Wolfram|Alpha, Google Chrome, Microsoft Pix, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, September 15, 2017


Wolfram|Alpha: It’s Another Impressive Release! Launching Version 11.2 Today. “We have a very deliberate strategy for our releases. Integer releases (like 11) concentrate on major complete new frameworks that we’ll be building on far into the future. ‘.1’ releases (like 11.2) are intended as snapshots of the latest output from our R&D pipeline–delivering new capabilities large and small as soon as they’re ready. Version 11.2 has a mixture of things in it—ranging from ones that provide finishing touches to existing major frameworks, to ones that are first hints of major frameworks under construction. ”

CNET: Google Chrome to block autoplay videos from January. “Google is being the ultimate pal: In an upcoming update to its Chrome web browser, it will block any autoplay video that has sound. ‘Starting in Chrome 64,’ an official blog post explained, “‘autoplay will be allowed when either the media won’t play sound, or the user has indicated an interest in the media.'” YAY!

TechCrunch: Microsoft’s AI camera app Pix is now a business productivity tool. “Microsoft Pix, the iOS camera app that leverages A.I. to help you take better photos, is venturing beyond being a tool for consumers with an update that now sees it able to assist with photos of business documents, whiteboards, post-it notes, and business cards.”

Elite Daily: You Can Add 3-D Bitmojis To Your Snapchats Now And They Look Insanely Realistic. “Let’s be real: Fun filters aside, most of us probably use Snapchat because of the interactive Bitmojis we can use while posing for selfies or Snapping our friends. World Lenses have made Snap’s filters even more entertaining by letting you add puking rainbows into the sky — and if you love that, you’re going to adore bringing your Bitmoji to life using Snapchat’s World Lens. Here’s how to use 3-D Bitmojis on Snapchat.”


Business Insider: Google launched a service to help small businesses hire employees — here’s how it works. “Google has a new tool that’s meant to help small- to medium-sized businesses recruit candidates. The product is Hire. And it’s not for everyone.” I have mentioned Hire before but this is a walkthrough with screenshots.


Ars Technica: Google stops challenging most US warrants for data on overseas servers. “Google has quietly stopped challenging most search warrants from US judges in which the data requested is stored on overseas servers, according to the Justice Department. The revelation, contained in a new court filing to the Supreme Court, comes as the administration of President Donald Trump is pressing the justices to declare that US search warrants served on the US tech sector extend to data stored on foreign servers.”

StateScoop: ‘World’s first’ civic change network targets Twitter, Facebook users. “There have been dozens of attempts to create websites and apps that more closely connect the public with lawmakers, but none have achieved the widespread popularity needed to fortify democracy the way their founders imagined. Another such platform launched a crowdfunding campaign Tuesday, but the minds behind it intend to do a few things differently.”


Los Angeles Times: Google faces class-action suit alleging gender pay discrimination. “The suit, filed Thursday in San Francisco Superior Court, follows a federal labor investigation that made a preliminary finding of systemic pay discrimination among the 21,000 employees at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. The initial stages of the review found women earned less than men in nearly every job classification.”

USA Today: YouTube star DaddyOFive and wife get probation for controversial video ‘pranks’ on kids . “A father and stepmother, who posted controversial prank videos on YouTube, have been sentenced to five years probation for child neglect. Michael and Heather Martin of Maryland faced fierce criticism for profanity-filled videos posted on the YouTube channel ‘DaddyOFive,’ which many said depicted abusive behavior toward their five children.”

BBC: Equifax had ‘admin’ as login and password in Argentina. “The credit report provider Equifax has been accused of a fresh data security breach, this time affecting its Argentine operations. Cyber-crime blogger Brian Krebs said that an online employee tool used in the country could be accessed by typing ‘admin’ as both a login and password. He added that this gave access to records that included thousands of customers’ national identity numbers.” Good morning, Internet…

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