Google’s Museum Selfies, Amazon’s HQ2 Finalists and Barack Obama’s HQ Trivia win: The Week in Review

Mindset Digital
Mindset Digital // January 19, 2018

Our weekly roundup brings you a list of curated content in social, technology and Mindset Digital happenings from need-to-know to silly social trends.

Last week in social…

Google matches you up with your museum selfie. Why is everyone you know on Facebook suddenly publishing side-by-side selfies with oil paintings? It’s thanks to a new app from Google that shot to the top of the charts this past week. The app’s official title is the Google Arts & Culture App (zzzz), but it’s the new face match feature that took the web by storm. It scans your face, then serves up “close” matches from among thousands of museum portraits worldwide. It’s a lot of fun, but it also shows how far AI has come in image recognition. It was only 2015 when deep learning algorithms first outperformed humans in the task. Now, in a matter of microseconds, you can find your oily portrait brother from another mother. (via Recode)

YouTube tightens requirements for their Partner Program monetization. Logan Paul just had to go and ruin it for the rest of the class, didn’t he? YouTube has announced a controversial change to the guidelines for channel monetization through the YouTube Partner Program, now requiring 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of watch time in the past year (instead of 10,000 lifetime views). This will mostly penalize small creators, who may have qualified previously but won’t meet the new goals. Coupled with YouTube’s recent news that promises human screening now for top-tier videos, it looks like they’re taking steps to be caught less flat-footed the next time a preteen idol decides to make a lighthearted video that films suicide victims. (via Ars Technica)

Instagram DMs now show when you were last active. Taking a cue from Facebook Messenger, Instagram’s direct messages now show when you were last online and active in small text under your username. This may seem like a small change, but my 15-year-old daughter told me “Dad! This is HUGE! OMG, You don’t get anything, like EVER!”

Word is you can disable the feature if you like, but then you also can’t spy on others’ activity status. Which might be a small price to pay to avoid an awkward conversation about why you didn’t like somebody’s latest cat picture when you were TOTALLY online just last night. (via Engadget)

 

Last week in technology…

Amazon released its list of 20 finalists in the hunt for its second headquarters. Amazon estimates that the project will include 50,000 jobs and a $5 billion investment, although some have pushed back against the modern corporate arms race of cities giving up millions in tax incentives to one of the richest companies in America that will need a new building no matter what. The list reads like a who’s who of tech cities, with some preference toward moving East and South from the current Seattle HQ. Not to brag or anything, but when they first announced the project, I tweeted “Come to Columbus!” and guess what? We’re on the list, yo! You’re welcome, fellow Buckeyes. (via USA Today)

Riddle me this: fact or fake news? Over the weekend White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted that her 2-year-old purchased a toy through Alexa simply by yelling “Batman!” repeatedly at their Echo. Putting aside whether it’s prudent for a top White House official to admit they have an always-on, Wi-Fi-connected listening device in their home, is it even possible to place an order this way? Thankfully for parents everywhere, fact-checkers quickly got on the case. It seems like you’d need to give a lot more specific commands than just saying a name over and over again. But just to be safe, anyone with curious kids or obnoxious house guests should enable a confirmation code for voice purchasing… or disable the feature altogether. (via TechCrunch)

 

Nintendo to gamers: the future will be corrugated. Nintendo’s newest add-on for the Switch is a $70 cardboard box. No, seriously. It sounds like we’re being sarcastic, but the Labo kits look cool as hell. You can pair the Switch tablet and motion-sensing controls to create all sorts of real-world (cardboard) objects. The first two kits to launch include a variety pack with a piano, RC cars, motorbike and fishing rod, and the other kit is a robot suit for a game that lets you go on a skyscraper-punching rampage. You keep doing you, Nintendo. We’re here for it. (via Select All)

Last week at Mindset Digital…

Facebook’s News Feed changes, an update on Spectre and Meltdown and CES in review: here’s everything you need to know in about 90 seconds.

 

Thank you, Internet!

Did Barack Obama win at HQ Trivia this past week? The answer: probably not, but one winner of the popular twice-daily trivia game that’s livestreamed  to your phone had the familiar username and photo.  In the game, a cash prize is split by all players who manage to get 12 questions in a row correct, meaning Possible-Obama won $21.98 (via Mashable)

*  *  *

Pete Brown and Matt Weiner contributed to this week’s roundup.