morningbuzz

Amazon Education, Ontario Museum, Twitter Stickers, More: Wednesday Buzz, June 29, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

Amazon will be launching an education Web site for K-12 teachers. “Just ahead of the back-to-school season, Amazon is making a major foray into the education technology market for primary and secondary schools, a territory that Apple, Google and Microsoft have heavily staked out. On Monday morning, Amazon said that it would introduce an online marketplace with tens of thousands of free lesson plans, worksheets and other instructional materials for teachers in late August or early September.”

The Orillia Museum of Art and History (Orillia, Ontario, Canada) has created a digital archive. “A YouTube video on the OMAH channel explains to viewers how to use the online database… to search through more than 2,000 items already catalogued…. The goal is to add thousands more items to the database over the next few years, [Hope McGilly] said. The museum has more than 12,000 items.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Twitter is getting stickers. “Twitter stickers are basically emoji you can place on top of a photo. There’s sunglasses, and a guy surfing, and flowers, and hats, and you get the idea. Whenever you take a photo, you can drop in a few stickers before you tweet it.”

Google has made several upgrades to its education services. “On the heels of Amazon’s entry into the learning materials market, Google this morning also unveiled a series of product announcements aimed at expanding use of Google products and technologies in the classroom setting. At the ISTE conference today, the company introduced a number of new tools for educators, ranging from a research project that helps teaches kids to code called Project Bloks to an expansion of its Google Cardboard-assisted ‘Expeditions’ program, plus several new tools and services for the classroom involving Google Docs, Chromebooks and Google Cast.”

Facebook has launched a Featured Events list that is actually curated by humans. “Starting today, iOS users in 10 U.S. cities will see the option for Featured Events in a carousel atop their list of upcoming soirees. Facebook’s curators will peruse each city’s top art, entertainment, family, festival, fitness, food & drink, learning, community, music and sports events and select a few with the capacity to accept some extra foot traffic.” … or with the capacity to shoot a some extra advertising dollars Facebook’s way, the article did not add. No, there’s no mention in here of pay-for-play, but how long do you think it’ll be before Facebook moves on monetizing this, too?

More Facebook: it now has a slideshow feature to its iOS app. “A new feature coming to its iOS app this week, called Slideshow, takes your mobile photos and videos and turns them into a short clip you can customize with different themes and music. Facebook will do this automatically with a pre-made slideshow so long as you’ve taken at least five photos or videos in the last 24 hours.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 6 Impressive GMail Tools You Might Have Missed.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Wow: is the EU going to line up ANOTHER antitrust complaint against Google? “The European Union is taking steps that could lead to a third antitrust complaint against Google, this time over its lucrative advertising services, according to three people familiar with the EU investigation. EU officials sent the search giant’s critics requests to allow their evidence to be shared with Google, said the people, who asked not to be named because the case is private.”

SecurityWeek notes a bug that would have allowed easy deletion of videos on Facebook. “Facebook announced recently the availability of a new feature that allows users to include videos in comments. A few hours after the announcement was made, India-based researcher Pranav Hivarekar started analyzing the feature and discovered a ‘logic flaw’ that could have been leveraged to delete videos from the social media website using API requests.” Facebook has already fixed it. I gotta say, for all my ragging on it, Facebook does tend to patch quickly.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Desiree Dighton, at North Carolina State University, is exploring if neighborhood gentrification can be identified via Twitter. “For her project, Dighton is harvesting and analyzing tweets related to gentrification using the Social Media Archives Toolkit developed by NCSU Libraries. She wants to study the patterns of discussion of neighborhood inequality emerging on Twitter, both globally and locally, and to question how those discussions connect back and perhaps influence the changes in built environments and lived experiences in specific locations, like Raleigh. To date, Dighton has collected about 250,000 tweets with the hashtag ‘gentrification’ over a 12-week span. She expects to continue harvesting tweets for at least a year. ”

From TechCrunch: So, does anybody want Twitter? Several candidates for purchasing Twitter are considered, but not my personal favorite: Snapchat. Amazon is my other possibility, and is mentioned here. (Please note that these are the ones I think would be a good fit and good idea, not the ones I think most likely.)

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

I love this. The government of New Zealand and Google teamed up to build a huge geofence around the New Zealand coastline. Why? To remind people to put on their life jackets! “A geofence is a zone of coordinates that any smartphone’s GPS can read. Maritime NZ’s stretches 15km out from every coastline in the country, ensuring anyone setting out on the water will pass through on it. Anyone on a boat within that zone who opens Facebook, Google, MetService or many other websites will see a prominent ad warning them to put on their lifejacket.” The program started last year, and fatalities from that boating season dropped from 20 the year before to … four. Good morning, Internet…

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