Canadian Infrastructure, Windows 10, Chrome Remote Desktop, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, December 29, 2016


Now available: a database of stalled or arrested resource projects in Canada. “Resistance to infrastructure projects — whether they be pipelines, hydro dams, mines or wind turbines — has become commonplace in Canada. But it’s costing us. As part of a four-month investigation, the Financial Post identified as many as 35 projects, worth $129 billion, that have been stalled or cancelled due to opposition from environmental, aboriginal and/or community groups. To better understand the impact, we sent reporters to communities affected by activist opposition, and talked to experts on both sides of the debate about the origins, costs and necessity of activism.”


Is Windows going to kill off automatic updates for Windows 10? “Microsoft could finally be solving one of Windows 10’s biggest irritations: automatic updates. Winaero’s Sergey Tkachenko noticed a new feature that would allow users to delay an update for up to 35 days in a recent leaked build of the Windows 10 Creator Update.”


9to5 Google: How to use Chrome Remote Desktop to help friends and family with new devices. “If you’re anything like me, you spend basically all of your time on ‘holiday’ not with family enjoying a nice cup of cocoa, but rather fixing and setting up all their devices. This can be annoying itself, but when you go back home, it can be even more of a pain helping out remotely without being able to see what they see. One app from Google that can help in this situation — it’s been available for Chrome and Chrome OS for a while now — is Chrome Remote Desktop.”

The Next Web: The best Chrome extensions to boost your productivity in 2017. “We’ve rounded up 28 of the best extensions to help you take notes, plan your day, tame your email inbox, research like a pro and stay on top of your workload, all without leaving your browser. Tip: Although these are designed for use with Chrome, you can actually use them with Opera too.” Well-annotated, multiple pages.


Kickstarter Corner: a Kickstarter to back up climate data in advance of the Trump administration has been launched. “So far our volunteers have backed up nearly 1 terabyte of climate data from NASA and other agencies. We’ll do a lot more! We just need some funds to pay for storage space and a server until larger institutions take over this task. If we exceed our funding goal we will back up more data, create a better interface for getting it, and put more work into making sure it’s error-free and authenticated. We’ll keep you informed of how we spend your contributions.” The Kickstarter had a goal of $5,000 – which it has already surpassed – and will continue until January 31.

Wall Street Journal (and not paywalled as far as I can tell): How to Tweet if You’re in Government and Not Donald Trump: Write, Review, Edit, Seek Approval, Wait, Edit, (Maybe) Send. “In 2010, a top Justice Department official told the agency’s divisions they could set up Twitter accounts and he convened a ‘working group’ to provide guidance on what, when and how the agency could tweet. They’re still working on it.”

The New York Times: Advertising’s Moral Struggle: Is Online Reach Worth the Hurt?. “Advertising on the internet has never been easier. Data and automation increasingly allow companies large and small to reach millions of people every month, and to tailor ads to specific groups based on their browsing habits or demographics. Now, however, the marketing industry is facing a moral quandary in the face of a national debate over the role that fake news played in the presidential election and the realization that many websites that promote false and misleading stories are motivated by the money they can make from online advertising.”


The state of Nevada accidentally leaked data on would-be medical marijuana sellers. And there was a LOT of data. “Nevada’s state government website has leaked the personal data on over 11,700 applicants for dispensing medical marijuana in the state. Each application, eight pages in length, includes the person’s full name, home address, citizenship, and even their weight and height, race, and eye and hair color. The applications also include the applicant’s citizenship, their driving license number (where applicable), and social security number.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION New data-mining strategy that offers unprecedented pattern search speed could glean new insights from massive datasets. “Searching for recurring patterns in network systems has become a fundamental part of research and discovery in fields as diverse as biology and social media. KAUST researchers have developed a pattern or graph-mining framework that promises to significantly speed up searches on massive network data sets.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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