afternoonbuzz

National Geographic, YouTube, Linux Mint, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 7, 2018

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Gizmodo: YouTube & National Geographic Team Up For VR Series. “One of the benefits of using virtual reality (VR) is that due to the immersive nature of the technology, it helps the user feel like they are actually there, which is handy when it comes to games. We’ve all seen those videos of people freaking out while experiencing VR due to how real it feels. Now it seems like YouTube and National Geographic want to leverage the technology and its immersive nature as both companies have announced that they’ll be teaming up for a series of VR projects.”

CNET: YouTube Rewind 2018 tackles Fortnite, K-pop, Kiki Challenge. “The 2018 video, released Thursday, features celebrity appearances by Will Smith, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, music producer Marshmello and Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon. YouTubers making the video include Markiplier, Ninja, Casey Neistat, Lilly Singh and Emma Chamberlain. The musical mashup, from The Hood Internet, includes the songs I Like It, Idol, In My Feelings, High Hopes and Happier.”

BetaNews: Ubuntu-based Linux Mint 19.1 ‘Tessa’ Beta now available with Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce. “If you are tired of living in constant fear that your computer will break due to a faulty Windows update, it is time to finally evolve and switch to a Linux-based operating system. There are countless great choices from which to choose, but for many, Linux Mint is computing nirvana. It is stable, fast, and looks great. Regardless of which desktop environment you choose — Cinnamon, MATE, or Xfce — you will be treated to a great user experience. Today, the upcoming Linux Mint 19.1 (named ‘Tessa’) achieves Beta status.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: The 10 Best Chrome Extensions for Avoiding Online Distractions . “The presence of an endless stream of content on the internet is a double-edged sword. You’re never bored, but the online distractions can severely affect your productivity without you even realizing it. Therefore, here are some of the best Chrome extensions you should install for combating every kind of online distraction. You will just need some willpower to keep these extensions installed in the browser.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

NARA: National Archives Awards Grant to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. “The National Archives grants program, carried out through the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), awarded $325,152 to support a project for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (SRST), in cooperation with six other archives across the upper Midwest, that will create an online platform and make historical records in the Dakota/Lakota language available to the public.”

Ars Technica: YouTube tells impersonation victim: No, you’re not being impersonated. “How long does it take someone to have a YouTube impersonation claim reviewed, confirmed, and enforced? That kind of data is hard to piece together across such a giant video-sharing platform. But in the case of one user, Penguin Books author Celeste Ng, the process took a little over one full day—and required a big pile of public shaming in the process.”

Gulf Today: Plans for ‘Arab Digital Union’ announced. “‘The Arab Digital Union is a dream that has long been in the making,’ said Dr Tarek Shawky. ‘It will offer a platform aggregating content from three Arab countries and forming the basis for a prominent pan-Arab content bank – a larger version of our Egyptian Knowledge Bank – disseminating knowledge to all Arabs.’ The Egyptian Knowledge Bank is one of the largest national education projects in Egypt. It houses the largest digital library and online knowledge hub, providing access to free education and scientific publications, in addition to contributing to the production and dissemination of knowledge to Egyptian universities, institutes, and research centres.”

The Verge: The Long, Tortured Quest To Make Google Unbiased. “More than any other infrastructure, search engines reshape the web in profound and often invisible ways. It’s a potentially frightening power, particularly when 90 percent of the market belongs to a single company. So it’s understandable to ask Google to be impartial — but can a search engine, whose goal is ranking pages, ever be meaningfully neutral? If it can, should a government be in charge of regulating it? And if it can’t, what recourse do sites have if Google decides to remake the web without them in it?”

SECURITY & LEGAL

TechCrunch: Australia passes ‘dangerous’ anti-encryption law after bipartisan compromise. “Australia’s controversial anti-encryption bill is one step closer to becoming law, after the two leading but sparring party political giants struck a deal to pass the legislation. The bill, in short, grants Australian police greater powers to issue ‘technical notices’ — a nice way of forcing companies — even websites — operating in Australia to help the government hack, implant malware, undermine encryption or insert backdoors at the behest of the government.”

South China Morning Post: Tapes, photos and meeting arrangements made via WhatsApp should all fall under proposed archives law, former Hong Kong official says. “Informal consultations held by the authorities and meeting arrangements made via instant messaging apps are some of the items that should be put on the record if Hong Kong passes an archives law, a former government records official said on Friday.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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