South Dakota Fossils, Vermont Agriculture, Radio Svobda, More: Monday Afternoon Buzz, June 6, 2016


In development: a digital archive of fossils found in the South Dakota badlands. “The bones buried in Badlands National Park have a story to tell and Chris Nelson is one man bent on telling it. Chris Nelson, senior collections manager at Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History in New Haven, Conn., is leading a project funded by the National Parks Service to inventory and image all specimens collected from the South Dakota Badlands, and to georeference the locations of the sites where early fossil collecting took place.”

The state of Vermont has launched a new online database of farm stands. “A new on-line directory of Vermont farm stands is now available on the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets (VAAFM) website to help facilitate connections between the producers and consumers of local Vermont products, and to support Vermont shoppers in making informed decisions about their food purchases. Utilizing recent data collected in a 2015 farm stand survey conducted by the VAAFM’s Food System team, the new farm stand directory will allow consumers to search for farm stands by name, location, season, product, organic/non-organic certification, pick your own, and EBT availability. The new directory also includes a map feature that will allow consumers to search for farm stands in a particular area.” Looks like there are about 100 farm stands scattered over Vermont.

Now available: a digital archive of audio clips from Radio Svoboda. “The archive includes more than 26,000 audio clips broadcast into the Soviet Union and Russian Federation by Radio Svoboda from 1953, the year the service was established in Munich, West Germany, to 1995, when RFE/RL moved from Munich to Prague, Czech Republic. Highlights of the collection include news and political programs about the U.S.S.R. and the world as reported by distinguished émigré journalists, writers and historians, on-air readings of banned literary works and poetry recitals; and unique radio plays authored by such luminaries of Russian letters as Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Viktor Nekrasov, Joseph Brodsky, Vladimir Voinovich, Alexander Ginzburg, and Eugenia Ginzburg.” Radio Svoboda is the Russian service arm of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL).


Bing’s malware warnings are about to get more detailed. “Bing users who are about to venture to Websites that pose a risk to their security are already familiar with the generic malware warning that Microsoft shows them in the hopes that they turn back or at least proceed with caution. On June 3, Microsoft announced that its search engine now provides more informative notifications, alerting both users and Webmasters about the specific dangers they may encounter.”

You may remembering me mentioning it last month when the state of California revealed that having Facebook remind its citizens about voter registration was a great success. Now Twitter wants to encourage British citizens to register before deadline in order to vote on the possibility of leaving the EU. “To remind people to get off their arses and register to vote before Tuesday’s midnight deadline, Twitter and the Electoral Commission have created a neon tick emoji that’ll appear when you type ‘#EURefReady’ from today.”


Gizmodo: How to use YouTube as a Free Screencast Recorder. I wonder if I could do this without my Chromebox slowing to a crawl…


Australia is attempting to create a database of historical DNA. “To be managed by the Centre for Ancient DNA at Adelaide University, the database will provide scientists and historians with a snapshot of the genetic makeup of the Australian population in the early 1900s. Currently, nothing like it exists. The DNA database would prove a vital tool for any number of projects, including identifying unrecovered war dead and even solving decades-old missing person cases.”

Wow: users are avoiding Microsoft browsers in droves. “IE and Edge combined to account for 38.7% of the global user share — a stand-in for the percentage of all desktop and notebook PCs that ran those browsers — in May, according to U.S.-based analytics vendor Net Applications. May’s number for IE was down 2.7 percentage points from April, the largest one-month decline since Computerworld began recording browser data in 2005.” Looks rather like when IE came in and slaughtered Netscape Navigator’s market share, back in the day.


How bad has the jump in Ransomware been in 2016? Really bad. “PhishMe, a security company providing anti-phishing solutions, has released a new report, analyzing the state of phishing attacks worldwide, and the numbers are staggering, though expected. The first quarter of 2016, compared to the last quarter of 2015, has seen an incredible 789 percent jump in the number of phishing emails containing malicious code, mostly ransomware.”

Ars Technica has an updated on the TeamViewer… whatever it is (TeamViewer continues to insist it has not been hacked.) “On Sunday, TeamViewer spokesman Axel Schmidt acknowledged to Ars that the number of takeovers was ‘significant,’ but he continued to maintain that the compromises are the result of user passwords that were compromised through a cluster of recently exposed megabreaches involving more than 642 million passwords belonging to users of LinkedIn, MySpace, and other services.” Even if you don’t directly use TeamViewer, make sure that it isn’t used on your computer in another way. At work, we had it supporting some software we use. We uninstalled it with the agreement of the software company – better safe than sorry. Good afternoon, Internet…

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