Family Link, Google News, Instagram, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, October 2, 2017


The Verge: Google’s new app lets parents turn old Android tablets into kid-friendly devices. “Google’s Family Link app lets parents hand down their old Android gadgets to their kids without worrying about what they could end up downloading from the Play Store or finding online. They just have to create a Google account for their kids and download the app, which went public today.”

Reuters: Google relaxes rules on free news stories, plans subscription tools. “Google announced on Sunday that subscription news websites would no longer have to provide users three free articles per day or face less prominence in search results, relaxing its rules following complaints from media giants like News Corp that their sales were suffering.”

Al Jazeera: Al Jazeera launches new content on Instagram. “Al Jazeera has launched new content on Instagram after its Snapchat service was banned in blockading nations. In a move widely considered to be a violation of media freedom, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain pressured Snapchat to block Al Jazeera’s ‘Discover’ service in their countries.”


Lifehacker: This Extension Will Track the Cost of Your Mindless Web Browsing. “Sure, you need to finish that PowerPoint presentation for next week, but it won’t hurt to just check Facebook real quick and see if Mark posted pictures from the party last weekend. And then make a quick order from Amazon. And you really should like a few photos in that gallery… It’s easy to waste a few minutes (or a few hours) on the web without realizing it. If you’re a masochist and want to know exactly how much time—and money—that idle browsing is costing you, an extension for Firefox and Chrome called Sloth Worth can help. It tracks your web surfing and lets you know when a “quick look” has started to spiral out of control.”


Naval Technology: Scanning the Dutch navy. “Keeping its vessels in top condition is a critical aspect of a naval force’s readiness, but to do so each part, little or big, needs full attention. Claire Apthorp looks at a project to scan the entire Dutch Navy in 3D.”

CNN: DOJ demands Facebook information from ‘anti-administration activists’. “Trump administration lawyers are demanding the private account information of potentially thousands of Facebook users in three separate search warrants served on the social media giant, according to court documents obtained by CNN.”

TechCrunch: Facebook will share Russian-bought election interference ads with congress tomorrow. (That’s today.) “Facebook will release over 3000 ads bought by a Russian entity to interfere in U.S. politics and the 2016 presidential election with congressional investigators tomorrow morning at 8am Pacific, a Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch. Facebook’s disclosure to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees and the Senate Judiciary Committee will include information on the ads’ content and targeting as well as the accounts that paid approximately $100,000 for them to run between 2015 and 2017 in the U.S.”

Quartz: Cameroon is disrupting the internet in its English-speaking regions to stifle protests again. “Cameroon has once again disrupted internet connection it its restive North West and South West Anglophone regions in the wake of fresh mass protests. The interference has largely affected social media sites like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter.”


Wired: Critical Code In Millions Of Macs Isn’t Getting Apple’s Updates. “Now one new study has found that the most critical elements of millions of Macs’ firmware aren’t getting updates. And that’s not because lazy users have neglected to install them, but because Apple’s firmware updates frequently fail without any notice to the user, or simply because Apple silently stopped offering those computers firmware updates—in some cases even against known hacking techniques.”


Texas Tech University: Researchers Analyze Snapchat Users For Motivation, Interest In Medium. “In a world where people struggle with a seemingly diminishing attention span, Snapchat could be the best form of communication. Posts last just 10 seconds. That’s it. No deep thoughts or analytical narrative to the posts. Quick, simple and move on to the next topic. But a study by Texas Tech University associate professor Narissra Punyanunt-Carter, graduate student J.J. Delacruz and alumni Jason Wrench in the College of Media & Communication shows the interest and popularity of Snapchat goes beyond just its simplicity.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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