morningbuzz

Iowa Yearbooks, Michigan Bait Shops, Facebook Translation, More: Saturday Buzz, July 2, 2016

NEW RESOURCES

Iowa State University has digitized the school’s yearbook, THE BOMB. (So now when you read in Zero Wing that Someone set us up the bomb you know exactly who it was – Iowa State University.) “The complete collection of The Bomb — 45,000+ pages — is now online. University library staff recently completed a six-year project to digitize Iowa State’s yearbooks from 1893 through 1994. All volumes, as well as audio from a scratchy vinyl record chronicling 1971 sounds of campus, are part of the library’s digital collection.”

Okay, we’re going to get kind of esoteric here: there is now a map of bait shops in Michigan. Put together by the state of Michigan. “The map features licensed bait retailers that sell minnows, wigglers and crayfish. The web-based application is ideal for those planning trips across the state who might need to purchase bait along the way.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

First Instagram, and now Facebook is adding auto-translation. “The social network wants to make it easier for people to communicate with a global audience — even if you don’t speak a language other than your own. On Friday, the company introduced new software that automatically translates Facebook posts to several different languages. Once you publish your post, Facebook will show it to people in their preferred languages.” Currently it’s been tested with a small group of users; there will be a larger rollout later.

Facebook is killing off its Paper app. “Launched in January 2014, Paper mixed content from a user’s news feed with posts and articles from ’emerging voices and well-known publications’ and displayed it together in a new interface.”

More Facebook: it has launched a “fundraiser” feature. Well, expanded it to individuals as well as organizations, anyway. “Several months after the social network launched a new ‘fundraiser’ feature for nonprofits to collect donations, Facebook announced it has expanded the tool to individual users. Starting Thursday, users in the U.S. can create dedicated fundraiser pages to raise money for verified nonprofits.”

Google has updated its diversity report. “Women now comprise 31 percent of all Googlers, and we’ve seen strong growth of women in technical and leadership roles. Similar to last year, one in five of our technical hires in 2015 were women, helping bring the total number of women in technical roles from 18 to 19 percent. Additionally, women now hold 24 percent of leadership roles across Google—up from 22 percent.

Google’s goofing around with its search result pages again. “This test is Google testing a larger font size. She sent me screen shots and I made them into an animated GIF so you can clearly see the font changes…”

USEFUL STUFF

Has Evernote’s changes to its pricing got you saying “Bye Felicia”? Lifehacker’s got a guide to getting your data out. “Earlier this week, Evernote announced its subscriptions are getting more expensive and free users are now limited to just two devices. For the scores of existing users, that little restriction and that price increase are a big pain. Thankfully, you have other options.”

SECURITY AND LEGAL

Facebook has won a Belgian privacy case. “A Brussels appeals court found that the Belgian Privacy Commission, which brought a case against Facebook last year, does not have jurisdiction over the company’s Ireland-based European headquarters. As The Guardian reports, it also rejected a claim that the case was urgent and needed to be expedited.”

If you’re paranoid about security this’ll make you crawl under your desk: researchers have figured out how to steal data from airgapped computers … using the computer’s fan. “Fansmitters are simple in principle. Almost all computers use fans to cool the main CPU and the graphics card, and to pump air through the chassis. When they’re operating normally, the main sound produced by these fans is the result of rotating blades forcing air past static vanes. The frequency of this sound depends on the number of blades and their rate of rotation. It is usually in the region of hundreds of hertz. Any alteration to this rotation rate changes the frequency of the sound. This is the basis of their approach. These guys have created malware that alters the rotation speed, and hence sound, of a computer fan to encode data.” It’s very, very slow, though.

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Sarah Lacy at Pando, with what looks like a punch against Facebook but turns into a Dutch uncle (Dutch aunt?) talk about news publishers. “Facebook has once again announced changes to how posts by media organizations appear on the News Feed. And once again, some publishers are shocked. I hesitate to make this analogy, but publishers relying on Facebook are starting to look a whole lot like drivers who keep trusting Uber to make their lives better.”

Google Glass has ended up where I expected: in medical/healthcare and industrial applications. And there’s nothing wrong with that and it’s not a failure. It’s just that if Google had started there it would have saved everyone a lot of handwringing. Anyway, plastic surgeons like Google Glass. “The surgeons who used used Glass for various cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures, in general, gave the device high ratings for comfort and overall satisfaction, the study said.” Good morning, Internet…

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