Google Slides, Peer Grade, YouTube, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, May 5, 2016


Google has launched Slides Q&A. “When Shree [Bose] recently visited our New York office to present to 200 middle school students, we invited her to try a new feature in Google Slides: Slides Q&A. This update—rolling out globally today—helps speakers connect with their audience and collect real-time feedback. With a simple link displayed on a Slides presentation, audience members can submit questions from their phones, laptops, and tablets—and vote on those they want answered the most.”


TechCrunch has a writeup on an app that lets students grade each other. “… Peergrade is a platform solely designed for facilitating peer feedback and peer grading within university courses. It lets teachers set an assignment and grading criteria, and invite students to upload their completed work to Peergrade, such as in the form of a Word document or YouTube video. The platform then distributes those assignments to different students who are charged with actually carrying out the grading and giving feedback.”


Is YouTube going to launch a new subscription service? “YouTube is working on a paid subscription service called Unplugged that would offer customers a bundle of cable TV channels streamed over the Internet, people familiar with the plan said.” YES PLEASE!

Apparently Wix Web sites aren’t showing well in Google search results. “Wix, the popular low cost web site builder tool, seems to be having issues with their web sites being indexed in Google. It seems like many web sites powered by Wix have recently been dropping out of the Google index.” I use Wix for digital signage at work. It’s had its bumps, but the Wix people are very responsive and I find the support excellent.


Google has gotten a patent for drone delivery. “Google’s patent, awarded Tuesday, describes a hovering drone that uses a tether to lower a box containing a package. A ‘bystander communication module’ attached to the box would put out an ‘avoidance cue’ such as a beeping sound or the words ‘delivery in progress, do not approach’ while the package was being lowered, and the system could be configured to show blinking red or yellow lights to warn people away as the package descended.”


I have read a lot about computer-generated news stories, but I had not yet seen any research about what readers thought of it. “Readers like to read texts generated by computers, especially when they are unaware that what they are reading was assembled on the basis of an algorithm. This, at any rate, is the conclusion suggested by the results of an experiment recently conducted by LMU media researchers. In the study, 986 subjects were asked to read and evaluate online news stories. Articles which the participants believed to have been written by journalists were consistently given higher marks for readability, credibility and journalistic expertise than those that were flagged as computer-generated – even in cases where the real ‘author’ was in fact a computer.”

You know those ballyhooed Facebook reactions? Nobody much is using them. “Two months after launch a study has found that hardly anyone is making use of the five new options (Love, Haha, Wow, Sad, and Angry). Analysis by Quintly reveals that Reactions account for a mere 3 percent of interactions, and the findings make for interesting reading.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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