Stars, NSF, FREAK, More: Friday Afternoon Buzz, March 20th, 2015


An open source, encrypted alternative to GMail has left beta. “With Tutanota encryption is done locally, on the client device, secured with a user’s own password (so that also needs to be strong, and their own devices need to defended from malware to ensure email security), before being uploaded and sent to the recipient via Tutanota’s servers, and then decrypted on the recipient’s device.”

Hey! Bing apparently has its own version of Yahoo Answers — Bing Distill. “The service is simple — use your know-how to answer questions people are asking on Bing. Help the community create the best answers when you give feedback. And you can edit your answers and those created by other community members.” Doesn’t appear to be public yet, though.

From The Next Web: Dot wants to be the Wikipedia of location mapping. “When you open the app, you’re directly taken to a map of your surroundings, where you’ll see nearby pins and shared content from your friends. You can then choose to look up places, or add a post of your own. Once you pin a coordinate, you’re asked to write a brief description using an Instagram-like hashtag sytem. These hashtags are then how other users are able to find the locations, just as you could search for images on Instagram.”

Crowdsourcing site Zooniverse needs your help to find exploding stars with its new project, Snapshot Supernova. “We need your help to look through images of the night sky for exploding stars. These supernovae events can get so bright that they outshine their host galaxies for a few days or weeks. Discovering a certain type of supernova allows astronomers to refine their measurements of many fundamental parameters of the Universe, such as its age.”

The Institute of Human Rights and Development in Africa has launched a Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) online database. “It will complement the efforts of various domestic, foreign and international stakeholders in curbing SGBV in the selected countries and beyond by providing free to access online analytical resources of legal materials specifically dealing with SGBV Mr. Gaye Sowe, the Program Director of IHRDA made the welcoming statement and thanked participants of different countries for attending this launching ceremony.” The direct link is .


Amazon Appstore is celebrating its birthday by giving away a bunch of apps.


Dropbox is getting some new tools. “Today, the fast-growing cloud-storage company is unveiling two major upgrades to its platform: the Dropbox badge—which adds a layer of powerful collaboration tools to any Microsoft file stored in a shared Dropbox folder on your desktop—and the ability for users to chat or comment in real time alongside any document uploaded to the service.”

The National Science Foundation has made available a public access plan. “Today, the National Science Foundation (NSF), announced its continued commitment to expand public access to the results of its funded research through the publication of its public access plan, Today’s Data, Tomorrow’s Discoveries. NSF’s public access is intended to accelerate the dissemination of fundamental research results that will advance the frontiers of knowledge and help ensure the nation’s future prosperity….NSF will require that articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings or transactions be deposited in a public access compliant repository and be available for download, reading and analysis within one year of publication.”


Twitter is nine years old. And, thanks to Facebook’s ever-increasing throttling of fan page reach, I’m finding it a more and more useful place to interact with ResearchBuzz readers. I’m @ResearchBuzz if you want to say hi.

Is Google working on a cure for cancer? “Google has filed a patent application with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for a wrist-worn device that could destroy cancer cells in the blood. The patent application, which has the name ‘Nanoparticle Phoresis’, describes a wearable device that ‘can automatically modify or destroy one or more targets in the blood that have an adverse health effect’.”

The recently-disclosed FREAK exploit is impacting a lot of Android and iOS apps. “Security researchers from FireEye recently examined the most popular apps on Google Play and the Apple App Store and found 1,999 titles that left users wide open to the encryption downgrade attack. Specifically, 1,228 Android apps with one million or more downloads were vulnerable, while 771 out of the top 14,079 iOS apps were susceptible.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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