GMail, Facebook, April Fool Jokes, More: Tuesday ResearchBuzz, April 2, 2019


Google Blog: Hitting send on the next 15 years of Gmail. “Back in 2004, email looked a lot different than it does today. Inboxes were overtaken by spam, and there was no easy way to search your inbox or file messages away. Plus, you had to constantly delete emails to stay under the storage limit. We built Gmail to address these problems, and it’s grown into a product that 1.5 billion users rely on to get things done every day. Today, on Gmail’s 15 birthday, we’re taking a look back and sharing where we’re headed next.”

TechCrunch: New Facebook tool answers the question ‘Why am I seeing this post?’. “Facebook announced today that it is adding to News Feeds a feature called “Why am I seeing this post?” Similar to ‘Why am I seeing this ad?,’ which has appeared next to advertisements since 2014, the new tool has a drop-down menu that gives users information about why that post appeared in their News Feed, along with links to personalization controls.”

CNN: Facebook removes accounts linked to Indian political parties as election looms. “Facebook is taking down hundreds of suspicious accounts linked to the two main parties contesting India’s election. With the campaign in full swing, the company removed 687 pages and accounts linked to the country’s main opposition party — the Indian National Congress (INC) — for ‘coordinated inauthentic behavior,’ it said in a statement Monday.”

BuzzFeed News: Here Are The April Fools’ Jokes That Were Particularly Cruel This Year. “Unless you’re a corporation or a cop with the cop password to your cop social media account, April Fools’ Day is something to be dreaded. This year, however, the day really outdid itself. Not only have big brands shared the usual cast of fake products, fake events, and troll-y food combinations, they’ve also pranked us with ideas that could, and should, exist.” If something is supposed to be an April Fool joke, and you announce it on March 29, that’s stupid.


Make Tech Easier: Make Bibliographies Easier with These Citation Apps. “If you are a high school or college student, you have undoubtedly been asked to use citations for your sources and to create a bibliography for your paper. This is not an easy task. It can be challenging to keep track of all the different formats and places to find information. Using a citation manager or citation builder will save you considerable time, freeing up more time for the actual writing of the paper. They will also reduce the number of errors.”

Lifehacker: Preview Your Google Search Results Using This Browser Extension. “Rather than opening up each individual link to see what the search result is, the Chrome extension allows you to see a preview of the webpage by hovering your mouse over it. That way when you finally do open that additional tab or just click on a link you know what you’re getting into.” A couple of commenters had security concerns because of how the extension operates.


Slate: How a 119-Word Local Crime Brief Became Facebook’s Most-Shared Story of 2019. “On an otherwise ordinary Sunday in late January, a 32-year-old web editor for a chain of local radio stations in Central Texas ran across a news item that he found interesting. Ten minutes later, he had written and published what would become Facebook’s most-shared story of 2019 so far.”

Sydney Morning Herald: ‘Pendulum has swung’ against digital giants: Google executive. “A senior Google executive has thrown his support behind globally consistent privacy legislation as he acknowledged public opinion had soured after videos of the Christchurch terrorist attack overwhelmed the digital behemoths.”


Search Engine Journal: Facebook’s Faulty SMS Two-Factor Authentication is Locking Out An Alarming Number of Users. “An issue with Facebook’s SMS two-factor authentication is keeping a significant number of users locked out of their accounts. The problem is users are not receiving text messages from Facebook which they need to verify ownership of their accounts.”

Ubergizmo: Woman Gets $459K For Being Spammed With Over 300 Robocalls. “Increasingly tough action is being taken against robocalls as the problem has grown to monumental proportions in the United States. No one is safe from a robocall, not even the CEO of the country’s second largest mobile carrier. A woman in Tennessee has been awarded almost half a million dollars after a furniture company hounded her illegally with more than 300 robocalls.”


Houston Chronicle: No AI in humor: R2-D2 walks into a bar, doesn’t get the joke. “Linguists and computer scientists say this is something to consider on April Fools’ Day: Humor is what makes humans special. When people try to teach machines what’s funny, the results are at times laughable but not in the way intended.”

Digital Information World: What Happens in a Single Minute on the Internet? 3.8M Google Searches, 1M Facebook logins, 4.5M video views, 46K new Instagram posts and much more. “Thanks to Lori Lewis, Officially Chadd and Visual Capitalist for preparing data of all the major activities that take place in the internet world over the course of sixty seconds. Shockingly, there are 1 million Facebook Logins, 4.5 million YouTube videos viewed and 2.1 million snaps taken (this number would have been significantly higher if it wasn’t for the redesign) every minute. Additionally, there are 3.8 million Search queries on Google, online spending of $996.956 and 41.6 million messages sent on Whatsapp and Facebook Messenger.” Good morning, Internet…

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