Monthly Archives: December 2015

Inform Year-Ender: Top News Stories of 2015

Happy almost New Year, and welcome to the latest installment of our Playlist Year-Ender series!

We’ve been spending all of December celebrating the last days of 2015 with special weekly emails to our partners. We’ve also been giving you a taste of those emails right here on the Inform blog.

We’ve already highlighted the top moments in sports and the biggest stories in entertainment. Today we take a look at some of the Top News Stories of the year.

Donald Trump has courted controversy during his campaign to become the Republican presidential candidate. Here are his 'worst' moments.

The Donald on Muslims, Mexicans, Syrians, and the disabled.

In wake of the shooting deaths of nine people inside a historic South Carolina church, some major department stores announced they would stop carrying the controversial Confederate Flag. Buzz60's Leig

In the aftermath of the deadly shooting at a historical African American church in South Carolina church, Walmart and Sears ban Confederate Flag products.

Social justice movements aren't supposed to look, sound and function like the status quo. Not when their very purpose is to upset it.

Comic and social commentator Felonious Munk speaks on the Black Lives Matter movement.

June 26 -- President Barack Obama calls Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the same-sex marriage case, after the ruling.

“Oh, you know, just the POTUS calling me on my cell phone.”

Pope Francis is in the middle of his first visit to the United States, meeting President Barack Obama, and even addressing Congress. While he isnt the first Pope to visit the U.S., how have previous Popes spent their visits? Watch to find out!

The history of Popes visiting America. Pope Francis was the only the fourth to do so.

Want more video? Contact the Content Team at

Inform Year-Ender: Top Entertainment Stories of 2015

Earlier in December we kicked off a month-long celebration of 2015 with our weekly Year-Ender Video Playlists, rounding up for our partners the top moments in sports, news, and more. And here on the Inform blog, we’re giving you a taste of those playlists.

Yesterday we looked at the top moments in sports. Today we’re rounding up the biggest stories in entertainment.

It's not a good summer for romance. We counted 16 celebrity breakups that have happened in the past few months, from Gavin Rossdale and Gwen Stefani to Kourtney Kardashian and Scott Disick and more! Let's check out which Hollywood duos called it quits.

From Jen and Ben to Gwen and Gavin, It was the summer of the celebrity breakup.

Caitlyn Jenner accepted a "Woman of the Year" award from Glamour magazine on Monday night. The magazine honored Jenner for being a "Transgender Champion."

Caitlyn Jenner was honored as Glamour’s “Woman Of the Year.”

It looks like One Direction are about to become four individual directions as the band announce they are taking an extended hiatus.The boyband babes have reportedly decided to split for at least a year to focus on solo projects. So sorry fans, they will n

British boy band One Direction splits to focus on solo projects.

Khloe Kardashian's ex-husband was found unconscious in a room in Nevada after partying for days.

Ex-Laker Lamar Odom was found unconscious and was hospitalized.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge announced their little girl's name Monday morning.

Prince George gets a baby sister and her name is — drumroll please — Charlotte Elizabeth Diana!

E! sources confirm the actor's heath news ahead of his 'revealing personal announcement' scheduled on 'Today.'

Charlie Sheen announces he’s HIV-positive.

Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown's only child was laid to rest next to her mother in New Jersey.

Bobbi Kristina Brown is buried in New Jersey beside her mother, Whitney Houston.

Bill Cosby will once again be deposed under oath in a second case where a woman is accusing him of sexual assault.

Bill Cosby is ordered to testify.

If you’re interested in learning more about Inform’s vast library of high-quality, monetized videos, reach out to the Content Team at

Inform Year-Ender: Top Sports Moments of 2015

What the heck happened in sports this year? Inform partners who have been receiving our weekly Playlist Year-Ender emails are already in the know. But don’t worry. Today we’re giving you some highlights from the top sports moments.

Watch the last moments of the Royals' victory.

The Kansas City Royals win the World Series, their first in 30 years.

The Miami Hurricanes executed an 8-lateral last second play on a kickoff return to defeat Duke 30-27 in the wildest ending you'll ever see. Miami's Corn Elder took the the ball into the endzone but it was a full team-effort on the play that helped the Hu

The Miami Hurricanes executed an 8-lateral last second play on a kickoff return to defeat Duke 30-27 in the wildest ending you’ll ever see.

