Nigeria Startups, Google Fiber, Twitter, More: Sunday Buzz, July 15, 2018


Techpoint (Nigeria): Introducing Techpoint Base: A comprehensive database for startups. “Over the years, has extensively covered Nigerian and African startups in their entirety and in this time, we have learnt a thing or two about them. We discovered a dearth of resource database for these startups; from essentials talent, to jobs, events and professionals. Even those hoping to see Nigerian startups in an organised order have to look real hard. And that is why we have launched Techpoint Base; to mitigate and gradually eliminate the resource problem of and for startups.”


Engadget: Google Fiber could get a jolt from FCC utility pole policy. “Google Fiber could get serious help from a new rule (PDF) the FCC is set to pass that would give individual companies access to poles across the US. Currently, independent bodies — like, say, a new internet provider — who want to add their lines to poles must request telecoms to do the work, but the federal agency is considering implementing a nationwide One Touch Make Ready (OTMR) arrangement that would allow companies to add their cables themselves. In short, this could seriously help Google speed up the rollout of its high-speed internet solution.” Around here, at least, it feels like it’s at a standstill.

Mashable: The Twitter purge: Here’s who lost the fewest and the most followers. “On Thursday, Twitter commenced the deletion of accounts it deemed ‘inactive.’ That means accounts owned by people who’ve stopped using the platform and didn’t bother to try to reactivate when Twitter sent them a message asking what’s up, and bots that Twitter flagged for exhibiting erratic behavior who didn’t answer that same ‘what’s up?’ email — because the accounts don’t actually belong to real people.”


MakeUseOf: Made by Mozilla: 5 Cool Apps and Tools From the Developers of Firefox. “Mozilla is synonymous with Firefox, which remains one of the best web browsers in the world. But there’s a lot more happening at Mozilla these days, from cool mobile apps to exploring and protecting the internet. Check it out.”


Taiwan News: American shuts down repository of historic photos of Taiwan, selling it for NT$60,000. “An American expat, who managed a massive online collection of vintage photographs of Taiwan since 1995, has shut down the website and is wanting to sell 10,400 historic public domain photos of Taiwan for NT$60,000 (US$1,967) as he prepares to leave the country.” The heck?

CNET: Inside Facebook, Twitter and Google’s AI battle over your social lives. “When you sign up for Facebook on your phone, the app isn’t just giving you the latest updates and photos from your friends and family. In the background, it’s utilizing the phone’s gyroscope to detect subtle movements that come from breathing. It’s measuring how quickly you tap on the screen, and even looking at what angle the phone is being held. Sound creepy? These are just some of the ways that Facebook is verifying that you’re actually human and not one of the tens of millions of bots attempting to invade the social network each day.”

Leadership (Nigeria): AUN, 8 Others To Build Database On Boko Haram Insurgency. “The American University of Nigeria (AUN) and a consortium of nine universities in Canada and the Lake Chad basin countries of Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and Cameroon has secured a preliminary grant of C$198,000 to build a massive database on the Boko Haram insurrection in the Lake Chad basin.”

New York Times: Nextdoor Is Betting a Social Network Can Still Be a Platform for Politics. “When Hala Hijazi wanted her friends to meet London Breed, then a candidate for mayor of San Francisco, she invited the whole neighborhood. Ms. Hijazi, a community organizer and consultant, lives in the city’s Marina District and is a member of Nextdoor, the neighborhood social media site.” This made me laugh, because my Nextdoor is mostly speeding complaints, lost pets, and fox/deer/coyote sightings.


Krebs on Security: Sextortion Scam Uses Recipient’s Hacked Passwords. “Here’s a clever new twist on an old email scam that could serve to make the con far more believable. The message purports to have been sent from a hacker who’s compromised your computer and used your webcam to record a video of you while you were watching porn. The missive threatens to release the video to all your contacts unless you pay a Bitcoin ransom. The new twist? The email now references a real password previously tied to the recipient’s email address.”

Business Insider: India’s social media monitoring plan worries Supreme Court. “A government plan to monitor social media could turn India into a ‘surveillance state’, the Supreme Court was cited as saying on Friday as it asked the government to respond to such worries within two weeks, a lawyer involved in the case said.”

BetaNews: Microsoft calls for government regulation of facial recognition because of ‘potential for abuse’. “Microsoft president Brad Smith has called on government to regulate facial recognition technology, citing concerns that it is open to abuse. While he acknowledges that technology company have a role to play, he that it is down to elected representatives to put rules in place.”


University of Maine: Sporer uses Twitter to research criminological behavior online. “In the modern era of social media, more than 300 million people use Twitter to share news and engage in online conversations. This provides a glimpse into the minds of a diverse public – making Twitter a useful tool for researchers to study people who sympathize and promote extreme violence. Dr. Karyn Sporer, associate professor of sociology, is analyzing a subsample of more than 4,300 tweets looking for emerging themes that justify violence. One of her goals is to help agencies find strategies to counter violent extremism and radicalization.” Good morning, Internet…

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