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Chemical Industry Documents, Twitter, Library of Congress, More: Sunday Buzz, April 2, 2017

NEW RESOURCES

UC San Francisco: UCSF Chemical Industry Documents Archive Goes Live. “The UCSF Truth Tobacco Industry Documents Archive is well-known an widely used by tobacco control researchers and advocates… Few people realize that the tobacco documents are now part of the larger multi-industry UCSF Industry Documents Library that has included documents from Pharma for several years. Now we have added a third collection of documents, the new Chemical Industry Documents Archive that has been launched with nearly 2,000 documents and more to come in May and beyond.”

TWEAKS AND UPDATES

From Twitter: Now on Twitter: 140 characters for your replies. “Remember how we told you we were working on ways to let you to express more with 140 characters? Since then, we’ve introduced twoupdates, and today we’re rolling out another. Now, when you reply to someone or a group, those @usernames won’t count toward your Tweet’s 140 characters.” Note to posterity: this is getting the most negative reaction from users I’ve seen since Instagram went to an algorithm timeline instead of a date-based timeline. Just saying.

The Library of Congress is now on Medium. Just two stories so far.

TechCrunch: Facebook introduces personal fundraising tools, donate buttons in Facebook Live for Pages. “Facebook today announced it’s expanding its set of online fundraising tools to include its own GoFundMe competitor, with the added support for personal online fundraisers, starting first in the U.S. The new tool will allow Facebook users to raise money for personal crises and other campaigns — like school or medical expenses, emergency situations, funerals and more.”

From the Google Analytics Blog: This is not a test: Google Optimize now free — for everyone. “To help businesses test and take action, last spring we launched our enterprise-class A/B testing and personalization product, Google Optimize 360…. Today we’re very excited to announce that both Optimize and Optimize 360 are now out of beta. And Optimize is now immediately available to everyone — for free. This is not a test: You can start using it today.”

Microsoft is shutting down CodePlex. “Almost 11 years after we created CodePlex, it’s time to say goodbye. We launched CodePlex in 2006 because we, like others in the industry, saw a need for a great place to share software. Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of amazing options come and go but at this point, GitHub is the de facto place for open source sharing and most open source projects have migrated there.” CodePlex will shut down at the end of the year.

Marketing Land: Google is set to expand its store visits program to thousands more advertisers. “Google has been ramping its efforts to tie clicks on ads to store traffic for several years now. On Wednesday, the search giant said it has tracked over four billion store visits as the result of ad clicks, up from one billion a little less than a year ago. Google extended the now two-year old store visits measurement program to ads on the Display Network in September 2016 and said it had statistically significant visibility into visits to 200 million stores globally. The company says it is now set to make store visits data available to thousands more advertisers due to advancements in several components of its measurement capabilities.”

AROUND THE SEARCH AND SOCIAL MEDIA WORLD

Live Science: ‘Doomsday’ Library Joins Seed Vault in Arctic Norway. “Known as the Arctic World Archive, the vault will act as a library of sorts, a storage option for governments and scientific institutions, as well as companies and private individuals, to keep their data safe. Though the vault’s security is high-tech, the medium for the new data archive is analog — photosensitive film. (Whereas digital data is stored as discrete 1s and 0s, analog data refers to a continuous recording of physical signals, like a record player’s needle translating bumps and dips into music.)”

SECURITY/LEGAL ISSUES

ZDNet: Skype users hit by ransomware through in-app malicious ads. “Several users have complained that ads served through Microsoft’s Skype app are serving malicious downloads, which if opened, can trigger ransomware. News of the issue came from a Reddit thread on Wednesday, in which the original poster said that Skype’s home screen — the first screen that shows up on consumer versions of the software — was pushing a fake, malicious ad, purporting to be a critical update for the Flash web plug-in.”

Krebs on Security: Post-FCC Privacy Rules, Should You VPN?. “Many readers are understandably concerned about recent moves by the U.S. Congress that would roll back privacy rules barring broadband Internet service providers (ISPs) from sharing or selling customer browsing history, among other personal data. Some are concerned enough by this development that they’re looking at obfuscating all of their online browsing by paying for a subscription to a virtual private networking (VPN) service. This piece is intended to serve as a guidepost for those contemplating such a move.”

Ars Technica: Someone is putting lots of work into hacking Github developers. “Open source developers who use Github are in the cross-hairs of advanced malware that can steal passwords, download sensitive files, take screenshots, and self-destruct when necessary. Dimnie, as the reconnaissance and espionage trojan is known, has largely flown under the radar for the past three years. It mostly targeted Russians until early this year, when a new campaign took aim at multiple owners of Github repositories. One commenter in this thread reported the initial infection e-mail was sent to an address that was used solely for Github, and researchers with Palo Alto Networks, the firm that reported the campaign on Tuesday, told Ars they have no evidence it targeted anyone other than Github developers.”

RESEARCH & OPINION

Spotted at Boing Boing: The Most Asked Questions on Google. “Ever wondered what are the most asked questions on Google? Given below is the entire list of top 1000 most asked questions on Google along with their global search volume and cost-per-click data. For those not aware, cost-per-click refers to the amount advertisers pay to advertise for that term on Google.” Warning: some of these questions are definitely NSFW. Good morning, Internet…

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