Off-Broadway, FOIA, Inside a Volcano, More: Thursday Buzz, March 16, 2017

Well, folks, I got snookered. It doesn’t happen often, but hopefully this will allow me to better calibrate my bullstuff radar. The facial recognition software I posted about recently was a hoax. I apologize.


Theater Mania: Primary Stages Launches Off-Broadway Oral History Project. “Primary Stages has announced the launch of Off Center: The Off-Broadway Oral History Project. Officially launched on Thursday, March 2, at WNYC’s Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the project was created to fill a gap in theater history and establishes a video archive featuring the innovative artists who transformed off- and off-off-Broadway in the years after World War II.”

Nieman Lab: FOIA the Dead uses The New York Times’ obituaries to shine a light on FBI surveillance, for the living. “A person’s FBI file becomes available to the public at the moment they die. [Parker] Higgins wrote a script that lets him automatically send a FOIA request for the FBI file of every public figure listed in The New York Times’ obituary pages (not the paid death notices). So far, he has sent 1,300 requests, roughly two-thirds of which have been processed so far. Higgins got back FBI files for about 29 of them, and in a roughly equal number of cases, he was told he’d need to file a second request because the files had been moved to the National Archive.” He is posting the files he receives to a Web site.


Google Street View — volcano style. “Google Street View is giving users a unique opportunity to step inside a Vanuatu volcano, home to one of the largest boiling lava lakes in the world. You can join explorers Geoff Mackley and Chris Horsly, who climbed 400 metres inside the Marum crater to obtain shots of the molten lava lake.”

From the US Department of Justice: U.S. Charges Russian FSB Officers and Their Criminal Conspirators for Hacking Yahoo and Millions of Email Accounts. “The defendants used unauthorized access to Yahoo’s systems to steal information from about at least 500 million Yahoo accounts and then used some of that stolen information to obtain unauthorized access to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other webmail providers, including accounts of Russian journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and private-sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies. One of the defendants also exploited his access to Yahoo’s network for his personal financial gain, by searching Yahoo user communications for credit card and gift card account numbers, redirecting a subset of Yahoo search engine web traffic so he could make commissions and enabling the theft of the contacts of at least 30 million Yahoo accounts to facilitate a spam campaign.”

Again with the livestreaming sports on social media! This time it’s Twitter livestreaming lacrosse. “Twitter is adding indoor lacrosse to its roster of live stream sporting events. The social network said Wednesday it is teaming up with the National Lacrosse League to broadcast one game a week this season and next. The action begins Friday as the Colorado Mammoth take on the Toronto Rock.”


MakeUseOf: Use These Great Twitter Tools to Manage Your Feed. “Do you follow hundreds of people on Twitter? If you do, there are probably inactive accounts, topics you’ve lost interest in, and spam accounts that are on your follow list. But while Twitter doesn’t make it easy to manage your followers or your lists, there are a number of third-party Twitter tools that can help. These four tools will make managing who you follow much easier. They’ll help you cut through the noise, keep your feed feeling fresh, and deliver a much richer experience.”


Neowin: UK government department tells staff to stop bashing President Trump on Twitter. “Social media has been central to all things Donald Trump for the last year or so, during the presidential campaign and after. Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook were used both by Trump to attack his opponents, and by his opponents to bash him. It seems now, though, that the British government wants to rein in the attacks its staffers might make.”

NBC News: Yahoo’s New Male CEO Will Get Twice Marissa Mayer’s Salary. “The guy hired to run what’s left of Yahoo after it imploded under Marissa Mayer will get twice her salary, according to a new filing.The company named board member Thomas McInerney, 52, as the head of its new spinoff company, Altaba. McInerney, former CFO at IAC media company – which owns brands such as Tinder, OKCupid, and the Princeton Review – is to get a $2 million base pay, the company announced in an SEC filing Monday.” I think this is the part where, as a woman, I’m supposed to get deeply offended by the new guy’s salary. Putting aside my feelings about the absurd money some CEOs make, I don’t care. Marissa Mayer did a substandard job and she’s walking away with at least $23 million. She’s not a victim in this case.


Gizmodo: Hundreds of Twitter Accounts Hacked with Swastikas Through Third Party App ‘Twitter Counter’. “A number of Twitter accounts, including major brands and institutions are getting hijacked right now. Everyone from Duke University to major fast food outlets to Nike Spain are getting hacked with a swastika and a reference to April 16th, a date when a referendum will be held in Turkey to give President Erdogan more power.”

NME: New research finds music can be used to hack smartphones, computers and cars. “The research found that accelerometers – the motion-sensing chip that can be found in many electronic devices – could be hacked using sound waves, with one example being the uploading of a “malicious” music file onto a device. The scientists also found that, once hacked, devices such as the FitBit and a toy car could be manipulated to add steps to the former’s counter and even take over the controls of the latter.”

The Omega: TRU law student files lawsuit against bloggers and Google. “Third-year TRU law student and reformed right-wing extremist Daniel Gallant recently filed a lawsuit against bloggers Arthur Topham and Monika Schaefer, as well as Google, Google Ideas and Google Blogger for defamation.” The Omega is the student newspaper of Thompson Rivers University in Canada. Good morning, Internet…

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