Facebook, Movies, Video Gaming, More: Thursday Buzz, March 3, 2016

I got a note that I messed up a link in yesterday afternoon’s Buzz; I fixed it. There’s another one I have to fix too, I think. I apologize; I do RB in my limited free time, which means I have to do it quickly, which means sometimes I screw up.


Facebook has launched a new tool for businesses to tell their stories. Only it’s not businesses – it’s pages. I know because I tried to create one for ResearchBuzz and I could. So all you libraries and institutions and so on with Facebook pages, check this out. From FB’s announcement: “To celebrate these businesses, we’re also announcing the development of Your Business Story, a new movie tool that makes it easy for business owners to showcase what their company brings to the world. As part of the tool, businesses are able to upload their photos from their pages, overlay with music and share ‘what they are in the business of’ doing.”

TechHive has a story about a new tool that lets you find movies by describing scenes. “Valossa, claims to page through a given movie on a scene-by-scene basis, identifying more than one thousand concepts (places, objects, and themes) from any video stream. The technology allows you to search using natural-language queries, and there’s even a beta version of the technology that allows voice searches using the Alexa digital assistant in Amazon’s Echo connected speaker.” I gave it a quick whirl. It flunked Michelle Yeoh on a motorcycle (Silver Hawk, very silly movie, but Michelle Yeoh jumps the Great Wall of China on a motorcycle), but passed Whoopi Goldberg is a nun (Sister Act I and II, though the sequel was listed first for some reason) and Barbara Stanwyck on a ship (finding both The Lady Eve and Titanic).

Yahoo is launching a new section devoted to esports. “Yahoo is launching a site dedicated to competitive video gaming, capitalizing on a rare bright spot for the troubled tech company. Yahoo Esports will cover live tournaments, news and statistics, much like other sports, the company said Wednesday.” Couldn’t they have picked a niche where Twitch and YouTube aren’t already having a huge slobberknocker?


A new, updated Family Tree Maker is now shipping. “Software MacKiev’s first updates pick up where Ancestry left off to ensure a seamless product experience for users. The updates are focused on performance and stability, and are compatible with the latest operating systems (Windows 10 and OS X 10.11 El Capitan). The updates also contain more than a hundred new royalty-free backgrounds and a set of embellishment art for use in making professional-quality charts.”


Want to find out which emoji you use the most on Twitter? This Web app can tell you. It failed for me; I’ve never tweeted with emoji because TweetDeck.

I hope you don’t ever need to do this, but: how to memorialize a Facebook account.


Remember the article I linked to about the two artists who covertly scanned a bust of Nefertiti in a German museum? The New York Times has more background. And if you were wondering how they did it: “Ms. [Nora] Badri and Mr. [Jan] Nelles planned their project for a year and a half. Ms. Badri concealed the scanning device — a modified version of the Kinect, a motion sensor developed by Microsoft for the Xbox 360 that can be purchased for around $100 — underneath a blue cashmere scarf, circling and scanning the artifact whenever the guards would congregate to chat with one another, while Mr. Nelles filmed, during the October visit.”

Open Objects has a nifty roundup of articles about heritage crowdsourcing. Academically-slanted, they all sound interesting, and GOOD GRIEF I DO NOT NEED MORE TO READ.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt is going to head a Pentagon advisory board. “Eric Schmidt, the former chief executive officer of Google, will head a new Pentagon advisory board aimed at bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the U.S. military, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Wednesday.” This is one of those circumstances where I feel something very strongly, but I’m not sure what it is.

Google has announced a new payments app. “Google on Wednesday released to the public a new app called Hands Free, which lets people pay for items in stores by simply telling the cashier, ‘I’ll pay with Google.'” What could POSSIBLY go wrong?


A wee fine, and now Germany is investigating Facebook. “[Germany’s cartel office] said it suspected Facebook’s terms of service regarding how the company makes use of users’ data may abuse its possibly dominant position in the social networking market. It planned to examine whether users were properly informed about how their personal data would be obtained by the company.”


From New York Magazine: Twitter Has Become a Park Filled With Bats and Perverts. Don’t read the comments; she gets pushback from bat lovers. “I’m quitting Twitter for a specific, practical reason: Because I keep getting bothered by assholes and perverts and Twitter doesn’t seem willing or able to do anything about it. I’m quitting Twitter the way you quit your favorite restaurant when it suffers an E. coli outbreak. I’m quitting Twitter for the simple fact that Twitter’s been bumming me out.” Good morning, Internet…

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