People’s Talmud, GMail, Google Maps, More: Monday Buzz, October 29, 2018


Jerusalem Post: People’s Talmud Launches Online. “The People’s Talmud is an innovate new repository of the Talmud and its wisdom, rendering the ancient text into concepts, cataloguing it all into searchable subjects, and connecting it to leading content providers. It transforms what is, for many, an obscure and indecipherable tome of arcane law and legends into an accessible and relevant source of knowledge and insight for anyone who cares to look inside. Gedaliah Gurfein, the project’s creator, spent some 30 years working on this labor of love, and has now launched the beta version of the People’s Talmud website.”


BetaNews: Google brags about Gmail’s 1.5 billion users. “Apparently around a fifth of the world’s population has a Gmail account — 1.5 billion in total. Of course, there are many people who have more than one Gmail email address, but the number is pretty impressive nonetheless.”

CNET: Google Maps lets you follow businesses to monitor events, offers. “Google Maps is making it easier to keep up with your favorite retailers with a Facebook-style follow feature. You can search for a business you want to keep an eye on and tap the ‘Follow’ button to prompt events, offers and other updates to show up in the ‘For you’ tab. For example, it’ll show you when your regular coffee shop gets a new blend or your favorite clothing store has a sale.”

Bloomberg: Snapchat Lost Users in Quarter, Says Declines Will Continue. “Snap Inc., parent company of the app for sending disappearing photo and video messages, reported that the number of daily users fell for a second consecutive quarter, to 186 million. Analysts on average projected 186.8 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Company executives said the app will probably lose users in the fourth quarter, too. The company’s shares tumbled as much as 12 percent in late trading after the report.”


Make Tech Easier: Top 5 Chromium-Based Web Browsers of 2018. “What if you’re a Chrome user and like its performance but can’t stand the way that Google incessantly impedes on your privacy? What if you’re ready to move on but not ready to suffer the culture shock of adopting the look and feel of an entirely new browser? Currently, there are over twenty Chromium-based browsers, and this number is steadily growing.”

Ars Technica: Liveblog: All the news from Apple’s “more in the making” Brooklyn event. “At 10am EDT (7am PDT, 2pm GMT) on Tuesday, October 30, Apple will host another live event to announce new products. We’re expecting new iPad Pro models and maybe new Macs—but you never know what surprises might be in store. We’ll be liveblogging the event right here, so come back for the latest news when the event begins.”


The Atlantic: Facebook Groups as Therapy. “Over the past year, the company has been consciously emphasizing groups—part of an effort, per Mark Zuckerberg, to ‘give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.’ These groups cover interests ranging as widely as the human imagination. Many are ‘closed,’ which in Facebook terminology means they are findable, but only members can see their content. Some are ‘secret’ and unsearchable, and membership is by invitation only. It’s not surprising, then, that Facebook has turned into a gathering place for strangers sharing their deepest secrets.”

Smithsonian Institution Archives: Stabilizing Lacquer Transcription Discs. “Audiovisual preservation is a complicated topic, and one we’ve discussed several times on The Bigger Picture. Often times, digitization is the best course of action to preserve the content on at-risk formats, such as ¼-inch open reel audio tapes, compact audio cassettes, or VHS. However, improved housing can also aid in extending the lifespan of audiovisual media until digitization can occur. In 2018, the Archives was fortunate to receive funding from the Smithsonian’s Collection Care Initiative (CCI) for custom housing enclosures for an at-risk format found within the collections – 16-inch lacquer transcription discs. ”

Quartz: Instagram’s “digital kidnappers” are stealing children’s photos and making up new lives. “When parents share their latest family outing or their kid’s adorable new outfit with friends and family, they may also be sharing with strangers. And some of those strangers, it turns out, use those photos to create online fantasy worlds. It’s called digital kidnapping.”


How-To Geek: Bing Is Pushing Malware When You Search for Chrome. “You launch Edge on your new PC, search for ‘download Chrome,’ and click the first result headed to ‘’ on Bing. You’re now on a phishing website pushing malware, disguised to look like the Chrome download page.”


TechCrunch: Should cash-strapped Snapchat sell out? To Netflix? . “Snapchat needs a sugar daddy. Its cash reserves dwindling from giant quarterly losses. Poor morale from a battered share price and cost-cutting measures sap momentum. And intense competition from Facebook is preventing rapid growth. With just $1.4 billion in assets remaining at the end of a brutal Q3 2018 and analysts estimating it will lose $1.5 billion in 2019 alone, Snapchat could run out of money well before it’s projected to break even in 2020 or 2021. So what are Snap’s options?”

Pew (PEW PEW PEW PEW PEW!): Nearly one-in-five teens can’t always finish their homework because of the digital divide. “Some 15% of U.S. households with school-age children do not have a high-speed internet connection at home, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of 2015 U.S. Census Bureau data. New survey findings from the Center also show that some teens are more likely to face digital hurdles when trying to complete their homework.” Good morning, Internet…

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