WiFi, Picasa, Elections, More: Friday Evening Buzz, February 12, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

Avast has launched a new app that uses crowdsourcing data to find the best local WiFi. “With Avast Wi-Fi Finder — available for Android and iOS — users can see what Wi-Fi hotspots are near, and which ones are most secure and recommended by other users. You can also compare networks for speed and look at the security ratings, as verified by Avast users.”

TWEAKS & UPDATES

This is my unhappy face: Google is killing off Picasa. “Google announced this morning that it will no longer support the Picasa desktop application as of March 16, 2016. In addition, it will be archiving Picasa Web Albums data at a later date while encouraging those users to convert to Google Photos instead.” I like Picasa. I like it better than Google Photos. Sigh.

USEFUL STUFF

If you’re into politics you’ll appreciate this article from DigitalTrends: How to Follow Every Dem. and Rep. Presidential Primary and Caucus Online.

MakeUseOf: How to streamline the way you share screenshots on Twitter. Roundup of tools.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Well, that’s not right. King Arthur has been kicked off Facebook because Facebook doesn’t believe it’s his real name. “This week, Facebook did what the Saxons and English Heritage could not do, and made King Arthur a ‘non-person’, unceremoniously deleting his account. They asked – as many a policeman, judge, bailiff and High Sheriff have done before – for proof that he is indeed called King Arthur Uther Pendragon. He duly supplied his driving licence and passport, which clearly show his identity – and posted them online too.”

Professor Donnell King has a hilarious blog post about using Periscope in his classroom and having students – who were physically present in the classroom – log into Periscope and interact via the app. “I’m not certain, but I think that five students out of the 19 present hopped onto the scope, and people around each of them leaned over and watched and guided comments. At one point, I commented to Darlene (who is the Periscope guru) that all of my students were smiling.” (Professor King was testing Periscope for an event at Pellissippi State Community College next week.)

YouTube has a roundup on how the Super Bowl impacted viewing and searching. “During the game, people spent 300K hours watching the Big Game ads1 and teaser videos on YouTube and overall we’ve seen nearly 4 million hours of Big Game ads and teasers watched so far. Big Game ads and teasers have been watched over 330 million times, with 60 percent of that coming from mobile devices — the most we’ve ever seen. And that game ain’t over yet.”

Google/Alphabet has indicated it will not participate in this year’s US airwaves auction. “Alphabet Inc’s Google will not participate in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission’s upcoming auction of broadcast airwaves for wireless industry use, a spokeswoman told Reuters on Friday.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Do you have a Windows computer? Kick off your weekend with a patch fest. “Microsoft Windows users and those with Adobe Flash Player or Java installed, it’s time to update again! Microsoft released 13 updates to address some three dozen unique security vulnerabilities. Adobe issued security fixes for its Flash Player software that plugs at least 22 security holes in the widely-used browser component. Meanwhile, Oracle issued an unscheduled security fix for Java, its second security update for Java in as many weeks.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Interesting: using crowdsourced photos to analyze air pollution. “At the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, a research group is using crowdsourced photos to create a low-cost alternative to air-pollution sensors. Called AirTick, the smartphone app they’ve designed will collect photos from users and analyze how hazy the environment looks. It’ll then check each image against official air quality data, and through machine-learning the app will eventually be able to predict pollution levels based on an image alone.” Good evening, 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!

One thought on “WiFi, Picasa, Elections, More: Friday Evening Buzz, February 12, 2016

  1. I am going to miss Picasa as well. Have been using it for years, and while Google Photo is good, it does not have the same feel as Picasa.

    Thanks for all the great articles/links.

    Dave B

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