Instagram, Google, Chrome, More: Saturday Buzz, December 26th, 2015


It’s that week between Christmas and New Year, the week where everyone busts out the “best of the year” lists/apps/rants/etc. Here’s how you find your best of Instagram (and everybody else’s best of Instagram.)

Google is testing no-password logins. “The company is now testing a new Google Account option that lets users login using their phone, skipping the part where you have to enter your password. The feature uses your phone to authenticate your identity by bringing up a notification that allows you to grant or deny access to your account.” Um. No thanks.


Roundup from Mashable: the 10 Chrome extensions you need most.

HowTo Geek: How to use the “Reminders” feature in Google Calendar.

From Educational Technology and Mobile Learning: 5 More Google Drive Tools for Teachers. The simple booklet and audio cutter ones look fantastic!

Speaking of 2015 “Best Lists,” Larry Ferlazzo has a ton of them.


Wait, what? A Payday loan service for YouTube vloggers? “Payability links up to a YouTuber’s ads dashboard, generating payments based on expected ad revenue that YouTube provides in a real-time estimate, but can fluctuate between when an ad is served and when actual payment is made. Payability markets its loan rates as as low as 1.9 percent of the income, which Payability uses to finance the operation.” Thanks to Infodiva Librarian for tipping me off about it. If this is necessary, there’s something wrong somewhere.

DuckDuckGo had a very good year! “DuckDuckGo, the search engine whose selling point is the fact that it doesn’t track users, has grown by a considerable amount year over year. The niche search engine boasts a growth of 70% throughout the year of 2015, despite the fact that it hasn’t nearly seen the adoption rate of more mainstream search engines.”

TechCrunch takes a look at Twitter’s fiscal year. “The company failed to change the arc of its own narrative during the year: Strong financial performance, but continued failure to grow its user base, the latter of which the market appears to weight more strongly. It brought in a new CEO to turn things around, but so far it still hasn’t found a way to really do a better job of building its audience.” This is not really a pile-on article and looks at a number of factors important to Twitter.


Researchers are proposing using patterns and icons for passwords. “Researchers at Plymouth University have devised a new password input method they believe could improve security. Called GOTPass, it combines patterns, imagery, and one-time passcode to create a system that it’s hoped would be both more secure and easier to remember than traditional passwords.”

The Independent (UK) has an article about what Twitter has gone to combat trolls and extremists this year. “The other part of the strategy has involved giving users new tools to block trolls and to expose the worst offenders by encouraging people to share their lists of blocked accounts. Mr Daisley said the measures, introduced over the past year, had led to a massive increase in the number of reports and made people feel a lot safer.”


BetaNews editorial: Google+ Is Too Much of a Ghost Town For Me. “Nearly six weeks ago, the service ‘reimagined’, as a ‘fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center’. Since then, my Google+ engagement has dropped by more than 90 percent. I don’t find as many posts to Plus-one, to share with others, or on which to comment.” Good morning, Internet…

I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

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