Campaign Finance Laws, Illinois History, Opera VPN, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, April 19, 2018


Campaign Finance Institute: Introducing CFI’s Groundbreaking Database Of State Campaign Finance Laws. “The Campaign Finance Institute is pleased to release a groundbreaking new tool, ‘CFI’s Historical Database of State Campaign Finance Laws’. The database covers all of the states’ campaign finance laws every two years since 1996. It is designed for everything from interactive and visualized lookups to downloadable datasets.”

WAND 17: Illinois State Museum launches “Story of Illinois” website. “The Illinois State Museum is launching a website called ‘Story of Illinois’ for the state’s bicentennial celebration. The website features objects from the museum’s Illinois Legacy Collection as well as collections from other museums across the state that celebrate Illinois heritage.”


PC World: Opera is shuttering its VPN app for iOS and Android, sending users to SurfEasy. “Pour one out for Olaf. No, not the charming snowman from Disney’s Frozen, the mascot for Opera’s free VPN app. Opera has announced that the warmhearted Viking will be retiring at the end of April, taking the free VPN app for iOS and Android with him.”

Search Engine Journal: Google Maps Highlights Public Events Currently In Progress. “A feature has been spotted in Google Maps that appears to show the app highlighting public events that are currently ongoing. A Reddit user published a screenshot that was captured over the weekend.”

The Verge: YouTube CEO addresses demonetization, ignores frustrated small creators. “YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced in a blog post today that YouTube will be launching a pilot program with a small group of users in an attempt to address and ameliorate its creators’ continued concerns regarding demonetization and other recent, largely unpopular changes to the YouTube Partners Program.” YouTube is not being nice to its golden goose.


Source: Introducing the Field Guide to Security Training in the Newsroom. “Most people don’t think much about privacy or security until they find themselves in a situation where they really need it. Often, by then it is too late. Wrapping your head around how the internet works while you’re in the middle of a high-stakes investigation is a distraction you can head off by taking privacy seriously before you encounter a crisis. The 2016 Presidential election got a lot of folks, in and out of newsrooms, thinking about their digital privacy. And it reinforced something we’ve known for a while: there are not enough trainers to go around. There are fantastic people at great organizations that do lead trainings. There are also a lot of reporters who happen to have higher security standards than their colleagues, and they get called on to lead these trainings. But it is clear that there’s room for far more.”

MakeUseOf: How to Make a Snapchat Filter in 11 Easy Steps. “With Snapchat geofilters, you can put artwork, names, logos, and other designs over messages in the app. In a unique twist, Snapchat geofilters only work in specific locations and are often only available for a limited time. In recent years, Snapchat filtering uses has been dramatically expanded. Today, you can submit filters to represent birthdays, weddings, parties, and much more. These filters cost money and can be expensive, depending on the size of the location you wish to see the filter run. In this article, you’ll learn all about how to make a Snapchat filter using the new geofilters feature.” Nothing earth-shattering here but a lot of useful info in one place.


ZDNet: Data firm leaks 48 million user profiles it scraped from Facebook, LinkedIn, others. “Localblox, a Bellevue, Wash.-based firm, says it ‘automatically crawls, discovers, extracts, indexes, maps and augments data in a variety of formats from the web and from exchange networks.’ Since its founding in 2010, the company has focused its collection on publicly accessible data sources, like social networks Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and real estate site Zillow to name a few, to produce profiles. But earlier this year, the company left a massive store of profile data on a public but unlisted Amazon S3 storage bucket without a password, allowing anyone to download its contents.”

WZZM: Website would list potholes dotting Michigan highways. “Want to avoid rim-busting potholes on your way into work? There may be an app for that. A house bill introduced this week calls for an online database that lists potholes on Michigan highways. While the Michigan Department of Transportation already takes pothole reports, a bill introduced by Rep. Leslie Love, D-Detroit, would put that information online.”


Thinknum: Here are the top places people check-in and take selfies on Facebook. “When Facebook ($NASDAQ:FB) opened up its ‘Were Here’ counters in 2012, marketers and investors alike foamed at their respectives mouths like hungry cats. That’s because for the first time, they had a social media metric that combined how people perceived a brand online with real-world location data. Facebook’s Were Here count measures how many check-ins, mobile device shares, and photo location tags have been created at a business. It’s a powerful measurement tool because it shows where Facebook users are actually going when they’re not just sitting at home clicking “Like” buttons. We’ve been tracking Were Here counts at Thinknum for years.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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