Michigan Startups, Kazakhstan Volunteering, Google I/O, More: Sunday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, May 5, 2019


Crain’s Detroit Business: New website tracks Michigan startup community. “The database website… is designed and licensed from Israel’s Start-Up Nation Central, a nonprofit dedicated to tracking more than 6,000 startups in Israel. The Michigan site launched Sunday with more than 330 startups, 25 investors and 28 service providers.”

Astana Times: New website makes volunteering easier in Kazakhstan. “The Kazakh Ministry of Information and Social Development and National Volunteer Network presented April 29 in the capital the… website for the development of the Kazakh volunteer movement. The website seeks to coordinate communications among more than 200 volunteer organisations and 50,000 volunteers simplifying their communication.”


Ars Technica: What to expect from Google I/O 2019. “Google I/O kicks off May 7 in Mountain View, California, where Google will be hosting a keynote and a million other sessions at the Shoreline Amphitheater. The keynote starts at 10am PT, and we’ll be there to cover everything announced at the show. But before we hop on a plane and fly down to Google HQ, we’ve prepared a likely list of things we anticipate Google will announce. If you want to know where the larger Google-verse is about to go, here are the rumors, expected updates on previously announced things, and notable schedule tidbits to keep an eye on at I/O 2019.”

CNET: Firefox fix restores broken browser extensions — but not for everyone. “Unfortunately for Firefox users and Mozilla, the fix doesn’t reach everyone. Mozilla is updating Firefox with an unusual mechanism, the studies tool for testing new features, and some people may have disabled that. The fix doesn’t yet work for Firefox on Android or the slower-moving Extended Support Release (ESR) version of Firefox. And some people aren’t getting the update, Mozilla said on Twitter on Saturday.” Many thanks to reader Richardjoly for pointing me toward this extensive MetaFilter thread.


CogDogBlog: Every Open Tab a Curiosity Beckons. “I’ve mentioned it more than once here, but maybe the best thing I have done to put some serendipity wonder into the daily web browsing experience is installing the Library of Congress Free to Use extension.” I mentioned this extension last summer but Alan takes a deep dive.


Vox: The productivity pit: how Slack is ruining work. “On average, employees at large companies are each sending more than 200 Slack messages per week, according to Time Is Ltd., a productivity-analytics company that taps into workplace programs — including Slack, calendar apps, and the Office Suite — in order to give companies recommendations on how to be more productive. Power users sending out more than 1,000 messages per day are ‘not an exception.’ Keeping up with these conversations can seem like a full-time job. After a while, the software goes from helping you work to making it impossible to get work done.”

VentureBeat: GameClub raises $2.5 million to preserve and rerelease classic iOS games. ” Game preservation can be a challenging task, especially on mobile where constant updates make apps obsolete and unplayable. GameClub is trying to fix that issue by reintroducing old games that people can no longer play on iOS.”


EPIC: EPIC FOIA: Massive DHS Biometric Database Still Lacks a Privacy Impact Assessment. “In response to EPIC’s Freedom of Information Act request, the Department of Homeland Security confirmed that no privacy impact assessment has been completed for a vast DHS biometric database known as the ‘Homeland Advanced Recognition Technology.'”

New York Times: Facebook Faces a Big Penalty, but Regulators Are Split Over How Big. “Facebook’s announcement in late April that it had set aside $3 billion to $5 billion to settle claims that it mishandled users’ personal data suggested a strong consensus by federal regulators that the social media giant needed to be held accountable. But the reality behind the scenes at the Federal Trade Commission is far more complicated, reflecting the politics and give-and-take of the negotiations.”


ZDNet: You’re dating everyone: How algorithms will put us all in our place(s). “Do you know what I hate most about social networking sites like Facebook? The people. They ruin everything. No, seriously. I used to love using Facebook, although I can’t exactly remember the last time when my enjoyment significantly outweighed my rage.”

Radio NZ: Opinion: Facebook changes will let extremists flourish in peace. “Facebook’s entire business model is to take user data and give it away to the highest bidder, and to the lowest bidder, and to all the other bidders, in the name of fair exchange. You give it and its advertisers your valuable information and it tells you what Harry Potter house you belong to, or which Muppet you most resemble, or what city you should live in. If that’s where it stopped, that might not be a problem. I don’t mind terribly much what it knows about my viewing habits, about which groups I belong to, about who I wish Happy Birthday to. If they want to sell that information to advertisers so they can learn from me what it is I’d be receptive to, then go right ahead. But Facebook goes beyond that.”

Boing Boing: Big U.S. news media Twitter accounts amplify Trump’s lies uncritically 19 times a day: Study. “The study found that major U.S. media outlets amplified Trump’s lies and disinformation over 400 times during the three-week study period, or 19 times per day, without identifying in the same moment that the information is just total bullsh*t and shouldn’t be taken as truth.” [Asterisk added by me.] Good afternoon, Internet…

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