afternoonbuzz

Online Radio, Instagram, Google Now, More: Sunday Buzz, November 29th, 2015

NEW RESOURCES

I’m always surprised (and happy!) when I find something interesting in Fortune, Forbes, or The Atlantic. Not that they’re bad publications, but they’re not exactly online information-focused. Remember MP3.com back in the day? That was founded and run by Michael Robertson. Now, over a decade later, he’s got another music startup called OnRadio. “The service, introduced this week, indexes all the music playing on more than 100,000 online radio stations and allows users to search across that database and listen to any song. It also lets them share those songs through a variety of chat applications such as Snapchat and Twitter, using a unique URL.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES

Looks like Instagram is rolling out multi-account support. Yay! “The photo-sharing app Instagram has quietly begun rolling out multi-account support for the average user. While this will be most helpful to those that have accounts for their artwork, accounts for their personal matters, and accounts for their cats, you’ll see the benefit for work-use users as well. This update will be appearing in version 7.12.0 of the app, popping up for Beta testers first. Of course you could also just head over to the APK download if you do so choose.”

USEFUL STUFF

From UberGizmo: How to use Google Now. “Google Now is a fully-featured digital personal assistant by Google. It can help in many of different ways, such as setting reminders, manage commute, help with shopping, answer common questions, and much more… However, all these features first require a setup, and a basic knowledge of the commands.”

A new Chrome extension allows you to replace Facebook’s “Trending Topics” with the RSS feed of your choice. “The extension will automatically have replaced what’s trending on Facebook with headlines from the New York Times. If you scroll down (you may have to zoom out in Chrome first), you can change the source to the BBC, The Guardian, NPR, The Onion, and Washington Post.”

How-To Geek: How to Take Photos and Record Videos With Your Computer’s Webcam Apparently Windows 10 has built-in tools for this now. There are also tips for Mac OS X, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Chrome OS.

Robin Good tipped me off about a tool that lets you turn screen activity into an animated GIF. “LICEcap is a downloadable free software for Mac & PC which can capture an area of your screen and save it directly to an animated .GIF or .LCF file.” No version for Linux, alas…

Speaking of images: earlier this year I mentioned Google’s Deep Dream, which applied AI to images to make them, well, trippy. Now there’s a Twitter bot which will “dream” your photo in the style of a great artist. “Deep Forger is a Twitter account which will generate a version of any picture fed to it in the style of any other picture.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Google’s got a new patent for its self-driving car. “Earlier this week Google received a patent that lays out some of its ideas for how driverless cars might communicate with the pedestrians around them, allowing the vehicles to broadcast their intentions without being overly aggressive. For example a flashing stop sign on the side door would let humans know when not to cross the street in front of the car. A sign on the front bumper could flash when it was safe to pass in front of the car. And a robotic hand could give the kind of signals to fellow motorists they often look for from other humans.” I suspect the signal I immediately imagined from the robot hand is not the one they intended….

Facebook has announced four months of paid parental leave for all employees. “The policy, which provides four months of paid time off, will be provided to all new parents regardless of gender or location, starting Jan. 1. Employees may take leave at any point up to a year after the birth of their child, Lori Matloff Goler, the company’s head of human resources, said in a Facebook post late Wednesday.”

Android Community takes a look at the new face of Google+.

From Business Pundit: Google’s Top Execs Are Always Visible But Almost Never Approachable. “If you work at Google headquarters or you just happen to be visiting, there is a very good chance you will bump into Larry Page, Sergey Brin, or Google CEO Sundar Pichai. There is also a very good chance that without a meeting at their Mountain View campus, you will not have the chance to meet them face-to-face for an open dialogue.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

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