Studs Terkel, Google Assistant, Airbnb, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, March 19, 2018


ABC News: Archive of Studs Terkel radio shows to be released to public. “More than 5,600 of Studs Terkel’s radio interview programs on the Chicago station WFMT will be released to the public. The Studs Terkel Radio Archive will launch May 16, the 106th birthday of the late author, activist and oral historian. Terkel died in 2008 at age 96.”


TechHive: Google Assistant rolls out Routines. “Google has begun rolling out Routines, a new feature of Google Assistant that allows users to string together a number of actions with a single phrase. There are six routines in the initial roll out: ‘Good morning,’ ‘Bedtime,’ Leaving home,’ ‘I’m, home,’ Commuting to work,’ and Commuting home.’ ”

The Verge: Airbnb adds new search filters for people with disabilities. “Airbnb has added new filters to its platform to help people with disabilities more easily find accommodations. The total of 21 new filters let people specify searches for step-free entry to rooms, wide entryways to fit a wheelchair through, elevators, showers that can accommodate wheelchairs, ramps, and more.”


Oh gross. Business Insider: The YouTube Kids app has been suggesting a load of conspiracy videos to children. “YouTube’s app specifically for children is meant to filter out adult content and provide a ‘world of learning and fun,’ but Business Insider found that YouTube Kids featured many conspiracy theory videos which make claims that the world is flat, that the moon landing was faked, and that the planet is ruled by reptile-human hybrids.”

MediaPost: EU May Require Search Engines To Reveal Ranking Factors. “Search engines could be forced to reveal their ranking formulas, often viewed as the secret intellectual property behind their business model. The European Commission (EU) has proposed new rules that could require search engines, commerce sites and online platforms to explain how they rank results. In addition, they want these companies to reveal why they penalize or remove content on their sites from search results.”


ZDNet: Yet again, Google tricked into serving scam Amazon ads. “For hours on Thursday, the top Google search result for ‘Amazon’ was pointed to a scam site. The bad ad appeared at the very top of the search result for anyone searching for the internet retail giant — even above the legitimate search result for Anyone who clicked on the ad was sent to a page that tried to trick the user into calling a number for fear that their computer was infected with malware — and not sent to as they would have hoped.”

Brussels Times: Belgium sets minimum age for joining social media at 13 years. “The minimum age for registering on social media will now be 13 years in Belgium, following the government’s approval of a bill to this effect proposed by the Secretary of State for the Protection of Private Life, Philippe De Backer.”

Miami Herald: New email system will archive lawmaker emails for 5 years. “The Montana Legislature is replacing its current email system with one that is expected to make it easier to comply with open records requests. The new email has an automatic archive system that will retain legislators’ emails for five years after their terms end to comply with state law, the Missoulian reports .”


University at Buffalo: Too much online support can be harmful for HIV patients. “For individuals living with HIV, online communities provide the support system they need to engage in positive self-care, which is critical in managing the virus and its ill effects. However, as new University at Buffalo School of Management research finds, beyond a certain threshold, online support can become overwhelming for HIV patients, leading to negative health behaviors.”

Wired: Don’t Ask Wikipedia To Cure The Internet. “….YouTube is far from the first tech company, or even the first social platform, to use Wikipedia’s content for its own goals. Its parent company, Alphabet, frequently uses Wikipedia content in Google search results. Facebook is also testing using Wikipedia to fight its own misinformation problem, though it informed the Wikimedia Foundation of its intentions first. Artificial intelligence researchers also frequently use the online encyclopedia—which still adds 20,000 new entries each month—to train algorithms or teach smart assistants. And Levendowski notes that Alphabet-owned Jigsaw used Wikipedia article discussion pages, in part, to train its open-source troll-fighting AI.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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