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Quora, Snapchat, Instagram, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, November 2nd, 2015

TWEAKS & UPDATES

Quora has launched a Discover feature. “In the coming weeks, we will be rolling out a new feature that allows you to discover new people and topics to follow to fine-tune your Quora experience. You can access this feature right from the top of your feed when you click Discover.” Quora is the only daily digest e-mail I get that I click on regularly. People talk about such fascinating stuff!

Hmmm. Looks like Snapchat has tweaked its privacy policy. Good thing I don’t use Snapchat. ‘When signing up for a Snapchat account and agreeing to its privacy policy, which we all know nobody reads, users give Snapchat the right to ‘host, store, use, display, reproduce, modify, adapt, edit, publish, create derivative works from, publicly perform, broadcast, distribute, syndicate, promote, exhibit, and publicly display that content in any form and in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed).'” I thought the big deal about Snapchat was that it was ephemeral. With this policy, not so much…

Instagram launched a curated video channel just for Halloween. “That’s right, Instagram is launching a video channel—a heavily curated, 24-hour deep dive into the very best videos Instagrammers post. Starting at 1pm on Saturday, Americans can pull up the app, click on the explore tab, and land in an immersive video viewer that will allow them to watch programming from all over the country. It’s like a pop-up cable network dedicated to Halloween.” Apparently the channel will be left up for viewing, and it’s likely that Instagram will create more event-specific video channels.

USEFUL STUFF

Do a lot of bookmarking? Miss the old school Del.icio.us? Alan Levine really likes Pinboard. “I’m a bit lagging behind some of my other colleagues, meaning my price went up a little, but I just moved my freight cars worth of social book marking links to pinboard. I will color myself lame old tired fried sepia-toned and nostalgic, but the simplicity and deftness of pinboard remind me of the original at del.icio.us (as those who were part of it P.Y. Pre-Yahoo).”

In case you need it: How to uninstall an app or program in Windows 10.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Lifehacker has a Bing vs. Google search-off. One thing this article does not mention is that Bing’s news search is at least as good as Google’s. Don’t ignore Bing when you’re searching news.

The Verge goes hands-on with Facebook’s virtual assistant, M. “Facebook M, the social network’s text-based virtual assistant, is only in its infancy, but I couldn’t help feeling like Her’s Theodore Twombly when I had it order me a sausage breakfast burrito. I didn’t even have to open a new browser tab, but I did have to go pick it up down the street — Amazon is trying to solve that problem via drones, I’m told. But it was still a good example of how Facebook, through a natural evolution of its software, has begun intertwining with our basic wants and needs.”

VentureBeat has an overview of the Internet Movie Database (IMDB), a site that doesn’t get nearly enough love. “The year 2015 heralded a number of notable Internet milestones — the humble .com domain name reached 30 years of age, while both eBay and Amazon reached the grand old age of 20. That the Internet Movie Database, a gargantuan film and TV show encyclopedia better known as IMDb, began 25 years ago as a pre-Web hobby project and is now one of the top 50 most visited websites on the Internet is a notable achievement.” I was worried when IMDB was acquired by Amazon, but the site has not turned into a giant Amazon-fest like I was afraid of.

Is it a game or is it an exercise in frustration? Twitch installs Arch Linux. “Using the same Twitch chat-driven concept as the collaborative Pokémon playthrough, anyone will be able to enter commands and control the installation process.” This was still going the last time I checked, with 2,000 people watching.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

And TODAY’S hack to tell you about IS… Vodafone. “In a statement today, the company said that between midnight on October 28th and midday on the 29th, it saw an unauthorised party attempt to access customer’s details, including bank account numbers. Unlike its telecoms rival, which saw its website compromised via SQL injection, the carrier believes the source of the attack stems from criminals utilising ’email addresses and passwords acquired from an unknown source external to Vodafone.'”

Google is being sued by a Google Express driver. “Like drivers in the Amazon case, Google Express driver Anna Coorey said in her lawsuit that she was hired by an intermediary courier service but is required to work only for Google during her shift. Drivers wear Google Express uniforms and are required to accept every delivery assigned to them during each shift, the lawsuit said. That makes drivers employees under Massachusetts state law, attorneys for Coorey argue, who should be paid overtime and other expenses.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Nice: Google’s self-driving cars are programmed to be more cautious around children. Now add drunk people and anyone whose neck is at a phone-checking angle. “In an update shared on Google+ the company revealed that this week, in the spirit of Halloween, many children were running around Google in their costumes with their families so the company asked some of them to hang out near its parked cars.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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