Riley Curry joins Stephen at podium, steals the show

Riley Curry joins dad Stephen at the podium, and promptly steals the show.

Floyd Mayweather was named the winner by unanimous decision over Manny Pacquiao in Saturday night's highly anticipated boxing match in Las Vegas. The match went all 12 rounds with both fighters

Floyd Mayweather, Jr. named winner in highly anticipated boxing match against Manny Pacquiao.

Is Ronda Rousey's loss good for the UFC?

Is Ronda Rousey’s loss good for the UFC?

If you’re interested in learning more about Inform’s vast library of high-quality, monetized videos, reach out to the Content Team at

Data Tells a Story: train delays, medical decisions, snacking smartly


We at Inform believe that data tells a story, across all industries, and every week we round up the most interesting ones. This week: predicting train delays; making wise medical decisions; and snacking smartly.

How big data predicts and helps prevent train delays in Sweden

The commuter rail operator in Stockholm is using big data to forecast and prevent delays.

Using historic data to look two hours into the future, their prediction model anticipates and acts on disruptions that have yet to happen. For example, the model may predict that a train will be 10 minutes late to a certain station. To avoid this, another train is sent to that station on time, avoiding a “ripple effect” of delays that will grow exponentially.

Big Data reveals the surprising profile of an ISIS recruit

In the light of the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris, one data scientist decided he wanted to do more than “pray and condemn the violence.”

Zeeshan ul-hassan Usmani poured over “data on ISIS recruits the way he normally analyzes data on consumers for major brands,” including social media posts and the cases of accused terrorists.

He came away with several findings. One is that there are over 70,000 people in North America, Australia, and Europe “ready to radicalize.” Another is that recruits are mostly young and male; more likely to be educated; and from middle or upper middle class families. They also don’t necessarily have a devoutly religious background but are more likely to have been secular and become radicalized.

In addition, he discovered what could be a connection between number of those ready to be radicalized and the prevalence of Islamophobia. For instance, he estimated that France has over 27,000 potential recruits (as opposed to little over 1,500 in the UK). France also has the largest Muslim prison population and has had 26 mosques vandalized since the attack at Charlie Hebdo earlier this year.

Using Big Data to Make Wiser Medical Decisions

In this article, a physician explores the different ways data can help patients better manage their health care. One way is through patient-generated data. Using data collected from a wearable device, Dr. Halamka tracked his own blood pressure levels and the possible causes, finding that his high blood pressure was most likely genetic and not caused by external factors.

Data can also help with precision medicine. When his wife diagnosed with breast cancer, Dr. Halamka was able to use open source software to assess the treatment of 10,000 women who fit his wife’s criteria and determine the best course of treatment (his wife is now cancer free).

Cruz campaign credits psychological data and analytics for its rising success

While Ted Cruz has spoken out against excessive government data collection, his presidential campaign has been actively collecting and analyzing data from supporters and potential voters to personalize messages, calls, and visits.

The data comes from a variety of sources including Facebook posts, buying habits, an app that keeps supporters “in touch” with the campaign while scraping their contacts, surveys of more than 150,000 households, and geo-fencing, geographically tracking people through their mobile devices.

From the collected data, the Cruz campaign, working with a data analytics firm, built several profiles, such as the “stoic traditionalist,” a conservative voter mainly concerned about immigration, and tailored messaging to those profiles ( “confident and warm,”  “straight to the point”).

Missives were also designed according to how people scored on certain attributes. Those who scored high on “neuroticism” would receive pro-gun messages emphasizing the use of weapons in terms of personal safety, while those who scored high for “openness” would receive a pitch on the idea of hunting as a family activity.

How Gousto is using data to change the way we shop for food online

UK-based startup Gousto makes cooking easier by delivering ingredients in a box. But they don’t just take orders: they ingest data to learn more about what their customers like.

The company built a data engine “to tag every ingredient and recipe to build up a network understanding” of their customers’ preferences. Their recommendation engine, dubbed “Laura,” analyzes millions of data points to predict what people like to eat and when.

Gousto’s tactic is similar to that of Naturebox, a U.S. startup that delivers healthy snacks and recommends snacks tailored to individual tastes based on an algorithm they developed.

