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Snapchat, ASUS, Site Notifications, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, January 23, 2017

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Wire: There’s a Snapchat beta that lets you test new features before anyone else — here’s how to install it. “When Snapchat introduces a new feature, it often tests it first with users of its free beta program. This program isn’t exclusive to Snapchat employees; anyone can sign up and get the latest updates before the vast majority of Snapchatters. The only catch is that the beta program is for Android phones only.”

Hey! ASUS has launched a Raspberry Pi competitor. “t doesn’t matter if you want a computer the size of a card, a thumb drive or dice box — there’s a manufacturer out there that has you covered. You can now count ASUS in that mix, with the launch of its “Tinker Board”, a Cortex-powered mini-machine aimed at the Raspberry Pi crowd.” Bad news is it doesn’t look like it’s easily available in the US.

USEFUL STUFF

How-To Geek: How to Stop Websites From Asking to Show Notifications. “Web browsers now allow websites to show you notifications. Visit many news and shopping websites, and you’ll see a popup telling you the website wants to show notifications on your desktop. You can disable these notification prompts in your web browser if they annoy you.”

CrunchyTricks: 5 Ways to Find Someone on Facebook Without Logging In. “So, basically there are maximum chances that we can find anyone we want to via Facebook. But, is it necessary to login to our account if we want to find someone on Facebook? No, that’s not important. You can find people on Facebook without even logging in. You didn’t know that, right? It’s perfectly fine, I am here to tell you how can this be done.” The English in this article is a little awkward, but nothing that makes comprehension difficult.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

TheNextWeb: Why this Trello refugee has moved to (and is loving) Zenkit. “Earlier this month, the Australian tech giant Atlassian acquired Trello in a deal valued at $425 million. While Trello is a very simple application, it’s also hugely popular. By acquiring it, Atlassian is able to funnel this userbase to its other products, like Jira, HipChat, and Confluence. But many are worried that what made Trello so great – namely the fact that it’s tool- and domain-agnostic – will become diluted, and as a result are looking to other products to replace it. Myself included.”

Business Insider: How YouTube could capitalize on its rivals’ mistakes, and conquer the future of TV Step 1: Make search and recommendation features less of a joke… “YouTube, for all its grand scale in video, hasn’t really done much to disrupt the traditional TV market. But the time is ripe for YouTube to strike, according to Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves, who laid out a possible battle plan in a note distributed on Friday.”

Recode: Twitter says it ‘met many’ of its goals around diversity last year, so it’s setting new goals for 2017. “Most Silicon Valley tech companies have workforces that look the same: They’re predominantly white and predominantly male, especially in leadership and technical positions. Twitter is no different. But unlike most of its tech counterparts, the company set measurable goals for diversifying its staff in 2016, and now it says it ‘met or surpassed many of [them].'”

Lately I’ve been seeing more of the YouTubers I follow encourage their followers to connect with them on other social media platforms, like Snapchat and Instagram. This seems like more of the same. “More than most other major award shows, The Grammys have engaged with young viewers by teaming up with top personalities in the digital media space. Two years ago, for example, YouTube star Tyler Oakley served as a major presence on the event’s red carpet. The latest creator to get his own piece of music awards content is Jack Baran, who will host a companion show on Snapchat that will lead into the 59th Grammy Awards on February 12th, 2017.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

There is a big fight going on over whether or not WhatsApp is really secure and whether it has “backdoors.” Last week I linked to an article on the “yes” side. From TechCrunch, Here’s an article on the “no” side. “There is something about encryption that brings out the worst in journalists. Because to most of them it is magic, they are always searching desperately for the proverbial man behind the curtain, without knowing what to look for. Which may explain The Guardian’s recent bizarre attack on WhatsApp, which they accused, wrongly, of having a ‘backdoor.’ And the security community erupted in rage.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

I always worry when things start getting recursive. From MIT Technology Review: AI Software Learns to Make AI Software. “Progress in artificial intelligence causes some people to worry that software will take jobs such as driving trucks away from humans. Now leading researchers are finding that they can make software that can learn to do one of the trickiest parts of their own jobs—the task of designing machine-learning software.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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