Beijing Photography, Eclipse 2017, Torrents, More: Monday Buzz, July 24, 2017


New-to-Me: Beijing Silvermine. “Beijing Silvermine is an archive of half a million negatives salvaged over the last seven years from a recycling plant on the edge of Beijing. Assembled by the French collector and artist Thomas Sauvin, Beijing Silvermine offers a unique photographic portrait of the Chinese capital and the life of its inhabitants in the decade following the Cultural Revolution.”


Engadget: NASA wants you to record solar eclipse data with an app. “Chances are that, by now, you’ve heard about the full solar eclipse that will cross the continental United States on August 21, 2017. And now, NASA is enlisting all of us as citizen scientists: The organization wants your help to record data during the eclipse.”

TorrentFreak: Google Removes Torrent Sites From ‘Results Carousel’. “Google is no longer highlighting the “best torrent sites” in its search results. Following an investigation, the search engine decided to pull the prominent torrent sites ‘carousel’ from its search results. Various streaming sites remain highlighted, but the ‘pirate’ sources have been removed there as well.”

TechCrunch: Google brings its GIF-making Motion Stills app to Android. “Google last year introduced an app called Motion Stills that aimed to help iOS users do more with their Live Photos – including being able to crop out blurry frames, stabilize images, and even turn Apple’s Live Photos format into more sharable GIFs. Today, Google says it’s bringing Motion Stills to Android, along with a few changes.”


Biztech Africa: 9 out of 10 Kenyans have seen fake news about the 2017 general election. “A new study reveals that 90% of Kenyans have seen or heard false news about the 2017 general election, with 87% reporting instances of deliberately false – or fake – news. The Reality of Fake News in Kenya, launched this week in Nairobi, is the first-ever study aimed at quantifying the prevalence and impact of false information during an election campaign in Africa.”

Ars Technica: New book explores how protesters—and governments—use Internet tactics. “In February 2003, the largest demonstration in Britain’s history saw two million people march across London to protest the approaching Iraq War. Dozens of other cities across the world saw similar events, and yet. Why did politicians feel safe ignoring the millions who participated in those marches—yet stand down after the protests against the proposed intellectual property laws SOPA and PIPA? Why did Occupy apparently vanish while the Tea Party has embedded itself into US national electoral politics? How much did Facebook really have to do with the Arab Spring? How—and this is the central question technosociologist Zeynep Tufecki considers in her new book, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest—do digital media change the reality and effectiveness of social protest?”

The Verge: How Soundcloud’s Broken Business Model Drove Artists Away. “In December 2012, as part of a major redesign, SoundCloud introduced a feature called the repost. Similar to Tumblr’s reblog or Twitter’s retweet, reposts were designed as a way to help new music spread virally. But from the start, artists abused the feature by constantly reposting their own tracks, pushing them back to the top of their followers’ feeds every few days. Artist collectives made agreements to repost one another’s songs, and eventually, a popular music blog was caught selling ‘slingshot’ packages that included paid reposts. Fans and artists alike loudly complained — but SoundCloud, which was busy fighting an existential threat from major record labels, didn’t address the abuse for nearly three years.”

The Next Web: How Google Fiber won by failing. “Google Fiber, for all intents and purposes, was a failure. For all the promise of Gigabit speeds nationwide, Google managed just to install its super fast internet in just 20 cities while burning through billions of dollars and numerous staffers — including two CEOs in just nine months. But even in failure, few things are black and white. Google may have failed as an ISP, but we’ve all won — including Google.”


The Moscow Times: Most Requests to Remove Online Content Come From Russia, Google Says. “Last year, the Russian authorities filed more than 13,000 requests with the search engine to have online content on Google platforms removed, including on YouTube. Compared to 2015, the number of requests from the Russian authorities increased by 478 percent. Most were received in the second half of 2016, the report shows.”


Ubergizmo: Survey Finds That Instagram Is The Platform Of Choice For Cyberbullies. “When it comes to online harassment, it seems like Twitter has gotten a pretty bad rep, thus forcing the company to step up their efforts in protecting their users from trolls and cyberbullies with various privacy and blocking tools. However it seems that while Twitter is getting the brunt of the bad rep, Instagram could actually have a problem of its own.”

Wired: Turn Off Your Push Notifications. All Of Them. “I get notifications when an acquaintance comments on a stranger’s Facebook posts, when shows I don’t care about come to Netflix, and every single day at 6 PM when the crossword puzzle becomes available. Recently, I got a buzz from my close personal friends at Yelp. ‘We found a hot new business for you,’ it said. I opened the notification, on the off chance that Yelp had finally found the hot new business I’ve been waiting for. It did not. So I closed Yelp, stared into space for a second, and then opened Instagram. Productivity over.” Good morning, Internet…

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