Trout Fishing, NYT Obits, Facebook Messenger More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, June 1, 2016


Want to go trout fishing in Wisconsin? Here ya go. “The TROUT tool, an acronym for Trout Regulations and Opportunities User Tool, will optimize anglers’ time on the water by showing where publicly accessible land is relative to roads, bridge crossings and trout streams….The tool allows anglers to click a colored section of stream to see the specific regulation for that section of water. Check the fisheries regulations page for more information. An additional layer to the map provides insight in to the type of the fishery by identifying the trout stream classification.” Now I’m hungry. And I want to go fishing.

The New York Times is launching a summer project of highlighting obituaries of famous people. The first one on the site is Helen Keller.


Is Facebook planning end-to-end encryption for Messenger? It would throw a little shade on Allo. “The system will let users deploy so-called end-to-end encryption meant to block both authorities and Facebook from reading users’ texts. Such technology has become more widespread in the post-Edward Snowden era as the technology industry tries to assuage fears about prying eyes in both the government and Silicon Valley headquarters.”

Instagram has announced some new business tools. “Instagram this morning officially announced the launch of its tools for business users, including new business profiles, analytics and the ability to turn Instagram posts into ads directly from the Instagram app itself. The launch comes following a series of leaks and reports of the tools’ imminent launch, and largely confirms details we already knew — like how the profiles would be structured, and what sort of insights on posts and audience demographics would be available.” I suspect we’ll see post-boosting real soon now…


From the International Business Times – sounds like it’s going to be quite a project! Obama’s White House Is Preparing For The Biggest Social Media Hand-Off In American History “In addition to moving into a new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., the 45th president of the United States will gain access to the network of online profiles the Obama administration has built, with a combined social media reach numbering in the tens of millions. January 2017 will mark the first social media handoff in the history of the American presidency. The transition is inevitable. But what we still don’t know is who will take them over and how exactly it will play out. What former and current government officials agreed upon in conversation with International Business Times is that the network is powerful.”

The US Embassy in Beijing is cooling off on its social media outreach in China. “In the last outreach attempt, four Beijing-based U.S. diplomats partnered with Chinese question-and-answer website Zhihu in late April to answer web users’ questions about life in the United States. A cached version of the ‘Discover America’ webpage shows that it got 1 million views before being deleted May 17. That same day, China’s Communist Youth League went on social media to say some Chinese web users were unhappy with the U.S. diplomats for trying to make America look good in the battle for Chinese public opinion.” I’m including this item because it makes me wonder how this kind of pushback from China will impact Google’s plans to return.

The Information has some odd skinny about Google Home. “The guts of Home, including its ARM-based microprocessor and Wi-Fi chip, will be the same as those in the Chromecast, says a person with direct knowledge of the plan. In other words, Home will essentially be a microphone, speaker, plastic top with LED lights and a fabric or metal bottom—wrapped around a Chromecast.”


Ugh. You don’t have to do anything to make your laptop vulnerable. Chances are it’s vulnerable right out of the box. “Software update tools that are preinstalled on Acer, Asus, Dell, HP and Lenovo laptops all contained at least one critical security vulnerability that hackers could easily exploit, said Duo Labs, the research arm of Duo Security, in the results of an investigation published Tuesday. In total, Duo Labs uncovered 12 different OEM software vulnerabilities across all the computer makers.”

Russian competition watchdog FAS has put off its fine decision for Googleagain! “The regulator ruled last September that Google had broken the law by requiring pre-installation of certain applications on mobile devices running on its Android operating system, following a complaint by Russia’s Yandex.”


Quartz has dug up some new patent information for Google/Alphabet’s auto autos. “The patent outlines the system passengers will use to turn on and off the self-driving functions in Google’s self-driving cars. Like cruise control, autonomous driving will essentially involve making sure it’s safe to shift into self-driving mode, and then pressing a big ‘ON’ button to let the car drive itself. In the patent, if a human requests that the car go into autonomous mode, the car will check its surroundings and the car’s status to ensure it’s in a position to take over driving.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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