Photographers Worldwide, Barack Obama, Google Translate, More: Thursday Buzz, January 26, 2017


Now available: a global photographer directory (PRESS RELEASE). “Currently in beta, the Directory already has 50,000 photographers in more than 11,000 locations representing 191 countries…. Prospective clients can browse photographer profiles by geographic location and specialty. These profiles include brief photographer bios, self-selected photo galleries of their best work, their availability, the equipment they use, and the languages they speak.”

That was quick: the Barack Obama Library Web site has already launched. “The Barack Obama Presidential Library is the fourteenth library to become part of the Presidential Libraries system administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). The Library will be built in Chicago’s Jackson Park and is expected to open to the public in 2021. But you don’t have to wait until 2021 to access content related to the Obama administration.”


Google’s live translate feature now includes Japanese. “Thanks to Google’s live camera translation feature, all you have to do is point your phone’s camera at the text in question, wait a little bit, and then watch in awe as Google translates it for you on the spot. And now, Google Translate has added support for instant English to and from Japanese for this feature.”

Firefox has gotten some updates. “Today’s release of Firefox includes various features for developers and users that enable a richer and safer experience on the web.”

A little late to the party, but Tumblr has added stickers and filters. “Frankly, it’s surprising it took this long, but I’m complaining; stickers are great. Tumblr is also differentiating itself a 3D aesthetic to its stickers, which I think have an oddly retro-kitsch charm. Its filters are also stronger and more colorful than what we normally see from other apps – Tumblr says both choices were intentional.”

Google has launched a new line of Chromebooks and I must say they look pretty good. “Look out for new Chromebooks from Acer, Asus, HP, Dell, and Lenovo in addition to the recently announced Samsung Chromebooks—a powerful option for educators. With new apps, stylus and touch capabilities, we expect our partners will continue to build an even wider variety of Chromebooks in the future, including detachables and tablets.”

Google has added new partners to Google Assistant. “Connecting your Google Assistant on Google Home to other devices around your house can simplify your day and help you get more done. Last year we announced that Nest, Philips Hue and Samsung SmartThings are all available on Google Home to help you control your lights, thermostats and switches—with more partners coming soon. Today, ‘more’ have arrived—you can now add Belkin Wemo and Honeywell to that list.”

Google has gotten an Oscar nomination. “Google has cemented its position at the cutting edge of virtual reality cinema after earning an Academy Award nomination for a short film shot exclusively in the new medium.”


Recode: Inside Instagram’s reinvention. “Instagram was growing, yes, and finally generating some serious ad dollars — which Facebook had been waiting for since it bought the company for $1 billion back in 2012. But its user base was also growing, and it wasn’t all good growth: Instagram feeds that were once dominated by photos from friends and family members were becoming more impersonal.”

Now we’re just getting recursive. The Next Web: Facebook is copying Instagram’s copy of Snapchat’s Stories. “It was only a matter of time. After copying Snapchat’s Stories on Instagram – and then improving on them – Facebook proper is now testing a Stories feature as well.”


New York Times: A Trial and a Twitterstorm: On Live-Tweeting From a Federal Courthouse. “As I walked into a federal court in Dallas last Tuesday, waiting to hear the Facebook founder’s testimony, my pockets were filled with the items typical of a paranoid tech reporter on deadline: a laptop, my iPhone, spare batteries, charging cables, backup charging cables, a digital voice recorder, seven different ink pens and at least four of my favorite notebooks. I would broadcast his words to the world as quickly as I could, or watch my laptop die trying. Here is what I was not prepared for: A stern, six-foot tall retired United States Marshal, built like a brick house and with little time for pleasantries, telling me he’d kick me out of the courthouse if I sent one more tweet about the trial.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION Your (social media) votes matter. “When Tim Weninger conducted two large-scale experiments on Reddit – otherwise known as ‘the front page of the internet’ – back in 2014, the goal was to better understand the ripple effects of malicious voting behavior and the impact on what users see and share online. One could argue the study couldn’t be more timely.” Good morning, Internet…

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