Canadian Mortgages, Facebook, Open Access Zoology, More: Tuesday Afternoon Buzz, April 4, 2017


CNW: Online Database Protects Canadians Getting Mortgages (PRESS RELEASE). “A new online database helps consumers find out if mortgage brokers have broken the rules that govern their profession. Consumers can enter a mortgage broker’s name or company into the search-friendly database and see disciplinary actions (e.g., licence suspensions, administrative penalties, cease and desist orders) that have been taken against a broker by their provincial mortgage regulator and other Canadian regulators. The database, developed by the Mortgage Broker Regulators’ Council of Canada (MBRCC), integrates disciplinary records from most provincial regulators into a single, convenient place”


Slate: Facebook Is Testing a Second News Feed for People Who Want News but No Baby Photos. “Don’t be surprised when you eventually see a new rocketship tab in your Facebook app. The tab is essentially a second News Feed, except without any posts or baby pictures from your friends. Instead, Facebook is using the tab to only show recommended videos and articles based on what you already like and watch in your main News Feed.” How about sending me all the articles and videos for Pages I’ve gone out of my way to actually like?

EurekAlert: Brazilian Zoologia joins Pensoft’s portfolio of open access journals . “In a new partnership between Sociedade Brasileira de Zoologia (Brazilian Society of Zoology) and the academic publisher Pensoft, one of the most prestigious scientific journals in South America, Zoologia joins Pensoft’s portfolio of open access peer-reviewed journals.”

Recode: Marissa Mayer will not be part of the new AOL-Yahoo combined company called Oath. “According to sources, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will not be continuing with the new company that was announced today prematurely in a tweet by AOL CEO Tim Armstrong. The new Verizon-owned entity is called Oath — we’ll get to mocking that name later in the post — and is the combination of AOL and Yahoo. It will be headed by Armstrong, who is now apparently Oath-in-Chief.” Doubt she cares because she made serious bank. Meantime, are they calling it Oath because of all the swearing?


PBS Newshour: National Archives tells White House to save all of Trump’s tweets, even ones deleted or corrected. “The National Archives and Records Administration has told the White House to keep each of President Donald Trump’s tweets, even those he deletes or corrects, and the White House has agreed. The head of the archives, David S. Ferriero, told two Democratic senators in a letter last week that the White House has assured him it’s saving all Trump’s Twitter blasts.”

Government Executive: Contractors Resist Push to Post Contracts Online. “In a move intended to make it easier for the public to see what exactly federal contractors do for the taxpayer money they receive, two Senate Democrats have introduced legislation that would require agencies to post the text of major contracts online. But contractors and contracting specialists are pushing back.” This is my shocked face!

Ars Technica: After vote to kill privacy rules, users try to “pollute” their Web history. “While the US government is giving ISPs free rein to track their customers’ Internet usage for purposes of serving personalized advertisements, some Internet users are determined to fill their browsing history with junk so ISPs can’t discover their real browsing habits. Scripts and browser extensions might be able to fill your Web history with random searches and site visits. But will this actually fool an ISP that scans your Web traffic and shares it with advertising networks?”


University of Washington: UW security researchers show that Google’s AI tool for video searching can be easily deceived. “University of Washington researchers have shown that Google’s new tool that uses machine learning to automatically analyze and label video content can be deceived by inserting a photograph periodically and at a very low rate into videos. After they inserted an image of a car into a video about animals, for instance, the system returned results suggesting the video was about an Audi.”

Motherboard: Twitter Suspensions Reveal the Company’s Skewed Views on ‘Extremism’. “The restriction of content we deem beyond the pale is still, in fact, censorship. The word ‘censorship’ is not itself a value judgement, but a statement of fact, an explanation for why something that used to be, no longer is. The American Civil Liberties Union defines ‘censorship’ as ‘the suppression of words, images, or ideas that are “offensive”, [that] happens whenever some people succeed in imposing their personal political or moral values on others.’ The definition further notes that censorship can be carried out by private groups—like social media companies—as well as governments. And when carried out by unaccountable actors (be they authoritarian governments or corporations) through opaque processes, it’s important that we question it.”

Gizmodo: Someone Finally Hijacked Deep Learning Tech to Create More Than Nightmares. “It’s been almost two years since Google liquefied our brains with its Deep Dream neural network and the nightmare-inducing images the technology created. But now, a team from the University of California, Berkeley is sort of doing the opposite—emphasis on ‘sort of.'” Good afternoon, Internet…

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Categories: afternoonbuzz

1 reply »

  1. I rely on my history to remind me of where I left off, especially if I’m researching something. I’ve hesitated to use the extension that muddies the waters, thinking it might be problematic. I really don’t want to wade thru tons of extra stuff!

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