Get Informed: The 5th GOP Presidential Debate

Inform continues its coverage of the 2016 Presidential Elections with the top videos from Tuesday’s Republican debate, broadcast live on CNN from Las Vegas.

The last debate of the year focused on national security and the threat of ISIS. In the meantime, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz jostled for power while Donald Trump assured the Grand Old Party he’s not going anywhere.

Check out the most notable moments from the event.

Trump defended his immigration policy, including his proposal to indefinitely ban all Muslims from entering the country, during the GOP debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He also repeated his plan for a wall at the Mexican border. (Dec. 15)

Trump defends his call for a ban on Muslims in the U.S.

Cruz, Rubio tangle over Islamic State strategy

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio clash on national security and immigration.

Paul: Gov. Christie would bring World War 3

Rand Paul asserts that Chris Christie would bring World War 3.

Four Republican presidential candidates ranking at the bottom of national polls squared off for their final debate of the year Tuesday night in Las Vegas. Topics focused on national security and the threat from the Islamic State group. (Dec. 15)

And let’s not forget the undercard candidates.

Trump won't run as an Independent

Trump assures us he won’t be running as an Independent.

That’s just a taste of Inform’s massive library of high-quality, pre-monetized content.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to the Inform Content Team at

Data Tells a Story: catching lies; fighting the flu; Chinese shopping trends

The Golden Week has begun, Ladies and Gentlemen

We at Inform believe that data tells a story, across all industries, and every week we round up the most interesting ones. This week: catching lies, fighting the flu, and what the Chinese are buying.

Lie-detecting software uses real court case data

How do you catch a liar? Humans are bad at it, say researchers at the University of Michigan, and perform only slightly better than a coin-flip. That’s why the team is using real-world data to build a better way.

The researchers’ lie-detecting software is based on data from a set of 120 video clips from “high-stakes court cases,” half of which had been deemed to be deceptive. To obtain the data, the audio was transcribed and the frequency and types of words were analyzed, as well as the number and types of gestures.

The software was found to be up to 75 percent accurate in identifying who was lying while humans were right only a little more than half the time. The software also discovered several “tells.” For example, liars were  more likely to scowl or grimace; look directly at the questioner (perhaps as a way of overcompensating); gesture with both hands; and use speech fillers such as “um.”

Scientists use big data to fight flu

Flu season can be deadly. In Switzerland, the flu virus results in as many as 5,000 hospitalizations and 1,500 deaths every year. So Swiss researchers, along with those from Germany and the U.S., are looking for a way to decrease those numbers.

After analyzing datasets from publications on the host molecules that flu viruses rely upon to replicate, the team “discovered 20 previously unknown host molecules that promote the growth of influenza A viruses.”

One of those host molecules is known as UBR4, which can help a flu virus replicate as many as 20,000 new viruses. The scientists discovered that blocking UBR4 prevents that virus replication and therefore “is feasible as a therapeutic strategy for the treatment of influenza.”

FBI to start tracking animal cruelty in 2016

While animal cruelty cases were previously placed in a general category in FBI’s National Incident Based Reporting System, starting in January they will be placed in their own specific categories, including neglect and intentional abuse, and will be classified as “crimes against society.”

Such a change is important not only to prevent cruelty to animals, but to predict escalating acts of violence. Previous research has found links between animal cruelty, domestic violence, and other criminal acts. Most recently, this pattern was found in the case of Robert Lewis Dear, alleged shooter at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, who has been accused of both animal cruelty and domestic violence in the past.

How IBM Is Using Big Data To Battle Air Pollution In Cities

Beijing recently issued its first red alert for pollution, and IBM is trying to use big data to remedy the problem very unhealthy air in China’s capital and other cities.

Using machine learning, data scientists will analyze the quality and accuracy of previous weather forecasts, and build improved forecasting models from there. In the past, when a city knew the source and amount of pollution in the air, the more likely it was to take action, resulting in lowered pollution levels and improved public health.

Ideally, as a result of such number crunching and analyses, cities like Beijing will have issued their first and last red alert.

Alibaba’s Consumer Behavior Data Reveals Trends in China

E-commerce behemoth Alibaba recently released its latest big data report on consumer habits.

