Costa Rica Environment, Podcast Search, Google Search, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, May 29, 2017


The Costa Rica Star: Costa Rica launched site for the Accounting of its Natural Resources. “The Ministry of Environment of Costa Rica released a new website that provides information regarding the country’s natural resources. The website … where CRN (Spanish acronym) stands for Accounting of the Natural Resources, is a tool that allows the country to determine if its economic growth is sustainable; in other words, it provides details on the capacity of the country to generate economic growth without a depreciation of the natural assets (air, water, forests, among others).” The site is in Spanish but Google Translate had no problem with it.

There’s a new podcast directory in town (PRESS RELEASE). “PodSearch, available free to listeners through a website and mobile app, is designed to help everyone discover podcasts that reflect their personal interests and keep them in-the-know about new podcasts as they are released. PodSearch goes beyond the typical top show lists, with unique and easy-to-use search features like keyword search, detailed categories, new shows, links to many different listening apps, links to tour dates where the host or show is appearing and can even generate personalized podcast recommendations based on the user’s interests.” I have yet to find a podcast search engine I like – might be time for another try. UPDATE: Never mind. I just went to the site and you can’t even do a search without signing up for an account. Ick. No thank you.


BetaNews: Google search’s Personal tab shows results from your emails, calendar and other G Suite content. “Personalized results in Google search are not exactly new, but the company has now introduced a new way to section off truly personal results. A new Personal tab (which you would be forgiven for missing as it’s a little hidden out of the way) filters search results to show you only matches from your own Google content.”

GeekWire: Zillow announces $1M prize for anyone who can improve the algorithm for its Zestimate. “The Zillow Zestimate, that much-debated, computer-generated home valuation tool, has been a fixture of the Seattle-based real estate media company for 11 years. And now Zillow is putting a price tag on whether the algorithm that assigns a price tag can be improved upon.”

Quartz: With Snapchat’s new 5-minute shows, it’s starting to look a lot like a TV network. “Snapchat helps its media partners develop the shows. It weighs in on every stage of the process, from the early business negotiations to green lighting and rolling out the shows, a Snap spokesperson told Quartz. These are jobs that usually fall to the networks and production companies in the traditional TV space. But who knows Snapchat and its audience better than Snapchat?”


Engadget: Keybase brings seamless encrypted chats to anyone on the web. “Keybase is on a mission to make end-to-end encryption as easy as possible, everywhere you go online. After launching frictionless encrypted file sharing last year, the open-source security company rolled out Keybase Chat, a desktop and mobile chat app that allows users to send encrypted messages to anyone on the internet using just their Twitter, Facebook or Reddit username. Today, Keybase announced a few new launches that will make it even easier to send encrypted messages to anyone — even if your recipient isn’t set up to receive them yet.”

PC World: Why installing a text-mode web browser is a good idea. “There are plenty of nerdy things to love about using Linux, but one of the nerdiest things has to be the use of the text-mode web browser. And it’s awesome. I can feel you backing away slowly. Others might be thinking, ‘Alex, it’s 2017. Why on earth would I use a text-mode browser? What are you, stuck in 1985?’ Hear me out: The text-mode web browser is one of those super-useful tools that can really save your bacon.”


CNET: CNET asks: Google Home or Amazon Echo?. “Are you ready to rummmbbbbbleeee? We just published our latest Prizefight: Google Home vs. Amazon Echo — 6 months later, where Brian Tong gives a rundown on the matchup between two superpopular smart speakers, the Google Home and Amazon Echo. These two opponents are pitted against one another as to which has the better design and makes the better personal assistant, smart home controller and entertainer. Check out the video below.”

ABC (Australia): Kids sign up as citizen scientists with new app that feeds Australian species database. “Technology is taking the rising trend of citizen science to new heights with scores of science-savvy kids signing up to help document Australian species and they are bringing a range of skills that could be game-changing.”

The Verge: AlphaGo retires from competitive Go after defeating world number one 3-0. “AlphaGo is going out on top. After beating Ke Jie, the world’s best player of the ancient Chinese board game Go, for the third time today at the Future of Go Summit in Wuzhen, Google’s DeepMind unit announced that it would be the last event match the AI plays.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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