Maine History, Todoist, Firefox, More: Wednesday ResearchBuzz, October 23, 2019


Maine: Maine State Archives to launch virtual reality, PSAs for bicentennial. “The Maine State Archives will celebrate American Archives Month this October with the launch of two special projects in commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial of statehood: The Maine Bicentennial Moments Public Interest Advertising announcements series; and the Maine Virtual Reality Experience.” The VR experience will have more content added over time.


TechCrunch: Todoist releases major update to simplify task management. “Bootstrapped tech company Doist, the company behind popular task management Todoist, is releasing a major update called Todoist Foundations — the update should be rolled out over the next 24 hours. As the name suggests, it lays foundations for many new features down the road.”

Neowin: Firefox 70 brings protections for Facebook cross-site tracking, more privacy features. “Mozilla recently released version 70 of its Firefox browser, and today, the company published the full list of changes included in the latest release. As you’d expect from Mozilla, the updates focus mostly on privacy enhancements, starting with improvements to the built-in Enhanced Tracking Protection that now blocks cross-site tracking from social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.”

Mashable: Instagram adds ‘false information’ labels to prevent fake news from going viral . “The app will add ‘false information’ labels that obscure posts that have been debunked by Facebook’s fact checkers, the company announced. The labels, which will roll out over the next month, will appear on posts in Stories and Instagram’s main feed. Users will still be able to view the original post, but they’ll have to click “See Post” to get there. ”


MakeUseOf: 6 Digital Journal Apps to Boost Mental Health With a Daily Diary . “Each app takes a different approach to digital journaling, so pick the one that suits your style. Some focus on privacy, others target beginners and time-constrained users. And there’s even an app that turns the concept of a diary on its head by making your journal entries public.”


Wired UK: Catalonia has created a new kind of online activism. Everyone should pay attention. “To an outsider, the protests can look like a homogenous mass of angry citizens revolting against the Spanish state. But the movement encompasses different factions, from long-standing separatist groups ANC (Assemblea Nacional Catalana) and Òmnium, to absolute newcomers. Among the latter is a mysterious digital network called Tsunami Democràtic.”

Slate: Who Are Those Strangers Watching Your Instagram Stories? . “I’m a small-time Instagrammer, so my most frequent viewers are my mother-in-law, my friends, and school or work acquaintances. Earlier this year, that changed: Strangers were viewing my story. Intrigued, I clicked on each profile to see if we had mutual friends or interests, but mostly we didn’t. It was unclear why an ‘actor/singer/model’ named Jonathan with 5,000 followers would watch videos of my dog, or how a granite countertop company in Marshfield, Massachusetts—a town I’ve never visited—even found my account.”

DigitalArts: TikTok and how to use it for illustration success. “With Instagram doing its best to throttle visibility, more and more digital artists wanting to jump ship to another platform find themselves at a loose end. Twitter was an increasingly popular choice, until the little blue bird began to heavily compress images, whilst Facebook continues its steady decline into a graveyard for artistic exposure. A surprising option though comes in the form of an app best known for music and skits, closer to the dearly departed Vine rather than something like ArtStation. We’re of course talking about much-talked about app of the moment TikTok; less talked about though is how some illustrators are finding a fanbase on the platform through an interesting symbiosis of sound and vision.”


The Register: Google ads from the po-po can prevent vengeful gamer nerds going full script kiddie – research. “What’s the best way to stop young gamers slipping into a life of cybercrime? Google ads from the cops, apparently. That’s according to a study from the Universities of Cambridge and Strathclyde which looked at four different types of law enforcement interventions.”

CNET: FTC cracks down on companies for deceptive online marketing practices. “The Federal Trade Commission uncovered and stopped the misleading online marketing tactics of two different companies, it announced Monday.”

CNN: Facebook’s antitrust headache gets worse: 47 attorneys general now investigating. “New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Tuesday that 47 state attorneys general are now investigating Facebook (FB). The announcement marks a sharp increase from September, when James first disclosed that her office was leading a handful of attorneys general in probing the social media company for evidence of anticompetitive practices.”


Poynter: There are 210 active fact-checkers in 68 countries, says the Duke Reporter’s Lab. “The Duke Reporters’ Lab has just updated its fact-checking census and revealed there are at least 210 fact-checking platforms currently working in 68 countries. This nearly quintuples the number offered by the first edition of the same census, released five years ago in 2014.” Good morning, Internet…

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