morningbuzz

Virginia Politics, Politician Letters, Alamance Gleaner, More: Monday Buzz, January 8, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

Richmond Times-Dispatch: Virginia to broadcast and archive General Assembly committee hearings for the first time. “The commonwealth is making a significant move this year to live stream and archive committee hearings of the General Assembly, something open government advocates have been pushing for years….The live broadcasts and online archive will allow the public, lobbyists and anyone with an interest in committee hearings to watch from their home or office, and go back and review hearings indefinitely.”

A new Web site has been started to crowdsource communications between politicians and their constituents: http://www.fromcongress.com/ . From the About page: “From-Congress is an attempt to collect letters sent by representatives to their constituents. These letters often contain statements by the rep about positions that might otherwise be difficult to discover. This project exists to increase the amount of transparency and accountability of representatives in their districts.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

DigitalNC: 20 More Years of the Alamance Gleaner Now Available. “Twenty more years and almost 7000 pages of the Alamance Gleaner have been added to DigitalNC, courtesy of our partner, the Alamance County Public Libraries. Previously, issues of the Gleaner only covered from 1875-1882 and 1911 to 1926, but DigitalNC now includes January 1927 to January 1947. Based out of Alamance County, the Gleaner was published from 1875 through 1956, and it joins other Alamance County newspapers, including the Mebane Leader and the Burlington Twice-A-Week Dispatch.”

USEFUL STUFF

Digital Inspiration: How to Embed Music in your Google Slides Presentation. “Audio can bring your presentations to life especially in a kiosk setting where slideshows play unattended in a continuous loop. If you have recently made the switch from Microsoft PowerPoint or Keynote to Google Slides, the one important feature that you might be missing inside Google Slides is audio.”

Hongkiat: Best Alternatives to Windows 10 Built-in Tools . “Did you know there are much more powerful third-party alternatives for many of the Windows built-in tools? Windows search, start menu, notepad, media tools, uninstaller, and many other built-in tools have alternatives that offer more customization options, more features, and overall more power that you’ll surely like.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Wired: Pro-Kremlin Twitter Trolls Take Aim At Robert Mueller. “On the website Hamilton68, the Alliance tracks some 600 Twitter accounts it says are associated with a Russia-linked influence network. According to newly released figures, in the month of December, by far the most popular articles shared by the trolls aimed to undermine Mueller and the Department of Justice’s investigation into Russian interference.”

TechCrunch: Google has planted its flag at CES. “Google’s here, and it’s planning something big. The company’s presence is impossible to miss as you drive down Paradise Road toward the Las Vegas Convention Center. Like much the rest of the show, the company’s parking lot booth is still under construction today, but the giant, black and white ‘Hey Google’ sign is already hanging above it, visible from blocks away.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

ZDNet: How the Meltdown and Spectre security holes fixes will affect you. “You can’t get away from Meltdown and Spectre. These chip bugs will make your life miserable. Everything you run — and I mean everything — PCs, Macs, iPhones, tablets, cloud computing, and servers — use vulnerable CPUs. Apple, Linux developers, and Microsoft have all released patches. And all of them will slow down at least some of your programs.”

TorrentFreak: People Pay Pennies For Netflix, Spotify, HBO, Xbox Live & More. “Forking out for every premium media service around is a hugely costly affair but some people are getting them all for just pennies each. That’s thanks to so-called account generating platforms, where access to Netflix, Spotify, Amazon Prime, HBO, Xbox Live, EA Origin, TIDAL, WWE, and UFC, among dozens of others, cost next to nothing.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Recode: America’s love-hate relationship with social media, quantified. “Millions of Americans use social media daily. But that doesn’t mean they love it. Or so they say. Some of the most-used social media products in the world — Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram — are also some of the ones that Americans have strong negative feelings about, according to a recent Harris Poll that surveyed more than 2,000 U.S. adults online last month.”

Quartz: Is Facebook playing a part in the Rohingya genocide?. “Based on our research in Myanmar and in Cuba, we argue that internet usage in Myanmar is dangerous. Unbridled connection to Facebook creates what we call a ‘virtual coercive,’ a digital space that bolsters coercion. We suggest that Cuba’s internet model may provide lessons to manage social media amid political chaos. The utility of inventions can be unpredictable, and so too can the social impacts be catastrophic.” Remember, just because I include it in ResearchBuzz doesn’t necessarily mean I agree with it. It just means I consider it an important issue.

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

Oh boy, this really made me laugh. From Boing Boing: A place to memorialize the domain names you let lapse. “goodbye.domains is an obituary column for the domain names that you, after years of squatting, now accept will never be put to use and which are, furthermore, worthless.” I have all kinds of stupid domain names registered. Good morning, Internet…

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