ResearchBuzz does not “do” April Fools Day. There should be nothing in here that’s fake/wrong/etc. If there is, please let me know that I got snookered and I’ll take it down. It’s not because I don’t have a sense of humor, but because deliberately promoting false information these days feels like a really bad idea.
A big thanks to Diane R for telling me about FluidDATA, available at https://fluiddata.com/ . It’s a search engine for podcast transcripts! From the About page: “FluidDATA podcast search engine allows you to search millions of podcast transcripts. Search all the best podcasts for keywords, topics, or people. View podcast statistics and trends in all the top podcasts. Add podcast transcript search to your podcast app or website with our advanced search API.” I sense an article in the future.
TWEAKS AND UPDATES
WordPress 5.2 Beta 1 is now available. “WordPress 5.2 is slated for release on April 30, and we need your help to get there. Here are some of the big items to test so we can find as many bugs as possible in the coming weeks.”
Engadget: Facebook will only stream six MLB games this season. “Facebook will broadcast live Major League Baseball games once again this season. However, it will offer far fewer games than last year. Under the latest one-year deal, Facebook will stream six non-exclusive games on Watch, one per month during the regular season. That’s a big step down from the 25 exclusive games Facebook aired last year.”
BBC: Facebook to consider live video restrictions after NZ attacks. “Facebook has promised to explore restrictions on live-streaming, two weeks after it was used during gun attacks on two mosques in New Zealand.”
Lifehacker: Use a Text to Voice Reader to Check for Written Mistakes. “When you want to make a good impression in a cover letter or written submission, it’s incredibly frustrating to discover later that you left out a word in the very first sentence. Our brains don’t always catch simple mistakes, so it can’t hurt to enlist a little digital help as well.”
Mashable: Here’s how to add captions to your Instagram Stories to make them more accessible. “Instagram’s Stories, for example, don’t come with closed captioning, which presents a challenge for the 466 million people in the world who are deaf or hard of hearing. But while Instagram itself has yet to provide in-app Story captioning, third party apps exist that can help you transcribe your videos and add captions at the bottom of the screen.”
AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD
Insider: Leaked emails reveal Facebook’s intense internal discussion over Alex Jones’ ‘anti-Semitic’ post on Instagram. “Facebook’s deliberations about the notorious conspiracy theorist Alex Jones have been laid bare in a lengthy email trail seen by Business Insider.”
New York Times: YouTube’s Product Chief on Online Radicalization and Algorithmic Rabbit Holes. “The recommendation engine is a growing liability for YouTube, which has been accused of steering users toward increasingly extreme content. After the recent mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand — the work of a gunman who showed signs of having been radicalized online — critics asked whether YouTube and other platforms were not just allowing hateful and violent content to exist but actively promoting it to their users.”
SECURITY & LEGAL
TorrentFreak: Russia Orders Major VPN Providers to Block ‘Banned’ Sites. “Ten major VPN providers have been ordered by Russian authorities to begin blocking sites present in the country’s national blacklist. NordVPN, ExpressVPN, IPVanish and HideMyAss are among those affected. TorGuard also received a notification and has pulled its services out of Russia with immediate effect.”
Wired: HTTPS Isn’t Always As Secure As It Seems . “Widespread adoption of the web encryption scheme HTTPS has added a lot of green padlocks—and corresponding data protection—to the web. All of the popular sites you visit every day likely offer this defense, called Transport Layer Security, or TLS, which encrypts data between your browser and the web servers it communicates with to protect your travel plans, passwords, and embarrassing Google searches from prying eyes. But new findings from researchers at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice in Italy and Tu Wien in Austria indicate that a surprising number of encrypted sites still leave these connections exposed.”
RESEARCH & OPINION
Slashgear: Your phone steals your capacity to think (when you see it). “The mere presence of your smartphone impairs the human ability to think clearly and pay attention. This is one conclusion reached by a study which explored cognitive capacity at a time only one other study previously explored: ‘when smartphones are not in use, but are merely present.’ As both studies’ piles of research showed, one cannot operate at full brainpower when a smartphone is within view.”
Internet Archive: Google Plus (or Minus) and the Ephemerality of Community. “When a seismic event like this happens in the online world, especially involving one of the ‘Tech Giants’, there’s a lot of e-Ink spilled about the money involved, the comparison of markets and post-mortems of performance. However, only a sliver of that coverage tends to mention the social and cultural costs involved. In fact, to hear it often stated, also-ran social networks are almost like the embarrassing outfit you wore in school or a bad hair day – something we all experienced, but don’t want to talk about.”
Digital Trends: A.I. analyzes video to detect signs of cerebral palsy in infants. “An artificial intelligence algorithm capable of signaling early signs of neurodevelopment disorders in infants has been created by researchers in Finland and Italy. By analyzing conventional videos of infants, the algorithm can create ‘skeleton’ videos, which depict a child’s movement in the form of a stick figure. The research could help in early detection of neurodevelopment disorders, such as cerebral palsy.” Good morning, Internet…
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