wasn’t even him flying) but a New Zealand company has finally developed a jetpack that sort of looks like it might be safe and not crush your genitals in the process. But, it’s $150,000, and there is loads of Red Tape around aviation,  so I can’t see many people leaving the car at home just yet.

5. Mario has invincible buttocks

As someone who is a total gaming geek, I was pretty excited about the Nintendo Switch announcement today, which confirmed the console will be released in March.

However, a little known tip on Super Mario World caught my eye earlier this week, and it has absolutely blown my mind. I had this game when I was a kid and still play Super Mario World from time to time, so how, in 26 years, have I not noticed that the bum slide attack can be used to dispatch both Big Boos and buzzsaws?

Don’t even get me started on the Tanooki suit in Mario 3.

I’m off to play Nintendo. Bye!

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