afternoonbuzz

Great Lakes, WhiteHouse.gov, Outlook.com, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, February 15, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

University of Michigan: Students and faculty build first geospatial database of Great Lakes, make available to public. “While the layperson may struggle to comprehend the full implications of the system, the web-based GLAHF Explorer provides a visualization that is as intriguing as it is instructive. Riseng’s team worked with developers for over a year to create the ecosystem management tool, employing “design thinking” methods to maximize the usability of the interface. With the entire Great Lakes basin mapped on a multi-layered grid, researchers and managers can overlay and examine data such as temperature, ice-cover duration, water depth, aquatic vegetation, and wave height for every location in the basin. Explorer also contains layers for shoreline classification, wetlands, and walleye populations, among others. ”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Oh boy. From USA Today: White House posts wrong versions of Trump’s orders on its website. “A USA TODAY review of presidential documents found at least five cases where the version posted on the White House website doesn’t match the official version sent to the Federal Register. The differences include minor grammatical changes, missing words and paragraph renumbering — but also two cases where the original text referred to inaccurate or non-existent provisions of law.”

Engadget: Microsoft’s Outlook.com subscription is officially available. “Microsoft’s paid take on email, Outlook.com Premium, is officially open for business: the company has quietly dropped the Preview label on its service, making it available to anyone in the US. Spend $50 per year ($20 if you act before March 31st) and you’ll get an ad-free inbox, custom domain support for up to five users, info sharing between those people. ”

TechCrunch: Google launches Cloud Spanner, its new globally distributed relational database service. “Google today announced the beta launch of Cloud Spanner, a new globally distributed database service for mission-critical applications. Cloud Spanner joins Google’s other cloud-based database services, like Bigtable, Cloud SQL and the Cloud Datastore, but with the crucial difference of offering developers the best of both traditional relational databases and NoSQL databases — that is, transactional consistency with easy scalability.”

USEFUL STUFF

I complain so much about the difficulty in finding podcasts that I was thrilled to see this article from MakeUseOf: How to Find Random New Podcasts Based on Length of Episodes. “Free iOS app Stabl makes it easy to find a podcast that will fill the exact length of your commute, lunch break, or whatever amount of time you have on your hands. If you’re a bit of a control freak, it might not be for you. Otherwise, it’s a great way to find fresh content that’s tailored to your schedule.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

WIRED UK: All hail the privacy pioneers! DuckDuckGo’s ambitious plans to be more than a search engine. “Almost seven years after founding the company, DuckDuckGo has become a staple search engine for the privacy-conscious. In January, Weinberg and his now 35-person strong team, announced DuckDuckGo had provided answers to more than ten billion search queries. These numbers are nowhere near those celebrated by Google, Bing, or Yahoo; Google alone has 3.5 billion searches a day, but the 38-year-old has ambitions to grow beyond search. ‘We’ve had a very narrow focus for the life of the company because it has been hard to get the product to where it needs to be,’ Weinberg told WIRED.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Mashable: This creepy security bug on Android is finally getting a fix. “Well, we certainly didn’t expect Google to ask for this data. Some Android users have been experiencing a weird bug in their Gmail app that demands access to ‘Body Sensors’ before allowing them to send email.”

Naked Security: Ransomware attackers shift focus and resources to high-value sectors. “Ransomware attacks shifted focus last year to the industries most likely to pay up, such as healthcare, government, critical infrastructure, education and small businesses. Phishing volume grew by an average of more than 33% across the five most-targeted industries, according to a study released by phishing defense company PhishLabs last week.”

Korea Times: Google investigated for practice against Samsung. “Google is facing an anti-competitive investigation into whether it obstructed Samsung Electronics’ development of its own operating system (OS) to replace the U.S. tech giant’s Android OS, according to the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), Monday.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

Social Media Explorer: How Social Media Will Change By 2020: An Informed Hypothesis on the Future of Social “Today, social platforms are starting to expand their horizons. Now that robust social advertising systems are available to businesses on almost any popular social media platform, these platforms have both the means and the incentives to make their platforms as functional, useful, and cutting edge as possible. Already, we’re seeing the emergence of radical shifts in the social media world, and by 2020, we’ll be fully realizing the dawn of a new era of social media. Here’s how we see Social Media in the not too distant future of 2020.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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