Fashion, Petroglyphs, Montana, More: Thursday Buzz, December 24th, 2015


Now available: an online database of the sustainability and ethical policies of over 150 fashion brands. “”The shopper can log online and type in a brand and get back information on a variety of different themes of information — whether it be how transparent the brand is, what their maker policies are, what their environmental policies are, what their management has been up to and how they’re trying to innovate a variety of different factors,” [Natalie] Grillon told us.”

Recently I wrote about trees in Idaho. Now, let’s talk about rocks. “Students at the College of Western Idaho are entering the next phase of their project of documenting rock art in the Snake River Basin outside of Melba. The Anthropology Club is going from the field to cyberspace to bring petroglyphs to researchers around the world.”

There’s a new rural road conditions tool for the state of Montana. “It allows users to see traffic reports as well as weather conditions like snow, wind and fires in different states all on one map.” It’s not quite mobile yet; developers hope to have that ready next year.


Very interesting: How to let Instagram be your travel guide. “We are in New York for a long October weekend. I’ve come here with my best friend Stephani so she can show me how she uses Instagram — the wildly popular photo-sharing app — as a visual guidebook when she travels. We’ve just arrived from Boston, and we’re starving. A freak rain-and-hail storm suddenly blows in, blotting out the view from our hotel room window. Luckily, my companion knows just where to go: in search of the pizza that captured her fancy on Instagram a few days ago, its crust pillowy and lightly charred.” Now I’m hungry.


The state of Maharashtra, in India, has banned government employees from using Google Translate. “The ban, imposed through an official notification on Monday, comes in the wake of a major embarrassment to the state government over a faulty translation of a circular for imposing sedition charges.”

Meanwhile, Malta is setting up restrictions on social media use by public officials. “One particularly interesting clause requires individual who encounters any groups, accounts or any other online presence referring to / representing the public service that are not listed as Official Social Media Platforms are required to bring such activity to the attention of the respective Permanent Secretary or Head responsible at law. This particular clause could be linked to the alleged leaks earlier this year, where allegedly workers from the Central Bank and other entities had leaked information to PN MP Tonio Fenech.” If you click through to the article, don’t miss what Phillip Rizzo said. My jaw hit the desk. I am not quoting it here.


And in TODAY’S episode of “Hotels reporting hacking/malware incidents,” it’s Hyatt. From a press release yesterday: “Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) today announced that it recently identified malware on computers that operate the payment processing systems for Hyatt-managed locations. As soon as Hyatt discovered the activity, the company launched an investigation and engaged leading third-party cyber security experts.”

The FTC has issued new guidelines for “native ads”. “The agency states, for instance, that advertisers ‘should not use terms such as “Promoted” or “Promoted Stories,” which in this context are at best ambiguous and potentially could mislead consumers that advertising content is endorsed by a publisher site.’ The F.T.C. also provides guidance on where disclosures should appear. If a native ad appears as a user scrolls down a web page, for example, a disclosure should not appear below the ad.” Great. Now how about guidelines for autoplay video ads and other things which are the stuff of nightmares at 4am?

The Australian government is telling its citizens to turn off two-factor for the holidays. Apparently this is because of travel, but eww. “The Australian government has repeatedly called for citizens to turn off two-factor authentication (2FA) at its main digital government portal, myGov. The portal’s Twitter account has recently been updated several times with cute pictures encouraging holidaymakers to ‘turn off your myGov security codes’ so that ‘you can spend more time doing the important things.'” Good morning, Internet…

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