Twitter, Dropbox, Facebook, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, January 31, 2017


Computerworld: Twitter will roll out new features to counter abuse. “‘We’re taking a completely new approach to abuse on Twitter. Including having a more open & real-time dialogue about it every step of the way,’ wrote company CEO Jack Dorsey, referring to a tweet by Ed Ho, vice president for engineering, in which he promised the changes soon.” Hurry up.

Meanwhile, Twitter continues to roll on with the livestreaming sports deals. “Twitter has a leg up on rivals Facebook and Snapchat after signing a deal with European broadcaster Sky to live-stream ‘Deadline Day.’ ‘Deadline Day,’ which hits the airwaves today on Sky Sports, is the last day U.K. soccer clubs can hire new players. It is a day of analysis and ongoing coverage of the soccer players that have been transferred to new clubs. It is a big deal in the U.K.”

Dropbox Paper has left beta. “If you’ve used Google Docs, Microsoft Word or Zoho Writer, you’ll find yourself in familiar territory with Paper. However, Dropbox’s app ditches the traditional toolbar interface for a clean, distraction-free workspace.”

Facebook’s Parse developer platform is gone. “Parse was best known for its ‘backend as a service’ product, and provided SDKs and APIs to let developers quickly get apps up and running without the effort of building a backend from scratch. At one point there were 600,000 apps that relied on the platform.”


MakeUseOf: A Brief Guide to Windows 10 Accessibility Tools . “Windows has always offered its users some accessibility tools. However, as computers have become more powerful, the scope and range of tools Microsoft can provide have increased. Today, the operating system is packed with accessibility features. But what tools are available specifically? And how can you use them? In this post, I’m going to walk you through all the accessibility apps and give you a quick lesson on their usage.” A basic overview, but thorough, and Microsoft is not always great about surfacing this stuff.


The Verge: Google employees staged a protest over Trump’s immigration ban. “More than 2,000 Google employees in offices around the world staged a walkout on Monday afternoon in protest of President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration in seven Muslim-majority countries. Using the hashtag #GooglersUnite, employees tweeted photos and videos of walkout actions around the world, including at headquarters in Mountain View, California.”


Do you have a NetGear router? Check it. “Disclosed by cybersecurity firm Trustwave, the vulnerability essentially allows attackers to exploit the router’s password recovery system to bypass authentication and hijack admin credentials, giving them full access to the device and its settings.”

IndyCar fans are the latest data leak victims, with personal information on 200,000 of them exposed. “The notorious expert Chris Vickery has discovered an open Rsync server hosting the personal details for at least 200,000 racing fans. Further analysis revealed that data belongs to the archive of a defunct racing forum called DownForce that was a component of a platform used by IndyCar.”

This is an unusual data leak: audio files. “More than 400,000 audio files associated with a Florida company’s telemarketing efforts were stored online in the clear, and were discovered earlier this month by researchers at MacKeeper. More than 17,600 of those audio recordings were customer transactions that included names, addresses, and credit card and CVV information of those called. The discovery was made by the MacKeeper Security Research Center, which said it found 28GB of recordings stored on a server belonging to Vici Marketing.” If you think that’s not a big deal because it’s audio, you don’t know how great transcription software and services have gotten lately…


From Yale: Yale team uses Google analytical tool to gauge vaccine effectiveness. “Using a statistical method initially developed by Google, a Yale School of Public Health-led research team has devised a novel way to better analyze the impact of vaccines. The research was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Pneumococcus, a bacterial pathogen, is one of the most significant causes of pneumonia around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pneumonia is the leading cause of death globally in children under the age of 5. Vaccines that prevent pneumococcal infection can decrease pneumonia rates, but quantifying the impact of the vaccine remains challenging.”

Social Media Explorer – An Open Letter to Facebook, a Dying Platform: Just Give Up. “Just stop. Please stop. Yes, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I get that. However, this time you’ve gone too far. It all started when you introduced hashtags and trends, which used to be features of Twitter alone. I understand. You needed to stay relevant. Social media was evolving without you. Granted, you were the first platform to offer live streaming. Kudos to you for that achievement. But now? You’ve reached the point of no return.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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