Shakespeare Actors, Twitter, Instagram, More: Friday Buzz, January 8, 2015


A new database details the performances of minority actors in UK Shakespeare productions, and the roles they’re getting – or not getting. “The British Black and Asian Shakespeare Performance Database details the casts of 1,189 Shakespearean productions dating back to 1930. It reveals that Laertes and Ophelia have been played by black or Asian actors 14 times in productions of Hamlet, compared to six times in the title role.”


Twitter has launched conversational ads. “For many years, marketers have successfully increased their brand engagement using Promoted Tweets with compelling images or videos and campaign hashtags that drive Retweets, likes, and follows. Conversational ads take this a step further by including call to action buttons with customizable hashtags that encourage consumer engagement.” Because nobody ever misuses a hashtag from a commercial brand on Twitter.

Instagram is going regular with its “Spotlight” feature. “Instagram’s Spotlight compilations are becoming a standard item, according to a report from TechCrunch. Starting this week, the company is making compilations for just about any topic.”

Google and Lenovo are teaming up on a Project Tango device (PRESS RELEASE). “Today at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Lenovo announced the development of the first consumer mobile device with Project Tango in collaboration with Google. Available in summer 2016, the new smartphone, powered by the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ processor, turns the screen into a magic window that can overlay digital information and objects onto the real world.”

More Google: YouTube will soon support HDR video. “Similar to HDR mode on smartphone cameras, which combine multiple exposures into a single frame, HDR video brings out better color and detail. Whereas contrast focuses on bright whites and black blacks, HDR is about all the colors and shades in between, making them more vivid and subtleties in the image more discernible.”


I know it’s Friday, but maybe you still need a little more calm. check out these Chrome tools. I like the white noise generator, though I usually play brown noise.


Fascinating! Virginia Quarterly Review is conducting an Instagram experiment. “As VQR describes it, the #VQRTrueStory project is a ‘social media experiment in nonfiction, in which stories share platforms — between Instagram, our website, and the magazine.’ The magazine has committed to running, over the course of the year, writers’ weekly dispatches — first via its Instagram account @VQReview, but also collected on its website and excerpted in its print magazine.”

Starboard Value is putting the heat on Yahoo. “Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO) CEO Marissa Mayer is under intensified pressure from major investor Starboard Value, which on Wednesday sent a second letter to the Web portal’s leadership urging the exit of Mayer and some directors and the spinoff of Yahoo’s core search business.”

Speaking of, rumors are flying that Yahoo is prepping for serious layoffs. “The company is working on a plan to cut at least 10% of its workforce, said sources familiar with the situation. The cuts would reduce Yahoo’s headcount by more than a thousand employees and could begin as early as this month, the sources said.”

Layoffs to hiring: is Google going on a hiring spree in China? “The buzz that Google Inc may move back to the Chinese mainland became louder this week after the Internet giant’s numerous job postings appeared on social media. On professionals’ online network Linkedin alone, Google advertised as many as 60 jobs in Beijing and Shanghai, state- run China Daily reported today.”


A tech support scam using customer details is causing concern that Dell customer data has been leaked. “Tech-support scams, in which fraudsters pose as computer technicians who charge hefty fees to fix non-existent malware infections, have been a nuisance for years. A relatively new one targeting Dell computer owners is notable because the criminals behind it use private customer details to trick their marks into thinking the calls come from authorized Dell personnel.”


Meta and depressing: an article about an American Libraries article. “TL;DR: Patricia Hswe and I wrote an article for American Libraries and the editors added some quotes from a vendor talking about their products without telling us. We asked them to fix it and they said no. Because American Libraries refused to clarify what happened, we decided to clarify it ourselves.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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