New Zealand Water, Facebook Ads, Instagram, More: Friday Buzz, March 23, 2017


New Zealand has a new resource for monitoring drought conditions. “Called The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI), it is an easy-to-use, colour coded map that defines the scientifically observed drought status of every New Zealand district. The NZDI is modelled on similar indexes used around the world, displaying the dryness of each district in five categories: dry, very dry, extremely dry, drought and severe drought. Each category is colour coded from yellow for dry, through to dark red for severe drought.”


Very interesting! From Marketing Land: How to track Facebook’s ratio of ads to organic posts in your desktop news feed. “Some time this year, Facebook will max out the number of ads it can squeeze into people’s news feeds. But how many ads is Facebook already inserting? To get a better idea, I’ve built an extension for Google’s Chrome browser, called Facebook Ad Spotter, that tracks the number of ads and organic posts appearing in Facebook’s desktop news feed.”

WIRED: Instagram Has Two-Factor Authentication Now, So Turn It On. “While Instagram had made two-factor available to a select group of users previously, the extra layer of protection is now available to all, meaning you, meaning it’s time to fiddle with some settings.”

The Verge: Twitter might build a paid subscription service for power users. “Twitter is considering offering a paid subscription to power users, including brands and news organizations, The Verge has confirmed. Twitter users today began tweeting screenshots of the survey and a mock-up of what the premium version of Twitter could look like, with new analytics, alerts about breaking news, and information about what an account’s followers are tweeting about. The advanced features would be contained within Tweetdeck, the company’s app for professionals. The core service would remain free.” Open up the API and charge for it! How many years have I been saying that? OPEN UP THE API AND CHARGE FOR IT!

The Next Web: Apple acquires automation app Workflow and makes it free. “Apple has acquired Workflow, an automation app for iOS that lets you connect apps and create quick shortcuts to actions like texting a contact to let them know you’ll be late for your appointment, find a convenience store near you, make PDFs from Web pages and record an audio note to yourself that’s accessible in the Reminders app.”

TechCrunch: Facebook tests an enhanced local search and discovery feature offering business suggestions. “Facebook is testing an enhanced local search feature that could see the social network creeping in on Google Maps, Foursquare and Yelp territory, TechCrunch learned and Facebook confirmed.”


Social Media Examiner: How to Choose the Best Live Video Platform. “Live video creates a unique, real-time experience that encourages your audience to comment and interact, turning individual customers into a community. In this article, you’ll discover the platform benefits and how to use live video on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.”

Jake Ludington: Building an Instagram Audience : Lessons learned from an AMA. “I read and watch a ton of content related to publishing on various platforms. I file away notes summarizing what I’ve read so I can apply it later. I thought I’d try this out as an experiment and share my notes publicly so that they might benefit other people too. The following are my notes summarizing my takeaways from a Reddit AMA with professional Instagramer Alex Tooby.”


Sydney Morning Herald: Scientists outwit predatory publishers by tricking them into appointing a fake editor. “Has there ever been a more impressive academic than Dr Anna O. Szust? The prolific polymath has been appointed editor at almost 50 academic journals covering a mind-boggling array of scientific fields. The problem is, Dr Szust does not exist.”


Neowin: DoubleAgent attack may be able to take full control of your Antivirus. “A new Zero-day attack has emerged that may endanger your antivirus (irony, much?). The new attack, termed DoubleAgent, has the ability to control your antivirus using a Microsoft technology called Application Verifier, and a 15-year old Windows XP era vulnerability.”

From America’s JobLink (AJL) Data Incident. “America’s JobLink (AJL), a multi-state web-based system that links job seekers with employers, has been the victim of a hacking incident from an outside source…. On March 21st, AJLA–TS confirmed that a malicious third party ‘hacker’ exploited a vulnerability in the AJL application code to view the names, Social Security Numbers, and dates of birth of job seekers in the AJL systems of up to ten states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Oklahoma, and Vermont.”


Chemistry World: Google Street View cars map methane leaks in major US cities. “Joseph von Fischer’s lab at Colorado State University in the US joined forces with tech giant Google via its Google Earth Outreach programme, and fitted three of its Street View cars – which drive from street to street taking photographs to populate Google’s maps – with methane analysers that sample air from an inlet at the front bumper and measure the concentration of methane. The cars drove around Boston, Indianapolis, Staten Island and Syracuse in New York state, and Burlington, Vermont. The research team were able to build maps from the methane data and use algorithms to pinpoint locations where pipes beneath the street were leaking.” I had read about this before, but not on this large a scale. Good morning, Internet…

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