New Mexico Business, Reddit AMA, File Compression, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, July 26, 2016


A new business search engine is being tested in New Mexico. “Yellcast is more like a personal yellow pages delivered to your computer where merchants can update their listings with photos, products, offers and seasonal specials as often as necessary, and shoppers can engage when they are ready to look for products and services.” Based on the business model it sounds like an odd blend of Thumbtack and Yelp.


Ever read one of those headlines that just makes your brain lock up? Check this out: Donald Trump to host Reddit AMA. “The Republican presidential nominee is scheduled to host a Reddit AMA (short for Ask Me Anything) session starting at 6:30 p.m. ET [on Wednesday, not today], his campaign announced Monday.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Free Tools to Reduce File Size of Videos, MP3s, PDFs, & Images.

Goyello has started a blog series on machine learning. “Using machine learning is similar to being a scientists performing experiments. Every day you look for new components or experiment in various conditions. Before we start our scientific career though, let’s prepare the lab. It may be less interesting part of the job, still that’s where we have to start.”


TheNextWeb: Facebook admits blocking WikiLeaks’ DNC email links, but won’t say why. This article nails exactly why this is so important: “Facebook can call the issues disparate, but they’re not — not to users. At some point, the ignorance and blind claims of ‘damn that algorithm’ have to end. If Facebook wants us to turn to it for news and treat it seriously, then it has to be much more open.” Or people are going to make up their own reasons and they won’t be complimentary.

Pando, which I read every time I can get my little mitts on an unlocked article, takes a look at Twitter. “Morgan Stanley focused on user engagement and found that it isn’t deteriorating on Facebook as a whole, which shouldn’t be a surprise. Facebook Live has stolen some of Twitter’s ‘real time’ thunder, but more to the point, Facebook just has so many ways to win. It has the core site, Messenger which has 1 billion users now, and it’s still got Instagram and WhatsApp. Even if Snapchat is stealing Instagram’s thunder with a certain demographic, that’s only one part of the business. Meantime, Morgan says engagement hasn’t bottomed at Twitter and is still deteriorating.”

What a long, strange, depressing trip it’s been — a look back at the Yahoo Timeline. Jerry Yang gets a lot of heat for some of his decisions, but I think the heart of it all is Terry Semel’s decision to go in the media/content direction rather than the tech direction. Marissa Mayer just amplified that bad decision to an astounding degree (and with far less justification.)


A great question from Techdirt: Will The FTC Investigate People & Companies Paid By Facebook To Use Facebook Live? “Now, to be clear, I’m skeptical about the FTC’s rules because they create free speech questions. So far, the FTC’s enforcement over its own guidelines has been, well, haphazard and seemingly arbitrary at best. However, the FTC did update its guidelines last year, and it seems like not disclosing these payments could create some problems, if the FTC decided to step in.”


Research from Johns Hopkins: Twitter Sentiment Provides Clues to Stock Performance, Carey Researcher Shows. “Can financial intelligence be found in the ‘twitterverse’? Specifically, does a vast amount of social media sentiment provide clues to how a stock will perform? A new study by a Johns Hopkins business professor says yes, a strong contemporaneous correlation does exist between the mood of a day’s worth of tweets about a particular stock and the performance of that stock.”


I remain in awe of what some brilliant people can do with Minecraft. It will be used to recreate the Great Fire of London. “The Great Fire began in Thomas Farriner’s bakery on Pudding Lane on September 2, 1666. The city burned for three days, the flames spreading rapidly west and consuming the homes of approximately 70,000 of London’s then-80,000 population. It also burned through landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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