Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Trans-Canada Rally, Congressional Hearings, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, September 3, 2018


Google Blog: Take a spin around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Google Maps. “While the true feeling of the Indy 500 can only be experienced in person, I wanted to bring a taste of it to people who have never been and to those who want to revisit their past experiences there. I work in the Global Business Organization at Google, so I reached out to our Street View team to see if we could bring the track to Google Maps. They sent a Street View Camera around the track just moments before the green flag was waved, and 3 months later, it’s on Street View for all to enjoy. Starting today, you can take a spin around the infamous Indianapolis Motor Speedway and get closer to the action on your phone or computer.”

The Globe and Mail: The story of the Trans-Canada Rally. “The rally – which took place from 1961 to 1968, and in 1971 – sent competitors 6,400 kilometres across farmer’s fields, through sucking mud, over gravel roads and sometimes snow, with no GPS and often only each other for support. Amateurs like Myrna and Bill Williams and Tinkerbell, their miniature poodle, competed against professionals like Monte-Carlo Rally winner Paddy Hopkirk, Formula 1 driver Pedro Rodriguez, and three-time Le Mans winner Luigi Chinetti. ‘It’s a very well-kept secret,’ said Marcel Chichak, who runs the [rally web site.] His comprehensive archive of photos, documents and press clippings paint a picture of a gruelling, anything-goes event.”


Yahoo News: What to expect as Google, Facebook and Twitter face Capitol Hill lawmakers. “On Wednesday morning, the Senate Intelligence Committee will question Twitter (TWTR) CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook (FB) chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on their responses to foreign disinformation campaigns. The committee also invited Google (GOOG, GOOGL) CEO Sundar Pichai, but he declined to testify — another Google representative will testify in his place. Wednesday afternoon, the House Energy & Commerce Committee will quiz Dorsey on Twitter’s ‘algorithms and content monitoring.’” Both episodes, but especially the second, may yield more heat than light. Also likely: Big Tech’s leaders will once again do a poor job of explaining their work and how they’ve failed to do it well.”

The Guardian: Brazil museum fire: ‘incalculable’ loss as 200-year-old Rio institution gutted. “Brazil’s oldest and most important historical and scientific museum has been consumed by fire, and much of its archive of 20m items is believed to have been destroyed. The fire at Rio de Janeiro’s 200-year-old National Museum began after it closed to the public on Sunday and raged into the night. There were no reports of injuries, but the loss to Brazilian science, history and culture was incalculable, two of its vice-directors said.”

Engadget: Google widens crackdown on ads for tech support scams. “Tech support scams are seemingly as plentiful as ever, and Google is taking some strict measures to prevent those fraudsters from showing up in its ads. The search firm has begun ‘restricting’ tech support ads worldwide, and it’s planning to introduce a verification system in the ‘coming months.’ This won’t guarantee that you’ll avoid support scam ads, but the odds should be higher that you’ll get real help.”


How-To Geek: How to Create, Set Up, and Manage Your Discord Server. “Discord is a quickly growing text and voice chat application, aimed at gamers in particular. Its sleek and simple design makes it an excellent alternative to older apps like Teamspeak and Skype. Discord has taken a lot of inspiration from Teamspeak’s extensive customization and management options but has buried some of those options within the interface. Luckily, it’s pretty simple to get started.”


The Verge: When This Instagram Couple Has Vicious Fights, Millions Of People Tune In. The following quote and other parts of the article contain language that could be considered offensive. “Initially started by a Brooklyn-born comedian named after the Spanish gum, the account blew up, thanks to a hilarious short where a man tries his best to fake a good time only to get demolished by his girlfriend. ‘What the fuck is you doing?’ the woman filming asks as the man tries to refill an empty D’Ussé bottle with tea. ‘Trying to look lit for the ‘gram,’ he pleads, noting that he doesn’t have enough money to buy the real thing and that people ‘expect’ it from him. ‘No one gives a fuck about that shit!’ she jabs. The two bicker about whether or not the ruse even looks believable.”

The Atlantic: The Online Gig Economy’s ‘Race to the Bottom’. “You can buy almost any thing you want online—toothpaste, books, plastic devices that allow you to lick your cat. On digital work platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and, you can also buy nearly any service—often from someone halfway around the world, sometimes for just a few bucks. On Fiverr, one of the most popular of these platforms, you’ll find offers for someone who will write an e-book ‘on any topic’; a person who will perform ‘a Voiceover as Bernie Sanders’; someone who will write your Tinder profile for you, and someone who will design a logo for your real-estate company. The people selling this labor live in Nigeria, Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Bangladesh, respectively. Each of them charge $5 for these tasks.”


Nautilus: The Euclidean Metrics of Trump’s Twitter Account. “Using simple linguistic criteria such as these in combination with an array of sentiment lexicons, James Pennebaker and his team at the University of Texas have developed a sentiment tool, linguistic inquiry and word count (LIWC) that can quantify an author’s personality along a range of dimensions, including positivity, anxiety, depression, anger, affability, social engagement, arrogance, enthusiasm, logicality, topicality, and self-absorption. An online version…allows users to affectively profile a Twitter personality of their choosing by entering the corresponding Twitter handle.”

TechCrunch: It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to coordinate efforts on hate speech . “Since the election of Donald Trump in 2016, there has been burgeoning awareness of the hate speech on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. While activists have pressured these companies to improve their content moderation, few groups (outside of the German government) have outright sued the platforms for their actions. That’s because of a legal distinction between media publications and media platforms that has made solving hate speech online a vexing problem.” Good afternoon, Internet…

Do you like ResearchBuzz? Does it help you out? Please consider supporting it on Patreon. Not interested in commitment? Perhaps you’d buy me an iced tea. I love your comments, I love your site suggestions, and I love you. Feel free to comment on the blog, or @ResearchBuzz on Twitter. Thanks!

Categories: afternoonbuzz

Leave a Reply