Free Ancestry Weekend, Snapchat Easter Eggs, Solar Jobs, More: Saturday Buzz, March 31, 2018

Irish Genealogy News: Easter Weekend Special: Free access to Ancestry’s Commonwealth collection. “From Friday 30 March to Monday 2 April, Ancestry is opening up its collection of millions of records from Ireland, Britain and the Commonwealth for free access.”

PopSugar: The Great Snapchat Egg Hunt Has Begun — Here’s How to Get in on the Fun. “Calling all recovering Pokémon Go addicts: boy, has Snapchat got just thing for you this holiday weekend. From March 30 to April 1 at 9 p.m., over one million (!) fancy decorated eggs will be hiding all across your Snap Map, just waiting to be sought out and captured with a 3D world lens.”


Union of Concerned Scientists: Where Are the Solar Jobs? New Resource Can Tell You. “A new tool from The Solar Foundation breaks down the latest solar jobs numbers by state, metropolitan area, county, and congressional district, and looks at who makes up the solar industry…. The interactive map…slices and displays the solar census data for 2017 in a range of ways.”

University of Cumbria: Lecturer creates unique Brexit picture and audio archive. “One year after the UK triggered its withdrawal from the EU, a unique sound and picture archive has been created by a university lecturer who toured the country canvassing the views of voters. Alice Myers, lecturer of photography at the University of Cumbria, and artist Ali Avery embarked on a two-week tour of the UK last April to listen and record the views of everyday voters. They stopped at 50-mile intervals and knocked on every number 50 door they could find, documenting their journey photographically as they went.”


TechCrunch: Facebook starts fact checking photos/videos, blocks millions of fake accounts per day. “Facebook has begun letting partners fact check photos and videos beyond news articles, and proactively review stories before Facebook asks them. Facebook is also now preemptively blocking the creation of millions of fake accounts per day. Facebook revealed this news on a conference call with journalists [Update: and later a blog post] about its efforts around election integrity that included Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos, who’s reportedly leaving Facebook later this year but claims he’s still committed to the company.”

Wired: Pinterest’s New Feature Takes The Algorithm Out Of Your Feed. “The beauty of a site like Pinterest lies in how little you have to do to use it. Choose a few things you’re interested in—vegan food, knitting, travel—then kick back and enjoy scrolling through algorithmically generated collections of images…. But sometimes, you want to see what you signed up to see, and not what the machines think you might like. So today, Pinterest is introducing a new feed populated only by the people and boards you follow.”


BuzzFeed: Growth At Any Cost: Top Facebook Executive Defended Data Collection In 2016 Memo — And Warned That Facebook Could Get People Killed. “The Bosworth memo reveals the extent to which Facebook’s leadership understood the physical and social risks the platform’s products carried — even as the company downplayed those risks in public. It suggests that senior executives had deep qualms about conduct that they are now seeking to defend. And as the company reels amid a scandal over improper outside data collection on its users, the memo shows that one senior executive — one of Zuckerberg’s longest-serving deputies — prioritized all-encompassing growth over all else, a view that has led to questionable data collection and manipulative treatment of its users.”

The Guardian: Sheryl Sandberg: Facebook business chief leans out of spotlight in scandal. “In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal, there has been a glaring lack of leadership from Facebook. Almost five days of silence passed before its CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, faced the public with a post to his Facebook profile and a series of well-rehearsed interviews with handpicked media outlets. As the public bayed ‘Where’s Mark?’, his right-hand woman, Sheryl Sandberg, has avoided much of the scrutiny, despite the fact that she is the architect of Facebook’s data-centric advertising business and a highly skilled communicator.”


CCN: Global Cryptocurrency Groups Plan to Sue Google, Facebook Over Advertising Ban. “The Russian Association of Crypto-Currency and Block-Finish (RACIB) and industry associations in Korea and China are planning to sue Google, Twitter, Facebook and Yandex for refusing to place cryptocurrency advertising, RACIB head Yuri Pripachkin told the Blockchain RF-2018 congress. The parties intend to file suit in May, Russian publishing giant TASS reports.”

BetaNews: Less than half of Android security apps offer effective protection. “A new study from independent testing lab AV-Comparatives reveals that of over 200 Android security apps tested the majority are dubious, unsafe or ineffective. The company downloaded 204 apps from the Google Play store in January this year and found 84 of the apps detected over 30 percent of malicious samples, and had zero false alarms. 79 detected under 30 percent of malware samples and/or had a high false alarm rate.”


Washington Post: Why it’s time to regulate social media companies like Facebook. “The player currently at the center of the 2016 election story is Cambridge Analytica, the shadowy and unscrupulous conservative political consulting firm. With the cooperation or acquiescence of Facebook, Cambridge Analytica exploited the personal data of millions of people to boost Donald Trump’s candidacy. As of now, only special counsel Robert S. Mueller III knows how, if at all, this operation was tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attack on the U.S. election. But the whole episode illustrates just how vulnerable our democratic institutions can be to the forces created by social media, which has really only been around for the past 10 to 15 years. Many of us, myself included, now treat social media as a routine, if not essential, part of our everyday lives. Because our social and civic worlds are integrated into this new media landscape, we have, to some extent, allowed democracy itself to be stewarded by corporations.”

CNN: Presidential misspellings create spike in dictionary searches. “President Donald Trump is known for his Twitter feed, often posting seemingly off-the-cuff messages or providing commentary on the news of the day. But his seeming lack of a filter on the social media platform has also led to several misspellings. And it’s not always the President tapping away, he often dictates messages to an aide who ultimately presses send.” Good morning, Internet…

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