CNET: After conquering the world, WhatsApp looks to small businesses. “WhatsApp is king of the messenger apps, with over a billion daily users. Now, the Facebook-owned company looks to better expand its reach to businesses. WhatsApp Business is a free Android app released Thursday in the US, UK, Mexico, Italy and Indonesia, with more countries coming soon. WhatsApp did not state when or if an iOS version would be available.”
Boing Boing: Marriott fires employee for “willfully liking” a tweet in support of Tibetan independence. “Marriott has fired one of its social media managers because the employee ‘wrongfully liked’ a tweet from Friends of Tibet, a group that supports Tibetan independence from China. The sacking started when Marriott contracted with an outside company to perform a customer satisfaction survey, on which a multiple choice question about which countries guests had used the chain’s hotels in listed “Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan” as separate countries. Describing these territories as independent countries is an offense under Chinese law.”
SEO Roundtable: Google My Business Videos Now Live. “About 10 days ago we reported some businesses and merchants were seeing video upload features in the Google My Business dashboard. Well, Google’s Allyson Wright announced in a Google My Business Help thread on Friday that this feature is now fully live.”
Undark: In ToxicDocs.org, a Treasure Trove of Industry Secrets . “The site officially launched last Friday with an initial 20 million pages of material focused on six toxic substances: asbestos, benzene, lead, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB), polyvinyl chloride, and silica, and millions more pages are coming.” The whole article is worth a read; in particular, the problems solved to process five million pages of documents with OCR. “A recent batch of about 1.5 million pages only required about three days to convert to OCR.” Yow!
CBC: Google mistakenly labels local Ethiopian restaurant permanently closed. “A Winnipeg restaurant owner is searching for answers after Google search results said her Ethiopian restaurant was ‘permanently closed’ for at least two weeks while it was very much open. ‘When I checked, it says permanently closed.’ said Desta Negatu, proprietor of Harman’s Café. ‘I was shocked.'” This is happening far too much and needs to stop.
Mercury News: A glimpse into history: African-American directory from 1942 now available online. “A rare artifact of African-American history on the West Coast that belonged to the descendant of a former slave has been digitized and is now online in searchable form for browsing or downloading. The Official California Negro Directory and Classified Buyers Guide, a 1942-43 publication by New Age Publishing, contains residential and business listings for California, Oregon and Washington.”
TechCrunch: A digitizing David takes on photo-scanning Goliath. “Mitch Goldstone loves photo scanning. His business, ScanMyPhotos, does what it says on the tin: you send photos to the company and, using high speed scanners and special software, his team digitizes your photos, sticks them onto a USB key or online, and sends them back. He is proud of his business. Thanks to his scanners he’s helped users save their photos from tornadoes, floods, and theft. When the California wildfires rushed through homes he and his team, when they could, were able to recreate photo collections and restore entire photo libraries. That made him feel good.”