Where’s Waldo, Music Playing Software, Facebook Data Export, More: Monday Evening Buzz, April 2, 2018

ResearchBuzz strives to remain an April Fools Day free zone. If you read a link here and realize I got snookered, please let me know. Where’s Waldo is okay because it admits to being a prank up front.


Google Blog: Where’s Waldo? Find him in Google Maps. “Starting today, you can use Google Maps to join in my amazing adventures for April Fools this week. Are you prepared for a perplexing pursuit? I’ve shared my location with you on Android, iOS and desktop (rolling out now). To start the search, simply update your app or visit on desktop. Then press play when you see me waving at you from the side of your screen. You can even ask the Google Assistant on your phone, Chromebook or Home device, “Hey Google, Where’s Waldo?” to start.”


Digital Trends: The best free music players. “Although music streaming services may be some of the most popular ways to consume music today, that’s not the case for everyone. For those with their own local collections, you need a decent music player, and sometimes Windows Media Player just doesn’t cut it. Here is our guide to the best free music players for Windows PCs. This list contains applications for both the hardest of hardcore music lovers, and for listeners that prefer to use something more simplistic.”

Thanks to Esther S. for the heads-up! Medium: Quickly return #DeleteFacebook photo export back to nicely named galleries. “Over the weekend I took the first steps toward deleting my Facebook account, I exported my data. If you haven’t done it yet, you should (here’s how) even if you don’t plan on actually deleting your account….One really annoying thing I found in the export was that my image galleries had all been encoded in non-human-readable folders. This isn’t great for storing my images long-term outside of Facebook. So, I wanted a quick way to parse the HTML files Facebook provided into folders named for the galleries I originally created when uploading the photos.”


Quartz: Michigan’s students and teachers are using public data to challenge university spending. “One of the most active student clubs at Michigan State University meets every other Wednesday in a room above a buzzing cafeteria. This club doesn’t organize intramural sports or plan keg parties or produce the yearbook. It pores over dense financial documents to examine how the university handles its money. One kind of risky deal they unearthed, the students in the group say, cost the school more than $130 million at a time when tuition was increasing much faster than the national average.”

The Korea Herald: Facebook scandal spreads as Korean regulator plans probe. “Korea’s state-run media regulator has begun a formal investigation into Facebook’s user data collection practices, joining the wave of worldwide probes into the firm’s worst data breach crisis to date, while also adding other social network platforms to its inspection list. The Korea Communications Commission confirmed Friday that it will embark on an investigation into the private data collection policies of Korea’s major social networks including Facebook, Instagram, KakaoTalk and Naver’s social networking service Band.”

Park Slope Patch: Twitter Account Lets You Check Bad NYC Drivers’ History. “Safe streets advocate Brian Howald set up a ‘How’s My Driving NY’ Twitter account last week that let’s users punch in a license plate and automatically checks through city records to pull up past violations. The idea came after a driver slammed into five pedestrians in Park Slope last month, killing Abigail Blumenstein, 4, and Joshua Lew, 1.” Spoiler alert: most of the plates that the bot looks up have no results.


Los Alamos Daily Post: AG Balderas Warns New Mexicans About New Facebook Scam In Wake Of Massive Facebook Privacy Breach. ” Attorney General Hector Balderas issued the following scam alert Thursday warning New Mexicans to be extra cautious about people pretending to be able to help them with their Facebook data in the wake of the Facebook privacy breach. On the heels of the furor over Facebook’s sharing of subscriber data, new Facebook scam artists are calling people in New Mexico, attempting to access data the subscriber may not wish to share.”

Uzbekistan National News Agency: English version of the National database of legislation for investors will be created. “At the meeting, it was noted that work is underway on creating an English version of the National database of legislation of the Republic of Uzbekistan in order to inform potential investors about legal conditions for doing business in Uzbekistan.”

TorrentFreak: Russia Asked ISPs to Block 13.5 Million Amazon IP Addresses to Silence One App. “Zello rose to fame in August 2017 when the ‘walkie-talkie’ app was used by relief effort volunteers and those stranded in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. The Russian government, however, wants to take the app down and this week it was revealed that the country’s telecoms regulator told ISPs to prepare to block 15 million IP addresses, most belonging to Amazon, in order to do so.”


Times of Oman: Research centre collects data on over 7,000 species native to Oman. “The Oman Animal and Plant Genetic Resources Centre (OAPGRC) said it gathered data on at least 7,303 species native to Oman. The research body revealed the final number of species was actually higher and the numbers were still being collated…. The data collated by the organisation includes 1,400 Omani plant species, 2,600 animals, 2,500 marine species and 803 species of fungi and bacteria.”


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