Batcave, Sri Lanka, WordPress, More: Saturday Buzz, March 26, 2016

TWEAKS & UPDATES

The latest addition to the Google Street View gallery — the Batman vs Superman bat cave. “You’ll start on the surface, inside Bruce Wayne’s lake house. Click through and you’ll quickly stumble upon the subterranean base, complete with the Batmobile and a glass cabinet containing a Joker-graffitied Robin costume. The armored Batsuit and Batcomputer reside upstairs, along with plenty of other weapons and R&D projects.” Too bad Batman doesn’t write all his passwords on a sticky note and put it on his monitor.

More Street View: Google has added Sri Lanka. “From the hustle and bustle of downtown Colombo, to the cool tea plantation hills, and onwards to the sandy white beaches, Sri Lanka is as beautiful as it is diverse. To capture this imagery, we drove close to 50,000 kilometers across every state and province so that you can virtually explore this beautiful landscape from coast to coast.”

A WordPress 4.5 release candidate is now available.

Google is working to add more security to e-mail. “Today, we’re announcing a variety of new protections that will help keep Gmail users even safer and promote email security best practices across the Internet as a whole.”

Facebook is making more detailed video metrics available for publishers. “Until now, people could see things like the number of views, the number of unique viewers, and the number of minutes that a video was viewed. Now, video publishers can find out how many minutes a video was viewed on a given day, the number of video views for a single day, and the number of times a video was viewed for 10 seconds on one day (or how many times people viewed at least 97 percent of videos that last for less than 10 seconds), Facebook product manager Anaid Gomez-Ortigoza wrote in a blog post.”

USEFUL STUFF

Usually when you think of a Reddit “Ask Me Anything,” you think of famous people, politicians, etc. This one you might like. There will be an AMA on the Rosa Parks Papers held by the Library of Congress on March 29th. “During the Reddit AMA experts from the Library of Congress Manuscripts Division, the Prints & Photographs Division, and Educational Outreach will take your questions about Rosa Parks and about how the Library cataloged, preserved, digitized, and made her papers available to the world.”

From MakeUseOf: Best 10 Twitter Bot Projects for Raspberry Pi. I want the one that reads tweets to you. In fact I want three or four of them, all talking randomly as I work. That sounds really appealing. I’m weird.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

The MIT Technology Review (love that site) examines the potential problems that Facebook and Alphabet/Google face offering Internet access via objects in the stratosphere. “High above the annoyances of weather and commercial air traffic, the stratosphere could be a great place from which to beam down Internet connectivity to places with poor communications infrastructure. Alphabet and Facebook are both working on drones to operate 18 kilometers or more above Earth, and this year Alphabet will start using balloons at that altitude to serve mobile subscribers in Indonesia. But even the stratosphere, which at the equator starts at around 20 kilometers but varies by latitude and season, is within reach of Earth’s regulators.”

Google is holding a contest for Android developers. “Last summer we launched Android Experiments: a showcase of creative Android projects, and an open invitation for all developers to submit their own experiments to the gallery. So far we’ve seen some amazing work from the developer community – from live wallpaper, to watch faces, to interesting hacks of the IOIO board – and we want to see more. Today we announce the Android Experiments I/O Challenge: a chance for your experiment (and you) to go to I/O 2016!”

It looks like Microsoft might be getting involved with the Yahoo sale. “According to numerous sources, Microsoft execs have been meeting with private equity firms mulling over bids to buy Yahoo and telling investors the company might be willing to lend significant financing to their efforts.” Why doesn’t Microsoft just buy Yahoo itself? Sell Tumblr to Facebook or Snapchat and give the Bing brand an extremely high profile.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Facebook, Google, and other tech companies are protesting the horribly embarrassing law passed in my beloved North Carolina. “North Carolina legislators on Wednesday approved House Bill 2, which prevents cities and counties from passing their own rules preventing discrimination of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed the bill into law on Wednesday.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

CogDog, who has had many run-ins with Facebook over people using his pictures for catfishing (and Facebook not doing anything about it) is not impressed with Facebook’s new initiative to warn about impostor accounts. 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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