Food Safety, Scots Language, Facebook, More: Saturday Buzz, December 3, 2016


Recently-launched: a Web site focusing on open sourcing food safety plans. “Starting a new food business or processing venture can be daunting, especially considering the proprietary nature of food safety plans and research results necessary to making our food system safe. The goal of the Open Source Food Safety Initiative is to make food safety information available to everyone. Building on concepts first developed by the Open Source Software movement, we aim to make food safety plans and information freely shareable, modifiable, and usable. This website is designed to serve as a forum for sharing, discussing, and collaborating on food safety information.”

A new site from the National Library of Scotland provides information on the Scots language. “The Wee Windaes website … is based on a careful selection of Scots language material from the countless examples in the vast collections of the National Library. The oldest is a performance poem from the 1440s, The Buke of the Howlat, through to the 20th-century writings of novelist and playwright Jessie Kesson. Examples of contemporary writing will be added as the site develops further.”


Facebook briefly interfered with / warned about a browser extension designed to detect bogus news on Facebook. “Two weeks ago, web designer Daniel Sieradski created B.S. Detector, a browser extension that alerts users to the presence of unreliable news sources, as a ‘proof of concept to counter [Facebook CEO] Mark Zuckerberg’s dubious claim that Facebook wasn’t in a position to really deal with fake news,’ he tells Quartz. Since then, the plugin has been downloaded and installed about 25,000 times. Today, however, some users attempting to share links to the B.S. Detector website on Facebook were interrupted by a warning from the social media company.”

Google has launched Santa’s Village for the season. “From sliding penguins to dancing elves, the residents of the North Pole are having the time of their lives, and now you can join in the merriment. This year you’ll find several new games in Santa’s Village, including four new ones only available on the Android app — including Present Quest, where you try your hand at recovering Santa’s misplaced gifts out in the real world.”

Snapchat has ditched Story Explorer. “A year after introducing Story Explorer as a way for people to view the events documented in Live Stories from many different angles, Snapchat is narrowing its aperture. Snapchat has removed the Story Explorer feature from its Live Stories, a Snapchat spokesperson confirmed. The discontinued feature may be as much a victim of its own tangled user experience as of Snapchat’s heightened editorial efforts around Live Stories.”

YouTube now supports 4K livestreaming. Just wow. “YouTube enabled support for 4K video on its site back in 2010, and today it’s bringing that same capability to live streaming. Both standard videos and 360 videos will be able to be live streamed in 4K, the company announced this morning.”

Twitter Moments are now available on mobile. “Aptly, Twitter created a Moment to explain the process of building one. Users can access the feature by choosing a tweet and clicking on the gray arrow in the upper right-hand corner. A pop-up window will appear with a tab that reads ‘Add to Moment.'”

Amazon has launched Amazon AI. “Amazon today announced the launch of its new Amazon AI platform at its re:Invent developer event in Las Vegas. This new service brings many of the machine learning smarts Amazon has developed in-house over the years to devs outside the company. For now, the service only makes three different tools available, but the plan is to add more over time.”


How biased is your Facebook feed? This Chrome extension will give you an idea. “It’s becoming increasingly clear that the internet isolates us into an echo chamber of agreement, rarely putting us in contact with ideas that might challenge us. In response to this, Princeton computer science student Zachary Liu has created a Chrome extension called PolitEcho that quickly analyzes a person’s Facebook data and then spits out some color-coded charts showing just how far to the left or right it leans.”

From New York Magazine, as I’m trying to find more reasons to use Snapchat: Use These Secret Hacks to Find Every Celebrity on Snapchat . “While it’s fairly easy to add personal friends via their names or cell-phone numbers in your address book, adding celebrities, athletes, politicians, and … please forgive me … influencers isn’t as simple, especially if you don’t know their usernames. Unlike other social apps (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram) Snapchat does not recommend people for you to follow based on those you already do. You’ve got to do the work yourself.”


From The Washington Post: The 16 most-Instagrammed places of 2016. “Instagram has released its annual list of the world’s most popular spots for taking photos — a veritable who’s who (or, perhaps, a where’s where) of the globe’s top tourist destinations. We’ve compiled Instagram posts featuring the top 16 locations of 2016, to lighten your cold-weather blues. Plus, if you’re making a New Year’s resolution to travel more, this list might spark some inspiration.”


The Intercept: Internet Archive Successfully Fends Off Secret FBI Order. “The archive, a nonprofit online library, has disclosed that it received another [National Security Letter] in August, its first since the one it received and fought in 2007. Once again it pushed back, but this time events unfolded differently: The archive was able to challenge the NSL and gag order directly in a letter to the FBI, rather than through a secretive lawsuit. In November, the bureau again backed down and, without a protracted battle, has now allowed the archive to publish the NSL in redacted form.” Good morning, Internet…

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