Analyzing data based on the behavior of 300 million shoppers from 2011 to this past September, Alibaba came away with a several findings. For instance, they found that consumers were buying healthier, investing much more in purchases such as organic foods, healthcare products, and sports equipment.

They also found that those born in 1980s and ‘90s were the biggest shoppers, and, most surprisingly, that people shop much more during the Magpie Festival, or Qi Xi, a sort of Chinese version of Valentine’s Day that falls in August, than on Western Valentine’s Day, showing perhaps that “young Chinese people have started to value their own tradition.”

Inform Wire Match: Finding the Perfect AP Video

When Associated Press editors publish stories, they often select the best AP photos and videos to accompany them. While many publishers automate the placement of photos in these stories, there hasn’t been a way to do the same with video — until now.

Inform Wire Match dynamically places AP videos recommended by Associated Press editors next to related stories, creating a rich multi-format experience for your online audience. It doesn’t matter how your site publishes AP text, whether you automatically create pages or copy and paste AP content into your templates — Inform Wire Match will match the right video and story.


Here’s how it works:

  • Built on Inform’s Perfect Pixel platform, Inform Wire Match uses a unique page-crawling service (just like a search engine) to find AP text on your website.
  • Using a natural language processing algorithm, the tool compares blocks of text and identifies the correct AP story.
  • Embedded videos are automatically inserted into preselected spots on your website in an embedded Inform player.

Benefits include:

  • Automatic placement of video recommendations from AP editors.
  • Perfect Pixel activation of each AP suggested video.
  • Inform and AP renewed partnership through 2017.

Want to learn more about Inform Wire Match? Reach out to your Account Manager or email us at

Data Tells a Story: crash test dummies; big pharma; the evolution of smiling


We at Inform believe that data tells a story, across all industries, and every week we  round up the most interesting ones right here. This week: data driving crash test dummies; taking on big pharma; the evolution of smiling.

A Smarter Kind of Crash Test Dummy

While traditional crash test dummies can provide data on about 20 points on the body, says Technology Review, a new digital simulation can provide much more detail.

Based on five years’ of data collection on thousands of virtual crash simulations, information drawn from a database of injury research, and a digital model with 1.8 million elements on the human form, a research team at Wake Forest University has developed a digital crash test dummy which can test “a variety of body shapes and sizes and different body positions at the moment of impact,” and can “quantify the risk of bone fractures and damage to soft tissue and organs, injuries unaccounted for by crash test dummies.”

Car manufacturers are finding the data invaluable. While using actual crash test dummies comes late in the design process, manufacturers can use digital dummies very early on and make modifications to improve safety, which in turn cuts down on costs as well.

Deutsche Bank to sift ‘big data’ to get closer to customers

Deutsche Bank is upgrading their systems to leverage data in order to improve customer service and experience. Such an upgrade will “provide a detailed picture of how, when and where customers interact,” and allow the bank to see previously unseen patterns and gain new insights.

The data is often provided by the customers themselves, such as when and how they log in, products and services they use, when and from where they use the products and services. Insights into such data might help Deutsche personalize services according to customers’ specific needs, identify bottlenecks, and solve problems more quickly.

Big Data Predicts Centuries Of Harm If Climate Warming Goes Unchecked

To understand Earth’s complex climate and make predictions such as how greenhouse gas emissions will affect our future, scientists run climate simulations on thousands of linked supercomputers.

Measuring factors such as the amount of sunlight reflecting off sea ice and how the wind affects ocean currents, scientists have come up with a climate model that shows that if greenhouse gas emissions keep increasing, “the world will look different.” For instance, there will be “very little ice left in the Arctic” and New York might be as warm as Miami.

Can big data lead to lower costs for health care?

One data scientist is tackling the big issue of skyrocketing health care costs by taking a look at data around brand-name prescription medicines.

Using Medicare drug prescription data from 2013, he studied the number of times a drug was prescribed, the costs, and generic versus brand name costs, and found several patterns.

One was peer influence — that is, doctors are likely to prescribe the same drugs as their colleagues, which are often the more expensive brand names over generics, although generics have been proven to be just as safe and effective as their pricier versions.

