DuckDuckGo, InstaPaper, Twitter, More: Saturday Buzz, January 21, 2017


Congratulations to DuckDuckGo for 10 billion searches. “DuckDuckGo, the privacy search engine that allows users to search without fear of queries being tracked, reached a major milestone last year — surpassing an accumulative 10 billion searches since the site’s inception. The search engine says four billion of those searches happened in 2016. Already this year, DuckDuckGo says it had its biggest day ever when it served up 14 million searches on January 10, 2017.”

InstaPaper has added a Firefox extension. “Today we’re launching an official Instapaper extension for Firefox! We’ve been getting a lot of requests from Firefox users to build an extension to match the ones we offer for Chrome, Opera and Safari. Now, we’re happy to roll out the same great saving features for Firefox.”

TechCrunch: Twitter’s latest feature tries to identify your BFF. “Twitter thinks it has identified your BFF. The company is currently testing a new feature that will highlight the tweets from a select, single account that Twitter thinks you’ll want to see. Yes: a single person’s tweets will get their own special spot on your timeline.”

TheNextWeb: The White House’s climate change and LGBT rights pages have disappeared. “We’re approaching two hours after Trump officially became our 45th President, and his transition to the White House has already led to change — to the official White House website. Gone are all mentions (sitewide) of climate change. Also missing is the former LGBT rights page, which now redirects to an opt-in form to receive the Trump newsletter.” It is not my place to assess the platform of the new President except through personal political activism (like voting and contacting my representative.) It is absolutely my place to note cases of digital impermanence and data removal.

Interesting: Amit Singhal has gone to Uber. “Employee no. 176, Singhal worked for 15 years at Google where he was the Internet giant’s head search honcho. He left Google last year and now will lead the maps and marketplace departments at Uber as well as advise Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and vice president of engineering and Otto co-founder Anthony Levandowski on self-driving technology, according to a report in technology news outlet TechCrunch.”


Hongkiat: 15 Google Photos Tips for Power Users . “On the surface, Google Photos is a simple tool that automatically organizes your photos and videos based on different factors. However, if we take a deeper look, it hides tons of amazing new features that can make photo organizing a breeze.”

This video from YouTube clocks in at just over six minutes: How to edit and download YouTube closed captions, upload subtitles to Facebook (2017).

Noupe: High-Quality Stock Videos: 20 Free (or Almost Free) Sites to Download. “Over the last years the quality of online stock footage has increased dramatically. A creative video intro or looping video background on the front page is perfect to draw attention. You can use stock footage in your personal (and most of it in your commercial) projects. We’ve rounded up 20 of the best free stock video websites! Enjoy!”


Uh-oh: is Locky on the march again? “Cisco is warning of possible return of a massive ransomware spam campaign after researchers noticed traces of traffic from the hitherto dormant Necrus botnet.”

Brian Krebs: Who is Anna-Senpai, the Mirai Worm Author? “On September 22, 2016, this site was forced offline for nearly four days after it was hit with ‘Mirai,’ a malware strain that enslaves poorly secured Internet of Things (IoT) devices like wireless routers and security cameras into a botnet for use in large cyberattacks. Roughly a week after that assault, the individual(s) who launched that attack — using the name ‘Anna-Senpai’ — released the source code for Mirai, spawning dozens of copycat attack armies online. After months of digging, KrebsOnSecurity is now confident to have uncovered Anna-Senpai’s real-life identity, and the identity of at least one co-conspirator who helped to write and modify the malware.” Long but fascinating article – he weaves tons of little bits of information into one cohesive whole.

BetaNews: Data breaches up by 40 percent in 2016. “The last year has seen fewer of the large scale breaches that made the headlines in 2014 and 2015, but that doesn’t mean the problem has gone away. A new report from CyberScout and the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC) has found a 40 percent increase in the US with a total of 1,093 data breaches in 2016, up from 780 in 2015.”

LA Times / AP: Lawsuits blame Facebook and Twitter in terror attacks in Paris, Brussels. “Twitter says it has suspended hundreds of thousands of user accounts in the past 18 months for threatening or promoting acts of terrorism. But that isn’t enough, say lawyers for the families of terror victims… In a string of lawsuits filed in New York, they say they want Twitter and Facebook to pay damages for failing to stop violent extremists from using their platforms to recruit followers, intimidate enemies and raise money.” Good morning, Internet…

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