morningbuzz

NC Legislation, Water Quality, Microsoft Paint, More: Thursday Buzz, July 27, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

Spectrum News: New online tool available for those wanting track and be involved in NC legislative process. “There is a new tool available if you want to track and be involved in the legislative process in North Carolina. KillTheBill.com was launched a few months ago, and is now a resource for thousands of North Carolinians trying to keep track of the bills they have interest in.” I shared this on my Facebook page since I am in North Carolina, and some of the people looking at it found it partisan, so be told.

Fair Warning: New Lookup to Tell You What’s in Your Water. “Want to know what hazards might be lurking in your local water supply? An updated online database launched today by the Environmental Working Group, a research and advocacy organization, provides some answers. The online resource is known as the EWG’s Tap Water Database. It lists contaminants as well as their levels and likely sources, and any federal drinking water violations by local water utilities. Consumers, after typing in their zip code, get a detailed analysis based on testing from 2010 through 2015.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Hey! Microsoft isn’t going to kill off Paint after all. “Microsoft signaled an about-face in a blog post Monday night by Megan Saunders, a general manager within the Windows Experiences group. Instead of deprecating Paint in Windows 10 (which seemed to many to be the first step toward oblivion), Saunders said Microsoft would release MS Paint in the Windows Store as a free app.” Wow, I wish this had worked when Google cancelled Google Reader.

The National (Scotland): Scotland’s canal network taken worldwide through Google Street View. “Scottish Canals’ staff have trodden almost 140 miles of towpaths capturing some of Scotland’s most spectacular locations, from the myths and majesty of Neptune’s Staircase on the Caledonian Canal to the west coast wonders of the Crinan Canal, using the tech giant’s Trekker – a 4ft, 40lbs backpack fitted with a 15-angle lens camera designed to take 360 pictures every 2.5 seconds.”

Search Engine Roundtable: Bing Offers Historical Knowledge Box: Search “On This Day”. “Bing quietly announced on Twitter that if you search for [on this day] in Bing you may just get an historical knowledge box showing you important and historical events that happened on this day in the past.”

Engadget: Instagram gives businesses tools to keep comments in check. “Instagram has updated its API and is giving businesses access to content metrics as well as new tools for managing comments. Now, through the API, businesses can turn comments on and off as well as hide them. Business accounts already had access to these sorts of features already, but this is the first time Instagram has given them the ability use those features through their marketing dashboards.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 6 Ways to Search ‘By Date’ on Google . “There is no question about the quantity of information Google throws back at us. But try out a few searches of your own and you will see that ‘old’ pages still sneak through. The pages may meet the gold standards of Google’s mystic search algorithm but the blast from the past doesn’t help my friend’s cause. Some information has a shelf life. And, right now you just want to see the results in chronological order by date.” Nice roundup!

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Recode: Facebook, Google and others are in a lose-lose position with an upcoming congressional net neutrality hearing. “A coming hearing in the U.S. Congress on net neutrality has left the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix in a tough position: They can either subject their chief executives to a potential grilling — or sit it out and take plenty of political heat.”

Manila Times: Duterte on use of ‘troll’ army: I have followers. “PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has denied a report that his administration was using government funds to hire people to defend him on social media even after his election victory. In a press conference after he delivered his State of the Nation Address on Monday, Duterte admitted paying online trolls but said this only happened during the campaign season and not after he was elected.”

TechCrunch: Facebook reportedly building smart speaker with touch screen. “Facebook may launch its own smart-home gadget to get you messaging more friends and looking at more photos. DigiTimes reports from Taiwan that Facebook is building a 15-inch touch-screen smart speaker.”

Washington Post: The most-loved social network among Americans isn’t the one you think. “Google+ has topped the American Consumer Satisfaction Index’s 2017 list evaluating how users feel about Internet social media companies. Yes, Google+. We’ll let that sink in for another moment.” I’m gonna need more than a moment.

SECURITY & LEGAL

BetaNews: Kaspersky launches free antivirus tool — Kaspersky Free!. “Kaspersky has been in the news quite a lot recently, primarily because of US concerns over links to the Russian government. The security company also hit the headlines when it filed an antitrust case against Microsoft because Windows 10 disabled Kaspersky antivirus software. But now there’s a new reason to be in the news — and this time it’s a good one.” Good morning, Internet…

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