Another trend found was patient-driven demand. Pharmaceutical companies are very good at marketing expensive branded versions as new and better while they’re no better than generics.

Data Mining Reveals How Smiling Evolved During a Century of Yearbook Photos

Until recently, data mining from photographs has proved to be difficult. The data set is immense, starting from the advent of photography 150 years ago, and the information often “too complex or too mundane” to put it into words. However, a machine-vision approach to data mining developed by a research team at UC Berkeley is changing that.

To test their method, the team tackled a database of American high school yearbook photos from 1905 to the present, and found, among other patterns, an “evolution of smiling.”

Right after the invention of photography, most opted for the more easily held neutral pose similar to that used for a painstakingly painted portrait. But as photography became more popular and Kodak advertised the idea of recording “happy memories,” smiling took over, and people began to say “cheese” over “prunes” when posing for a snap.

Stay Informed: 6 Events in December to Maximize Engagement

Happy December! As always Inform is here to help you prep for your event coverage with our massive library of content. From local and trending to national and breaking –- we have it all.

Check out the events to keep an eye on for this month.

Tuesday, 12/8

Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show struts its stuff starting at 10 PM ET on CBS. In the meantime, get a sneak peek with these highlights from Hollywood Life.

Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid & Lily Aldridge makes our best of Victoria's Secret

Wednesday, 12/9

Awards season kicks off with the 22nd Annual SAG Awards nomination announcement live on TNT and TBS.

Thursday, 12/10

Next up is the 73rd Golden Globe nominations reveal, bright and early at 8 AM ET.

Ricky Gervais will return to host the 2016 Golden Globe awards; the comedian previously hosted for

And don’t miss the American Country Awards airing live from Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas at 8 PM ET on FOX.

Saturday, 12/12

Tune in at 8 PM ET to find out the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner. For more football, tune in at 3 PM ET to watch the 116th Army-Navy Game on CBS.

Check out Campus Insiders for a look at the time-honored Army-Navy rivalry.

 Army-Navy rivalry.

Tuesday, 12/15

Who will make the cut? CNN has some new criteria for the fifth Republican Presidential Debate hosted by CNN and Salem Media Group. The debate will air on CNN from the Venetian in Las Vegas.

Here are highlights from the last Republican debate from CBS.

As the front-runners for the Republican presidential nomination gathered on Tuesday night for the

Saturday, 12/19

The third Democratic Presidential Debate will be broadcast from Manchester, New Hampshire on ABC/WMUR.

Tuesday, 12/29

The 38th Annual Kennedy Center Honors gala will be aired on December 29 on CBS at 9 PM ET and PT. Feted this year will be singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and Broadway star Cicely Tyson.

Thursday, 12/31

Ring in the New Year with specials up the wazoo, including Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest starting at 8 PM ET on ABC; Pitbull’s New Year’s Revolution at 8 PM on FOX; New Year’s Eve With Carson Daly at 10 PM on NBC; and the yet-to-be-officially announced New Year’s Eve Live with Anderson Cooper and Kathy Griffin on CNN.

Everyone knows the most outrageous annual New Years celebration happens right on cable. But in case

And as always, reach out to the Inform Content Team with any questions, comments, or concerns.


Inform InView: Unlocking New Premium Video Dollars

According to Forrester Research, 77% of agencies and 70% of advertisers say the “InView” format – also known as “outstream” advertising – will be an important part of their clients’ overall advertising portfolio going forward – and Inform is there with our newest video advertising product.

Inform InView is here to help publishers take advantage of the unprecedented demand for premium video dollars. InView inserts a responsive, lightweight video player seamlessly between paragraphs in a publisher story template, creating a premium viewable experience for advertisers, and opening new inventory and a new stream of revenue for publishers.

Inform InView_screen

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User friendly. The InView player only loads when it comes into the user’s view. Sound is off upon ad start and can be activated by the user with a toggle on the player. Upon completion, the player closes completely.

Inform InView_howto

Mobile friendly. The InView player is designed to create new video impressions in both desktop and mobile environments.

Easy to deploy. No design work or page modification is required, and InView can be powered by Inform’s Perfect Pixel platform or using a publisher’s own ad server.

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Interested in Inform InView? Email us at or connect with your Inform contact to get started today.