Google Search, Presidential Election, David Livingstone, More: Saturday Buzz, August 27, 2016


Hey! Search Engine Roundtable notes if you search google for ** you might get results from local companies and services. (Based on the comments to the article my guess would be this is US only; it worked for me.) Barry is trying to get more information on the syntax, so keep an eye on the article.

Reuters has launched a new tool for the elections that sounds pretty ambitious. “Powered by the largest presidential tracking poll ever attempted, the new tool shows how each of the candidates’ support in the Reuters/Ipsos poll translates at the state level in the Electoral College and how changes in turnout among demographic and political groups could affect the result. Users are able to adjust turnout of different voter groups themselves to see how that could change who wins and who loses the election.”


The digital archive for British explorer David Livingstone has been updated. “Adrian Wisnicki, assistant professor of English at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, led a group of international scholars to update Livingstone Online with more than 7,500 digital documents – including letters, diaries, maps and sketches. Users can interact with the entire collection, which was formerly available only by visiting about dozens of libraries and archives around the globe.”

Maytag, as part of an advertising campaign, has launched a new Chrome plugin that eliminates “political smears” on Facebook and Twitter. “With the desktop app, content identified as containing political smears, using keywords identified by University of Michigan political scientist Arthur Lupia, will be blocked with a more politically neutral image, such as that of George Washington or a bald eagle. Users can see when the content has been blocked and unhide it if they choose.” I think “desktop app” means it just works on the non-mobile version of Chrome, just awkwardly said.

Facebook apparently thinks it’s 2002 so it’s testing video with autoplay sound. (BLEH. NO. DO NOT. PLEASE. I BEG YOU.) “From Tuesday local time, some Australians may notice autoplay on all types of video (including ads and Facebook Live) acting differently on their mobile app. In one version of the test, sound plays immediately as the video begins, if you have sound enabled on your device. Another group is able to turn sound on during the test session using an icon that will sit to the bottom right of videos.”


From the always-excellent Social Media Examiner: Video Production: How to Create Quality Videos Quickly. The article is built off a podcast, but the article itself is jam-packed with good stuff.

From – Explore Britain’s abandoned villages using Google Maps. “sn’t it strange to think there are places in Britain where folks once lived, but don’t anymore? Many centuries, even millennia-old settlements have been deserted due to illness, the elements or wartime requirements. A great way to discover some of the fascinating ghost towns and villages around the UK is through Google Maps online or via the Google Earth desktop program.”


From Voice of America: Social Media Crackdown: The New Normal for Africa?
Police in Burundi arrested eight people Saturday for allegedly circulating defamatory anti-government statements on social media. The Burundi case is not unique. The list of African countries trying to cut or control social media keeps growing, particularly during elections or periods of unrest.”

More on the Milwaukee Journal / Sentinel thing. “The work was soon underway when a catch developed — the ProQuest archives were incomplete. Milwaukee Journal images from 1910-1920 were unavailable, as were Milwaukee Sentinel images from 1837-1909. This amounted to about 30 per cent of the total. But [Paula] Kiely and the library let Google digitize the films it owned from those years, and a new resource was made available to the public.” And I have yet to hear a good reason that those archives are not available as public domain. If the answer turns out to be “Google’s digitized them so asserting some sort of copyright,” then Google, you just spit all over your motto.

Rumors: Twitter is working on a keyword-blocking tool. “Twitter Inc. is working on a keyword-based tool that will let people filter the posts they see, giving users a more effective way to block out harassing and offensive tweets, according to people familiar with the matter. The San Francisco-based company has been discussing how to implement the tool for about a year as it seeks to stem abuse on the site, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the initiative isn’t public. By using keywords, users could block swear words or racial slurs, for example, to screen out offenders.”


The government in Greece will use social media to monitor for possible tax dodgers. “Finance ministry officials said that an operation named ’24 hours’ will monitor about 1.8 million Greeks believed to be declaring an income inconsistent with their lavish lifestyles they enjoy and display on websites.”


I love finding research that busts the idea of older adults being technophobes. What digital divide? Seniors embrace social technology. “Contrary to popular belief, older adults enjoy emailing, instant messaging, Facebook and other forms of social technology. Not only that, but such online networking appears to reduce seniors’ loneliness and even improve their health. A new study by Michigan State University researcher William Chopik finds that social technology use among older adults is linked to better self-rated health and fewer chronic illnesses and depressive symptoms. The findings are published online in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking.” Good morning, Internet…

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