Flickr, Chrome, Massachusetts Aerial Photography, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, December 21, 2019


Digital Trends: Flickr cash shortage leads to plea for more paying members. “Flickr is still losing money and needs more people to sign up to its Pro tier to have a chance of survival. That’s according to Don MacAskill, CEO of SmugMug, which bought the photo site in 2018.”

Ars Technica: Chrome is getting a dedicated media control button. “Chrome is getting a new ‘Media Hub’ feature that puts media controls for all your tabs right at your fingertips. The new feature takes the form of a button that lives next to your profile picture and menu button in the top right corner of Chrome.”

The State Library of Massachusetts has a new collection of digitized maps (this link goes to a Facebook post). “The library has digitized its collection of maps that represent state and congressional legislative districts, starting from 1842 to 2015.”


Make Tech Easier: 7 Essential Settings to Secure Your Google Account. “Here’s how to reduce the privacy risks (to the extent allowable by Google, anyway) and secure your account against unauthorized use. If you can’t run away from Google, at least mitigate the damage.” Nice step-by-step instructions, lots of screenshots. Caveat: in my experience turning your YouTube history off makes the suggestions worse.

KnowTechie: Instagram now hides ‘like counts’ – this Chrome extension brings them back. “Instagram has long been the social media site for comparing your lunch or outfit to others, so the decision to hide ‘like counts’ came as a controversial one. The thing is, Instagram didn’t completely remove them, seemingly just hiding them behind some code. That means you can reveal those revered like counts again, with this handy Chrome extension.”


The Daily Beast: Instagram Won’t Pull These Racist, Violent, Russian-Inspired Accounts. “Memes published by some of the worst Kremlin-backed trolls of the 2016 campaign are being echoed online by American neo-Confederates. The Russian accounts, overseen by the Russian Internet Research Agency (IRA), have since been taken down. But American parrot accounts running some of the same racist crap—and worse—are still live on Instagram, an investigation by The Daily Beast and the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab found. At least one of these live accounts claims to belong to a Russian network persona.”

University of Maine: James W. Sewall Co. donates approximately 1 million aerial images to Raymond H. Fogler Library. “Raymond H. Fogler Library at the University of Maine has received a donation of over 3,000 rolls of film containing about 1 million aerial images from the James W. Sewall Co. in Old Town, Maine. The collection contains original aerial photography of Maine and New England captured by Sewall over the span of 65 years. The archive will offer researchers and the public a vast collection that details changes to Maine’s landscapes and cities over the past century.”


The Verge: settles with FTC after falsely claiming it didn’t collect and sell email data. “Before this year’s blockbuster Superhuman scandal, in which the email app maker was caught providing a non-consensual read receipt feature to its users, there was the controversy. It erupted two years ago, when it was discovered the popular email cleanup tool was collecting information on user purchases and handing it over to its parent company, Slice Technologies, to sell as part of an analytics tool.”

Mashable: Twitter warns Android users about a serious security vulnerability. “If you use Twitter’s Android app, you should update it right now. The company has uncovered a security vulnerability in its Android app that could put users direct messages and location information at risk.”


OneZero: Learning to Repair My Busted TV Taught Me How to Love the Internet Again. “For every angry screed from some incel or jihadi on YouTube, there are countless barely produced but very helpful how-to videos on almost every subject imaginable. A few diagnostic videos showed me how to check the power supply and mainboard, and a quick follow-up search led me to an online retailer of TV repair parts, including ones for my five-year-old Vizio. I ordered a $40 mainboard and a few days later, I swapped it in.”

University of Nebraska Omaha: UNO Faculty, Students Develop Database to Provide Real-Time Data Analysis for 911 Calls. “The new Law Enforcement Database gathers basic information, such as location, date and times related to the calls as well as number of calls received and related response times. The dashboard allows law enforcement personnel to filter for various information such as period of time, type of incident, or if there was an injury. The dashboard includes a heatmap, allowing users to drill-down on specific districts and see what trends are happening in any given area at any given time.” Hope they share it, sounds like a great idea…

Ideasroom (New Zealand): The problem with cutting archives access. “The cuts will also have a major and detrimental impact upon New Zealand historians who are absolutely reliant upon the archives for their source material. In a quantitatively assessed, output-driven, academic context we do not have the luxury of doubling the timeframe for research and publication.” Good morning, Internet…

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