New York City, Facebook, Yahoo, More: Thursday Buzz, December 31st, 2015


The city of New York has launched a new online database giving details about crime in the city. “The database comes with an interactive map and allows searches by location, date, category of crime and 16 other variables. A searchable spreadsheet can also be sorted by precinct, enforcement sector and whether it’s a felony.”


Facebook is apparently testing interest-specific feeds on its mobile service. “The social network has been experimenting with category-specific versions of its news feed that take posts that would normally appear in the all-in-one feed and organize them into their own interest-specific feeds. It began the test in October, as reported by Social Times, and now appears to be extending it to mobile.”

Facebook’s free basic Internet service for Egyptians has been shut down. “It was not immediately clear why the program was halted. Neither Etisalat nor Egyptian officials could immediately be reached for comment. The program was recently highlighted at an entrepreneurship fair in Cairo.”

Yahoo apparently is testing yet another homepage design.


The Register (oh, Register, I do so love your headlines) has an overview of the efforts being made to develop an XML standard for sheet music. “The Music Notation Community Group consists of representatives from some of the biggest names in the music notation software business who’ve come together to create a standardised way to display western music notation in your browser. The group is off to a strong start, having set out a list of what it believes are achievable goals in the next six to 12 months. However, don’t look for the W3C to endorse MusicXML, as the proposed standard is known.”

Hmm. Dave Winer on Medium as an RSS reader. “Google really hurt the blogosphere with the dominance of Reader and then its shutdown. It’s good to pay attention to that now. When you start relying on a dominant product, everything is good, because it hasn’t gone away yet. You don’t feel the pain until it goes away.” And when you realize that Google has to take absolutely no responsibility for warping the ecosystem with its product, then killing that product.

Good roundup from GigaOm: This was the year social networks turned into news organizations. “These are three very different approaches, but the underlying goal is the same: Gathering user-generated content before writers aggregate it themselves. So I’m left to wonder when other social companies will get around to creating their own publications instead of waiting for writers to swoop in, gather all the free content lying around, and turn it into something that could lead to millions of pageviews.”

It’s bad enough to drink and drive. But to drink, and drive, and make a video of it and post it to Facebooky’all. Really? Needless to say the gentleman was arrested.


Twitter is apparently taking a harder line on its anti-abuse policy. “Today, as part of our continued efforts to combat abuse, we’re updating the Twitter Rules to clarify what we consider to be abusive behaviour and hateful conduct. The updated language emphasizes that Twitter will not tolerate behavior intended to harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence another user’s voice. As always, we embrace and encourage diverse opinions and beliefs –but we will continue to take action on accounts that cross the line into abuse.” I say “apparently” because Twitter can make rules all day. Enforcing them is another matter.

Microsoft has jumped on the “we will warn users of possible state-sponsored hacking” bandwagon. “Microsoft told Reuters about the plan in a statement. It comes nine days after Reuters asked the company why it had decided not to tell victims of a hacking campaign, discovered in 2011, that had targeted international leaders of China’s Tibetan and Uighur minorities in particular.” This service mentions specifically. It’s not clear if users of other Microsoft services would be warned.

The Tor Project has is launching its own bug bounty program – but – it’s invitation only? “The Tor Project is understandably starting its bug program off gradually, opting for a model in which it hand-picks the bug finders it wants to start looking first. But with all the interested parties out there who are keen to learn about a zero-day Tor bug before their surveillance targets do, and who are quite willing to pay for that early access, let’s hope the Tor people shift out of that slow start soon.” Interesting Tor use stats in this article.


I love finding stuff on Twitter Sentiment to Analyze Net Brand Reputation of Mobile Phone Providers. “We may see competition among mobile providers to acquire new customers through campaign and advertisement war, especially on social media. The problem arises on how to measure the brand reputation of these providers based on people response on their services quality. This paper addresses this issue by measuring brand reputation based on customer satisfaction through customer’s sentiment analysis from Twitter data. Sample model is built and extracted from 10.000 raw Twitter messages data from January to March 2015 of top three mobile providers in Indonesia.” Good morning, Internet…

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