afternoonbuzz

TikTok, Google, Music Streaming Apps, More: Monday Mid-Afternoon ResearchBuzz, March 9, 2020

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Tubefilter: TikTok Hires ‘Chief Information Security Officer’ To Assuage Persisting Concerns. “As security concerns surrounding TikTok continue to mount — and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has become the latest agency to ban the app on all government-issued devices — TikTok has hired a new chief information security officer to help assuage fears.”

Android Community: Google launches new Apps, Games, and Insights podcast. “If you’re interested in the inner workings of the developers of some of your favorite apps and games and this multi-billion industry, there are a lot of materials that you can search for out there. But Google is making it a bit easier for you by launching a new podcast called Apps, Games, and Insights. It will bring listeners “insights, stories, and learnings” from the industry experts and the people and companies behind some of the most popular apps and games out there.”

USEFUL STUFF

MakeUseOf: Stream Music for Free With These 5 Little-Known Apps. “Right now, the top two free music streaming apps are Spotify and YouTube Music. Each offers a few features for free, with ads, and you can upgrade to a premium plan for more features like offline playback. But you might be surprised to know that you don’t need to pay for anything to get a good music streaming experience.”

Digital Inspiration: How to Encrypt and Decrypt Text Strings with JavaScript. “In one of my web projects, I require simple and easy-to-implement encryption and decryption JavaScript library that could encode a piece of text and then decode the encoded string on the server-side. The easiest option is the base64 encoding scheme that can be easily implemented in both native JavaScript and Google Apps Script.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

New York Times: No Cell Signal, No Wi-Fi, No Problem. Growing Up Inside America’s ‘Quiet Zone’. “Welcome to Green Bank, population 143, where Wi-Fi is both unavailable and banned and where cellphone signals are nonexistent. The near radio silence is a requirement for those living close to the town’s most prominent and demanding resident, the Green Bank Observatory, home to the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope. To protect the sensitive equipment from interference, the federal government in 1958 established the National Radio Quiet Zone, a 13,000-square-mile area near the state’s border with Virginia.”

Washington Post: State Department blames ‘swarms of online, false personas’ from Russia for wave of coronavirus misinformation online. “A top State Department official said Thursday that Russia is behind ‘swarms of online, false personas’ that sought to spread misinformation about coronavirus on social media sites, stressing the ‘entire ecosystem of Russian disinformation is at play.’ The latest warning came from Lea Gabrielle, the coordinator of the government’s Global Engagement Center, in testimony to Congress.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

TorrentFreak: Torrent Sites Help Game Developer to Share Free Copy of ‘Death and Taxes’. “With help from some top torrent sites, Placeholder Gameworks has released a free copy of its new game Death and Taxes. The developer torrent has the same features as the $12.99 Steam release. While there’s no significant effect on sales, developer Oak, who once was a hardcore pirate himself, is convinced that the official torrent will help the game in the long run.”

The Verge: Google location data turned a random biker into a burglary suspect. “A Florida man who used a fitness app to track his bike rides found himself a suspect in a burglary when police used a geofence warrant to collect data from nearby devices, an NBC News investigation finds. Zachary McCoy had never been in the home where the burglary occurred, but by leaving his location settings on for the RunKeeper app, he unwittingly provided information about his whereabouts to Google, which placed him at the scene of the crime.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

The Next Web: This algorithm could improve emergency responses by removing lies spread on Twitter. “An algorithm that filters out misinformation spread on Twitter could help emergency services respond to natural disasters and disease outbreaks. The system uses AI to distinguish between legitimate reports and bot-generated messages in real-time to create a stream of only genuine information.”

CNET: Facebook’s transparency efforts around political ads fall short, study finds. “Facebook has tried to make it clearer who’s paying for political ads but a new study from New York University researchers casts more doubt about how well these transparency efforts are working.” Good mid-afternoon, Internet…

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