Beaches, Paris-Gare-de-Lyon, Google, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, August 7, 2019


Bloomberg: Sandee Wants to Be the Yelp of Beaches. “Does it have to be on an ocean? Is a sandy shore on a lake a beach? What about a peaceful river bank? For… a new site dedicated to cataloguing and rating every beach in the world, the answer is: all of the above. Its goal is to help users find the right beach—no matter their definition of the word. Its growing database includes more than 50,000 beaches in 178 countries and territories around the world, says founder Randall Kaplan.”

Google Keyword: Hip-hop dancers show Paris in a new light on Street View. “When I see videos of myself dancing, it’s hard to imagine that person was once a shy girl from the outskirts of Paris. Thanks to hip-hop, I’ve found my path, and now I seek to help others do the same by encouraging them to use dance as a vehicle for expression. When Google’s Street View team asked if I’d like to show Paris and its iconic Gare de Lyon train station with the world through the lens of dance, I immediately said yes. ”


Ars Technica: Apple isn’t the most cash-rich company in the world anymore, but it doesn’t matter. “As of this year’s second financial quarter, Alphabet now has $117 billion in reserve, compared to $102 billion for Apple. However, Apple had $163 billion in 2017, so this is just as much a story of Apple reducing its reserves as it is one of Google growing its own.”

CNET: Google Images gets a revamp with a focus on shopping. “Google Images is getting a new look. The search giant on Tuesday said it’s launching a redesign of its search engine for photos…. The redesign will also put an emphasis on shopping. If you click on an image of a product, it will show you information on brand, price, reviews and availability.” Yay.

Neowin: Google’s Advanced Protection Program now scans for risky downloads in Chrome. “Google announced today that it is expanding the capabilities of its Advanced Protection Program (APP) to provide users with protection against malware across the internet. The program was first launched in 2017 with the goal of securing a user’s personal Google account from cyber attacks.” But apparently you have to turn on sync?


Motherboard: Millions of Books Are Secretly in the Public Domain. You Can Download Them Free. “Prior to 1964, books had a 28-year copyright term. Extending it required authors or publishers to send in a separate form, and lots of people didn’t end up doing that. Thanks to the efforts of the New York Public Library, many of those public domain books are now free online.”


Third Sector: Fixers trustees ‘working to find suitable home’ for digital archive. “Trustees at the youth charity Fixers have sought to reassure supporters that they are working with senior management to find a ‘suitable charitable home’ for its digital archive before it closes at the end of the month.”

Reuters: Trump, without evidence, accuses Google of ‘very illegal’ action ahead of election . “U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday stepped up his accusations against Google, claiming without offering evidence that the technology company worked to subvert his 2016 presidential campaign and warning he was watching it ‘very closely’ ahead of the 2020 election.”

Online Journalism Blog: Meme journalism on Instagram in Denmark: “It’s necessary if we want to play a part in the lives of the younger audience”. “With TV audiences ageing and public service broadcasters struggling to retain mass appeal, many news organisations have looked to new platforms to reach younger audiences. At TV2 Østjylland, Instagram was part of the mix — but they were acutely conscious that the organisation could no longer rely on traditional approaches to storytelling that journalists were used to.”


Engadget: CafePress resets passwords months after reported data breach. “StockX isn’t the only company that appears to have warned users about a data breach through password resets. T-shirt seller CafePress has been asking customers to choose new passwords as part of an updated ‘password policy,’ but the news came soon after reports that the site had been the victim of a data breach in February. Have I Been Pwned claimed that over 23.2 million accounts had been exposed, including email addresses, names, physical addresses and phone numbers.”

CNBC: U.S. appeals court voids Google ‘cookie’ privacy settlement that paid users nothing. “A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down Google’s class-action settlement meant to resolve claims it invaded the privacy of millions of computer users by installing ‘cookies’ in their browsers, but paying those users nothing for their troubles.”


Digital Trends: Can social media predict mass shootings before they happen?. “Companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon already use algorithms to predict your interests, your behaviors, and crucially, what you like to buy. Sometimes, an algorithm can get your personality right – like when Spotify somehow manages to put together a playlist full of new music you love. In theory, companies could use the same technology to flag potential shooters…. But preventing mass shootings before they happen raises some thorny legal questions: how do you determine if someone is just angry online rather than someone who could actually carry out a shooting? Can you arrest someone if a computer thinks they’ll eventually become a shooter?” Good morning, Internet…

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