Opera Browser, Google Search, Bookplates, More: Friday Buzz, January 13, 2017


Opera has released an experimental browser. “As much as modern desktop web browsers can do, their basic concept is stuck in a rut. It’s not really designed for the way many people use the web, such as chatting while you surf. Opera wants to climb out of that hole, and it’s trying an unusual approach to make that happen: it’s launching Opera Neon, a separate “concept” browser that shows where software could go. It’s much more visual, with an uncluttered look, tabs and shortcuts as bubbles and a side control bar that largely gets out of your way. However, the real fun starts when you want to juggle multiple sites — this is more of an intelligent desktop than your usual web client.”


Google is saying its link: special search syntax is dead. “Yesterday, we covered that Google’s John Mueller said not to use the link operator. This comes a year or so after Google said the link operator is not dead yet. Well, now it is dead.” I just tried it and it works fine, so… ?

Hyperallergic has a writeup on a wonderful set of bookplates which were recently added to Flickr Commons. “Recently, the University of British Columbia (UBC) Library added bookplates from its Rare Books and Special Collections to their ongoing Flickr Commons album. These examples are part of the Thomas Murray Collection. … Along with those on Flickr, you can explore 1,095 digitized bookplates on the UBC Library website, with the option to sort by year and visual subject, such as heraldry, ships, and portraits.”

The Knight Foundation — AI In the Public Interest: How a New Fund Will Advance the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence. “For Knight Foundation, and our deeply rooted belief that informed and engaged communities are essential to democracy, exploring artificial intelligence is a natural. Identifying the ethical issues in AI, helping determine who decides them, and engaging diverse perspectives is the way we’ll make the most of AI’s potential to benefit society – and minimize its potential harm. A group of foundations, investors and academic institutions are joining in this unique collaboration, called the Ethics and Governance of Artificial Intelligence Fund.”

Mashable will be livestreaming the Trump inauguration. “The live broadcast will include the swearing in of Trump as 45th President of the United States and Mike Pence as vice president in addition the Inaugural Address and Parade. Coverage will run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET on Jan. 20. Managing editor Judy Woodruff will anchor the broadcast along with NewsHour correspondents John Yang reporting from the U.S. Capitol and Lisa Desjardins from the National Mall.”

Looks like Google might be easing out of drones. “Google’s high-flying drone dreams may be dashed for now. Its parent company, Alphabet, has reportedly cut the Titan program, which Google first acquired in 2014.”


MakeUseOf: Make YouTube Even Better With These 15 Amazing Tools. “Do you want to add lyrics to music videos? Get YouTube to play in a pop-out window? Print a video storyboard? Mix together some of your favorite songs? There are third-party tools that’ll allow you to do all that and more. Are you ready to supercharge your YouTube experience? Here are 15 of the best third-party apps, websites, add-ons, and extensions you should be using.”

From Info We Trust: A History of DataViz. “After examining the history of data visualization greats I decided to collect my learnings in the style of history’s data visualization greats. The first of these visual summaries is presented and discussed below.” This is really nice.

A useful trick from the Getty Research Institute Library: A Smartphone Trick for Viewing Negatives. “We allow researchers to use their smartphone cameras to take study images of material during their visits in our Special Collections Reading Room. Many of our library visitors benefit from this opportunity to snap photos to aid them in their research. The trusty smartphone has a handy trick in its settings features that can also help researchers to view negative film in positive colors. We tried it out and were quite pleased with the results.”


Forbes: Do Social Media Platforms Really Care About Online Abuse? “Each time the platforms miss something, the typical response from the companies tends to be along the line of limited resources – that the platforms process so much content that they simply lack the human review resources to go through all that content. Yet, when it comes to other fields like food safety, we don’t argue that salmonella outbreaks are perfectly acceptable because it would cost too much for companies to invest in the equipment, training and processes to avoid it. We understand that there is always a risk of an outbreak, but we expect that food processing companies will pay the costs to avoid it to the best that technology and human capability permits today.”


Meet the New Year, same as the Old Year – Adobe is patching security flaws. “Adobe today released its first patches of the year, a familiar refrain of Flash Player and Reader fixes, none of which are under attack. The Flash update addresses 13 vulnerabilities, all but one of which trigger remote code execution attacks. Meanwhile, 29 bugs were patched in Reader and Acrobat, and all but one enable code execution.”

Eeek! From TheNextWeb: Dutch journalists hack local politicians’ Twitter accounts to expose weak security . “If gaining access to an account is as easy as searching for an account in leaked databases (and sometimes breaking a weak hash), it’s not only easy for Twitter vandals to log in, but also for more malicious state actors – spy agencies and the likes. That’s why a couple of Dutch journalists from local news channel RTL Nieuws decided to take matters in their own hands and demonstrate how easy it can be to access accounts of high level politicians. Journalists Daniël Verlaan and Siebe Sietsma found account data of two local politicians in leaked databases, broke the encryption on the passwords and proceeded to tweet from the politicians’ Twitter accounts.”


Reuters: Third of global consumers open to Google, Amazon banking -survey. “Roughly one in three banking and insurance customers globally would consider switching their accounts to Google (GOOGL.O), Amazon (AMZN.O) or Facebook (FB.O) if the Silicon Valley giants offered financial services, according to a new survey on Wednesday.” Good morning, Internet…

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