Newspack, Brave, DuckDuckGo, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 15, 2019


Neowin: Google partners with Automattic to support local news with Newspack. “Google has announced a new initiative to help local news publications be more sustainable for their contributors. The Mountain View giant has partnered with Automattic, the company behind, to launch Newspack, a set of tools to make online content management and presentation easier. Google has invested $1.2 million in its efforts to kickstart the platform, but funding has also come from a few other organizations, adding another million dollars to that amount.”

CNET: Brave browser can now show ads, and soon you’ll get 70% of the money. “Brave began its existence three years ago by blocking all ads by default. On Tuesday, it’ll start offering anyone using the developer version of Brave the option of seeing privacy-respecting ads. And, in a few weeks, when Brave 1.0 arrives on personal computers, Brave will give those users 70 percent of the ad revenue.”

Search Engine Land: DuckDuckGo map and address searches now powered by Apple Maps. “Last June, Apple launched MapKit JS for third-party developers and publishers as an alternative to Google Maps. Today DuckDuckGo announced it was adopting Apple’s MapKit JS framework for both desktop and mobile searches.”


Library of Congress: The Library of Congress Web Archives: Dipping a Toe in a Lake of Data. “Over the last two decades, the Library of Congress Web Archiving Program has acquired and made available over 16,000 web archives, as part of more than 114 event and thematic collections. Each Web Archive is an aggregate of one or more websites, which in turn, are aggregates of many files presented together as a Web page in a browser; this aggregate of files are the images you see on the landing page of your favorite news (or gossip, no judging) site; they are the text that fills the articles; they are the bits of code that give you that clean, crisp modern layout. All of this together gives you a single web page. With an archive of over 1.7 petabytes of data in total, keeping track of every web object forming a website, which in turn form web archives, can be a bit like, well… herding cats.”

New York Times Magazine: All the President’s Memes. “It’s impossible to overstate how peculiar it is that the most powerful man in the world, who will turn 73 in June, posts memes. It’s a behavior more often associated with youth, irreverence and a surfeit of free time — though certainly plenty of old, aggrieved people have picked up the habit in recent years. In 2016, the Trump campaign united message-board trolls and Facebook boomers, and together they disseminated so many memes that some of them began to believe — both jokingly and not — that their ‘meme magic’ had helped Trump win the election.”

Techdirt: Pakistan Demands Google Take Down Petition For Academic Freedom… Saying It Represents Hate Speech. “While it’s understandable (these days especially) that some are concerned about what they refer to as ‘hate speech,’ it’s worth reminding people (as we’ve done for years) that laws against hate speech are almost universally used by governments to punish people they don’t like, rather than to protect those who most people normally consider the targets of hate speech. Take this latest example, highlighted by FIRE, concerning an attempt by Pakistan to censor an online petition for academic freedom, claiming that it was hate speech.”

Instagram caught selling ads to follower-buying services it banned
. “Instagram has been earning money from businesses flooding its social network with spam notifications. Instagram hypocritically continues to sell ad space to services that charge clients for fake followers or that automatically follow/unfollow other people to get them to follow the client back. This is despite Instagram reiterating a ban on these businesses in November and threatening the accounts of people who employ them.”


Reuters: U.S. charges hackers, traders with stealing SEC filings. “U.S. authorities on Tuesday charged a suspected Ukrainian computer hacker and several traders with scheming to trade on market-moving corporate earnings news stolen from a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission database.”


The Next Web: The only way to stop fake news is for you to take responsibility. “The nature of the media has changed, and for better or worse they now chiefly operate to survive to attract readers, and we are those readers. If we want to see an end to fake news, we need to stop clicking on it, and stop spreading it. Our click is worth money. You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘vote with your dollar’ applied to things like purchasing fair trade items. But you can, and do, vote with your clicks, too.”

The Current: Anonymous Yet Trustworthy . “Minority and dissident communities face a perplexing challenge in countries with authoritarian governments. They need to remain anonymous to avoid persecution, but also must establish a trustworthy identity in their communications. An interdisciplinary group of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has designed an application to meet both of these requirements.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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