Google Image Search, Image Editing, VR/AR Apps, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, January 16, 2018


SEO Roundtable: Google Reverse Image Search Matching Images Bug To Be Fixed. “Last week we reported on a possible bug or change with reverse image search in Google. Well, it is a bug, not a feature or change. Google said the ‘pages that include matching images’ is a bug that will be fixed in the upcoming week or so.”


ReviewGeek: 6 Cheap Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop. “Adobe Photoshop is easily the industry standard when it comes to graphic and photo editing. We don’t just edit a photo these days, but we ‘photoshop’ it—but ‘shopping things with the real deal isn’t cheap…. Fortunately, if you’d rather spend a one-off fee and actually own a software license for your chosen product, there are numerous alternatives out there. We’ve taken a look at some of the best. Some options are entirely free, while others are browser based, so there should be something that’s perfect for you, regardless of your situation.”

MIT Technology Review: Apps That Hint at a Fanciful Fake Future. “… it’s tricky to find the ones that do a great job of showing what we can do with these media, especially as smartphones and software get better and better. The following list collects some mobile AR and VR apps that are worth checking out, no matter whether you’re an early adopter with the latest headsets at home or just curious to learn more about these technologies. These apps weren’t chosen because they’re currently the most useful applications of AR and VR. The products are all focused on having fun. But they are worth trying because they can help you think about the potential for new AR and VR technologies and get a sense for what’s already possible.”


BuzzFeed: Twitter Says No, Hundreds Of Twitter Employees Are Not Reading Your DMs. “On Monday, conservative activist and filmmaker James O’Keefe published undercover footage of Twitter engineers alleging the social network has hundreds of employees reading ‘everything you post online’ — including direct messages. But according to Twitter, these claims are factually incorrect and misleadingly portrayed by O’Keefe’s media organization Project Veritas.”

Engadget: Quika promises free satellite internet for developing countries. “Facebook’s plans for free satellite internet access may have run into some… setbacks, but another company is promising to make that ubiquitous data a practical reality. Quika, a company led by the chief of satellite provider Talia, is launching a free satellite broadband service in the second quarter of 2018. It’s promising speedy, low-latency Ka-band data in developing countries where income inequality and a lack of infrastructure (especially in rural areas) make conventional internet access impractical for most. Service will begin with Afghanistan, Iraq and most of Africa, but there are promises of more countries afterward.”

Al Jazeera: Government targets Rappler, website critical of Duterte. “The Philippine government has sought to shut down an independent news website, which has published critical stories about President Rodrigo Duterte, a move observers and journalists say is an attack on press freedom and democracy.”


Creative Commons: Is Copyright Term Extension Finally Done?. “One common criticism of copyright policy are the incredibly long copyright terms—that is, the length which creators are granted an exclusive monopoly over how their works are used. It didn’t always used to be this way. When the U.S. passed its copyright act in 1790, the term was set at 14 years (with the possibility of another 14-year renewal). But slow since that time, copyright terms have increased in duration, and pretty much solidified at the international minimum term of life of the author + 50 years through the widespread adoption of the Berne Convention. There is no good reason for copyright to last so long.”


Quartz: When will social media companies get serious about their effect on young kids?. “The problem is, we don’t really know the long-term effects of social media on children, which leaves us feeling a bit powerless to push back against inextricable lure of connection and affirmation. We turn on parental controls that kids can hack, and create tech-free zones and hours (previously known as bedtime) to try and mitigate the effects. It should not be this way. Social media giants should share what they know about younger users—I’m guessing they have some data—and embrace design principles around protection, not simply ‘interaction.'”

CNET: AI beats humans in Stanford reading comprehension test. “AI created by Chinese tech giant Alibaba and Microsoft have tied for first place on the Stanford Question Answering Dataset (SQuAD) this month, beating the human score for Exact Match (providing exact answers to questions). Alibaba and Microsoft announced the news separately on Monday.”

Futurist Gerd: Facebook Is No Longer ‘Social’ Anything – It’s An AI-platform That Needs To Be Regulated. “Last year’s reports that some apparently well-funded Russian entities used Facebook to systemically disseminate fake news and seed widespread dissent during the 2016 U.S. elections is not only worrisome because of the damage that is being done to the democratic process, the impact on the credibility of social media and the overall trust in the Internet as a medium. It also shows how Facebook has – intentionally or inadvertently but lucratively, either way – built a gigantic manipulation machine that is run by algorithms (or dare we say ‘artificial intelligence‘), not by people, and, crucially, not for people.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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