Radio New Zealand: New database to improve aid transparency in Pacific

Radio New Zealand: New database to improve aid transparency in Pacific. “Last week the Institute’s [Lowy Institute] Pacific Aid Map was released, covering close to 13,000 aid projects from 62 countries. Jonathan Pryke said governments, civil society and other stakeholder groups in the Pacific would benefit from the online resource. ‘The real aim of this project is to just enhance transparency of all aid flows in the Pacific, which will hopefully contribute towards making this aid better,’ he said.”

Money Control: Google search volume can predict price movement of cryptocurrency, suggests study

Money Control: Google search volume can predict price movement of cryptocurrency, suggests study . “A working paper circulated by US-based think tank National Bureau of Economic Research suggests that unlike traditional financial markets, the returns and price movements in cryptocurrency markets are a factor of the type of attention they receive.”

Open Secrets: Foreign interests have spent over $530 million influencing US policy, public opinion since 2017

Open Secrets: Foreign interests have spent over $530 million influencing US policy, public opinion since 2017. “Foreign lobbyists and agents acting on behalf of foreign interests have reported hundreds of millions of dollars in payments since January 2017, an analysis of OpenSecrets’ exclusive new Foreign Lobby Watch data reveals. Today we’re making available, for the first time, a searchable database of foreign interests spending on lobbying and influence in the United States.”

Business Insider: Facebook, Amazon, and Google just spent record amounts of cash on lobbying Washington, DC

Business Insider: Facebook, Amazon, and Google just spent record amounts of cash on lobbying Washington, DC. “Amid increased scrutiny from major politicians and activists, tech giants Facebook, Amazon, and Google each set records during the second quarter of 2018 for dollars spent on lobbying in Washington, DC, disclosures showed. Facebook, a company that has faced backlash over privacy concerns, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, and fake news on its platform, spent $3.67 million on lobbying in the quarter. That’s the largest single-quarter sum the company has ever spent, Politico reported.”

TechCrunch: Snapchat will shut down Snapcash, forfeiting to Venmo

TechCrunch:
Snapchat will shut down Snapcash, forfeiting to Venmo
. “Snapcash ended up a way to pay adult performers for private content over Snapchat, not just a way to pay your friends. But Snapchat will abandon the peer-to-peer payment space on August 30th. Code buried in Snapchat’s Android app includes a ‘Snapcash deprecation message’ that displays ‘Snapcash will no longer be available after %s [date]’. Shutting down the feature would bring an end to Snapchat’s four-year partnership with Square to power the feature for sending people money.”

Venmo users: time to hide your drug deals and excessive pizza consumption (Sophos)

Sophos: Venmo users: time to hide your drug deals and excessive pizza consumption. “If you owe someone a small sum of money, or just want to pay an odd amount without going to an ATM, you can do that using Venmo in a matter of seconds as long as the recipient is willing to join too. This convenience (coupled with its ownership by payments giant PayPal) has helped it attract seven million users who in 2017 shifted a reported $18 billion. Did we mention that transactions not involving a credit card are free? If this is starting to sound like an advert, it’s time to mention a quirk that some find a bit harder to swallow – transactions conducted through Venmo appear to be public by default.”