UWM Post, Iceland Volcanoes, Facebook, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, February 3, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee has digitized its student newspaper archives. “The archives recently completed digitizing the entire collection of UWM Posts to mark the 60th anniversary of the paper’s founding. Now published exclusively online, the UWM Post appeared in campus newspaper racks for more than 55 years.”

Now available: a Web site providing information on volcanoes in Iceland. “The Catalogue, which is in English, is an interactive web-based tool and includes information about Iceland’s 32 volcanic systems. It offers a wealth of information about the volcanoes, such as the frequency of eruptions, activity status, lava fields, seismic activity, and photos and descriptions of every volcano.” This is really nicely done.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

TheNextWeb: Facebook’s new search AI lets you find images by content. “The technology – called Lumos – was first used to improve Facebook’s accessibility for visually-impaired users, allowing images to be described by their content. But the technology has other uses, such as making it easier to find photos of places or objects.”

Mozilla is conducting a round of layoffs. “The nonprofit organization told employees Thursday that it is eliminating the team tasked with bringing Firefox to connected devices, according to people familiar with the situation. ”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf has a writeup on a tool that lets you look up biases for a media site. I threw a bunch of news sites at this. Many it got (Sputnik, South China Morning Post, Indian Express) but a couple it didn’t (Japan Times, New Straits Times)

Like Twitter? Like R? You’ll like this tutorial: How to set up a Twitter bot using R. “To operate this account, we wrote an R script for reading the current number of R packages on CRAN every hour and automatically sending a Tweet with the status quo. All we needed to make this work was the Twitter API as well as the twitteR package.”

Do you feel yourself a little TOO concerned about how many responses your Facebook posts get? Use this tool and chill. “We’re all spending a lot of time on Facebook which can be very stressful. If you don’t want to log off completely for whatever reasons, there are a variety of extensions to help you lower some of the anxiety attached to using the platform. Facebook Demetricator removes the numbers game in hopes to lower your stress around checking social media.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Interesting. Cambodia Daily has a story about a search engine built on top of mined Facebook data. “A tech startup has taken advantage of the rise of Cambodia’s e-commerce industry and launched a new search engine for business information posted on Facebook. The web app …mines Facebook’s business profiles and presents data related to specified keywords.” Have I missed something similar in the US? Facebook’s own search is not terrific.

TechCrunch: Medium plans to launch a consumer subscription product this quarter. “Medium CEO Ev Williams announced today at Upfront Summit that his company will launch a consumer subscription product, with the first version coming this quarter. This could help develop an additional revenue stream apart from advertisements. Finding a strong revenue source is critical, since Medium decided to lay off 50 staff, close its New York office, and announce a new direction last month.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

From NPR: Searching For ‘Facebook Customer Service’ Can Lead To A Scam. “Imagine that one day you’re kicked off Facebook. It happens, regularly. You may not know why exactly. It looks like an algorithm may have done it — and now you need to reach a human being at the company to get back on. NPR has interviewed more than two dozen users in that situation — all people who rely on Facebook to do their work, make their living. Their stories, which we’ll share in a separate article, made us wonder: If you needed to reach Facebook, what would you do?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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