Football Penalties, Reddit, YouTube, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, July 17, 2017


Today Online: Portuguese researchers create database of behaviour of penalty takers to sell to clubs. “One of the oldest cliches in football is the one about penalties being a lottery. For many people, however, taking penalties is a science, as evidenced by a growing number of studies and books on the subject by academics and psychologists. One of the most recent is from a group of Portuguese researchers who have studied thousands of penalties, including those taken by Ronaldo, and built up a database describing the behaviour of individual players while taking a spot-kick.”


NDTV: Reddit Is Testing Country-Specific Home Pages That Highlight ‘Geo Popular’ Content . “Reddit is exploring a new way to make its front page more relevant to its readers. The social aggregation and discussion website is testing tailored home pages based on a reader’s location in select places, Gadgets 360 spotted on Wednesday. The company has confirmed to us that it is indeed testing ‘geo popular’ home pages.”

Ubergizmo: YouTube GIF Thumbnails Now Live For Most Users. And I hope they did not startle you as much as they did me. “The functionality itself is pretty self-explanatory. You just have to hover the pointer over the thumbnail of a YouTube video and a short GIF will play automatically which will give you a good idea of what to expect from the video.”


Lifehacker: iOS: How to Keep Your iPhone Alive When Your Battery’s Dangerously Low. “It used to be that when I went out late in the city, I’d play a rousing game of ‘How long can I keep my phone alive so I can listen to music on the way home?’ I would throw my phone into airplane mode, turn the brightness down, and hope it would last until I made it back to my apartment. Apple has since improved the way it handles battery life, though it doesn’t do everything it could to ensure your phone stays on. There are a few more tricks of the trade you can use to keep your iPhone alive as long as possible. ”


Motherboard: A Team of Volunteers Is Archiving SoundCloud in Case it Dies. “Spurred by recent reports the German streaming music and audio company may be running out of cash, The Archive Team is racing to preserve sound files—at high cost.”

Chronicle of Higher Education: After Professors’ Criticism, Group Updates List of Google-Funded Scholars. “A group that created a list of scholars who’d received money from Google has updated the database in response to critics, including professors who said they didn’t belong on the list. In some cases the Campaign for Accountability, the creator of the dataset, defended putting professors on its list; in others, it clarified why scholars had been included; and in others, it removed academics from the list altogether.”

New York Times: Behind the Velvet Ropes of Facebook’s Private Groups. “Private groups have existed on Facebook for years. But the decision to emphasize them now — at a time when Facebook’s cultural and political influence is being carefully scrutinized — is a fascinating shift for a social network that spent years encouraging its users to share as much information as they could, as publicly as possible.”


Washington Post: The Labor Department just lost a battle with Google over its alleged gender pay gap. “The Labor Department will not get access to the full details it has requested on 21,000 Google employees as part of its investigation of equal pay, an administrative law judge has ruled, saying that the agency’s demand for data is too broad and could violate workers’ privacy.”


Digital Information World: Social Media Captures 30% Of Online Time. “GlobalWebIndex have looked into how much daily time we spend on social networking and messaging, daily. The recent report shows that social media takes up 30 percent of online time, with one of the more common reasons for visiting social media platforms so often being to ‘fill up spare time’.”

The Guardian: How can we stop algorithms telling lies? “The recent proliferation in big data models has gone largely unnoticed by the average person, but it’s safe to say that most important moments where people interact with large bureaucratic systems now involve an algorithm in the form of a scoring system. Getting into college, getting a job, being assessed as a worker, getting a credit card or insurance, voting, and even policing are in many cases done algorithmically. Moreover, the technology introduced into these systematic decisions is largely opaque, even to their creators, and has so far largely escaped meaningful regulation, even when it fails. That makes the question of which of these algorithms are working on our behalf even more important and urgent.” This is not one of those “oo oo algos are bad hide the children” articles, but in-depth and with a lot of examples. Recommended read. Good afternoon, Internet…

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