Child Development, Google News, They, More: Saturday ResearchBuzz, January 4, 2020


Spectrum News: New data establishes norms for developmental milestones. “Children usually reach developmental milestones such as speaking and walking by a certain age. Pediatricians use these cutoffs to screen for developmental delays and autism. Few studies, however, have collected baseline data on when different children reach developmental milestones, which can vary widely. As a result, the current age cutoffs clinicians use for screening can miss children with delays.”


CNET: Google News reportedly ends digital magazines, refunds active subscriptions. “Google has reportedly begun sunsetting its print-replica magazine service. Paid Google News magazine users have begun receiving emails announcing that the service is shutting down, Android Police reported Friday.”

The Guardian: Singular ‘they’ voted word of the decade by US linguists. “US linguists have chosen ‘they’ as their word of the decade, recognising the growing use of third-person plural pronouns as a singular form to refer to people who identify their gender as neither entirely male nor entirely female.”

TechCrunch: TikTok’s revenue said to skyrocket over 300% in Q4. “According to newly released third-party data, TikTok has reason to dance. The famous short-video application saw its in-app purchase revenue rise 310% on a year-over-year basis, according to Apptopia, a startup that tracks mobile app revenue and usage.”

Techdirt: Announcing The Public Domain Game Jam: Gaming Like It’s 1924!. “The rules are basically the same as last year. For the entire month of January, you can submit your digital or analog games (specific rules are at the link) based on some of the newly public domain works from 1924. If you’re looking for ideas on what works are there, Duke’s Center for the Study of the Public Domain has an excellent list and LifeHacker has called out some highlights as well.”


The Conversation: How to monitor the bushfires raging across Australia. “The following short guide draws on my experience covering bushfires as a reporter and my academic research. It may not be exhaustive but is intended to help Australians and their overseas family and friends source useful information and monitor the movement of fire fronts in real time.”


CNN: Iran has online disinformation operations, too. “Some US officials are now bracing for Iran to retaliate against the US with a cyber attack in response to the killing of one of its top commanders. But Iran has shown it’s also capable of engaging in another form of online warfare: social media disinformation campaigns.”

Slate: How Smartphone Cameras Changed the Way We Document Our Lives. “Having a camera always in your pocket has allowed us to take photos of pretty much anything—the number of photos we’ve collectively taken doubled between 2013 and 2017, from 6 billion to 1.2 trillion.”

New York Times: Hype House and the Los Angeles TikTok Mansion Gold Rush. “So-called collab houses, also known as content houses, are an established tradition in the influencer world. Over the last five years they have formed a network of hubs across Los Angeles.”


ZDNet: Google kills Xiaomi-Nest integration after user gets images from strangers. “We know creeps have hacked smart baby monitors to spy on families, but a bug affecting Xiaomi smart cameras linked to Google accounts creates the reverse problem: one user received unwanted images from strangers’ homes when streaming content from his own camera to a Google Nest Hub.”


Medium: Google’s Monopoly is Stifling Free Software. “Google has an undeniable monopoly on search, and a near-monopoly on web browsing software via Chrome and its forks. And even alternative browsers such as Mozilla’s Firefox reference Google’s Safe Browsing service to decide on the trustworthiness of downloads. Stopping the spread of malware is a laudible goal, but a consequence of this is directly harming free and open source software developers from being able to release their software without paying expensive certificate authority rent-seeking fees.”

New Atlas: Social media surveillance drives 2019 drop in global internet freedom. “An annual report tracking internet freedom across the world has found global declines for the ninth consecutive year. Underpinned by domestic election interference and social media surveillance, the report identified internet freedom deterioration in more than half of the 65 countries assessed.” Good morning, Internet…

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