Saturday Evening Post, Spotify, Google Daydream, More: Monday Evening Buzz, October 8, 2018


Thanks to Esther S. for the heads-up on this from the Saturday Evening Post: Tour Our New Website. “For the first time ever, subscribed members can explore the complete archive of The Saturday Evening Post online. The archive includes almost every issue of the magazine dating back to 1821. Want to see what Joan Didion wrote about Helen Gurley Brown? How about President Grover Cleveland’s views on the wasteful government waste? Interested in contemporaneous accounts of the Mexican-American War? The Civil War? The World Wars? Or maybe you just want to see some of the earliest ads for dictionaries, automobiles, or microwaves? It’s all in here waiting for you to find it.” This does require a subscription but a subscription, much to my surprise, is only $15 a year.


The Verge: Spotify opens podcasting section up to everyone. “Spotify isn’t offering to host the podcasts directly. Instead, producers will provide the streaming service with a link to their podcast feed, after which Spotify will list it and make the podcast available to its 180 million users. Spotify is, however, offering to provide information on who is listening to the podcasts, which will no doubt be especially helpful to podcasts with paying advertisers. The service promises to offer daily stats about the demographics of who is listening to the podcast, engagement statistics, and where they’re listening from.”

Google Blog: New on Daydream: circus performers, rockstars, an AI dog and more. “What do Cirque du Soleil, Wiz Khalifa and an AI dog named Artie have in common? Well, not much actually. But, you can experience their amazing content in virtual reality (VR) today on Daydream, our platform for high-quality mobile VR.”


Ars Technica: The Internet’s keepers? “Some call us hoarders—I like to say we’re archivists”. “As much as subscription services want you to believe it, not everything can be found on Amazon or Netflix. Want to read Brett Kavanaugh buddy Mark Judge’s old book, for instance (or their now infamous yearbook even)? Curious to watch a bunch of vintage smoking ads? How about perusing the largest collection of Tibetan Buddhist literature in the world? There’s one place to turn today, and it’s not Google or any pirate sites you may or may not frequent.”

Boing Boing: US governmental requests for comment are routinely flooded by pro-corporate bots. “Last year, the FCC was only able to ram through a repeal of Net Neutrality by refusing to reject the millions of comments sent by bots that used the stolen identities of regular internet users, dead people, and even sitting US Members of Congress. It turns out the FCC isn’t the only agency being flooded by bots during requests for comment — and it’s also not the only agency that doesn’t seem to give a shit about being astroturfed by bots using stolen identities to influence government policy in favor of corporate agencies.”

Tubefilter: Insights: Should Amazon Snap Up Struggling Snapchat?. “Twitter and Facebook, who had spent the summer stamping out tens of millions of fake users, also saw their shares get beaten up recently on news that their growth wasn’t proceeding apace either. But only Los Angeles-based Snap has New York professors planning its exit strategy. Meanwhile there are others who think the company presents serious opportunities for those trying to reach its ardent young fans.”


Techdirt: Free Law Project Takes A Stand Against Attempt To Use GDPR To Disappear A Public Court Docket. “Last week, the Free Law Project, who operates the CourtListener website (and runs RECAP — the very useful system that will help automatically free up costly PACER dockets and documents that other RECAP users visit) noted that it, too, had recently received a GDPR demand about a docket (they do not say if it was the same one) and then go into a detailed description of why they are not taking action. The post notes that the general policy of the site has always been that they won’t remove a docket without a court order (though it may remove links from search engines). More importantly, however, the Free Law Project notes that it is not subject to the GDPR.”


University of Arizona: Facebook Status: Sick. How People Use the Internet to Cope with Illness. “In his new book, ‘Coping with Illness Digitally,’ University of Arizona communication professor Stephen Rains explores how people use digital tools like social media, online health forums, medical information websites and even email correspondence with physicians to cope with illness.”

Nieman Lab: A new study provides some dispiriting evidence for why people fall for stupid fake images online. “C’mon, guys, look at the source! So if you’re assessing the credibility of a possibly fake image online, you’re looking at stuff like the source, how many times it’s been shared, and what the image shows, right? Not so much, according to a new study out of UC Davis. Instead, what matters are digital media literacy skills, experience or skill in photography, and prior attitudes about the issue.”

Computer Business Review: Internet Encryption Hits 50%: Netflix Eating 15% of Global Traffic. “Over 50 percent of internet traffic is now encrypted, according to Sandvine’s Global Internet Phenomena Report, which notes that TLS 1.3 adoption is growing notably. The report also found that video now accounts for 58 percent of ‘downstream’ (consumer-side) internet traffic, with Netflix alone accounting for 15 percent of global internet bandwidth use. (We won’t speculate what the rest is).” Good evening, Internet…

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