morningbuzz

Google, Chrome OS, Note-Taking Apps, More: Saturday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, January 18, 2020

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

ZDNet: Google reveals new Python programming language course: Scholarships for 2,500. “There are six courses in the Google IT Automation with Python Professional Certificate, including an introductory ‘crash course on Python’, learning how to use Python to manipulate files and processes on a computer’s operating system, a course in using Git and GitHub, troubleshooting techniques, learning how to automate and manage fleets of computers in the cloud, and automating real-world tasks with Python.” The article notes that the course is not free.

Neowin: Google might be bringing Valve’s Steam to Chrome OS. “According to a report from David Ruddock of Android Police, Google is working to bring official Steam support to Chrome OS, something that would make Valve’s PC game market the first of its kind on Google’s platform. Ruddock spoke to Kan Liu, Director of Product Management for Chrome OS, where Liu confirmed the upcoming feature.”

USEFUL STUFF

Lifehacker AU: How To Fix Google’s Ugly, Logo-Filled Search Results. “I had a feeling something was off the other day when I was doing some Googling. As it turns out, Google has redesigned its search results page a bit, adding in favicons, a big ‘AD’ icon for sponsored results, and shuffling around the placement of site URLs. At the risk of sounding like the cantankerous muppets Waldorf and Statler, I don’t like it. And if you share my lack of joy about these cluttered results, it’s possible to eliminate some of the changes Google made and restore peace and order to your searches.”

Make Tech Easier: 5 of the Best Cross-Platform Note-Taking Apps. “Of all the apps on your smartphone or computer, there is a strong likelihood that your note-taking app of choice is one of the most used. For so many, having a note-taking app available whenever, wherever is indispensable. That’s why you need a cross-platform option, but which one do you choose? Let’s take at look at the best cross-platform note-taking apps below.” Google Keep is nowhere to be found.

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

WGRZ: City of Buffalo calling for new ‘Instagram-worthy’ public art ideas. “Buffalo’s bright and colorful murals are a big hit on Instagram. Now, the city wants to add new photo-ops with a new piece of public art in the downtown entertainment district.”

BBC: Facebook blocks the Spinner’s ‘brainwashing’ tech. “Facebook has issued a cease and desist notice to an Israeli firm that claims to be able to subconsciously alter people’s behaviour. The Spinner charges a fee to ‘subconsciously influence’ targets by exposing them to online posts ‘disguised as editorial content’. But Facebook has objected to the start-up using its services to achieve this.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Mashable: Facebook just lost a court battle to cover up possible privacy abuses. “The social media giant lost a major court battle today that has the potential to pull back the curtain on thousands of as yet unknown privacy scandals. According to The Washington Post, a Massachusetts judge ordered Facebook to hand over data regarding scores of third-party apps suspended from the platform following the Cambridge Analytica scandal.”

The Indian Express: Sonos CEO tells house antitrust panel Google abused power. “Sonos Inc Chief Executive Officer Patrick Spence accused Alphabet Inc’s Google and Amazon.com Inc of using their market power to thwart competition a week after filing a lawsuit against the world’s largest search engine.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Art Newspaper: Why Africa’s future museums should forget Western models. “Museums on the African continent are still held hostage to an unequal push-me pull-you trade in culture and commodities that is underpinned by class-based neo-liberal politics. With Zeitz MOCAA, for example, European real estate entrepreneurs have transformed the historical harbour into a seamless merger between the lucrative experience of shopping and the fashionable consumption of art…. That is perhaps where the challenge lies for museums in both Africa and Europe. In an art world in which mercantilism and activism lock horns, the time is ripe for artists and not only curators to reconfigure what can actually be done within the walls of a museum.”

Nieman Lab: Is this video “missing context,” “transformed,” or “edited”? This effort wants to standardize how we categorize visual misinformation. “If a photo has been ’shopped, was it changed just a little or a lot? Did the editing harmlessly change the white balance or fundamentally alter the reality the photo is supposed to represent? Is a tight crop excluding important context or appropriately directing a viewer’s focus to something? Then apply all of that to videos. Where’s the line between a deepfake and a cheapfake? Your head starts to hurt. The unsung heroes of the Internet are the people who develop the standards by which information gets encoded into structured data, and said heroes are now turning their attention to this particular problem, visual misinformation. ” Good morning, Internet…

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