Iowa Information, Microsoft Paint, Facebook, More: Thursday ResearchBuzz, April 25, 2019


State of Iowa: Governor Reynolds Launches “Ask the State of Iowa” with Google Home and Amazon Echo Skills . “Governor Kim Reynolds, Lt. Gov. Gregg, and Chief Information Officer Jeff Franklin announced today that Iowa is expanding its communication channels and services to include Google Home, Amazon Echo, and a chatbot. Iowans can now ask their smartphone or Google/Amazon digital assistant questions about state government events and services.”

Neowin: Microsoft won’t be removing Paint from Windows 10 for now. “Thankfully for Paint fans, Brandon LeBlanc, Microsoft’s Senior Program Manager for Windows, has confirmed in a tweet today that the software giant won’t be removing the app, at least in the foreseeable future.”

TechCrunch: Facebook has quietly removed three bogus far-right networks in Spain ahead of Sunday’s elections. “Facebook has quietly removed three far-right networks that were engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior intended to spread politically divisive content in Spain ahead of a general election in the country, which takes place on Sunday.”

Ubergizmo: Google Just Killed Chrome’s Data Saver Extension. “Google has announced that the extension will be deprecated in the near future and will instead be relaunched on Chrome for Android where it will now be known as Lite mode.”


The Verge: How to use Google Voice. “Google Voice is one of those services of which people tend to say, “Is that still around? Does anyone still use it?” But don’t be fooled by its longevity: people do still use it — and it’s possible that you may want to as well.”


CNET: Facebook’s Sri Lanka crisis page let Islamophobic post get top billing. “In times of tragedy, Facebook points to its Crisis Response pages as a way to help people in trouble. But the Crisis Response feature isn’t safe from Facebook’s algorithms, which promoted an Islamophobic post as the top video for people checking for information in the aftermath of Sunday’s explosions in Sri Lanka.”

Search Engine Journal: Google Reportedly Tolerated Spam on Non-Search Products. “An Ex-Googler who was product manager of Blogger from 2003-2006 revealed that Google tolerated spam on it’s network. He said that resources were devoted to fight spam on the Search side but not for Blogger spam.”

Nieman Lab: Months from launch, The Markup abruptly fired cofounder Julia Angwin, setting off an editorial exodus. “The Markup — the highly anticipated nonprofit news site that planned to explore the societal impacts of big tech and algorithms — has fired Julia Angwin, its much-respected cofounder and editor-in-chief.”


Reuters: U.S. congressional leaders query Google on tracking database. ” Top U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday wrote to Google’s chief executive raising concerns about reports of a massive database known as Sensorvault that allegedly contains precise consumer location information from hundreds of millions of devices.”

The Register: California’s politicians rush to gut internet privacy law with pro-tech giant amendments. “Privacy advocates are warning that most of the proposals before the privacy committee are influenced by the very industry that the law was supposed to constrain: big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.”


The Ohio State University: Triplehorn Insect Collection asks public to help label Arctic butterflies . “The Triplehorn Insect Collection at Ohio State is asking for the public’s help in creating a digital archive of thousands of Arctic butterflies, which were donated in 2015 as part of a larger collection from alumnus David K. Parshall. The goal is to image and catalogue detailed data for each specimen.”

Mozilla Blog: It’s Complicated: Mozilla’s 2019 Internet Health Report. “Today, Mozilla is publishing the 2019 Internet Health Report — our third annual examination of the internet, its impact on society and how it influences our everyday lives. The Report paints a mixed picture of what life online looks like today. We’re more connected than ever, with humanity passing the ‘50% of us are now online’ mark earlier this year. And, while almost all of us enjoy the upsides of being connected, we also worry about how the internet and social media are impacting our children, our jobs and our democracies.” Good morning, Internet…

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