Oklahoma Prisons, WordPress, Instagram, More: Thursday Afternoon Buzz, March 9, 2017


The Oklahoma Department of Corrections has updated its public prisoner lookup system. “On Wednesday, the Oklahoma Department of Corrections launched a new offender look-up website with a more advanced search function. Members of the public can now query the department’s database to search by race, age, conviction, and sentence, among other identifiers.”

From WordPress: Introducing for Google Docs: A New Way Forward for Collaborative Editing. “We are happy to announce for Google Docs, a new add-on that lets you write, edit, and collaborate in Google Docs, then save it as a blog post on any or Jetpack-connected WordPress site. Your images and most formatting will carry over too. No more copy-and-paste headaches!” YAAAAAY!

Mashable: Instagram rips off yet another feature from Snapchat . “Are you ready for this? Instagram just copied yet another feature from Snapchat. Instagram updated its apps Tuesday with a new ‘geostickers’ feature in Stories that is nearly the same as — you guessed it — Snapchat’s geofilters.”

The Guardian:
Google’s DeepMind plans bitcoin-style health record tracking for hospitals
. “Google’s AI-powered health tech subsidiary, DeepMind Health, is planning to use a new technology loosely based on bitcoin to let hospitals, the NHS and eventually even patients track what happens to personal data in real-time.”

Australian Financial Review: Google buys Australia’s Kaggle. “Kaggle, the data science platform set up by former government economist Anthony Goldbloom in his Sydney bedroom, has been bought by American technology giant Google in an estimated multi-million dollar deal. Kaggle hosts online competitions for data scientists and machine learning experts to develop algorithms to solve complex problems for businesses, including by mining untapped data that firms don’t know how to use effectively.”


The Atlantic: Social Media’s Silent Filter. “Thus far, much of the post-election discussion of social-media companies has focused on algorithms and automated mechanisms that are often assumed to undergird most content-dissemination processes online. But algorithms are not the whole story. In fact, there is a profound human aspect to this work. I call it commercial content moderation, or CCM.” This is the second large-scale story I have read about content moderators having to view absolutely heinous material with no kind of support – and, as I see from this article, with an NDA forbidding them to discuss what they’re seeing – but I haven’t heard a peep from the large social media networks. Have you?

The New Indian Express: Pakistan threatens to block all social media networks over blasphemy. “A Pakistani court has ordered the government to open an investigation into online ‘blasphemy’, threatening to ban social media networks if they failed to censor content deemed insulting to Islam, lawyers said on Thursday.”


A police department in Kansas has started a new Facebook feature that’s basically “Where’s Waldo” for fugitives. I’m not even kidding. “This week the Halstead Police Department launched a new, and inventive, way to deal with outstanding bench warrants issued by Halstead Municipal Court. It’s called ‘Find the Fugitive,’ and the plan is to post to the department Facebook page each week.”

LA Times: CIA’s apparent hacking techniques revealed in data breach. “The nearly 9,000 documents shared online by the anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks show the CIA sought to observe targets’ conversations, online browsing and other activities by infiltrating the technology that surrounded them, including Apple and Android smartphones, laptops, TVs and even cars. Operatives worked closely with intelligence agencies at U.S. allies to develop the hacking techniques. And they borrowed ideas from adversaries and the private sector too, refining tools that originated from Russia, criminals and university researchers.”

New York Times: Selfie With Merkel by Refugee Became a Legal Case, but Facebook Won in German Court. “A Syrian refugee whose image showed up in fake news reports linking him to terrorism lost a closely watched case in Germany on Tuesday that sought to prevent Facebook from allowing users to repost the picture.” Good afternoon, Internet…

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