The Weekly Challenger, Podcasts, Good Fest, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, November 25, 2016


In development: a digital archive of The Weekly Challenger, a newspaper serving St. Petersburg’s African-American community. “[Lyn] Johnson’s dad, Cleveland Johnson, bought the paper in 1967 as a way to bring positive news of St. Petersburg’s black community to its residents. In a time when many black people felt that the mainstream news media lacked positive coverage of their neighborhoods and achievements, the paper filled a void. The publication covers everything from what’s going on nationally and how it affects black residents in the bay area to local church happenings and students’ academic achievements.”

I have been complaining for years (literally) about how awful it is to search for podcasts on iTunes. Now there’s a new tool to take on podcast discovery. From the Knight Foundation: Introducing RadioPublic: A New Way to Discover and Engage with Podcasts. “RadioPublic’s mission as a Public Benefit Corporation is to ‘help listeners discover, engage with, and reward the creators of podcasts and other audio.’ This is also our strategy, and our roadmap. We are starting with discovery, and will be layering in engagement next, followed by rewards — both for producers and listeners themselves.”


Alrighty then: Google is launching a music festival. “Google is launching a music festival called Good Fest later this month, which it is describing as a ‘a first-of-its-kind livestream festival for good,’ according to the event’s website. The first concert will see English indie band Glass Animals perform at BAM Cafe in New York City on November 29.”


Lifehacker: Google Images Can Help You Spot Fake News. “It’s easy to hop online and find information on just about anything, but it’s also easy to find unreliable, downright wrong information, too. Google Images can help detect a fake news story written around an image.”


Quartz: Facebook wants to enter China so bad it’s reportedly building censorship tools. “Facebook is serious enough about entering China that it is making efforts to meet the single most important criteria for it to get there: a robust commitment to censorship. The New York Times reports (paywall) that the social media giant has internally developed a tool designed to help suppress content, in hopes that it will appease authorities. News of the software’s creation highlights Facebook’s commitment to China, along with the ethical dilemma it will inevitably face.”

From The New Yorker: How I Learned to Game Twitter. “Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s C.E.O., likes to say that Twitter is ‘the future of communications.’ If that’s true, then communication is now a form of competition. The moment you write a tweet, you start receiving real-time statistics—faves and retweets. Like it or not, this affects your sense of self-worth.”


Paranoid about security? Now you get to worry about your headphones. “CAUTIOUS COMPUTER USERS put a piece of tape over their webcam. Truly paranoid ones worry about their devices’ microphones—some even crack open their computers and phones to disable or remove those audio components so they can’t be hijacked by hackers. Now one group of Israeli researchers has taken that game of spy-versus-spy paranoia a step further, with malware that converts your headphones into makeshift microphones that can slyly record your conversations.”

Wow, it looks like WordPress dodged a big hacky bullet. “Since 2013, WordPress has been updating itself, which is a good thing. Unless, that is, somebody hacks the update server. And that’s exactly where the WordPress security outfit WordFence found a vulnerability that could have led to the megahacking of 27% of the entire WWW.”


WIRED: Blame the Echo Chamber on Facebook. But Blame Yourself, Too. “My collaborators and I have studied echo chambers for some time now. And I know Mark Zuckerberg is wrong. Facebook can do more to help us break free from the filter bubble. But we are not helpless within it. We can easily break free but we choose not to.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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