afternoonbuzz

Instagram, Puffin Browser, Offline Gmail, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, December 25, 2017

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Tubefilter: Instagram Adds Direct Messaging Feature To Help Users Promote Live Streams. “Instagram wants to make it easier for users to gather viewers to their live broadcasts. An update within the latest version of Instagram enables users to send their friends — or groups of friends — a link to an in-progress live stream via direct message.”

Neowin: Page-compressing Puffin browser arrives on Windows. “The little-used, but still popular Puffin browser is now available for Windows in the form of a beta release, bringing with it many features it’s known for on mobile. On the product’s landing page, the Puffin beta for Windows touts speed, privacy and security; all features possible through the cloud back-end which compresses website data.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: How to Use Gmail Offline: The Complete Guide . “Anyone who deals with emails knows that processing emails require an active internet connection. A spotty internet connection could leave you with limited or even no access to your emails. What if you could set up Gmail offline and access all your emails without internet?”

Make Tech Easier: 7 of the Best Alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint. “Gotten a new PC and in dire need of some alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint? Your needs not met on Microsoft PowerPoint? This article is right for you. Microsoft PowerPoint has carved out a niche for itself in the sphere of presentation. If you’re reading this article, you’re probably one of over 200 million buyers of Windows 8 licenses. With a household penetration of 85.1 percentage for PCs in the United States in 2014, finding alternatives to Microsoft PowerPoint is becoming the in-thing.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Conde Nast Traveler: A Grove of Redwood Trees Is Being Ruined by Social Media. “Located in Jedediah Smith State Park, about nine miles east of Crescent City near the border of Oregon and California, the ‘Grove of Titans’ is reportedly the largest community of redwood trees ever discovered. It’s lesser known than other California redwoods, like those in Big Basin and Humboldt State Parks, but what makes it extra-appealing is its unmarked location north of the park’s trail. The researchers who discovered the grove in 1998 kept its exact spot a secret, so tourists who went in search of the area found it through unofficial park sources, like Google maps. A few years ago, someone posted a photo of the grove on social media with its GPS coordinates, drawing in thousands of tourists to look for the spot.”

The Verge: 2017 Was YouTube’s Best Year Ever. It Was Also Its Worst.. “2017 was a wild year for YouTube. It continued to extend its dominance as the world’s biggest video platform: in June it announced that 1.5 billion people now log in each month, a user base second only to Facebook’s and one that can earn successful creators a substantial windfall. According to recent analysis by Forbes, the top ten channels on YouTube earned $127 million in 2017, an increase of 80 percent from the year before. But in terms of its public image, 2017 was also the worst year YouTube has ever had.”

Quartz: The Yule Log: A Pagan Ritual Turned YouTube Phenomenon. “When the weather outside is frightful, a video of burning logs in a fireplace may not generate actual heat, but it sure makes a room feel delightful. The yule log has its roots (and often simply was a root) in Norse mythology, and from there it was all up and up. It became a symbol of Christmas, morphed into a delicate holiday dessert, made TV history, and is currently racking up views by the hundreds of thousands as a sensory experience minus the pesky fire-starting.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Search Engine Journal: Brute Force Password Hacks on the Rise . “A report earlier this month revealed that an easily searched database of 1.4 billion password credentials has been leaked and made available in dark web communities. These passwords can be used to automate the search for admin level server and CMS access to websites, regardless of platform. Earlier this month a Bitcoin subReddit was compromised. That hacking highlights that it doesn’t matter if you’re using WordPress, Joomla, phpBB or even hand coding your own CMS. If your password is weak or compromised then your site is under risk.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Digital Trends: Obsessive selfie-taking is now a mental disorder called ‘selfitis’. “Selfitis was a term originally coined in a fake news story but that didn’t stop psychologists from actually researching the possibility. A group from Nottingham Trent University and Thiagarajar School of Management recently confirmed that selfitis is an actual mental behavior that leads to obsessive selfie-taking, publishing a research report on its findings in the International Journal of Mental Health Addiction.”

The Next Web: From Compton to Google: How to fix tech’s diversity problem. “Where I come from, folks survive with minimal resources, persevere despite daunting adversity, bring a wealth of diverse viewpoints, and work incredibly hard. They have the grit to succeed even if their skills are, for the moment, lacking. I know plenty of people who are eager to learn how to code or work at a startup. They would be more grateful for the perks and privileges companies offer than the more well-to-do (I know I am). For better or for worse, I feel these are some of the same reasons why companies have sent jobs overseas. Yet, they have bypassed the incredible talent in their own backyards. Why can’t we have a tech boom born in America’s long-neglected hoods and ghettos?” Good afternoon, Internet…

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