Indonesia Supervolcano, Google, Udemy Courses, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, October 1, 2018


Google Blog: Cruising around a supervolcano lake in Street View. “Around 75,000 years ago (give or take a couple of millennia), a supervolcano erupted on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, throwing out so much ash that it created a volcanic winter lasting several years. The eruption was so massive that the volcano collapsed under its own power, creating the caldera we now call Lake Toba. At over 100 kilometers long and 30 kilometres wide, Lake Toba is the largest volcanic lake in the world. A small team of Googlers spent the last two months scouring every meter of its coastline, using a Street View Trekker mounted on a boat, to collect gorgeous 360-degree imagery around this former supervolcano.”

Search Engine Journal: Google Confirms An Algorithm Update Occurred This Week. “SEOs and site owners are seeing significant spikes and drops in traffic. The most common theme seems to be sites that got hit by the August core algorithm update are now making a recovery.”


MakeUseOf: The 12 Best Udemy Courses for Blockchain and Cryptocurrency. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a cryptocurrency newbie or a blockchain expert, there’s always something new to learn. Udemy courses are one of the best ways to grow your knowledge in any area, and crypto is no different. If you’d like to expand your horizons, check out these 12 Udemy courses for blockchain and cryptocurrency.”


Quartz: Indians are now travelling for Instagram . “‘Do it for the gram’ seems to be the new motto all around. People are undertaking do-it-yourself projects, restaurants are designing aesthetically-pleasing dishes and designers are creating spaces with Instagram-worthy backdrops. And travel is no different. The once budget-conscious Indian traveller now has an equally—or perhaps more—important box to tick when choosing accommodation: it must look good on Instagram, Facebook, and other such platforms.”

Outlook India: Election Commission To Get Help From Facebook, Twitter, Google To Check Fake News During Polls. “Chief Election Commissioner O P Rawat has said that major internet players like Google and social media giants like Twitte [sic] and Facebook have assured the Election Commission (EC) that they will not allow their platforms to be used for anything which effects the purity of polls during campaign period.”

CTV News: With grid now crowdsourced, digital maps can steer you wrong. “For centuries, people have relied on maps to figure out where they are and where they’re going. But today’s digital maps — seemingly more precise than ever –aren’t always as dependable as they appear.”


New York Times: A Social Media Star Is Shot Dead in Baghdad. Iraqis Fear a Trend.. “Tara Fares was a model and a social media star whose carefully crafted lifestyle and fashion photos drew in more than 2.7 million followers on Instagram. On Thursday, she was shot dead at 22 in broad daylight in Baghdad, the latest woman killed in a series of attacks that government officials are investigating as possibly linked.”

ZDNet: Google Project Zero to Linux distros: Your sluggish kernel patching puts users at risk. “Jann Horn, the Google Project Zero researcher who discovered the Meltdown and Spectre CPU flaws, has a few words for maintainers of Ubuntu and Debian: raise your game on merging kernel security fixes, you’re leaving users exposed for weeks.”

Techdirt: Louisiana’s Attorney General Wants To Break Up Google Over ‘Bias’. “The latest in this ridiculous political fight over the claimed, but not proven, ‘political bias’ found in search results and social media is that Louisiana’s Attorney General says we should break up the big internet companies because of it.”


TechCrunch: Until data is misused, Facebook’s breach will be forgotten . “The social network’s engineering was sloppy, allowing three bugs to be combined to steal the access tokens of 50 million people. In pursuit of rapid growth at affordable efficiency, Facebook failed to protect its users. This assessment doesn’t discount that. Facebook screwed up big time. But despite the potential that those access tokens could have let the attackers take over user accounts, act as them, and scrape their personal info, it’s unclear how much users really care. That’s because for now, Facebook and it’s watchdogs aren’t sure exactly what data was stolen or how it was wrongly used.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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