Sephardic Ballads, Legal Action, Twitch, More: Monday Buzz, February 13, 2017


A new collection of Eastern Sephardic Ballads is now available online. “The Benmayor Collection of Eastern Sephardic Ballads and Other Lore is a collection of over 140 audio recordings gathered by Dr. Rina Benmayor in Seattle and Los Angeles during the 1970s. In conjunction with her visit to the University of Washington in 2014, and working together with the Sephardic Studies Program and Stroum Center for Jewish Studies, Dr. Benmayor organized, catalogued, and digitized her recordings and kindly contributed them to the Sephardic Studies Digital Collection.”

A new Web site was designed to help people crowdfund legal actions. “When online crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe debuted, people hoping to invent and sell a better bottle opener, those in need of help with medical bills and all sorts of personal would-be fundraisers talked about the concept in grand, world-changing ways. This, they said, was a disruptive, potentially transformative financial development. A new website aims to mash up that kind of popular Internet fundraising with legal work, hoping to turn legal cases into publicly funded — and backed — social causes.”


Twitch streamers can now create their own communities. “In practice, Communities will look similar to the existing game directories. Streams must be a part of the Community’s specific theme. The feature will be available today. Users can make or discover new Communities via the directory. The tools allow users to customize a landing page, appoint moderators, establish rules, and feature select broadcasts. All Communities are public and have a designated Community Leader, who can ban or timeout channels at their discretion.”


From Tips for Livestreaming Protests in the United States. “Livestreaming can be a powerful tool for human rights documentation. It can allow people from all around the world to view a scene as if they were there, it can document serious violations of human rights, and it can even be used to defend activists from criminal charges or in excessive force cases against the police. But livestreaming also has risks, both for those being filmed and those doing the filming.”

A new-to-me tool helps users assess their MongoDB databases for security. “More than 25,000 MongoDB instances were targeted by hackers. Information was encrypted and money was asked for the decryption keys. In some cases information was wiped with no way to recover it. Mongoaudit tackles this problem and more. It not only detects misconfigurations, known vulnerabilities and bugs. It also gives advice on how to fix problems and recommends best security practices.”

TheNextWeb has a writeup on a tool that helps users automatically find and download the right captions for what they’re watching. “Built by Dutch developer Giel Cobben, Caption is a nifty app for desktop that lets you find and download the right subtitles for any movie or television show you want to see. What is particularly handy about Caption is that it will also automatically rename the subtitles so they match the title of the movie.”

Search Engine Journal: Communication Overload: Keeping Up with Google Search’s Constant Updates. “If you’re reading this right now, it means you’re invested in search engine optimization.” No, I’m not. But I am interested in searching better and that means knowing how the data pool I’m searching ranks its content.


TorrentFreak: Google Drive Uses Hash Matching to Detect Pirated Content. “Google Drive allows users to store any files they want but the cloud hosting service actively prevents users from sharing or distributing copyrighted files. While Google doesn’t go into the finer details of its detection methods, it uses file-hashes to detect infringing content.”


If you have a WordPress site – especially a self-hosted WordPress site – please read this blog post from Wordfence. “In this report we share data on the ongoing flood of WordPress REST-API exploits we are seeing in the wild. We include data on 20 different site defacement campaigns we are currently tracking. We show how attackers have switched to the REST-API exploit and how it has increased their success rates. We have also seen an evolution in the attack method targeting the REST-API exploit and have evolved our rule-set accordingly. We also demonstrate how hackers are competing to deface sites using the REST-API exploit.”

Looks like Arby’s has suffered a data breach. “Sources at nearly a half-dozen banks and credit unions independently reached out over the past 48 hours to inquire if I’d heard anything about a data breach at Arby’s fast-food restaurants. Asked about the rumors, Arby’s told KrebsOnSecurity that it recently remediated a breach involving malicious software installed on payment card systems at hundreds of its restaurant locations nationwide.” Looks like this is one of those weird ones where the corporate-owned stores were impacted and the franchises were not.

Radio Free Asia: Facebook ‘Likes’ Conviction Upheld by Cambodian Appeals Court. “An appellate court on Thursday upheld opposition party leader Sam Rainsy’s defamation conviction for claiming Prime Minister Hun Sen’s media team pumped up the Cambodian leader’s Facebook presence with fake supporters.”


Pando: Twitter’s dismal performance gives Dorsey another excuse to finally act on Trump. “Growth has slowed, revenue is flat and investors seem to have finally lost patience with Dorsey’s stewardship of the ailing company. And yet… just a few hours earlier, I sat in the ShiftForum conference room listening to a well-respected tech mogul (again, I’m hamstrung by Chatham House rules so you’ll have to guess who) describing Donald Trump as ‘the best thing to happen to Twitter.’ The response elicited a murmuring of agreement from others on the stage. The audience seemed far less convinced. I’m with the audience — but the real problem for Jack Dorsey is he’s screwed either way.” Good morning, Internet…

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