afternoonbuzz

Texas Black Pages, Nuzzel, Google, More: Tuesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, February 12, 2019

NEW RESOURCES

New-to-me, from KWTX: First Texas Black Business Week observance begins. “The first observance of Texas Black Business Week got underway Monday, coinciding with Black History Month, and its creator hopes the event becomes just as widespread by offering minority business owners a chance in the spotlight. ‘This is the beginning of what is to come in the state of Texas,’ says Ronnie Russell. He is the creator of Texas Black Pages, an online database of black-owned businesses.” The Web site is available at http://www.texasblackpages.com/ , and I hope you appreciate me looking it up because now I’m hungry for Ava’s Caribbean Restaurant and it’s two in the morning.

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Ugh, I’m just hearing about this and I’m worried; Nuzzel is such an important part of my digital curating life. Scroll: Scroll is acquiring Nuzzel. “Scroll is acquiring Nuzzel. We’re investing in keeping it running as an independent entity, and our first priority is not to screw that up, so don’t expect any major changes to the core service, beyond what we’re going to announce in this blog post. If you like the email digest, you’ll still get the email digest. If you love the app, it will still give you the best discovery experience around.”

Techdirt: Google Caves On Russian Censorship. “Late last year, we were among those disappointed by leaked news from Google that it was toying around with a censored search engine for China — a country that the company had mostly left nearly a decade ago. After loud complaints both from people outside the company and many within, reports in late December said that the company had quietly halted efforts to build a censored Chinese search engine. But now… the company may be dipping its toe in the evil pool again, as it has apparently agreed to cooperate with Russia’s censors.”

The Verge: Reddit gets a $150 million investment from Tencent and users are posting memes to mock the deal. “Reddit has received a $150 million investment from Tencent, the Chinese tech giant behind WeChat and League of Legends, sparking fears of censorship from Reddit users. The investment was first rumored last week, and led to Reddit users posting photos and memes banned in China in protest of Tencent’s involvement.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: How to Really Block Time-Wasting Websites: 3 Tips That Work. “When you’re trying to get some work done online, you might find the web too big and too fascinating a distraction to ignore. But you can sideline it with the help of tips and tools that block time-wasting digital content for you. Let’s explore them below.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Windsor Star (Canada): Social media sites like Facebook take in lion’s share of federal ad dollars. “Of the $39.2 million spent on government advertisements last year, federal departments spent almost $18.2 million on digital ads — roughly 46 per cent of the total budget, which doesn’t include production costs. And, for the first time ever, social media ads made up the biggest slice of digital spending — 43 per cent, or roughly $7.8 million.” Please note this is Canada, not the United States.

TechCrunch: Lilt is building a machine translation business with humans at the core . “The ability to quickly and automatically translate anything you see using a web service is a powerful one, yet few expect much from it other than a tolerable version of a foreign article, menu or street sign. Shouldn’t this amazing tool be put to better use? It can be, and a company called Lilt is quietly doing so — but crucially, it isn’t even trying to leave the human element behind.”

Tubefilter: Former Algorithm Engineer Guillaume Chaslot Calls YouTube’s Decision To Stop Recommending Conspiracy Videos “A Historic Victory”. “Former YouTube engineer Guillaume Chaslot is praising his one-time employer’s decision to stop recommending conspiracy theory videos. ‘YouTube’s announcement is a great victory which will save thousands,’ he tweeted as part of a lengthy thread. ‘It’s only the beginning of a more humane technology. Technology that empowers all of us, instead of deceiving the most vulnerable.'”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Knox News: Shots of social media: Study looks at whether posts, tweets help or hinder vaccination rates. “When you’re looking for information to help you decide whether to vaccinate your children, where do you turn? Historically, most people have gone to their health-care provider for information. But with the advent of social media, more and more people are simply logging on. Now a group of researchers with Oak Ridge Associated Universities is looking at the impact of social media on vaccination rates — and whether it could be turned into a booster.”

WFMY: Researchers Developing App To Detect Food-borne Germs. “Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are using artificial intelligence in an effort to to create a system that would give consumers control when it comes to avoiding dangerous food-borne illnesses. It could one day enable you to scan lettuce for E.coli, detect lead in water and even determine whether the alcohol you’re drinking on vacation is tainted.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

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