Facebook, Twitch, US Department of Transportation, More: Monday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 17, 2018


Business Insider: Facebook quietly killed its Building 8 skunkworks unit as it reshuffles its cutting-edge experiments and hardware. “Facebook has killed off its Building 8 skunkworks lab following a significant reshuffle of its experimental-projects and hardware units.”

Tubefilter: Number Of Creators Monetizing On Twitch Grew By 86% This Year, Platform Confirms In Holiday Stream. “Twitch revealed that it now averages 3 million streamers per month — up from 2 million in 2017 — with nearly half a million creators going live every single day. On the viewer side, more than one million people are on Twitch at any given moment. And so far this year, all of those eyeballs have consumed 434 billion minutes of content.”

CNN: Access denied: 2 climate change pages removed from DOT’s website. “The US Department of Transportation appears to have wiped pages with information about climate change from its website. CNN found at least two pages previously dedicated to detailing the possible impacts of climate change on the transportation sector — a key source of greenhouse gas emissions — that apparently have been cleared from the federal agency’s website. At least one of the pages was designed to serve as a ‘one-stop source of information on transportation and climate issues,’ making it easy for people to find and access the information.”


Weather .com: Our Meteorologists’ Favorite Weather Websites. “We all have our favorite websites either for getting work done, reading news, or enjoying a hobby. You may wonder what the go-to weather websites are for our meteorologists.” Short list but decent annotations.


Quartz: The FBI needs to burn 53 tons of classified material. “The FBI announced its files were going digital in 2012. Nevertheless, the bureau will need to destroy an estimated 53 tons of ‘classified and sensitive’ material in the coming year to ensure the FBI’s secrets stay secret. A government contracting document issued late last month by the FBI’s Information Management Division describes exactly how this will happen.”

UNC: Grant Will Help Librarians Examine Jim Crow Laws Through Lens of Data. “Using optical character recognition and machine learning, the team will build a text corpus of North Carolina session laws from the end of the Civil War through the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and will then compile a listing of North Carolina’s Jim/Jane Crow laws. This effort builds upon work done by civil rights pioneer Pauli Murray in the 1950s.”

Fast Company: Tumblr’s NSFW castaways are flocking to these lifeboats as a ban looms. “Since Tumblr announced the ban on December 3, bloggers with NSFW content have been scrambling to move to other sites, build new sites, and/or archive blogs till they can figure out next steps. As the deadline looms, here are some tools, companies, volunteer projects, and individuals offering lifeboats.” Considering the examples of what Tumblr has marked as “sexual content” that I’ve seen on Twitter, I’d argue that *everybody* who has a Tumblr blog they care about needs to get it backed up and out ASAP.


TechCrunch: Popular avatar app Boomoji exposed millions of users’ contact lists and location data. “Popular animated avatar creator app Boomoji, with more than five million users across the world, exposed the personal data of its entire user base after it failed to put passwords on two of its internet-facing databases.”

Engadget: Signal says it can’t allow government access to users’ chats. “Last week, the Australian government passed the country’s controversial Access and Assistance Bill 2018 into law, legislation that allows government agencies to demand access to encrypted communications. Companies that don’t comply with the new law could face fines of up to AU$10 million ($7.3 million). A number of companies that stand to be affected have spoken out about the legislation, and Signal has now joined in, explaining that it won’t be able to fulfill such requests if asked.”


The Verge: 22 predictions for social media in 2019. “I asked you to share your predictions for social media in 2019 on Twitter, and you had lots of great ideas. (Unfortunately I heard almost exclusively from men!) Let’s look at some of your best suggestions, with a few of my own sprinkled in…” Good afternoon, Internet…

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