Knock Knock Jokes, Malaysia PhDs, Amsterdam History, More: Tuesday Buzz, April 4, 2017

I saw some work of Janelle Shane’s on Tumblr and sent her a tweet expressing my appreciation. She jokingly replied, “Know anywhere I can find a huge database of knock-knock jokes?” and, well, you know how I am when someone asks about an online information collection. I gave her a collection of 200+ knock knock jokes and she used it to train a neural network. Thanks, Janelle. That was fun.


From The Star (Malaysia): Spot the fake PhD holders with new database. “The public will soon be able to verify the authenticity of doctorate holders via a database that is currently being built by the Ministry of Higher Education, the Dewan Rakyat was told. Its deputy minister Datuk Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching(pic) said the ministry is collaborating with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) with regard to the number of cases of fake doctorates in the country.”

This one is new to me and it sounds fantastic. From CityLab: An Amazing Digital Archive of Amsterdam’s Past. “Amsterdam’s digital map archive was already one of the best municipal resources on the internet, and it just got even better. You may recall when CityLab first obsessed over the archive’s troves of information. We’re returning now to dive into the new maps, videos and archives that provide vivid, fascinating details on how the city has developed, some reaching back to the 1600s.”


Bloomberg Quint: Google Updates Ads Polices Again, Ramps Up AI to Curtail YouTube Crisis. “Two weeks into a YouTube advertising boycott over hateful videos, Google is taking more steps to curb a crisis that escalated further than the company anticipated. Alphabet Inc.’s main division is introducing a new system that lets outside firms verify ad quality standards on its video service, while expanding its definitions of offensive content.”

I think we need to file this one under U for Ugh. From Retail Dive: Amazon launches social media influencer referral program. “Amazon has launched a social media influencer beta program enabling people with ‘large followings and a high frequency of posts with shoppable content’ to generate referral fees on purchases they drive through their social platforms and activities.”

CNET: Facebook spearheads $14M consortium to counter fake news. “Facebook, Mozilla and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark want you to be able to trust the news again. The three are part of a consortium of tech leaders, academics and nonprofits that are pouring $14 million into the creation of the News Integrity Initiative, they jointly announced on Monday.” Facebook needs to start one for its fake advertising.

The Telegraph: Twitter targets tie-ups with pay-TV broadcasters in live video push. “Twitter is seeking to ink deals with pay-TV companies that would let subscribers watch live channels over the social network as part of a major video push. The move raises the possibility of full Premier League football games and TV series appearing on Twitter for the first time as the troubled company looks for new ways to grow users.”


The Register: Hundreds of millions ‘wasted’ on UK court digitisation scheme. “Hundreds of millions of pounds have been wasted on plans to digitise the criminal justice system due to the mismanagement of a key programme that has so far delivered little value to the taxpayer, according to multiple insiders. The Common Platform Programme (CPP) was supposed to be complete by March 2019. However, a spokeswoman from HM Courts & Tribunals Service (HMCTS) said the programme will not be complete until 2020 at a revised cost of £270m.”

From Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land: A deep look at Google’s biggest-ever search quality crisis. “The past few months have been bad for Google’s search reputation. Long considered the ‘gold standard’ in search, Google has seen its search results questioned as never before. It’s a body blow to a core service that should be safe as Google tries to grow in new directions. Recovering from that blow isn’t easy. What’s happened to Google search is on par with the Apple Maps fiasco or Samsung’s exploding Galaxy Note7 phones. To this day, people still joke about Apple Maps being bad, even though it’s greatly improved. As for Samsung, the phones might no longer explode, but the jokes continue. Google now faces the same problem. Some of its search results are seen as laughable, embarrassing, or even dangerous.”

New York Times: Facebook Pushes Outside Law Firms to Become More Diverse. “Like other Silicon Valley giants, Facebook has faced criticism over whether its work force and board are too white and too male. Last year, the social media behemoth started a new push on diversity in hiring and retention. Now, it is extending its efforts into another corner: the outside lawyers who represent the company in legal matters.”


ZDNet: ​Leaked records up 566 percent to 4 billion in 2016: IBM Security. “In 2016, more than 4 billion records were leaked worldwide, exceeding the combined total from the two previous years, according to a report from IBM Security. In its IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2017, Big Blue explained the leaked documents comprised the usual credit cards, passwords, and personal health information, but also noted a shift in cybercriminal strategies, finding a number of significant breaches were related to unstructured data such as email archives, business documents, intellectual property, and source code.”

TorrentFreak: Russia Wants To Hold Social Networks Liable For Internet Piracy. “A new proposal from the Russian government could see social networks held liable for piracy committed by their users. The Ministry of Culture says that social platforms should be stripped of their status as information intermediaries and held to account when infringing content is made available on their sites if they fail to take appropriate measures to tackle piracy.” Good morning, Internet…

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