Spotify, Twitter, Amazon Live, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, February 10, 2019


Nieman Journalism Lab: Anchor too? With a second big acquisition, Spotify shows it’s serious about podcasts — as both producer and platform. “Told you Spotify wasn’t done shopping. This morning, the Swedish streaming company announced that it has closed its acquisition of Gimlet Media and that it had also acquired another podcast company: Anchor, the podcast hosting-and-monetization platform founded by Michael Mignano and Nir Zicherman. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.”

New York Times: Twitter Continues Its Profit Streak, While Still Shedding Users. “The social media company on Thursday reported a 24 percent jump in fourth-quarter revenue from a year earlier, to $909 million, while its net income more than doubled to $255 million. After losing money for years, Twitter has now posted five straight quarters of profits, even though its revenue growth has slowed.”

ZDNet: Amazon Live launches with live-streamed shopping videos. “Amazon this week launched Amazon Live, a platform that lets merchants live-stream videos showing off their products. As first noted by TechCrunch, the new platform also features shopping videos hosted by Amazon talent.”


MakeUseOf: How to Create a Personal Wiki Using Microsoft OneNote. “Microsoft OneNote is a multipurpose note-taking app. You can mold it in any way to get your work done. With the built-in simple wiki system, you can make connections with other notes in the same section or another notebook. You can also link your notes with a web page, link to Office documents, and more. Its deep linking structure ensures that you quickly engage in knowledge construction, critical thinking, and contextual learning. We’ll show you how to set up a wiki in OneNote and build your knowledge repository to manage information.”

Social Media Today: How to Use Boolean Search for Social Media Monitoring (and Why You Want to). “Social media monitoring is fast becoming a requirement for modern brands who looking to support their customers on social media platforms, keep an eye on competitors, and/or find relevant influencers. But it can also be a daunting task – with so much discussion happening online, you can easily get swamped by irrelevant mentions, which not only waste your time but can also impact your analytics in a negative way. One way to address this is by utilizing a monitoring tool with Boolean search capacity, which will enable you to hone in your search terms and focus on more specific mentions.”

Make Tech Easier: 5 of the Best Document Scanner Apps for iOS. “There are dozens of document scanner apps available for iOS, but most of them are junk. Our top five picks are based on great image quality, diverse formatting options, accurate text recognition, ease of use, and ample sharing options. They also offer clear privacy and security policies, plus editing and annotation features.”


The Advocate: Tracking family history of enslaved ancestors in Louisiana? Donaldsonville museum can help. “Researching family history for African-Americans in Louisiana often means traveling to parish courthouses to pull old records of slavery, the conveyance documents that in jarringly neat handwriting detail the buying and selling of human beings. There’s an effort underway that would make the process far easier. The River Road African American Museum in Donaldsonville has partnered with a genealogy website affiliated with the Mormon church for a pilot project that will use mostly volunteers to make slave conveyance records dating from 1777 to 1861 in Ascension Parish easier to find online.”

INSIDER: Asylum-seekers fleeing the US for Canada are figuring out how to do it by watching YouTube videos and scanning social media. “Reinel Alfonso stepped out of the taxi and took in his surroundings. The dead-end road, lined with signs warning him to ‘Stop’ before entering an ‘illegal border crossing,’ looked exactly as it had in the videos he’d seen on the internet. Alfonso told INSIDER he flew to the United States from Bogota, Colombia, nearly 3,000 miles away. He was here in rural, upstate New York, just feet from the Canadian border, to try to save his own life.”


Krebs on Security: Phishers Target Anti-Money Laundering Officers at U.S. Credit Unions. “A highly targeted, malware-laced phishing campaign landed in the inboxes of multiple credit unions last week. The missives are raising eyebrows because they were sent only to specific anti-money laundering contacts at credit unions, and many credit union sources say they suspect the non-public data may have been somehow obtained from the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA), an independent federal agency that insures deposits at federally insured credit unions.”

Ars Technica: Google Play caught hosting an app that steals users’ cryptocurrency. “The malware, which masqueraded as a legitimate cryptocurrency app, worked by replacing wallet addresses copied into the Android clipboard with one belonging to attackers, a researcher with Eset said in a blog post. As a result, people who intended to use the app to transfer digital coins into a wallet of their choosing would instead deposit the funds into a wallet belonging to the attackers.”


University of Iowa: Measurement and Early Detection of Third-Party Application Abuse on Twitter. This is a PDF. “Third-party applications present a convenient way for attackers to orchestrate a large number of fake and compromised accounts on popular online social networks. Despite recent high-profile reports of third-party application abuse on Twitter, Facebook, and Google, prior work lacks automated approaches for accurate and early detection of abusive applications. In this paper, we perform a longitudinal study of abusive third-party applications on Twitter that perform a variety of malicious and spam activities in violation of Twitter’s terms of service. Our measurements over a period of 16 months demonstrate an ongoing arms race between attackers continuously registering and abusing new applications and Twitter trying to detect them. We find that hundreds of thousands of abusive applications remain undetected by Twitter for several months while posting tens of millions of tweets. To this end, we propose a machine learning approach for accurate and early detection of abusive Twitter applications by analyzing their first few tweets.”

Mashable: Brand Twitter, please stay away from the 2020 election. “Brands are coming for the 2020 national election, whether you like it or not. Don’t believe me? Take a look at how brand Twitter has evolved in the past few years. We started off 2017 with MoonPie, a graham cracker marshmallow dessert, telling absurd jokes on Twitter. It was slightly annoying to watch a brand co-opt a joke format beloved by millennials, but it was largely benign. By 2018, brand Twitter’s voice had gotten bolder, more sophisticated, and more intimate: The maker of the Honey Bun, for example, was now offering relationship advice. Then, in 2019, all hell broke loose after SunnyD initiated a ‘humorous’ conversation about depression.” Good morning, Internet…

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