Coronavirus News, Chrome OS, Free Videoconferencing, More: Wednesday Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 4, 2020


NiemanLab: Not to alarm you, but coronavirus-focused news products are spreading very quickly. “If you’re itching for more information about coronavirus and its specific impacts, there’s a product for you and it’s probably free. There are so many coronavirus newsletters popping up that even the same Twitter jokes are going viral.” I don’t want to add anything if it’s not useful, but I’ve been pulling so much coronavirus stuff lately I’ve been thinking of doing a weekly roundup. At this point I could probably do a DAILY roundup.

Neowin: Google details new Chrome OS features including Ambient EQ and Netfilx PIP support. “Google typically releases new versions of Chrome OS every 6 weeks, coinciding with the browser release schedule. However, while Chrome 80 for desktop has been available for a while, the wider rollout for Chrome OS has not begun yet. Today, the search giant is detailing a few features that are making its way to Chrome OS with the latest release.”


ZDNet: Free video conferencing: Coronavirus spurs special deals from WebEx, Google, others. “Twitter just told all its 5,000 workers to work from home because of the COVID-19 coronavirus. It wasn’t the first, and it won’t be the last. Your company may be next. Fortunately, many video-conferencing services are now offering free access to their services for a limited time to help make life easier during the pandemic.”

Larry Ferlazzo: Even More Useful Online Tools If Our Schools Close & We Have To Teach Online (#COVID19). “Yesterday, I posted Here Are Online Tools Some Teachers In Asia Are Using For Remote Learning – Useful To Know In The Face Of #COVID19. Today, I realized that I hadn’t included three lengthy ‘Best’ lists that might also be helpful – they share many sites where teachers can create ‘virtual classrooms’ (the vast majority can be used at no-cost) for English Language Learners and English-proficient students and monitor student progress”


ProPublica: We Want to Talk to People Working or Living on the Front Lines of Coronavirus. Help Us Report.. “ProPublica has put together a reporting team to investigate the government’s response to the new coronavirus, which is officially known as COVID-19. Are you a public health worker or front line medical provider? Do you work for or with a government agency that’s involved in the effort to protect the public? Have you or your family personally been affected? Show us what we should be covering, or serve as an expert to make sure we’re on track.”

Wired UK: Online Altruists Are Making Reddit More Accessible. “These volunteers are from a little subreddit called r/TranscribersOfReddit, who voluntarily type out extremely detailed descriptions of various content so that visually impaired people can access it. The band of noble souls have the goal of making Reddit, and the internet as a whole, a more accessible place. If you travel to one of r/TranscribersOfReddit’s 72 partner subreddits, like r/thatHappened or r/me_irl, there’s a chance you could stumble upon one of the group’s elaborate transcriptions.”

Vox: China has censored the Archive of Our Own, one of the internet’s largest fanfiction websites. “The Archive of Our Own (AO3), the Hugo-winning fanfiction website, is the latest casualty of Chinese censorship, amid a continued crackdown in the country on queer content, sexually explicit content, and websites based abroad.”


Wall Street Journal: Lawmakers Push Again for Info on Google Collecting Patient Data. “A bipartisan trio of U.S. senators pushed again for answers on Google’s controversial ‘Project Nightingale,’ saying the search giant evaded requests for details on its far-reaching data tie-up with health giant Ascension.”


CNN: How health officials and social media are teaming up to fight the coronavirus ‘infodemic’. “As health officials in a growing number of countries fight to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, they’re also working to stem a secondary issue that the World Health Organization is calling an ‘infodemic.'”

Search Engine Land: Fake and inaccurate reviews driving billions in ‘wasted’ consumer spending [Report]. “American consumers said they wasted $125, on average, in 2019 due to inaccurate reviews, a new report finds. If we extrapolate that across the adult population, as much as $25 billion in U.S. consumer spending has been wasted due to inaccurate (or fake) online reviews.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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