Facebook, Science Videos, Opera, More: Friday Buzz, December 16, 2016


Facebook has launched a new “Parent’s Portal”. “To be clear, this is not a set of guidelines that will teach parents younger people’s lingo or give them insight into what their kids want out of the world or out of Facebook today; or give them a way of monitoring or deleting their kids’ accounts. (As Facebook has said before, privacy laws forbid this.) Instead, this is a set of safety guidelines, as well as resources, to help first-time Facebook users, specifically younger people who want to sign up and get to grips with Facebook.”


OpenEd has added a bunch of science-themed videos and games to its content. “‘The addition includes science videos and games from quality publishers such as Scishow, CrashCourse, Veritasium, MinutePhysics—all with confirmed NGSS alignments. These add to the existing science resources in the OpenEd library from publishers including NASA, Smithsonian, Bozeman Science and many more,’ said OpenEd in a statement.”

New in Opera: a currency converter. “The new feature is simple. You can set the browser to automatically show foreign currency prices in your currency of choice. That allows you to get a quick conversion when you highlight a price, using the daily exchange rate from the European Central Bank. Given the rate of speed that Amazon, Alibaba and others are making cross-border trade happen worldwide, that could be a nifty feature for many Opera stalwarts.”

Google has updated Google Wallet. “Available across all browsers, the updated Wallet website has a brand new look and added features, which will make planning that New Year’s trip with friends a breeze.”

YouTube has blocked North Korea’s propaganda channel. But… “…North Korea’s YouTube channel wasn’t taken down because of the actual propaganda produced by a brutal dictatorship, but because North Korea could have made money from the videos though YouTube’s built-in advertising system.”


Quick tech tip from the NYT: How to back up your social media feeds.

Gizmodo: How to Make Windows 10 Look Like Windows XP. “Times were simpler in 2001. Amazon had just turned its first profit, Google was still just doing search, and Windows had a new bright green Start button you could spot from the other side of a room. If you want to coat your modern Windows OS with some vintage XP design cues, here’s how to do it.”

I need to find time to do this over the weekend. From CNET: How to move your photos from Flickr to Google Photos. “After the latest Yahoo hack, you might be ready to delete your Yahoo account. Before you do so, however, you need to save your Flickr photos from oblivion. When you shut down your Yahoo account, your Flickr account gets deleted along with it.”

From Amit Agarwal (of course): How to Add a Picture Password to your Google Forms. “…Google Forms do not allow passwords or CAPTCHAs to prevent spam bots from filling your forms with random data. Google itself maintains the reCAPTCHA project but it is not known if integration with Google Forms is in the works. There is a workaround, though.”


The latest African country which might block Internet access for political reasons is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (as opposed to the Republic of the Congo.) “Authorities in Democratic Republic of Congo have asked telecoms companies to block social media networks from Monday, apparently to thwart protests against plans by President Joseph Kabila to stay in power beyond the end of his mandate.”


Doesn’t look like Google and Indonesia will be reaching a deal on taxes any time soon. “An offer by Google to settle a tax dispute with the Indonesian government was too small and a deal will not be reached this year, the head of the tax office’s special cases branch said.”


MIT Technology Review: If Only AI Could Save Us from Ourselves. “Google has an ambitious plan to use artificial intelligence to weed out abusive comments and defang online mobs. The technology isn’t up to that challenge—but it will help the Internet’s best-behaving communities function better.” Good morning, Internet…

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