YouTube, Tech Lobbying, Google, More: Tuesday Buzz, July 24, 2018


Tubefilter: YouTube Will Distribute Grants To Education-Focused Channels Via ‘YouTube Learning’ Fund. “As we reach the midway point of 2018, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has addressed the community with another quarterly update blog — and an accompanying video on her mostly inactive YouTube channel — with respect to the five ways in which the platform is aiming to empower creators.”

Business Insider: Facebook, Amazon, and Google just spent record amounts of cash on lobbying Washington, DC. “Amid increased scrutiny from major politicians and activists, tech giants Facebook, Amazon, and Google each set records during the second quarter of 2018 for dollars spent on lobbying in Washington, DC, disclosures showed. Facebook, a company that has faced backlash over privacy concerns, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and fake news on its platform, spent $3.67 million on lobbying in the quarter. That’s the largest single-quarter sum the company has ever spent, Politico reported.”

9to5 Google: Google killing ‘Save to Google’ Chrome extension, ‘Saved’ site gains Material Theme. “Unbeknownst to most users, Google has long featured native “Save” functionality to bookmark links and images. First built into Image Search and later the Search app on Android, Google also maintained a Chrome extension to save pages. However, Google is set to kill that client next month, thus sending mixed signals on the future of the feature.”


MakeUseOf: The 8 Best Free Browser-Based Adobe Illustrator Alternatives. “Adobe Illustrator is the default choice for anyone who needs high quality graphic design software. But Adobe’s subscription model is pretty expensive, and Illustrator only works on Windows and Mac. If you’re a hobbyist on a budget, or use Linux or a Chromebook, what are your options? Fortunately, there are plenty of free, browser-based Adobe Illustrator alternatives you can try. Not only do you not have to pay for them, but they’ll run on any device running any operating system.”


Search Engine Journal: DuckDuckGo Blasts Google for Anti-Competitive Search Behavior. “On the heels of Google being fined a record-breaking $5 billion by the EU for antitrust violations, search engine DuckDuckGo has voiced its concerns over Google’s search practices. In a series of tweets from the company’s official Twitter account, DuckDuckGo voiced its support for the EU cracking down on Google’s anti-competitive search behavior.”

Jewish Press: Joint Initiative to Collect Testimony of Jews from Arab Countries, Iran. “The San Francisco Bay Area based non-profit organization, JIMENA (Jews Indigenous to the Middle East and North Africa) has announced a new initiative to produce a comprehensive collection of Oral History testimonies of Jews from Arab countries and Iran. The project is a partnership with Israel’s Ministry of Social Equality (MSE), Beit Hatfutsot: The Museum of Jewish Peoplehood, and Ben Gurion University (BGU).”


TechCrunch: Data breach exposes trade secrets of carmakers GM, Ford, Tesla, Toyota . “Security researcher UpGuard Cyber Risk disclosed Friday that sensitive documents from more than 100 manufacturing companies, including GM, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, Tesla, Toyota, ThyssenKrupp, and VW were exposed on a publicly accessible server belonging to Level One Robotics.” Isn’t that more of a leak than a breach? C’mon now.

The Verge: Driver for Uber and Lyft live-streamed hundreds of riders on Twitch without their consent. Eww. “An Uber and Lyft driver in St. Louis, Missouri has given around 700 rides since March 2018, and nearly all of them have been live-streamed on Twitch, without passenger consent. In a lengthy report, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch detailed the actions of Jason Gargac, a 32-year ride-hailing driver who took advantage of Missouri’s one-party consent laws to build up a Twitch following by live-streaming passengers — including children. At times, Gargac has inadvertently revealed the full names of his riders and what their homes and neighborhoods looked like on his channel, under the online handle ‘JustSmurf.'”

CNET: Chrome’s HTTP warning seeks to cut web surveillance, tampering. “The Hypertext Transfer Protocol lets your web browser fetch a web page from the server that hosts it. HTTP has had a good run, but it has a problem: It doesn’t protect communications with encryption that blocks eavesdropping and tampering. That’s why Google, Mozilla and other tech industry allies have been pushing websites everywhere to switch to the secure version, called HTTPS. And it’s why, starting with the release of Chrome 68 on Tuesday, Google’s browser will warn you whenever it loads an unencrypted HTTP website.”


Economic Times: How Google Glass-based solutions can empower autistic people in India. “Google Glass — an eye-wearable device that made headlines in 2015 but failed in the consumer technology space — has now rekindled the hopes of millions of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) globally, including in India. Although no official numbers are available, at least 70 million people have autism worldwide, including over 10 million in India.”

Signal: Social Media Helps Detect Nuclear Agreement Violations. “Researchers at North Carolina (NC) State University have developed a new computational model that draws on normally incompatible data sets, such as satellite imagery and social media posts, to answer questions about what is happening in targeted locations. The model identifies violations of nuclear nonproliferation agreements. The data can include traditional sources, such as Geiger counter readings or multispectral data from satellite imagery, but many may be nontraditional and diverse, including Flickr and Twitter posts.”

Wired: Facebook Notification Spam Has Crossed The Line. “FACEBOOK HAS ALWAYS nudged truant users back to its platform though emails and notifications. But recently, those prods have evolved beyond comments related to activity on your own profile. Now Facebook will nag you when an acquaintance comments on someone else’s photo, or when a distant family member updates their status. The spamming has even extended to those who sign up for two-factor authentication—which is a great way to turn people off to that extra layer of security.” Good morning, Internet…

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