afternoonbuzz

The Prince of Wales, Squoosh, Facebook More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, November 13, 2018

NEW RESOURCES

Google Blog: HRH The Prince of Wales’ 70th Birthday: Art, Culture, Heritage. “On the occasion of The Prince of Wales’ 70th birthday on November 14th, Google Arts & Culture has partnered with Clarence House and ten charities connected to The Prince to unveil a new online initiative that documents The Prince’s extraordinary life and support for art and cultural heritage in Britain and around the world. With input and insights from The Royal Collection Trust, The Prince’s Foundation, Turquoise Mountain Trust and The Royal Drawing School among others, The Charities of The Prince of Wales provides unique and exclusive access to many of the curators, custodians and artists associated with The Prince of Wales.” I can’t quote everything mentioned in this blog post. It’s extensive.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

BetaNews: Google launches Squoosh, an open source online image conversion app. “Google Chrome Labs has released a new online image conversion app by the name of Squoosh. The open source tool is essentially a simple browser-based image editor, and the focus is very much on speed. Showcased at the Chrome Dev Summit, Squoosh is not limited to working only in Chrome — other browsers are also supported.”

Ars Technica: French investigators to work directly with Facebook to monitor hate speech. “For the first time, Facebook has agreed to allow French regulators to work closely with the company as a way to monitor what actions it’s taking to combat hate speech. If necessary, France could impose further regulations on the social media giant.”

Mozilla Blog: Firefox Ups the Ante with Latest Test Pilot Experiment: Price Wise and Email Tabs. “Today, just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Firefox Test Pilot team is introducing Price Wise and Email Tabs — the latest experimental features designed to give users more choice and transparency when shopping online. These game-changing desktop tools are sure to make shopping a breeze with more options to save, share, track and shop. We’ve also made a few updates to the Test Pilot program itself to make it even easier to become a part of the growing Firefox users testing new features.”

USEFUL STUFF

Make Tech Easier: JPG vs. PNG vs. GIF: The Differences Between Image File Formats. “A rose by any other name may smell as sweet, as Shakespeare says in Romeo and Juliet, but if you take a picture of that rose and save it as a JPEG with high compression, you may experience a decline in image quality. It’s no problem, though, since you also have the option to use PNG, TIFF, GIF, SVG, or even a new format like HEIC or WebP. Some of those formats would look great on the Capulet family newsletter, while others would fit in better on Romeo’s blog, so decoding these file types can be pretty useful.”

MakeUseOf: 5 Must-Have Email Web Apps for Reminders, Quick Mails, Burners, and More. “For most of these apps, it doesn’t matter whether you use Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook, or any of the other popular email service providers. A couple of them are based on Gmail, and we do think that’s the best email app too. Regardless, the email service shouldn’t be a big issue, as long as you use one of the popular options.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

New York Times, with your vocabulary word of the day: Meet the Plantfluencers. “‘I like plants, but I kill so many of them,’ said Mr. [Brayan] Poma, who wore a green hoodie and a goatee. ‘Maybe that’s why I find them so alluring.’ Mr. Poma is not the only millennial to feel that allure. Buoyed by Instagram, his generation’s obsession with houseplants is growing faster and more tenaciously than English ivy. Plant influencers, the horticultural stars of that medium, now have book deals, sponsors and hundreds of thousands of followers.”

CNET: The Cleaners documentary crawls into the scary side of Facebook. “If you’re reading this, you’re on the internet. And if you’re on the internet, you need to see The Cleaners. Directed by Moritz Riesewieck and Hans Block, this incisive documentary shines a light on the most uncomfortable questions about social media and the online age. You might want to look away, but as the film shows, that’s a big part of the problem.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

The Register: OK Google, why was your web traffic hijacked and routed through China, Russia today? . “People’s connections in the US to Google – including its cloud, YouTube, and other websites – were suddenly rerouted through Russia and into China in a textbook Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) hijacking attack. That means folks in Texas, California, Ohio, and so on, firing up their browsers and software and connecting to Google and its services were instead meandering through systems in Russia and China, and not reaching servers belonging to the Silicon Valley giant. Netizens outside of America may also have been affected.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

TechCrunch: How machine learning systems sometimes surprise us . “This simple spreadsheet of machine learning foibles may not look like much but it’s a fascinating exploration of how machines ‘think.’ The list, compiled by researcher Victoria Krakovna, describes various situations in which robots followed the spirit and the letter of the law at the same time.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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