Dresses With Pockets, Firefox, Google Lens, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, May 8, 2019


I do not normally cover ecommerce sites, and the last time I wore a dress I was too young to drink alcohol, but having suffered many a pair of legit-looking jeans that ended up having dangerously shallow front pockets, I’m letting this in. From PR Newswire: The Search for Dresses With Pockets is Over (PRESS RELEASE). “The newly launched site allows visitors to search through the inventory of over 20 major retailers, to see over 6000 dresses and skirts that have pockets…. Users search with all the online shopping filters they’re already familiar with- size, color, dress and sleeve length, as well as sorting by popularity, price, or new inventory. Searching can also be done by category—looking for that perfect prom dress or formal outfit? There are over 700 to choose from. Need something for the young woman in your life? There’s almost 150 dresses and skirts for young girls.”


Neowin: Firefox issues another browser update to fix issues relating to disabled extensions. “Over the weekend, Mozilla accidentally disabled many users’ add-ons on both desktop and Android installations. Many issues were resolved once Mozilla pushed Firefox 66.0.4 but the firm acknowledged there were still some residual issues. With the new Firefox 66.0.5, users with master passwords will now have web extensions re-enabled.”

Google Blog: Helpful new visual features in Search and Lens. “Sometimes, the easiest way to wrap your head around new information is to see it. Today at I/O, we announced features in Google Search and Google Lens that use the camera, computer vision and augmented reality (AR) to overlay information and content onto your physical surroundings — to help you get things done throughout your day.”

National Library of New Zealand: The Flying Nun Project: Tally Ho!. “Back in July 2018, we announced that the tape archive of renowned music label Flying Nun Records had been donated to the Alexander Turnbull Library. This news received media coverage from TVNZ, Radio NZ, Stuff, NZ Herald, The Spinoff and other outlets, as well as inspiring discussion on blogs and social media. Much interest stemmed from the plan to digitise the archive over three years – an urgent task given the global challenge of preserving magnetic tape AV media. Ten months on, the time is ripe for an update about how the Flying Nun Project is getting on, together with some exciting (new) news – and an unreleased recording to whet your appetite!”


Meduza: Russia issues new state contract to monitor and categorize social media and news reports . “Russia’s Presidential Affairs Department is soliciting bids on a new government contract to monitor social media and the news media. According to the Internet freedom movement Roskomsvoboda, which reported the story first, the Kremlin is also paying for the monitoring of Telegram channels, even though Telegram is technically blocked in Russia.”

Vox: The rise of fear-based social media like Nextdoor, Citizen, and now Amazon’s Neighbors. “Violent crime in the US is at its lowest rate in decades. But you wouldn’t know that from a crop of increasingly popular social media apps that are forming around crime.”

TechCrunch: Protesters fly banner-towing plane over Google I/O. “It wouldn’t be a Google I/O without a little bit of controversy. In the middle of today’s keynote, a plane started circling the amphitheater where Google holds its annual conference, towing a protest banner. ‘Google control is not privacy #savelocalnews,’ the banner read.”


Boston Globe: SJC weighing whether to make records public for thousands of criminal court hearings. “The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court heard arguments Tuesday about whether the courts should release records from thousands of hearings where clerks decided to dismiss criminal cases behind closed doors, even after finding there was enough evidence to issue charges.”


Wired: Why Is Facebook Abetting Trump’s Reckless Foreign Policy?. “When I first read that Facebook has an employee whose title is ‘global head of counterterrorism policy,’ I was surprised. I had always thought of counterterrorism policies as things that governments, not companies, had. But it turns out this distinction isn’t always as meaningful as I’d thought. One job of Facebook’s global head of counterterrorism policy—a national security expert named Brian Fishman—is to do what the US government wants done. This subservience would raise questions even if we didn’t have a president with a famously reckless foreign policy. But we do, and so far Facebook seems willing to abet it.”

The Sociable: Govt Geopolitical Forecasting Challenge offers $250K to predict the future. “How many missile test events will North Korea conduct in August 2019? Will there be a locally-transmitted case of the Zika virus in Brazil in July 2019? These are just a couple of the hundreds of sample questions that the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) has for its Geopolitical Forecasting Challenge (GFC) 2.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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