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Daily Archives: July 16, 2020

Searching for Video? Google Pushes YouTube Over Rivals

WSJ – “Facebook and other competitors host the same videos, but engineers have made changes that effectively preference YouTube—owned by Google—over other video sources. Journal tests show YouTube usually ends up first and takes most of the slots in Google Search video carousels, prime results real estate. When choosing the best video clips to promote from around the web, Alphabet Inc.’s Google gives a secret advantage to one source in particular: itself. Or, more specifically, its giant online-video service, YouTube..The Journal conducted Google searches for a selection of other videos and channels that are available on YouTube as well as on competitors’ platforms. The YouTube versions were significantly more prominent in the results in the vast majority of cases. This isn’t by accident. Engineers at Google have made changes that effectively preference YouTube over other video sources, according to people familiar with the matter. Google executives in recent years made decisions to prioritize YouTube on the first page of search results, in part to drive traffic to YouTube rather than to competitors, and also to give YouTube more leverage in business deals with content providers seeking traffic for their videos, one of those people said. “All else being equal, YouTube will be first,” the person said. A Google spokeswoman, Lara Levin, said there is no preference given to YouTube or any other video provider in Google search. “Our systems use a number of signals from the web to understand what results people find most relevant and helpful for a given query,” Ms. Levin said. She declined to comment on the specific examples cited in this article…”

A New Role for Little Free Libraries

Book Riot: “…during this pandemic, we are listening a little more attentively, more diligently, perhaps even more sincerely, at the issues that affect our communities. For many, this attention brings painful reminders or a new understanding of the many injustices surrounding us, which can be debilitating. But paying attention has also prompted people to take… Continue Reading

Van Gogh’s paintings online

blooloop: “The Van Gogh Museum’s website receives more than 8.5 million visits every year. The new redesign is more than a place to find out the museum’s opening times or to buy a ticket. Its new layout allows visitors to explore the artwork of Vincent Van Gogh in more detail and links seamlessly to retail. Content… Continue Reading

Inconsistent Mask Regulations in Parks Risk Lives

Outside Magazine – The National Park Service has abdicated responsibility for visitor safety, compromising local mandates and leaving staff and vendors to fend for themselves – “Visiting a national park this summer? The National Park Service is not requiring visitors or staff to wear face masks. But that doesn’t mean you won’t be asked to… Continue Reading

What’s reopened and what’s still restricted in 16 cities around the world

Washington Post: “There was no common strategy when the pandemic hit. The same is true around the world for plans to climb back from shutdowns. The priorities and pace are different on how to reopen businesses, schools, restaurants and everything else hit by restrictions to battle the spread of covid-19. Some countries have adopted a… Continue Reading

White House reportedly orders hospitals to bypass CDC during COVID-19 data collection

The Verge: “The Trump administration is now ordering hospitals to send coronavirus patient data to a database in Washington, DC as part of a new initiative that may bypass the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), according to a report from The New York Times published on Tuesday. As outlined in a document posted… Continue Reading

New York Law Board Cancels Bar Exam

“On July 16, 2020, the Board of Law Examiners made the difficult decision to cancel the September 9-10 administration of the bar examination in New York. The Board arrived at this decision after careful consideration of current conditions and with a singular focus on the health and safety of all participants. Unfortunately, the global pandemic… Continue Reading