West Virginia Natural Gas, Facebook, Reddit, More: Wednesday Buzz, April 4, 2018


WV Public Broadcasting: WVDEP Launches Webpage Dedicated to Helping Citizens Learn About Pipeline Projects. “The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection has created a new webpage designed to help the public navigate maps and information about the five major natural gas pipelines in West Virginia that have been proposed or are under construction. In a news release Monday, WV DEP said the site includes, ‘detailed maps, transcripts, (and) permit information’ on a single webpage.”


Select All: Facebook Says It’s Sorry for Quietly Keeping All of Your Never-Posted Videos, and That It Will Delete Them. “Last week, Select All reported that Facebook had quietly been storing videos users never posted and believe they had deleted. The issue involved videos that users filmed back in the days when Facebook let users film videos directly on the platform to post on their friends’ walls. Turns out, when a user filmed a take and decided not to post it … the video was saved. Nearly a week later, Facebook says it finally has an answer as to why this happened, and says that it is working to delete all of the inappropriately saved content.”

CNET: Reddit’s fancy new redesign is out now. “On Monday roughly 1 percent of users will get access to Reddit’s new redesign. The new changes have been in the works for over a year now and represent the first serious upgrade to the site in over a decade. Today’s rollout is something of a load bearing test. The current plan is to make an ‘opt-in’ available over the coming weeks.”

Engadget: Glitch launches its ‘YouTube for app creators’. “Fog Creek Software (led by well-known entrepreneur Anil Dash) has spent about a year testing Glitch, a sort of YouTube for app creators where people can create, modify and host code in an easy to use, collaborative environment. And now, it’s ready for public consumption: Glitch has dropped the beta tag and is now officially available to everyone. The site lets you ‘remix’ them regardless of your skill level. You don’t even have to figure out where to launch them, as Glitch automatically hosts your work.”


Fast Company Design: Google’s Latest Experiment Is Like Reverse Image Search For Color. “Google’s Art & Culture Experiments are always a source of joy–like its recent viral selfie feature, which matched your face to your long-lost twin in fine art. But the app also provides more useful tools, like its latest, Art Palette. It’s a web app that takes any color combination you choose and matches it with artworks drawn from Google’s long list of institutional partners, including thousands of paintings in museums all over the world.”

MakeUseOf: 5 New Desktop Productivity Apps for Pomodoro, Kanban, and Other Techniques. “Not everyone has found the perfect software to boost their productivity. One of these new desktop apps might be just what you have been looking for. The good part is that they are based on sound productivity principles, whether it’s techniques like Pomodoro or the need for a single dashboard of all pending tasks. If there is some way you like to get things done, chances are that one of these apps will fit those needs.”


Motherboard: Facebook Has Been Preparing for #DeleteFacebook for More Than a Decade. “There has never been a better time to #DeleteFacebook. So says the movement to ditch the social platform, in light of revelations about its complicitness in Cambridge Analytica harvesting 50 million people’s data in 2014. But Facebook’s nearly 2 billion users have nowhere else to go. That’s because, with a few exceptions, Facebook has managed to squash its competitors, either by cloning or acquiring them—a tactic it’s used to remain relevant and irreplaceable.”

Bloomberg: Google Shakes Up Management at Top of Powerful Search, AI Units. “John Giannandrea, the head of Google’s cornerstone web-search unit, is stepping down from his role. Alphabet Inc.’s Google merged its search and artificial intelligence divisions in February 2016, placing the veteran computer scientist at the helm. Now that he’s moving aside, Google is splitting up the two groups again, the company said Monday.”

The Star: The high cost of accessing public records is a barrier to democracy, experts say. This article is from a Canadian media source. “The high cost of freedom of information points to a broader problem with government record-keeping and accountability, transparency advocates and privacy watchdogs say. Citizens have a right to details about issues such as the controversial Scarborough subway extension, but it potentially comes with a $31,948 price tag and three-year wait. That’s how much the TTC says it will cost to deliver Star city hall reporter Jennifer Pagliaro’s freedom of information (FOI) request.”


BetaNews: The best and worst rated countries for internet surveillance. “We all know that some countries censor their citizens’ access to the internet. But which are the most intrusive when it comes to online surveillance? Consumer security site Security Baron has created an infographic showing the best and worst, along with those named by Reporters Without Borders as, ‘enemies of the internet’.”

New York Times: As Malaysia Moves to Ban ‘Fake News,’ Worries About Who Decides the Truth. “In highway billboards and radio announcements, the government of Malaysia is warning of a new enemy: ‘fake news.’ On Monday, the lower house of Parliament passed a bill outlawing fake news, the first measure of its kind in the world. The proposal, which allows for up to six years in prison for publishing or circulating misleading information, is expected to pass the Senate this week and to come into effect soon after.”


Neowin: Data scientist enlists Google’s help to unite machine learning and ramen . “If your definition of a hyperfuturistic setting involves robots being able to identify which store the bowl of ramen that just got delivered to you came from, we’ve gotten one step closer to your imagined utopia.” Good morning, Internet…

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