Scottsboro Trials, Google Daydream View, Snapchat, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, November 10, 2016


The University of Alabama has launched a new online archive about the Scottsboro trials. “In 1931, nine African American teenagers were accused of raping two White women on a train. The defendants were apprehended in Alabama and were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death in Scottsboro, Alabama. The case was appealed and dragged on for many years. During the appeals processes, one of the women who had claimed to have been raped recanted her story and said she had never been touched by the defendants. However, the guilty verdicts were upheld.”


Google Daydream View is now available. “From seeing a dinosaur come back to life, to traveling to the farthest reaches of Pluto, to saving a runaway goat from dangerous traps, Daydream brings you on immersive virtual reality adventures powered by a smartphone. And now you can experience it all with Daydream View, a VR headset and controller made by Google available in stores today…”

You know, I really need to get into Snapchat. But I’m terrible at it. I have nobody to snap with. Snapchat lets you surround yourself with confetti, clouds and butterflies. “The chat and entertainment app’s latest updates includes new effects that overlay virtual objects in photos and videos. Golden butterflies flutter around a room, or clouds with faces float overhead. An airhorn hovers in the image, and when pressed on the screen, unleashes a blaring sound and showers confetti.”

More Instagram updates. From TechCrunch: Instagram will now let creators add URL links, tag friends, and create Boomerangs in Stories. “Starting today the company will let creators add URL links to their stories that viewers can navigate to without leaving Instagram, add the ability for users to be ‘@ mentioned’ in someone’s story, and add the ability to add a Boomerang to your story without having to go create one in the separate Boomerang app.”


I’m just trying to keep you hip (not really): Mannequin Challenge is the internet’s newest obsession. “Social media’s been rocked by a new trend that involves doing nothing whatsoever. Seriously. Well, not quite. The #MannequinChallenge requires groups of participants to assume a dramatic pose (could be anything) while hip hop duo Rae Sremmurd’s new song “Black Beatles” blares in the background.”


Okayyyyyy: apparently Google tried to acquire Reddit in 2005? “Google attempted to acquire Reddit back in the site’s early days in 2005, cofounder Alexis Ohanian said at a press conference at Web Summit in Lisbon on Thursday.”

This is probably supposed to be a marketing gimmick. Speaking as a consumer it comes off as irritating. But Snapchat is really good at making correct moves, so what do I know. CNET: You can buy Snapchat Spectacles today (if you’re lucky). “Forget preorders or waltzing into a Best Buy. Instead, you’ll need to hunt down a Snapbot, a vending machine just for selling Spectacles. It seems Snapchat has just one vending machine that will be journeying across the US, one spot at a time. You can expect the locations to be big cities or densely populated areas, like New York and Los Angeles, for example. The first stop is Santa Monica, California.”


And it’s Sophos with the patch Tuesday roundup. “Microsoft’s latest Patch Tuesday is out, even if Redmond’s monthly updates haven’t officially been called ‘patches’ for more than two years now. There are 14 bulletins this time around, broken down in severity as follows…”

Yikes! Apparently an iPhone bug can force iPhones to repeatedly dial 911. “Last month, we covered the arrest of a teenager who utilized a bug to spread a malicious link on Twitter that forced iPhones to repeatedly call 911. And now, we finally know how the bug actually works.”


WECT: Friendly competition on social media may get you to the gym. “Social media can be a powerful motivating tool. But if your goal is to get to the gym more often, competition beats friendly support on social networking sites, a new study contends.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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