Chemical Compounds, Yahoo, Google, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, June 9, 2016


The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has released two new data sets related to batteries and molecules. “Two sets of data were released last month: nearly 1,500 compounds investigated for multivalent intercalation electrodes and more than 21,000 organic molecules relevant for liquid electrolytes as well as a host of other research applications. Batteries with multivalent cathodes (which have multiple electrons per mobile ion available for charge transfer) are promising candidates for reducing cost and achieving higher energy density than that available with current lithium-ion technology.”


Yahoo is apparently testing a new top search bar. “The new search bar is taller and more spacious, the overall bar itself is also taller. The search button has a magnifying glass instead of it saying ‘search’ in a purple background. It is significantly different.”

Google is testing a new look for its search results. “Google started testing a Material Design makeover on YouTube earlier this year, and now it’s doing the same for the company’s search engine on the desktop. A small set of Google users noticed their searches displaying material design touches and shared the news on Reddit and Twitter, as first reported by Engadget.”

Hey, put a little AI in your phone. “On Monday, Google published an early version of TensorFlow (the 0.9 release candidate) that adds support for iOS, the software that powers Apple iPhones and iPads. TensorFlow is ‘neural network’ software that lets computers process data in a way similar to our own brain cells, a key foundation to the artificial intelligence movement sweeping the computing industry.”


A new iOS app is offering free photo prints – and I mean really free; no shipping costs, no nothing. There is a tradeoff, o’course: “The company will actually make use of photo metadata in its targeting, which will include things like location, the camera model (as a proxy for estimated income), and even the photo’s subject. It scans photos to understand what’s in them, identifying logos and faces to make guesses about age and gender. However, advertisers will not be able to view users’ photos, their names or addresses, download user data or view anonymized personal info, Flag says.”


YouTube and the music industry are still duking it out. “The Music Industry is at war with YouTube. If this sounds familiar, it should. The two entities have been warring for a decade over how much YouTube should be paying the music labels for hosting the music videos and songs that helped turn the video site into a monolith. YouTube says it’s paid out $3 billion to the music industry and that’s plenty: the music industry says it’s been paid the same amount by Spotify and it doesn’t even offer music videos and has accounted for far fewer streams. The fight isn’t new, but recently the stakes have been raised.”


Do you worry about people being able to read your computer screen when you’re working in public? Here ya go. “Despite looking futuristic, Decodelia is a low-tech solution. Essentially, all it needs to work is a pattern akin to that used in envelopes sent by your bank, and red glasses to turn the pattern into visible words and pictures.” Though I’m not sure how many people randomly have a pair of red-tinted glasses.

Were you one of the people whose password was compromised in the 2012 LinkedIn hack? If you reused that password anywhere else, you need to change it now; that password database has apparently showed up on PasteBin.

Is Russia going to reach an out-of-court settlement with Google? This would explain the constant fine delays. “Russia’s state competition watchdog FAS is discussing with Alphabet Inc’s Google an out of court settlement, Interfax news agency on Wednesday quoted a deputy FAS head as saying.”


How do chefs use social media? Apparently it’s not all sitting around and going bork bork bork. Sorry, that’s the Swedish Chef, isn’t it. “Chefs check their social media accounts six to seven times a day – when asked what sites they use most, more than 75 social media sites were mentioned. Twitter and Facebook were named by 50% and received twice as many mentions than any other channel.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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