Cyber Vault, Microsoft Edge, Snapchat, More: Thursday Buzz, March 31, 2016


The National Security Archive has launched “The Cyber Vault”. “The 2008 Cyber CI plan is just one of the newly-published documents researchers can find in the National Security Archive’s Cyber Vault – an online resource documenting various aspects of US government cyber activity, including hacking and defenses against hacking, cyber intelligence, and cyberwar. The Vault also includes documentation on foreign government and international organizations’ cyber activities. Currently numbering more than 150 curated items, the list will grow with new additions on a weekly basis…. The documents in the Vault’s holdings include US government documents that have been pried loose and made publicly available thanks to systematic use of the FOIA and Mandatory Declassification Review process by Archive staff – led by Dr. Jeffrey Richelson, who directs this new project.”


Whoa! Microsoft is going to include ad blocking in its Edge browser. “The feature will be available in the next version of Edge, along with support for extensions — which it included in a preview build earlier this month — an integrated Bing translator as well as a list of previously visited pages you can navigate to from a menu tied to the back button.”

You can now download your data from Snapchat. “The data dump from Snapchat shows users’ recent logins, their history of contacting customer support, the number of messages they’ve recently sent and received and purchases they’ve made on the app, including location-based digital stickers or replays of ephemeral messages.”

The WGBH Media “Open Vault” has gotten some updates. “We want Open Vault to be a useful resource for researchers and scholars interested in topics covered by the thousands of television and radio programs created by WGBH. Because of this, we’ve taken the time to improve our catalog of more than 42,000 records, making content more discoverable than past iterations of the site.”

Google has released a Google Cardboard SDK (Software Development Kit) for iOS. “Google says the toolkit simplifies a whole lot of tasks, such as including spatial audio, head tracking for deeper immersion in the experience and 3D calibration, among others.”

Twitter is working to make its images more accessible to the visually-impaired. “Starting today, people using our iOS and Android apps can add descriptions — also known as alternative text (alt text) — to images in Tweets. With this update, we’re empowering everyone to ensure content shared on Twitter is accessible to the widest possible audience.” I guess you can’t do this on desktop?

Facebook “Instant Articles” are going to get more native ads. Which means you’re going to see more Instant Articles, I suspect. “The move would provide another needed monetization stream to those publishers. Many of them are increasingly relying on native ads because they can command higher rates than traditional display ads, and because they look like real editorial content, readers are more likely to click on them.” Ugh.


MakeUseOf: 15 Creative Ways to Get the Most out of Google Hangouts.

From Canva: Twitter for Business: 10 Case Studies and What You Can Learn From Them.

CNET UK has an extensive list of “Ok, Google” commands. Play Pacman?


Okay, this is odd: a new startup can help you set up shop in your Evernote account. “In addition to being a central repository of all of your meaningful electronic memory, one of the more interesting features of Evernote is its collaboration abilities. Evernote allows you to communicate, collaborate, and share in real-time with anyone in the world without ever leaving the app. New startup EverSeller is enhancing Evernote’s capabilities by enabling you to turn your Evernote account into an online shop. With EverSeller, you can sell digital access to your notes, e-books, design assets, courses, and stock photo’s all directly from Evernote.”


Looks like Google’s AlphaGo AI program might get a new challenger – only this one will be an AI program, too. “Scientists from the China Computer Go team will issue a challenge to AlphaGo by the end of 2016, said attendees at an event in Beijing organized by the Chinese Go Association and the Chinese Association for Artificial Intelligence, according to the report. It did not elaborate on the nature of the challenge.” Good morning, Internet…

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