Utah Fishing, Tumblr, Google CallJoy, More: Friday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, May 3, 2019


Deseret News: Want to rate Utah’s fishing holes? Now you can. “he Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has launched a new website that offers an in-depth, interactive fishing map. While the division has provided online fishing reports for nearly 20 years, this interactive map… will provide more details and will allow users to find a place to fish near their current location. It also gives the public a chance to rate waters based on their recent fishing trips. The public feedback will help the division improve the management of the state’s fisheries.”


The Verge: Verizon is looking to sell Tumblr after squandering its potential. “Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it acquired along with other Yahoo assets in 2017. The Wall Street Journal reports that Verizon has approached other companies in recent weeks that could be potential new homes for Tumblr. The platform hosts 465.4 million blogs and 172 billion posts, according to its about page. The Journal notes that the sale process ‘is ongoing’ and might not result in any transaction.”

Google Blog: Helping small business phones get smart with CallJoy. “My team within Area 120, Google’s workshop for experimental projects, conducted testing and found that small businesses receive an average of 13 phone calls every day. If you apply that average to America’s 30.2 million small businesses, that would equal roughly 400 million incoming daily calls to local businesses from consumers placing a to-go order, booking an appointment, inquiring about inventory and more. That’s why we built CallJoy, a cloud-based phone agent that enables small business owners to measure, improve and automate customer service.”

TechCrunch: Microsoft launches a drag-and-drop machine learning tool. “Microsoft today announced three new services that all aim to simplify the process of machine learning. These range from a new interface for a tool that completely automates the process of creating models, to a new no-code visual interface for building, training and deploying models, all the way to hosted Jupyter-style notebooks for advanced users.”


Mashable: 10 crisis help lines that offer texting or chat services . “A growing number of crisis lines provide people in need with texting support as well as phone advice. The appeal of this type of service is clear. Texting and chat platforms provide a degree of anonymity that a phone conversation simply does not, given its intimacy. Here are ten crisis lines that provide texting and chat services for people in need.”


Ars Technica: Ex-YouTube engineer reveals how video site worked to kill off Internet Explorer 6. “Though YouTube had been under Google’s ownership for about three years, YouTube’s engineers were suspicious and wary of being integrated into Google’s corporate machine. They had their own special set of permissions named ‘OldTuber,’ and anyone with OldTuber permissions could freely modify the YouTube site without going through Google’s usual change management process of code reviews, testing, adherence to coding standards, and so on. It was cowboy territory, where developers could do as they liked. Only the risk of breaking things—and hence losing OldTuber permissions, if not their job—kept them on the straight and narrow. The OldTubers decided that they’d show a banner to Internet Explorer 6 users.”

New York Times: Want to Check Out Frieze? All You Need Is an App and a Headset. “For the first time, Frieze New York — an eight-year-old fair that will be held at Randalls Island Park from Thursday through Sunday — will include a virtual reality component. For fairgoers, this will come in the form of a booth with works visible via high-tech headsets. But it will also be available to curious viewers worldwide, via the free-to-download Acute Art app. All you need is a basic virtual reality headset like Google Cardboard, and you can immerse yourself.”


BuzzFeed News: The Hot New Facebook Grift Is Taking Over Huge Pages About Celebrities And Films Using This Clever Technique. “Interest pages are auto-generated by Facebook from interests that users list in their profiles. They typically have no formal connection to the person or thing they’re about and don’t have humans managing them. But even though no one is actively managing them, popular interests can still attract millions of fans. In total, BuzzFeed News found more than 100 stolen pages for celebrities, books, films, religions, and generic interests such as ‘love’ that were taken over through this technique. These pages have more than 55 million likes. As of this writing, Facebook has removed 21 of the pages.”


Stanford University: Gang-associated youth avoid violence by acting tough online, Stanford sociologist finds. “Through his role as the director of an afterschool youth violence prevention program on Chicago’s South Side, [Forrest] Stuart recruited 60 young men affiliated with five different gang factions for an in-depth study about urban gang violence in the digital age. For two years, he spent 20 to 50 hours a week conducting direct observations with these young men. In addition, he conducted in-depth interviews where he asked participants to review each day’s social media activity with him. During these debriefing sessions, Stuart asked about the origins, intent, meaning and consequences of their aggressive posts so he could better understand how their online activity compared with their offline behavior.”

Phys .org: Preserving the contents of the New York Public Library in a teaspoon of protein, without energy, for millions of years. “As the data boom continues to boom, more and more information gets filed in less and less space. Even the cloud—whose name promises opaque, endless space—will eventually run out of space, can’t thwart all hackers, and gobbles up energy. Now, a new way to store information could stably house data for millions of years, lives outside the hackable internet, and, once written, uses no energy. All you need is a chemist, some cheap molecules, and your precious information.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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