Seed Technology, Cybersecurity Assessment, Civil War Jews, More: Monday Buzz, September 19, 2016


This is from late July, but I missed it the first time. Mississippi State University has launched a new online archive of seed technology research. “Nearly five decades of Mississippi State’s internationally recognized research in seed technology now is available online. Former university employee Bennie Keith recently joined with administrators of Mississippi State University Libraries to digitize and provide easy access to a half-century of work compiled at the campus-based Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station. From 1950-98, scientists with the MAFES Seed Technology Laboratory traveled regularly throughout the nation and world to share their findings.”

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the first draft of a cybersecurity self-assessment tool for enterprises. “The builder tool is intended to help organizations ensure that their cybersecurity systems and processes support the enterprises’ larger organizational activities and functions. ‘These decisions around cybersecurity are going to impact your organization and what it does and how it does it,’ says Robert Fangmeyer, director of the Baldrige Performance Excellence Program. ‘If your cybersecurity operations and approaches aren’t integrated into your larger strategy, aren’t integrated into your workforce development efforts, aren’t integrated into the results of the things you track for your organization and overall performance, then they’re not likely to be effective.'”

In development: a digital archive of Jewish people who fought in the American Civil War. From the site: “What began as an endeavor to corroborate a long-antiquated list of Jews who served during the Civil War has become a monumental work that testifies to a major turning point in Jewish history. Over the course of ten years, Shapell Manuscript Foundation researchers have unearthed a treasure trove of information on Union and Confederate Jews during the Civil War era and have created a groundbreaking documentary work: The Shapell Roster. The Roster will give new life to a buried record of the Jewish-immigrant experience and American patriotism by making this information available to the public online and in an illustrated publication.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES now supports Google Drive. “Microsoft has made sharing even easier for people who use its service by adding support for Google Drive. The Outlook for iOS and Android apps already provide Google Drive access to users but Microsoft hadn’t opened up Outlook on the web to this and now it’s finally doing that. This enables Outlook users to attach Google Drive files to emails and even receive or edit files within Outlook.”

Twitter has launched a bunch of livestreaming apps. “The free apps will feature all live-streaming video available on Twitter, also including sports content from MLB Advanced Media, the NBA, college football on Campus Insiders and Pac-12 Networks. No cable or satellite TV subscription is required, and viewers don’t even need to have Twitter accounts to use the service. The apps also enable users to view top Vines and Periscope, as Twitter has a deal with Cris Carter to do live analysis on Periscope for Thursday Night Football games.”


Sucuri is offering a guide to help users when their WordPress account is hacked. “Our content, web design, and development teams spent months putting together a brand new guide to walk users through the process of identifying and clearing a WordPress hack, as well as ensuring post-hack actions are taken using the free Sucuri plugin. This guide will offer an appropriate foundation for resolving a WordPress security incident.” I realize this guide is for marketing Sucuri but the infographic they offered is solid. This is why I’m on

Okay, I’m calling this useful because I’m a Queen fan. Queen and Google have teamed up for a VR experiment based on Bohemian Rhapsody. “The experiment allows fans to make a 3D, 360-degree journey through Freddie Mercury’s subconscious mind, and recreates the feeling of being onstage with the band. It features visual and audio elements that respond to the user’s movements, while the footage is accompanied by a remixed 3D version of the original hit.”


From YouTube: Why flagging matters. “We want to empower you, the YouTube community, to better understand how flagging works and how you can get involved in maintaining our community guidelines. To shed some light on how your flagging activity has helped keep YouTube a platform where openness and creative expression are balanced with responsibility, here are some of the latest data…” Interesting stats. I hope they work on the increasing amount of spam (at least, I’m seeing more…)


The EU is calling for copyright reform that could have far-reaching consequences. “Copyright law already provides reporters with protection for the news stories they publish, but in a draft directive published Wednesday the European Commission wants to create an additional, related right giving newspapers more powers to make news aggregators pay for using snippets consisting of, say, the headline and a sentence or two of each story.”

This’ll give you a jolt:
How Long Until Hackers Start Leaking Faked Documents?
“Forging thousands—or more—documents is difficult to pull off, but slipping a single forgery in an actual cache is much easier. The attack could be something subtle. Maybe a country that anonymously publishes another country’s diplomatic cables wants to influence yet a third country, so adds some particularly egregious conversations about that third country. Or the next hacker who steals and publishes email from climate change researchers invents a bunch of over-the-top messages to make his political point even stronger. Or it could be personal: someone dumping email from thousands of users making changes in those by a friend, relative, or lover.”

Great Minds has some weird ideas about what the “noncommercial” part of a Creative Commons License means. “he materials developed from the Washington, DC-based nonprofit hold US copyrights but are made publicly available under a Creative Commons (CC) license, which theoretically allows them to be freely shared and reproduced for noncommercial uses as long as the original source is credited. That CC license is known as BY-NC-SA 4.0. But it seems that Great Minds can’t make up its mind on whether it truly wants its materials to be a part of free culture. Or, in the alternative, it’s reading the CC license a little too literally. That’s because it’s suing Federal Express, claiming the Texas-based delivery and copying company is reproducing its materials for teachers and schools without paying royalties to Great Minds. The educational company says that because FedEx is making a profit from reproducing the materials, it’s violating the CC license.” Speaking as someone who has made everything on ResearchBuzz available under the same license, this is absolutely bonkers.

Interesting: Twitter is being sued by a shareholder. “Shareholder Doris Shenwick claims Twitter executives misled investors on its growth prospects in November 2014, promising an increase in monthly active users to 550m in the ‘intermediate’ term and more than a billion in the ‘longer term’. The company failed to deliver on either estimate and concealed that it had no basis for those projections, the complaint said. As of 30 June, the company had 313m monthly active users, according to its website.” The suit is seeking class action status. Good morning, Internet…

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