Patreon, NEH, Google, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, December 15, 2017


Washington Post: Facing a rebellion of furious creators, Patreon backs away from a new fee. “Creators, and by extension, their fans, tend to have an uneasy relationship with the companies on which their businesses depend. And for good reason: A slight tweak to a YouTube algorithm or advertising policy can have a dramatic impact on the income of someone’s channel. They might sympathize with fans who turn on the platform, but they still need those fans to stick with them to make money. The thing is, Patreon has benefited in the past from a reputation as one of the relatively good guys among those companies.” Patreon did something else earlier this year that made me uneasy, so the fee change isn’t the only thing that’s been bothering me about them. I’m looking into other options; keep an eye out for an article early next week.

NEH Press Release: NEH Announces $12.8 Million for 253 Humanities Projects Nationwide. “The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) today announced the awarding of $12.8 million to support 253 humanities projects across the nation. NEH grants will supplement private and public funding to underwrite a virtual exhibition of more than 90 pieces of New Deal art from the town of Gallup, New Mexico, the conservation of fragile books from the personal library of author C. S. Lewis, archival research for a book on the Nazi plunder of musical instruments and manuscripts during World War II, and hundreds of other vital projects.” There’s not a ton of detail in the release, so I might do followups with details on individual projects.

Search Engine Land: Google adds price tracking features to flight search, hotel search and Google Trips. “Google announced it has added features to help you plan your trips, flights and hotel stays for your vacations or business trips. Many of the features are around how you can save money or track prices for a travel destination. Google has been testing many of these features over the past month, so they may not appear new to some of our readers.”

CNET: Snapchat lets anyone create AR effects in new Lens Studio. “Lens Studio is a free desktop app that comes with tutorials to help you make your own AR creations. The company says Lens Studio is aimed at both professional artists and those just starting to dabble in 2D animation.”


PC Authority: DuckDuckGo: The privacy-conscious search engine taking the fight to Google by NOT tracking you. “The DuckDuckGo search engine was launched in 2008 by founder Gabriel Weinberg, who funded it himself until it secured investment with Union Square Ventures in 2011. Since then, the company has gone from strength to strength. According to figures from the website Alexa, DuckDuckGo has almost doubled its popularity in the past year, giving it the title of 400th most popular website worldwide. In September, the website reached 19 million direct searches, a figure that has shown a gradual increase throughout the year.”

The Hill: White House launching redesigned website on Friday. “The Trump administration is launching a redesigned version of the White House website on Friday that it claims will save taxpayers millions of dollars every year. A White House official told the Washington Examiner that changes to the website’s security and maintenance procedures could end up saving American taxpayers as much $3 million annually.”


Ars Technica: 2 million people—and some dead ones—were impersonated in net neutrality comments. “An analysis of public comments on the FCC’s plan to repeal net neutrality rules found that 2 million of them were filed using stolen identities. That’s according to New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.”

RESEARCH & OPINION Breaking data records bit by bit. “This year CERN’s data centre broke its own record, when it collected more data than ever before. During October 2017, the data centre stored the colossal amount of 12.3 petabytes of data. To put this in context, one petabyte is equivalent to the storage capacity of around 15,000 64GB smartphones. Most of this data come from the Large Hadron Collider’s experiments, so this record is a direct result of the outstanding LHC performance, the rest is made up of data from other experiments and backups.”

TechCrunch: Google AI helped find the first solar system outside our own with 8 planets. “Google and NASA today announced the discovery of a new planet in solar system Kepler 90, achieved using machine learning. By applying neural networking to Kepler data, scientists have found, for the first time, an eighth planet in the Kepler-90 system – this ties the Kepler-90 system with our own system for the most planets in any known system.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

2 replies »

  1. Re: Patreon
    One option might be to install shopping cart software on your website. They should allow for monthly subscriptions as well as annual and one-off purchases. With commercial systems you have to watch out for double-charging. i.e. from the software and again from the payment provider. Search for free shopping cart software. looks like one good option.

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