afternoonbuzz

Lyft, Amazon, Google, More: Tuesday Evening ResearchBuzz, February 4, 2020

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Mashable: Lyft will offer free rides for voters during the 2020 primaries. “On Friday, the ride share service announced that it would be expanding its free and discounted ride program throughout the primary calendar and general election. Part of the company’s LyftUp initiative — a charitable effort that helps in-need riders of all kinds — the Voting Access Program will start with the Iowa caucus on Monday.”

TechCrunch: Amazon quietly publishes its latest transparency report. “Just as Amazon was basking in the news of a massive earnings win, the tech giant quietly published — as it always does — its latest transparency report, revealing a slight dip in the number of government demands for user data.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Globe and Mail: Shares in Google parent Alphabet fall on worst fourth-quarter revenue growth since 2015. “Alphabet Inc’s new Chief Executive Sundar Pichai unveiled sales figures that investors have long demanded, but shares fell 5 per cent as Google’s advertising business and the new data about YouTube and Google Cloud broadly disappointed.”

New Zealand Herald: Woman exposes Tinder date’s double life using X-rated pic and Google. “It can be difficult to tell the Romeos from the love rats when it comes to online dating but one woman managed to expose her date’s double life using two simple tools — a d**k pic and Google.” When I first started reading this story I was worried that she had done some kind of reverse image search with the picture. Not the case, and an interesting story about researching with all the evidence at your disposal.

BBC: Keeping rats out of kitchens and bedbugs out of hotels. “When construction work disturbed a pack of rats near his commercial kitchen business in County Wicklow, Ireland, Shane Bonner knew he needed a savvier approach to pest control…. So he opted for a more hi-tech approach. Pest Pulse traps use pressure sensor technology to identify a catch and alert the company straight away over the internet.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Mashable: FCC confirms wireless carriers broke federal law by selling location data. “At the center of the investigation are all four major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. It is unclear at this time which groups will be penalized, and what that penalty will look like. Further documentation on the specifics of the violation is forthcoming.”

Reuters: Justice Department meeting state AG offices Tuesday to discuss Google: sources. “Justice Department officials will meet on Tuesday with representatives of state attorneys general to discuss their investigations of search and advertising giant Google, according to sources familiar with the plans.”

9to5 Google: Some Google Photos videos in ‘Takeout’ backups were sent to strangers last November. “With Google Takeout, you can download your data from Google apps as a backup or for use with another service. Unfortunately, a brief issue with the tool last November saw your videos in Google Photos possibly get exported to strangers’ archives.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Cult of Mac: Why Apple should celebrate its history with an Official Apple Archive [Opinion]. “Apple took a proverbial sledgehammer to the Unofficial Apple Archive, an online collection of more than 15,000 classic Apple ads and assorted other materials, last weekend. Cupertino’s legal team issued a slew of takedown notices to Vimeo and the Unofficial Apple Archive’s host provider, Squarespace, resulting in thousands of vintage Apple ads vanishing in the blink of an eye. While I understand the reason for the takedowns, I really, really wish Apple hadn’t tried to wipe the ads off the internet. Fortunately, Apple could set things straight — by embracing both its past and its most ardent fans.”

The Guardian: Streaming spells the end of the ‘ownership’ era of music, but are we ready to let go?. “Apple’s announcement late last year of the end of iTunes as we have known it is a symbolic bookend to the ‘ownership’ era. While streaming services are now the norm, these platforms can feel disconcertingly ephemeral to people who are used to the sense of control and emotional connection that comes with having a physical copy of a song.” Good evening, Internet…

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