Podcast Search, Interfaith Dialogue, Finance Information, More: Thursday Buzz, November 30, 2017


CNET: The best way to search for podcasts. “According to the developer, ListenNotes has cataloged nearly 400,000 podcasts — some 22.5 million episodes. Using it is like using any search engine: just type in what you’re after. (‘Edward James Olmos,’ anyone? We haven’t landed him on Recaptica just yet, but he did appear on a show called Electric Shadow last year. I discovered that via a ListenNotes search.) Search results will direct you to iTunes, RSS feeds and websites, where available, but you can also use an inline player to listen to an episode on the spot.” Gotta check this out – I’ve been complaining about podcast searches for years.

PR Newswire: KAICIID Launches Global Database of Knowledge on Interreligious Dialogue (PRESS RELEASE). “The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) today launched an online database of resources, publications, and contact directories on interreligious dialogue. The ‘Dialogue Knowledge Hub’ is intended to be a resource for leaders of religious communities, policymakers, researchers, teachers, journalists, students, and anyone seeking to promote interreligious dialogue (IRD) in their communities. The database also provides compelling evidence of the positive contribution of interreligious dialogue to achieving development goals.” If you’re interested in learning more about interreligious dialogue (also known as interfaith dialogue) there’s a good overview here.


Google Blog: Stay on top of finance information on Google. “Global Search interest in finance and stocks has more than doubled in the last five years. That’s why we’re introducing an expanded finance experience directly inside Google Search on desktop and the mobile web. Now under a new search navigation tab called ‘Finance,’ you’ll have easier access to finance information based on your interests, keeping you in the know about the latest market news and helping you get in-depth insights about companies. On this page, you can see performance information about stocks you’ve chosen to follow, recommendations on other stocks to follow based on your interests, related news, market indices, and currencies. ”

BetaNews: Ok, Google, call Santa. “Christmas is now less than a month away, and if you have any kids in the house, it won’t be long before excitement reaches fever pitch. Helping to keep the magic alive this year, Google is giving your children (or you) the chance to phone Santa.”

Wired: Facebook’s New CAPTCHA Test: ‘upload A Clear Photo Of Your Face’. “The company is using a new kind of captcha to verify whether a user is a real person. According to a screenshot of the identity test shared on Twitter on Tuesday and verified by Facebook, the prompt says: ‘Please upload a photo of yourself that clearly shows your face. We’ll check it and then permanently delete it from our servers.'” Yeah. No.

TechCrunch: Facebook rolls out AI to detect suicidal posts before they’re reported. “This is software to save lives. Facebook’s new ‘proactive detection’ artificial intelligence technology will scan all posts for patterns of suicidal thoughts, and when necessary send mental health resources to the user at risk or their friends, or contact local first-responders. By using AI to flag worrisome posts to human moderators instead of waiting for user reports, Facebook can decrease how long it takes to send help.” A great idea, but I’m really worried about how it will work. Facebook has flagged way too many innocuous images as offensive for me to be enthusiastic about this.


The Next Web: Instagram’s secretly testing a handful of new features. We found them.. “TNW today obtained information on a range of new features Instagram is currently testing. As with all tests, this means some of you may have already seen one or two of the new features. Some of you, however, have not. Instagram and Facebook tend to roll out new features for testing to small segments of the audience, not all at once — and some may never been seen again after these tests.”

XiahuaNet: Brunei to educate younger generation on using social media . “Brunei is set to inculcate awareness on the use of safe social media in school curriculum, which is intended to enhance understanding of the moral and ethical elements involved in the use of social media, said Haji Suyoi, Brunei’s minister of education.”


Gizmodo: Study: Vast Majority Of Google Play Apps Are Covertly Tracking Users. “A new study by France’s Exodus Privacy and the Yale University Privacy lab has concluded that over three out of four of apps available on the Google Play Store contain third-party tracking plugins, the Guardian reported today. Apps sucking up personal information included some of the most popular ones on the platform, ‘including Tinder, Spotify, Uber and OKCupid’, as well as innumerable others.”

The Verge: Major Apple security flaw grants admin access on macOS High Sierra without password. “There’s a major flaw in Apple’s macOS High Sierra operating system that allows anyone with physical access to a Mac to gain system administrator access without so much as entering a password. Late Tuesday, Apple confirmed that it’s working on a software update to fix the issue and published step-by-step instructions to help customers protect their machines in the meantime.”

BuzzFeed: A Bombshell Letter That Could Change Waymo’s Case Against Uber Is Being Kept Confidential For Now. “A single letter may change the course of a billion-dollar civil suit between Uber and Waymo, the self-driving car division of Google’s parent company, Alphabet. That letter, a previously undisclosed 37-page document that was only discovered by the court last week, alleges that the ride-hailing giant developed secret, off-the-books efforts to steal trade secrets from rivals and cover its tracks. On Tuesday, Waymo’s lawyers read excerpts of that document aloud to a court, while its signatory, former Uber employee Ric Jacobs, sat on the stand and testified on its wide-ranging allegations.” I haven’t mentioned this court case as much as I could have because it’s peripheral and there are so many other resources to mention. But this is so bonkers I wanted to include it.

RESEARCH & OPINION Keeping score of ‘friends’ on Facebook and Instagram may be harmful to your health. “Ever felt like your peers have more pals than you do? These days, with the rise of social media apps like Facebook and Instagram, it is easier than ever to benchmark the number of ‘friends’ you have against your peers. So, if you find yourself wondering how your social networks compare with other people’s, our latest research, published in Personality & Social Psychology Bulletin, suggests that you are far from alone. Furthermore, we found that believing that your peers have more pals than you do – even if demonstrably false – can be harmful to your health.” Good morning, Internet…

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