afternoonbuzz

Q-Notes, Chromebooks, Snap, More: Wednesday Afternoon Buzz, June 7, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

DigitalNC: 10 years of LGBT newspaper Q-Notes now online!. “Issues of Q-Notes from 1986-1996 are now available on DigitalNC. These newspapers were shared by our partner, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, in response to our call for materials documenting voices underrepresented on DigitalNC.org. Q-notes focuses primarily on Gay and Lesbian issues both in Charlotte and nationally. At a time when LGBT communities were facing persecution and backlash against increased visibility and demands for rights, Q-Notes provided a venue for individuals to affirm their identities.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Digital Trends: Password-free Tethered Internet May Soon Head To Google Chromebooks. “The latest Chrome OS Canary build has a new feature in it called ‘Instant Tethering,’ which makes it possible to automatically tether the laptop to your phone in the absence of an internet connection, without prompting. The feature doesn’t work properly just yet, according to reports, but it is present in the new build, suggesting that it’s something that could show up on Chromebooks in the near future.”

LA Times: Snap acquires location-tracking start-up Placed, reportedly for $200 million. “Snapchat maker Snap Inc. acquired a Seattle start-up that tracks the location of smartphones to help businesses and advertisers learn more about consumer behavior.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 11 Best Sites for Free Online Computer Programming Courses. “We’re living in the golden age of programming. Not only is there a healthy number of in-demand computer programming jobs, but there is now an abundance of free online courses. These days, you can become a master coder without picking up a traditional computer science degree.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Search Engine Land: Wall Street Journal’s Google traffic drops 44% after pulling out of First Click Free. “In February, The Wall Street Journal stopped participating in a program allowing Google visitors to bypass its paywall. The publication has now discovered, as was predicted, that it no longer gets as much traffic from Google. In an interview with Bloomberg, The Wall Street Journal reported that its Google traffic plunged 44 percent after leaving the ‘First Click Free’ program.”

Recode: Apple, Amazon, Google and other tech giants are joining an effort to adhere to the Paris climate agreement. “Apple, Amazon, Google, Lyft and Spotify are among hundreds of U.S. businesses teaming up with state and local regulators to pledge their support for the Paris climate agreement as part of a new campaign debuting today.”

Natural History Museum: Freezing thousands of bees at -80 degrees . “The UK Insect Pollinators Initiative (IPI) provided funding between 2010-2015 to support projects studying a wide variety of UK pollinators and their habitats. Nine separate projects were funded and as a result of these projects around 50,000 specimens were collected.”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

Bleeping Computer: Ads in Google Search Results Redirect Users to Tech Support Scam. “The malicious ad used a feature of the Google Ads service that allows ad publishers to display a URL but redirect users to another link. For example, in the rogue ad, the displayed link was “target.com,” but users were redirected to ‘tech-supportcenter.us.’ Surprisingly, this got past Google’s ad quality control service.” Considering that three years ago I had an AdWords ad flagged as a cigarette ad because it had the word “Winston” in it (Hey Google, WINSTON-SALEM IS A CITY) I’m pretty surprised too.

Montreal Gazette: Quebec government in court battle over distribution of public data. “A website owned by a U.K.-based company is fighting the Quebec government in court for prohibiting it from collecting public information on firms in the province and then making it available to help thwart fraud and other crime. OpenCorporates.com claims to have public information on 125 million companies in 120 jurisdictions. It is petitioning Quebec Superior Court to declare it can legally collect, publish and distribute the public data found in the province’s business registry.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Guardian: Dozens of recent clinical trials may contain wrong or falsified data, claims study. “Dozens of recent clinical trials contain suspicious statistical patterns that could indicate incorrect or falsified data, according to a review of thousands of papers published in leading medical journals. The study, which used statistical tools to identify anomalies hidden in the data, has prompted investigations into some of the trials identified as suspect and raises new concerns about the reliability of some papers published in medical journals.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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