afternoonbuzz

Augmented Reality, Gboard, Twitter, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, January 23, 2018

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Blog: Augmented reality on the web, for everyone. “In the next few months, there will be hundreds of millions of Android and iOS devices that are able to provide augmented reality experiences – meaning you’ll be able to look at the world through your phone, and place digital objects wherever you look. To help bring this to as many users as possible, we’ve been exploring how to bring augmented reality to the web platform, so someday anyone with a browser can access this new technology. In this post, we’ll take a look at a recent prototype we built to explore how AR content could work across the web, from today’s mobile and desktop browsers, to future AR-enabled browsers.” Anyone remember VRML? Just me? Okay.

The Verge: Gboard just made it too easy to post insane GIF selfies. “Gboard, Google’s iOS and Android keyboard app, has quietly updated its design by moving its GIF-making button up next to the word suggestion bar. The GIF-making feature has been around since last September, but it was hidden behind the emoji button on the bottom.”

Washington Post: Twitter to tell 677,000 users they were had by the Russians. Some signs show the problem continues.. “Twitter says it will notify nearly 700,000 users who interacted with accounts the company has identified as potential pieces of a propaganda effort by the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election. The company on Friday also disclosed thousands of accounts that it said were associated with the Kremlin-linked troll farm, the Internet Research Agency (IRA) and the Russian government, adding to numbers that it released to Congress in October.”

USEFUL STUFF

Make Tech Easier: How to Use Google Sheets: Key Tips to Get You Started . “Ever since Windows’ inception, Microsoft Excel has been the go-to program for number-crunching, spreadsheets, invoices, and all the other things in life that you want organized into infinite grids of rows and columns. But since the Cloud came to prominence, Google Sheets has become the program of choice for many people. It may not be as feature-rich as Excel, but there’s a lot more to it than first meets the eye.” Nice set of “anything you want to do on Google Sheets will be easier if you learn this” tips.

MakeUseOf: 6 Google Docs Resume Templates for All Styles and Preferences. “When it’s time to update or create a new resume, you want one that reflects you and looks professional at the same time. Starting with a template can help with the appearance as well as what you should include. We have many great options for Microsoft Word users, but what about those who need Google Docs resume templates instead?”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

CNET: Facebook admits social media is bad for democracy, sometimes. “Facebook has offered a status update about what happens to democracy when social media gets involved. The social network, which boasts 2 billion users worldwide, acknowledged in three posts on Monday that social media can be problematic for democracies. This comes more than a year after the company’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg, said it was ‘crazy’ to think that fake news on Facebook.swayed the 2016 presidential election.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Wired: An App That Encrypts Your Photos From Camera To Cloud. “PHOTOS PRESENT A practical privacy dilemma: Keep them stored on your phone, and they’ll hog your storage and risk being lost forever the next time your phone falls into a toilet. Stash them in the cloud, and they’re in the hands of Google, Apple, or anyone who can compel those companies to hand over your most intimate pictures. A forthcoming app called Pixek wants to offer a better option.”

Neowin: Google has paid $112,500 as bounty for an Android exploit chain. “Back in June 2017, the program received a boost in some of its rewards because, according to Google, ‘every Android release includes more security protections and no researcher has claimed the top reward for an exploit chains in 2 years’. But last Friday the company finally announced the first big reward since those changes for a working Android remote exploit chain.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Quartz: How to start an email: an email openings analysis of 300,000+ messages. “We used the same data we used to analyze email closings: a few hundred thousand threads from online communities that make their message archives public. We started off by looking at the first lines of each email and counting the relative occurrence of the opening word(s). Here are the five email openings that appeared 1000+ times.”

Science Magazine: Online tool calculates reproducibility scores of PubMed papers. “A new online tool unveiled 19 January measures the reproducibility of published scientific papers by analyzing data about articles that cite them. The software comes at a time when scientific societies and journals are alarmed by evidence that findings in many published articles are not reproducible and are struggling to find reliable methods to evaluate whether they are.” The article notes that the tool is not anywhere close to perfect and the creators are looking for feedback. Good afternoon, Internet…

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