Cobblestone Architecture, Google I/O, Firefox, More: Friday ResearchBuzz, March 20, 2020


Rochester Beacon: Preserving the history of cobblestone architecture. “The concept for cobblestone masonry wasn’t new to the world of course, but the bounty of cobblestones in the region south of Lake Ontario offered a great opportunity. As a result of that architectural trend, our region now has the largest collection of cobblestone structures in the nation. It’s estimated that more than 1,000 cobblestone structures have been built in the United States, and approximately 700 of those exist within an hour’s drive of the city of Rochester.”


Neowin: Google cancels its virtual I/O 2020 developer event. “Google’s I/O 2020 developer conference is officially canceled, the company confirmed today. Earlier this month, the company announced that the in-person event was canceled, and that it would do a virtual event. Now, even that is off the table.”

The Register: Firefox to burn FTP out of its browser, starting slowly in version 77 due in April. “Firefox has decided it’s time to burn the browser’s FTP connections. In a March 19 post on the list, developer Michal Novotny announced ‘We plan to remove FTP protocol implementation from our code.'”

PR Newswire: MeWe Launches Social Media’s First Dual-Camera Videos: “MeWe’s® “ (PRESS RELEASE). “As people across the globe are staying indoors, self-quarantined due to Coronavirus, MeWe, the rapidly growing Facebook competitor, launches MeWe’s® – the first dual-camera videos available on any social network. MeWe’s are the perfect way for people to stay virtually connected in a fun and safe way with their friends and family.”


Lifehacker: Up Your Netflix Game With These Tools and Chrome Extensions. “Social distancing means a lot of us are spending a lot more time on Netflix. If some of that Netflix watching is happening on your home computer, then you’re going to want to check out these Chrome extensions.”


The Verge: Teaching on Twitch was a ‘mild disaster’ for one games professor. “Robert Yang has just said the magic number. Twitch chat suddenly has an echo, and it sounds like ‘nice.’ Yang, a developer and New York University Game Center professor, is teaching a course about the sociology of streaming and Twitch by streaming on Twitch, with mixed results. ’69 is the weed drug number,’ one person helpfully declares. (420 is the weed drug number; 69 is the sex number.)”

Vogue: Willi Smith Brought Fashion to the Streets—Now the Cooper Hewitt Is Bringing the American Sportswear Pioneer Home to You. “The Cooper Hewitt is the first institution to dedicate an exhibition to Smith, an African-American designer of sportswear basics. The ‘street couture’ in the show’s title comes from that of the designer’s 1983 collection, which was a collaborative multimedia experience. Smith’s desire to bring art into the lives of many resulted in groundbreaking partnerships with architects, dancers, graphic designers, filmmakers, and visual artists. He was absolutely ahead of his time.”

CNET: Inside a pro-Trump YouTube disinformation network that spans Vietnam to Bosnia. “YouTube removed at least 20 channels posting false or divisive content to generate ad dollars. The channels used voice-over actors to read scripts. At least one of them was hired on Fiverr, the freelance marketplace.”


Reuters: Google parent Alphabet shared YouTube revenue after U.S. SEC request . “Alphabet Inc began disclosing revenue for its YouTube video service this year after U.S. securities regulators asked the Google parent to give more ‘quantitative and qualitative’ data on the business, according to filings released Monday.”

Gizmodo: Former Google Engineer Anthony Levandowski Escapes 32 of 33 Charges in Waymo Theft Plea Deal. “Anthony Levandowski, the ex-Google autonomous vehicle engineer slapped with 33 charges of theft and attempted theft of trade secrets last year, has struck a deal with Uncle Sam to plead guilty and escape with just one guilty plea, per the Wall Street Journal.”


University of Washington: How people investigate — or don’t — fake news on Twitter and Facebook. “Researchers at the University of Washington wanted to know how people investigated potentially suspicious posts on their own feeds. The team watched 25 participants scroll through their Facebook or Twitter feeds while, unbeknownst to them, a Google Chrome extension randomly added debunked content on top of some of the real posts.” Good evening, Internet…

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