Australia, Chromebit, Microsoft, More: Tuesday Buzz, November 24th, 2015


The government of Australia has launched a new online hub for information on publicly-funded research.”The searchable database now includes [intellectual property] from all 40 Australian universities, as well as commonwealth organisations like the CSIRO and Data61. Medical research institutes will also begin contributing to the platform from December.”

Oh boy, it’s a grand time to be a hardware nerd. Google has launched the Chromebit. “The $85 Chromebit is a 75 gram (or 2.6 ounces) stick that you can plug into any HDMI port — whether that’s a regular computer screen or that large TV in your living room. It comes with 16GB of onboard storage (in the form of relatively cheap and slow eMMC storage) and 2GB of RAM.” Chrome OS. Remarkable.


Microsoft has open-sourced its Visual Studio Code. “Visual Studio Code is a cross-platform web and cloud development code editor available not just for Windows, but for Mac and Linux, too. On stage today, Microsoft open-sourced the tool by releasing its code on GitHub, and announced that it is taking contributions from the community.”

Heh: you can now swipe Vine audio and remix it into other Vines.

Google is going to let you try apps before you install them. “Google has allowed developers that have a mobile web version of their app to surface app results within searches for some time. (This is why you can search for, say a restaurant, and open the listing directly in Yelp.) App streaming is an extension of this: Instead of opening the app directly, it will open a streamed version of the service.”

Facebook has launched “Fundraiser” pages for non-profits. “‘Fundraisers’ are dedicated pages where nonprofits can raise money for specific campaigns, whether it’s for the refugee crisis, to help eradicate malaria or to build a clean water well. The Donate button, previously reserved for ads on the site, will now appear on nonprofits’ Pages and posts, allowing users to contribute directly from their News Feeds.” Of course you’ll probably have to pay and arm and a leg for your fans to actually see these pages…

Reddit has tweaked its privacy policy. “These changes to the privacy policy also really highlight how unique Reddit is among popular Internet companies in how little information they actually gather from users. For example, Reddit is still one of the few online accounts you can sign up for without connecting an email address.”


Can Google bypass the encryption on your Android device? It depends. “According to a document prepared by the New York District Attorney’s Office, older versions of Android can easily be remotely reset by Google if compelled by a court order, allowing investigators to easily view the contents of a device.”

Royal Caribbean had a week of putting Periscope broadcasts on digital billboards. When I first read this I thought, “Wow, that’s nervy,” but they’re edited, not-live broadcasts.


I love studies which focus on language. How Reddit talks. “To get a sense of the language used on Reddit, we parsed every comment from late 2007 through August 2015 and built the tool above, which enables you to search for a word or phrase to see how its popularity has changed over time.”

Not good: apparently kids have a hard time distinguishing ads in Google.

Does Instagram need two-factor? Probably. (I think anything offering to store private things for us needs two-factor.) Good morning, Internet…

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