Doncaster, Amazon, YouTube, More: Sunday Afternoon Buzz, November 22nd, 2015


In development: A new online archive for historic images of Doncaster, in England. “Doncaster Council has received funding to make the work of important local photographer Luke Bagshaw available to the public. … The Museum and the Local Studies Library together care for around 15,000 of his photographs, mostly of local people…”


Our long national nightmare is over: Amazon is finally offering two-factor login. Longtime readers of ResearchBuzz know I have been complaining about this forever; offering cloud storage space and not offering two-factor is just irresponsible. Glad to see it’s finally here.

YouTube has released new language/translation tools. “On average, over 60% of a channel’s views come from outside of its creator’s home country. That means two out of every three people who watch your channel might speak a different language than you. So how can you make sure viewers around the world can easily discover, understand and love your content? That’s where our latest set of translation features comes in.”

Google Fit has gotten some updates, too. “When it comes to fitness, every effort counts: each step, sit-up, snack, and good night’s sleep. That’s why Google Fit’s latest update recognizes all your healthy choices: from cardio to strength training, what you eat plus how you rest, and coaches you every step of the way.”


Want to muddle your online movements? Set up streams of fake data. “AdNauseam, clicks every ad on every page I visit, baffling ad networks. When I do a search, TrackMeNot sends a stream of fake queries in the background—like ‘conan o’brien’ and ‘watch tokyo samsung’—so Google and Bing can’t easily profile me either. This is ‘obfuscation,’ and it’s a fascinating development in our relationship to online surveillance.”


Some poor person named Isis temporarily lost their Facebook account. Good grief. “Facebook Inc said it erroneously disabled the personal account of a user named Isis Anchalee for about a day, an action the user claims was due to her name being spelt the same as the acronym used for the Islamic State extremist group.”

Meanwhile, if your identity or your image is actually being used for fraudulent purposes, Facebook may or may not do anything. I am a big fan of Alan Levine, also known as CogDog, and he is having a terrible time with this. People are using images of him to set up fake LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and apparently those two social media networks are doing nothing. “What would you do? Would you be happy reporting this as instructed and being told it is not a violation? Would you be happy if in turn the scammers turned the tables and reported your profile?” Meanwhile, some poor lady named Isis….

People who have made their phone numbers public on Twitter are being spammed and made to tweet Edward Snowden to stop it. “A concerned citizen has been scraping phone numbers posted publicly by Twitter users, and sending them interesting facts about cats in the hope of educating them about the internet. The only way to stop this deluge of feline factoids? Tweet ‘Meow, I <3 catfacts' at Edward Snowden."

Oxford Dictionaries has selected “emoji” as “Word of The Year”. “Other words and expressions that made the 2015 Word of the Year shortlist: Ad blocker, Dark Web, lumbersexual, on fleek, refugee, Brexit, and sharing economy. A curious entry into the shortlist was also ‘they.'”


A US court has ruled that Facebook can block any content it likes, without explanation. “The San Francisco court ruling followed a lawsuit filed against the social media giant by ‘Sikhs For Justice’ (SFJ), which claimed that Facebook had blocked its page in India for advocating Sikh separatism, particularly its campaign against the ‘persecution of Sikhs and for promoting a Sikh referendum in the Indian state of Punjab.’ The Indian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the national government have already tried to block the page for displaying ‘objectionable content.’” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

2 replies »

  1. I don’t care about Ad-tracking networks. I use a good Adblocker, so I never see any of their Ads. That speeds up browsing a lot and avoids malware-infected ads.
    I also use Private Browsing, so no tracking either.

  2. Thanks for sharing my Facebook woes. As of now, they have not offered anything in terms of an explanation or indication that they even noticed. I’m just another minor annoyance in the big machine, The hopeful thing is maybe some people are aware of the tools they have available to investigate (e.g. reverse image searches).

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