New Zealand Crime, Fake News, Facebook Video Captioning, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, November 15, 2016


New Zealand law enforcement will launch a new tool for reporting crime data. “From Wednesday 30th November, a new user-friendly online tool will be available for the public to access Police crime data. ‘Until now, Police has not had an effective tool that allowed us to report recorded crime data in an easily accessible format online,’ says Deputy Chief Executive for Strategy, Mark Evans. ‘But as of 30 November, we are launching a new, interactive tool that will provide the public with access to a range of easily accessible information about victims, offenders and crime trends.'”


BuzzFeed: Renegade Facebook Employees Form Task Force To Battle Fake News. “The employees declined to provide many details on the task force. One employee said ‘more than dozens’ of employees were involved, and that they had met twice in the last six days. At the moment, they are meeting in secret, to allow members of the group to speak freely and without fear of condemnation from senior management. The group plans to formalize its meetings and eventually make a list of recommendations to Facebook’s senior management.”


Center for Community Journalism: How to easily create captions and subtitles for Facebook videos. “If you are posting videos to Facebook or streaming to Facebook Live, you may have noticed other videos which have captions so that viewers can read what is being covered if they have their audio turned off. This week I noticed a new feature on Facebook – the ability on your Facebook Page to automatically generate and edit SRT captions. Note: this feature is not yet available on Facebook Profiles and I am not sure if it will be as there are many feature differences on Facebook Profiles versus Facebook Pages.”

The good news: the Knight Center started a MOOC about podcasting. The bad news: it started yesterday. “The Knight Center course is tailored to journalists and media practitioners, but is open to anyone wanting to start a podcast. The course will provide an introduction to the medium; review different formats like storytelling and talk show styles; teach how to plan and script episodes; go over technical aspects of production; and cover marketing and best practices for audio recording.”


StateTech Magazine: Maine State Library Relies on Technology to Take on Important Digitization Project. “In an attempt to preserve historical state documents, the library is relying on volunteers, scanning technology and a cloud-based repository platform.”

The New York Times: Breaking Up With Twitter. “As a business, Twitter had not been having a good run before the presidential election reached its spectacular conclusion. New users aren’t joining the service and longtime denizens have been using it less. When Twitter tried to sell itself this fall, nobody wanted to buy it. Both potential users and would-be acquirers seem turned off by its complexity, its ugliness (Twitter has become a haven for misogynists, racists and other trolls), and most deeply its apparent uselessness for people who aren’t clustered in the bubbles of tech, politics and media.” Tech giants Apple and Google get into the solar business. “The next time you turn on the lights, you may have a tech company to thank, instead of a traditional utility. Apple Inc. and Google rely on solar and other renewable energy to power their big data centers. But they also have the ability to sell their surplus renewable energy directly in the electricity market.” They have surplus?


Aaaaaaand the latest giant privacy breach is… Adultfriendfinder! “Adult dating service company Friend Finder Network has reportedly been hacked, with over 412 million accounts, email addresses, and passwords from their websites made available on criminal marketplaces. Notably, the database does not include more detailed personal information, but could still be used to confirm whether a person was a user of the service.”


Wow! From The Irish Times: The start-up that analyses 100,000 social media posts per second. “Paul McWilliams and Dr Martin Spollen have created a start-up called Yedup which can analyse and extract information on any specific subject from more than 100,000 social media posts every single second. Yedup uses algorithms to sift out and find exact information on target subjects, sectors and issues in real time from global social media streams.”

Mine is the one with the tea and the cat hair. From the Wall Street Journal: Cellphone Smudges Yield a Trove of Forensic Data. “Traces of molecules and microbes left when you handle your phone can add up to a composite portrait, including gender, diet, medications, clothing, beauty products, and places visited, researchers at the University of California in San Diego said Monday.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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