Vintage Electronic Games, Internet Archive, Ad-Blocking, More: Monday Buzz, October 24, 2016


New to me: an online database of vintage electronics games. Oh, the nostalgia! “With ‘prefab search options’ you can quickly glance through decades of ‘electronic plastic’ games and electronics from 1976 through 1990, broken down by categories like battery (LR44, AA, even solar), size, color, year, and form factor (handhled, tabletop, and even watch games!).” I’m not going to tell you which of these handheld football games I owned.


Some mindbending stats from the Internet Archive. “The Internet Archive has been archiving the web for 20 years and has preserved billions of webpages from millions of websites. These webpages are often made up of, and link to, many images, videos, style sheets, scripts and other web objects. Over the years, the Archive has saved over 510 billion such time-stamped web objects, which we term web captures.”

Financial Times did some interesting experiments to combat ad-blocking. “In July, The Financial Times ran a 30-day experiment to see what it would take to get people to whitelist the site in their adblocking software. Fifteen thousand of its registered users were split into three groups, each of which had access restricted in different ways.”


MakeUseOf: 5 Facebook Apps to Find Events, Places, Music, Recipes, or Funny Posts “Facebook is awesome. But the sheer amount of information it pushes towards you all the time can be overwhelming. How do you sift through them to find the gems? A few apps and sites are already doing that job for you. Some of the specialized tools are made by Facebook itself to help you find stuff easily. Others are made by fans who just want to get to content without jumping through hoops.”

Want to time how long spend on various Web sites? Then you’ve got more nerve than me. Also, you need this Chrome extension. “TimeYourWeb has a few ways to see how much time you’ve spent on a site. While you’re on a page, the extension icon in your toolbar will show you how long you’ve spent on a given tab so far, so you can see if you’re wasting too much time at a glance.”


Amnesty International ranks the privacy of various online messaging tools. “Tech companies like Snapchat and Skype’s owner Microsoft are failing to adopt basic privacy protections on their instant messaging services, putting users’ human rights at risk, Amnesty International said today. The organization’s new ‘Message Privacy Ranking’ assesses the 11 companies with the most popular messaging apps on the way they use encryption to protect users’ privacy and freedom of expression across their messaging apps.”

Knowledge @ Wharton: Can Snapchat Avoid Twitter’s Slowing Growth Trap? “Those over 35 might not understand why a five-year-old app with silly features could be more attractive to investors than Twitter, which is having difficulty finding a buyer despite being an entrenched tech brand whose service is used by many heads of state. But Twitter is stumbling while Snapchat has stayed surprisingly resilient.”

I am way too chicken to do this but it’s an interesting idea. From Fusion: This bot took $250 million from people’s bank accounts—for their own good. “In hopes of making saving easier, San Francisco-based start-up Digit created a chatbot that helps you put money aside by analyzing your spending history and daily activity. It then figures out where to siphon off small sums of cash on a regular basis. To see how well the bot’s algorithms work, I decided to try it out.”

You can tell video advertising is getting hot because the prime players are sniping at each other. “YouTube has taken a thinly veiled shot at those rivals like Facebook that would encourage advertisers to spend on videos that play without sound, using its Upfronts yesterday (20 October) to reassure attendees that its audience ‘continues to watch not scroll’ posts, with most (96%) doing so with the sound on.”


Microsoft has a warning about malware that leads to support call scams. “Wouldn’t it be a shame if, in trying to secure your PC, you inadvertently install malware and run the risk of being scammed? We recently discovered a threat detected as SupportScam:MSIL/Hicurdismos.A that pretends to be a Microsoft Security Essentials installer. Microsoft Security Essentials is our antimalware product for Windows 7 and earlier. In Windows 10 and Windows 8, Windows Defender provides antimalware protection and is installed and enabled by default when Windows is installed. However, some users may believe they also need to download and install Microsoft Security Essentials.”

The Intercept: The U.S. Government Wants To Read Travelers’ Tweets Before Letting Them In. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection wants to start collecting ‘information associated with your online presence’ from travelers from countries eligible for a visa waiver, including much of Europe and a handful of other countries. ”


Depressing – really depressing – but so important: Bots, Lies And Propaganda: The New Misinformation Economy “The ‘attention economy’ is rapidly transforming itself into a misinformation economy in which it is profitable for some players to use widespread lies, conspiracy theories and other propaganda, especially through social media. This article summarises recent media research findings which reveal the risks and collateral damage of modern communication technologies.” Good morning, Internet…

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