The Extra Mighell - June 5, 2020

Technology and Assorted News, Among Other Things

Welcome to issue #10 of The Extra Mighell!

The links here represent the stories of the past week that I found interesting or noteworthy but had no time to cover on the blog - that’s why they’re “extra.”

On to the news….

This Week on the Blog

Check out my podcast recommendation of the week. Rabbit Hole is enlightening and disturbing, all at the same time.

This Week in Coronavirus

These new Google Maps features will make it easier to get COVID-19 information relating to public transit, testing centers, as well as how crowded public transport is at different times of the day.

This Week in Censorship

I am hesitant to wade into political waters in this newsletter, but when technology and censorship collide, it’s news, right? And this week, it happened to be two technologies I use a lot.

First, my favorite podcast app, Pocket Casts, was removed by Apple from the App Store in China so it would not distribute any podcast content offensive to the Chinese government. Interesting they choose to ban the platform instead of the platform. [TechCrunch]

And then Zoom, my second-favorite meeting service, blocked an activist living in the U.S. from hosting a Tiananmen vigil online. (The account was later restored.) [New York Times]

Social Media

One of my social media pet peeves is having people retweet articles that they haven’t actually read, having no real idea what they are retweeting. Apparently, Twitter feels my pain - it’s testing out a new feature that tells users “you may want to read it before you tweet it.” Please, people - if you are sharing an article on any social media site - read it first. [The Verge]

Anybody here remember Google+? I really had high hopes for Google’s social network, but it turned out to be a bust……except now it’s back again, this time as Currents. If you have a G Suite account, you likely have access to use it. If you don’t, well….for you, Google+ is still dead. [Android Police]

Did you see the story about the bike rider in Maryland who was arrested for assaulting a little girl posting Black Lives Matter flyers? Well, before he was arrested, the internet became convinced it was somebody else. And all because the wrong person used the Strava app to track his bike rides. Here’s what it’s like to get doxed for taking a bike ride. [The Intelligencer]

Security

Dropbox has entered the password manager field, with a new tool appropriately called Dropbox Passwords. It’s only available to Android users right now, and by invitation only. But it does make sense that Dropbox is offering this - a number of other password managers let you use Dropbox to sync your passwords between devices. [The Verge]

How-To

If you use Outlook, here’s how to make sure that your meeting reminders always appear on top of other windows, instead of being hidden in the back - no more being late for meetings! [Obsessed Efficiency]

Need to take a screen shot for a presentation? This article explains how to take a screenshot on literally every type of device. [PC Magazine]

Gadgets

Did you buy an Echo Look from Amazon? It’s a device designed to act as your personal stylist, taking pictures of what you’re wearing and making fashion suggestions. Well, for some reason Amazon is discontinuing the Look as of July 24, in a move that will render all Echo Look devices completely useless.

New Apps/Tools

“Imagine if the magic of Photoshop was inside your camera.” That’s how Adobe describes its new Photoshop Camera app, now available for both iOS and Android.

Google Meet is rolling out a new AI-powered background noise cancellation feature to G Suite enterprise users. Now that we’re all at home, having software that can hide those barking dogs, or loud typing on a keyboard, is something I can definitely get behind. [The Verge]

Okay, it still hasn’t come out yet, but for Android users out there the new Android 11 beta is out with some cool new features. [9to5 Google]

See you next week!
— Tom