Chrome, Facebook, Instagram Tourism, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, December 28, 2018


ZDNet: Google Chrome’s new UI is ugly, and people are very angry. “Designed with mobile devices in mind, the new Chrome user interface style was officially rolled out in September this year, with the release of Chrome version 69. Not all users liked the new UI, and this was clear from the beginning, with some users voicing their discontent online even back then.”


CNET: Facebook’s and social media’s fight against fake news may get tougher. “The shift toward ephemeral content and messaging could fundamentally alter how we use Facebook and other social media, while also making it harder to combat misinformation, election interference and hate speech, some experts say. After all, it’s hard for companies to crack down when they can’t see what’s being shared in encrypted messages, or when photos and videos disappear after 24 hours. And while Facebook and others are investing in AI to spot and remove messages that violate their online rules, they still face a tough road ahead.”

Stuff: Social media monitoring important part of DoC rangers job to control crowds lured by Instagram posts. “Conservation watchdogs are tuning into social media to help mitigate unprecedented tourist demand at our so called secret hotspots. When a scenic hotspot goes viral on social media, it can bring tourists, jobs and money. It can also bring crowds, litter and crime.”

Canada. com: What is Calico, the mysterious Google-owned company that has pledged to halt aging?. “Drive an hour north of Google’s headquarters up to Oyster Point, south San Francisco, and you will find the office of Calico Labs. The steel-and-glass building has none of the showmanship of its sister company’s colourful campus. Its name is an acronym for ‘California Life Company’ but its lifeless exterior makes it easy to imagine it being named after another Calico – an abandoned mining town further down the Pacific Coast. The company, a division of Google’s parent company Alphabet, is five years old, but its operations remain highly secretive.”

Abacus News: Some of the biggest users of live streaming in China are not teenagers, they’re farmers. “One live streamer recently managed to sell a million kilos of oranges in just 13 days by live streaming, according to reports. Chen Jiubei, who goes under the username of Xiangxi Jiumei, streams herself on Taobao doing farm work, talking about her cured meat or eggs, or just making meals in her humble countryside home.”


The Guardian: Hackers steal data on 1,000 North Korean defectors in South. “The personal information of nearly 1,000 North Koreans who defected to South Korea has been leaked after unknown hackers gained access to a resettlement agency’s database, the South Korean unification ministry has said.”


Quartz: You can catch a mood from watching YouTube videos. “A new study in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science is the first to measure the effects of YouTube videos on viewers’ emotional state, according to its authors, psychologists Hannes Rosenbusch, Anthony Evans, and Marcel Zeelenberg from Tilburg University in the Netherlands. Previous studies have examined emotional contagion in text-based platforms like Twitter and Facebook, noting that feelings move online from one person to another just as they do in physical environments.”

MIT Technology Review: The biggest technology failures of 2018. “For the past few years MIT Technology Review has published a list of what we consider the most pointless or destructive uses of technology…This year, though, the naughty were naughtier and the wrongs seemed wronger: technology was used to spread hate and addiction, to justify suicide, and to experiment on newborn children. Here’s our list of the very worst.”

The Verge: What’s wrong with Facebook and how to fix it. “As complex as each story seems, the broader takeaway is pretty simple: Facebook has an enormous amount of information about you, and they’re sharing it in secretive and self-serving ways. Facebook has tightened up in the years since the most egregious sharing took place, but it’s still a massively opaque system with a frightening amount of insight into our personal lives. After so many scandals, it’s hard to trust that Facebook will do what’s right.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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