South Korea Chaebol, Facebook, Snapchat, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 25, 2018


Hankyoreh: KFTC to launch online database on chaebol. “The Korea Fair Trade Commission (KFTC) has launched a website that contains all the information it has collected on South Korea’s chaebol conglomerates and families.” A chaebol is a large family-owned business concern; Bloomberg has an overview. I tried to connect to the database for a quick look but the connection timed out.


The Verge: Facebook shelved a feature intended to promote civil political discourse. “The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook had begun working on a feature that would encourage users of opposing political beliefs to interact in a more positive way. But the project — known as ‘Common Ground’ — was reportedly halted after Facebook’s global head of policy raised concerns that it could lead to accusations that the site was biased against conservatives.”

Tubefilter: Snapchat Adds Lineup Of Lenses For Dogs. “Snapchat is no longer just a cat’s world. The messaging app, which added a meme-filled set of Lenses for cats back in October (including the ‘deal with it‘ meme and one that turned them into tiny devils), has now also released a set of Lenses made for dogs.”


I don’t usually cover language-learning apps unless they’re a) really extensive or b) cover relatively obscure languages. This is the latter. Delano: Student Releases Luxembourg Language App . “21-year-old Luxembourg student Benoît Frisch is making his name in the world of app development, releasing his most popular yet to help learners of Luxembourgish. Released at the end of November, Wierderbuch is a digital dictionary, translating words from Luxembourgish into English, French and German.”


My new hero, from CNET: This man spent $5,000 of his own money to put Zimbabwe on Street View. “Zimbabwe is too far for many people to visit, but 37-year-old Tawanda Kanhema grew up there before moving to the United States. Thanks to Kanhema, though, you’ll soon be able to play virtual tourist, thanks to his work and the magic of Google Street View,”

Wired: Alexa’s Had a Big Year, Mostly Thanks to Machine Learning. “It’s fair to say that when Amazon introduced the first Echo speaker in the fall of 2014, most people weren’t quite sure what to make of it. In the intervening years, Echo and the broader universe of Alexa-powered devices have transitioned from curiosity to ubiquity. But while you can find Alexa in just about everything—including, yes, a microwave—the real progress Amazon’s voice assistant made in 2018 came less from breadth than from depth.”


Gizmodo: Stop Sending Regular Text Messages . “Thanks to a Federal Communications Commission vote last week, wireless carriers now have more control over your text messages. If that sounds ominous, that’s because it is—so much so that now’s the perfect time to ditch regular ol’ text messaging altogether.”

E Pluribus Unum: Congress votes to make open government data the default in the United States. “On December 21, 2018, the United States House of Representatives voted to enact H.R. 4174, the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act of 2017, in a historic win for open government in the United States of America. The Open, Public, Electronic, and Necessary Government Data Act (AKA the OPEN Government Data Act) is about to become law as a result. ”

ZDNet: Caribou Coffee chain announces card breach impacting 239 stores. “US coffee store chain Caribou Coffee announced a security breach today after it discovered unauthorized access of its point of sale (POS) systems. The company listed 239 stores of its total 603 locations as impacted, which roughly amounts to 40 percent of all its sites.” The breach took place between late August and early December — over three months — and it looks like the breach could have gotten all credit card details.


Nieman Lab: Towards A Rethinking Of Journalism On Social Media. “How can social media still be at the center of publishers’ digital strategies after such a terrible year? We should have learned the lesson by now. Forecasts about the end of social networks have never proved right. Platforms are here to stay, with all their problems and visible imperfections. The people who own, manage, and shape them might go — but social media are not going away anytime soon.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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