Title IX, New York Genealogy, Embedded YouTube, More: Monday Buzz, June 6, 2016


The Chronicle of Higher Education has updated its Title IX Tracker. “The Chronicle wants to shed light on the federal-enforcement process. We introduced a Title IX tracker in January, including all investigations in this wave of enforcement — since the civil-rights office issued a ‘Dear Colleague’ letter, in April 2011, putting colleges on notice — and this week we added several new ways to use it. Our goal is to let people keep up with the process and other developments on campuses under review.”


The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is making its New York databases free for the month of June. “Frequently there’s a New York wall in the way of family historians conducting research that includes ancestors in the Empire State. Today the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has announced a special feature to help genealogists break through it with FREE Access to all of its New York databases…”

From the busy and useful brain of Amit Agarwal: How to Embed a Muted YouTube Video Player in your Website. “It is easy to embed YouTube videos in your website. You grab the default IFRAME embed code, paste it anywhere inside your web page and you’re done. YouTube offers basic customization – you can modify the player dimensions or hide the YouTube branding – but if you would like to exercise more control over the behavior of the embedded player, YouTube Player API is the way to go.”


New concerns are being raised about Google’s ties to governments all over the world. “New concerns have been raised about the political influence of Google after research found at least 80 ‘revolving door’ moves in the past decade – instances where the online giant took on government employees and European governments employed Google staff.”

Google is teaming up with Drum for another Cardboard giveaway. “Headsets of Google Cardboard, which was only made available for sale in Europe last week, will be sent to readers with the current issue of The Drum, which features a dedicated VR Creative Works section highlighting some of the best examples of the medium being used by marketers from recent months. These can be experienced first hand on a special section of The Drum where all of the work in the feature can be found.”

From the Calhoun Press blog: Who Controls the Past?: Problems and Possibilities for Archiving the Internet “I’m currently writing a book set in 2003. This involves a fair amount of research, not just into recent history, but into the culture of the time. Which means a lot of time spent in the Wayback Machine. Digital archiving is a difficult project, and writing this book has exposed me to some of these difficulties. Although some of the references in this post are dated, due to the focus/nature of the research I’m doing, the problems are not.”

From HBR: The Decline of Yahoo in Its Own Words. “Plenty of theories have been put forth to explain Yahoo’s failures, as the company seeks a buyer following a failed turnaround attempt. One of the most prominent is that Yahoo was late to mobile. ‘Yahoo’s mobile business barely existed’ when Marissa Mayer took over as CEO in 2012, wrote Vauhini Vara at The New Yorker. Mayer was tasked with bringing Yahoo into the ‘smartphone era’ a full five years after it had started. By then Apple and Google were already dominant in mobile operating systems, and Facebook was surging ahead in apps. Perhaps by 2012 it was already too late.”


There’s another WordPress plugin vulnerability out there. “Over the past few days, attackers have been exploiting an unpatched vulnerability in WP Mobile Detector, a WordPress plug-in installed on over 10,000 websites. The plug-in’s developer fixed the flaw Tuesday in version 3.6, but in addition to updating immediately, users should also check if their websites haven’t already been hacked.”

I have mentioned before that Facebook is having an increasing problem with spoofed accounts. I have also mentioned Alan Levine’s attempts to have Facebook shut down the people who are misusing his images and his subsequent frustration. I wonder if Facebook will take it more seriously now it’s being written about in the New York Times? “…the Haggler has found Facebook useful when trying to contact people for this column. Recently, however, he learned that it would be wise to approach the social network with a touch of skepticism.”

Your latest “restaurant chain suffering a credit card hack” might be CiCi’s Pizza. “Over the past two months, KrebsOnSecurity has received inquiries from fraud fighters at more than a half-dozen financial institutions in the United States — all asking if I had any information about a possible credit card breach at CiCi’s. Every one of these banking industry sources said the same thing: They’d detected a pattern of fraud on cards that all had all been used in the last few months at various CiCi’s Pizza locations.”

Canada Post has settled its lawsuit against crowdsourced postal code database Geocoder. “Canada Post sued in 2012 claiming intellectual property rights in postal codes. Geocoder did not copy the postal codes, however. Instead, it used crowdsourcing to develop a database containing over one million Canadian postal codes after asking people to submit their postal codes with their address. The database is freely available under a Creative Commons licence and is enormously valuable for organizations that need access to the data but are unable to pay the steep fees levied by Canada Post.” The database will stay up, Geocoder will keep going, and presumably Canada Post will find something better to do.


Google wants to be able to stop AI if it gets out of hand. “The team working on DeepMind has published a paper on the topic and set out a basic framework for a kill switch (or ‘big red button’) that will wind down whatever robot army is currently marching on the major capitals of the world.” Good morning, Internet…

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