Laptop Battery Recall, Google Image Search, Instagram Stories, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, January 5, 2018


Engadget: HP recalls laptop batteries due to overheating issues. “If you’ve got an HP notebook or mobile workstation computer, you’ll want to check out the latest battery recall from the company. Lithium-ion batteries for affected HP laptops were shipped between December 2015 and December 2017. There have been eight reports of the battery packs overheating, melting or charring, three of which include reports of $4,500 in property damage and one report of a first degree burn to a hand.”

SEO Roundtable: Google Image Search Can’t Find Images From Before April 2008. “So apparently if you try to filter out images in Google Image search to show images from April 2008 or earlier, Google will tell you that you are out of luck. If you change it to May 2008, sure, but something about April 2008 or earlier, Google Image search cannot help you out. I am not sure why exactly?” Huh?

Ubergizmo: Instagram Stories Can Be Posted Straight To WhatsApp. “Facebook often tests new methods to link some of its popular services together. In October last year, the company allowed users to post their Instagram Stories directly to Facebook. It’s now working on something similar for WhatsApp. The company is testing a new feature that will enable Instagram users to post their Stories directly to WhatsApp.”

TechCrunch: Facebook Watch is adding clips from the CBS late-night lineup. “Short-form content from CBS’ late-night shows ‘The Late Show with Stephen Colbert’ and ‘The Late Late Show with James Corden’ will now appear on Facebook Watch, according to multiple reports. It’s the latest effort by Facebook to make Watch a thing.”


BetaNews: Microsoft releases PowerShell script to check if your PC is vulnerable to Meltdown and Spectre. “In the wake of the Meltdown and Spectre chip bug revelations, people around the world are wondering whether or not they are affected. Bearing in mind the number of chips with the flaw, the chances that your computer has a vulnerability are very high. Microsoft rushed to get an emergency fix out to Windows 10 users, promising that Windows 7 and 8 users will be patched in the near future. The company has also released a PowerShell script that lets users check whether they have protection in place.”


Sunlight Foundation: In its first year, the Trump administration has reduced public information online. “From the redesign of the White House website to the removal of hundreds of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) webpages about climate change, the Trump administration, as part of transforming the federal government in its first year, has already left a distinct mark on federal websites. In some cases, we’ve observed politically motivated and otherwise unexplained removals of documents and entire websites.”


eWeek: Google Apps Script Vulnerability Exposes Malware Risks. “Google Apps Script is a JavaScript-based language used across the G Suite of applications, including Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms. The purpose of the language is to help developers and organizations extend functionality in Google’s applications, enabling such things as custom menus and functions. Proofpoint discovered a flaw with Google Apps Script that could allow an attacker to download malware onto a user’s system. ”

Reuters: Macron plans law to fight ‘fake news’ in 2018. “President Emmanuel Macron announced on Wednesday he would overhaul French media legislation this year to fight the spread of ‘fake news’ on social media which he said was a threat to liberal democracies.”


Pew (pew pew pew pew!): Crossing the Line: What Counts as Online Harassment?. “Pew Research Center surveys have found that online harassment is a common phenomenon in the digital lives of many Americans, and that a majority of Americans feel harassment online is a major problem. Even so, there is considerable debate over what online harassment actually means in practice.”

Smithsonian Magazine: Big Data Traces the World’s Most Distinctive Musical Traditions. “From Tuvan throat singing to Chinese Opera, there are a lot of different types of music in the world. While musicologists have spent the last century or so collecting and preserving folk music traditions from around the globe, comparing such a vast number of sounds has been no easy task. But thanks to the help of cutting-edge computational analysis, a team of researchers have now sorted through thousands of recordings in an attempt to reveal which world music traditions are the most unique.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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