afternoonbuzz

Typhoon Hagibis, Bing, Yandex, More: Sunday ResearchBuzz, October 12, 2019

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Japan Times: Japan Defense Ministry opens new Twitter account for disaster info. “The Defense Ministry set up a new Twitter account on Friday to spread information on disaster relief efforts, ahead of the arrival of very powerful Typhoon Hagibis.”

Search Engine Land: Bing launches content submission pilot . “Bing has launched a new content submission pilot that enables publishers to not just submit URLs to the search engine but also submit its full content and images. This allows Bing to see your content without actually crawling the content first.”

TechCrunch: Russia’s Yandex introduces an Echo Dot-style smart speaker. “In May of last year, Yandex launched the Yandex.Station. The $160 smart speaker was a clear logical step for the so-called ‘Google of Russia.’ This week, the company is back with the next-next logical step. The Yandex.Station Mini is essentially its take on the Echo Dot/Google Home Mini.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: 6 Fun Ways to Learn a New Language by Immersion. “Instead of relying on memorizing translations, these techniques teach you by integrating lessons in your routine activities. For instance, when you’re reading the news. This enables you to better understand how you can put the language’s fundamentals to use in real-life conversations. Here are the best language immersion apps and services you can try.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

University of Arizona: Kennerly Archive Acquired by UA Center for Creative Photography. “Spanning more than 50 years of history dating from 1965, the David Hume Kennerly archive features nearly 1 million images, prints, objects, memorabilia, correspondence and documents. It includes iconic portraits of U.S. presidents, world leaders, celebrities and individuals, as well as personal correspondence and mementos such as the helmet and cameras that Kennerly used while photographing the Vietnam War.”

South China Morning Post: Older Hongkongers taking to online apps and social media for latest updates on protests, and some may join rallies too . “Retired schoolteacher Bill Lau, 66, first learned about the messaging app Telegram and online forum LIHKG – platforms popular with protesters – from his friends and younger daughter respectively. Curious, he downloaded Telegram and started checking out LIHKG links from his daughter, and now spends at least half an hour on them each day.”

Wired: Turkish ISP Blocks Social Media Sites Near Syrian Border. “Turkey restricted access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp in at least three cities in the southern part of the country for about 48 hours earlier this week as it launched an attack on northern Syria, according to data collected by civil society group NetBlocks and reviewed by WIRED.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Ars Technica: Attackers exploit an iTunes zeroday to install ransomware. “Attackers exploited a zeroday vulnerability in Apple’s iTunes and iCloud programs to infect Windows computers with ransomware without triggering antivirus protections, researchers from Morphisec reported on Thursday. Apple patched the vulnerability earlier this week.”

Bloomberg: Google’s $2.6 Billion Looker Deal Said to Get Closer DOJ Review. “U.S. antitrust enforcers have started an in-depth review of Google’s $2.6 billion planned acquisition of a data analytics company, a further sign of greater scrutiny on big technology companies, according to people familiar with the situation.”

Washington Post: Chinese app on Xi’s ideology allows data access to 100 million users’ phones, report says. “The Chinese Communist Party appears to have ‘superuser’ access to all the data on more than 100 million cellphones, owing to a back door in a propaganda app that the government has been promoting aggressively this year.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Slate: I Charted My Facebook Birthday Wall Posts Since 2005. “By one measure, I peaked in 2010, the year I turned 23. That was the birthday when the most people ever, before or since—53 of them—posted on my Facebook wall to celebrate another year of my life on Earth. It’s a good thing I don’t judge my self-worth against how many Facebook wall posts I get every time I turn a year older, or else I’d be in trouble, because on my most recent birthday, about a month ago, I got a measly 13 Facebook birthday well-wishes.”

OTHER THINGS I THINK ARE COOL

CNET: This deepfake shows an impressionist taking on 20 celebrities, convincingly. “Actor Jim Meskimen has released a video on YouTube giving a ‘deeper’ look at his skills as an impressionist. The voice work is all his, but thanks to deepfake software, he also takes on the facial features of 20 celebrities — and becomes recognizably those people.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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