afternoonbuzz

Bath Iron Works, Google Data Centers, Gmail, More: Monday Evening ResearchBuzz, December 14, 2020

NEW RESOURCES

Portland Press Herald: BIW unveils Legacy Vault, an online historic archive. “General Dynamics Bath Iron Works on Monday unveiled its Legacy Vault, a publicly available repository of historical information, images and stories that provide insight into the critical role the shipyard and its employees have played for the state of Maine and for the U.S. Navy.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

Google Blog: A new podcast explores the unseen world of data centers . “Even at Google, only about one percent of employees ever get to set foot inside a data center. So to demystify these warehouse-scale computing facilities, a small team of Googlers and I spent the last year exploring them. Through the process, we got to know the people who design, build, operate and secure these buildings. We connected with outside experts and community members whose lives intersect with this infrastructure that keeps the digital economy moving. And today, we’re releasing the result of all this work: a new six-episode podcast called Where the Internet Lives.”

Neowin: Gmail now lets users edit Microsoft Office files in attachments. “Google has announced a handful of new capabilities for the tools in Google Workspace, formerly known as G Suite. The improvements are coming to Gmail, Google Docs, and Sheets, and they’re rolling out today, for the most part.”

USEFUL STUFF

Make Tech Easier: How to Use Meet Now: Skype’s Free Zoom Alternative. “Zoom meetings are very popular, but the free, personal meeting plans have a 40-minute time limit. Microsoft has introduced a free Zoom alternative called ‘Meet Now,’ which supports up to 50 users, unlimited calls and no time limits. If you’re a meeting organizer, Meet Now only supports Windows 10, and you should have a Skype account. However, the recipients can easily attend the video conference on Android, iPhone, or Mac and don’t need a Skype account.”

Mashable: How to get in-stock alerts for everything from toilet paper to a PS5 . “As coronavirus cases crippled the U.S. in the spring, cleaning wipes and soap were also hard to get online and in store. With store shelves left bare, Amazon prices surged. Then I was introduced to the stripped-down website that sends you alerts when a popular item is in stock.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

NiemanLab: The rise of the journalist-influencer. “Forgive me if this sounds like a case of the hammer seeing everything come up nails, but as someone who covers the creator economy by day, I’ve noticed that the difference between influencers, creators, and journalists seems to shrink every time I look.”

New York Times: The New Influencer Capital of America. “It’s no secret Atlanta is one of the nation’s great culture capitals, home to many power brokers in music, fashion and the arts — a city that, since the 1980s, has produced some of the biggest names in rap, R&B and hip-hop, and over the last decade, seen explosive growth in its entertainment industry (thanks, in part, to Georgia’s generous tax credits). This mighty metropolis is also now where some of the internet’s most important creators are living and working today.”

SECURITY & LEGAL

Search Engine Journal: WordPress 5.6: The Good, the Meh and the Ugly. “WordPress 5.6 has been released with dozens of improvements and new features. Code named Simone (honoring singer Nina Simone), WordPress 5.6 has been met with a positive response, possibly because it didn’t break anything. The substance of what’s new in WordPress 5.6 can be described as mostly good, some meh and one issue that’s ugly.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

MIT Technology Review: How our data encodes systematic racism. “Non-white people are not outliers. Globally, we are the norm, and this doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon. Data sets so specifically built in and for white spaces represent the constructed reality, not the natural one. To have accuracy calculated in the absence of my lived experience not only offends me, but also puts me in real danger.” Good evening, Internet…

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