Snapchat, Google Docs, IBM, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, October 29, 2018


CNET: Snapchat’s Snap Camera brings dog ears and other Lenses to your computer. “Lenses are arguably the most fun part of Snapchat. It’s hard not to smile when you turn on your selfie cam and see dog ears, rainbow vomit or your face distorted to the extreme. Now, Snapchat maker Snap is letting people use its Lenses without their phones or even a Snapchat account.”

TechCrunch: Google rolls out ‘.new’ links for instantly creating new Docs, Slides, Sheets and Forms . “Google Docs just rolled out a time-saving trick that’s sure to be welcomed by heavy users of Docs, or any of Google’s other productivity tools like Sheets, Slides, Sites or Forms. The company this week introduced its ‘.new’ domain, which can be used to instantly create a new file across any of these services, it says.”

New York Times: IBM to Buy Red Hat, the Top Linux Distributor, for $34 Billion. “IBM is making a big move to bring more software developers under its wing by acquiring Red Hat, the largest distributor of the popular open-source operating system Linux, for $34 billion.”


Mashable: Free bike-shares and discounted bus trips are available on Election Day. “If you still don’t know how you’re getting to your polling place on Election Day, you have more than a few options.”


Vice: Facebook’s political ad tool let us buy ads “paid for” by Mike Pence and ISIS. “Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said making political advertising more transparent was one of the most important things the company would do after it was revealed Russians used the platform to attempt to manipulate the 2016 presidential election. But according to a small test run by VICE News, one of the new features Facebook rolled out this year is easily subject to manipulation.”

VentureBeat: While AR plays catch-up in other sectors, it’s taking over the enterprise. “When I ran my last piece earlier this month on the not-so-surprising progressive state of the VR industry, it was intended to shake up the naysayers nest, which for its part pervades with the mistaken notion that the immersive market is somehow suffering or failing. The facts, I argued, point exactly in the opposite direction, but in order to agree they have to be willing to revisit and revise any vestige of false narratives that might be influencing their view of the landscape. Naturally, there are parallels to be drawn in what is happening on the other end of the immersive spectrum; in the land of AR.” This reminds me of Google Glasses.

Ubergizmo: First AI Portrait Sold By Christie’s For $432,500. “Auction house Christie’s has sold its first AI art piece for a staggering $432,500. This print was actually expected to fetch around $10,000 so it has certainly exceeded the expectations of this 252-year-old auctioneering juggernaut and those who were watching this auction closely. This is also the first time that Christie’s has sold an AI art piece.”


The Register: This two-year-old give-me-root hole is so trivial to exploit, you can fit it in a single tweet. “, the X Window server used by various desktop Linux and BSD operating systems, has – depending on its configuration – a security vulnerability that can be exploited to gain root powers.”


MIT Technology Review: Should a self-driving car kill the baby or the grandma? Depends on where you’re from. “In 2014 researchers at the MIT Media Lab designed an experiment called Moral Machine. The idea was to create a game-like platform that would crowdsource people’s decisions on how self-driving cars should prioritize lives in different variations of the ‘trolley problem.’ In the process, the data generated would provide insight into the collective ethical priorities of different cultures. The researchers never predicted the experiment’s viral reception.”

BuzzFeed News: The Conspiratorial Hate We See Online Is Increasingly Appearing In Real Life. “Connecting the online footprints to tragedies in the physical world also reveals an undeniable truth: that the dichotomy between an online world and ‘real life’ is (and has always been) a false one. The hatred, trolling, harassment, and conspiracy theorizing of the internet’s underbelly cannot be dismissed as empty, nihilistic performance. It may be a game, but it’s a game with consequences. And it’s spilling into the physical world with greater, more alarming frequency.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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