Ubuntu Linux, Facebook, Android Updates, More: Sunday Buzz, May 13, 2018


Ars Technica: Ubuntu 18.04: Unity is gone, GNOME is back—and Ubuntu has never been better. “Canonical recently released Ubuntu 18.04, the company’s latest iteration of its popular Linux distribution, nicknamed Bionic Beaver. Ubuntu 18.04 is a Long Term Support (LTS) release and will receive updates and support from Canonical until April 2023. But more notably… Unity is gone. GNOME is back. And Ubuntu has never been better.”

BuzzFeed: A New Facebook Feature Shows Which Pro-Trump Facebook Pages Are Run From Overseas. “Facebook temporarily turned on a new feature that enabled users to see previously hidden information about a page, such as when it was created, how many people manage it, and where those people are based. This new information was briefly shown in a box called ‘Page History’ that was part of the ad transparency product the company is currently testing in Canada ahead of a rollout in the US in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. However, after being contacted about the Page History box by BuzzFeed News, Facebook turned off the entire ‘View Ads’ product in Canada.”

Neowin: Revised Android partner agreements may improve regularity of security patching by OEMs . “Putting aside major OS updates, security updates for Android-powered units continues to be an issue outside of Pixel-branded devices. Although Android security patches are released on a monthly basis, manufacturers tend to roll them out later compared to Google’s own hardware or, as was discovered last month, lie about having deployed those updates in the first instance. Now, it appears that Google is cracking down on OEMs to do a better job in this area.”


MakeUseOf: 6 Google Photos Alternatives to Use If You’re Tired of Its Shortcomings. “Google Photos is one of the best photos apps for smartphones right now. With unlimited storage, smart AI that auto-sorts pictures, and a built-in photo editor, it’s a winner. But that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Even now, there isn’t a Google Photos for desktop app to save all your pictures offline on your computer. While the auto-organization is great, the manual organization is a mess. The mobile app is fantastic for backing up photos and videos, but it’s substandard as a Gallery. And we all know Google’s many privacy problems, so are you sure you want to give it more of your personal data? You need a Google Photos alternative, whether you know it or not. That’s not to say you need to uninstall Google Photos—feel free to run multiple photo apps, each for its own purpose.”

Search Engine Journal: DuckDuckGo SEO: What You Should Know. “Over the last few weeks, multiple clients have asked me about DuckDuckGo and if their websites are optimized for this search engine. It was a great question, because DuckDuckGo has been quietly attracting users and generating more traffic to websites. I set out on my own research and discovery to uncover what it takes to perform well in DuckDuckGo results.”

Bustle: How To Delete Your Old Tweets Without Having To Scroll Back And Reread All Of Them. “It’s a universal truth that social media posts don’t always age gracefully. While there’s certainly upsides to being able to share our every bite-sized thought instantly on Twitter, there’s also downsides, and those include, well, the fact that your Twitter ends up being a record of all your bite-sized thoughts, even ones you may later regret sharing. Luckily, your social media record isn’t permanent, and you can learn how to delete your old tweets and retain your account’s followers—without having to reread the potential cringe-fest awaiting you in the depths of your account.”


Code4Lib: Wikidata: a platform for your library’s linked open data. “Seized with the desire to improve the visibility of Canadian music in the world, a ragtag band of librarians led by Stacy Allison-Cassin set out to host Wikipedia edit-a-thons in the style of Art+Feminism, but with a focus on addressing Canadian music instead. Along the way, they recognized that Wikidata offered a low-barrier, high-result method of making that data not only visible but reusable as linked open data, and consequently incorporated Wikidata into their edit-a-thons. This is their story.”

The Evening Standard: Behind the scenes London: The British Library Treasures and Manuscripts collection. “What’s home to more than 60 million patents, 14 million books, 8 million stamps, 6 million sound recordings, 4,447,505 maps and 351,116 manuscripts? Well, The British Library of course.”


New York Times: Service Meant to Monitor Inmates’ Calls Could Track You, Too. “The service provided by Securus reveals a potential weakness in a system that is supposed to protect the private information of millions of cellphone users. With customers’ consent, carriers sell the ability to acquire location data for marketing purposes like providing coupons when someone is near a business, or services like roadside assistance or bank fraud protection. Companies that use the data generally sign contracts pledging to get people’s approval — through a response to a text message, for example, or the push of a button on a menu — or to otherwise use the data legally. But the contracts between the companies, including Securus, are ‘the legal equivalent of a pinky promise,’ [Senator Ron] Wyden wrote.”


EurekAlert: Facebook app offers opportunity to help unpaid Alzheimer’s caregivers via friendsourcing. “The app was developed as part of an investigation of a peer support group intervention in which emotional and informational issues that arose in the support group were pushed to the caregiver’s Facebook friends as questions. The Facebook friends then had the opportunity to enlist as a member of a support network by answering the support group questions. Researchers said that when those emotional and informational questions were answered, the caregivers experienced a feeling of increased support.”

University of Arkansas: Oversharing Can Have Consequences, Research Says. “Social media and digital communication tools make sharing private information easier than ever, but communication research suggests that people often fail to set clear expectations and boundaries when they share private information with friends and family. This prompted Lindsey Aloia to investigate how people react when information they consider secret is made public by someone they trust. Her results were published in Communications Studies.”

Digital News Asia: Over 7.3mil #GE14 tweets; sets new twitter election record for Malaysia. “WITH more than 7.3 million Tweets related to the Malaysia Election #GE14 during the 1.5 week campaign period (from 28 April to 9 May, 2018), Twitter was the best place to see what’s happening in Malaysian politics and to talk about it. From breaking news to conversations with political parties, candidates, journalists, and citizens, Twitter was where people across Malaysia and the world tuned in to watch the #MalaysiaElection unfold live in real-time and buzz over hot election topics and developments.” Good morning, Internet…

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