morningbuzz

Le Monde, Internet Archives, HP Laptops, More: Friday Buzz, January 27, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

Big thanks to Gary S for pointing this out: Le Monde has created a list of fake/unreliable news sites as well as other tools. “Le Monde is set to release a suite of products designed to throttle the spread of fake news online. ‘Decodex’ is the name for the French newspaper’s three fact-checking products powered by a database of 600 websites deemed unreliable and compiled by Le Monde’s fact-checking unit, Les Décodeurs, over the last year.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

The Internet Archive has updated its Wayback Machine extension for Chrome. This link goes directly to the extension. “New in version 1.3
– Save Page Now (Archive URLs to the Wayback Machine)
– Recent Version (Show the most recent version via the Wayback Machine)
– First Version (Show the first version via the Wayback Machine)”

HP has expanded its laptop battery recall. “HP has expanded its voluntary recall of batteries due to fire and burn hazards. The batteries were used for various laptops sold under the HP and Compaq brands between March 2013 and October 2016. In total, the company has recalled over 140 thousand batteries in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.”

Ars Technica: Firefox, Chrome start calling HTTP connections insecure. “The non-secure labelling will occur on pages delivered over HTTP that include forms. Specifically, pages that include password fields, and in Chrome, credit card fields, will put warnings in the address bar to explicitly indicate that the connection is not secure.”

Google has opened its Daydream VR platform to everybody. “The move to broaden the Daydream developer tent follows the expiration of launch restrictions which limited content to a chosen few developers as Google found its feet with the new system. Now anyone can have a punt with Google sharing key technical stipulations related to user comfort including a user controlled camera and stable horizon.”

USEFUL STUFF

Interesting! From MakeUseOf: How to Search Reddit Posts by Domain URL. “Thousands of new submissions are made to Reddit every single day. A good chunk of these submissions are self-posts (meaning text only) but the majority of them are sourced with a link. News sites are one of the most commonly aggregated destinations.”

PC World: 10 frustrating Google Chrome irritations and how to fix them. “Chrome may be the most-used browser in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. Far from it. Despite receiving over 50 updates over the years, Google’s browser still harbors several rough edges and idiosyncrasies that can make for a less than optimal online experience.” I wish there were an easier way to stop auto-play video.

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

The PACER lawsuit is now a class action lawsuit. “U.S. District Court Judge Ellen Huvelle said in an opinion she will allow anyone who paid so-called PACER (Public Access to Court Electronic Records) fees between April 2010 and April 2016 to be part of the class in the suit, which alleges that the government is violating a 2002 law that says fees for using the system should not exceed the costs to operate it.”

GMail will start blocking JavaScript attachments next month. “If you want to email a .js file to somebody for any reason, you only have a few more days to do so through Gmail. The service will start blocking JavaScript file attachments starting on February 13th, adding it to its list of restricted file types, which includes .exe, .msc and .bat. If you try to attach a .js file on or after the 13th, you’ll get a notification that says it’s blocked ‘because its content presents a potential security issue.'”

Naked Security: Google pressure on devs to fix security issues bears fruit. “In 2014, Google’s Android team launched Google Play App Security Improvement (ASI) program, with the goal of flagging vulnerable apps and notifying developers that they need to be fixed. At first, the notification was the only real consequence of a discovered vulnerability, but in the past two years the ASI program has grown some real teeth: fix your vulnerable apps by a certain timeline, says the ASI program, or you won’t be able to publish any updates to it until the issues are addressed.”

RESEARCH AND OPINION

JSTOR Daily: How Trump’s Twitter Presidency Hijacked Hopes for E-Democracy. The headline is far too inflammatory for this thoughtful analysis of how Trump uses Twitter in comparison to how everyone else uses Twitter. “It’s not Trump’s fault that the social media ecosystem has gradually concentrated users on a small number of platforms: that’s the result of a long series of business and technology choices that have privileged the interests of advertisers over citizens. But the President could choose to spread his attention across a wider number of platforms, rather than focusing on one that gives him so much discretion to ignore the full breadth of public opinion. Of course, it’s no accident that he would gravitate to the social platform that creates the least pressure for engaging with dissent, as we can see from the way Trump does—or rather, doesn’t—make use of the potential for engagement that Twitter can offer.”

Phys.org: Scholars show new method of harvesting crowd wisdom. “The wisdom of crowds is not always perfect. But two scholars at MIT’s Sloan Neuroeconomics Lab, along with a colleague at Princeton University, have found a way to make it better.
Their method, explained in a newly published paper, uses a technique the researchers call the ‘surprisingly popular’ algorithm to better extract correct answers from large groups of people. As such, it could refine wisdom-of-crowds surveys, which are used in political and economic forecasting, as well as many other collective activities, from pricing artworks to grading scientific research proposals.” Good morning, Internet…

OTHER STUFF I THINK IS COOL

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