Dambudzo Marechera, Local News, MA Data Breaches, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, January 5, 2017


Now available: a digital archive for Zimbabwean writer Dambudzo Marechera. The page I’m linking to is in German, which I’m translating via Chrome. Apologies for weirdness. “The collection consists of the entire literary estate, as well as a wealth of materials on the biography and the history of the author’s work. The archive was set up and administered by Marecheras estate administrator and biographer Flora Veit-Wild, from 1994 to 2012 professor for African literatures and cultures at the IAAW of the HU.”

A new Web site allows users to watch local news broadcasts from all over the US (PRESS RELEASE). “NewsON comprises 175 stations in 113 markets covering 84% of the U.S. population, including 48 of the top 50 markets and 89 out of the top 100 markets. NewsON is the first-of-its-kind service that provides consumers with access to live and on-demand local newscasts as well as local news clips on mobile, web and connected TV devices.”

The state of Massachusetts has created an online archive of data breaches. “On Tuesday, the state Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation made public an online archive of data breach notifications affecting Massachusetts residents from 2007 through 2016. The state’s Data Breach Security Law, in effect since Oct. 31, 2007, requires businesses and others that own or license personal information of state residents to notify affected residents, the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation and the office of the attorney general when they know or have reason to know that the personal information of a resident was acquired or used by an unauthorized person, or used for an unauthorized purpose.”


Twitter continues its foray into sports by teaming up with the PGA. “The deal, which comes after Twitter streamed Thursday Night Football this season, will include as much as 90 minutes of analysis and live coverage of early Thursday and early Friday rounds. That equates to more than 70 hours of coverage across the 31 tournaments that comprise the rest of the 2016-17 schedule, according to a joint news release from Twitter and the PGA Tour.”

Google has self-driving cars. Meanwhile, in China, Baidu has robots (PRESS RELEASE). “Baidu, China’s leading search engine, and Ainemo Inc., China’s top technology driven consumer electronic company, jointly unveiled ‘Little Fish’ (Chinese name: Xiaoyu Zaijia), a voice-controlled family robot powered by Baidu’s AI at Digital Experience! and CES 2017. ”


Lifehacker: Annotate Twitter Profiles of People You Follow With Whodis. “Chrome: If you’ve been using Twitter for years and follow a lot of people, you can eventually lose track of who everyone is and why you followed them in the first place. Whodis for Chrome adds the ability to add a note to anyone’s profile.”

Good overview from CNET: How IFTTT support differs with Alexa and Google Assistant. “Both Google Home and the Alexa speakers come with one very important feature: IFTTT support. Without it, Google Home would be relegated to only working with a handful of products, and the list of devices and services compatible with Alexa would be more than halved. IFTTT support for Google Assistant and Alexa, however, are very different. While you can accomplish many of the same things, there are some key differences in what you can do with IFTTT using a Google Home or an Alexa speaker.”


If you’ve been reading ResearchBuzz for a while you’re probably aware that Baidu is THE search engine in China. But it looks like it’s getting some stiffer competition. “Sogou, whose name means ‘search dog,’ plans to sell about 10 percent of its shares in an IPO that will probably be held this year, Chief Executive Officer Wang Xiaochuan said in an interview. The company, which is backed by social media giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. and Inc., hasn’t formally hired banks to run the listing. Sohu shares rose the most in 10 months.”


This is revolting and I’m sorry to link to it, but it’s important: four teenagers have been arrested after tying up and beating a young man and broadcasting the assault on Facebook Live. “On Thursday, Chicago police are expected to charge four black teenagers after a Facebook Live video surfaced of them binding, gagging, and assaulting a young white man, described by police as having ‘mental health challenges.'” Nobody’s color should matter here. It’s egregious whether everyone involved was all Black, all White, or all Plaid.


Turns out that forcing people to use their real names online might not be a great idea. “People often say that online behavior would improve if every comment system forced people to use their real names. It sounds like it should be true – surely nobody would say mean things if they faced consequences for their actions? Yet the balance of experimental evidence over the past thirty years suggests that this is not the case. Not only would removing anonymity fail to consistently improve online community behavior – forcing real names in online communities could also increase discrimination and worsen harassment.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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